Snookerbacker

February 29, 2016

Snookerbacker Classic Liverpool 8th March Details

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 1:54 pm

SB A4 POSTERThis Sunday sees and second and final visit to George Scotts Snooker Club in Liverpool for the penultimate qualifying event of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic. 

The full draw for Sunday can be viewed here where you can also keep track of the results as they happen. All first round matches will commence at 10.15 am on the dot. Players should be aware of the terms and conditions regarding late arrivals.

The dress code is polo or collared shirt, trousers and shoes.

All players should arrive at the venue in plenty of time for their opening match and be prepared for a roll-on, roll-off day. In other words, have a decent breakfast if you are planning on going deep.

The winner is guaranteed at least £250 and will be just 4 matches away from the £3000 first prize, which also includes a frame at The Crucible as part of the Snooker Legends Tour a few days after the Grand Finals. 

Full details of the Snookerbacker Classic can be viewed here, including those all important terms and conditions. It’s also potentially an important week in the Order of Merit standings with Tom Barton, Alex Taubman and Brett Miller all trying to add to their totals for the one automatic qualifying place up for grabs through this ongoing list.

All matches are the best of seven frames.

The referees for the day will be Peter Bennett and Steve Starkie who will be roaming for the first two rounds before donning their white gloves to referee the semi-finals and final.

Anyone who would like to come and enjoy the snooker is more than welcome at this excellent club.

February 25, 2016

Gdynia Open: An Unlikely Major

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:26 am

More as a result of timing than anything else, the Gdynia Open which sees the professional rounds start tomorrow from Poland, is a tournament which will mean a lot to the futures of many players both on the tour and hoping to progress onto it next season.

Whilst I am totally bored to death by best of sevens at least this event retains some interest as regards the ongoing ranking list. As ever, the only place to be when it comes to all things ranking is here. Matt is at the venue and will no doubt explain and update in great detail what each result means to the future of the potters in peril.

It is also interesting from an amateur point of view as this is the last event to decide the 16 players that will compete for the two tour places at Ponds Forge in April in a knockout event which coincides with the World Championship Qualifiers.

You can keep up with the scores here. But in terms of betting I won’t be getting involved now until we have something like decent length matches. This best of seven trend is really switching me off and I look forward more and more to Sheffield as a result. It seems that next season we’ll have even more tournaments with this boring format, which is a great shame and something I would urge those in charge to think about very carefully, snooker for me is losing it’s way a bit lately.   

February 22, 2016

Snookerbacker Classic Gloucester: Four More Through to Grand Finals

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:03 pm

The weekend in Gloucester saw four more faces qualify to this season’s Snookerbacker Classic Grand Finals on April 3rd as Leo Fernandez, Sam Craigie and former Grand Finalists Ryan Causton and James Brown added their names to the list of this season’s possible winners.

Saturday in particular saw a very high standard of play with 7 centuries in all, which were to be added to on Sunday to make a total of ten in all for the weekend, with 16 in total already we’re well on the way to smashing the 20 made in the entire event last season. Saturday also saw last season’s semi-finalist Phil O’Kane steal top spot from Tom Barton in the break table with a 136 total clearance, Tom has some consolation in that he is perched at the top of the Order of Merit table with a chance to make Grand Finals Day through this route.

Full results from Saturday can be found here

Leo Fernandez scored very heavily all day and must be a big contender for Grand Finals Day.

Leo Fernandez scored very heavily all day and must be a big contender for Grand Finals Day.

The talented Sam Craigie becomes the third player from the North East to make Grand Finals Day.

The talented Sam Craigie becomes the third player from the North East to make Grand Finals Day.

Sunday’s results can be found here and the highest break table and the ongoing Order of Merit list here.

Ryan Causton has made it to Grand Finals Day for the second time with high scoring performances all day.

Ryan Causton has made it to Grand Finals Day for the second time with high scoring performances all day.

James Brown, a Grand Finalist last season is there again from the only qualifying heat he entered.

James Brown, a Grand Finalist last season is there again from the only qualifying heat he entered.

So it’s really warming up nicely and promises again to be a great year for amateur snooker. Remember this year we have more prize money than ever and all players kicking off Grand Finals day will be just four wins from a £3000 pay day. Our next stops are Liverpool and Glasgow before returning to Gloucester for the final qualifying weekend and the Grand Finals.

You can read all you need to know about the Snookerbacker Classic here.

February 19, 2016

Snookerbacker Classic Gloucester Details

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:00 am

SB A4 POSTER

February 20th and 21st sees our first of three visits to the spiritual home of the Snookerbacker Classic, the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester as two 32 player events will see a further 4 Grand Finalists confirmed.

It’s another really strong field as you’d expect from our first venture down south of the season and the draw for the 20th can be found here, with the draw for the 21st here where you can also keep up with the scores as they come in.

INFORMATION FOR PLAYERS: In terms of match times, those players drawn to play in matches 1-8 in Round One will commence at 9.30am with those drawn to play in matches 9-16 commencing as tables come free, they should arrive at the venue no later than 11.00am. Please note that if the two qualifiers from Saturday are also entered on Sunday they will be replaced by two reserve players. The usual terms and conditions apply and they can be viewed here.

Full details of this seasons Snookerbacker Classic can be found here and you can find all results so far, the highest break table and the ongoing Order of Merit list here.

The referees for the two events will be Clive Brown and Nick Harry. 

February 18, 2016

The Afternoon Open Continues

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:23 am
TV Coverage after 8pm.

TV Coverage after 8pm.

Anyone who has been a regular visitor to this grubby little corner of the internet and who is even so bored that they follow my drivel on Twitter will know that I’m not exactly what could be described as a ‘Night Owl’.

Rather than burning the candle at both ends, I’m more of a don’t light it in the first place kind of chap. I like to get up early in the morning and usually like to go to bed early too. My philosophy is very much that this allows me to see the best of the day, not many people about first thing and far too many about when I am in bed. For someone who prefers the company of dogs to my fellow homo sapiens, with only a handful of notable exceptions, I figure this makes perfect sense.

So you’d think I’d be over the moon with the coverage of the Welsh Open. They turn on the cameras just after breakfast and turn them off just after it’s started to go dark, what could be better? Well, quite a lot could be better actually.

This (a reminder to World Snooker and the BBC) MAIN RANKING EVENT used to be a big deal. Now it’s one where as soon as BBC Wales decide to go off air, the camera operators go out on the town in Cardiff. Judd Trump, arguably the sport’s second biggest seat filler, was left to turn all the lights off last night following his victory over Alan McManus as the BBC decided that after Ronnie had won it was time to go out on the piss.

Even in PTC’s we can switch to Eurosport or a live stream to catch the remaining matches, but not here. The tired excuse is that of ‘Broadcasting Rights’, but if the broadcasters that own the broadcasting rights can’t be arsed to actually broadcast, do they deserve them in the first place? Short answer is no.

The BBC do a great job hosting The Masters and the World Championship, largely because they have only a maximum of two tables to cover at anyone time, but it seems that once this comfort blanket is removed they just lose the plot, scurry into a corner and pretend it’s not happening.

I’d rather we had a broadcaster, like ITV or Eurosport, who are prepared to stick with the matches live, or even, perish the thought, cover more than one or two tables as part of their coverage. Recently we sent some bloke up to a space station from which he sends down tweets, images and videos of his daily antics, yet we can’t even find enough cameras on this planet to cover a few snooker tables.

There is a serious point to all this in case you were wondering. How did Ronnie O’Sullivan, Stephen Hendry and Jimmy White find out about snooker? Television, that’s how. If the BBC insist on making it only accessible mainly to pensioners and doleites we are growing ever more unlikely to uncover the future of the sport. Snooker has been very lucky to have torchbearers to carry it through the decades and it needs young blood coming through, something that for the first time in my lifetime doesn’t really seem to be happening in numbers.

Anyway, as long as Ethel from The Cotswolds and Tyson from Toxteth are able to watch in the afternoons and I get an early night at least some people are happy. But I do fear for the long term future of the sport if the main broadcaster continues to cater for these niche audiences, though with the Tories running the country we’re never going to be short of the jobless, just the elderly.

The match list for today is here and the live scores can be found here.

February 17, 2016

The Ronnie Roadshow Continues

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:05 am

ROSThe Ronniefest featuring a supporting cast continues today in Cardiff as the Welsh Open reaches the Last 32 stages. Yesterday saw another scintillating (yes I found a spare unused superlative in a dusty corner of my mind) display by The Rocket as he managed to produce an almost flawless performance against Tian Pengfei.

He managed 100% in the long potting and safety stakes as well as 98% in overall potting and claimed when he came out of the arena that he played ‘OK’, which in anyone else’s language would probably equate to ‘fucking brilliant’. But being your own harshest critic does have its downsides and it’s difficult to know when Ronnie will actually be chuffed to bits with how he is playing.

The rumblings from Moaning Monday continued at a pace and the BBC were so desperate for every possible opinion and angle on the story that they even quoted something I said about it in the Sports News, that’s how you know they are dripping every last drop out of a story right there.

Even The Great WT claimed that himself and his increasingly bushy moustache had been asked to do 11 interviews since 7am yesterday morning, though presumably a couple of those were for his regular columns in ‘Moustache Monthly’ and ‘Readers Moustaches’ and nothing at all to do with Ronald.

Talking of ‘nothing at all to do with Ronald’ it is probably easy for Joe Public to forget about the extras in this little Welsh showpiece he is creating. But there are another 31 players still left in it, one of them (perish the thought) might even beat him. We have Selby, Higgins, Robbo, Trump, Murphy and even Ding left in it who would all, along with the others I’m sure like to stick it up The Rocket and bring him back down to earth with a bang.

The PR departments at the bookies are as usual getting very carried away by all this and are having something of a wank-off to see who is the best. The sponsors agreed to pay out punters on a 147 the other day despite there not being one, which must have cost them about fifteen quid knowing the limits they impose on anyone with the audacity to ever place a winning bet with them. Following this a rival firm who shall remain nameless because they’ve never offered me anything got in touch with Ronnie to offer him an extra incentive to actually go one better than his 146. The offer of £61,000 should he make the max being £1000 more than the winner gets. Again the schoolyard bully ‘my dad’s bigger than your dad’ mentality of the excitable bookies PR chimps is there for all to see. Anyway, by my calculations, with the standard 147 prize on top, if he does win it and makes a max in the process he’s made that £125,000 back that he stupidly lent to Flash Harry a few months ago.

So can anyone stop him? Probably not but I hope they do. For everyone that is liking this spotlight treatment of snooker’s prized possession there are probably two more who want him to get sent packing. I know several snooker diehards are well, dying hard, at the coverage this week. One former reporter of the sport on Twitter claimed to have had enough of snooker after a lifetime love affair, citing the Ronnie love-in as the main reason for her defection. I’m probably not helping matters, sorry about that. 

In terms of the Battle of the Bookies, again without wishing to piss on anyone’s chips, I don’t think this is necessarily great for the sport’s long term future. It is hard enough to find sponsors from outside this industry without them claiming the limelight on something that could actually sell the sport. But no, let’s go for the easy option of reporting the extra cash incentive on the money table instead of reporting what is actually happening on the snooker table. All this does is further alienate potential sponsors who might just have switched on after Monday to snooker’s appeal. We’re too in bed with betting at the moment, there is no getting away from it. It has it’s place and is an essential part for some of their enjoyment of sport, but it shouldn’t be calling the shots and stealing the headlines. 

Ronnie is up against Jimmy Robertson tonight but first we must suffer the agony of watching some other inferior players, you’d think they’d just cut to the chase and give him the trophy so we could all move on. 

The match list for today is here and the live scores, on the off-chance they are working can be found here

February 16, 2016

Good Moaning? The Welsh Open Continues…..

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:37 am
Potty

Potty

There is nothing us Brits like more than having a good old moan. Yesterday, I kicked off my very limited coverage of this season’s Welsh PTC/Open with a moan about the format, the amount of players, the short matches and the lack of prestige this once great event carried. Little did I know that this was just the beginning of what can now be legitimately referred to as ‘Moaning Monday’.

Of course, snooker’s greatest moaner is Ronnie O’Sullivan. His own harshest critic; Ronnie can always find something to moan about if he’s in a bit of a mood or just feels like causing trouble. Yesterday the mischievous little tyke caused social media uproar with his almost perfect break. His 146 was mesmerizing, all the more so because just half an hour earlier he was looking for all the world like a man on the verge of meltdown.

But rather than applaud his cheeky genius, swathes of keyboard warriors took to their tablets, rather than taking their tablets, to proclaim that he was ‘disrespectful’, which seems to be the default word in the dictionary of the easily offended these days. 

I disagree, the break wasn’t disrespectful at all, it was superb and played out with a comedic air by snooker’s biggest draw who likes to ‘leave them wanting more’ (bit of poetry there). The nonchalance with which he did something that mere mortals could only dream of being able to do was testament once again to his utter genius and magnetic showmanship. As the old cliche goes, we have run out of superlatives.

Sure, you could argue that he deprived the crowd of seeing a maximum, also something I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere but for me is equally as important is the referee, knowing referees as I do this is a big deal to them aswell. But all of them at least can say ‘I was there’ when this arguably far more memorable feat was performed.

His accomplishment, or rather lack of it, was hysterically and somewhat ironically challenged by the Ringleader himself Barry Hearn, who accused Ronnie of disrespecting the paying fans who want to always see players at their best.

This was presumably said with pound signs in his eyes while sporting a huge grin thinking about the viewing figures, news coverage and column inches that were to follow. The irony of a man talking about pleasing the poor old punter on the street who has paid his hard-earned to watch on one hand and giving tickets to touts for snooker’s biggest showpiece with the other was not lost on some thankfully.

What I take issue with, and where I am firmly in Hearn’s camp, is Ronnie’s gripe that the 147 prize isn’t more financially lucrative. First of all, they are far more common these days, largely because of him and the prize money is indicative of this. Secondly, if he’d have got off his arse and entered the UK and made one there he’d have had at least a share of a far bigger rollover prize, just ask Neil Robertson if he is happy with the 147 prize and I’m sure you’ll get a very different answer.

World Snooker is not a charity and sponsors can no longer insure against the eventuality that a maximum might happen, it therefore makes perfect sense that the prize money is no longer at the heady heights of a decade or so ago. There are far more playing opportunities these days and while percentage wise, the ratio may still be the same (I haven’t checked), in terms of how often it happens now, it definitely isn’t. All Ronnie did in saying this, as well as drumming up publicity, was prove if he actually meant it, that he isn’t very good when it comes to business, which won’t come as a shock to anyone who has been reading his recent financial dealings with a certain Sheffield wannabe gangster.

But he’s done it again, he’s stolen the show. Who knows he might just make one now for the heck of it and give it to charity, which while a very noble thing this would be to do, isn’t really Ronnie is it? We’ll miss him when he’s gone, the barnpot.

The Welsh Open continues today and the schedule is here.    

February 15, 2016

The Welsh Open

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:28 am
She sits lonely atop a hill lamenting the demise of longer matches.

She sits lonely atop a hill, clutching her daisies and lamenting the demise of longer matches.

Today in Cardiff sees the tournament formerly known as the Welsh Open get under way with no fewer than 64 best of 7 matches played out on a roll-on roll-off basis. Sounds like a PTC to me.

This tournament, alongside the UK Championship has lost a lot of its prestige since the changes to the format were introduced. Shorter matches, players packed like sardines into the venue in conveyor belt schedules are a huge turn off for me. This format is fine for PTC events, they have never been anything else, but I am yet to find a snooker fan that prefers this format to the old one.

The thing is I don’t really see why it is necessary. What is the problem with having a qualifying event bolted on to one of the others to whittle down the field and give us a decent TV spectacle? In all we’ll get to see, if we’re lucky, just five of these matches on the TV/Live Stream, making betting on it total guesswork, even more so than usual.

This of course will next season form part of the Home Nations series of events, when we’ll also have English, Scottish and Irish Opens played over the same format as this, with the remote prospect of a £1 million bonus if someone wins all of them. The format is more or less guaranteed to ensure that this won’t happen, so it’s unlikely that Bazza will have to pawn the family heirlooms and hire out his pond to dish it out.

Ronnie O’Sullivan, who still thinks this is sponsored by Regal fags, has graced us with his presence and faces Barry Pinches this afternoon, it’s likely that apart from a knock around in the Championship League Finals this will be the last time we’ll see him in competitive action until Sheffield. He’ll spend the rest of his time trying to get some bloke from Sheffield called Matt banged up after he (allegedly) ripped him off to the tune of £125k.  

A full list of the ridiculous schedule for today is contained here and the draw for the Welsh Open can be viewed here. I’ll probably dip in and out of it this week but my feelings are probably pretty clear on this one, which is a real shame as this used to be an event I really enjoyed, despite John Evans’ commentary.

I’ll have a punt on the outrights but it’s no more than that. You can almost smell my enthusiasm for this one can’t you? 

Recommended Outright Bets: 2 points on John Higgins at 16/1, 1 point each way on Martin Gould at 40/1, 0.5 point each way on Luca Brecel at 80/1.

February 10, 2016

Wednesday in Barnsley

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:26 am

Apologies for the blatant clickbait headline, think that one might break the internet but we have to do something to help this qualifying event along. It’s not so much under the radar as under a bus given the lack of attention it has received so far but for those that give a hoot, the China Open qualifiers continue today on the Costa DelBarno.

The matches are listed below as is the latest attempt to end the miserable betting run which yesterday saw Jamie Burnett let down the acca with an unexpected 5-0 drubbing by fellow Scot Ross Muir. Let’s have another go today and leave those highland derbies alone for a bit.

Wednesday  

Recommended Bet: 3 point acca pays just over 2/1 at Boyles on David Grace, David Morris, Ken Doherty, Zhou Yuelong, Mark King and Mark Allen. 1 point on Anthony Hamilton at 45/17 with Marathon Bet. 1 point on Hossein Ayouri at 9/1 with Betfred.

February 8, 2016

China Open Qualifiers

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 12:48 pm

The draw for the China Open qualifiers was eventually made on Monday at noon with the potters heading to Barnsley for Tuesday morning, hardly ideal planning.

I’ve listed the matches below in the order they are being played and will have a look at some bets when the bookies start pricing them up.

TUESDAY 9TH FEBRUARY

Tuesday 

Recommended Tuesday Acca: 2 points on Jamie Jones, Robin Hull, Jamie Burnett, Matt Selt, Jimmy Robertson, Ricky Walden and Rod Lawler pays over 4/1 at Marathon Bet. 

WEDNESDAY 10TH FEBRUARY

Wednesday

THURSDAY 11TH FEBRUARY

Thursday

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