May 29, 2013

Australian Open Qualifiers Day 1

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:50 pm
Take it easy....the Aussies are known for their laid-back nature...and belching competitions.

Take it easy. The Aussies are known for their laid-back nature and belching competitions. Oh and also arm wrestling and barbecues and TV shows like Neighbours and Home & Away and Prisoner Cell Block-H, they also say weird things like ‘Cobber’, ‘Dunny’ and ‘Rack Off’ and the men have a general and healthy disregard for Sheilas. What’s not to like?

No sooner have we come to the end of the qualifiers for the Wuxi Classic than the next set are upon us. This time it’s a return to the old format as the qualifiers for the Australian Goldfields Open get underway at the South West Snooker Academy/Capital Venue on Thursday morning.

Some may wonder why this tournament reverts back to the old qualifying formula, but it’s perfectly understandable really. Because of a mixture of the relatively low prize money and the travel involved, a lot of the top players have perhaps understandably chosen to sit this one out and concentrate on other matters, namely a holiday in most cases.

This means that the field is being made up by a lot of amateur players, most of whom will not have the means to make the trip to Australia unless it’s worth their while financially. The fact that the 16 players that emerge from out of this set of qualifiers are guaranteed around £4772.47 (I did the maths) in prize money when they arrive to take on the top 16 seeded players helps to make the event more viable all round.

Neil Robertson does all he can to drum up enthusiasm for this event and fresh from his 147 he could be seen striding around Gloucester in a cork hat, wrapped in a flag and belching at passers-by to try and display why we should all be looking forward to it.

But for day one, it’s a lot of largely unfamiliar names to most casual observers. I know most of them to varying degrees but I accept that to the man or woman on the avenue or cul-de-sac today this is largely a ‘Who’s That?’ rather than a ‘Who’s who’ of the snooker world. As a consequence the bookies are slow to price this up, if they even bother at all.

I’ll also be taking it a bit easier this next week or so as myself and the lovely Mrs SB and our two hounds are off for a week away of walking in hillsides and eating pub lunches, hopefully with some decent weather but definitely with little or no internet access. So on Saturday I shall be saying goodbye for a week and then I will hopefully come back as refreshed as I can be at my age to tackle the new season head on, including this season’s Snookerbacker Classic marathon which I have been working on for a few weeks now.

As for the Aussie Open, you can click here for the full draw and format of the event and click here to see the top 16 seeds who are awaiting the qualifiers in Bendigo. If you want to go along and watch the action in Gloucester over the next few days at the SWSA you can order your tickets here. The prize money is listed below.

Goldfields Australian Open (For reference: $1000 AUS = £643)

Winner $70,000  
Runner-up $30,000
Semi-finals $20,000
Quarter-finals $15,000
Last 16 $10,000
Last 32 $7,500 – Australia
Last 48 $1,600 – Gloucester
Last 64 $750 – Gloucester
Last 96 $150 – Gloucester
Last 128 Nothing – Gloucester
High break (Australia) $2,500
High break (Gloucester) $100 
Total $445,000 ($435,000)


Joe Swail v Darren Cook
Stuart Carrington v Mitchell Mann
Tony Drago v Chris Keogan
Gary Wilson v Dylan Craig
Michael Leslie v Phil Barnes
Joel Walker v Oliver Brown
Jak Jones v Gareth Green
Scott Donaldson v Shane Castle


Kyren Wilson v Andrew Rogers
Patrick Einsle v Zak Surety
Craig Steadman v Ant Parsons
Allan Taylor v Saqib Nasir
Simon Bedford v Darryl Hill
Elliot Slessor v Jamie Clarke
Li Hang v Josh Boileau
Jamie O’Neill v Phil O’Kane


Ross Muir v James Cahill
Daniel Wells v Mitchell Travis
Chris Norbury v Matthew Day
Ryan Clark v Vinnie Calabrese
Mohamed Khairy v Darrell Whitworth
Lee Page v Chris Wakelin
Andrew Pagett v Noppon Saengkham
Li Yan v Dylan Mitchell


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