Snooker News – 02.02.2022

We got a few announcements by WST yesterday

The 2022 English Open will be played in Essex next season:

Brentwood To Stage Snooker And Pool Events

Neil Robertson won the BetVictor English Open this season

The Brentwood Centre will host two major professional cue sports events in 2022: Matchroom’s World Cup of Pool and snooker’s English Open.

The Essex venue will host these events for the first time this year, drawing the biggest stars of 9-ball pool and snooker to Brentwood from around the globe.

Matchroom World Cup of Pool will bring 32 nations together as two-player teams compete for national pride, the title, and their share of a $250,000 prize fund from June 13 to 18. The tournament is a straight-knockout format leaving no room for error. Germany are the reigning champions with one of the world’s best in Joshua Filler spearheading their defence. The likes of World Number One Albin Ouschan of Austria, the USA’s finest Shane Van Boening and Great Britain’s two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw will all look to lead their sides to the title over six action-packed days.

Matchroom President Barry Hearn OBE said: “The World Cup of Pool is one of Pool’s most unique tournaments and it promises to be a fantastic spectacle with such a diverse international field set to come to Brentwood. 9-ball is ever growing, and it promises to be an atmosphere and event not to be missed. We cannot wait to see the likes of Ouschan, and Shaw compete on our doorstep. We’re excited to deliver a world class event with Brentwood Borough Council this June live on Sky Sports in the UK and networks worldwide.”

ronnieEssexSnooker’s English Open will run from December 12 to 18, featuring over 70 players, including the top 16 in the world rankings. Winners in recent years include Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Mark Selby, and current champion Neil Robertson.

The world ranking event, part of snooker’s Home Nations Series, will be televised by Eurosport and a wide range of other broadcasters around the globe.

World Snooker Tour Chairman Steve Dawson said: “We are delighted to bring a WST event to the Brentwood Centre for the first time. It is a fantastic venue and right in the centre of a traditional snooker heartland as so many great players have come from Essex over the years, including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Ali Carter, Stuart Bingham and many more. This is a fantastic opportunity for local fans to see the very best players in the world competing for a prestigious title. We look forward to working with Brentwood Borough Council on delivering a top-class event which will be enjoyed by our players and fans.”

Brentwood Council Leader, Councillor Chris Hossack, added: “It is fantastic news that Matchroom are committed to bringing quality sports with an international audience to The Brentwood Centre. We are excited to have Matchroom working with us and Everyone Active to continue to put Brentwood on the map with their world class sporting events.

“It has been years since snooker fans have had a chance to see their sport in Essex and to have the World Cup of Pool as well in Brentwood is just brilliant”.

WSF events are back with a record number of entries:

Record Entry For WSF Championships

The upcoming World Snooker Federation Championships will be one of the largest international snooker competitions staged in recent history with 319 individual players from 44 different countries set to compete for places on the World Snooker Tour.

To be held at the Ding Junhui Snooker Academy in Sheffield, England, from 15-26 February 2022, the event will include two major mixed gender tournaments, the WSF Junior Championship (15-18 February) and the WSF Open Championship (19-26 February*).

*This is a change to the previously announced dates due to the unprecedented number of entries received for the Open Championship, which will now start a day earlier on Saturday 19 February.

The winner of each competition will earn a two-year professional tour card from the 2022/23 season.


The event will begin with the second staging of the WSF Junior Championship, open to players aged 17 or under up to and including 31 December 2021.

With 68 players entered – up from 56 in 2020 – from 20 different countries, the competition welcomes many of the world’s brightest young talents including:

  • Liam Davies – Former Q Tour Event Semi-Finalist
  • Paul Deaville – 2021 WST English Open Last 16
  • Anton Kazakov – Former Ukrainian National Champion
  • Antoni Kowalski – Former Polish National Champion
  • Robbie McGuigan – Youngest ever Northern Ireland Championship winner
  • Ben Mertens – Youngest player to win a match at the professional World Championship
  • Stan Moody – 2022 WST Shoot Out Last 64
  • Bulcsú Révész – Former Hungarian National Championship winner

The event was won previously by China’s Gao Yang.


Now set to start a day earlier on 19 February, the Open Championships have also seen an incredible number of entries with 280 players of 43 nationalities set to contest the title won previously by Luo Honghao and Ashley Hugill.

The entry is significantly higher than the numbers in both 2018 (89) and 2020 (152) and is a diverse field with representation from all over the world, as well as leading players from the World Women’s Snooker Tour and World Disability Billiards and Snooker circuit.

Following the close of entries yesterday (Monday 31 January), it is now anticipated that the draw and format will be released by no later than Thursday 10 February. All players will also be contacted with information as to practice facilities, including an online booking form for available sessions during the tournament.

Follow all of the latest information from the tournament via WPBSA SnookerScores from 15 February 2022.

The draw for the 2022 Turkush Masters wea updated after Robbie Williams withdrew

Updated Nirvana Turkish Masters Draw

Robbie Williams has pulled out of this week’s Nirvana Turkish Masters qualifying round and been replaced in the draw by Dylan Emery.

Click here for the updated draw 

Click here for the match schedule

The qualifying round will be staged from February 2 to 6 in Leicester, with all players needing to win one match to make it to Turkey. Notable ties include:

Former World Champion Shaun Murphy v legend Jimmy White
Three-time Crucible king Mark Williams v Women’s World Champion Reanne Evans
All-time great John Higgins v Barry Pinches
UK and German Masters Champion Zhao Xintong v Louis Heathcote

All qualifying matches are best of nine frames.


If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it … break it instead? 

Yesterday in commentary, Anthony Hamilton mentioned that WBPSA had sent a mail to players asking them their opinion about the type of break-off Mark Williams has adopted recently: rolling the white into the back of the pack. Anthony’s opinion was that this clearly pointed at WPBSA’s intention to make this shot illegal and added that, no matter the outcome of the consultation, if this wasindeed their intention they would go forward with the idea.

Really? Yes, really. I’m gobsmacked, and I’m angry.


Is this the spirit? 

Mark is playing a perfectly legal shot. His goal is to avoid leaving a long red from the break-off for his opponent, and it’s efficient at that in the vast majority of instances. Why shouldn’t he then?

Neal Foulds asked Judd Trump’s opinion in the studio. In short, Judd’s answer was : it’s a negative shot, we don’t want to waste five minutes at getting the situation back to normal because it’s not entertaining.

Yes, it’s a negative shot. So what? Will they also consider to make the following illegal?

  • rolling behind a colour
  • rolling into the pack
  • pushing a ball safe on a cushion
  • in general playing safe when a pot is available

That doesn’t make much sense does it? Unless you want to turn snooker in a pure potting game, scrapping off all the tactical side of it. Would that be interesting? Would that be entertaining? I don’t think so. If that’s what some fans want to see, they are watching the wrong sport, they should turn to pool.

I can think of a multiple World Champion who has done extremely well playing a lot of the above, consistently, and slowly, exhausting and frustrating his opponents – and many fans – with his tactics. I did often find it painful to watch and not one bit entertaining. He was praised for it.

Judd’s allegations about wasting time are frankly ridiculous. I watch most Williams’ games and since he’s been doing this, the situation on the table has always been back to “normal” pretty quick, it rarely took more than five shots … with the benefit that the black was usually in open play as well, instead of being tied up which seems to be the case most of the time with the “traditional” break-off nowadays.

There is absolutely ZERO reason in my views for this move by WPBSA.

Here is Mark’s reaction to this move by WPBSA as reported in the press:

Mark Williams defends controversial break-off after first-round win

Mark Williams plays a shot during his win over Sam Craigie.
Mark Williams; ‘Why don’t I just smash it into the pack and leave all the reds on for everyone – would they be happy with that?’ Photograph: George Wood/PA

PA Media

Mark Williams blasted a bid to ban his controversial break-off technique after cruising into the second round of the World Snooker Championship with a 10-4 victory over qualifier Sam Craigie.

The three-time former champion adopted the shot, with which he nudges the cue-ball into the back of the reds off the bottom cushion, at the Masters in January after growing frustrated at leaving frame-winning opportunities for opponent Shaun Murphy.

Williams revealed an email had been sent to some of the sport’s leading names by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association players’ association, canvassing opinion on whether the controversial tactic should be prohibited.

Williams said: “There’s a lot more going on in the world to worry about than my poxy break-off. Haven’t they got anything better to do than send emails out asking players if they like it and should it get banned?

“I’ll think of another break-off. Why don’t I just smash it into the pack and leave all the reds on for everyone – would they be happy with that?

“If they ban the break-off they’ve got to ban rolling up behind baulk colours and rolling up behind the black. It’s not an illegal shot and I don’t see the problem with it, it’s farcical.

The WPBSA confirmed the existence of the email but indicated it was yet to reach the stage of being considered by the organisation’s rules committee.

He’s right. 100%