Snooker News – 30th of January 2023

WST has published some more information about the 2023 Welsh Open. notably about the opening day schedule.

Top Stars Set For Opening Day In Llandudno

Snooker’s all-time greats will compete on the opening day of the BetVictor Welsh Open in Llandudno next month.

Click here for the draw*

Click here for the format

The tournament will run from February 13 to 19 and staged in North Wales for the first time, at Venue Cymru in Llandudno, an outstanding location which has hosted several world ranking events in the past.

In all there will be over 70 players in the field, including World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, John Higgins, Mark Allen, home favourite Mark Williams, and defending champion Joe Perry who enjoyed the best moment of his career when he beat Trump in last year’s final.

Matches to look out for on the opening day on Monday February 13 include:

Joe Perry v Mark King at 10am
Shaun Murphy v Victor Sarkis at 10am
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Oliver Lines at 1pm
Neil Robertson v Fraser Patrick at 1pm
Mark Williams v Michael White during the afternoon session
John Higgins v Alexander Ursenbacher during the afternoon session
Judd Trump v David Grace at 7pm
Mark Selby v Jamie O’Neill during the evening session 
Mark Allen v Alfie Burden during the evening session

For the full schedule click here

Oliver Briffett-Payne, age 17 from Risca, has been handed a wild card place in the event and meets Robbie Williams at 1pm on Monday February 13.

A spokesman for WST said: “We are delighted to bring this historic event, which has been ever present on the snooker calendar since 1992, to North Wales for the first time. Having staged many events at Venue Cymru in Llandudno we know it is a fantastic location, especially for families in half term week.

The field is packed with snooker’s biggest names and this is a fabulous opportunity to see them in action. The opening day has an incredible line-up of green baize legends and we expect to see local fans packing the arena to enjoy sport of the highest quality.

Part of the BetVictor Home Nations Series, the BetVictor Welsh Open has an international television audience of hundreds of millions, with live coverage from broadcasters including Eurosport, discovery+, Quest, BBC Wales and CCTV5 in China.

It is the final event in the 2022/23 BetVictor Series, with the rankings leader to earn a huge £150,000 bonus.

*Zhao Xintong has been withdrawn from this event and replaced with a straight swap in the draw with the next available player on the Q School 2022 Order of MeritMichael Holt.

The WSF Championships start tomorrow in Australia (infos by WPBSA)

The 2023 WSF Championships run from 31 January – 11 February 2023 and important event information can be found below.


The tournament will run from 31 January – 3 February.


The tournament will run from 4-11 February.


The format for both competitions is as follows:

  • All group matches will be the best of 5 frames.
  • The top two players in each group will progress to the knockout rounds
  • All knockout rounds up to and including the semi-finals will be the best of 7 frames.
  • The final will be the best of 9 frames.


Both tournaments will be played at the following venue:

Mounties Club, 101 Meadows Rd, Mount Pritchard NSW 2170

It is the responsibility of the players to be at the correct venue and at their table in time for the start of their match.

There are quite a few familiar names in both draws.

Interestingly, there are several girls in the Juniors draw. That’s very unusual and definitely shows an interest, which is encouraging.

There are several players from China in the Main Event draw. One player who did enter but has withdrawn is Luo Hong Hao. I wonder if he has been prevented to travel by the Chinese authorities, just as he was prevented to travel the Thailand for the Asia-Oceania Q-school, or if there is another reason for his withdrawal.

Also starting tomorrow in Australia is the 2023 Asia-Pacific Women’s Championship

On Yee and Mink are in the draw. There are 18 Australian female players in this draw, that’s excellent and much more than I expected.

And finally …

Pankaj Advani won the 2023 CCI (Cricket Club of India) snooker Classic

Here is a report by the local press

Advani outclasses Lee to win CCI snooker crown

Advani, the holder of 25 world titles, constructed seven substantial breaks of 73 (2nd frame), 82 (3rd), 43 (4th), 87 (5th), 67 (6th), 115 (8th) and 70 (9th) to clinch a 53-101, 73-28, 114-14, 74-30, 87-0, 67-31, 28-60, 115-0, 106-15 victory.

Pankaj Advani poses with the CCI Snooker Classic title. (HT photo)

Indian cue sports star Pankaj Advani of PSPB outclassed Stephen Lee of England for a 7-2 victory in the best-of-13-frame final of the CCI Snooker Classic 2023.

Advani, the holder of 25 world titles, constructed seven substantial breaks of 73 (2nd frame), 82 (3rd), 43 (4th), 87 (5th), 67 (6th), 115 (8th) and 70 (9th) to clinch a 53-101, 73-28, 114-14, 74-30, 87-0, 67-31, 28-60, 115-0, 106-15 victory.

Results: Final: Pankaj Advani bt Stephen Lee 7-2 (53-101, 73(73)-28, 114(82)-14, 74(43)-30, 87(87)-0, 67(67)-31, 28-60, 115(115)-0, 106(70)-15); Semi-finals: Pankaj Advani bt Ishpreet Singh Chadha 6-1 (133(117)-0, 99-33, 63-39, 90-40, 29-82(82), 72-56, 57-49); Stephen Lee bt Kamal Chawla 6-4 (28-78, 47-73, 2-60, 81(67)-36, 1-70, 68-20, 69-0, 67-50, 61-42, 76(72)-14).

Yes, you read it right: he beat Stephen Lee … I’m not sure what to make of this. Lee’s ban runs until October 2024. He will be 50 years old then. He hasn’t ruled out a return but he will not be allowed to compete unless he pays the costs awarded against him and that amounts to £125,000. Indeed Lee has never discharged these legal costs.

The match was uploaded on YouTube but has been taken offline …

8 thoughts on “Snooker News – 30th of January 2023

  1. Cannot find the exact date, somewhere from August 2021~January 2023, China had stricter measures with departure and arrivals. (unless emergency and necessary reasons, it was likely not approved)
    Maybe for uber players like Ding can pass, but not for many others.
    (Getting a professional status should qualify for such reasons but not know if the flight price had gone up amazingly)

    Luo, he is now in UK(in shootout as audience Yuan Sijun vs Rebecca Kenna 4 days ago), and made videos in douyin.

    Bai Yulu, now in bilibili.

    • Thank you Balvark, that explains it at least regarding Luo and indeed, now I remember, he played in the last Q-Tour event in the UK.

      • Yes, he stayed in the UK after his Q Tour events. I terms of Q School 2022, several players were able to travel from China to the UK Q School. One of the causes of the problem was the very late announcement of the Asia-Oceania Q School, which caught the CBSA, Hong Kong and even Thai snooker off guard. There were 3 Thai players who came to the UK! Luo’s decision to go to Bangkok probably embarrassed his own federation – not a wise move. Unquestionably the Asia-Oceania Q School was a weaker standard, and will be weaker still this year, with some of the best Asian players already qualified and the drastic reduction in places from the UK Q School.

        We are not getting the best players on tour.

  2. Naturally, I am familiar with many of the players in the WSF events, at least in terms of their results. The WSF Junior is again a U18 event, which I never like (I think U21 is much more appropriate). There are 4 obvious contenders: Iulian Boiko, Liam Davies, Stan Moody and Liam Pullen. Any of them could be competitive on tour, given the right support. There are a few 13/14-year olds, but fortunately nothing as ridiculous as sometimes we get in U18 events.

    The favourite for the main event must be Dan Wells, who has shown impressive form in the opportunites he’s had as a top-up player this season. There are a few ex-Pros, including of course Robbie Foldvari who I remember mainly as a billiards player in the days when I flirted with the game in the early 1990’s.

    On that vein I would really like to hear clarification whether Asian players who get relegated from the professional tour this May (Xu Si, Lei Peifan and perhaps some others) will be eligible for the Asia-Oceania Q School, or indeed the ‘Chinese Nominations’ (which probably can’t be solely based on amateur rankings as there haven’t been enough events in China). My view is that if Reanne Evans and Ng On Yee can be simply appointed a new 2-year card (from the Women’s rankings), some common sense should be applied. With only 8 places available from UK Q School this season, it’s going to be even more of a bloodbath than last year. It’s important not to have too many substandard players on tour, and not too many strong players unable to get on.

    In the Women’s tournament, I’m slightly disappointed Bai Yulu hasn’t been able to play, as I know she’s been playing quite a bit of snooker recently. It would be good to have some players challenging the 4 professionals.

    • Dan Wells is has withdrawn from the WSF open. Presumably due to to his German Masters qualification, and potential overlap.

      • But for Luo, it does not make sense for him to withdraw- he even not standing a place in Q-tour playoff…
        Or he is sure he will get a tour card
        (it shouldn’t and does not make any sense – conspiracy here…)?

        Another thing I feel pity is Marco Fu(did not play last year and choose to stay in HK), if he does not make a 30000 in coming events(through 1 year list, why 30000- since opponents may have the chance in World championship), he probably get relegated(unless a invitational tour card, but less likely-_-) from the professional tour this May.
        (Personal guess for his shootout withdrawal, nothing happened to him, but the delay the welsh qual make him no sense spending extra$$ in accommodations and Chinese new year

        but hold on a second… does he receive a fine for withdrawal(like Hendry) of Shootout -_-?

        Eh… But I think he don’t care that now.)

      • Luo won’t get a tour card unless he qualifies through the normal routes (Q-School, CBSA nomination etc…) I guess that his withdrawal was either because he couldn’t afford the cost of the travel, or he was unable to get the required documents allowing him to travel to Australia in time.

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