August 17, 2014

Snookerbacker Classic Further Prize Announcement

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 12:02 pm

SB2015 A4 PosterIt’s only a few short months now until this season’s Snookerbacker Classic gets underway and this week I’ve managed to add once more to the prize pot, making this easily the most lucrative amateur snooker tournament in the UK.

I am delighted to announce that SB Classic partner Lake Creative Design and Marketing are becoming more involved in the tournament this season by stumping up the entry fees for all European Players Tour Championship events next season for the winner.

This means that not only will this season’s champion be £1500 richer, he or she will also have all their EPTC entry fees paid courtesy of Lake Creative, all they ask in return is shirt logo sponsorship for each event.

Andy Spilsbury, the Managing Director of Lake Creative who are also responsible for this season’s poster design said ‘We’re delighted to announce this sponsorship package for this season’s Snookerbacker Classic Champion and really look forward to giving the winner an extra helping hand in their snooker career. It’s a brilliant event and we are immensely proud to be involved as it continues to go from strength to strength’.

Lake Creative are an award winning design and marketing company based in Oxfordshire and Merseyside delivering high quality design and marketing solutions to a portfolio of national brands and campaigns.

More information about Lake Creative can be found here.

More information about this season’s Snookerbacker Classic can be found here. A reminder that the deadline for payment for all the events this side of Christmas is August 31st. There are still a handful of places left in a few of the events, details of how to enter are also included in the link.

July 30, 2014

SB Classic Gloucester 21st February FULL

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:19 am

The rearranged SB Classic heat in Gloucester announced the other day on Saturday 21st February is now full. I will take further names as reserves in case any of the players involved have already qualified.

Places for Sunday 22nd February are also being taken at a rate of knots so if you want one reserving, you know the drill.

Full details of this year’s SB Classic can be found here

July 28, 2014

Snookerbacker Classic February Venue Change and Order of Merit Update

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 1:18 pm

Given the popularity of the Snookerbacker Classic in and around it’s spiritual home of Gloucester I’ve decided to change one of the dates to accommodate all the players that want to enter down there.

Therefore I have changed the venue next February 21st and 22nd from Leeds to the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester. All players who have entered and paid for Leeds already have been informed and their places have been transferred to these events. You can find out everything you need to know about this season’s tournament here.

As with the event in Gloucester in November, the Saturday will be a 16 player event with one qualifier and the Sunday a 32 player event with two qualifiers.

This means that we see the return of the Order of Merit List and the player that tops this at the end of the tournament, who hasn’t qualified for the Grand Finals already, will take his or her place in the Grand Finals with the other 15 qualifiers. Full details can be viewed in the terms and conditions.

Contact me today to reserve a place in both events. Payment will be due by the end of October and they are likely to go quickly. To make sure you get one, use this page to forward payment.

July 22, 2014

Snookerbacker Classic Information Page

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:38 am

It’s all quiet on the snooker front at the moment with very little happening around the place until we set sail for Riga in Latvia for the opening EPTC of the season.

That means it’s a really good time for me to get everything set up for this season’s SB Classic and I thought it would be useful to place all the information about it on one handy page here.

The latest is that the opening three qualifiers are now full and that the first Preston heat and the weekend in Leeds at the end of November as steadily filling up too.

To reserve a place in any of the remaining events, details of which are on the information page, contact me today.

July 16, 2014

SB Classic 2015 – Liverpool FULL

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:48 am

The second qualifying heat for this season’s Snookerbacker Classic in Liverpool is now full. Those who have reserved places will soon receive a link to pay the fees.

All fees must be paid by 31st August or places will be offered to those on the reserve list (there are currently 2 people waiting).

For all other events see details and payment deadlines here and to pay your fee see here.


July 11, 2014

SB Classic – Reserve Your Places Today

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 2:19 pm

Given the popularity of the SB Classic events in Gloucester I felt it was only fair to start taking reservations (subject to availability) for all the other events with a slightly later entry fee payment date. 

So if you want to enter any of the following events but need a bit of time to get the cash together here are the new ‘pay by dates’ – contact me today to reserve your places. Entry fee for each event is £50.

Payment Deadline 31st August for

Sunday November 9th – George Scott’s Snooker Centre, Liverpool EVENT FULL
Sunday November 16th – The Elite Snooker Centre, Preston
Saturday November 29th – The Northern Snooker Centre, Leeds
Sunday November 30th – The Northern Snooker Centre, Leeds

Payment Deadline 31st October for

Sunday February 8th – The Elite Snooker Centre, Preston
Saturday February 21st – South West Snooker Academy, Gloucester 
Sunday February 22nd - South West Snooker Academy, Gloucester
Sunday March 8th – Cueball, Derby
Saturday March 28th – Upton Park Snooker Centre, London


Contact me to reserve on any of these:

By Email:

On Twitter: @snookerbacker

On Facebook: By clicking here

If alternatively you wish to secure your place by paying the entry fee now, click here

July 10, 2014

Snookerbacker Classic 2015 – Gloucester Dates FULL

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 1:51 pm

I think this has broken the record from last year.

The two opening dates in Gloucester on the 1st and 2nd of November for the 2015 Snookerbacker Classic are now full following yesterday’s launch. The first one in particular reads almost like a Grand Finals Day and should be a cracking opener.

A reminder that to reserve places for any of the other events you should contact me directly - please bear in mind that Leeds tends to fill quickly and that all the other events except London are limited to 16 players and all already have paid entries.

To pay entry fees and get it out of the way you should click here and follow the instructions. 

July 9, 2014

The Snookerbacker Classic 2015: Open for Entries

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 12:39 pm

Scenes from last season’s Grand Finals and defending champion Ant Parsons

The doors are now open for everyone to enter this season’s biggest, most exciting and unique UK amateur snooker event; The Snookerbacker Classic, which is now into its fourth year.

The headline news this season is that I have been able to increase the prize money further and it now amounts to over £7000 in all, we are also visiting two new venues in the North in Preston and for the first time in the South, London.

I am also hoping that I will soon receive some really exciting news which will increase the prestige of the tournament even further, but while I wait for that, it’s time to open up the entries and explain a bit about what’s going on this time around.

This year there will be 11 qualifying events around the country to find our 16 finalists. All qualifying events are £50 per entry and will be available on a first come, first served basis. If a player qualifies from an earlier event and has entered others, any unspent entry fees will be refunded immediately.

I have had a pre-launch of the tournament in advance of this for players that have entered multiple times in the past and this has resulted in the opening weekend in Gloucester filling almost immediately. For all other events, please see the ‘Reserving Places’ instructions below.

The details of all qualifying events can be found below. I have indicated the maximum number of players in the heat and the number of qualifiers.


Saturday November 1st – South West Snooker Academy, Gloucester (16 players down to 1 qualifier) EVENT FULL
Sunday November 2nd – South West Snooker Academy, Gloucester (32 players down to 2 qualifiers) EVENT FULL
Sunday November 9th – George Scotts Snooker Centre, Liverpool (16 players down to 1 qualifier)
Sunday November 16th – The Elite Snooker Centre, Preston (16 players down to 1 qualifier)
Saturday November 29th – The Northern Snooker Centre, Leeds (32 players down to 2 qualifiers)
Sunday November 30th – The Northern Snooker Centre, Leeds (32 players down to 2 qualifiers)
Sunday February 8th – The Elite Snooker Centre, Preston (16 players down to 1 qualifier)
Saturday February 21st – South West Snooker Academy, Gloucester (16 players down to 1 qualifier)
Sunday February 22nd - South West Snooker Academy, Gloucester (32 players down to 1 qualifier)
Sunday March 8th – Cueball, Derby (16 players down to 1 qualifier)
Saturday March 28th – Upton Park Snooker Centre, London (32 players down to 1 qualifier)


All matches will be the Best of 7 frames, with the exception of the Last Chance Saloon in London which will be the Best of 5 frames.







Reserving Places: Please email or contact me via Twitter or Facebook to reserve places. Please note that I will only reserve places for a maximum of 14 days and I will let you know the date that your place becomes unreserved. Only places with paid entry fees are confirmed. Please note that it is not possible to reserve places for Gloucester on 2nd November and the first players to pay this entry fee will be eligible to play (see below). 

Paying Entry Fees: Please click this link and follow the instructions, I will send a confirmation email when the fee is received. Please remember to include the name of the player in the instructions if it is not for yourself.

You can view the full terms and conditions of entry for this year by clicking here - please note that in entering the tournament you are accepting these conditions. 

To enter the 2015 Snookerbacker Classic, click this link and select the events you want to enter and pay the fee.

Why should you enter? Well, in the coming few days and weeks you’ll be hearing from some players who will tell you why you should. Don’t just take my word for it. The official poster for this season’s event will be available very soon and posted out to the venues.

April 11, 2014

World Championship Qualifiers Day 4: Round 2 Concludes

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:04 am
Jimmy: Another tilt at the big one.

Jimmy: Another tilt at the big one.

Round Two concludes today at Ponds Forge and amongst those in action is none other than Jimmy White, who, unlike The Nugget looks to be almost certain to stay on the tour regardless of what happens today.

It was the end of the road for Steve Davis yesterday and it remains to be seen whether or not he’ll be back on the tour as a professional player again. His defeat to Craig Steadman means he’s left with the option of Q-School or just simply playing for fun in the PTC’s next season. He obviously has an open invitation to any SB Classic that he’d care to grace.

The good news is that yesterday was a very profitable day on the betting front. The 2 point 17/2 acca landed as did the banker bets, despite Rod Lawler losing to Kyren, had he not we’d be dancing in the streets of Scousepool, but it wasn’t to be. So it’s time to now look ahead to today and the next rounds.

Myself and Mrs SB had a lovely night last night in Sheffield at the Legends by the way. Classic Champ Ant Parsons performed in his game with Hendry and very nearly made a century at the Crucible, watched on by his proud mum and dad. It was a very enjoyable night and something I’d recommend to anyone, the Crucible was packed to the rafters, the set up was very professional and JV in particular put on a really good show. It’s basically like an all year round snooker pantomime and good old harmless fun. We also ended up drinking too much.

Anyway, here’s today. I’m a little pushed for time (breakfast calls) so it’s simply a roll call and a little bet. Normal service will resume for Round 3 later on.

10am & 7pm

Jimmy White v Ian Burns
Martin Gould v Mitchell Travis (LIVE STREAM)
Gerard Greene v Igor Figueiredo (LIVE STREAM)
Jamie Burnett v Vinnie Calabrese
Cao Yupeng v Scott Donaldson
Jack Lisowski v Stuart Carrington
Nigel Bond v Ross Muir
Matthew Selt v Rhys Clark
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v Alexander Ursenbacher
Anthony Hamilton v Joe Swail
Dave Harold v Li Yan

Recommended Bets: 3 point treble on Selt, Yupeng and Bond pays just over 2/1 at Apollobet. Add Burns for a 1 point acca which pays just over 4/1 at Apollobet. 0.5 point trixie on Figueirdo (9/4), Calabrase (5/2) and Swail (7/4) at Sportingbet. 


Jamie Jones 3-6 Joel Walker (LIVE STREAM)
Marcus Campbell 2-7 Alex Borg
Jamie Cope 8-1 John Astley
Tom Ford 6-3 James Cahill
Yu DeLu 3-6 Luca Brecel
Mark Joyce 5-4 Chen Zhe
Rory McLeod 4-5 Michael Wasley
Liu Chuang 2-6 Robbie Williams
Pankaj Advani 3-5 Li Hang (LIVE STREAM)
Tian Pengfei 4-5 Robin Hull

You can view match prices at Apollobet here   

Apollo Post banner

March 2, 2014

Ruthless Parsons is Classic King

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:29 pm
This year's champion: Ant Parsons.

This year’s champion: Ant Parsons.

Saturday in Gloucester saw the conclusion of this year’s Snookerbacker Classic and a tension filled, action packed, top class day of snooker saw Ant Parsons from Teeside emerge as the champion to scoop the winners prize, beating Mitchell Mann from the Midlands in the final.

It’s very difficult to know where to start with how it all went. Mrs SB and I put in a lot of work to make this what we modestly think is the best amateur tournament there is and I think yesterday saw that all come together in a Grand Finals Day which I believe, again with modesty, was the best one of our three years on the road. This of course could not have been achieved without the team behind the tournament, the officials, the partners, the venues and of course the players, all of whom I will thank later on.

On arrival at the SWSA Andrew Norman was again his seemingly always cheerful self and helped out with anything I requested. My quest for perfection, OCD about symmetrical tables, chairs, water bottles, ice buckets and custom made cue towels being tolerated as if it were perfectly normal behaviour. Mrs SB laid out a special home made orange cake which didn’t last very long at all, as the main players in the day began to arrive.

The opening session saw wins for Jamie Clarke, Ant Parsons, John Whitty and Adam Wicheard. Adam beating the pre-tournament massive gamble John Parkin 4-3. I’d had word the previous day that a Parkin triumph would have cost the bookies a pretty penny or two so I think they probably owe Adam a pretty large drink as a thank you. John’s opening price of 66/1 was surely a result of the bookies letting the cleaners compile the odds for a laugh, they dodged a bullet.

As those matches finished the next four first rounds got underway and three deciders were to be played out. Ben Harrison beating Zack Richardson, Syd Wilson beating Kishan Hirani and Mitchell Mann also dodging a bullet by coming back from 3-1 and 57-0 down to pip Order of Merit Winner Callum Lloyd who has clearly improved a lot by virtue of his participation in this event. On the end table there was something of a shock as Sanderson Lam of Leeds was beaten 4-0 by 50/1 outsider Anthony Jeffers from Liverpool.

Behind the scenes there was a real team effort going on. The live-scoring system again attracted huge interest globally and was complimented on from far and wide on social media. Andy Guest of My Snooker Stats and his team of Stevie, Dom and Adam did a sterling job all day of keeping a truly international audience informed as things happened, it’s a fabulous system which he should be rightly very proud of and it’s an honour for me to have it for the Grand Finals. He tells me he’s very big in Finland.

As the Quarter Finals were being played, none other than Jason Ferguson, the Chairman of the WPBSA turned up for a nose. We had a very constructive chat about how I might eventually get that main tour card I am after and we’re talking again at the Crucible as he’s putting certain people in touch with me and fiddling with knobs etc. It’s potentially very exciting and hopefully we can work something out for next season which takes the Classic further afield and firmly under World Snooker’s radar.

The Quarters themselves saw wins for Ben Harrison, who had by now lost his coat, over Syd Wilson, who hadn’t lost his coat. Mitchell Mann was really starting to motor and he closed out his 4-1 win over Anthony Jeffers with a 104 clearance in some style, Ant Parsons came through against John Whitty meaning an end to the Scouse challenge for the year and Jamie Clarke beat pre-tournament favourite Wicheard 4-1 to progress to a match with Parsons.

What followed in the semi-finals were two matches that were totally different in character but weirdly both finished at exactly the same time. Mitchell Mann’s form was getting even better and a 92% pot success rate including breaks of 93 and 101 told the story of a superb display against the coatless Harrison. Mitch’s dad Jeff proudly watching in the wings, visibly shaking at the end of the match, knowing that his son was looking likely to end the day as champion if this type of form continued and phoning all his contacts to keep them informed, but the real drama of the day was taking place in the other semi-final between Clarke and Parsons.

On reaching the decider Jamie was left with a match ball green to reach the final, which he duly potted and somehow managed to find the middle pocket with the white, a shot that really didn’t look on. He looked on in stunned disbelief as Ant raced through the final five colours to pip him on the black. Ant offered his hand in commiseration and everyone in the room was left really feeling for Jamie, who is a fantastic player and a very likeable lad with a great future ahead of him. He’ll bounce back I’m sure but for now, it wasn’t to be for him and he was clearly dejected at the end of the match. Ant, by his own admission, had got out of jail, his own bullet dodged. Snooker can be a very cruel game.

As the players prepared for the Final, much discussion centred around the trophy that was up for grabs. Ryan Causton had amusingly said earlier in the day that it reminded him of Chewbacca from Star Wars, while others compared it quite fairly to a stool or a coffee table, others stood for a while transfixed only to say ‘well, it’s different’. The general concensus however was that it was a real gem and I know Syd Wilson and Mitchell in particular took a real shine to it. For reference, it’s a hand-carved piece of Ash wood from a local tree artist called Roy (not Roy Wood as that would be too weird), it took him 5 months to make and to be honest we didn’t really want to give it away, but alas we knew the time would come to part.

Big Future: Mitchell Mann in action on Grand Finals Day.

Big Future: Mitchell Mann in action on Grand Finals Day.

Most observers I spoke to had Mitchell as favourite for the final and he started well with break of 62 to bag the first frame. His coach Neil Johnson from Liverpool, an old friend of mine, was ‘in bits’ watching the live scoring and texting me to find out how I thought it would go. I could offer little insight as I had no idea really.

For whatever reason from frame 2 onwards Mitchell’s form began to evade him and Ant started to take command of the match. Mitchell later told me that he’d let the match with Stephen Hendry at the Crucible (part of the winners prize) creep into his mind and that this might have affected his game. Ant however as the match went on was clearly the more focused of the two and in the end the 4-1 scoreline was about right. He even told me at the end that he’d forgotten about ‘The Hendry Part’ of the prize and when he was reminded he hastily started making plans.

A delighted champion said afterwards ‘I am on cloud nine, I’ve been entering this since it started and it truly is the best amateur tournament in the world as far as I am concerned, we are treated like royalty at Grand Finals Day and that is a testament to how well it is run, I am so proud to be the champion this year and even more delighted that my wife Sarah was here to watch me win. It’s a great memory for us both. I have a tournament tomorrow but I’m sure I’ll find time to celebrate and I can’t wait to hook up again with Mr and Mrs SB at the Crucible to really celebrate my win in style, what a day it’s been!’

Mitchell was reflective in defeat and said ‘Ant played the better of us in the final and he deserved to win. I need to work on my stamina as I started badly today but played myself into the tournament with my first win, I felt great in the semi-final but I think it was one match too many for me today. What I will say is that this is a brilliant event and I want to thank Mr and Mrs SB who are doing such a great job for us amateurs, if I can I’ll definitely be back next year to try and go one better’.

Personally, I am absolutely delighted for Ant. He will remember, probably better than me, three years ago when I turned up to Gloucester for the first time as a very nervous rookie tournament director and he was the first player that myself and Mrs SB really got to know with his wife Sarah. For him to win in what I modestly think has been the best year of the tournament so far is fitting and I couldn’t be happier with our champion or the destination for the trophy. As long as their kid doesn’t cover it in jam or paint of course.

As for Mitchell, all I can say is, what a player he is. His percentages were streets ahead of the rest of the field for most of the day but he just tailed off a bit at the end. He is 22, has a great team behind him now and has the snooker world at his feet. I’d say with the way he is going now we’ll be seeing him in the professional ranks sooner rather than later, he has all the attributes it takes to succeed and he knows the areas he needs to work on, if he does that, success is guaranteed. He’s also a lovely lad and his dad Jeff is rightly very proud of him. Onwards and upwards.

Jamie Clarke - green ain't his favourite colour

Jamie Clarke – green ain’t his favourite colour

A word on the semi-finalists again from a personal point of view. I felt really sorry for Jamie Clarke and have even took time out of my busy schedule to text him today to check he’s OK such was the manner of his defeat, (I’m good like that. Actually I text him because he was on BBC Wales and Mrs SB said he looked handsome and I disagreed, so it was just to settle an argument really). Jamie is a fantastic player and was one shot away from the Final, friends of mine away from the blog who I have met on our travels will know how much I rate him and he still, like Mitchell, and unlike me, has time on his side.

As for Ben Harrison, he wasn’t at his best yesterday by his own admission but still nabbed a Q-School place along with Jamie regardless and can be proud of that. He’s another regular in the tournament and a firm favourite of ours, he was also delighted earlier when I text him to tell him I located his coat. It’s now residing in SB Mansions with a rather hefty ransom tag attached.


Now for the thank you’s in the Oscars style. If I miss anyone I am truly sorry but I will try not to. As I said above this was a truly team effort and I would firstly like to thank the venues and the staff who helped us make this tournament what it is becoming; the superb SWSA and in particular Andrew Norman and Clare Mount, Scotties in Liverpool (Col), Cue Ball in Derby (Danny and Paul) and the Northern in Leeds.

I’d next like to thank all the referees for their tireless work. I can’t name them all but on Grand Finals Day the fivesome of Clive ‘The Planner’ Brown who reluctantly admitted under interrogation and a glass of red wine that I had a great personality, Welshie Alan Collis who turned up unexpectedly but was most welcome and a top drawer supersub, Rob Spencer (who has been out with the blonde one out of the Human League so I hate him), the legend that is Nick ‘Superref’ Harry (’nuff said), and of course the irrepressible and unstoppable Martyn ‘Rolls’ Royce, who has been a constant all singing, all dancing, all head-torch wearing companion throughout the event.

Next the SB Classic family of sponsors, John Parrott Cuesports, SightRight, Snooker Legends, Lake Creative Design and My Snooker Stats and to the lovely Vicki Evans who made the cue towels for the players at Grand Finals Day.

Next, anyone who has taken an interest in the event, whether it be by tweeting me about it, having a bet on it or even turning up to watch or help out, it’s always greatly appreciated. The only exception I will make to this is Craig Scotford aka The Wizard of Glos, who I am still seeking a restraining order from as I type.

Finally, the players. A lot is written about ‘moaning snooker players’ but I can truly say that I’ve not seen any evidence of this in my own tournaments, quite the opposite in fact and I hope this is because we like to treat them well while expecting them to pay £50 to enter each one, some could maybe learn a lesson. Regardless of this, we’ve made some great friends this last three years and every year adds to the list. Special mention has to go to the Jones family, 4th placed in the #TWAT snooker contest Baldy Mark, mum of the year Theresa and daughters Hannah (yes, the snooker one) and their youngest Ellie (who’s artwork is rather ermm, interesting) who we’ve grown a lot closer to this year. I really hope next year is the year that Hannah starts fulfilling her potential in both the ladies game and the amateur tour and Ellie starts to stop drawing pictures of people with arms growing out of their mouths.

So that’s it. We have a champion and our house is now minus a huge heavy log. Congratulations to Ant, who also wins £300 for the highest break of the tournament, a 122. Enjoy it mate.

All the results from the Grand Finals including player stats are here.

If any media or bloggers or dare I say potential sponsors would like to chat with Ant or Mitchell about their Snookerbacker Classic experience then please get in touch with me and I will set something up.  

Let’s do it all again next year. I’ll leave you with this……..see you all next season.

Royce reflects on the SB Classic.

Royce reflects on the SB Classic.

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