January 18, 2017

Snooker Legends Launches Revamped World Seniors Championship

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:58 am

Some off table news this morning as Jason Francis, the founder of the hugely successful Snooker Legends Tour has announced the revamping of the World Seniors Championship which he will be running this year. It’s a new and exciting model with the necessary nod to nostalgia that perhaps it lost when it opened up to main tour professionals, one of whom at the ripe of age of 39 ended up winning it.

There are at least two reasons to get excited about this new development. Firstly, it is open only to amateur players, whether they have been on the tour in the past or not, the only criteria being they must be 40 or over, so this really opens it up to some of the old guard who I know still like to keep their eye in. Secondly, the eventual champion will not only carry off a £10,000 first prize but they will also receive a place in the Betfred World Snooker Championship qualifiers at Ponds Forge in April, with the chance to compete to make it to The Crucible.

The format sees four qualifying events in Newbury, Leeds, Dublin and Nuremburg in Germany, players can enter as many of the qualifiers as they like for £100 per entry. Matches will be the best of 5 frames but if the match goes level at 2-2, a black ball respot will decide the eventual result. The qualifiers from each of the venues will then go forward to the main event at Baths Hall in Scunthorpe to join the seeded legends to battle it out for a place at Ponds Forge and the big prize.

Another headline grabber here is the presence of the Number 1 seed for the event Stephen Hendry, who will be competing in Scunthorpe hoping to recreate some of his glory days and give the World Championship another go, it would be quite something if he got to Ponds Forge and he’d definitely be a player to avoid if he gets to anything like his top game.

The event also sees none other than the Great WT, Willie Thorne dusting off his wand for the finals in Scunthorpe where he’ll join Hendry, JP, Cliff, Dennis, Bolton Stud Tony Knowles, Joe Johnson and Patsy Fagan alongside the qualifiers from the 4 events.

I know Jason is very excited about this, but it’s not without its financial risks so please do whatever you can to support the event. I think it’s definitely reigniting this to what it was meant to be in terms of nostalgia, which of course Jason does best, but the prize is really not to be sniffed at and the chance to play at Ponds Forge adds that competitive element to it.

It’s a bit of a ‘Road to Wembley’ type scenario being set out and I’m sure there are a few over 40’s out there who will fancy their chances in this, I’m thinking of players like Darren Morgan who I’m sure will have his name down for this pretty sharpish. One thing is for sure, whoever ends up winning it will not be a pushover at Ponds Forge and will stand a realistic chance there.

You can read the press release here which also contains the terms and conditions of entry. Entries will open on Monday, I’ll post the link to enter on here.

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