The wait is finally over. Click here to see who are the winners and losers at this year’s annual Willie Awards.
May 27, 2014
February 3, 2014
Congratulations to Mark Pitfield who stormed home in the German Masters Tipster Contest and lands the £50 free bet from Apollobet.
The Top 3 were:
1. Mark Pitfield – 272 points (£50 free bet)
2. Thomas Glanville – 238 points (£25 free bet)
3. Rich – 227 points (£25 free bet)
A big thanks to Rob Freeman for marking it for me as I was too lazy to do it.
Prize winners should contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details on how to collect their prize.
Thanks as ever to Apollobet for their generosity.
January 28, 2014
I’m testing a new comments system on the blog, powered by Disqus. You might be asked to register – for free – or you can sign in with your Twitter or Facebook account when you post a comment if you prefer.
At the moment the blog gets thousands of spam comments a day – although there are systems in place to deal with them it still takes up a lot of time, so this is an experiment to see if we can solve the problem.
Previous comments are currently being transferred to the new system but as there are thousands it will take a short while to complete.
January 17, 2014
I’ve just been reminded on Twitter that the blog is four years old today. I might buy a cake.
How’s that for an understated birthday?
September 15, 2013
We have just completed the draws for the opening two qualifying events of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic and you can see who plays who by playing the two videos below.
The first video is for Saturday 28th September and the second one is for Sunday 29th September, both take place at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester.
If you would rather not sit through these two pieces of lunacy you can click here to view the draws and the match start times.
WARNING: BOTH VIDEOS CONTAIN HENS, IMPRESSIONS OF HENS AND THE BOTTOM ONE ALSO INCLUDES A DUCK.
June 11, 2013
It’s a very modern phenomenon and would have been unheard of 20 years ago, but it’s real and I think I am going through it at the moment. Ladies and Gentlemen, I think I have Blogger’s Block.
Writer’s Block is well known, it’s got everyone at one point or another. There are pieces of advice to beat it out there, usually written by people who don’t write for a living.
‘Work on more than one project at a time’ they say. ‘Change your routine’ they scoff. ‘Stop worrying about being original’ they bark. But my personal very unhelpful top tip has to be ‘Examine Deep-Seated Issues Behind Your Writer’s Block’ – presumably this inner-journey is concluded by a very dark episode with a pearl-handled revolver, a glass of fine single malt, a Cuban cigar, a photograph of your loved ones and your very last tear stained epic left atop of your beloved mahogany writing bureau.
Let’s not go there.
I thought I was alone until I read a tweet last night from Matt at Pro Snooker Blog who seemed to whimsically indicate that this was an annual event in the calendar for him at precisely this time of year. He even gave it a little name making it sound like something he actually didn’t mind having?? Even top scribe and snooker nut Dave Hendon wrote a piece yesterday about cues which screamed denial. Regular bloggers without whom the snooker season would not be half the fun it is seem to have gone into hibernation or temporary limbo.
In short, IT’S EVERYWHERE.
So what causes it? Well, I can only speak from personal experience and draw the non-conclusion that it could be a number of things. Is it the blogger’s equivalent of burn-out? Could be….. Is it the fact there is so much snooker on that it can sometimes feel like you are a hamster on a wheel, living Groundhog Day over and over again? Could be…. Is it the beginning of the end? Is it a realisation that you have done what you can and have nothing else left to say? Could be…. Is it the changing of the seasons or the tides of the sea? Could be…. Is it Henry the mild-mannered Janitor? Probably not.
Regular readers of this tripe will know that I frequently make reference to there being too much snooker, I do believe that in order to keep a sport interesting there needs to be some period of rest, some downtime. Like any relationship absence can make the heart grow fonder and with due respect to the potters on their way to the latest Asian PTC which starts properly tomorrow, I couldn’t really give a monkeys who wins it.
Perhaps Blogger’s Block is as Matt describes, simply an annual thing which is as regular as clockwork, perhaps I have always had it or perhaps once you get over three years of blogging in the bag it sets in. One thing I do know is that when I was on holiday with Mrs SB last week I didn’t miss blogging one bit and casting my mind back three years, I am pretty sure that I did when I was away for a week back then.
One thing I did do though is think about how to freshen the blog up a bit and I did have an idea which I think could have some mileage. The downside is that it involves me climbing into the loft at SB Mansions first to dig out a stack of old magazines (no not those type of magazines), I mean old snooker magazines and I will probably get round to doing that at the weekend and then see what develops.
This piece might also sound and probably is utterly self-indulgent and I am always mindful of something that I read which I think Chris Evans said once when talking about a time when he was acting like a complete bellend. He said ‘you stop being entertaining when you think you are the news’, or something like that. Roughly translated I think it means that once your head disappears so far up your own arse that all you can see is your intestines then you might as well pack it in as nobody is listening to you anymore.
But in writing this I am following my own piece of advice, write yourself out of it, confront it head on and beat it into the ground. That’s what I usually do when confronted with a problem and so it seems the natural way to do it and you know what? I already feel a bit better.
So all that is left is to offer my sincere apologies to those who wanted, quite understandably, to read something about snooker on a snooker blog, if that is you read this far down.
Normal service will be resumed shortly, I’m fairly sure it will anyway.
May 31, 2013
Tomorrow is the day that myself and my lovely wife accompanied by our two faithful hounds head to the hills for a spot of walking in the middle of nowhere and as a consequence of the sometimes appreciated lack of contact with the outside world, the blog is having a few well-earned days off.
Unfortunately, I still work on bluff old traditionalist time and still feel a little uncomfortable with snooker going on while the UK enjoys its annual three and a half hours of sunshine. I am getting used to it but it may take a little longer. Hence, this is the time of year that it’s most convenient to go away before the proper season starts.
Unfortunately, Barry Hearn having made his millions already only believes in sunning himself while everyone else has to work for him so the snooker rages on at a pace while we are away with the conclusion of the Australian Open qualifiers and a PTC taking place in somewhere called Bulgaria of all places, whatever will he dream up next from his big pond full of fish that all have names that he writes down?
So while I’m away, I won’t, unlike my fellow Scouse quartet, apart from the two ones that are dead, be writing home every day or sending any of my loving to you, most of you will be glad to hear.
To keep in touch with all things snooker, the live scores are the first port of call for the Aussie qualifiers and if you want to read about the Bulgarian PTC then here’s the draw and the format of that event which starts in the middle of next week.
For a bet, keep your eyes peeled for value and don’t forget to check out blog partners Apollobet by clicking the banner below.
But from me, for a few days at least, I bid you farewell. If I fail to return by Saturday please alert the emergency services in Snowdonia National Park. Thanks in advance.
May 24, 2013
A very quick note to say that as of today I will be gradually moving all updates about the blog and the Snookerbacker Classic to this page on Facebook.
So if you want to keep up to date with new posts, competitions on the blog, general snooker news and deadlines and updates on the Snookerbacker Classic, please just press the ‘Like’ button by clicking that thumb thing and then it’s sorted.
P.S. The blog itself will remain the same, this is just if you are on Facebook and want prompts when posts go up. I’ll keep annoying everyone on Twitter too so no change there.
May 23, 2013
This season’s Snookerbacker Classic will see a number of changes. There will be more prize money, an order of merit list and three new venues. There will also be Ref School, an initiative I have been discussing with qualified referee Martyn Royce, who has just finished a stint at Q-School.
Martyn and I would like to encourage new referees into snooker by giving them the opportunity to get involved in the SB Classic next season. We both share a passion to nurture a new crop of gloved-up, eagle-eyed snooker referees.
But enough from me, here is Martyn himself to explain everything and tell you why you should consider getting involved with Ref School.
“Being a snooker referee might not appear to be the most glamorous of roles. Without delving beneath the surface you could be forgiven for thinking it’s simply a case of standing around a green table with two other people wearing white gloves and taking balls out of pockets. But the beautiful thing about being a referee is that you don’t have to be any good at playing the game to don those white gloves and get involved. Whether you’re young or old, male or female, short or tall, anyone can be a snooker referee – even you“.
“My name is Martyn and I have been a qualified snooker referee since March 2009. Over the years I have refereed countless hundreds of frames and overseen dozens upon dozens of matches. I have had the pleasure of refereeing every standard imaginable, right from club level players simply out to have a good time through to the world’s finest professionals playing for the crowds and making their living. Every single shot in every one of those matches brings with it a different challenge, and it’s this challenge which I thrive upon as a referee. I love being the ‘man in the middle’ and being at the heart of the action, and I would love to see more referees enter the fold and take the stage themselves”.
“The Snookerbacker Classic has become an established series of fixtures in the amateur snooker calendar. With the 2014 competition comes a number of big, exciting new changes and the Snookerbacker Ref School is one of them. I will be leading a scheme across all the competition dates whereby you can get hands-on experience of refereeing if you’ve never tried it before. Everything from etiquette and positioning around the table, preparing the table ready for a match and pre/post-match routines will be covered. I will be there every step of the way giving help and advice as you take your first steps to becoming a fully fledged referee”.
“If you have the drive and commitment to become a referee, I have the drive and commitment to get you on the right track”.
“If you’d like to know more then e-mail me at: email@example.com and tell me why you’d like to be a part of Ref School and what (if anything) has stopped you from refereeing before. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, but you are welcome to travel to whichever event you wish if your initial choice is full. So what are you waiting for? Break out of your shell, sign up for Ref School and make your first steps towards the bright lights of the Crucible”.
So there you have it. A chance for budding referees with little or no prior experience to get involved in the UK’s biggest amateur snooker tournament. Who knows? One day you might be the man or woman in the middle on the biggest stage of them all. Don’t forget, the email to get in touch is firstname.lastname@example.org – what are you waiting for?
You can also follow Martyn on Twitter by clicking here – ask him loads of questions.
May 21, 2013
During the course of running the last 2 Snookerbacker Classics I have been lucky enough to meet some great people. Not only the players but those who work hard behind the scenes to support snooker at grassroots level in the UK.
One of those people is Simon Goldstein, whose son Tom has played in a couple of events and hopes to build on those performances in this season’s Classic. He’s even got his own website, it’s here.
Now, as well as Simon sharing my taste in the more eclectic corners of 1980’s music, he also shares my ‘give it a go’ attitude and is working hard in his local area of Grantham to grow snooker at a junior level.
He’s also a cheeky blighter and approached me a few weeks ago about a possible prize offering for his forthcoming event, the Grantham Junior Open on Sunday 7th July.
Once he had applied the thumbscrews and instructed his cocker spaniel to be on alert I caved in with very little resistance and offered up two free entries to an event in Gloucester next February to the winner and the runner-up of the aptly named ‘Ambitions Cup’.
Simon says “As a snooker Dad, I have been to many snooker competitions in the last 5 years and so wanted to give a bit back in organising my own. I am lucky to have the right ingredients to promote this event with the friendliest of snooker clubs – ‘Grantham Snooker and Pool Club’, top class sponsors and a network of junior players. I look forward to making this event a huge success and hopefully continue with more events as the need grows”.
I’m very happy to support the tournament and would like to wish all the players competing the very best of luck and I look forward to welcoming the winner and runner-up to the SB Classic.
How to Enter:
If you are under 18 as of 6th July 2013, what the devil are you waiting for? Get your name down.
To enter the tournament contact Simon by email on Goldstein_simon@hotmail.com or via Twitter by following him @simongold or you can call the Grantham Snooker and Pool Club on 01476 564525. You can also text Simon on 07827 242936 and the entry fee to the event is just £10.
So, for just a tenner you could end up in one of the Q-School slots on offer in the Snookerbacker Classic 2014 and begin your career in the sport.
FULL DETAILS OF THE 2014 SNOOKERBACKER CLASSIC WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON AND PRIZE MONEY IS NOW INCREASING TO OVER £6000 WITH NEW INITIATIVES INCLUDING NEW VENUES, AN ORDER OF MERIT LIST AND ROYCEY’S REF SCHOOL.