Next Seniors event …

EuroQ1Poster

The entries are now closed.

There were only had 24 entries so there is no play on Friday.

The event did not reach 32 entries therefore  top 8 seeded players from the Seniors World Ranking list have been placed into the draw with the other 16 drawn randomly to play a match to face a seed in the Last 16.

The format of the European Open is best of 5 with no deciding frame respot.

Here is the draw:

Left Half
Paul Currie v Aidan Devenney winner to play number 1 seed Jonathan Bagley

Paul Donaghy v Rodney Goggins winner to play Number 8 Seed Robert Marshall

Owen Toland v Tony Bullimer winner to play number 5 seed Dermot McGlinchey

Tom O Driscoll v Sean Gray winner to play number 4 seed Michael Judge

Right Half
Joe Sims v Tommy Murphy winner to play number 2 seed Lee Richardson

Paul TheCannon Canavan v Tony Corrigan winner to play number 7 seed Anthony Bonnar

Hughie O’Donnell v Mark Davies winner to play number 6 seed Joe Delaney

Pat Bonnar v James Flaherty winner to play number 3 seed Sean Lanigan

 

The King returns to the Crucible

Following the announcements made yesterday regarding Stephen Hendry’s commitment to play in the Seniors tour, here is what the Yorkshire Evening Post wrote about it:

Crucible legend Hendry will make playing return in Sheffield as he joins Seniors

Henfry, King of the Crucible

Tour Stephen Hendry who dominated snooker in the Nineties.

RICHARD HERCOCK  Published: 22:27 Thursday 12 July 2018

Stephen Hendry is set for an emotional playing return at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre. The 49-year-old retired from snooker in 2012 after a glittering career, which included a record seven World Championship titles and 27 consecutive appearances in Sheffield. But the Scot has signed up to play on this season’s World Seniors Tour.

Hendry will compete at the UK Championship, at Hull’s Bonus Arena, on October 24-25 before travelling to Belfast for the World Seniors Six Reds event in March. But it is his return to the Crucible – for the Sheffield Masters next April – that will evoke memories of his golden years at the home of snooker.

Hendry dominated the snooker circuit in the Nineties, and admitted: “There’s no venue where I love playing snooker more than the Crucible. “We have done exhibitions there over the years, and to still walk down those stairs into that arena to play snooker is still something special. That’s something that will never leave me.”

Hendry, who will also compete at the World Seniors Championships and European Seniors Open, is excited at the new Seniors Tour. “I want to improve on my general standards of play, from the events that I played last year,” he said. “It’s more official this year, with the backing of World Snooker and a calendar of events to look forward to. “I will treat it a bit more seriously, put a bit more practice in. As for my own expectations, I just want to play some good snooker.”

The Tour has £200k in prize money this season, six ranking events and 15 qualifying events where anyone over 40 can win a spot to take on the legends in the final stages. qualifying events will be held in Hong Kong, Toronto, Houston, Brugge and China.

First up for Hendry is a trip to Hull, which will also include a launch dinner and golf day, alongside fellow stars Ken Doherty, Dennis Taylor, John Parrott and Yorkshire’s Joe Johnson. Up for grabs is a £10,000 winner’s prize plus a place in the World Professional Championship Qualifiers. “The new Bonus Arena in Hull looks amazing,” said Hendry. “This year the Seniors Tour feels more serious and I’m looking forward to competing again against the other legends.”

And you can also listen to the interview I did with Stephen yesterday. Thanks to him for taking the time to answer my questions, and thanks to Jason Francis who relayed them to him and recorder the interview.

An exclusive interview with Stephen Hendry

Stephen Hendry is fully embracing the World Seniors Tour – he was today confirmed to play in the World Seniors UK Championship next October – and he very kindly agreed to answer a few questions for me. Many thanks to Jason Francis who relayed those questions to him and recorded the interview. Here it is:

And here is Stephen doing some filming today for the World Seniors Tour promotion.

New eyes, new hopes for Willie Thorne

Willie Thorne on twitter has vowed to play on the Seniors Tour this season after undergoing lens replacement surgery in Bristol. After struggling with poor sight for years, the legendary snooker player and commentator is finally enjoying clearer vision as the surgery was succesful.

In the previous season Willie had entered some Seniors events but it was obvious how badly he was struggling. Hopefully the surgery will make a telling difference and allow him to compete properly and enjoy his snooker again.

All the best Willie!

You can read more about it here

 

Brilliant David Lilley

David Lilley is a World Seniors Tour player, he’s never been a professional. Last season he qualified for the Seniors World Championship. Then he went on to play in the Q-School and finished on top of the Order of Merit. This makes him eligible to compete on the Challenge Tour as well as on Seniors Tour. It also earns him invitations to Main Tour events, should some pros not enter.

David just got, and accepted, two such invitations. This last week he’s played in the Riga Masters Qualifiers and in the World Open Qualifiers and he won both matches. He beat Hammad Miah by 4-2 in the Riga Masters Qualifiers, scoring 118, 112 and 95 on his way, and he beat Li Hang by 5-4 in the World Open Qualifiers, this time with a 93. Li Hang is currently ranked n° 36 in the World, certainly no “numpty” …

David is currently joint first on the Main Tour one year list, has earned himself £5500 in a single week and is Latvia and China bound.

DavidLilleyWinning

#DareToDream

Darren Morgan wins in Romania and earns invitation in the World Seniors European Open

MastersEuroRomania2018-4

Darren Morgan from Wales won the EBSA Masters Championship 2018 in Romania and it earned him a spot in the coming World Seniors European Masters come October. He beat John Farrell by 4-2 in the Final. Darren also won the Men’s shootout competition earlier this week (picture above).

Congratulations Darren!

You can read more about Darren in his wikipedia profile

As you can see Darren is still competing at a very high level, reaching the SF at the Riga Masters 2016 and the Final of the Seniors World Championship 2016.

And some images shared on social media showing the venue and its surroundings. Nice!

An interview with Jason Francis, Chairman of the WORLD SENIORS SNOOKER TOUR

I have known Jason Francis for many years, attending and taking pictures at a number of his events, from one night exhibitions to mini exhibition tournaments to actual ranking World Seniors tournaments. What was obvious to me from the start is that he’s a hard-core snooker fan who put his heart and soul into his snooker endeavours. He’s also a very hard worker. Jason is surrounded by an extremely loyal team and I have no doubts that their loyalty largely feeds on Jason’s own enthusiasm, working ethics and positivity.

I asked Jason if he would agree to answer a few questions, and here is the result.

Thank you Jason!

How/why was the “Snooker Legends”  idea and concept born?

I can’t remember exactly when I first had the idea for a Legends Tour. Many people have asked me, and it would be great to create some symbolic ‘light bulb’ moment. However, the truth, as far as I can remember, was I’d been bored watching Peter Ebdon and Graeme Dott on TV take an hour over a frame – and the children’s theatre company I ran,  and owned, was beginning to feel the bite of the recession. I was looking at ways to use our position and contacts with the theatres to try out another type of show.

Snooker Legends was one idea I had and recreating the Sunday night darts game show Bullseye was another. (I actually produced the Bullseye theatre tour as well, in 2010: it sunk faster than the imaginary speedboat they offered on it for the 101 or more in six darts!)

How/why did the Snooker Legends idea evolve into the World Seniors Tour?

I think since 2010 I’d been solving the snooker governing body a major problem, in that players who had been great servants to the game had fallen off tour and unless they got regular punditry work they were relying on coaching or exhibitions – neither of which could be described as providing a full-time income.  We were designed to be a vehicle for Alex Higgins, we all know what happened but out of it came the Legends tour and came 20-30 theatre exhibitions a year that  eventually, in 2017, evolved into a chance to resurrect the World Seniors tour.

Why the distinctive format?

I’m from a theatre background and to put it bluntly once you exceed a certain number of hours in a theatre, or dare to go near midnight then the charges become very large. To me a show should be 2 and a half hours with an interval – that’s old school theatre no matter what the subject. We’ve done various formats over the years with legends but all designed to deliver that time of show. We are in the entertainment business, so the respotted black gives me moments of drama but also helps me with the length of the shows.

The World Seniors tour offers serious competitive snooker, mixed with entertainment, glamour and conviviality. Did your background in theatre help/inspire you in achieving this? 

As above really but yes they are all key elements. People only have so much disposable income, we need to make sure if they choose to spend their money with us they have a really good time!

How is the WPBSA involved? What is your role exactly?

World Seniors Snooker Ltd is a separate company owned by myself and the WPBSA – it has been separated from Snooker Legends on purpose. Many people say one of the strengths of the Snooker Legends brand is me, myself and the relationship I’ve built with the players, however it’s also a huge weakness. Indeed without me the World Seniors Tour still has to function – the company has made commitments to its legends and all over 40’s amateur players globally. What we need to see is it not rely so heavily on me – one person cannot control every aspect, and fulfil every role, of a global cue sports tour. Of course there are things that I am integral too but as this grows then the tour needs to stand on its own two feet and not be reliant on Snooker Legends or Jason Francis.

Why and how do you collaborate with National Federations? 

Our tour is propped up by the amateur players all following the dream to win a qualifier and get to the final stage events to take on a legend. The National Federations are largely voluntary, yet a body like the EASB puts on over 100 events a year. It’s crazy to me that we shouldn’t be working together and encouraging their players to enter our events, especially as some of them carry a place at the World professional championships.

What are your “dreams” about that tour and its future?

I’d like to see £50,000 for our world champion within the next 5 years and a minimum 25k for the other ranking events, of which I’d like to get to 10. Aside from the ranking events I want to bring back pot black as a one-off special and also provide some other events purely for the amateurs – very much like the top 16 shootout we’ve got going to Norbreck Castle next year.

Jason has a book coming out on July 12, 2018 and you can pre-order it here on amazon

The book “presentation” by the editor says this

Jason Francis is the man who created the Snooker Legends Tour and who’s been at Ronnie O’Sullivan’s side on tour for the past 6 years. This is his story, sharing tales on the road with ‘the Rocket’ and some of the game’s greatest ever snooker legends like Jimmy White and Stephen Hendry.

From his initial idea, to meeting and staging the last ever snooker show with Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins to taking over the World Seniors Tour, Jason reveals what he learnt about the players themselves and also the sport as it developed over the years under the guidance of Barry Hearn.

Jason grew up watching snooker on a TV that needed two shillings for the meter. He was fascinated by their characters, the bitter rivalries and their seemingly rock star lifestyles. Jason wanted to be a snooker player, he wasn’t good enough but years later found a way to get involved with the sport he loved.

Through his tour, Jason was at the centre of it all, able to bring the former players together again to renew old rivalries and create new memories. He struggled against those in the game who didn’t want him to succeed but never gave up. This is his story, a snooker fan’s story.

And Jason commented

This book still tells the stories but it’s really my journey from the first idea to the recent announcement of the tour.

World Seniors Snooker and EBSA Announce New Partnership

This was published today by WPBSA

25th June 2018

The WPBSA World Seniors Tour is delighted to announce a new partnership with the European Billiards and Snooker Association (EBSA).

With this year’s European Championships currently ongoing in Romania we can confirm that the EBSA has been awarded a place in the WPBSA European Seniors Championship for the 2018 European Masters champion.

This initial three-year deal means that the Masters champion can look forward to representing the EBSA in competition alongside legends such as Stephen Hendry and Jimmy White until 2020.

Jason Ferguson, Chairman of the WPBSA and WSF President said “Our vision within the WPBSA Group and the WSF is to see more cooperation with regional bodies like the EBSA. This latest news demonstrates the partnership working which will provide more opportunities for players as our sport continues to grow.”

EBSA Chairman Maxime Cassis said: “This is fantastic news for the EBSA as it hugely increases the prestige of the EBSA Masters Snooker Championship. I am sure it will also bring motivation to most of the countries who are members of the EBSA to enter players in that great event: The World Seniors Snooker Tour.”

Learn more about the new WPBSA World Seniors Snooker Tour here.

If you are over 40, and a member of your national federation, you can enter a World Seniors Snooker Tour Qualifier now by clicking here.