Snookerbacker

May 23, 2016

A Decent Proposal

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:51 am
The proposal has some serious backing.

The proposal has some serious backing.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will probably not have failed to notice that it’s that time of the year again where I come up with some idea or other for the year ahead, or in this case, a few years ahead. Just last week myself and none other than former World Champion Shaun Murphy submitted a proposal to the WPBSA designed to revolutionise amateur snooker in the UK and Europe for many years to come.

Amateur players that I speak to are concerned at the lack of events that they have to play in next season. The removal of the EPTC tour will hit them hardest and with no sign as yet of any tour cards being offered for an alternative amateur circuit it seems that as things stand the only option available will be Q-School, which is quite a long way off.

That is why I decided to write down a plan together with Shaun for consideration. Shaun is looking to put together a Junior Series, as part of the main proposal. His plan is to stage a series of Junior events with the winner receiving a year’s worth of coaching and mentoring from him, as well as free entry for the following season onto the main amateur tour.

Shaun says ‘The aim of the Junior Series will be to encourage participation amongst juniors of all abilities and to find the next stars of the future. When I competed as a junior and thanks to Malcolm Thorne, we had junior events week-in week-out and the standard of play rose because of that. I want to see that return and go further by offering The Shaun Murphy Scholarship which will take the winner of the series and give them a year of tuition with myself and entry onto the amateur tour, worth £1000, similar to the Faldo Series in golf’.

The main tour itself will be not dissimilar to the current professional tour. There will be 10 monthly events, each charging an entry fee of £100 and each with a prize money pot of at least £6000, with the winner of each event receiving £2000 and each stage below half of that, down to the losers in the last 16 who will each get £125. So in all we’d have an amateur tour with a total prize fund of at least £60,000 and the potential for lots of players to earn a decent slice of that.

The 10 events would be staged across the UK and Mainland Europe at suitable venues. Venues with space, but perhaps lacking the quality of tables would be encouraged to bid for funding to upgrade their facilities.

All events would count towards a season-long money list, from which the top two players would gain a main tour card. With those ranked 3-18 playing off in a 16 player tournament for a further main tour card. The tour would be open to all players, regardless of nationality.

Both Shaun and myself see this as a workable model for the future of amateur snooker and we are both keen to get going. It will take some time to come into action and if accepted we could see it starting in time for season 2017/18. Interim arrangements for this new season would have to be discussed if this proposal is accepted.

We welcome any comments about this from players and public alike. We’ve had messages of support from a lot of people in the snooker world and we really appreciate that. Our aim is to professionalise the amateur game and have a structure that gets amateurs playing highly competitive snooker regularly, this of course would be supplemented by existing competition like the national amateur championships and the pro-ams and amateur tournaments that are run regularly by David Grace in Leeds and Andrew Norman in Gloucester.

The Snookerbacker Classic

Obviously if this proposal is accepted, the SB Classic will have served its purpose and will either cease to be or be run in a very small window. This season, I have decided to scale it back a little and will be releasing dates for 4 qualifying events, all to be held in Gloucester soon. These will be 32 player events with 4 qualifiers to the Grand Finals from each, making up the 16, the entry fee will rise to £100 per event. Prize money will be dependent on sponsorship but I will be looking to award the winner at least the equivalent £3000 that Sam Craigie won last season, hopefully more than that. More news on that will follow soon. I have also asked the WPBSA if this year’s winner can have an extra incentive and I am waiting to hear back from them on that. 

April 4, 2016

Classy Craigie is Classic King

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:11 pm
Sam with the trophy presented by referee Nick Harry.

Sam with the trophy presented by referee Nick Harry.

Sunday saw the conclusion of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic and we crowned our youngest ever champion in the shape of Sam Craigie from the North East who beat Yorkshire’s Jamie Bodle in the final to nab the £3000 first prize.

It was a great day’s snooker and I think most people watching, as well as the players, would agree that Sam was a very worthy winner, having produced the best snooker of the day as well as also grabbing a further £500 in the form of the highest break prize, which he took with a spectacular 142 total clearance to close out his match against Brian Robertson earlier in the day.

His final opponent Jamie is preparing for another big final next week as he attempts to capture the English Amateur title and he himself produced a biggie in the live streamed final when in frame 5 he knocked in a faultless 130.

The day itself was a lovely occasion and reminded me why I do it all in the first place. There was disappointment again for Jamie Clarke who was beaten in the semi-finals by Bodle and it was great to see a Scottish player, Gary Thomson do so well and reach the semi finals too.

One of the main additions this year was the live stream, which worked a treat and drew in a number of viewers from around the globe. My eternal gratitude for making this happen goes to Andy Guest, the genius behind My Snooker Stats as well as his team of Stevie, Dom and Adam who worked so hard all day to make this happen.

You can watch the final again on You Tube by clicking here.

I have so many people to thank for making this the biggest and best year since we began back in 2012, from those who have helped out financially, to the hard working referees in particular yesterday’s crew of Nick Harry, Eirian Williams, Mark Seaman, Ian Wagstaff and Alan Collis; the clubs that continue to support the SB Classic, the spectators that come along to watch, the players who continue to support the tournament in their droves and just those who have encouraged Mrs SB and I to keep plugging away. The sense of occasion is now there for all to see and despite the happy aire yesterday, a few players left extremely disappointed, which is of course a sign that winning this means so much to them.

The day however belonged to Sam Craigie and he’s a fantastic player and prospect for the future who still has two chances to make it onto the professional circuit before the season is out, I am convinced that if he does we will be seeing a lot more of him at the top level. I have already been contacted by a possible sponsor for him on the back of his performance yesterday and if the Classic helps him with that it would be a lovely way to mark the fifth anniversary.

As for me, it’s time to take stock and think about where we go from here. This year will be very hard to top, we’ll see.

To see all the results from yesterday click here and to look at a few pictures from the day click here.

March 31, 2016

Snookerbacker Classic 2016: Meet the Grand Finalists

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:56 pm

It won’t be long until we know who joins the list of Martin O’Donnell, David Gray, Ant Parsons and Brett Miller as the next Snookerbacker Classic Champion. I’ve had a chat to all the Grand Finalists ahead of Sunday and this is what they each had to say. 

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

Name: Brian Robertson

Qualified from: Liverpool Heat 1.

Previous Best SBC: Qualifying Finalist.

Current Odds: 40/1

Brian is a very solid match player who came through a tough first heat in Liverpool against the odds. He is playing in the Grand Finals for the first time having previously lost narrowly to Mitchell Mann in a qualifying final at Scotties.

‘I’m as confident as I can be going into the Grand Finals, I was so pleased to qualify and I’m really looking forward to it. I don’t really play a lot outside of Merseyside, so with the exception of Kishan Hirani I have never played any of the players there so it will be interesting for me to see what level I am at compared to them. I know I have a solid game and although I haven’t practiced as much as I would have liked I feel ready. I’ll travel to Gloucester early on Saturday and have a knock at the Academy, so hopefully I’ll be ready for Sunday’

 

Marc with prizeName: Marc Davis

Qualified from: Glasgow Heat 1.

Previous Best SBC: First time entrant.

Current Odds: 14/1

Marc is a first time finalist, a familiar face on the EPTC circuit, he took advantage of our first venture into Scotland to qualify for the Grand Finals:

‘As it’s my first time playing in the SB Classic I’m really excited about playing in the Grand Finals, I’ve just put a new tip on my cue and hopefully it will be worn in by Sunday. I’ve taken a lot of confidence from my recent match against Shaun Murphy which I probably should have won but considering I don’t practice as much as some because of my work commitments I can’t complain. I play Jamie Bodle who I know to be a good player so I’ll need to be sharp, I’m just excited to be playing so we’ll see what happens’

 

Elliot without his prize because referee Rob Spencer forgot it.

Name: Elliot Slessor

Qualified from: Derby

Previous Best SBC: Grand Finals Quarter Finalist

Current Odds: 15/2

Former professional Elliot came through the heat in Derby, a quality, attacking player, he must stand a big chance of taking the title on Sunday:

‘I’m always confident going into big tournaments and this is no exception. I am playing quite well in practice and although I have one of the more difficult first round draws I’m not too bothered about that. I’m friends with Leo so it’s a shame we have drawn each other so early but snooker is dog eat dog and I will be able to put that out of my mind when I get there. I’d also like to say a big thanks to SB and Mrs SB for putting on a great tournament that is coming on in leaps and bounds, all well deserved, I’m also looking forward to picking up my qualifying prize as the referee forgot it in Derby!’ 

 

AntPName: Ant Parsons

Qualified from: Leeds Heat 1.

Previous Best SBC: Champion 2013.

Current Odds: 6/1

Ant has been there and done that, the champion of 2013 is back for his fourth consecutive Grand Finals and knows what it takes to win: 

‘I’m playing really well and I am well prepared for Sunday, which is the highlight of the snooker season for me and the biggest amateur tournament there is bar none. The SB Classic brings out the best in me and I know that you just have to play to win, you don’t have to play brilliantly all day, it’s just about stepping up when you need to. This is the strongest Grand Finals field that there has been and I want my title back, I play James Brown first and I know how good he is so won’t be taking it lightly. I plan my entire season around this tournament and if I don’t end up as champion it won’t be through lack of preparation. I am really looking forward to Sunday’

 

 

Steve and prizeName: Stephen Croft

Qualified from: Preston.

Previous Best SBC: First time entrant.

Current Odds: 12/1 from 50/1

Stephen, or ‘Crofty’ is a former professional who returned to the game after a decade away just two weeks before qualifying from Preston. Since then he’s been putting the hours in and is the subject of a huge gamble:

‘Lots of my mates have backed me to win on Sunday and I have to say that I am quite confident. I am hitting the ball well and I’m playing a lot more now than I was when I qualified. I’ve been practising with Craig Steadman and have been taking sets off him so I know my game is in good shape. I don’t really know Jamie Clarke, my first opponent, as he was probably only starting out when I packed it all in to start a family. I’ve heard he’s a good player so I’m going to have to be sharp. I’m going all out to win the title on Sunday as preparation for Q-School’ 

 

Leo with frameName: Leo Fernandez

Qualified from: Gloucester Heat 1.

Previous Best SBC: First time entrant.

Current Odds: 13/2

Leo has already secured his professional tour spot for next season, but can he enter the pro circuit with the SB Classic title under his belt? 

I’m really looking forward to the whole experience on Sunday, I entered because so many people told me how well run it was and they were right, it’s an excellent tournament and feels like a proper competition. I think I am in the harder section of the draw but I don’t really mind as that means I will need to be sharp from the off. I’ve never played Elliot before but I know he is a very good player and I’ve been practising with Mark Davis and Jimmy Robertson recently to get my game as sharp as I can. I hope to do well on Sunday but it’s just nice to be involved’

 

 

Sam with frameName: Sam Craigie

Qualified from: Gloucester Heat 1.

Previous Best SBC: Qualifying Second Round.

Current Odds: 13/2

Sam is a very talented player from the North East who impressed when qualifying from a tough heat in Gloucester, he is lots of people’s idea of the winner:

I’m looking forward to Sunday but I wouldn’t say that I am over-confident in my chances. If I play well I have got a chance but I really only played one good match to qualify and in this field that won’t be good enough. There are I think a handful in this field who can win it and I have to be in the right place from the off to be one of them. I’ve found myself getting a bit annoyed lately when not playing well which is something I never used to do so I have to work on that. But it all depends what happens on the day and if I turn up I have a chance. We’ll see’

 

 

Ryan with frameName: Ryan Causton

Qualified from: Gloucester Heat 2.

Previous Best SBC: Grand Finals Last 16.

Current Odds: 14/1

Ryan ‘The Eagle’ makes his second Grand Finals after an impressive qualification from Gloucester. He’s been supporting the SB Classic since the start and has improved year on year: 

‘Since the PTC event in Poland I have been really confident about my game and I will carry that confidence into Sunday. I beat two top 20 players and that has given me such a boost and made me believe in myself more, I feel that I can win this on Sunday and it would mean the world to me if I did. I played last week in the memorial tournament for Billy O’Connor and lost in the semi-finals in a very high standard match to Hammad Miah, I hit three centuries during the day and felt great. If I can bring this form here I feel I am in with a big chance. I play a practice partner of mine Charlie Walters first, I don’t really like playing friends but that’s just snooker. I’m really looking forward to Sunday, it will be a great day’

 

James with frameName: James Brown

Qualified from: Gloucester Heat 2.

Previous Best SBC: Grand Finals Last 16.

Current Odds: 40/1

James makes his second consecutive Grand Finals Day after a final victory over Reanne Evans in Gloucester. Very fast and attacking with bags of experience, he’s a handful for anyone:

‘I don’t get much time to practice these days but I’ll have a knock before Sunday to get ready, I should be ok. I played Ant Parsons in a comp a couple of weeks ago and we joked that we’d probably draw each other in this and we have, I think that’s a really tough draw for me and the Grand Finals field for this year is very very good, much better than last year. It’s a higher standard than you’d see at most amateur events if not all and I think there are about 7 players there that can win it. If I play well I am one of them but I won’t know until I start if I’m in the mood or not. But I’ll have to hit the ground running as if I don’t I know Ant will take full advantage and I’ll be heading home’ 

 

MichaelName: Michael Rhodes

Qualified from: Liverpool Heat 2.

Previous Best SBC: Qualifying Second Round. 

Current Odds: 12/1

Michael is the current English Amateur Champion and played superbly in the second Liverpool heat with some heavy scoring, he looks ahead to Sunday: 

‘I will know after a few shots on Sunday whether I have a chance or not, I am very up and down in terms of form and I was delighted with the way I played in Liverpool to qualify. If I feel confident on the day I think I have a great chance, if not I have no chance. I’ve never played Kishan before but will treat him with the utmost respect as everyone who is playing on Sunday is there because they have proved themselves worthy. It’s very much on the day with me and I’m just looking forward to competing and hopefully going home with a trophy and a very nice cheque!’

 

 

GaryName: Gary Thomson 

Qualified from: Glasgow Heat 2. 

Previous Best SBC: First time entrant

Current Odds: 16/1

Gary, another former professional, came through the second Scottish heat and has been spending the last few weeks preparing for the Classic:

‘It’s a real buzz to be involved with this tournament at last, I have followed it since the start and decided to play this year as I’m giving snooker another go for a few months to see how it goes. I’m playing full time and this week I’ve played Michael Rhodes, Gaz Allen and Jamie Clarke at their turfs, I’ve been doing a lot of driving! I’m going to Gloucester on Friday to practice with Eden Sharav so that I am fully prepared for it. I’m not playing as well as I used to but I’ll give it a go, I had a look at the odds and couldn’t believe the price on Stevie Croft when the book opened, no wonder he’s been backed. I haven’t backed myself but I think I have a chance, I’m just looking forward to the occasion’

 

Jamie C with prizeName: Jamie Clarke

Qualified from: Gloucester Heat 3

Previous Best SBC: Grand Finals Semi-Finalist.

Current Odds: 7/2 Favourite

Jamie has been entering the SB Classic from the very first year and is looking to lift the title in his fourth successive Grand Finals:

‘There are a lot of quality players in the mix on Sunday and I’m happy to have got through to compete with them. This is a great tournament and we are very lucky to have it and we are always very well looked after by Mr and Mrs SB. It kicks off a busy period for me with the World Championship and the EBSA qualifiers to come, so to win would be a great confidence boost for me and would mean so much. I’m playing every day and enjoying the game more than ever, so I’ll be giving myself every chance going into Sunday’ 

 

 

Charlie with prizeName: Charlie Walters

Qualified from: Gloucester Heat 3

Previous Best SBC: Qualifying Second Round.

Current Odds: 16/1

Charlie beat defending champion Brett Miller to qualify last week in Gloucester and the Grove resident faces his practice partner Ryan Causton in the opener: 

‘As I only qualified last week I think that gives me a bit of an edge over some of the other players here. I’m really looking forward to Sunday and I play my practice partner from The Grove, Ryan Causton. We played in a tournament a couple of weeks back and I beat him 3-1 so I will take that with me to the table. I don’t really play in much but I have put the hours in for Sunday and for the last month have played more than for the entire rest of the season and my results are showing that I am putting the work in. I am confident going into Sunday and would really like to use this as a springboard to Q-School’

 

 

Kishan with prizeName: Kishan Hirani

Qualified from: Gloucester Heat 4.

Previous Best SBC: Grand Finals Quarter Finalist.

Current Odds: 18/1

Kishan is back in the Grand Finals again after a couple of deciders saw him get through in Gloucester last weekend, the Cardiff based player is looking to improve on previous years on Sunday: 

‘I’ve been preparing for Sunday after last weekend by practising with Duane Jones and I feel that my game is in really good shape. I have a tough draw but there isn’t really anything else once you get to this stage is there? I was chuffed last week to win a decider against Adam Bobat, I’d somehow managed to let Phil O’Kane take three frames off me in the semi-final, I don’t know how that happened, but obviously I knew that I needed to improve a lot in the final to stand a chance and that is exactly what I did. This tournament is great preparation for what lies ahead for us amateurs at the sharp end of the season and I’d love to win it, as I need the money!’

 

Jamie B with prizeName: Jamie Bodle

Qualified from: Gloucester Heat 4.

Previous Best SBC: Grand Finals Last 16.

Current Odds: 18/1

Jamie also came through in Gloucester and will no doubt use his bags of experience on Sunday to try and carve out the results:

‘I have the English Amateur Final coming up as well as this so I have been practising more than usual lately, I try to play most days when time allows. I’ll let you know on Sunday night how confident I am! I really don’t think like that, I just get on with it and play whoever is in front of me, or hopefully behind me. I’ve seen that I play Marc Davis first who I am familiar with but to be honest it could have been any of them as they are all there on merit and there isn’t an easy draw in the hat. If I bring my A game I have a good chance, but I’m going to use the old cliche that I will take one match at a time, because that is exactly what I will do’

 

 

Tom with prizeName: Tom Barton

Qualified from: Order of Merit List.

Previous Best SBC: Grand Finals Last 16.

Current Odds: 28/1

Tom came close twice to qualifying automatically but in the end comfortably topped the Order of Merit List. Brett Miller did just that last year and ended up champion, so can Tom do the same? 

‘There are so many good players there on Sunday I’d say I had a ‘punters chance’. I’ve used this tournament to improve my game and my matchplay and it has certainly done that throughout the season. I’ll be putting some long hours in with my coach Joe Lazarus before Sunday and no doubt he’ll tell me what I am doing wrong until I fix it to his liking! This is a great tournament and that’s why it’s really the only one I enter, until this I just played with my mates down at the club and I didn’t know how good I was. I hope to put up a good performance and if I win my first match who knows what could happen, after all Brett did it last year. I am match sharp from last weekend so hopefully that will be to my advantage’

The Snookerbacker Classic 2016 Grand Finals Day takes place this Sunday, 3rd April, at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester. Spectators are more than welcome to come and enjoy the snooker for free. More details about the day are here.

As well as outright odds Boyles also have betting on the highest break of the day and a 147 being made here. Match betting can be found here.

We will be live streaming Table 1 from Gloucester here. Live scoring will be done on each match and that can be found here

March 29, 2016

Snookerbacker Classic Grand Finals: Full Details

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:33 am

SB A4 POSTERThe draw has now been made for the Grand Finals on Sunday and it won’t be long until we know the identity of the fifth Snookerbacker Classic Champion who will walk away with £3000 plus a date at The Crucible the following Wednesday as part of the Snooker Legends evening.

Players should note that the dress code is strictly waistcoat, collared shirt, trousers and shoes. Logos on waistcoats are permitted and players will also be supplied with a further logo to wear during Grand Finals Day.

Players drawn in the top half of the draw should arrive no later than 9.45am to the South West Snooker Academy for their opening match at 10.00am. Players in the bottom half of the draw should arrive to the venue no later than 11.30am and should be ready to play their opening match on completion of top half matches.

The draw for Round 1 is detailed below. Please note that throughout the day we will be operating a roll-on, roll-off system so players should plan their eating habits around this. In other words, if you are one of the players that have been drawn later, take advantage of the breakfast facilities at the venue and arrive earlier, if you are playing early, you should grab some grub after your first match. Mrs SB will also be providing cakes for players and referees throughout the day.

All prize money will be distributed by bank transfer no later than 48 hours after the completion of the tournament.

Spectators are very welcome and if you fancy popping to Gloucester to watch you will be made most welcome, you might even get a piece of cake.

Round 1 (Last 16) – Best of 7 Frames

10am starts

Marc Davis (Scot) v Jamie Bodle (Eng) – Referee – Ian Wagstaff

Leo Fernandez (Ire) v Elliot Slessor (Eng) – Referee: Eirian Williams (Live Streamed)

Jamie Clarke (Wal) v Stephen Croft (Eng) – Referee – Nick Harry

Charlie Walters (Eng) v Ryan Causton (Eng) – Referee – Mark Seaman

NB 11.45 starts

Gary Thomson (Scot) v Tom Barton (Eng) – Referee – Ian Wagstaff

Ant Parsons (Eng) v James Brown (Eng) – Referee – Alan Collis 

Kishan Hirani (Wal) v Michael Rhodes (Eng) – Referee – Nick Harry

Brian Robertson (Eng) v Sam Craigie (Eng) – Referee – Mark Seaman

Later rounds played on a roll-on roll-off basis.

Outright odds for the Snookerbacker Classic are available at Boylesports here and match betting for the first round is available here. There will be live scoring on every match and one live streamed table, more details on this to follow.   

March 28, 2016

SB Classic Gloucester: Final Five Complete Grand Finals Field

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:01 pm

Another great weekend of snooker in Gloucester produced the final five names to make their way into the Grand Finals Day of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic which is to be played next Sunday 3rd April, back at the South West Snooker Academy to see who becomes the fifth Snookerbacker Classic Champion.

Saturday saw Jamie Clarke and Charlie Walters add their names into the prize money pot with Jamie, playing his first event of the season, qualifying with a victory in the final over Zack Richardson and Charlie coming through a decider in his final against the defending champion Brett Miller.

Jamie C with prize

Jamie Clarke is back for the fourth successive year

Brett had earlier in the day topped the highest break table with a stunning 140 total clearance, to the delight of Phil O’Kane, who sat in the players lounge having just lost a decider himself only to be told of Brett’s break. Phil then spent the next day and a half trying to find every excuse in the book to still be top of the break table and get Brett’s break written off, even claiming at one point that because it was made against a player from Russia that it shouldn’t count, alas to the deaf ears of the tournament director.

Jamie is now into his fourth consecutive Grand Finals having not got further than the semi-finals on three previous attempts but he was immediately installed as the new favourite for the title when news of his qualification filtered through, such is his increasing reputation in the game.

Charlie will be competing in his first Grand Finals Day and played very well all day, clearly at home in the conditions and coming after a week of practice at the Grove, with the top names in snooker, and I do mean the top names. So he’s definitely one that isn’t phased by much at all, a great attribute to have going into Sunday.

Charlie Walters is a Grand Finals Day Debutant

Charlie Walters is a Grand Finals Day Debutant

  Sunday saw a fairly quiet start to things and for one reason or another there were a few late withdrawals, whether this was because of the clocks going forward the previous evening or the late (and frankly careless) realisation by some that it fell on Easter Sunday I don’t know, but it made for a much more sedate start to proceedings which were later to see qualifications for Kishan Hirani and Jamie Bodle as well as Tom Barton who finished ahead of Alex Taubman and reigning champion, for the next week at least, Brett Miller at the top of the Order of Merit list.

After Kishan had dispensed with Phil O’Kane in an ill-tempered affair, littered with softly spoken insults aimed at each other mostly from Phil it has to be said, he steadied himself for a deciding frame win against Adam Bobat to take his place in Grand Finals for the second time. Kishan’s win also secured Tom Barton’s place at the top of the Order of Merit even though Tom was still involved in a semi-final battle with Mike Rogers, which he was to lose eventually in a decider.

Kishan makes his second trip to Grand Finals Day

Kishan makes his second trip to Grand Finals Day

Awaiting Mike was Jamie Bodle from Derby, a Grand Finalist last year who has bags of experience and is a handful for anyone. By this time it was getting late and the pace of the day was beginning to tell on them both. But Jamie held himself together and rode out a comfortable 4-0 winner.

Mike spent most of the day off the table with his head stuck in his university work and one look at what he was working on was enough to give me a headache (he’s doing Further Maths), he really is a right old brainbox is Mike and not really your average snooker player. Topics of conversation on the other side of the room included the World Cup of Crisps, why Jesus doesn’t look anything like referee Martyn Royce eating his soup, an exhaustive list of places Jamie Lashmar had fallen asleep, the adventures of Phil O’Kane Volume 14 and of course why Brett Miller’s break should be struck off. All topics were discussed whilst trying to solve clues from Simon Dent’s Bumper Book of American Crosswords to very little success.  

Jamie however, despite the advancing hours was again able to give the best winners picture of the season under the guidance of Diana Schuler, who seemed to be able to control Jamie’s every move with the words ‘do something’, which must be German for ‘say cheese’. Jamie marches on with a smile on his face.

'Do Something'

‘Do Something’ – followed by the standard response from Jamie.

 All the results from Saturday can be viewed here and Sunday can be viewed here. The Highest Break, Order of Merit List, won by Tom Barton and all qualifying results can be found on one handy page here

Tom Barton qualifies for his second Grand Finals, this time via the Order of Merit List.

Tom Barton qualifies for his second Grand Finals, this time via the Order of Merit List.

The draw for the Grand Finals is now available here. Outright betting is available here and match betting here.

March 24, 2016

Snookerbacker Classic: Easter Weekend in Gloucester Details

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:45 am

SB A4 POSTERThis weekend sees our second 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 as well as the Order of Merit qualifier to complete the Grand Finals Day line up.

It’s another really strong field and the draw for Saturday can be found here, with the draw for Sunday here where you can also keep up with the scores as they come in.

It’s also the final weekend of the Order of Merit list which is currently headed by Tom Barton who is 6 frames clear of Alex Taubman and Kishan Hirani. Other players involved at the weekend who will be looking closely at this list are Declan Bristow, Matt Glasby, Zack Richardson, current champion Brett Miller and Phil O’Kane.

INFORMATION FOR PLAYERS: 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. The dress code is polo or collared shirt, trousers and shoes.

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 Nick ‘Chardo’ Harry and Martyn ‘Rolls’ Royce. 

March 7, 2016

SB Classic: Rhodes and Thomson join Grand Finals field

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:11 am

It was a busy day yesterday both North and South of the Border as two further qualifiers were added to this season’s Grand Finals Day in the shape of current English Amateur Champion Michael Rhodes and Scotland’s Gary Thomson.

Michael Rhodes is the fourth player from the North East into this season's Grand Finals.

Michael Rhodes is the fourth player from the North East into this season’s Grand Finals.

Michael came through an extremely tough draw to beat reigning champion Brett Miller, Alex Taubman and David Roe before facing Farakh Ajaib in the final. His 133 clearance against Roe on the way to a 4-0 win being a particular highlight of the day. He has been priced up at 10/1 at Boylesports to take the £3000 first prize on April 3rd and on yesterday’s evidence he is definitely in the running. Taubman also hit a 120 break and but for going in-off on the final blue could have topped the £500 highest break table, but this is still held by Phil O’Kane with his 136 in Gloucester, with just one more qualifying weekend and the Grand Finals to go.  

You can view all the results from Liverpool here.

Gary Thomson won Scotland's second qualifying event to join the Grand Finals field.

Gary Thomson won Scotland’s second qualifying event to join the Grand Finals field.

A big thanks to the other SB, Stevie Baillie, who ran the event in Clydebank for me and it’s great to see the Scottish boys getting involved in the Classic. Gary Thomson came out the winner beating Giulio Rea in the final. I’ve been chatting for years online to Gary (aka Schalke) on various forums, most notably the old Betfair snooker one back in the day, but I’ve never actually met him. He’s clearly still got the snooker bug from his old professional days and he’s got himself into the Grand Finals. Boyles have priced him up at 14/1 to take the title to Scotland for the first time.

You can view all the results from Clydebank here.

There are now just two more qualifying events left both played on Easter weekend in Gloucester. As things stand Tom Barton is 6 frames clear at the top of the Order of Merit, but there are lots of points up for grabs still and nothing to say that this might not change with a lot of the chasing pack also involved in Gloucester. The player at the top of this list after the final qualifier will also join the Grand Finals day field, just as the eventual winner Brett Miller did last season.

The latest standings in the Order of Merit as well as the break table which now boasts 18 centuries in all can be viewed here.   

February 29, 2016

Snookerbacker Classic Liverpool 8th March Details

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 1:54 pm

SB A4 POSTERThis Sunday sees and second and final visit to George Scotts Snooker Club in Liverpool for the penultimate qualifying event of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic. 

The full draw for Sunday can be viewed here where you can also keep track of the results as they happen. All first round matches will commence at 10.15 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. It’s also potentially an important week in the Order of Merit standings with Tom Barton, Alex Taubman and Brett Miller all trying to add to their totals for the one automatic qualifying place up for grabs through this ongoing list.

All matches are the best of seven frames.

The referees for the day will be Peter Bennett and Steve Starkie 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 club.

February 22, 2016

Snookerbacker Classic Gloucester: Four More Through to Grand Finals

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:03 pm

The weekend in Gloucester saw four more faces qualify to this season’s Snookerbacker Classic Grand Finals on April 3rd as Leo Fernandez, Sam Craigie and former Grand Finalists Ryan Causton and James Brown added their names to the list of this season’s possible winners.

Saturday in particular saw a very high standard of play with 7 centuries in all, which were to be added to on Sunday to make a total of ten in all for the weekend, with 16 in total already we’re well on the way to smashing the 20 made in the entire event last season. Saturday also saw last season’s semi-finalist Phil O’Kane steal top spot from Tom Barton in the break table with a 136 total clearance, Tom has some consolation in that he is perched at the top of the Order of Merit table with a chance to make Grand Finals Day through this route.

Full results from Saturday can be found here

Leo Fernandez scored very heavily all day and must be a big contender for Grand Finals Day.

Leo Fernandez scored very heavily all day and must be a big contender for Grand Finals Day.

The talented Sam Craigie becomes the third player from the North East to make Grand Finals Day.

The talented Sam Craigie becomes the third player from the North East to make Grand Finals Day.

Sunday’s results can be found here and the highest break table and the ongoing Order of Merit list here.

Ryan Causton has made it to Grand Finals Day for the second time with high scoring performances all day.

Ryan Causton has made it to Grand Finals Day for the second time with high scoring performances all day.

James Brown, a Grand Finalist last season is there again from the only qualifying heat he entered.

James Brown, a Grand Finalist last season is there again from the only qualifying heat he entered.

So it’s really warming up nicely and promises again to be a great year for amateur snooker. Remember this year we have more prize money than ever and all players kicking off Grand Finals day will be just four wins from a £3000 pay day. Our next stops are Liverpool and Glasgow before returning to Gloucester for the final qualifying weekend and the Grand Finals.

You can read all you need to know about the Snookerbacker Classic here.

February 19, 2016

Snookerbacker Classic Gloucester Details

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:00 am

SB A4 POSTER

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 where you can also keep up with the scores as they come in.

INFORMATION FOR PLAYERS: 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. 

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