Snookerbacker

February 27, 2015

Gdynia Open Day 2 Order of Play

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 2:11 pm

8.30am
Shaun Murphy v Jak Jones
Allan Taylor v Zak Surety
Kyren Wilson v Andrew Pagett
Joe Swail w/o Zhou Yuelong
Mark King v Dave Harold
Graeme Dott v Lu Ning
Kurt Maflin v Gareth Allen
Alan McManus v Mateusz Baranowski
Michael White v Mitchell Mann
Craig Steadman v David Greig
Noppon Saengkham v Michael Georgiou

Approx 10am
Dominic Dale v Paul S Davison
Marco Fu w/o Vinnie Calabrese
Chris Melling v Chris Norbury
Ben Woollaston v Barry Pinches
Robert Milkins v Josh Boileau
Matt Selt v Alexander Ursenbacher

Approx 10.30am
Thepchaya Un-Nooh v Jason Devaney
Oli Lines v Kacper Filipiak
Dechawat Poomjaeng v Ben Jones
Neil Robertson v Adam Duffy

Approx 11.30am
Anthony Hamilton v Michael Leslie
Fraser Patrick v Tony Drago
Chris Wakelin v David Grace
John Higgins v Cao Xin Long

Approx 12pm
Ricky Walden v Brian Cini
Mark Joyce v Christopher Keogan
Jamie Cope v Jack Lisowski
Jamie Jones v Ian Burns

Approx 1pm
Mike Dunn w/o Lu Haotian
Jimmy White v Jamie Burnett
Judd Trump v Joe O’Connor

FOLLOWED BY LATER ROUNDS.

February 26, 2015

Gdynia Open Preview: AKA Anoraks Weekend

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 1:15 pm
One for the Anoraks.

One for the Anoraks.

It’s off to Gdynia in Poland for the final European Players Tour Championship this weekend and for anyone that thinks ‘Oh it’s just another PTC’ I’d encourage them to look again.

Rather than repeat what has all been said about the will’s, the won’t’s, the might’s and the do you mind if I don’t’s, here is a handy little link and guide from Matt, who this tournament is tailor made for. He’s even booked Friday off work to tweet about it and explain how each result will affect rankings and tour places for next season. Anoraks are well and truly off.

It’s a huge competition for some who it would appear have only one way of staying on the tour next season and retaining their two year tour card, amongst those is our very own Allan Taylor who faces Zak Surety first up (interestingly, well, at least for me in a repeat of their 2012 SB Classic Quarter Final, now where did I leave that anorak?) before a likely though not certain meeting with Shaun Murphy who faces Jak Jones, a player on the cusp of overtaking Allan and a ‘must win’ against Shaun. It’s also a big event for fans of Jimmy White who is another looking to secure his tour place through this route first, though he also has a chance of doing it by staying in the top 64.

All this is as well as how it might affect the other rankings, the 24-strong line up for the Grand Finals in Bangkok and of course the 32-man line up for the World Grand Prix.

So, there is lots going on here and I dare say that some will leave this event elated and some deflated, such is the cut-throat nature of the rankings these days.

As usual, I’ll plump for a few in the outrights just for a bit of interest, but it’s lower down the list which will be the topic of conversation for much of the first two days for those pesky snooker anoraks.

The draw for the Gdynia Open is here and it will be covered as ever by Eurosport.

Recommended Outright Bets: 2 points on Mark Selby at 6/1. 2 points on Stephen Maguire at 16/1. 1 point Each Way on Marco Fu at 33/1. 0.5 point Each Way on Peter Ebdon at 80/1, Matt Selt at 80/1 and Alan McManus at 150/1.   

8.30am
Mark Selby v Rory McLeod
Tian Pengfei v Q13
Liam Highfield v Ian Glover
Stuart Bingham v Q14
Mark Williams v Lee Page
James Cahill v Tom Ford
Andrew Higginson v Peter Lines
Rod Lawler v Ali Carter
Anthony McGill v John Astley
Gary Wilson v Marcus Campbell
Zhang Anda w/o Xiao Guodong  

Approx 10am
Joe Perry v Matthew Stevens
Liang Wenbo v Q15
Robbie Williams v Q16
David Gilbert v Q17
Mark Davis v Q18
Peter Ebdon v Scott Donaldson

Approx 10.30am
Sam Baird w/o Ahmed Saif
Elliot Slessor v Q19
Jimmy Robertson v Q20
Fergal O’Brien v Lu Chenwei

Approx 11.30am
Ryan Day v Ken Doherty
Gerard Greene v Alfie Burden
Martin Gould v Q21
Luca Brecel v Hammad Miah

Approx 12pm
Michael Holt v Igor Figueiredo
Alex Davies w/o Nigel Bond
Aditya Mehta v Robin Hull
Michael Wasley v Steven Hallworth

Approx 1pm
Stuart Carrington v Q22
Joel Walker v Q23
Stephen Maguire v Ross Muir

Followed by later rounds

February 23, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic Gloucester: Wells, Evans and Harrison Join Grand Finals Field

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:08 pm

The weekend in Gloucester at the always excellent South West Snooker Academy saw three more players added to the Final 16 with a further player guaranteeing himself a spot by virtue of his Order of Merit status, leaving the race for the second place on that list wide open.

Saturday's Winner Daniel Wells

Saturday’s Winner Daniel Wells

Saturday saw a win for Welshman and former tour professional Daniel Wells, a first time entrant to the Classic who also managed to set the standard for the tournament highest break in the process.

Daniel went into the day as most people’s favourite to progress and indeed it was clear from the off that he wasn’t there to mess around, knocking in a 133 in his first match having received a bye in the first round. Putting him firmly in line to nab the £500 John Parrott Cuesports Highest Break prize at the end of the event, he was later to add a point for good luck, by compiling a 134 in his semi-final against Brett Miller, a match that Brett led 3-1 before being pegged back and beaten in a decider.

Last year’s Grand Finalist Callum Lloyd, another Welshman, in the meantime was progressing nicely through the top half of the draw, with wins over Phil O’Kane, Matt Glasby and Zack Richardson to progress to a final against his fellow countryman. The final was a rather one-sided affair and Callum never really got going as Daniel coasted to victory at the first time of asking, a trend that has been a common trait of the past 3 SB Classic champions and he I’m sure will be bang up for it on April 5th.

His 134 was also to remain the highest break of the weekend and won him the £100 prize generously donated by SBAT.com.

Off the table, there was the usual light-hearted chatter and snooker talk. Phil O’Kane again providing the entertainment along with his long suffering girlfriend Amy. Indeed the snooker wives and girlfriends are becoming a more regular feature at the SB Classic with a lot of the boys deciding to bring along their other halves. And you know what? I think it really adds to the event as a whole and I hope it continues, maybe Mrs SB’s feminine touch is encouraging the SWAG’s to come along, let’s hope so.

Anyway, Daniel left with a wide smile on his face and it was great to meet him. He’s a great lad and I’m sure he’ll be full of confidence come Grand Finals Day.

All Saturday’s results can be found here.

Reanne has qualified for the Grand Finals for the first time

Reanne has qualified for the Grand Finals for the first time

 Sunday saw a busier, more bustling vibe in Gloucester courtesy of the 32 player field (as well as the SWAG’s) and it was Reanne Evans, the Ladies World Champion for the past 100 or so years and last season’s semi-finalist and current English Amateur Champion Ben Harrison who booked their places in the Grand Finals on Easter Sunday.

Reanne received a bye in the first round because Aaron Cook had been taken ill and Mrs SB and I both wish him a speedy recovery, I’m sure his dad Rob will look after him. After this she was to gain revenge on Zack Richardson, who had beaten her on Saturday before overcoming Phil O’Kane, the newly crowned Kent Amateur Champion, a title of which he is most proud, who’d lost in the ‘Last 16′ the previous day….before coming up against that man Brett Miller again, Reanne producing a fabulous clearance when it looked for all the world like Brett was about to force a decider, to win 4-2.

Reanne is obviously a great addition to the Grand Finals line up and it’s great to see her there having got so close in the past. When she’s on her game she is a match for any of the top boys and despite nursing a sore leg throughout the day, she finally did what she’s been threatening to do for the past 3 years. She’s also won something that doubtless her very cute daughter Lauren, who spent hours entertaining us on Saturday, will write all over when she gets it home.

Ben with 2015 prize

Ben battled away to make his second Grand Finals Day

     In the other half of the draw it was Ben Harrison who landed the spoils with wins over Alan Harvey, Tom Barton, Mike Rogers and Dan Ward. Denying finalist Dan the chance to join his partner Reanne on Grand Finals Day.

Ben is the current English Amateur Champion but hasn’t been in a position to give snooker his full attention recently and is now working full time, making his achievement on Sunday all the more impressive as he hasn’t been putting in the hours that he would like to. His SWAG Charlotte looked on as Ben did his thing, again proving the old adage that behind every good man is a good SWAG. Just ask Mrs SB. 

I think Ben would be the first to admit that he wasn’t exactly ‘flying’ but sometimes you have to just bide your time, not get frustrated and play solid match snooker to win and Ben showed that he is a very mature match player these days by getting the right results when not at his best, a great quality to have as a player. That gives him plenty to build on for Grand Finals Day and it’s clear the win meant a lot to him and was a massive confidence boost.

Off the table, myself and Mrs SB were being entertained with tales of the old East End by none other than Joe Lazarus, a legend in the snooker world who’s rubbed shoulders with and probably broken a few shoulders of, snooker’s great and not-so-good.

Joe, now in his seventies though looking exactly how I remember him in the late 1980’s, recounted tales involving red-hot pokers, Bulgarian’s not behaving themselves to his high standards in hospital car parks, hiding up trees and lots of other stuff I dare not write about on here as he has my phone number, while we sat transfixed at the life he has led and experiences he has had.

He also revealed that he holds the award of Basildon’s ‘Unsung Hero’ having raised thousands for children’s charities, as he joked that he has a bit of making up to do now he’s getting a bit older. He’s clearly very proud of this and rightly so, he’s a real character and an old school gent when it comes to the ladies, apologising unreservedly when he let a profanity slip within earshot of Mrs SB. But I like to think that even this softer version of the hard man I remember probably still chews chunks of granite when he’s feeling peckish, 75 or not, you’d want him on your side if you got cornered, trust me.

Mrs SB however, could not resist telling Joe that she expected him to be ‘a good boy’ from now on and to ‘stop being naughty or you’ll have me to answer to’ and I think this might have sunk in, it’s the first time I’ve seen the man who eats nails for breakfast and could knock down a tower block with a right hook have a slight look of fear in his eyes, Mrs SB’s glares can do that. Again, trust me.

Anyway, the day was rounded off with a trip to Gloucester Quays with some bloke called Craig who keeps following me around for a bite to eat and a bit of wine. Oddly on leaving we bumped into another Grand Finalist Eden Sharav and gave him a lift home, Gloucester is a small place…

It’s Derby next on March 8th before Liverpool on 14th then it’s the Last Chance Saloon back in Gloucester on 29th, that is the only event now with any spare places available and you can enter by clicking here and scrolling down to the Paypal link.

All Sunday’s results can be found here.

A big thanks to all at the SWSA and to referees Nick Harry and Clive Brown.

ORDER OF MERIT LATEST

Following the weekend, it is now mathematically impossible for Brett Miller to be caught in the Order of Merit so Brett will also be joining the qualifiers at Grand Finals Day. He will not be entering any more qualifiers.

There remains however one more place on this list up for grabs and it is currently headed by Zack Richardson on 26, with Jason Tart (not in any further events), Josh Mulholland (entered Liverpool) Ryan Causton and Matthew Day all in the 20’s with lots of others within touching distance, including Paul Davison who is in both Derby and Liverpool.

Last season the last place went down to the last frame of the last qualifier. I wonder if this year we’ll see a similarly tense finish? 

 The latest standings can be found here.

February 20, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic Gloucester Weekend

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 12:16 pm

As the Welsh Open comes to a conclusion, this weekend we are heading to Gloucester for another round of qualifiers for this season’s Snookerbacker Classic.

You can keep in touch with Saturday’s event by clicking here.

You can keep in touch with Sunday’s event by clicking here.

You can keep up to date with the ongoing Order of Merit list by clicking here.

A big thanks to the guys at SBAT who have kindly donated £100 as a prize for the highest break of the weekend.

You can read all about this season’s SB Classic here.

Welsh Open Quarter Finals

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:43 am

LucaIt’s Quarter Final time in Cardiff and I’m pretty sure at the start of the event nobody could have expected the line up we have left. Strange things are happening out there and upsetting the snooker applecart somewhat.

I asked the question earlier, when was the last time we reached the Quarter Final stages of a ranking event where the widely acknowledged ‘Big 6′ of Ronnie, Selby, Robbo, Ding, Judd and Smurf were all absent? I’d have guessed we’d need to go back at least a decade and indeed someone came up with the answer.

Apparently, it was the 2006 Malta Cup, an event which was to become about as straight as Joe Swail’s backarm once it became a round-robin invitational in 2008. But given that of the six mentioned only half of them were in it (Selby, Robbo and Murphy) that answer just goes to show exactly how rare this is. In fact, could it conceivably be the first time ever that this has happened in an event that all six have entered?

Quite amazing John.

Anyway, there are still a few proven winners left in there in Higgins, Maguire, Fu, MJW and Ricky Walden who are all ranking winners so the odds are still heavily in favour of this not being won by a first timer. But regardless of whether they win or not, it’s a huge day for Ben Woollaston who Ali Carter told me played ‘unreal’ for three frames against him yesterday, Gary Wilson, who a few shrewdies know has it in him and Belgian Bullet Luca Brecel, who produced a fine performance yesterday to knock out Selby.

A typical Daily Mail comment poster.

A typical Daily Mail comment poster.

Luca’s interview later was full of his trademark lovely smiles and a very impressive grasp of English. He’s clearly matured a lot since I last saw him at the UK Championship and thankfully, unlike so many before him, he’s come out the other side with his talent in tact, hopefully a very bright future awaits as he is just what snooker needs.

In other lunacy. That ‘story’ otherwise known as a Twitter pisstake involving Rory’s logo has escalated courtesy of that renowned piece of arsewipe The Daily Mail. Desperation levels have sunk to a new low (or should that be high?) as they seek to stir up some racist comments by any possible means and they’ve only gone and printed it here.

Expect plenty of ‘I’m not a racist but (>insert racist comment here<)’ type comments in the Comments section, already 600 deep. This section of the website is a dangerous and inhospitable cesspit of humanity and is generally inhabited by those with an IQ slightly lower than their (UK) shoe size and a hateful mind passively dressed up with a smile and online ‘banter’, disguising their deep-rooted hatred of anything that is remotely ‘not normal’ and serial masturbation when one of their comments gets a thumbs up from a fellow fuckwit.

Maybe I should ask for a finders fee?

Anyway. here’s today. My picks would be Higgins, Williams, Woollaston and Walden. We still have Ricky at 50/1 in the outrights.

Click on the match for the head to head.

12pm
John Higgins v Stephen Maguire

NB 1pm
Marco Fu v Mark Williams

7pm
Ben Woollaston v Gary Wilson
Ricky Walden v Luca Brecel

THANKS AS EVER TO MONIQUE FOR THE IMAGE. YOU CAN VIEW HER GALLERY OF SNAPS ON FACEBOOK HERE.

February 19, 2015

Welsh Open Last 16

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:30 am
Maths Rage: Dazza's interesting interview technique.

Maths Rage: Dazza’s interesting interview technique.

We’re now down to the two table situation in Cardiff and although this round is still only the best of 7 frames, perhaps now the tournament will start to feel more like a proper ranking event than a bog standard PTC.

Yesterday was notable mainly for the match between Matthew Stevens and Ronnie O’Sullivan. A grumpy looking and unshaven Rocket ‘crashing’ out with a whimper following a careless display which saw him throw away a match he should really have won.

After an altercation with a camera person earlier in the match, Ronnie when 3-2 up missed a straightforward yellow for the match which Darren Morgan later described as ‘one he would pot 100 times out of 100′, before further upping the stakes to ‘1000 out of 1000′ even though he’d claimed that one was the 101st time he’d played it – yes, I don’t get that either, perhaps he should just have said it was an unexpected miss rather than demonstrating his total misunderstanding of mathematics and percentages. Anyway, he missed it and that’s that and he’s out.

The post-match interview saw Ronnie back to his old self when quizzed by the hacks, lamenting on the length of time it’s been since Matthew last beat him he mused  “That’s another one that has beaten me after a long time, fuck it, I’m bang in trouble – fucking hell, I’ve got no chance.” I make that a round £500. Pay up.

Matthew meanwhile was busy being strangled in the studio by Darren, who made great pains to say that he was a mate of his, if that’s a mate I wouldn’t like to be his enemy. Perhaps our Dazza was simply trying to make the audience watching forget what a total arse he’d made of himself earlier. Anyway, Matthew escaped with his life and along with MJW continues to fly the flag for the watching Welshies.

Before racism was wrong.

Before racism was wrong.

The BBC Wales coverage is a joy to behold (if you are Alf Garnett), the blatant jingoism that accompanies each sentence when a Welsh player is playing would border on offensive if it wasn’t so funny.

We’re used to it in China, where some audience members have been rumoured to shout ‘Burn the Foreign Devil!!’ when one of their own is in play, the Welsh don’t quite go that far (yet) but it’s still good old fashioned racism that shines through when one of their boys is playing. It’s like the last 30 years never really happened, perhaps they didn’t in Wales and racism is still OK.

Anyway, bettingwise we still have Judd (9/1), Ricky Walden (50/1) and Ali Carter (100/1) in the mix from the four selections so hopefully they can kick on to make the best of 9’s tomorrow.

Here’s today’s order of play.

1pm
Michael Georgiou v John Higgins
Luca Brecel v Mark Selby

NB 2pm
Mark Williams v Judd Trump
Ben Woollaston v Ali Carter

7pm
Matthew Stevens v Marco Fu
Stephen Maguire v Alan McManus

NB 8pm
Stuart Bingham v Ricky Walden
Gary Wilson v Neil Robertson

February 18, 2015

Welsh Open Last 32

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:16 am
We're down to 4 tables now.

We’re down to 4 tables now.

It’s Last 32 day over in Cardiff today as we get down to a 4 table set up at the car boot sale. Yesterday was slightly less eventful on the table as the fall out continued from Ronnie’s comments from day one, with some players and predictably the Chairman hitting back and praising the venue.

I also discovered yesterday that Rory McLeod had decided to block me on Twitter, this possibly followed the furore that I admit I created in jest on Monday night, but poor old Rory obviously failed to see the funny side or grasp my rather twisted sense of humour, believing instead presumably that I actually believed that he was sponsored by a load of froth-mouthed, brainwashed, bloodthirsty savages and not by an investment company, who I must say are doing quite well for publicity out of this.

For clarification, Rory is NOT sponsored by a load of fanatics in Syria and any misunderstanding on anyone’s part that he was is more to do with their own stupidity than anything I have done.

Maybe he just blocked me because I’m an atheist and he posts links from a muslim site that attacks the likes of us and in very grown up fashion blots out the faces of famous unbelievers such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, thus encouraging adult and informed debate.

Anyway, back to the snooker and there was still some criticism yesterday, not this time about the venue, more about that old chestnut, the playing conditions, with Rob Milkins claiming they were the worst he’s ever encountered.

This led to a twitter chat again and I was rather surprised when Mark Allen revealed that at one venue, when he complained about the lighting he was told that it was more important that the spectators got to see the action than the players playing in acceptable conditions, this came from a prominent figure in World Snooker. I suppose that’s what happens when you have a regime that values entertainment over sport.

LesTalking of entertainment, the bloke in the studio at BBC Wales is providing us with plenty. It’s becoming something of a surprise when he gets one of the players names right, yesterday he proclaimed that Stephen McManus had just won, which was kind of right as they both had but I’m sure Alan Maguire was left feeling a little aggrieved.

At least he has Dom Dale there to help him along, Dom’s a very demonstrative character and uses his hands a lot when he speaks, I noticed yesterday that he quite liked moving them into a position akin to the cupping of female breasts, in a kind of 1970’s Les Dawson style. I don’t know if this is subconscious but for any deaf viewers watching who can’t lip-read they must wonder what he’s going on about.

On the table, there was another awful performance by Ding Junhui, who is now getting to the point where the whole season is looking like a write-off, credit to local boy Lee Walker for his performance as it’s a long time since he’s been on the big stage but Ding seems to have totally lost his way this season. All very peculiar.

In fact it wasn’t a great day for China at all as it was announced that the Wuxi Classic is to join the World Open on the snooker scrapheap. Is the love affair with snooker in China coming to a messy end? It’s probably too early to say that but word on the street is that pool is quickly overtaking snooker in the hearts of the Chinese people, perhaps the snooker revolution is fizzling out, we’ll have to wait and see how this pans out as Bazza and Jason scour the globe for new markets. I’d try Russia personally.

Bettingwise, we still have 3 of the 4 recommended outrights left in, after the misguided punt on Ding, so hopefully they won’t all be sent packing today.

Here’s the schedule for today.

12pm
Matt Selt v Ali Carter
Joe Perry v Gary Wilson

1pm
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Matthew Stevens
Mark Allen v Ben Woollaston

NB 2pm
Michael Georgiou v Graeme Dott
Martin Gould v Ricky Walden
Peter Ebdon v Mark Selby
Jamie Cope v Neil Robertson

7pm
Alan McManus v Aditya Mehta
Luca Brecel v Oliver Brown
Liang Wenbo v John Higgins
Jamie Jones v Mark Williams

NB 8pm
Stephen Maguire v Sam Baird
Stuart Bingham v Michael White
Ashley Carty v Marco Fu
Michael Wasley v Judd Trump

THANKS AS EVER TO MONIQUE FOR THE IMAGES. YOU CAN VIEW HER GALLERY OF SNAPS ON FACEBOOK HERE.

February 17, 2015

Welsh Open Day 2

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:04 am
Ronnie doesn't like the new venue.

Ronnie doesn’t like the new venue.

It’s Day 2 in Cardiff and as ever it was a certain Mr O’Sullivan who dominated the headlines yesterday, this time more for his off the table comments than on the table genius.

On finishing his first match against Vinnie Calabrese, he charged to the BBC Wales studio to declare the venue ‘substandard’, ‘like a shopping mall’, ‘like playing in a car boot sale’ and ‘like an aircraft hangar’. I think that means he doesn’t like it.

Terry Griffiths, not a man known for outbursts, if you discount that time he called Judd Trump a cunt live on air, sat next to the rather erratic Rocket looking slightly uncomfortable. This after all, is the big event in Wales and snooker’s biggest name was putting the boot in to this choice of new venue. You can watch it here.

This was a particularly different Ronnie than we are used to seeing of late. Short hair which looked a bit like he’d cut it himself when he was bored, cocky body language and smirky grins being a far cry from the Steve Peters model professional he has been for the past three seasons. The chimp was definitely out of its box yesterday and last night he looked bored out of his skull as the hapless Rory McLeod snatched defeat from the gaping jaws of victory to ensure we get to see the errant Rocket again tomorrow. I don’t know about you, but I’ve rather missed barnpot Ronnie and it’s nice to see that he’s still in there somewhere, if only in short bursts.

Awkward.

Awkward.

Rory himself caused quite a stir over on Twitter by virtue of some shit-stirrer (me) tweeting a picture of his sponsors logo, the unfortunately named 1SIS, and being re-tweeted quite a few times. Rory being a devout Muslim and striding out proudly sporting this logo being one of the more unfortunate coincidences in the history of our great sport. But I suppose you don’t bite the hand that feeds and in the spirit of our great chairman, if the bunce is on the table, you shouldn’t go worrying your little head about where it came from. It’s bizznizz after all.

Anyway, back to the set up and format, as all of you know by now I think this tournament is a shadow of what it used to be. This idiotic race to have all the players at the venue is backfiring quicker than Rory’s logo choice and it’s clear that the venue, when it can cope (here), is as unsuitable for top level snooker, as it is when it can’t cope (York).

Also, according to those who were there yesterday, it’s bloody freezing with an arctic wind being blasted at the faithful fans in the stands who sit there shivering in their bobble hats and anoraks, braving this harsh, hostile climate until the last bus home at 10 o’clock. Poor sods.

I don’t disagree with the flat 128 structure and fully support the reward at the end of the season being a Crucible spot for the top 16, but there is nothing wrong with playing 2 rounds of qualifiers elsewhere and taking 32 to the venue. It’s still the same for everyone and would make the early matches a far more appealing TV spectacle than we saw yesterday, that’s of course if any station actually decides to air all the TV table matches, perhaps the crew needed to catch the bus last night too. They could also make the matches a bit longer then too.

Here is the order of play today. Rant over, for now.

10.30am
Ryan Day v Noppon Saengkham
Stephen Maguire v Duane Jones
John Higgins v Michael Leslie
Graeme Dott v Zak Surety
Andrew Higginson v Chris Wakelin
Liang Wenbo v Cao Xin Long
Gerard Greene v Daniel Wells
Jamie Burnett v Alex Borg
Kurt Maflin v Liam Highfield
Robbie Williams v Dave Harold
Fergal O’Brien v Sam Baird

NB 12pm
Mark Selby v Alex Davies
Michael White v Ross Muir
Stuart Bingham v Chuan Leong Thor
Robert Milkins v Luca Brecel
Peter Lines v Michael Georgiou
Alan McManus v Jamie Clarke
Anthony Hamilton v Ahmed Saif
Aditya Mehta v Sydney Wilson
Kyren Wilson v Robin Hull
Nigel Bond v Chris Melling
Marcus Campbell v Stuart Carrington

NB 2.30pm
Ding Junhui v Lee Walker
Barry Hawkins v Scott Donaldson
Ricky Walden v Lu Ning
Peter Ebdon v Tony Drago
Martin Gould v Jak Jones
Rod Lawler v Hammad Miah
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v Mitchell Mann
Mike Dunn v Oliver Brown
Jimmy Robertson v Igor Figueiredo
Tom Ford v Tian Pengfei

7pm
Marcus Campbell/Stuart Carrington v Mark Selby/Alex Davies
Andrew Higginson/Chris Wakelin v Graeme Dott/Zak Surety
Liang Wenbo/Cao Xin Long v Gerard Greene/Daniel Wells
Jamie Burnett/Alex Borg v John Higgins/Michael Leslie
Stephen Maguire/Duane Jones v Kurt Maflin/Liam Highfield
Robbie Williams/Dave Harold v Fergal O’Brien/Sam Baird
Alan McManus/Jamie Rhys Clarke v Anthony Hamilton/Ahmed Saif
Stuart Bingham/Chuan Leong Thor v Kyren Wilson/Robin Hull

NB 8pm
Ding Junhui/Lee Walker v Peter Lines/Michael Georgiou
Aditya Mehta/Sydney Wilson v Barry Hawkins/Scott Donaldson
Nigel Bond/Chris Melling v Michael White/Ross Muir
Martin Gould/Jak Jones v Rod Lawler/Hammad Miah
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh/Mitchell Mann v Ricky Walden/Lu Ning
Robert Milkins/Luca Brecel v Tom Ford/Tian Pengfei
Mike Dunn/Oliver Brown v Ryan Day/Noppon Saengkham
Peter Ebdon/Tony Drago v Jimmy Robertson/Igor Figueiredo

February 16, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic Gloucester Weekend Details

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:18 pm

SB2015 A4 Poster1 with amendsAfter an extended rest period it’s back on the road with the Snookerbacker Classic this weekend as we head to Gloucester to find a further 3 Grand Finalists.

The draw for Saturday’s event can be found by clicking here.

Players should note that all matches on Saturday will commence at 12 noon, so please make sure you are at the venue in plenty of time.

There will be one qualifier from Saturday’s event.

The draw for Sunday’s event can be found by clicking here.

Players drawn to play in the top half of the draw (Matches 1-8) will commence their matches at 9.30am. Players drawn to play in the bottom half of the draw (Matches 9-16) should report to the venue at 11am and be ready to play their match as the first session matches finish.

There will be 2 qualifiers from Sunday’s event.

All the information about this year’s tournament is here, including links to reports from all of the qualifiers so far.

The ongoing Order of Merit can be viewed here, the top two from this list who do not make the Grand Finals by another route will also make the Grand Finals. The current leader Brett Miller is involved in both events this weekend.

You can view the full terms and conditions of entry here.

The only few places left this season now are in the final qualifying event in Gloucester on Sunday 29th March which will decide the final two qualifiers for the Grand Finals as well as the conclusion of the Order of Merit list standings. 

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February 15, 2015

Welsh Open Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:35 pm
Wales: Where men are men and the women do the ironing.

Wales: Where men are men and the women do the ironing.

Monday sees the start of the Welsh Open and a new home for the event in Cardiff. Unfortunately, the move has not been accompanied by reverting the format of the event back to one more befitting this once prestigious fixture in the calender. In fact, for me it’s now little more than a slightly more interesting PTC.  

The tournament, formerly known as ‘The Regal Welsh’ after a brand of Embassy fags (and still referred to as such by the holder, Ronnie O’Sullivan) has a rich history. It started off as a ‘taffs only’ event to find out who would have bragging rights in the valleys in 1980, but reverted to a full ‘open’ tournament in 1992 when Stephen Hendry became the first champion. Indeed, the only Welshman to have lifted the title since this shift is Mark Williams and it’s become synonymous over recent years as an event which sees the Welsh boys under-performing, much to the collective woe of the ‘fiercely’ Welsh and patriotic locals.

Since Bazza came to the helm, he’s fiddled with this so much that now we are down to opening rounds stuffed full of players and best of 7’s in a roll-on roll-off format. Sounds like a PTC to me.

It’s a shame because Wales was and is still a real hotbed for snooker. Possibly because the Welsh generally have a slightly worrying obsession with male bonding, but also because Wales is a place that only gets about 3 hours of sunlight a day, where sheep are fair game and where most inhabitants live in disused mine-shafts and quarries, so there’s not that much else to do there apart from snooker, a bit of rugby, the sheep and some close-harmony singing.

Anyway, my usual tactic on PTC’s is to just have a speculative gamble at the outrights. At least here from the Quarter Finals the matches get a bit longer so it’s just a case of your selections scrambling through the mesh that awaits them for the first few rounds.

It’s covered on BBC Wales and Eurosport and Ronnie certainly put on a show in Newport last year, in the only memorable match of the event, which was also the longest one. Indeed, a lot of the players, Ronnie included, thought Newport was one of the best venues on the circuit and were sorry to see it moved. How will Cardiff go down? We’ll have to wait and see….

You can view the draw for this here and below you can see the conveyer-belt schedule. Sad for an event with a decent history such as this, not one of Bazza’s finest hours this one.

Recommended Outright Bets: 2 points on Judd Trump at 10/1. 2 points on Ding Junhui at 18/1. 1 point each way on Ali Carter at 100/1. 1 point each way on Ricky Walden at 50/1.

Monday 
10.30am

Mark Williams v Lu Haotian
Mark Allen v Alexander Ursenbacher
Shaun Murphy v Steven Hallworth
Dominic Dale v Michael Wasley
Michael Holt v Ashley Carty
Alfie Burden v Andrew Norman
Dechawat Poomjaeng v Allan Taylor
Jamie Jones v Chris Norbury
Jack Lisowski v Li Hang
Cao Yupeng v Craig Steadman
Ben Woollaston v Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon

NB 12pm
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Vinnie Calabrese
Matthew Stevens v Oliver Lines
Marco Fu v Ian Glover
Ken Doherty v Zhou Yuelong
Rory McLeod v Andrew Pagett
Jimmy White v Barry Pinches
Dark Mavis v Lyu Chenwei
Xiao Guodong v Joe Swail
Mark Joyce v Joel Walker
Matt Selt v Ian Burns
Mark King v Eden Sharav

NB 2.30pm
Judd Trump v James Wattana
Neil Robertson v James Cahill
Joe Perry v Lee Page
Ali Carter v Fraser Patrick
Yu Delu W/O John Sutton
Gary Wilson v Zhang Anda
David Gilbert v John Astley
Anthony McGill v David Grace
Jamie Cope v Elliot Slessor
David Morris v Joe O’Connor

7pm
Ronnie O’Sullivan/Vinnie Calabrese v Rory McLeod/Andrew Pagett
Ken Doherty/Zhou Yuelong v Matthew Stevens/Oliver Lines
Michael Holt/Ashley Carty v Alfie Burden/Andrew Norman
Dechawat Poomjaeng/Allan Taylor v Marco Fu/Ian Glover
Shaun Murphy/Steven Hallworth v Jamie Jones/Chris Norbury
Jimmy White/Barry Pinches v Mark Williams/Lu Haotian
Dominic Dale/Michael Wasley v Jack Lisowski/Li Hang
Mark Allen/Alexander Ursenbacher v Cao Yupeng/Craig Steadman

NB 8pm

Mark Joyce/Joel Walker v Judd Trump/James Wattana
Ben Woollaston/Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon v Dark Mavis/Lyu Chenwei
Xiao Guodong/Joe Swail v Matt Selt/Ian Burns
Mark King/Eden Sharav v Ali Carter/Fraser Patrick
Joe Perry/Lee Page v Yu De Lu
Gary Wilson/Zhang Anda v David Gilbert/John Astley
Anthony McGill/David Grace v Jamie Cope/Elliot Slessor
David Morris/Joe O’Connor v Neil Robertson/James Cahill

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