March 1, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic Derby 8th March

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:54 am

SB2015 A4 Poster1 with amendsThe draw for this qualifier at the Cue Ball Club in Derby was made last night and can be viewed here. All first round matches will commence at 10.30am with the usual rules applying for late arrivals. Dress code is collared shirt or polo with trousers and shoes.

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.

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. 

If you would like to enter this event press Add to Cart below, then Checkout, then Pay with Credit or Debit Card and follow the instructions.


Select Event and Add to Cart

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

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.


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.

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. 

If you would like to enter this event press Add to Cart below, then Checkout, then Pay with Credit or Debit Card and follow the instructions.


Select Event and Add to Cart

January 25, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic 2015: Last Few Places Available

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:54 pm

The last few places in this season’s Snookerbacker Classic are now up for grabs. Unfortunately, there are a few who have reserved places and not paid or been in touch with me so I am now throwing open places at the following venues to the people who pay first using the Paypal link below (you don’t need a Paypal account, just a debit or credit card):




To read more about the event, click here.

Select Event and Add to Cart

December 1, 2014

SB Classic Leeds: Inspired O’Sullivan and Holder Parsons Progress

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:00 am

The weekend in Leeds saw two more players through to the list of Grand Finalists in this seasons Snookerbacker Classic as Sean ‘The Storm’ O’Sullivan and last season’s champion Ant Parsons added their names to the already high quality list of finalists.

Sean had a special reason for wanting the win.

Sean had a special reason for wanting the win.

 Saturday saw a win for Sean O’Sullivan and after he prevailed in the final against Brett Miller he dedicated his win to his best friend Billy O’Connor, who is currently fighting cancer with incredible bravery.

Sean started the day with an impressive 4-0 win over Chris Keogan while the two pre-tournament favourites to win the Classic in April, Sam Craigie and Paul Davison did battle on the main arena table. Sam came out a 4-2 winner in impressive style and many watching expected him to have a big say in the day’s events on the back of this.

It was also nice to see Jamie Barrett, an old friend of the Classic and finalist back in 2012 back competing, he’s had his own personal things going on and the man they call ‘The Bullet’ was relying on instinct having not been practising much at all, he was to eventually fall at the semi-final stage to the eventual winner, who it has to be said by then had had his fair share of Mrs SB’s Victoria Sponge cake, the cake once more proving to have the magical qualities it takes to make a winner.

Craigie was beaten in the second round by Jason Tart, who is emerging as a player to watch from this year’s tournament as is Brett Miller, who was powering his way through the field and was eventually to beat Tart in the semi-finals to set up a meeting with O’Sullivan.

Sean took command early in the final and having the extra motivation behind him, it always felt like he was destined to prevail. Brett had to console himself with being firmly established at the top of the Order of Merit List and he remains very much on course to be joining Sean at Grand Finals Day, regardless of what happens from here on in, with more than half the events now played.

Afterwards a delighted Sean turned to his motivation and told me ‘I said to you on Friday when we spoke that I’d like to stay in the tournament and win today for Billy, he’s taken a few knocks and he always gets back up again and is an inspiration to everyone around him. This win is for him and I can’t wait to get back to see him. I’m delighted to make the Grand Finals in my first year in the tournament, it’s a unique event and hopefully I can kick on in April and win it’. 

You can view all Saturday’s results by clicking here.

The Champion Returns: A familiar face has his eyes on the prize again.

The Champion Returns: A familiar face has his eyes on the prize again.

Sunday in Leeds saw an under-the-weather but as ever, fighting champion Ant Parsons get back to winning ways and set himself up to defend his crown at Gloucester next April.

Ant had been beaten in Preston by Jason Tart in his first heat back since triumphing last season but despite weathering a very heavy cold and clearly not at 100% he managed to save the best until last to see off Paul Davison in a decider on Sunday evening.

Davison and Craigie met again in Round 1 having been pitched together two days on the bounce and this time the tables were turned and it was the man they call Snowy (he did complain of cold hands during the day so maybe that’s why) who got his own back for the day before. I believe a hefty gamble has gone on Sam to win the Classic this year but as things stand he isn’t in any further qualifying events.

There were also first round wins for Marc Harman over Jason Tart, Chris Keogan over Alex Taubman, Sam Thistlewhite over Brett Miller and for Michael Whaley and Michael Rudd, reducing the number of Michael’s in that section of the draw from 3 to 2, much to the delight of an easily confused tournament director who complained of ‘too many Michaels too close together in the draw’ while Mrs SB talked to referee Rob Spencer about ironing and snooker players with receding hairlines, deep stuff.

As the day went on it was clear that Davison was going to play a big part and he only dropped one frame further on his way to the final. Ant however was not his usual self on the table and was clearly relying on his tactical rather than out and out attacking style to get him through, which it did eventually in a semi-final tussle against Sam Thistlewhite.

The final saw Parsons in much better form from 0-2 down and he started to produce snooker much like his old self and took the lead at 3-2 at a pace. It was then time for Paul Davison to produce a bit of class and a 125 clearance bagged the weekend’s £1 per point highest break prize courtesy of Apollobet, edging out Chris Keogan who had earlier knocked in 106.

The decider saw Paul in first but in failing to take full advantage, Ant then again started to motor and did enough to grab his Grand Finals place again as champion.

He said afterwards ‘I’m delighted to win today, I’ve not felt great all day but somehow I found something at the end there, I’m not sure how. Last season, Grand Finals Day was fantastic and a great memory for me and my wife Sarah. I would have hated to miss out this year and I’m really looking forward to going back and defending my title’.

You can view all Sunday’s results by clicking here

You can view the ongoing Order of Merit and Highest Break Board by clicking here. Brett Miller leads the Order of Merit, from which the top two will qualify to Grand Finals Day.

A big thanks to all at the Northern for their hospitality and to referees Alex Crum and Rob Spencer. We now take a break from the SB Classic for a bit but once we’re up and running again in February it’s a more or less straight run to the Grand Finals.

There are still a smattering of places left, click here for details.

November 24, 2014

SB Classic Leeds: The Lowdown

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:20 am

While the UK Championship is going on next weekend we also head to Yorkshire for our annual trip to the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds to find the 6th and 7th Grand Finalists of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic.

You can view the draw keep up with the progress of the Saturday qualifier as results come in by clicking here and the Sunday one by clicking here matches will commence at 10.15 am sharp on both days with the usual rules applying to late arrivals.

The dress code, as with all qualifiers is polo or collared shirt, with trousers and shoes. All matches are the best of 7 frames and will be played on a roll-on, roll-off basis.

Should the winner on Saturday also be entered on Sunday the first reserve for Sunday is Jamie Barrett.

Referees will be Rob Spencer and Alex Crum 

Big thanks to Apollobet who are putting up a £1 a point prize for the best break of the weekend.

November 19, 2014

SB Classic Leeds – Draw at 6pm

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 4:53 pm

The draw for the final two Snookerbacker Classic qualifying heats of 2014 in Leeds on 29th and 30th of November will be made at 6pm this evening.

You will be able to view Saturday’s draw on this page.

You will be able to view Sunday’s draw on this page.

You can view the Highest Break and Order of Merit tables on this page. Remember the top two players from the Order of Merit who do not win through in a qualifying event will also qualify for the Grand Finals in April.


November 17, 2014

SB Classic Preston: James Brown Bags Grand Final Spot

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 1:05 pm
Our first visit to the Elite but not our last

Our first visit to the Elite but not our last

Sunday saw the latest instalment of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic and for the first time we visited The Elite Club in Preston for a 16 player heat which was won by a new name to the event, Midlander James Brown.

Die-hard snooker fans may recognise the name of this club from a book a few years ago by Stuart Pettman; ‘As sometimes seen on TV’ which was an excellent account of life in and around this place and the circuit in general (I reviewed it at the time here). Stuart has now moved on and in his place Chris Norbury has joined Shokat Ali in taking the club forward and I have to say they are doing a great job.

It’s not your usual club, the immediate attraction from a snooker perspective is the 360 degree viewing platform from the bar area which is also furnished with lovely comfy sofas. It’s a cracking club with a chilled vibe and the players all seemed delighted to be there.

  James won’t mind me saying that he really should have been sent packing in the first round and I’m sure from that he took great confidence. His opponent Craig Millward, a local lad, missed an inexplicable frame ball pink to win a decider and James, who was on the verge of conceding the match prior to the miss, somehow ended up winning. Some days, those snooker gods are just on your side….

There was a strong performance again from Liverpool’s Josh Mulholland who made the semi finals and as a result is now in 2nd place on the Order of Merit as well as being top of the highest break board. You can view both by clicking here

The 2014 champion Ant Parsons went into the day as favourite but such is the standard this year that nobody is certain to make Grand Finals Day, we’ll see him and the man who defeated him, eventual runner up Jason Tart in Leeds in a couple of weeks time for the next set of qualifiers. Jason is in a great position to put himself in the mix in the Order of Merit having entered both the Leeds events.

I don’t know James but he told me afterwards that it was last season’s runner-up Mitchell Mann that told him about the event and that’s why he entered. He was meant to be setting sail for India for the World Amateur Championships but decided against it. Judging by watching him he’s going to be a handful for anyone come finals day.  

I’ll resist the inevitable puns on his name but he said afterwards ‘I feel good, I knew that I would now’ and when asked what he intends to spend the prize money on he simply indicated that his papa needed a brand new bag.

I’ll get mee coat.

Finally, a huge thanks as ever to the family of sponsors, to the refs Roycey and Rob Spencer, to the three Scottish boys who made a mammoth trip and lightened up the day even further with their patter and to Shokat and Chris who made us both feel really welcome in their excellent club. 

All Sunday’s results are here.

Feeling Good: James is into the Grand Finals


November 14, 2014

SB Classic Preston: The Lowdown

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:45 am

This Sunday we travel to the Elite Snooker Centre in Preston for the next qualifying leg of the Snookerbacker Classic which will decide the fifth player through to Grand Finals Day.

You can keep up with the progress of this qualifier as results come in by clicking here and the matches will commence at 10.00am sharp with the usual rules applying for late arrivals.

The dress code, as with all qualifiers is polo or collared shirt, with trousers and shoes. All matches are the best of 7 frames.

This heat sees the return of the defending champion Ant Parsons as well Liverpudlians Anthony Jeffers, who was a Grand Finalist last season and Josh Mulholland who currently tops the highest break board with 128.

The referees this Sunday are Rob Spencer and Martyn Royce.

First Round – 10am

Stevie Baillie v Brandon Crook

Majid Khan v Ant Parsons

Stephen Groves v Joe Steele

Thomas McSorley v Jason Tart

David McSorley v Josh Mulholland

Neville Whalley v Simon Blackwell

Craig Millward v James Brown

Anthony Jeffers v Michael Bamber

All matches that follow will be roll-on roll-off


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