April 1, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic Grand Finals: Meet the Finalists

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:30 pm

Sunday sees the conclusion of the 4th Snookerbacker Classic as the final 16 fight it out for the big prizes in Gloucester. I thought I’d take the time to speak with them and ask how they assess their chances on the big day.

I’ve also included links to the prices that have been compiled by Boylesports if anyone would like a bet. All the matches on Sunday will be live-scored so if you’ve had a bet you can keep up with the action as it happens, ball by ball, here. The match prices for the first round can be found here.

It should be a cracking day as an amateur field doesn’t really get any stronger than this. If you are around please come and watch some top quality snooker from the UK’s leading amateurs.

Ant Parsons

Ant Parsons

SB Classic Best: Winner 2014.

The defending champion is in no mood to let his title slip without a fight, he won through in Leeds this time and is ready for battle.

I am going to Gloucester to defend my title and I’m there to get the job done. I think the qualifier I came through in Leeds was probably the second toughest one after Jamie’s qualifier in Gloucester so I have to be pleased with that performance. Only Martin O’Donnell and me know what it takes to win this and we’ve both proved we can do it when we get down to the nitty gritty. It is mentally draining, you have to play a lot of matches in a short space of time and you need to be mentally ready. I’ve not over-prepared but definitely not under-prepared, I’ve had a couple of sessions with Mike Dunn before he went to China and that’s sharpened me up. I’m not phased by the draw, whoever wins on Sunday will have earned it, on paper it’s tougher than when I won last year, but I’m ready and I’m going there to win again, it’s been my main focus this season.


Ben with 2015 prize

Ben Harrison

SB Classic Best: Semi Finalist 2014.

English Amateur Champion and last year’s semi-finalist Ben came through this season in Gloucester, his focus has changed a bit this season but he’s still up for the challenge.

I had a bit of a lay off from snooker after qualifying but now it’s nearly Grand Finals I am putting in the hours in Gloucester. I feel a lot more relaxed these days as snooker isn’t now the be all and end all for me as I have a job now so I don’t put myself under the pressure that I used to. I have developed a good all round match game and I know if I have to I can dig deep and get results, but if I turn up with my best game at the weekend I am in with a chance. Even though SB gave me an early start, I still have to say that this is such a great tournament, it’s so well run and enjoyable to play in and I’d love to finish the day as champion. I wouldn’t say I am confident, but I will give it my best shot.  


Syd Wilson

SB Classic Best: Quarter Finalist 2012 and 2014.

Syd is a long-standing supporter of the Classic and won through in the first event in Liverpool despite some rather dodgy preparation with yours truly. This is his third Grand Finals Day and as well as this he’s got his sights set on a few more events.

I feel OK, I love the SB Classic and have always enjoyed playing in it, I suppose my priority is the Q-School, World Championships and EASB ranking series (I hope to qualify for the World Amateur and European Mens) as I’m in a good position in those rankings currently so I’m just looking to keep myself sharp and it goes without saying I always want to win. I had an indifferent middle part of the season but I’m starting to hit my stride at the right time which is good. As for the draw on Sunday, it doesn’t matter to me, everyone there can play and that’s that. I’m really looking forward to it and to seeing Mr and Mrs SB again.


Daniel Wells

Daniel Wells

SB Classic Best: Debut.

Daniel impressed in Gloucester on his SB Classic debut, knocking in 133 and 134 in the process, he’s on his way back from China and hopes that won’t affect him too much.

I feel my form is good, I have been working hard at my game with the World Championships around the corner so I will be sharp. My only concern is that I don’t arrive back from China until Friday so I need to make sure I don’t feel too tired. The draw is tough as Eden is a good player but if you are to win a tournament as good as this you are going to have to beat some good players along the way and that is what I hope to do.


Tom Barton

Tom Barton

SB Classic Best: Qualifying Round 3

Tom won through in the Last Chance Saloon and is happy to be a bit under the radar and hoping to cause a bit of an upset.

I’ll be honest, I am not that confident with some of the names I’ve seen in the mix! I’ve never been one to say I’m going to win a match or a tournament. But I am going to really enjoy the experience and hopefully if I go in not expecting much it might work in my favour. I’ll enjoy it whatever happens.


A very happy Jamie with his prize

Jamie Bodle

SB Classic Best: Qualifying Round 2

Jamie produced some great snooker in Derby to win through including a semi-final performance which saw him achieve a 97% pot success rate. He’s on his way back from Malta where he has been competing in the European Championships to join us on Sunday.

I’m in pretty good form at the moment… I have been upping my practice recently due to the European Championships and SB Grand Finals so I feel that I am in good shape. The draw is very tough, as it is a high quality field of players. Hopefully I can produce good snooker, take my chances and give these young guns a run for their money!


Martin O'Donnell

Martin O’Donnell

SB Classic Best: Winner 2012.

The first ever SB Classic champion; The MO’D is back in Grand Finals following an early qualification in the first Gloucester heat.

I haven’t played a great deal in the last month with this and that and if I’m honest I’ve not had a great deal of motivation to practice until now. It feels nice to be going to a competition again and I know it will be a great day and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve played Jamie Clarke once before and I had an absolute flyer against him and beat him 4-0, but we’re both different players now and that doesn’t really mean anything. I’m putting the hours in this week and have been playing The Storm all day today, I don’t know what to expect on Sunday, but I’ll enjoy it whether I win or lose, it’s a cracking tournament. 


Sean O'Sullivan

Sean O’Sullivan

SB Classic Best: Debut.

Sean ‘The Storm’ is already confirmed as a professional next season having fallen off the tour last year. He hopes this is the first and last time he’ll be in this event, but he’ll miss the cakes…

Well I’m feeling confident going into Sunday. More excited than anything else as it’s my first, and hopefully (for all the right reasons) my only Grand Finals. So I’m hoping to make the most of this brilliant tournament. My form has been good going in to it after getting to the final of the pro-am at the same venue last week. Also I feel I’ve been playing pretty well all season so I’m hoping to continue that on Easter Sunday. Also, Mrs SB makes the best cakes ever so even if I lose that’s a great consolation!


Reanne Evans

Reanne Evans

SB Classic Best: Qualifying Round Semi-Final

The greatest ladies player of them all and multiple World Champion lands in Grand Finals Day ahead of her World Championship qualifiers next week.

I’m playing well in practice and have just set my table up in a new facility and it’s playing really nicely. I’m really looking forward to Sunday as it kicks off a huge month for me and hopefully my results will help me kick on to the next tournament. It’s a very tough field and I know to win it will be very very tough but I have given myself a chance. I really enjoy playing these events as SB and Mrs SB create a really nice atmosphere and I’m really pleased that it’s proving so popular with all the top amateurs, it’s well deserved. I think it should have a lot more recognition from official bodies, who should offer further prize incentives to the winner, as it’s the best amateur tournament out there in my opinion and really well run.  


James Brown

SB Classic Best: Debut.

James came through in our only heat in Preston. As a first time SB Classic entrant, he’s hoping his experience will tell on the day, he starts off against Ben Harrison.

I’m actually really confident about Sunday, I’m playing really well and scoring heavily and if I can hit the ground running against Ben I think I can go all the way. We’ve played before and we know each other and he’ll know that he’s in for a tough match. I’ll be playing every day between now and Sunday to make sure I’m well prepared and we will see what happens, but like I say, my game is in good shape so I’ve nobody to fear. 


Jamie Clarke

Jamie Clarke

SB Classic Best: Semi-Finalist 2014.

Jamie was within one ball of reaching the final last season and this weekend he is hoping to put that to rest. He qualified from the first event in Gloucester back in October and now plays in his third consecutive Grand Finals Day.

I have always loved playing in this event, we are always extremely well looked after and the prize money is great. We are very lucky to have SB to keep a quality amateur event on the snooker map. I think next year for there to be several SB tournaments with prize money in each, a little bit like the PIOS would be a great idea. Going into Sunday, I am feeling good, playing well and practicing hard. I’m playing every day in the run up so I am giving myself every chance.


Paul Davison

Paul Davison

SB Classic Best: Debut.

Paul or Snowy as he’s known to most, has got a busy month coming up but he’s focused on the job on Sunday having qualified from the last event in Liverpool a couple of weeks back. The bookies make him clear favourite to win the title on Sunday.

I’m looking forward to the tournament and was delighted to qualify in Liverpool. I have been practicing very hard and I feel very confident leading up to this with the English Amateur and the play-off’s just around the corner as well. Hopefully my form will hold and this will be a successful month for me.


Mike Rogers

Mike Rogers

SB Classic Best: Qualifying Round Final

Mike came through the Last Chance Saloon and is delighted to have made the finals after coming so close in the past.

After not playing to my potential all season I was delighted to come through last Sunday considering the quality of opposition in each round. Having come so close to qualifying for the finals last season I’m just glad I have got there this time around; knowing Mr and Mrs SB it’s bound to be a great event. I’ve never played Paul Davison before and I’m not expecting anything other than a battle! Hopefully I can just play well, enjoy myself and make a fist of it.


Phil O'Kane

Phil O’Kane

SB Classic Best: Qualifying Round Final

Phil came through in second place on the Order of Merit and produced a fine display in Gloucester last weekend. He is known for his jokey personality and sharp one-liners, but it sounds like Sunday might well bring out his serious side…

It’s taken a couple of years to reach the Grand Finals, but I couldn’t be happier about doing so. I’ve upped the hours I’ve been practising a lot and it’s good to see the hard work paying off. I put a lot of that down to the match practice and having these tournaments to play in, competing with top amateurs around the country can only do your game good. I played Reanne a couple of events ago in Gloucester and I lost 4-3, quite a good game and I’m looking forward to this one again and hopefully I’ll end up being a winner this time round.


Eden Sharav

Eden Sharav

SB Classic Best: Debut.

Eden is another qualifier from Gloucester who impressed a lot when winning through, he aims to be the first ever Scottish winner and faces Welshman Daniel Wells first up.

I’m playing good just now so really looking forward to Sunday. Me and Dan are good mates and we used to practice together quite a bit so I think we will both be quietly confident going into the match and we’ll both be up for it. 


Brett Miller

Brett Miller

SB Classic Best: Qualifying Round Final

Brett strolled through via the Order of Merit and is putting in the hours for Sunday, he’s also clearly in confident mood.
I’m confident and if I’m on my game I can win this tournament. All the qualifiers I have played I have ended up losing to the eventual winner and unlike me every one of them play full time. I have been putting a couple of nights a week in running up to the Grand Finals and as a result I am playing with a little bit more consistency. That’s what let me down in every match I’ve lost in the Classic. I’m really looking forward to a good day out and I fear no one.
SB2015 A4 Poster2 (1) with amends

DRAW: All matches are the best of 7 frames

10am start:
Ben Harrison v James Brown – Referee: Mark Seaman
Jamie Clarke v Martin O’Donnell – Referee: Nick Harry
Sydney Wilson v Jamie Bodle – Referee: Alan Collis
Brett Miller v Tom Barton – Referee: Martyn Royce

NB 11.30 start:
Phil O’Kane v Reanne Evans – Referee: Mark Seaman
Sean O’Sullivan v Ant Parsons – Referee: Nick Harry
Eden Sharav v Daniel Wells – Referee: Alan Collis
Mike Rogers v Paul Davison – Referee: Martyn Royce

Quarter Finals – NB 2pm

Semi Finals – NB 4pm

Final – NB 6pm – Referee: Nick Harry


March 31, 2015

The China Open Continues

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 12:54 pm
Robbo - Right Result?

Robbo – Right Result?

Below is the schedule for Wednesday over in Beijing as the China Open moves into the Last 32 phase.

I have to say, it’s a real shame that this event comes so close to the World Championship qualifiers as this is taking a lot of the sheen off it as people look forward more and more to Sheffield. It’s a shame because it’s usually a very good tournament.

I can’t help thinking that there should be at least a fortnight’s gap between the final ranking event and the start of the World Qualifiers, if anyone involved in the Ponds Forge event has a run in this, they will be severely handicapped once they race back to Sheffield to play three Best of 19’s to try and qualify. Particularly if they’ve also been involved in Llandudno and Thailand, that’s a pretty gruelling schedule for anyone.

The seeded players don’t have that problem and though there are some that will be adamant that Neil Robertson has had the best possible result in being dumped out on day one, but even if the player that wins this is seeded in Sheffield, they still have a fortnight to recover so I don’t think it’s that big an issue really.

Anyway, we’ll see if the ‘Curse of the China Open winner’ will happen again, but it might just be a coincidence that nobody who has won this has ever gone on to win the World Championship, after all, back to back ranking event wins are pretty rare these days. That said and as Neal Foulds pointed out to me earlier, if Selby wins it he’s got two curses to get round, good luck with that Jester. 

Recommended Bet: 2 point double on Mike Dunn and Robin Hull pays over 5/1 at Bet 365. 

Elliot Slessor v Mark Selby
Stuart Bingham v Michael White
Ryan Day v Stephen Maguire
Barry Hawkins v Dominic Dale
David Gilbert v Zhou Yuelong
Zak Surety v Robert Milkins

Robin Hull v Mark King
Jack Lisowski v Dechawat Poomjaeng
Anthony McGill v Shaun Murphy
Mark Williams v Michael Leslie
Mike Dunn v Kurt Maflin

Ding Junhui v Dark Mavis
Peter Ebdon v Judd Trump
John Higgins v Graeme Dott
Ricky Walden v Gary Wilson
Marco Fu v Jamie Jones

Snookerbacker Classic Grand Finals: Information and Further Prize Announced!

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:30 am

SB2015 A4 Poster2 (1) with amendsFor anyone who missed the Grand Finals draw last night live on Twitter I have copied it below together with the corresponding match times.

I am also delighted to announce that as well as the existing prizes in place, I have now secured a further £250 cash prize for the player that makes the highest break on Grand Finals Day.

This is in addition to the £500 overall highest break prize currently standing at 134 by Daniel Wells and the £1000 maximum break prize both sponsored by John Parrott Cuesports

This takes the overall prize fund this year to well over £8000.  


Dress Code: Shirt, trousers, shoes and waistcoat – no bow tie required.
Match Times: Please ensure that you arrive in plenty of time for your stated match time.

DRAW: All matches are the best of 7 frames and will all be live-scored online.

10am start:

Ben Harrison v James Brown – Referee: Mark Seaman
Jamie Clarke v Martin O’Donnell – Referee: Nick Harry
Sydney Wilson v Jamie Bodle – Referee: Alan Collis
Brett Miller v Tom Barton – Referee: Martyn Royce

NB 11.30 start:

Phil O’Kane v Reanne Evans – Referee: Mark Seaman
Sean O’Sullivan v Ant Parsons – Referee: Nick Harry
Eden Sharav v Daniel Wells – Referee: Alan Collis
Mike Rogers v Paul Davison – Referee: Martyn Royce

Quarter Finals – NB 2pm

Semi Finals – NB 4pm

Final – NB 6pm – Referee: Nick Harry


It is free to come along and watch so why not treat yourself to a Sunday of top quality live snooker?

March 30, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic: Rogers and Barton Clinch Last Chance Wins, Order of Merit Concludes.

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:10 pm

Sunday in Gloucester saw the conclusion of the qualifying heats of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic with the final four names being confirmed to make up the last 16, who now return to Gloucester this Easter Sunday to fight it out for the biggest cash prize in amateur snooker.

The day was to see two players progress as of right and the final place being decided from the ongoing Order of Merit list which has again been a popular by-product of the event with players who had not made it through by winning an event outright. Uncannily, it was again to be decided on the final frame of the qualifiers, as it was last season.

Mike Rogers - bit of a brainbox.

Mike Rogers – bit of a brainbox.

The top half of the draw saw victory for Mike Rogers, who overcame Kishan Hirani in his qualifying final.  Mike has been an SB Classic regular now for a couple of seasons and had narrowly missed out before on making the Grand Finals.

This time he went one better and despite not seeming to realise when I walked up to him to congratulate him that he’d actually qualified, thinking he had another match to play, he was delighted once the realisation dawned that he’d actually won through.

All this might lead you to believe that Mike is a bit dim, well, nothing could be further from the truth. Mike is actually coming to the end of a very intense Maths degree at University and to say he can totally baffle you within seconds of talking about his passion for all things numerical is putting it mildly (as is the word baffle). I still remember him first showing me a mathematical graph (which I’m sure is a layman’s description for what it actually is) and looking rather shocked and perhaps a little disappointed when I wasn’t as intrigued by it as he was as I tried desperately to change the subject.

By all accounts, Mike is also a very laid back kind of guy, which possibly explains his sometimes lethargic looking demeanour around the table and his frequent sighs and outtakes of breath. But his competitive streak must be in there somewhere or else he’d not have made it through a very tough final draw against a player in Kishan that many had down as a live contender for this season’s title.

It’s great to see Mike finally get over the line, I just hope he leaves his graphs at home on Sunday and brings Whitney instead, she’s far more interesting.

Tom Barton: Late Night Thrills.

Tom Barton: Late Night Thrills.

 The bottom half of the draw saw victory for Tom Barton, who eventually came through a decider against Kent star Phil O’Kane to nab the last automatic spot after over 12 hours of snooker on Sunday.

Tom was as ever accompanied by legendary snooker hardman Joe Lazarus, a man that’s so hard that Chuck Norris wears a pair of Joe Lazarus pyjamas for bed. Joe was again on top storytelling form while watching his protege and he also wolfed down almost half of Mrs SB’s victoria sponge while everyone else just watched, far too terrified to ask if they could have a piece for fear of falling victim to a cake-raged upper cut.

On the table, Tom had early victories over Majid Khan and Matt Glasby before coming up against Andy Marriott, a grand finalist from last season. The two slogged away for over 3 hours before Tom eventually made it over the line in the decider.

Despite this, Tom only wanted a few minutes after the match to gather himself together to face Phil O’Kane in the final, which was to go to a decider again, Tom producing the goods in the final frame and marking himself out as a real stamina man with a very solid technique and cool head under pressure, this being no doubt engrained in him by Joe who still coaches to this day. Joe has never struck me as a man that needs a lot of sleep, in fact he’s so hard that sleep probably needs a lot of him.

Tom seems a quiet, unassuming lad and clearly enjoys a very close relationship with Joe, who is a master at stealing the limelight. It’s great to see a new name in the mix and it will be interesting to see how Tom gets on against other, perhaps better known names on the amateur circuit. Under the radar is sometimes a very nice place to be.

Kiss it - a KO for O'Kane.

Kiss it – a KO for O’Kane.

Phil O’Kane meanwhile had his own adventure on Sunday. He went into the day needing to win either 12 or 13 frames, depending on how scores went, to catch Merseyside’s Josh Mulholland and pip him to 2nd spot in the Order of Merit List, behind Brett Miller, who had qualified much earlier in the event but whose place could only be finally confirmed on Sunday (Brett, frame on the way on Sunday).

Phil did just that and tried his best in the final to try and make the blow a little less hard to swallow for Josh by winning through and getting him his place, but it wasn’t to be and Kent’s finest bowed out in the final frame as Josh received updates on Twitter.

Brett has really impressed this season and has only been beaten in each event by the eventual qualifiers, he’s been scoring heavily and I think he has a real chance of causing an upset on Sunday. His eventual winning tally in the Order or Merit speaks for itself and consistency wise he’s right up there with the best of them.

As for Phil, he was genuinely delighted on Sunday and is a big favourite with everyone on the amateur tour. He’s a natural comedian and a favourite with Mrs SB who thinks he’s ‘a bit of a charmer’. Very much like a nasty fungal infection, he’s grown on me over the years too. We’re both looking forward to seeing him again on Sunday and who knows, this could be just what he needs to make that step up?

I can’t leave you however without directly quoting Phil’s philokane-asophical insight into his change in attitude. Step aside Terry Griffiths, there’s a new mind guru in town:


Aaron Cook: ‘Phil, I don’t think I have ever seen you this focused’

Phil: ‘No Aaron, that’s just what happens sometimes when you realise you’ve made a massive fuck up of your life’ 

A big thanks as ever to all at the SWSA, all the players who have supported the event this season, my kind team of sponsors and the referees on Sunday Roycey and Chardo.

All the scores from Sunday can be found here and the final order of merit standings, grand finalists and current highest break here.

Now here is a picture of Joe Lazarus as he has just rang me while I was writing this to ask why there isn’t a picture of him anywhere. 



Snookerbacker Classic Grand Finals: DRAW LIVE ON TWITTER TONIGHT

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 3:45 pm

The draw for Grand Finals Day of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic will be tweeted from 6pm this evening. To follow this as it happens you should follow me on there by accessing this account.

In the spirit of transparency, I should say that I will actually to doing the full draw automatically using the usual software a couple of minutes before tweeting it. But I won’t post the link to the draw page until I have finished the tweets. So anyone who doesn’t like suspense and prefers to be ‘the first to know’ can I’m sure find this information if they are desperate/sad/anoraky enough to look hard for it.


March 28, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic Last Chance Saloon Gloucester

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 3:41 pm

Sunday sees the final qualifying heat of the Snookerbacker Classic in Gloucester where we will see the final three Grand Finalists decided.

You can keep up with the scores from the day here and the race for the 2nd spot on the Order of Merit here with either Josh Mulholland or Phil O’Kane set to take the 2nd spot behind runaway leader Brett Miller who is already confirmed as a finalist.

The referees for the day will be Martyn ‘Rolls’ Royce and Nick ‘Chardo’ Harry.  

China Open Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:35 am
Poor Ronnie isn't able to make it again.

Seems legit.

Monday sees the start of this season’s final stages of the China Open from Beijing. This is now a firmly established tournament in the calendar and guess what? IT’S NOT BEST OF 7’S!!!

What it is however is the final event of the season before all cues head to Sheffield, firstly for the qualifiers at Ponds Forge which begin just three days after this ends, in which time the draw will have to be done before heading to The Crucible for the main event which starts on 18th April.

This is also the event which will decide who will be heading to the qualifiers and who will be seeded straight through to The Crucible. As things currently stand the last place on the list would appear to be between Stephen Maguire and Michael White, unless someone lower down the list has a magical week and ends up winning this and other results go their way. To keep abreast of this list as China progresses there is no other place than this to visit.

One player who we won’t see until things get underway at snooker’s mecca is Ronnie O’Sullivan, who yesterday withdrew from this event for, errrrmmm, ‘health reasons’…..

Oddly, only a week ago when he was being interviewed by Jill after his defeat to Judd in Llandudno, I predicted that poor old Ron wouldn’t be playing here. Call it intuition if you will, or more accurately you could call it that I saw a massive smirk appear on his face when Jill said ‘and you have a trip to China coming up’. But he’s got a sick note from his doctor, who no doubt is a consummate professional in his chosen field and has had an excellent season and climbed the medical rankings.

Other than Ronnie, the only other member of the top 16 as they stand not to make the trip is Mark Allen, who no doubt wants to concentrate on getting himself sharp for The Crucible safe in the knowledge that his place there is safe, you can’t really blame him for that and perhaps it might give him an edge, though the gap between this ending and the start of the main event is long enough for this to not really matter too much to those who are making the trip and certain of their Crucible spot. No burnout excuses this year boys.

The draw for the China Open is here and the first two days schedule of play is detailed below. I’m refusing point blank again to give the wildcards a name, there’s no need for them to be there and I hope they all get walloped first round by their unlucky opponents.

Recommended Bets: 3 points on Mark Selby at 13/2. 1 point each way on Shaun Murphy at 12/1. 1 point each way on Stephen Maguire at 20/1.

Match Bets: 2 point acca on Alan McManus, Peter Ebdon, Jamie Jones and Mark King pays almost 9/1 at Bet 365. 2 points on Gerard Greene to beat Barry Hawkins at 3/1. 2 points on Kyren Wilson to beat Dark Mavis at 2/1. 1 point on Marcus Campbell to beat Ding at 4/1.   

Gary Wilson v Liang Wenbo
Ricky Walden v Cao Yupeng
Kurt Maflin v Ali Carter
Zhou Yuelong v Wildcard
Alex Davies v Wildcard
Peter Lines v Wildcard

Dechawat Poomjaeng v Neil Robertson
Barry Hawkins v Gerard Greene
Kyren Wilson v Dark Mavis
Alan McManus v Jack Lisowski
Jimmy Robertson v Dominic Dale
Robin Hull v Wildcard

Ding Junhui v Marcus Campbell
Andrew Higginson v Judd Trump
David Morris v Stephen Maguire
Peter Ebdon v Zhang Anda
Ryan Day v Liam Highfield
Fergal O’Brien v Mike Dunn

John Higgins v Yu Delu
Marco Fu v Ashley Carty
Nigel Bond v Robert Milkins
Jamie Jones v Matthew Stevens
Anthony Hamilton v Zhou Yuelong/Wildcard
Joe Swail v Zack Surety

Mark Joyce v Mark Selby
Stuart Bingham v Peter Lines/Wildcard
Joe Perry v David Gilbert
Ken Doherty v Michael White
Elliot Slessor v Matt Selt
Joe O’Connor v Michael Leslie

Robin Hull/Wildcard W/O Ronnie O’Sullivan
Jamie Cope v Shaun Murphy
Mark Williams v Alex Davies/Wildcard
Daniel Wells v Graeme Dott
Jamie Burnett v Mark King
Anthony McGill v Alfie Burden

March 25, 2015

SB Classic Last Chance Saloon: Lowdown for Players

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:07 am
It's a big day for Kent's finest on Sunday.

It’s a big day for Kent’s finest on Sunday.

Sunday in Gloucester sees the final 3 Grand Finalists decided for this season’s Snookerbacker Classic as the qualifiers and the ongoing Order of Merit list reach their conclusion.

The draw for Sunday was done last night and is here.

Anyone drawn to play in Matches numbered 1-8 will be commencing at 10am. Anyone drawn to play in Matches numbered 9-16 should arrive no later than 11.30am to the venue.

The usual rules apply for late arrivals. Dress code is collared shirt or polo with trousers and shoes.

All the information about this year’s tournament is here, including links to reports from all of the qualifiers so far.

The ongoing Order of Merit can be viewed here. As things stand Brett Miller is already comfortably through to Grand Finals Day with second place being currently held by Liverpudlian, Josh Mulholland.

Although Josh is level with Ryan Causton, he holds second place as his performance in his best event, the first Liverpool qualifier, was narrowly better than Ryan’s performance in his best event, the second qualifier in Gloucester. Josh won 14 frames to Ryan’s 12 and had a ‘frame difference’ of +4 to Ryan’s +3. So by virtue of that single frame, he may squeeze into the Grand Finals.

As Ryan is in Malta and was unable to enter on Sunday and a lot of the chasing pack are also not playing it means that only one player, namely Phil O’Kane who is 12 frames behind Josh can possibly catch him. To do this Phil must reach his section final and depending on frame scores in his earlier matches win at least one frame in that final. Otherwise, it is Josh who will progress to the Grand Finals on Easter Sunday. 

Can I also remind players that the clocks go forward an hour on Saturday evening. Yes Phil, I am talking to you.  

March 23, 2015

PTC Grand Finals Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:05 am

Yet another best of 7 frame format event this week in Bangkok, here’s all you need to know, oh and it’s on Eurosport at these times. 

March 20, 2015

Referees and Grand Prix

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:56 am
Tabby - Gone but not forgotten.

Tabby – Gone but not forgotten.

As the World Grand Prix continues today in Llandudno and the moon and sun pass each other many light minutes and miles (not light years, I’ve been corrected) from here, talk off the table in snookerland is centring around the fate and fortunes of two referees, namely Michaela Tabb and Marcel Eckardt.

The constant questions surrounding the whereabouts of Michaela directed at anyone who people thought might possibly know something, myself included, came to a head yesterday with a very brief, some might say rather disrespectfully short, statement from World Snooker stating that she has finally resigned, though when she did this and the circumstances under which this was done were not mentioned.

That’s probably because this is a huge embarrassment for the governing body, as Inside Snooker have revealed that the root of the issue lay in an unpaid ‘discretionary’ bonus which led to a falling out between Michaela and World Snooker which has ultimately led to the announcement yesterday, the governing body having previously hinted that Michaela was simply feeling under the weather.

If the sport has lost one of it’s nicest, most professional people because of a row about what is believed to be a rather small sum of money then it really beggers belief. Michaela is a huge loss to the sport and is universally popular with fans and players alike and if the governing body can’t see that they are either blind, stupid or both.

I’d like to express my own personal thanks to Tabby, in a way the official statement did not. Like most people I have had the pleasure of meeting since starting to write this tripe over five years ago our paths first crossed on social media, but on meeting Michaela for the first time, backstage at The Crucible I was greeted with a huge smile and big hug, this tells you everything you need to know about her.

Since then and to my everlasting shame I have stood her up at breakfast because it was raining, tweeted her across a crowded restaurant with a cheeky wink, enjoyed another cuddle in Berlin and been the recipient of her generosity at the Legends. She is a wonderful person and even sent me a nice message yesterday to wish me and Mrs SB well.

What a diamond. Thanks Tabby x

As for Marcel, well he’s only gone and upset an already miserable Rocket who accused him of all sorts of carelessness the other night after his win against Milkins. Poor Marcel couldn’t move out of the way fast enough for Ronald who let off a tirade after the match which I think was well below the belt and worthy of a disciplinary hearing. He’s got to learn that he can’t just shoot his mouth off at whoever he likes just because it’s his time of the month.

Anyway, he’s still in the running in Wales and is up against Graeme Dott later this afternoon, I’m not sure who’s reffing it, but the mischievous tournament directors wouldn’t give it to Marcel surely……..or would they?

World Grand Prix Quarter Finals Order of Play

Dark Mavis v Stuart Bingham

NB 2pm
Martin Gould v Peter Ebdon

Graeme Dott v Ronnie O’Sullivan

NB 8pm
Mark Williams v Judd Trump

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