September 16, 2013

Lee Guilty of Match Fixing

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:27 pm

LeeThe verdict has been delivered on Stephen Lee after 11 months of waiting and as many suspected he has been found guilty of match fixing and now awaits his sentence, which is likely to be very heavy, on September 24th.

According to Dave Hendon the judgement against the player runs to a total of 35 pages which is a bit like a book in itself and it’s highly likely that Lee’s sentence will reflect the evidence that has been gathered against him. The charges of course relate to 7 matches played over a 2 year period a few years ago, I understand that most relate to frame, rather than match fixing.

Lee has always protested his innocence and it will be interesting to finally get to know how the tribunal arrived at its conclusion and how the governing body intend to deal with the player.

It is never good news when this kind of thing happens and snooker will again be thrown into the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Lee has made a very good living out of snooker but it appears judging by this evidence that this wasn’t enough for him.

It is a real shame as I like many others have long admired his style of play and his natural talent. This may signal the end to a long and successful career, all for the sake of making an extra few bob. The silly boy.

UPDATE: The Full World Snooker Statement reads:

On 2nd October 2012, after a two year police and Gambling Commission enquiry, the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to proceed with a case against Lee and others in relation to match fixing.

On 5th October 2012 the Gambling Commission referred the case back to the WPBSA.

As a result of the WPBSA being notified of suspicious betting on his match with John Higgins on 12th October 2012, Jason Ferguson the WPBSA chairman took the decision to suspend Stephen Lee from all competition pending the outcome of the case.

After receipt of some material from the Gambling Commission and further investigation, Nigel Mawer the Chair of the WPBSA Disciplinary Committee, decided that Stephen Lee had a case to answer in relation to the match fixing allegations.

The allegations were serious and related to match fixing or the provision of inside information to enable persons to win money by betting on those matches. The matches in question were three matches in the Malta Cup 2008, two matches at the UK Championship 2008, one at the China Open 2009 and one at the World Championship 2009.

The WPBSA, in accordance with its Disciplinary Rules, asked Sport Resolutions UK to appoint an independent QC to hear the available evidence. Adam Lewis QC was appointed to hear the case.

The case was heard between the 9th and 11th September 2013 in Bristol.

On 16th September 2013 Adam Lewis QC delivered the following decision:

“Stephen Lee is found guilty of “agreeing an arrangement… [and of] …accepting or receiving or offering to receive… payment or… other… benefit… in connection with influencing the outcome or conduct of” each of the seven matches in breach of Rule 2.9.”

For the full decision CLICK HERE

A hearing is set for 24th September 2013 to decide on sanction.

The facts are that between February 2008 and April 2009, Stephen Lee was in contact with three different groups of people all of whom placed bets on the outcomes of his matches or on the outcomes of frames within his matches or on the exact score of his matches.

This took place in seven matches over four tournaments. The matches were Lee v Robertson, Lee v Fu and Lee v Doherty in the Malta Cup 2008 where there was betting on the exact score and the match outcomes. Lee v Hendry and Lee v King in the UK Championship 2008 where the betting was on the outcome of the first frame in each match. Lee v Selby in the China Open where there was betting on the match outcome. Lee v Day in the World Championship where there were bets on match outcome and the exact score. In this match there was ‘in match’ betting on the outcome of the frames in progress.

The bets were placed by three groups of people. The first were organised by his then sponsor who opened multiple betting accounts with various associates. These accounts were used to place the bets. The second group were coordinated by his then manager who placed almost identical bets. The third was an individual known to Lee who placed the same bets independently of the other two groups. Lee was in contact with the groups in the lead up to the matches in question and afterwards. In one case the person collected the successful bet and placed the half of the winnings into Lee’s wife’s bank account.

The total amount bet on these matches was in excess of £111,000 leading to winnings of over £97,000 for the persons placing the bets.

It is not clear how much Lee benefited from their activity or of his motivation to get involved in match fixing.

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “The WPBSA have a zero tolerance approach to match fixing. We have an extensive network of contacts across the world with the gambling industry and with bodies such as the International Centre for Sport Security and the Gambling Commission. This particular case was extremely difficult and complicated to bring to a hearing. We believe we have established the world’s most sophisticated system in dealing with corruption in sport and we will take every step under the WPBSA Rules to deal with those responsible. Today’s ruling is a stark warning to competitors in any sport who could become vulnerable in the future. Stephen Lee was the number 5 player in the world and had the opportunity to be part of snooker’s great success story. His future participation in the sport is now in real doubt as he will face a significant sanction.”

Shanghai Masters Day 2

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:00 pm
These wildcards are getting younger.

These wildcards are getting younger.

It’s Day 2 in Shanghai as once again the curse of the wildcards descends on what will otherwise be an enjoyable tournament.

This time the first session saw Joe Perry losing out and he misses out on a meeting with Neil Robertson as a consequence. Two who avoided being beaten in the same session were Chinese players Xiao Guodong and Cao Yupeng.

Xiao beat a 13 year old kid 5-0 and played very well in doing so, the match gave rise to some over the top sensationalist nonsense being spluttered over the internet that this was something akin to child cruelty, allowing a young kid to go into the harsh big bad world of professional snooker to be humiliated. What a complete load of old shite that is, the kid in question was a World Junior semi-finalist so hardly the lamb to the slaughter who could ‘barely see over the table’ that this ridiculous article would have us believe.

On the other main table Shaun Murphy arrived resplendent in a silky silver two-piece number but his cueing wasn’t exactly silky smooth as he stumbled over the line against Yu Delu, who but for some jitters at crucial points might well have sent Shaun packing, but he lives to fight another day, as does his suit.

In the second session, John Higgins safely negotiated his opener against Mike Dunn, Higgins we were told has changed his cue again after doing so last season so obviously he’s having a few niggles at the moment. Ryan Day saw off his wildcard opponent with ease, but things didn’t go so smoothly for Dave Gilbert and Martin Gould, Gouldy needed all nine frames and had to win the last three to complete victory over his wildcard opponent and Gilbert also made hard work of his match but gladly also came through a decider to take his rightful place in the Last 32.

My full outright and first round preview can be found here with recommended bets. Once the first round is done with I’ll be taking a good look at the matches on a daily basis.

Tuesday – click on the matches for the head to heads, where applicable.


Neil Robertson v Wang Yuchen (WC)
Dark Mavis v Ali Carter
Barry Hawkins v David Grace
Mark King v Zhu Yinghui

Predicted Winners: Robertson, Mavis, Hawkins, King.


Judd Trump v Michael Holt
Marco Fu v Cao Yupeng
Matthew Stevens v Peter Lines
Andrew Higginson v Lin Shuai (WC)

Predicted Winners: Trump, Fu, Lines, Higginson.

By the way, if anyone is having any trouble getting their bets on to their desired stake with Apollobet, please email me at [email protected] with your username (not password!!)

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