Two titles in Two Days for Mark Selby and Spoty Nomination for Ronnie

It’s been an extraordinary couple of days for Mark Selby. On Sunday night he became the 2022 English Open Snooker Champion and yesterday, with his brother in law, Gareth Potts, he won the Ultimate Pool Pairs Championship.

This was reported on the Ultimate Pool Twitter account:




In a final where the standard was simply out of this world, Gareth Potts & Mark Selby end the reign of Karl Sutton & Shaun Chipperfield to become the new Ultimate Pool Pairs Cup Champions!

And they shared some images too…

Congratulations Mark and Gareth

Mark seems to be in a much better place than he has been for a long time and this is also shows in this piece by Hector Nunns:

Mark Selby: Ronnie O’Sullivan Is Snooker’s Lionel Messi

Mark Selby was inspired by football’s GOAT Lionel Messi to one of his most cherished title triumphs. 

But the four-time world champion admits that it may prove impossible to snatch that tag from the great Ronnie O’Sullivan in his own sport. 

World No2 Selby, 39 managed to catch Argentina and Messi winning a World Cup final for the ages between sessions of his 9-6 victory against Belgium’s Luca Brecel at the English Open in Essex.

And just as it was a highly emotional night for Argentina’s captain, so there were tears shed by Selby and wife Vikki after a tough year that saw him publicly and bravely confront mental health struggles. 

Selby said: “I have always been a Messi fan over Ronaldo. I know Ronaldo is also brilliant and has done it in several different leagues, while Messi was mainly at Barcelona

But if I was paying to watch one of them, I’d pick Messi over Ronaldo. I think it’s fair if he is now seen as the GOAT, and the greatest of all time. That is my personal choice

And I suppose for anyone else to be even in the conversation as the GOAT in snooker you’d have to break all of Ronnie’s records. 

So that means seven or eight world titles at least, the debate until now has been between Ronnie and Stephen Hendry, though most would now say O’Sullivan

It is Ronnie for me. And look, even if I won 10 world titles I am not one for saying ‘It’s me’. That’s for others. But while I am still playing, I’ll be trying to win eight.

It was brilliant with the timings to also get to see the World Cup final before the evening session. I went back to the hotel to get some food and it was on there

I think I watched it from about 75 minutes onwards. And I was cheering on Argentina because Messi is an absolute legend – the greatest player I have ever seen in my lifetime

Knowing that was his last World Cup, I would have been an absolute tragedy for the player he has been if he was never to have won it

So I saw him get the third, then France level at 3-3, and then the shootout. That is like a deciding frame in snooker – the toss of a coin.” 

For a generation Scot Hendry, despite the unparalleled raw talent possessed by the Rocket, would often come out on top in polls to decide who was the all-time best in snooker. 

But May’s most recent world championship win for O’Sullivan in Sheffield, seeing him equal Hendry’s seven Crucible crowns, has seen the world No1 inherit that mantle in the eyes of all but a very few observers for all his many other achievements. 

O’Sullivan has also won the most ranking titles, the most majors in the game’s Triple Crown series, made the most maximum 147s and scored the most centuries. But Selby remains one of very few still with any realistic chance of getting to seven in the blue-riband tournament. 

On his English Open success, Selby added: “From where I have come from and where I have been, it is incredible really to be back winning and enjoying my snooker and my life

Winning was all about what it stood for and represented, rather than the trophy itself. And to have Vikki and our daughter Sofia there was extra special. Vikki has been to the well and back with me

It may well have been harder for her than me, at least I was getting help and speaking to the right people. She didn’t always know what to say from day to day

But people didn’t always think about her and she was suffering as much as I was. It was hard for me to do that because I couldn’t even support myself. 

So she has been an incredible rock and I honestly don’t think I’d be here without her. She told me years before I did that I should seek help. But I thought I could do it on my own.” 

Mark is not the only one to recognise Ronnie’s status in snooker and in sport in general. After being snubbed several times when he should have been – most notably in 2013 – Ronnie finally got nominated for SPOTY:

Sports Personality of the Year 2022: Gadirova, Mead, Muirhead, Stokes, O’Sullivan, Wightman up for award – BBC Sport

54 minutes ago

Sports Personality

(Clockwise from top left) Jessica Gadirova, Beth Mead, Eve Muirhead, Jake Wightman, Ben Stokes and Ronnie O'Sullivan
(Clockwise from top left) Jessica Gadirova, Beth Mead, Eve Muirhead, Jake Wightman, Ben Stokes and Ronnie O’Sullivan
BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2022
Venue: MediaCityUK in Salford Date: Wednesday, 21 December Starts: 18:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app

A shortlist of six contenders has been announced for the 2022 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

The nominees are gymnast Jessica Gadirova, footballer Beth Mead, curling’s Eve Muirhead, cricketer Ben Stokes, snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan and athlete Jake Wightman.

Voting will be open during the show on BBC One on Wednesday, 21 December.

Gary Lineker, Clare Balding, Gabby Logan and Alex Scott will present the 69th annual awards.

The programme, filmed at Media City in Salford, will celebrate 12 months of incredible sporting action.

The public can vote by phone or online on the night for the main award, with full details announced during the show.

Other awards to be announced include Young Sports Personality of the Year,Team and Coach of the Year, Unsung Hero and the Helen Rollason Award.

Eight-time sprinting gold medallist Usain Bolt will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award, while football World Cup winner Lionel Messi is the World Sport Star of the Year.

Sports Personality contenders

Jessica Gadirova

Age: 18 Sport: Gymnastics

A rising star of British gymnastics, Gadirova claimed floor gold on the final day of the world championships.

It was the English gymnast’s third medal at the event in Liverpool after winning silver in the team event and a historic bronze in the all-around competition.

That was Britain’s first world all-around medal and Gadirova became only the fifth British gymnast to be individual world champion.

Gadirova, who took floor gold and team silver at the European Championships, is also on the Young Sports Personality shortlist along with skateboarder Sky Brown and diver Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix.

“I’m just so shocked to be in that shortlist with such incredible athletes and to be recognised for my hard work and achievements – it’s incredible,” she told BBC Sport.

Beth Mead

Age: 27 Sport: Football

Mead won the Golden Boot and was player of the tournament as England claimed a historic triumph at Euro 2022.

The Lionesses lifted their first trophy at a major women’s tournament with a 2-1 victory after extra time against the eight-time champions Germany at Wembley.

“It was a proud moment for me and a surreal moment, walking out of that tunnel and going to play football in front of a home crowd,” Mead said of the final played in front of a record 87,192 crowd.

“The day in general, the noise in general, the atmosphere was honestly something I’ll never feel or experience again.” 

Mead scored six goals and contributed five assists during the tournament as she bounced back from the disappointment of not being selected to represent Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics a year earlier.

The Arsenal forward was voted BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year 2022 and was runner-up in the Women’s Ballon d’Or, the prize awarded to the world’s best footballer of the year.

Eve Muirhead

Age: 32 Sport: Curling

Muirhead led the Great Britain women’s team that won curling gold at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

As skip, she claimed an elusive gold medal in China at the fourth time of asking, the pinnacle of a career during which she became Scotland’s most decorated curler.

“I look back and I still wonder how I got myself through lockdown, covid, everything. It was such a rollercoaster, standing on the top of the podium at the end of it all was very, very special,” she told BBC Sport.

In 2014, she was the youngest skip to win an Olympic medal as her team claimed bronze.

For Scotland, Muirhead won the European Championships three times and she claimed a sixth world mixed doubles title earlier this year alongside Bobby Lammie before later announcing her retirement from the sport.

Age: 47 Sport: Snooker

O’Sullivan claimed his seventh World Championship to equal Stephen Hendry’s record in the modern era.

Aged 46, he became the oldest world champion in Crucible history, eclipsing Ray Reardon, who won his sixth title aged 45 in 1978.

‘The Rocket’ cemented his position as one of snooker’s all-time greats with an 18-13 final win over Judd Trump.

It was a 39th ranking title for the English player who holds almost every major record in the game and also won the Champion of Champions and Hong Kong Masters in 2022.

O’Sullivan, who has on occasion been outspoken about snooker and his fellow players, told BBC Sport: “The love/hate doesn’t come from hating the game, I’ve always loved the game, just my frustrations would spill over and it would look like I had fallen out of love with the game.

But it was only because I wasn’t playing the game to the standard that I wanted to play.

Ben Stokes

Age: 31 Sport: Cricket

Stokes, the 2019 Sports Personality winner, starred as England won the men’s T20 World Cup by beating Pakistan in a thrilling final.

Under intense pressure at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, Stokes was there at the end on 52 not out.

Having inherited a side with one win in their last 17 Tests, Stokes’ England claimed nine out of 10 in increasingly audacious fashion against New Zealand, India, South Africa and Pakistan.

He captained England to one of their greatest overseas performances, with a bold declaration helping secure victory with a record run rate in their first Test in Pakistan for 17 years and setting his side on the path to a historic 3-0 series win.

Stokes told BBC Sport: “I think it shows that you don’t have to be stuck in a particular way of playing Test cricket just because it’s been done for however long, a long period of time. It’s different but it’s exciting to watch.”

Jake Wightman

Age: 28 Sport: Athletics

Wightman produced a stunning run to take 1500m gold at the World Championships in Oregon.

The Scot was the first British man to win the world title in the event since Steve Cram in 1983.

He produced a brilliant final burst to pass Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen and clinch the title, called home by his father Geoff who was the stadium announcer.

“It’s that moment you cross the line, it’s just such euphoria, I just wish you could bottle that up because it soon fades away a little bit,” Wightman told BBC Sport.

“The disbelief and the shock are something that I will never have again.”

Wightman also won 800m silver at the European Championships and 1500m bronze at the Commonwealth Games.

I don’t think Ronnie has any chance to win it. The winner this year will very almost certainly be Beth Mead, and I expect Ben Stokes to be in the top three too. But maybe, only maybe, Ronnie could come second or third which would be fantastic as snooker is neither as popular as football nor “fancied” by the establishment …

Snooker News – 06.12.2022 mixed bag

This one is really a mixed bag …

Let’s start with the “neutral” bit.

WST has published the draw and format for the 2023 German Masters at the Tempodrom

BetVictor German Masters Final Stages Draw

Defending champion Zhao Xintong faces Tom Ford in the opening session of the BetVictor German Masters at the magnificent Tempodrom venue in Berlin in February.

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format

Zhao beat Yan Bingtao 9-0 in the final last year and he’ll be back at the Tempodrom to defend his crown, starting against Ford at 3pm local time on Wednesday February 1st.  On the same day in the evening session, BetVictor European Masters champion Kyren Wilson is up against Sam Craigie, while legend Jimmy White takes on Peng Yisong.

Standout matches on Thursday February 2nd include Neil Robertson against Joe Perry, and Luca Brecel facing Matthew Stevens. The final takes place on Sunday February 5th.

The tournament will be screened by Eurosport, discovery+ and a range of other broadcasters worldwide.

This event could well be a big opportunity for one of the mid-ranked players as there is no “Class of 92” in the draw, no Mark Selby, no Judd Trump, no Mark Allen , no Shaun Murphy… But it could also be a real nightmare for the promoters that so many big names miss out. The Tempodrom is an extraordinary venue, but not a cheap one. We could lose this one if it becomes financially un-sustainable. Time for a “tiered” format? I would say yes.

WST attempted to move the cut-off point for the 2023 Players Championship and faced a social media riot

This was the initial announcement:

Players Championship Cut Off Point

Thursday 1 Dec 2022 08:50AM

The seeding cut off point for the 2023 Players Championship, which runs from February 20 to 26, will come after the 2023 BetVictor German Masters.

Our calendar previously stated that the cut off point would fall at the end of the BetVictor Welsh Open, which finishes on February 19. However we have now moved the cut off point back to end of the BetVictor German Masters which finishes on February 5. This means that the draw and format for the Players Championship can be announced well in advance.

Only the top 16 players on the one-year ranking list, as it stands at the end of the BetVictor German Masters, will qualify for the Players Championship, which returns to Aldersley Village in Wolverhampton, where Neil Robertson won the title last season. 

And the “reversal” of the decision on the next day…

Updated Players Championship Cut Off Point

Friday 2 Dec 2022 03:29PM

Following the announced change to the seeding cut off for the 2023 Players Championship, the decision has today been taken to revert to the original seeding cut off point of after the 2023 BetVictor Welsh Open.

The announced change was made for good reasons to assist scheduling and planning for players; however, it is recognised that it is mid-season, and this decision should be considered at the end of the season and in advance of a full calendar.

The top 16 players on the one-year ranking list at the end of the BetVictor Welsh Open, which finishes on February 19, will qualify for the Players Championship which runs from February 20 to 26.

It’s not often that you see all the players agreeing on a topic and actively opposing one of WST decisions, but it did happen this time. Indeed the initial decision to “move the goalpost” for the Players Championship qualification, by excluding the 2023 Welsh Open from the list of qualifying events proved to be extremely unpopular. As Mark Williams wrote on social media, players plan their season and enter events, or don’t, based on their goals, the season calendar and the prize money schedule. Changing the “rules” mid-season is not on.

The 2022 English Open will be played in Brentwood , Essex next week. This, for Ronnie, Ali Carter, Stuart Bingham and Mark King will really be a “home” event.

It’s the last qualifying event for the 2023 World Grand Prix and WST has been looking at the implications of this for various players.

Race To Cheltenham Concludes In Brentwood

Gary Wilson has leapt to fifth place on the one-year ranking list with just one counting event to go before the field is confirmed for the World Grand Prix.

Wilson won the first ranking title of his career by beating Joe O’Connor 9-2 in the final of the BetVictor Scottish Open in Edinburgh on Sunday. The £80,000 top prize boosted him up 47 places from 52nd.

At the end of next week’s BetVictor English Open, the top 32 players on the one-year list will qualify for the World Grand Prix, to be staged in Cheltenham from January 16 to 22.

O’Connor earned £35,000 for reaching his first ranking final, so he’s up from 69th to 13th and is now sure of a place in Cheltenham. Neil Robertson reached the semi-finals and leaps from 43rd to 24th, while Thepchaiya Un-Nooh also made the last four and he’s up from 59th to 31st with a total tally of £30,500. Robertson is £4,500 ahead of Un-Nooh, with Mark Selby a further £1,000 inside the safe zone. Ronnie O’Sullivan is in 17th spot with £37,500.

Jamie Clarke and Jordan Brown are tied in 32nd spot, but both failed to qualify for the BetVictor English Open in Brentwood so in fact they are out of the running.

Big names currently outside the top 32 and in need of a deep run in Brentwood are Yan Bingtao (42nd with £21,500), Zhao Xintong (44th with £21,500) and John Higgins (74th with £12,000). Four-time World Champion Higgins will have to reach the final in Brentwood to get into the top 32.

BetVictor English Open prize money:

Winner: £80,000
Runner-up: £35,000
Semi-finals: £17,500
Quarter-finals: £11,000
Last 16: £7,500
Last 32: £4,500
Last 64: £3,000
High break: £5,000
Total: £427,000

The same one-year list will be used to determine the field for the other two events in the Players Series. The top 16 at the the end of the BetVictor Welsh Open in February will qualify for the Players Championship  at Aldersley Village, Wolverhampton (February 20 to 26) and only the top eight will go on to the Tour Championship at the Bonus Arena in Hull (March 27 to April 2).

On the official two-year list, Wilson climbs from 32nd to 18th, while O’Connor jumps from 55th to 40th. Ronnie O’Sullivan remains the official world number one, with a lead of £211,000 over Judd Trump.

Wilson is up to second place in the BetVictor Series Rankings, just £7,000 behind leader Kyren Wilson. Mark Allen is third, just £1,000 behind Gary Wilson. There are four events to go in that race, with the money list leader after February’s BetVictor Welsh Open to bank the massive £150,000 bonus.

Ahead of the event, Ivan Hirschowitz, WST press officer, has been speaking on “Phoenix FM” , the local radio station.

You can read and listen here:

World Snooker Comes to Brentwood – Ivan Hirschowitz

Written by Bob Simpson in One 2 Three👁 843

Monday 5 December 2022, 3.59pm

Snooker’s top stars will be heading to the Brentwood Centre for the first time next week and tickets are on sale now.
The Essex venue will host the BetVictor English Open, a world ranking event and part of the Home Nations Series, from December 12 to 18.
Over 70 players including the top 16 seeds will be on the green baize at the Brentwood Centre. Winners in recent years and include Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Mark Selby, and current champion Neil Robertson.
Today the Head of Media for the World Snooker Tour – Ivan Hirschowitz, joined me in the studio to tell us all about it.

You can listen to our chat here

Phoenix FM was created by Paul Golder who, with Django Fung, started “The Grove”, a snooker club and a management team. They currently manage Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, Judd Trump, Ding Junhui, Ali Carter and Michael Holt. Their first player though, about 15 years ago, was Ronnie, who remains on friendly terms with both of them.

And finally a personal concern that may or may not be justified

This season, a number of snooker players, top players, have embraced pool as an alternative: Mark Selby, Mark Williams, Mark Allen to name a few. Judd Trump played in a major Pool event last season too. Nothing wrong with that as the early season has been very start/stop with long gaps for them to fill.

However, at the same time, I also sense a change of priorities at Matchroom. Emily Frazer, Matchroom’s Managing Director is a very dynamic and proactive person. I’ve met Emily a few times at the Premier League Snooker years ago (2007-2011) and I can only admire her. She does a sterling job. Her priority however is pool, not snooker. This is very obvious to anyone following her twitter account. She clearly has Barry Hearn’s support. Eddie Hearn is only interested in boxing… If Matchroom priorities, and with it, their investments, shift mainly to pool, it could be very bad news for WST and snooker because, actually, Matchroom owns 51% of the WST shares. Barry Hearn “bought” snooker in 2010. At the time he literally saved it of course, but …


A very strange and worrying move by the ACBS (Asian Confederation of Billiard Sports)

I stumbled upon this piece of information issued by World Billiards and I find it weird and very worrying:

We regret to inform billiards enthusiasts and all cue sports lovers that the Asian Confederation of Billiard Sports (ACBS) has threatened to ban any player who competes in the World Billiards Championship and Singapore Open in Singapore in November. This is terrible news for our sport.

The ACBS threat of a ban, not yet communicated uniformly to all affected players and countries, but advised to several players, is that players “will be banned if they play in any event not sanctioned by the regional governing body or the IBSF”. This means that players risk being banned if they play in any event in Asia that is not sanctioned by the ACBS, and this would presumably include snooker (masters, open, junior, women’s, 6 red).

It is worth noting that no other regional body has ever made a threat like this. All other regional bodies encourage international events in their region as they are good for the players and help raise the profile of the sport. The ACBS threat is not good for either the players or the sport.

World Billiards will not reciprocate in any way to this threat. We accept players of all genders, ages, nationalities and abilities and we do not ban or threaten to ban players from competing wherever and whenever they wish, except for disciplinary breaches.

The World Championship and Singapore Open will proceed as planned, as will the rest of our calendar around the world.

This appalling threat from the ACBS raises many questions: What level of events are included in the threat? Does this include any open event in Asia? Does this include invitationals, Q school, amateur wild cards into WST events? For how long would players be banned? What is the appeal process? What does the ACBS hope to achieve with this ban? How will this help grow and promote the sport in Asia? Why would the ACBS want Asian players to have less opportunities to compete? After this last minute attack on the World Billiards Championship (announced months ago), why would any organisation risk bringing an international event to Asia? What are they scared of? Did they not learn anything from the threat of a ban a few years ago by another organisation?

We think Asian National Sporting Associations and players are entitled to answers to these questions and they should be seeking answers from the ACBS without delay. Let’s hope National Sporting Associations across Asia will stand up for the rights of their players to be free from threats such as this one.

This is a sad day for our sport and for players everywhere, but particularly for our friends from Asia who will be denied playing opportunities that are available to the rest of the world.

We stand alongside the affected players.

WBL Board

I would greatly appreciate any contribution/comment that would help me, and every fan of cue sports, understand what’s going on here. It’s obviously some kind of “war for power” and it risks to worsen and reignite the IBSf/WPBSA-WST conflict. But who, other than power-junkies individual will benefit from such a move? Surely, it can only weaken and damage cuesports on the international scene.

Snooker (and Pool) News – 22.08.2022

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.

Some of the top guys aren’t going to stay idle though … 

Mark Allen and Mark Selby sign up for Ultimate Pool events during quiet snooker period

Mark Allen and Mark Selby
Mark Allen and Mark Selby are swapping snooker tables for pool tables (Pictures: Getty)

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.

Mark Selby Gareth Potts
Selby and Potts enjoyed teaming up last year (Picture: Ultimate Pool)

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 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.

The WBBSA reports on future World Snooker Federation and WWS events in Australia

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. 

Also WPBSA has published the draw and schedule for thhis season first Q-Tour event

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.








Cue Sports News – 25.07.2022

This post doesn’t really belong to any of the usual categories… it’s a bit of a bric-à-brac

Today would have been Vic Hartley 91st birthday. Those who had the privilege to know him, work with him and call him a friend will want to remember him. He was a witty, kind and very endearing man. A great referee who passed his knowledge onto countless aspiring referees. I miss Vic. I’m sure I’m not alone …

Happy heavenly birthday Vic! 

Yesterday, marked 12 years since Alex Higgins passed away, and as usual there was an outpour of tributes all over the Internet. I didn’t join in. I do understand how important Alex is in the history of snooker, I really do. I know that without him, our sport wouldn’t be where it is now. I know he inspired a whole generation of aspiring snooker players. I do admire his skills at the table. But I can’t admire the person he was. I know that he could be charming and generous when he wanted to, but, fundamentally, he lived most of his life as a selfish, obnoxious, violent and dishonest person.  Countless people tried to help him and he just tried to take advantage of them. That’s why there was nothing on this blog about Alex yesterday.

Finally, a completely different topic:

The 2022 World Billiards Championship will be held a RoSSA, Ronnie’s Snooker Academy in Singapore.


Here is the announcement

The 2022 World Billiards Championship is heading to Singapore!

We are pleased to announce that the 2022 World Billiards Championship will be hosted by Cuesports Singaporeand held at the Ronnie O’Sullivan Snooker Academy.

We’re excited to take the World Championship to Singapore for the first time and look forward to fantastic, state of the art playing conditions.

The event will be preceded by the Singapore Open Billiards Championship which will be a Level 3 ‘warm-up’ event. The 2022 RoSSA World Billiards Championship, level 6, will follow directly after.


November 19th – 20th – Singapore Open Billiards Championship
November 21st – 24th – 2022 RoSSA World Billiards Championship

Both events will be played under the timed match format.

Follow the link above for more details.

Congratulations RoSSA

The psychology behind the ability to win

The snooker is back tomorrow with Group 3 of the 2021/22 Championship League. Group1 has been won by Liang Wenbo, Group 2 by Graeme Dott. Both have struggled in recent yers, but both are ranking events winners.

Today WST has published this interesting interview with Chris Henry:

Jumping The First Hurdle

Winning a first professional title is a moment that a snooker player remembers for a lifetime. Many, of course, never get to experience that sense of relief and elation, to be the last man standing at a tournament and lift the trophy.

The closer a player gets to crossing that barrier, the more the pressure intensifies. How often have we heard the expression: “If he wins one title, he’ll go on to win a lot more.”? In any sport, there are players with enormous talent who never make that breakthrough.

Top coach Chris Henry has worked in snooker for many years and has helped some of the sport’s biggest names – in fact both of this year’s World Championship finalists, Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy, had him in their corner.

Henry’s approach is grounded in neural science: repetition and habit help the brain to normalise potentially difficult situations. He believes that the most stressful competitive scenarios can be simulated in practice conditions, which can be a key to success.

Henry explained: “A lot of it is subconscious. There is something in the brain called a PCM – Psycho Cybernetic Mechanism. It is basically like a performance thermostat. If you imagine you are in a room and you want it to be warmer and you turn the thermostat to 22 degrees, the heat comes on. However, once you reach 22 degrees the thermostat recognises that and cuts out the heating. Our subconscious has a certain level of performance and achievement wired into it and if we start to outperform our self image and self belief, it is very difficult to get beyond that level.

“For example, if someone is about to make their first century break, they start to get very nervous. The brain doesn’t recognise that level of performance. That’s when a part of the brain called the amygdala kicks in. Its job is to protect the person from potential danger, or something it doesn’t recognise.

“What we have to do is create memory files to bypass that. We can do that when practising, because the subconscious doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what isn’t. I was working with Peter Ebdon when he beat Stephen Hendry in the 2002 World Championship final. We used to do sessions in his mother in law’s garage, with visualisation and role play about winning the World Championship. Because he had lost to Stephen previously at the Crucible, he used to visualise beating him specifically in the final. Incredibly, we looked at the draw and saw he was in a different half. It was amazing that it transpired to be Stephen in the final and Peter managed to achieve his all-time goal.”

Henry was also working with Mark King when he clinched his maiden title at the 2016 Northern Ireland Open. Essex cueman King had previously spent 25 years as a professional in pursuit of silverware, before he defeated Barry Hawkins 9-8 in a dramatic final to realise his dream.

King said: “There was a lot of visual preparation before the win in Belfast and for a long time it involved my family being there. For me, that was the be all and end all. For everyone to be there was magical. That is what you strive for. I’d seen people like Mark Selby and John Higgins with their family at the table after collecting the trophy. I said that I wanted a piece of that joy. For that week, I was the best. I won it, got the trophy and all of the feelings. There was no disappointment and I didn’t need to go back to the drawing board. It was just great

“I am still playing because I want to win again. I don’t want to just pick up the money. There are a lot of people who will think that I will never win another trophy. They will think that was my week and that I’ll never do it again. I want to shut them up, do it again and show that it wasn’t a one off.

Anthony Hamilton had a similar experience to King, chasing a maiden title for 26 years. In conversations on the best players never to win a ranking title, his name was always among the first to be mentioned, But that changed at the 2017 German Masters, when he beat Ali Carter 9-6 in the final in Berlin.

In fact in 2016, Hamilton almost reached the final of the tournament won by King. Up against Barry Hawkins in the semi-finals, he accidentally feathered the cue ball at a critical moment of the deciding frame and lost 6-5.

“A good ten years before Germany, I’d actually come to terms with not winning one,” Hamilton reflects. “I wasn’t even considering it. I’ve had a back injury since I was at 35 years old and I realised that I wasn’t going to win tournaments. I stopped worrying about it.

“The semi-final with Barry in Belfast was the first time in ten years that I hadn’t felt completely useless. I wasn’t just some old dude fudging the other players around, like I am now. Everything clicked at that point and I was a proper snooker player again. I was in control. Yes, I touched the white and lost to Barry, but I felt I could have carried on playing snooker for another 24 hours straight at that point. That is an amazing feeling. It felt great and it manifested itself in Berlin.

“To win that tournament, with my parents in the crowd, was an absolute fairy tale. It is something I can take to my grave with me. If I saw it in a sports film, I would think it was too cheesy. I was in a real vein of form and I carried it through. With confidence and sharpness, it is amazing what a snooker player can do.”

David Gilbert was another whose name would spring up in the ‘best player never to…’ debate, especially after he had suffered a series of gut-wrenching results, including a17-16 defeat at the hands of John Higgins in the 2019 World Championship semi-finals and a 10-9 loss to Mark Williams, having led 9-5, in the 2018 World Open final.

So a landmark triumph at the Championship League ranking event at the start of the current season, beating Mark Allen in the final, was particularly sweet for the Tamworth cueman

“I just finally smiled I guess, which is quite rare playing snooker,” Gilbert recalls. “It is a nice feeling to finally be able to go back to the snooker club and not have to listen to the local guys, who have hammered me for years. They can’t really say anything. It is there in black and white. I am a winner.

“It didn’t matter if it was the Championship League, the Shoot Out or the UK Championship. A win is a win. I won’t get carried away and start talking like I’ve read every self help book going. I want to win another one now. Whether that will happen I don’t know. I will keep putting the effort in and keep trying to improve.”

Gateshead’s Elliott Slessor is still searching for a first appearance in a ranking final. He went on a fine run to the semi-finals of this year’s British Open and also reached the last four of the 2017 Northern Ireland Open. He doesn’t believe that the maiden title barrier is as daunting, if you set your sights beyond it.

Slessor said: “If you are trying to win multiple events then it shouldn’t really matter. That pressure is always going to be there. If you look at the multiple winners like Mark Williams and Ronnie O’Sullivan, whether they win one or ten, it doesn’t matter. They are greedy for success and always want more.

“They are the best set of players that have lived, but underpinning that is the mentality of greed and always wanting more. You have to shoot for the stars. If you miss, then you miss. I think a lot of people cut their goals off too short though. They are just content with winning one or getting to the final. If you don’t aim for the very top, then I don’t understand why you are playing.”

Another thing your hear frequently is “winning is a habit”. There is a lot of truth in it, and you can see why reading Chris explanations above. When winning becomes a familiar territory, the stress generated  by “seeing the winning line” is considerably lowered. “Been there, done it, can do it again”. And it also explains why it’s so hard to come back after a bare spell or a string of  “Final’s defeats”. The brain has to be re-wired, the confidence restored.

Chris mentions the amygdala. The amygdala, and the hypothalamus play in important part in the way we respond to perceived danger and/or agression. They are at the root of two important emotions possibly triggered by perceived danger: fear and anger and our response to them: flee or fight.

The effects of fear are well known: in snooker, at its most extreme it can “block” a player to the point they can’t deliver the shot. For those who remember him, Liu Song suffered from such “mental block” to the point it ended his career as a player. He was still fantastic in practice but literally “froze” in match situation.

The effects of anger are less obvious, but I would say that they aren’t positive most of the time. We had an example of an “angry” match in Group 2, it wasn’t pretty. Anger and clarity of thoughs aren’t exactly compatible. Someone like Elliot Slessor might need help in that respect for instance.




About Valentino and Stephen

Today, in Valencia, Valentino Rossi bid farewell to MotoGP. At 42, with 115 wins and 9 World Titles to his name, the famous nr 46 put an end to his extraordinary career. He finished 10th in the competition, and this season, his last, has been disappointing, but his very last lap was pure Valentino Rossi celebration. There was a lot of emotion … in the paddocks, in the “yellow” tribunes … and amongst his rivals who gathered around him at the end. He went out as a celebrated champion.

All the best for the future Vale, and thank you!

In stark contrast, Stephen Hendry’s farewell to snooker was very low key. On May 1, 2012, Stephen Hendry, aged 43, lost by 13-2 to Stephen Maguire, sat calmly in the media room and simply said “I have played my last professional match”, a sentence met by stunned silence in the room. Stephen had made a 147 in the first round, beaten the defending champion, John Higgins, in the second round, but this last match was an abdication. He went out with a session to spare. There was no fight, no panache at all. After a few errors early in the match, he gave up. This is not how a great champion should go out. There was a tribute at the Crucible on the next day, but Stephen looked quite shy out there, almost uneasy.

Since his return to the professional tour, Stephen Hendry hasn’t been pulling any trees. Most recently, he was beaten 4-0 by Chris Wakelin (who played very well).

After such heavy defeat, this is what Stephen had to say to Eurosport:

Hendry admits his ultimate dream is to return to the Crucible Theatre by qualifying for the World Championship, scene of his greatest victories in 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1999 – and will accept another World Snooker wildcard in future if he feels like there is room for improvement.

I’m enjoying the process, my game is improving all the time on the practice table,” said the seven-times world champion, who is competing on the second year of a two-year invitational wildcard with White extending his golden 41-year career via similar playing privileges.

I know that kind of means nothing, but when I first started with (my coach) Stephen Feeney, I wanted to get back to enjoying playing snooker again even if it was on the practice table.



I know that many fans believe that there is no point to this, that he’s just embarrassing himself, that the focus should be on the young ones. I agree with this last part, but, I believe that there is room for both the young guns and the older legends.

I wasn’t into snooker when Stephen was winning everything, I wasn’t a fan of him, in the last 8 years of his career, but I sincerely wish him to fulfill his dream to play (at least) another match at the Crucible, that the last one is one he can be proud of, one he fights through to the last ball and comes out of with his head high, saluted by a standing ovation. He’s a great, great Champion, he deserves to take farewell of the Crucible on a high.