Amateur Snooker News -28.08.2022

The 2022 IBSF Youth World Championships in Bucharest, Romania, concluded yesterday and Liam Davies was the star of the event as he managed to win all three “main” events: the under-16 event, the under-18 event and the under-21 event. This had never been done before.

LiamDaviesTripleCrown

Congratulations Liam!

Liam beat Antoni Kowalski from Poland in both the under-18 and the under-21 final. He had beaten Bulcsú Révész in the under-16 final. Bulcsú Révész had made it to the semi-finals in the under-21 event as well. So those three were, by far, the best players in those youth championships. The fourth semi-finalist in the under-21 event was Florian Nüssle from Austria.

The Women’s game is conquering new territories. They are competing in the USA for the first time. Today is the last day of the event, and here is what happened so far:

Seattle Set for Final Day

Just eight players remain at the inaugural US Women’s Snooker Open following the conclusion of the group stages with the winner set to be crowned on Sunday at Ox Billiards, Seattle.

The historic ranking event is the first ever World Women’s Snooker Tour competition to be held in the United States, with players from the US, Canada, England, Germany and China among the field.

It has been a strong start to the competition for the European contingent, with all five players having progressed to the knockout rounds. Top seeded trio Rebecca Kenna, Emma Parker and Jamie Hunter secured progress without the loss of a frame, while Mary Talbot-Deegan and Germany’s Diana Schuler also reached the last eight as group runners-up.

Joining the five currently ranked players in tomorrow’s final rounds are Jing Liu (who was born in Beijing and relocated to Seattle in 2013), as well as Frances Tso and Mary Avina of the United States. Both Tso and Avina advanced as the two best third places, with the latter having defeated Marissa Du in a dramatic single frame play-off to seal the final place in the quarter-finals.

The quarter-finals are due to begin at 11am, to be followed by the semi-finals from 3pm and the title match from 6pm local time.

The tournament concludes on Sunday, with the semi-finals and final to be live streamed via the Ox Billiards Facebook, YouTube and Twitch channels.

And some images shared on social media

 

Matt Huart has shared many more photos on social media, notably on Facebook.

I watched a bit of the action. The event has a really good vibe. The standard of the American players is not very high, and this was to be expected. They are however very enthusiast and positive. The whole idea is precisely to motivate existing players to improve, and new players to start playing and an event like this one is exactly what is needed. Bex Kenna is the only professional player who made the trip and she deserves a lot of praise for that because she had no rest time whatsoever after playing in the Northern Ireland Open qualifiers. She had to rush but she is in Seattle, playing and commentating. Well done Bex! 

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 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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2022 IBSF Youth Championships in Romania

Whilst, from tomorrow on, our attention will be mainly on the European Masters in Fürth, it’s worth noting that another set of tournaments started today in Romania: the IBSF Youth Championships. You will find all the information on this page.

There are many recognisable names in the field.

Here is where you will find the results and standings

And this is where you will find the live scores

Table 1 is streamed.

 

 

Jason Francis’ initiatives to boost Amateur Snooker

Before I start on these initiatives … of course I’m aware that Jason is not the only one who sets up and runs amateur events. There are many others who are (or have been) organising events this summer and it’s great. I’m thankful to every one of them for promoting the sport I love. It’s just that I have been closer to Jason for many years and therefore know a bit more about what he does … and it’s a lot.

I already did a piece to explain what “The 900” is about.

Now the line-up for the 8 first weeks is (almost) known:

900Weeks1-8Lineup

As you can see, it’s a truly ” diverse” field: young and older, legends, aspiring pros, ex-pros and pure amateurs, women and men, able-bodied and disabled players … Of course, UK/Iraland players are the majority, but it still attracted a few non-uk based players. I’m glad to see Levi Meiller (USA Senior), Alex Borg (Malta), Tony Drago (Malta) and, maybe the most surprising for me … Pankaj Advani (India). It should be good, very good!

But Jason has other things in his pipeline…

Screenshot 2022-08-06 at 11.16.43Screenshot 2022-08-06 at 11.17.00

About the latter, from what transpired, it will be run over a long period of time – probably seven months – but the format is “best-of-11” matches, which is quite interesting and unusual for a league event. Regarding the “time span”, we should remember that the players are amateurs only, hence most have a job and can’t take (much) time off work for this.

Finally, Jason also shared good news about the future of the Seniors Tour.

Snooker News – 03.08.2022

WST has published the draw and format for the 2022 European Masters (main event)

The draw and format for the final stages of the upcoming BetVictor European Masters is now available.

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format

The world’s finest players will converge upon Furth in Germany from August 16th to 21st. The likes of defending champion Fan Zhengyi, World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump and Mark Selby will be amongst those battling it out for the title.

There will be six tables in operation it seem, which is great news for fans able to watch on site.

The 2022 British Open qualifiers will start in less than a week and the good news is that fans will be able to watch the matches at the venue. The price is very affordable which makes it even better.

WST has also published their first “ranking update” of the season, following the conclusion of the ranking CLS. It also comes with a short explanation about how the ranking/seeding system works.

Rankings Update: Brecel Breaks Into Top Ten

BetVictor Championship League winner Luca Brecel has moved up three places in the official world rankings, from 12th to 9th, following his victory in Leicester last week.

The Belgian Bullet amassed £33,000 of prize money throughout the event. That also sees him take an early lead in this season’s one-year list. Brecel has established a £10,000 cushion over second placed Lu Ning on £23,000.

Brecel also takes an early lead in this season’s BetVictor Series. The player who amasses the most prize money across the eight qualifying events will scoop a massive £150,000 bonus.

Meanwhile three-time ranking event winner Ricky Walden has edged into the world’s top 16. He dislodges Anthony McGill, who falls back to 18th place. World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan remains on top of the pile as world number one.

World Rankings After the BetVictor Championship League

1 Ronnie O’Sullivan 1,041,000
2 Judd Trump 1,011,500
3 Mark Selby 916,500
4 Neil Robertson 902,000
5 John Higgins 537,000
6 Zhao Xintong 443,500
7 Mark Williams 428,500
8 Kyren Wilson 421,000
9 Luca Brecel 330,000
10 Shaun Murphy 322,000
11 Jack Lisowski 316,500
12 Barry Hawkins 311,000
13 Stuart Bingham 305,000
14 Mark Allen 291,500
15 Yan Bingtao 253,000
16 Ricky Walden 209,000

Click here for the world rankings in full.

Click here for the one-year list in full.

Where prize money is won without a player winning a match in a tournament, NONE of that prize money will count towards these prize money rankings save for the World Grand Prix, Players Championship and Tour Championship.

Where prize money is won by a player at a qualifying venue and that player does not go on to appear at the final venue, for whatever reason, that prize money will not count in the prize money rankings until the situation has been considered by the appeals committee who may, at their absolute discretion, allocate ranking points where it can be demonstrated that there are extreme mitigating circumstances. These points will be allocated from the date of the committee meeting and will not affect previously issued draws.

WST Seeding – Count Back:  Players on equal prize money will be seeded based on the best performance (stage/round reached through winning a match) working backwards from the most recent ranking event. If still equal, frames won when losing will determine their position, working backwards from the most recent ranking event. For the purposes of count back, competing in an event and losing is treated as a better performance than not entering or competing in an event.

For a full explanation of how the rankings work, click here

Finally, at amateur level, Jason Francis has shared the line-up for the first three weeks of his new 900 series:

It’s really a mixed field: legends of the sport, former pros and “pure” amateurs, junior and senior players, women and men. Good to see!

Reanne Evans wins an 11th UK crown on the Women’s Tour

Reanne Evans has won the UK Women’s Snooker Championship for the 11th time

Congratulations Reanne!

Here is the report by the Women’s Tour:

Evans Wins 11th UK Crown

Reanne Evans defeated Ng On Yee 4-3 to win the Taom UK Women’s Snooker Championship for a record-extending 11th time at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds.

Victory for Evans in the season-opener represents her first ranking event triumph since the same event in September 2021 and her third consecutive success at the Tour’s second most contested title. The win is her 64th ranking event title in all, moving Evans to within four of the all-time record set by Allison Fisher.

The world number one defeated Chucky Preston (3-0), Jamie Hunter (3-1) and Rebecca Kenna (4-1) to reach her 14th UK final since her debut at the event back in 2002.

Awaiting her would be long-time rival and world number two Ng On Yee, herself a four-time UK champion from just five previous appearances in the competition and looking to claim her second ranking event title of the calendar year following success at April’s Winchester Open. She dropped just one frame from six matches on her run to the final, which most notably included a 4-0 whitewash of reigning world champion Nutcharut Wongharuthai in the semi-finals.

It was the Hong Kong player who led the match three times at 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2, a match-high break of 57 in frame five taking her to within a frame of victory. Back though came Evans to force a decider, during which both would have chances with England’s Evans ultimately doing enough to prevail and end her short title drought.

Victory for Evans sees her consolidate her position at the head of the world rankings ahead of Ng, with beaten semi-finalists Nutcharut Wongharuthai and Rebecca Kenna remaining third and fourth respectively.

Side-Tournaments

For the third consecutive tournament there was a title double for Ploychompoo Laokiatphong and Tessa Davidson in the Under-21 and Seniors tournaments respectively, as the pair continued their dominance in the categories.

Victory for Laokiatphong against first-time junior finalist Chloe Payne sees the Thai player become the number one ranked player in the Under-21 rankings for the first time, with former number one Steph Daughtery having turned 21 during the summer.

For Davidson, her victory against Sarah Dunn sees the former ranking event winner retain her unblemished record on the Seniors Tour since her return to the circuit in January, with four titles from four events played so far. She will retain the top Seniors ranking ahead of second placed Jenny Poulter.

Finally, there was a first side-tournament victory for Thailand’s Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan, who defeated Zoe Killington in the final of the Challenge Cup for players who did not qualify from the group stages. The 2019 World Cup winner claimed the single frame final with a fantastic break of 79.

World Women’s Snooker would like to thank title sponsors Taom Billiards and host venue the Northern Snooker Centre, without the support of whom the event would not have been possible.

The WWS Tour returns later this month with the inaugural staging of the US Women’s Open from Ox Billiards in Seattle. Entry remains open for the event HERE.

I’m sure though that many reading this will think “Bah! She’s not able to do anything on the Main Tour, what’s the value of it?”.  I can understand such reactions, but let’s have a look at some factors that are important to consider before issuing such damning judgement.

Every sport is a “number game”: the more exponents, the higher the chances to find exceptional talents. I have already written about this in the past but it’s worth saying it again: many women and girls have got bad experiences in billiards/snooker clubs. They are often made to feel unwelcome, some clubs and league still ban them altogether. They are often taunted, mocked and sexually hassled, especially the teenagers. The majority of them will give up quickly, feeling unsafe. The Women’s tour is offering them a “safe” place, “safe” events. The level isn’t as high as on the main tour and that’s an understatement. It does attract girls to the sport, which is a huge positive, but it doesn’t offer a level of competition allowing girls to succeed on the main tour, not yet anyway.

Yesterday, the “Lionesses”, England’s Women’s football team, won the UEFA Women’s EURO in a packed Wembley stadium. The match was shown by the BBC and attracted an immense audience. They got the whole nation behind them. Journalists on site praised the good spirit in which the match was played, as well as the enthousiast but friendly crowd. One of them, reflected that it had made him realise how “tribal” and “toxic” men football often is. This, IMO, is true especially at the highest level, the level where money has superseeded sport. By that I mean both the indecently high wages some get and the huge betting industry around the sport.

Women have a lot to bring to sport. They need however to be allowed to play, and to be able to start in a safe and welcoming environment. That’s the only way to “grow” the number of girls in sport, and with it the chance to see exceptional talents.

Jason Ferguson has often said that snooker isn’t a sport requiring physical strength, and, therefore, girls should be able to compete with men “on equal terms”. I’m not entirely convinced. There are men, currently on the tour, who can’t play certain shots as well as other competitors, because of their stature or relative lack of power. Women are, on average, shorter and less “powerful” than men. But there is more IMO. Just observe toddlers … “on average” boys will display better eye-hand-foot coordination, girls will be more advanced when it comes to language skills and “precise” small mouvements. Eye-hand coordination is essential in snooker. At that age, I don’t think it’s a “culturally induced feature”, more likely the result of a long but slow “genetic” evolution. Mind you, it’s been about 2 700 000 years since “Homo” started using tools,  300000 years since “Homo sapiens” is around, only 3500 years since writing was “invented”.  Civilisation and technology  have gone through an accelerated evolution path. Genetics won’t evolve that quickly. But “on average” means nothing for the individual. Very clumsy men, as well as  extremely well coordinated women exist …  if snooker can attract enough girls, if the opportunities are there, female champions will emerge.

Snooker News – 11.07.2022

The 2022 ranking CLS week 3 starts today with Willo in action (if someone can extract him from the golf courses, that is…)

Meanwhile, some snooker news “en vrac” …

The Hong Kong Masters return is confirmed

Snooker Stars Heading For Hong Kong In October

World Snooker Tour and Hong Kong Billiard Sports Control Council (HKBSCC) are pleased to announce the return of the Hong Kong Masters to the WST calendar in October this year.

This prestigious invitation event was last held in 2017 and was a tremendous success. The last edition in 2017 was held in Hong Kong’s Queen Elizabeth Stadium, which was recognised by many players as one of the best venues for a snooker tournament. Neil Robertson beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final.

Neil Robertson won the Hong Kong Masters in 2017

This time it will be staged, for the first time, in the Hong Kong Coliseum, the largest indoor stadium in Hong Kong with a maximum capacity of 10,000.

HKBSCC will invite eight top players, including Hong Kong’s snooker icons Marco Fu and Ng On Yee, to compete over four days from 6 to 9 October 2022.

WST Chairman Steve Dawson said: “We are excited to bring this event back to the calendar for the first time in five years and we are thrilled to be working with HKBSCC on what will be a fantastic tournament.

Many of the world’s top players described the 2017 Hong Kong Masters as one of the best atmospheres they have ever played in, and this is another opportunity for them to experience the support of the local fans.”

HKBSCC Chairman Vincent Law said: “The Hong Kong Masters will be the first major international sport event in Hong Kong since we were hit by the pandemic. There is no better occasion to show to the world that Hong Kong is back for business. We hope the tournament this time will set more records and bring excitement that the public have been longing for. We are thankful to WST for its support to billiard sports in Hong Kong. We hope the players and the people of Hong Kong will have some fun.

The player line up and ticketing information will be announced by HKBSCC shortly.

Snooker returning to Asia is good news. It will be interesting to see who are the 6 “other” invited players and who will want to make the trip. I’m not sure though that 10000 persons around one table will work … already at the Crucible, with less than a thousand spectators, the table looks minuscule from the rafters.

WST reports that Ding’s team won the 2022 CBSA cup

Ding’s Team Wins CBSA Cup

Ding Junhui, Fan Zhengyi and Mei Xiwen were the members of the victorious Shaanxi team at the CBSA Cup in Xi-an, which concluded on Saturday.

Running from July 5th to 9th at the Xi’an Aerospace International Conference Centre, the CBSA Cup is regarded as one of the most prestigious national events staged in China.

Over the five days, 29 teams from all over China attended, featuring professional World Snooker Tour players, as well as leading amateur players and rookies.

The Shaanxi team, named by Shaanxi Tourism Group, beat Guangdong 4-2 in the final. Zunyi and Beijing shared the third place.

WST congratulates the CBSA on the successful staging of this fantastic event.

Congratulations to the Shaanxi Team!

All three members are or were professionals. I find it a bit funny that Fan Zhengyi is only mentiommed “en passant”, when, of the three, he’s the one who won a professional event most recently… anyway…

Jamie Curtis-Barret won the 2022 English Amateur Championship

JamieCurtis-BarrettEnglishAmateurChamp2022

The English Snooker Championship is the longest running competition in snooker.  It was first help in 1916. There are many prestigious names on that trophy, but not Ronnie’s 😉

Congratulations Jamie! 

The Under-18 English Snooker Championship was won by Stan Moody, who defeated Aidan Murphy (7-0 !!!) in the final.

StanMoodyU18EnglishAmateurChamp2022

Congratulations Stan!

Mink has joined Victoria’s Snooker Academy

MinkVicSnookerAca

This can only be a good move for her. First class practice facility, first class support and first class practice opponents!

Ronnie was in Dundee for snooker exhibitions … 

Not much transpired so far, maybe Csilla will be able to tell us more.

From what I could find …

… Ronnie insisted to drive the “taxi” himself

ROWaytoDundeeJuly2022

… the club and its owners made him feel very welcome

ROSDundeeJuly2022-1

… and one of these two had a 147 yesterday evening

ROSDundeeJuly2022-2

And that’s it (for now).

The report by Csilla is in the comments section. Thank you Csilla!

and here is the 147 as shared by Snooker Legends on Facebook

The full show is now available, shared by the club on YouTube