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


November 10, 2014

SB Classic: Whizzkid Wilson Nabs Grand Finals Place

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:18 am
Syd with Prize

Syd: Fail to Prepare. Prepare to Fail.

Sunday was the turn of George Scott’s Snooker Centre in Liverpool to host the next qualifying heat of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic and this saw two time Grand Finalist Syd Wilson beating local lad Josh Mulholland to again book his place at the business end of the tournament.

It just goes to show that there is nothing quite so peculiar as snooker when it comes to preparing yourself mentally and physically for the road ahead. Syd could be found at 2.35 am the previous evening with a glass of red wine in hand (not his first of the evening) chatting away in SB Mansions with not a care in the world, largely unaware that in just under 8 hours time he’d be at the venue breaking off in his first match.

Syd brushed away the early cobwebs despite feeling ‘bloody awful’ to beat Jack Bradford in a round that saw no deciding frame matches, the closest being between Anthony Jeffers, a Grand Finalist from last season and Blackpool’s Jason Tart, Jeffers coming out a 4-2 winner.

By contrast the next round saw three of the four quarter-finals go to the wire with eventual winner Wilson edging out Jeffers in a hard-fought battle and newbie Rhys Williams of Wales coming through against local lad Finn Gallagher. With Brian Robertson also falling at this stage to the dangerous Brett Miller it was left to Josh Mulholland to fly the home flag for Liverpool as he edged out Alex Taubman in a decider.

The semi-final between Syd and Brett was surprisingly one-sided, Syd playing at almost breakneck speed to win 4-1 in just over an hour, he was still not feeling 100% but somehow was finding his potting boots despite his rather unusual preparation routine the previous evening. 

The other semi-final was undoubtedly the match of the day with Josh Mulholland and Rhys Williams producing a quality display, a real punch by punch affair. From 2-1 down and 61-0 behind, Williams somehow manufactured a 73 clearance to level at 2-2 before Mulholland produced a flawless 128 clearance to restore his lead. This makes Josh top of the tree in terms of the highest break of the tournament and the £500 prize from John Parrott Cuesports with the ninth century from just 3 events. He went on to clinch the next leaving Williams wondering what he had done wrong.

The final seemed to be a match too far for Josh and Syd again bullied his way around the table in determined and very attacking fashion. He never really looked like losing and eventually prevailed 4-2 to nab the Grand Finals spot.

Syd then returned to SB Mansions where Mrs SB was to spoil him with a casserole and some homemade bread after his celebratory bath, that’s one lucky boy right there.

We then spent a bit of time trying to come up with a nickname for this ferocious potter, I liked Cyclone Syd, Syd is quite taken with ‘The Wolf’, but we didn’t come up with a final decision and perhaps this is one that needs to go to Twitter.

A massive thanks to our team of sponsors and to the venue for making this another enjoyable heat, also to the referees Graham Stanley and Peter Bennett, one of whom once threatened to kill Alex Higgins to his face. It’s off to Preston next Sunday and then Leeds at the end of the month. 

All the scores for the Liverpool leg can be found here

The latest Order of Merit List can be found here and we now see that Brett Miller tops the list of those who have not qualified with 25 points, having done well in all events so far and only been beaten by winners. Brett is marginally ahead of Sean O’Sullivan on 23 points with the likes of Ryan Causton, Josh Mulholland, Matthew Day and Zak Richardson heading the chasing pack. Remember the top 2 from this list will also be lining up on Grand Finals Day.


November 7, 2014

SB Classic Liverpool: The Lowdown

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:23 pm

On Sunday we travel a little closer to home to Scotties in Liverpool for a 16 player qualifier to decide the next player to join Jamie Clarke, Martin O’Donnell and Eden Sharav in the Grand Finals next April.

You can keep up with the progress of this qualifier as results come in by clicking here and the matches will commence at 10.30am 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.

It’s a pretty decent heat with last season’s Quarter Finalists Anthony Jeffers and Syd Wilson and former qualifying finalists Alex Taubman, Josh Mulholland, Joe Steele and Brian Robertson as well as the century machine from Gloucester Brett Miller all in the mix with others who are looking to make the Gloucester finale.

If anyone is in the area please feel free to come and watch, Scotties is a fantastic club and Mrs SB is again bringing cake.

The referees for the day are Graham Stanley and Peter Bennett.

Round 1 – 10.30am start

Phillip Borg v Rhys Williams
Kobi Mates v Finn Gallagher
Clayton Humphries v Josh Mulholland
Alex Taubman v Billy England
Jack Bradford v Syd Wilson
Anthony Jeffers v Jason Tart
Majid Khan v Brett Miller
Joe Steele v Brian Robertson

The following rounds will be roll-on roll-off and players must be available to play throughout the day with no extended breaks.


November 5, 2014

Snookerbacker Classic Liverpool Details

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:54 am

The SB Classic continues this Sunday as once again The George Scott Snooker Centre or ‘Scotties’ as it’s universally known opens it’s doors to 16 more hopefuls to find the next Grand Finalist.

The draw was made last night and this heat involves a few top names from the Merseyside scene and some from further afield looking to nab the fourth qualifying place.

You can view the draw here and the matches will commence at 10.30am 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.

November 3, 2014

Snookerbacker Classic: Clarke, O’Donnell and Sharav Set the Standard

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:23 pm

SWSA in play

Saturday and Sunday saw the opening two days qualifying for this season’s Snookerbacker Classic held at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester and I’m delighted to say that the standard of play more than lived up to my expectation throughout.

The tournament is now into it’s fourth season and judging by the popularity of it seems to continue to hit a note with the players as being both a little bit different from the norm and well worth entering, given the £7000 plus pot of prize money at the end.

Myself and Mrs SB do try and put a bit of extra woomf into the tournament and I think at the weekend our efforts paid off as we were all treated to some fantastic snooker by the amateur players that entered. Maybe it was the chocolate orange and victoria sponge cakes baked by the fair hand of Mrs SB that made the difference. Early on Saturday even Shaun Murphy was asking about entrance criteria, if anyone turns up who looks even vaguely like him I’ll be tugging at their beard to make sure it’s not a fake.  

On the table, Saturday’s opener could have passed for Grand Finals Day and it was Jamie Clarke from Wales, a Grand Finalist for the past two seasons who again qualified at the first time of asking and justified the favouritism that the bookmakers placed on him before it started, beating Sean ‘The Storm’ O’Sullivan, a first time entrant 4-2 in the qualifying final.

There were some outstanding performances from both finalists and special mention must also be given to Brett Miller, who powered in two centuries in his first match, a best of 114 before losing to the eventual winner in Round 2. 

It was a lively day which culminated in several of the players who stayed late, including myself, pissing ourselves laughing at the most bizarre You Tube video that had been designed for a couple having a party there, you really did have to be there….and was followed by a curry with the refs, my biggest two fans, Mrs SB and Andy Marriott, who I talked about Morrissey with all day.

A great performance from Jamie and made even more impressive by the fact that he had been forced to pull out of Sunday so needed to qualify on Day 1 in such a strong field to bag an early Grand Finals slot. I wish he took as much care with his trousers though…..careless.

To view all the results and breaks from Saturday click here.

Clarkey is something of a qualifying specialist.

Clarkey is something of a qualifying specialist.

Sunday began in slapstick fashion. The time was 9.24am and there was one notable absentee from the list of starters due to break off at 9.30am, one Mr Phil (aka Phillipa) O’Kane.

Knowing Phil of old and having seen him the previous evening ‘on his way out’ I decided to ask Sean O’Sullivan to make sure he was on his way, which turned out to be his wake up call at the Holiday Inn across from the venue. Somehow, from waking out of this slumber, just 5 minutes later and with the clock fast approaching him being 1-0 down, here ran O’Kane at breakneck speed in full view of all the players, applauding this outstanding effort from surely the most careless amateur ever to grace the modern game. If you think ‘Chariots of Fire’ crossed with ‘The Muppet Show’ you’d probably be about right. But somehow, against the odds, he made it in time.

Once the dust had settled and the laughter had nearly stopped it was down to business and whilst Round 1 did not pass without incident, with one match being decided away from the table with a handshake accompanied by a rather unusual take on the traditional ‘good luck in the next round’ line, we began to see that Martin O’Donnell’s defeat the previous day had fired him up. He started the day with a break of 126 and that was to end up the highest break of the weekend and nab the extra £100 prize generously donated by the guys at

Martin avenged his defeat the previous day to O’Sullivan and went on to beat Ryan Causton in the final, only losing three frames all day. The M’OD of course was the first ever Snookerbacker Classic Champion back in 2012 and looks bang in the mood to put his name back on the trophy this time around.

Oh and a quick thank you to Shane Castle, who I have never met, for continuing to fund the tournament through his no-shows. He must love me as he just enters, pays his money and never turns up, that’s my kinda guy. 

The MO'D wants his title back.

The MO’D wants his title back.

The bottom half of the draw saw eventual victory for Eden Sharav, the Scottish International who is now based down in Gloucester hoping that the top drawer practice facilities will bring out the best in him.

Undoubtedly the match of the round took place in this section with that man Brett Miller again banging in two centuries to edge out Jordan Church, who also helped himself to a century, 4-3. Brett doesn’t play very much, he works hard and treats snooker as a hobby. All I will say is, if he ever gets the opportunity to play full time, the others had better watch out. But he’s a lad with a great head on his shoulders, a sometimes incomprehensible accent and a great deal of talent. He’s earmarked the SB Classic this season and I have a feeling he might have a say in it.

There were also centuries on Day 2 for Syd Wilson and Sean O’Sullivan meaning that over the weekend we saw 8 centuries, 4 of which came from Miller.

Eden Sharav meanwhile had just returned from action in China and had been suffering from jetlag, he did look a little tired early on and on going 3-0 down to Miller in his semi-final seemed to be heading out, but all of a sudden China Time kicked in and he seemed to come alive, not losing another frame in completing the comeback and then beating Matthew Day 4-0 in the final.

Matthew is another favourite of ours and he spent the entire day trying to sell anything from fridge freezers to cues to anyone who would listen. We went for something to eat with him afterwards where I swear he tried to sell us a car. One day my son we’ll all be millionaires…

Eden was in a different time zone.

Eden was in a different time zone.

For all the results and breaks from Sunday click here.

Final thanks go to all at the SWSA, Andrew Norman, who remains a tireless worker and never sits still and all the staff there, even Michael Wasley popped in on Sunday to spread butter on a door….it remains, even after all the changes, the best venue in the UK for snooker and I am delighted to be going back there a few times this season. A special mention also to Aaron Cook, who helps out there and is clearly coming on as a player, taking a frame from Eden in the first round. It’s great to see him progressing.

Thanks as ever to the glovelies, this time Nick ‘Chardo’ Harry and Clive Brown kept the order and a watchful eye on the potters.  

Thanks again for the £100 added prize from and of course ongoing thanks to sponsors Lake Creative and John Parrott Cuesports, JP’s are putting up the £500 highest break prize this season of £500 and the £1000 for a maximum. O’Donnell tops the break list with his 126 on Sunday but there is a very long way to go.

Finally thanks to My Snooker Stats for continuing to supply all the details that are essential for me to run the tournament without being sussed out for the rookie I am. You can view the top breaks and the Order of Merit List, which runs throughout the tournament here. Sean O’Sullivan tops this and at the end, the top 2 who have not qualified automatically will take their place at Grand Finals Day.  


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