Snookerbacker

February 12, 2016

Snookerbacker Classic Gloucester Details

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:02 am

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.

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 1, 2016

SB Classic: Resurgent Croft Clinches Grand Finals Spot

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:53 am

A late night finish yesterday at the excellent Elite Snooker Club in Preston saw a win for former professional Stephen Croft who defeated Alex Taubman in a deciding frame to clinch his place in the Grand Finals on April 3rd, the fifth player to do so.

Crafty Crofty is into the Last 16

Crafty Crofty is into the Last 16

Stephen or ‘Crofty’ has been taking a rest from snooker, well not so much a rest as a full-on generation off, he’s been back playing for just under a month after the best part of ten years away from the baize and despite this match rustiness he managed to battle his way through a very tough field. The Merseyside man took the time off to raise a young family and despite having moved to Darwen, he’s still very much an exiled scouser and a very popular figure amongst the players who all seemed glad to see him back.

Stephen joins fellow scouser Brian Robertson, Marc Davis, Elliot Slessor and Ant Parsons in the Grand Finals with 11 more names to be added. There was some consolation for runner up Taubman, who’d come through a very tense battle in the semi-finals against John Whitty, as he’s now 5 points clear at the top of the Order of Merit and very much in the driving seat to take his place in Gloucester through that route.

I was once again really impressed by The Elite, it’s a cracking club run by proper snooker people. We were made to feel very at home from our arrival and Shokat Ali and Chris Norbury couldn’t do enough to help, the tables were also in fantastic condition and I can’t wait to go back there again next season. Chris himself knocked in two centuries but lost in a high quality match to Whitty earlier on in the day, he’s coming back for more in later qualifiers when he hopes to have put a bit more practice in, so he’s got to be a contender for the Grand Finals also.

You can check all the results from Preston here and the highest break table and Order of merit can be viewed here.

January 3, 2016

January on the Baize and a Snookerbacker Classic Update

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 4:37 pm
The Masters at Ally Pally is the highlight of the month.

The Masters at Ally Pally is the highlight of the month.

After the Christmas and New Year break it’s now full steam ahead on the baize as a packed schedule takes us all right back to The Crucible in April, with very little time to catch our breath in between then and now.

Before we know it we’ll be back in Sheffield for what I enjoy probably more than any of the main ranking events apart of course from the World Championship itself; namely the qualifiers for the big one which start on April 6th over at Ponds Forge, but there’s a lot more before that including The Masters which starts next Sunday.

Monday 4th January however sees the rather more sedate oak-beamed mock-Tudor surroundings of Crondon Park play host once again to the Championship League, a tournament which sees the bookies topping up their satchels each year at the expense of those who think they can make a few quid on it and punters who would bet on two flies crawling up a wall.

More interesting to me, no not the size of the chairs or the fabled Crondon breakfasts, will be the form of Ronnie O’Sullivan, who surprisingly perhaps has got involved in the league from the start. He’s had mixed fortunes in the past at Crondon but presumably this year it’s all about his preparation for The Masters, as he can’t be too match sharp as things stand having last been seen being beaten fairly and squarely by Stuart Carrington in the German qualifiers. He’ll need to get a lot sharper quite quickly to compete at Ally Pally in my opinion.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Championship League, you can read up on it to your heart’s content by clicking here.

The Masters remains of course one of the highlights of the seasonal calendar and you can take a look at the draw and the order of play for that by clicking here, the opening match on Sunday sees the holder Shaun Murphy taking on Mark Allen. A full comprehensive preview will be up on here at some point this week. 

The Masters is followed by another trip to Crondon and also The World Seniors, won last year by 39 year old geriatric Mark Williams, which this year moves to the Preston Guild Hall. The qualifiers have already been played and those who made it through will join MJW and co for a tournament which I can’t help thinking has lost it’s way a little, being now played out by mostly main tour players rather than the golden faces of the 80’s which launched it in a more nostalgic and to my mind fitting light.

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The end of the month also sees the next installment of the Snookerbacker Classic, this time from Chris Norbury’s excellent Elite Snooker Club in Preston, where 16 players will compete to see who can join the Grand Finalists so far, Brian Robertson, Marc Davis, Elliot Slessor and 2014 champion Ant Parsons.

Incidentally anyone who has reserved a place and is yet to pay for any of the remaining events needs to do so now as fees are now due for all qualifiers. If you have reserved a place but not paid or been in touch with me to arrange an extension, or indeed been given an extension and missed it your place is no longer guaranteed.

As things stand, because of late payers there are now places left at all the SWSA dates, these are places that have been previously reserved and are now reverting to first to pay will play. So anyone who wants to nab a place from a late or non-payer, simply make your payment by following the link below. Please note that Preston and Liverpool are both now full.


Venues and Dates



December 9, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic Leeds: Parsons Powers to Fourth Grand Finals

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:10 am

Last Saturday in Leeds saw a ‘business as usual’ display from former Snookerbacker Classic Champion Ant Parsons who became the fourth name through to the Grand Finals in April with a familiar workmanlike display, beating Ryan Causton 4-1 in the final.

I think we've been here before.

I think we’ve been here before.

While the assembled regulars at the the Northern were gathered around to watch David Grace on the TV, Ant was going about his business in typical fashion on his way to his second successive Leeds qualifier win. His opening 4-0 victory over the potentially dangerous Sam Thistlewhite signaled his intent for the day and he followed this with a 4-2 victory over Michael Whaley.

He came from 3-1 down to beat the improving Joe Roberts in the semi-finals, Joe was visibly disappointed at the end and hopefully we’ll see him again as he’s too good not to have another crack, but again Ant proved what a tough match player he is and how good he is under pressure. You can’t win this tournament overall if you haven’t got bags of bottle and Ant I’m sure would agree with that.

So he’s back to try and regain the title he lost last season. It’s his fourth consecutive Grand Finals with his pattern being Lost in QF, Winner, Lost in QF……. can he become the first player ever to win the SB Classic twice? On the basis of yesterday, he is definitely one of the front runners.

We are now closing up the Classic for the year and we return on 31st January in Preston. Later in the week I will be clarifying the position as regards the remaining events as there are now a few people who have reserved places, been given a date to pay and carelessly not done so. This means I will be cancelling a few places and offering them up for grabs, though please note that Preston is full. You can view all dates and venues here

You can view all the results from yesterday here and the ongoing SBC Score Centre which features all results in all venues so far, the highest break table and the Order of Merit can be viewed here

November 30, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic 2016: Leeds Full Details for Players and Spectators

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:15 am

SB A4 POSTERAfter the opening three qualifying heats saw Brian Robertson, Marc Davis and Elliot Slessor make their way to the Grand Finals in April, on the 5th of December we head to the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds to find qualifier number four.

Once again we have two former champions competing in the shape of 2014 winner Ant Parsons and current holder Brett Miller and they are joined by a host of top amateur players to battle out the last qualifier this side of the Christmas break. 

The full draw can be viewed here where you can also keep track of the results as they happen and all first round matches will commence at 10.15am 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.

All matches are the best of seven frames.

The referees for the day will be Rob Spencer and Alex Crum 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 one of the best clubs of it’s kind in the UK.

Snookerbacker Classic 2016: Slessor Shines in Derby

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:00 am

Sunday saw the third qualifying contest of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic and this time it was the turn of the North East’s Elliot Slessor to clinch his place at Grand Finals Day in a day of real quality on the baize.

Elliot without his prize because referee Rob Spencer forgot it.

Elliot without his prize because referee Rob Spencer forgot it.

 We haven’t seen Elliot competing in the SB Classic since the very first one back in 2012 as he’s been busy on the professional circuit since. But he came through an extremely tough field and managed to knock out 2014 champion Ant Parsons on his way to victory in the final against Tom Barton who had earlier knocked in breaks of 131 and 127 to knock out comeback king David Roe.

All the results from Derby can be found by clicking here and the Score Centre, including all the latest updates on all qualifiers, the highest break and the ongoing Order of Merit can be found here

I’d like to thank Mark Jones for directing the tournament on my behalf and for the hat which is pictured above. I’d not like to thank referee Rob Spencer, who forgot to take Elliot’s prize with him, hence him holding a piece of paper in the picture. I’ll be having stern words with Rob at the next qualifier in Leeds this Saturday, the draw for which can be viewed here.

Full details of this season’s SB Classic can be viewed here.

November 26, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic Derby 28th November: Full Details for Players

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:30 am

SB A4 POSTERAfter the opening two qualifying heats saw Brian Robertson and Marc Davis make their way to the Grand Finals in April, on the 28th of November we head to the Cueball Club in Derby to find qualifier number three.

This heat is again an extremely high class field and very difficult to call. Current holder Brett Miller and the man he succeeded at champion Ant Parsons are both in action, as are joint tournament favourite Elliot Slessor, former professional Lee Page and returning veteran David Roe. 

The full draw can be viewed here where you can also keep track of the results as they happen and all first round matches will commence at 10.30 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.

All matches are the best of seven frames.

The referees for the day will be Rob Spencer and Peter Bennett 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 and very hospitable club.

For reference the post code for the club is DE21 4AW

November 2, 2015

SB Classic Glasgow: Davis Progresses to Grand Finals

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:49 am

The Snookerbacker Classic made its Scottish debut on Sunday and the 16 man event saw the promising Marc Davis progress to Grand Finals Day in Gloucester on April 3rd.

Marc with prize

Marc becomes the first winner of a Scottish Qualifier

It’s great that the event enjoyed the support of the Scottish players and I have to say a huge thank you to Stevie Baillie who organised things at that end and also ensured that the upbeat spirit of the tournament was carried through by providing free refreshments for the players and officials on duty. Not quite Mrs SB cake standard but excellent nonetheless.

Marc now heads to Gloucester for the Grand Finals with a guaranteed £250 in the bag. He is just 4 wins away from the top prize of £3000. You can see all yesterday’s results here and you can find out more about this year’s tournament here. Next stop is Derby on 28th November and the draw for that will be made this week. 

October 30, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic 2016 – Scotland on Sunday

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:37 am

The Snookerbacker Classic travels north of the border for the first time this weekend as the Lucky Break Club in Clydebank plays host to the second heat of this year’s tournament.

You can keep up with all the results as they happen here and the tournament will be run by my pal Stevie Baillie (another SB). I look forward to welcoming the winner to Gloucester for the Grand Finals in April next year, let battle commence.

October 19, 2015

SB Classic: Rock Solid Robertson into Grand Finals

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:42 am

Sunday saw the start of another season of Snookerbacker Classic qualifying events and this time for the first year we kicked off in Liverpool at George Scotts on a day which was very much dominated by local players.

 All four semi-finalists hail from the local area and it was current Mersey Masters Champion Brian Robertson who came through an entertaining final against Clayton Humphries, who had come through in fine style with three 4-0 whitewashes, including in the semi-finals over previous SBC Quarter Finalist Anthony Jeffers who himself had earlier in the day come back from 3-1 down to knock out the defending champion Brett Miller.

Brian is the first player into this season's Grand Finals in Gloucester.

Brian is the first player into this season’s Grand Finals in Gloucester.

 Brian has been close to the Grand Finals before, two years ago he lost in a final qualifier to Mitchell Mann, so it’s no surprise to see him go one further this season and make it to Gloucester. This means that he is now guaranteed a minimum payout of £250 and is now just 4 wins away from the £3000 first prize and a chance to play at The Crucible as part of a Snooker Legends night.

For those unfamiliar with Brian, he’s an extremely solid match player and makes very few errors. He is also very good at winning and has a number of regional titles to his name. Rumour has it that a few of his friends have taken some of the big odds about him in the outright book and that Boyles are standing to lose a 5 figure sum should he end up as overall champion.

The next qualifying heat will be in Glasgow on November 1st and all the details of this year’s tournament can be found here.

All Sunday’s results are here and the SBC Score Centre, including the ongoing Order of Merit and Highest Break table, both headed by Clayton Humphries after Event 1 can be found here.   

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