This is a day without snooker but not without snooker, and pool, news …
The qualifiers for the 2022 Northern Ireland Open start tomorrow, and will be played over six days. The top 16 players are not involved in those qualifiers.
After that, there will be nearly a month without any snooker other that the six-reds World Championship in Thailand … if it happens. I write “if it happens” because I have heard rumours that it might not actually happen. Those rumours are however unconfirmed and the event is still on WST calendar.
Hopefully it will happen, but, even so, September will be a rather “empty” month for most snooker players. As a Ronnie fan, I’m glad that he won’t miss many events because of his arm injury, but as a fan of the sport, well … this is not great.
Mark Allen and Mark Selby sign up for Ultimate Pool events during quiet snooker period
Mark Allen has signed up to make his debut in Ultimate Pool, while Mark Selby is returning for more pool action in the coming days in a quiet time on the snooker calendar.
The Pistol is playing in the Ultimate Pool Players Championship over 3-4 September, drawn in a group alongside pool legend Michael Hill, as well as Ronan McCarthy, Emma Cunningham, Eddie Barker and Luke Gilbert in the 8-ball event.
As Ultimate Pool explain: ‘All six contestants will compete in the hectic round robin on Saturday, playing each other in quickfire races to six frames against the clock on one main arena table.
‘The top four players at the end of the day will qualify for Sunday’s knockout phase; following the group final on Sunday night, the last player standing will advance to November’s eight-player Finals Weekend.’
After missing out on the European Masters this week, Allen is not back in action on the snooker table until the British Open, starting on 26 September, so he is making the most of the pretty spacious gaps on the calendar and heading to the Players Pool and Snooker Lounge in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Selby is back in Ultimate Pool to play alongside brother-in-law Gareth Potts in the Pairs Cup, as they did last year.
Selby did play in the European Masters this week in Furth, but is not playing again until the World Mixed Doubles on 24 September in Milton Keynes.
The four-time snooker world champion will be in action on 29 August, which you can see on FreeSports in the UK, while to watch Allen, you will have to sign up to ultimatepool.tv to stream the Players Championship.
Allen is the latest snooker player to have a crack at a pool tournament after Judd Trump’s trip to the States to take on the US Open and the likes of Gary Wilson and Martin Gould had a stab at the UK Open earlier this year.
Why not eh?
Mark Selby, of course, has history in pool. He was the 2006 World Eight-ball Pool Federation champion and runner-up at the Chinese Eight-ball World Championship in 2015. He’s the only man to have been world champion in both snooker and pool.
Australia to Host 2023 World Snooker Federation Championships
The World Snooker Federation (WSF), in association with the Australian Billiards and Snooker Council (ABSC), has today announced that the 2023 WSF Championships will be held at in Sydney, Australia.
The Championships will run from 31 January – 11 February and will include two prestigious open tournaments each carrying a World Snooker Tour card for the winner.
Organised by the WSF, working in partnership with snooker’s world governing body the WPBSA, and the ABSC, the fourth staging of the Championships will be held at the Mt Pritchard District and Community Club, known as ‘Mounties’ in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia.
As in 2022, the event will include the WSF Championship (4-11 February 2023), previously won by Luo Honghao, Ashley Hugill and most recently, Si Jiahui, who defeated Lee Stephens 5-0 earlier this year to earn his place on the World Snooker Tour.
The event will also see the third staging of the WSF Junior Championship (31 January – 3 February 2023), which has seen Gao Yang and Anton Kazakov lift the trophy in previous years.
Both tournaments will once again be open to players of all nationalities and genders, with the winner of each to earn a two-year professional Tour card from the start of the 2023/24 season. There will also be additional opportunities for elite performers at the event to compete at World Snooker Tour events.
Alongside the Junior Championships, the Asia-Pacific Women’s Snooker Championships will be staged by the ABSC, together with World Women’s Snooker (WWS). Learn more at the WWS website.
Jason Ferguson, WSF President said: “I am delighted with today’s announcement that this season’s WSF Championships will be held in Sydney, Australia.
“Since its inaugural staging in Malta back in 2018, the event has continued to grow and is now recognised as the most prestigious amateur snooker competition in the world, offering direct access to the professional World Snooker Tour.
“With the unwavering support of the ABSC, it has long been our ambition to bring the event to Australia and despite the challenges posed to us all by the coronavirus pandemic over the past two and a half years, we are excited now to be able to confirm its staging in 2023.
“Mounties is a world-class venue and together with our partners we are all hugely excited by the prospect of what will be a fantastic event.”
Entry for both tournaments will be made through WPBSA SnookerScores with further information to be released in due course.
Meanwhile the IBSF 2022 “Youth” snooker championships continues in Romania,
Liam Davies from Wales has won the under-16 event, beating Bulcsú Révész from Hungary in the final, and the under-18 event, beating Antoni Kawalski in the final.
The draw and format for the first event of the WPBSA Q Tour are now available to view via WPBSA SnookerScores.
The event will take place at the North East Snooker Centre, North Shields, with 118 players in the draw. The tournament will run from 2-4 September 2022.