Snookerbacker

March 2, 2015

The Month Ahead: Marching Around the Globe

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:43 am
The baby of the group

The baby of the group with his little dolly.

March is very much characterised by how more global snooker has become of late and no sooner is that daft quick-fire event finished in Blackpool than 64 potters will be heading to India, before some of them head back to Wales, over to Thailand and then China. That’s quite a schedule for the players lucky enough to be in all of them.

We start with the World Seniors, or rather the World Middle Aged Championship. The age of consent to get into this now so low that it won’t be long before Judd can enter. Youngster Mark Williams, who celebrates his 40th birthday this month being the baby of the group and a hot favourite to nab the spoils, though Peter Ebdon, Ken Doherty, Dom Dale, The Ferginator and I dare say a few others will have something to say about that over the best of three frame format, arguably a great leveller.

Then (places head in gas oven) comes the Shootout, thankfully for someone that doesn’t subscribe to Sky Sports this is the only channel where you can watch it so I can pretend it isn’t happening. I noticed Mark Allen sparked a debate about injecting more life into more tournaments by inviting shaved pissed up chimps to more events. Well, if it ever went that way I know what I’d be injecting and it wouldn’t be life. One of these spectacles is more than enough for me thank you very much, in fact it’s one too many.

Then it’s off to Mumbai for the Indian Open, and time for my annual piece of advice for those travelling there wishing to avoid the Bombay Bumshats. I am talking from experience so ignore this at your peril:

1. Stay vegetarian, it’s easy to do and the food is spectacular.
2. Only drink sealed bottled water and remember this when you are brushing your teeth.
3. Have a small tipple every night, the alcohol helps stave off any unwanted bacteria.
4. Follow the above and although you’ll probably still have a slight reaction, it won’t be as bad as those that don’t.

Assuming all make it back in one piece it’s then time for Bazza’s big new event, the World Grand Prix in Llandudno. Llandudno (pronounced Lan-Did-No by the Welsh) is the kind of town that Morrissey sang about in ‘Everyday is like Sunday’, the coastal town that they forgot to close down where you can play bingo to win a cheap tray, but it’s nice that Wales has another event and let’s just hope that the ITV4 coverage doesn’t copy the blatant Welsh bias format of BBC Wales, I’m sure they’ll be a lot more level-headed about the whole thing. For those outside the UK, Eurosport will be covering this event.

Then comes the finals of the EPTC/APTC, the final line up of which was decided in Gdynia following Neil Robertson’s win over Mark Williams. Last year of course this was moved at the last minute to the Preston Guild Hall and it’s a shame that we aren’t going to see an event there this season, it’s a great venue steeped in snooker history. Instead, the land of the hooky wheelbarrows is rewarded with the Grand Finals.

It’s then time for the China Open, which, along with the Indian Open will see the race to The Crucible intensify. We still don’t know the final top 16 or what order they will be seeded, other than definitely knowing Mark Selby as champion will be number 1 seed and Ali Carter number 13. This is the point in the season when all thoughts turn to Sheffield and just 3 days after Beijing concludes, it’s over to Ponds Forge for the start of a month of Sheffield snooker (*lets out a small amount of wee*).

MARCH
2-3 World Seniors Championship
Blackpool Tower Circus Arena

4-6 Shoot Out
Blackpool Tower Circus Arena

10-14
Indian Open
Mumbai, India

16-22
World Grand Prix
Venue Cymru, Llandudno

24-28
Players Championship
Thailand

30-5 Apr
China Open
Beijing, China

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