January 18, 2011

The Assassin Files: Preparing for a Big Year

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:33 pm

Regular readers will be familiar with Allan Taylor aka Pretzels, aka The Albino Assassin. Our big hope for the top who is embarking on a quest to break into the professional ranks this year with the full backing of the blog.

Below, you can find out what Pretz has been up to since we last saw him.As well as what features on his Christmas pyjamas, why there may be a potential earthquake in the Merseyside region this week and why Taylor’s Tailor has been a busy fellow with his needle and thread.

For anyone that has never seen Allan play, here’s a clip of him in action against none other than Ronnie himself. If you missed Allan’s introduction to the blog click here.

Over to the Assassin…….

Hello Everyone & SB, firstly can I say happy new year. Hope everyone had a pleasant festive period.

This is my second instalment of the critically acclaimed Assassin Files! It’s where you can find out a bit about me as a player and as a person. A behind the scenes sneak preview if you will, about recent happenings and forthcoming events. Hopefully with the backing of the blog I can make it all the way to the professional ranks in time for next season.

Well, I will take you back to Christmas day, where I found myself putting a new tip on my cue! It’s tradition to have a frame or two on the big day. Mainly because I’m addicted to the game but secondly it’s gets me out of setting the table for dinner/taking the rubbish out and other jobs like that.

I found myself in my brand new Marvel Comic pyjamas clearing the table (the baize one that is) whilst reflecting on what has been a busy 2010 for me. What with the PTC’s in Sheffield and the European events, which have been a massive eye opener for me and increased my confidence. I returned a more finely tuned player, with the experience and hints and tips I picked up from the professionals.

It’s all about putting the hours in on the table now and hopefully continuing the progression up the ladder to the professional ranks. You only get out of this game what you put in after all.

It's a big few months for me but I'm up for it!

Over the cold and snowy December days I still had something to play for as I was still batting in a local pro-am tournament. You see Santa didn’t put enough tokens in my stocking so I had to try and claw back some of the Crimbo celebrations funds!

So, 12th December was the date and the Earlstown Conservative Club in sunny Newton-Le-Willows was the venue. Having come through the group stages in November and winning a last 16 match, this was where the competition heated up.

I was giving 14 points head start every frame to my opponents, due to playing in the PTC tournaments. So I was happy with my performance in my quarter final match, finishing with three breaks over 50 & ‘dazzling’ 111 break in the last frame. Which was to my knowledge documented as under 5 minutes, I was now looking forward to my semi-final.

The last four of any tournament is always going to be a close matched set of games as basically if your there, you’ve got to be good enough to get there!

With 2011 well under way, the semi-final date was set for Saturday 8th January, 6pm sharp.

It was always going to be a tough against an ‘old school match player’ but I was quietly confident. I came through a 5-4 winner, completing the job with a 103 break in the deciding frame, so I was well pleased with that.

I was told as I was on the last red that the high break prize was set at 124 but with the referee spotting the black on the blue spot it sort of jaded me slightly and since the match was over I decided to miss the pink!! On purpose of course, as it was way past bedtime anyway……. at least 9pm!

So a cat nap in the car on the way home (I wasn’t driving by the way) was required due to the final being the very next day. As I was suffering with the seasonal ‘man flu’ it was clearly the right time for an early night.

Sunday 9th January: The Final.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t as attractive as the quarter or the semi. Mainly due to the exhaustion the sniffles had dragged out of me. I turned up feeling slightly flat and not jeered up for the occasion. Even though it was only a pocket money tournament, a final is always nice to win. I missed a few chances and I was punished for them. Learning from my mistakes though has been one of my strong points the last 12 months, what with so many events back to back, you have the ability to wipe out the mistakes quite quickly and move on. Oh, and the readies always help to soften the blow too!

It wasn’t long before I was hooked to the BBC watching the top lads battle it out at Wembley. An exciting tournament for all viewers and a lot of upsets and shock results. I felt Ding was probably the better player all week, with possibly the exception of Fu coming from behind against Allen. It’s just a shame that he couldn’t take that form into the final. He had probably been watching my DVD!

My new blog sponsored waistcoat is nearly ready!

But on a serious note it’s an inspiration watching the big boys play it out on the big screen, as that’s always been my dream to make it to the Masters. That and the Crucible of course, it’s that achievement I suppose when you realise you have made it into the top league as a top player. I’m determined to give it my best shot and hope one day it is me out there, with SB and all the blog followers cheering me on.

It always makes me want to practice whilst I’m watching an event on TV, which is a good thing as I am in training for the Q School Preparation Series held @ South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester. With the only new year resolution that I’m guessing approx 60% of the UK are going with under my belt (no alcohol) I’m on course and indeed the wagon to put in a good sturdy performance at the first event.

But before that big event, there is another massive calendar earthquake – The Albino Assassin shakes hands with SB himself!! This should turn some heads! A mustard-jumpered blogger and a blonde waistcoat wearing snooker player with a breaded treat stuck to his face. This will be interesting!!

Anyway, I’m off to clear the colours 10 times in a row. So all that’s left for me to say is thanks for reading and I will keep you up to speed with my progress.

P.S. The new waistcoat is nearly ready and I am proud to be wearing the blog logo for all to see!

Adios from the Assassin!

Coming to a Sofa Near You: A Whirlwind and A Rocket

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 3:21 pm

Sitting comfortably: Dobby, our house elf.

I love a bit of home entertainment. Recently over the Christmas period myself and Mrs SB decided to transport ourselves to Hogwarts and watch all the Harry Potter movies back to back, the year before we had transported ourselves back to 1973 to watch the complete box sets of Life on Mars.

I tend to lose myself a little in things like that if I really enjoy them. For instance, after watching all the Hogwarts happenings I found myself wondering if our Whippet was in fact, Dobby the house elf as he does bear a passing resemblance.

The previous year, it took me a while to step out of the persona of DCI Gene Hunt and stop referring to people I didn’t like as ‘nonces’, all women as ‘skirt’ and ordering Mrs SB to fetch me some grub ‘like a good little girl’ before smacking her backside on her way out to the kitchen, ahhhh the old times before sexism was considered wrong or in some way inappropriate. Happy days.

Anyway, you may be wondering why I am telling you this, so am I as a matter of fact. But to reel the story back in to what it’s supposed to be about Snooker Legends impressario Jason Francis has organised a bit of home entertainment as part of the upcoming season of Legends events and has arranged Live Streaming for the first event in Blackburn in a couple of weeks time.

It involves Jimmy and Ronnie and you’d imagine will be full of thrills and spills and as Dennis would say, ‘exhibition type shots’ to keep the Lancashire crowd happy. The good news is that it will be available worldwide which I’m sure will please a lot of the regulars on here who would not otherwise be able to catch any of the events live.

As if the Rocket and Jimmy weren’t enough to tempt you in, we are promised humour from JV (well there’s a first time for everything) and none other than Cliff Thorburn also getting involved. Meaning that no doubt Dennis will also be there unless the restraining order is still in place from the Canadian mounted police.

An annoying man with glasses pictured with Timmy Mallett.

This is the official blurb:

We are pleased to announce that the Snooker Legends exhibition between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Jimmy White will be available to watch live on your computer, in your home, via the launch of the Snooker Legends Live Streaming initiative.

We realise that not everyone can get to Blackburn on February 1st to attend this event in person but we realise that both Ronnie and Jimmy have many fans worldwide who won’t want to miss the chance to see the games two best entertainers go head to head.

This will be a multi camera production with expert analysis and humour from John Virgo and Cliff Thorburn. Patricia Murphy will officiate. Viewers will also get a chance to see some of John Virgo’s trick shots and impressions as well as the first broadcast of the tribute to Alex Higgins, a fantastic song written by Jomac Nally accompanied by some great photos of the ‘Hurricane’.

This special event is available for £2.95 and can be purchased through the snooker legends website.  We hope that fans from all around the world will join us for this special event.

This exhibition is produced by Snooker Legends in association with ROS147

I’ll probably give this a go. If anyone else is planning to do so I’ll post up a discussion thread on the night for you all to have a chat and hopefully a good laugh about it.

You can read more about the Legends Tour at their website by clicking here. Could be fun.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Masters Prediction Contest Winner

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 1:15 pm

Just a quick post to say that although I haven’t totted up all scores it seems fairly clear that Phil has won the Masters Prediction Contest and the free £50 bet courtesy of Betfred. Phil, if you don’t have an account with Betfred then click here to open one and email me at [email protected] when you have done so. This will also allow you to take advantage of the matched bet offer for new customers.

Well done!  

A few things in the pipeline this week when it will be competition time again, some news concerning The Rocket, as well as our ‘Great Blonde Hope’ Allan ‘Pretzels Albino Assassin’ Taylor will be giving us an update as he prepares for a Q-School event in Gloucester at the weekend. More to follow later today… 

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