2023 World Seniors Snooker World Championship – Qualifiers 3 Draw and an Important Initiative to Help Lonely Ageing Persons

The Draw was done this morning for World Seniors Snooker World Championship Qualifier 3.

The event will be played weekend of 17th – 19th February 2023. The Winner will take their place at the Crucible in May.

1 Philip Williams v Frank Gumbrell

2 Peter O’Malley v Bradley Jones

3 Alfie Burden v Minesh Doshi

4 Andrew Pagett v Bye

5 Gary Filtness v Paul Dawson

6 Patrick Fagan v Damon Sykes

7 Rory McLeod v Paul Burrell

8 Richard Pipe v Marc Shaw

9 Bal Sembi v Adrian Morrissey

10 Wayne Townsend v Bye

11 Nigel Howe v Ian Desmier

12 John Hunter v Karl Townsend

13 Mark Ganderton v Raymond Gent

14 Neil Craycraft v Karl Ashmore

15 David Brock v Luke Simmonds

16 Matthew Ford v John Palmer

17 Craig Steadman v Bye

18 Gareth Edwards v Bye

19 James O’Sullivan v Jamshid Kharazchi

20 Gary Britton v Tony Corrigan

21 Steve Crowley v Andy Lavin

22 Dharminder Lilly v Ian Phipps

23 Stuart Watson v Bye

24 Michael Judge v Bye

25 Adam Denham v Neal Jones

26 Aaron Canavan v James McGouran

27 Mark Bell v Man Sing Albert Fok

28 James Height v Dennis Tristram

29 Ant Parsons v Bye

30 Dean Sycamore v Rob Wells

31 Gareth Prosser v Jamie McCarthy

32 Peter Lines v Daniel Young

Also today, World Seniors Snooker announced an important initiative. In collaboration with Sheffield Council, the Crucible Theatre and AgeUKSheffield they will organise the “Seniors of Sheffield Day” on Friday 5th May 2023.

Here is the full announcement

Sheffield Charities Unite with World Seniors Snooker

The World Seniors Snooker Tour, in collaboration with Sheffield City Council, The Crucible Theatre and Age UK Sheffield is proud to announce a Seniors of Sheffield Day which will take place on Friday 5th May 2023 and give 500 residents of the city a chance to come to the Crucible Theatre to not only see some top class snooker but meet likeminded others and engage with many of the great organisations based in the city helping and serving the ageing population and those living in isolation. 

Research done by World Seniors Snooker Director Rohit Sagoo, with Age UK Sheffield, shows the number of over 50’s experiencing loneliness is set to reach two million by 2025/6. This compares to around 1.4 million in 2016/7 – a 49% increase in 10 years. There are 1.2 million chronically lonely older people in the UK and half a million older people go at least five or six days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone at all. 

Loneliness, living alone and poor social connections are as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and lonely people are more likely to be living with dementia, heart disease and depression

Rohit said “Loneliness is likely to increase your risk of death by 29% and we have a great opportunity to use our Seniors Snooker event in Sheffield to get local residents along and help them understand the support that is available in the city through Age UK Sheffield and all the other great groups.” 

Jason Francis, Chairman of the World Seniors Snooker Tour said “This is the start of a project to allocate a day each year to the senior people of Sheffield, who may be vulnerable or living in isolation. Many may not have been able to see snooker in the Crucible before but more importantly we will have representatives of the city’s charities on site to let people know they are not alone and there is help out there. We also want to say thank you to all the volunteers and carers out there.” 

Steve Chu, Chief Executive of Age UK Sheffield said “This is a fantastic initiative to engage older people in Sheffield with a sport we know many of them love. We believe there are 12,000 lonely and isolated older people in Sheffield, many of whom whose main source of company is either a pet or the television.  

“Visiting the Crucible to see some live snooker will be a great experience for those who benefit from Seniors of Sheffield.” 

Tickets will be allocated through one of the city nominated groups and will include a free ticket to the 1pm session of the snooker on Friday 5th May, a hot drink on arrival and the chance to engage with Age UK Sheffield and other city charities. A few of the snooker legends will be on site to say hello and share some memories of what the city and the Crucible means to them. 

If you feel you can use some of these tickets for older people you are supporting, please e-mail Lucy Sharp lucy.harper@ageuksheffield.org.uk. 

Gerard Greene Qualifies for the 2023 World Seniors Snooker Championship

Gerard Greene will play at the Crucible in May, after winning the World Seniors Snooker Championship qualifying event 2, in Reading, last week-end. He beat Phil Williams in the Final.

Congratulations Gerard Greene!

All detailed results are available here.

A “Super Seniors” event was played in Reading over the week-end as well and it was won by Gary Miller.

Congratulations Gary Miller!

The full results for this event are available here.

Darren Morgan qualifies for the 2023 World Championship

This was shared by World Seniors Snooker on social media:

The Dazzler Darren Morgan has been nominated as the EBSA Seniors Champion and will take his place at the Crucible Theatre for the 2023 World Seniors Championship.

Darren is a former seniors champion. Well done Darren, he will join PABSA Seniors Champion Vito Puopolo as one of the WSF Continental Invites

This nomination came shortly after Darren won the IBSF Amateur World Championship (Masters) in Turkey last week. Congratulations Darren … 11 World titles and counting!

Ben Hancorn Qualifies for the 2023 World Seniors Snooker Championship

Congratulations Ben Hancorn!

Ben Hancorn has beaten beat Alfie Burden in the final, to win the 2023 World Seniors Snooker Championship Qualifying event one. You will find all the detailed results on this page.

This was Ben’s reaction on social media:

Ben was very emotional. He had just kept a promise to his late father …

This is his post-match interview with Jason Francis:

That’s what it means to those players… Jason is really doing an important work there.

And some pictures …

Quarte-finals line-up: Alfie Burden v Lee Stephens, Mohamed Shehab v Wayne Townsend, Ben Hancorn v Lee Richardson, Stuart Readon v Daniel Ward

Semi-Finals and Final:

Vito Puopolo has won the 2022 PABSA Pan-American Seniors Snooker Championship in Toronto. 

This means that he has earned a spot in the 2023 World Seniors Snooker Championship to be played at the Crucible in Sheffield in May.

Congratulations Vito!

Here is the report by WPBSA:

Puopolo is Crucible Bound After Pan-American Seniors Win

Vito Puopolo is set to make his Crucible Theatre debut next year after winning the 2022 PABSA Pan-American Seniors Snooker Championship in Toronto. 

Victory for reigning Canadian National Champion Puopolo in the multi-continent event – organised by the Pan-American Billiards and Snooker Association – qualifies him for the 2023 World Seniors Snooker Championship in May.

Players from Brazil, the United States of America and host nation Canada travelled to The Corner Bank venue for the event. Puopolo began his campaign with a 3-0 win over Jesus Batista Oliveria (Brazil) before he made breaks of 91 and 47 during a 3-0 defeat of Ajeya Prabhakar (USA) in the quarter-finals.

Frank Ammirante (Canada) won the opening frame of their semi-final with the help of a 67 break, but Puopolo strung together the next three frames to reach the final.

On the other side of the draw, defending champion Ahmed Aly Elsayed made it through; the record six-time United States National Champion came from 2-1 down to deny Jason Williams in the other last four match, 3-2.

However, the title would change hands, as Puopolo won the final 3-0, registering a run of 46 in the second frame.

The open Pan-American Snooker Championship will now take place over the coming days at the same venue, with the victor earning a professional World Snooker Tour card for the 2023/24 and 2024/25 seasons.

Article by Michael Day.

Here is how the latter stages of the event went

Today, the first qualifying event for the Seniors World Championship will start at the Crucible club in Reading… the club is ready!

You will find the draw, and you will be able to follow the event as it unfolds here

The draw for the 2023 World Championship Qualifiers Event 1 is out

This was shared by Jason Francis on social media earlier this week:

The Draw for the World Seniors Snooker Championship Qualifier to be held at Crucible Reading has been made. Matches begin on Friday 28th. Format and match times to follow

Pre-Lim Matches

PL1 Nigel Howe v Marc Shaw

PL2 Paul Vallance v Dessie Sheehan

PL3 Michael Judge v Zhong Wei Tan

PL4 Michael Philbin v Damon Sykes

PL5 Chris Cookson v Ian Whiting

PL6 Muhammad Asif v Lee Stephens

PL7 Gary Thomson v Steve Porter

PL8 Kevin Palmer v Cary Kikis

PL9 Justin Eggins v Mark Sutton

Matches (with match number)

1 Peter Lines v Winner of Pre-Lim 1

2 Andrew Booker v Rodney Goggins

3 Lee Richardson v Winner of Pre-Lim 2

4 Gerard Greene v Gareth Prosser

5 John Hunter v Bal Sembi

6 Adam Denham v Craig Steadman

7 Steve Crowley v Winner of Pre-Lim 3

8 Adrian Morrissey v Ben Hancorn

9 Neil Craycraft v Gareth Edwards

10 Aaron Canavan v Milan Krstanovic

11 Steve Bird v Winner of Pre-Lim 4

12 Stuart Reardon v Jamshid Kharazchi

13 James Brown v James O’Sullivan

14 Mark Ganderton v Aaron Downey

15 Peter O’Malley v Winner of Pre-Lim 5

16 Dharminder Singh Lilly v Daniel Ward

17 Philip Williams v Ahmed Alashmi

18 Alfie Burden v Andrew Pagett

19 Dean Sycamore v Anthony Harris

20 Garry Coulson v Stephane Ochoiski

21 Patsy Fagan v Andy Battams

22 James Height v Winner of Pre-Lim 6

23 Matt Ford v Winner of Pre-Lim 7

24 David Brock v Paul Burrell

25 John Palmer v Daniel Mooney

26 Wayne Townsend v Simon Chandler

27 Karl Townsend v Winner of Pre Lim 8

28 Rod Lawler v Daren Millard

29 Andrew Greaves v Nigel Phillips

30 John Snape v Mohamed Shehab

31 Neal Jones v Winner of Pre-Lim 9

32 Stuart Watson v Gary Britton

Quite a few pros and “recent pros” in this draw.

Nice as well to see Stephane Ochoiski, from France, giving it a go. Stephane is Brian Ochoiski’s father. Brian was on the tour in recent years. Stephane runs a club in St Avold and is a coach.

Entries are open for the 2023 World Seniors Snooker Championship Qualifiers

Here is the announcement, with the detailed information, published by WPBSA

World Seniors Snooker 2022/23 | Enter Now!

Online entry is now open for the 2022/23 World Seniors Snooker (WSS) Tour via WPBSA SnookerScores.

World Championship Qualifiers

The calendar is headlined by four qualifying events for the 2023 World Seniors Snooker Championship, which will provide opportunities for any amateur player, or any current WST professional player ranked 65-131 on the main tour, and over-40 on or before 28 October 2022, to win one of four coveted spots at the event.

Each qualifier will be held at the Crucible Club in Reading, with the winner of each event progressing to the final stages.

Alongside each qualifying event there will also be a Super Seniors ranking tournament staged on the final day, open to players aged 55 years or over.

Open Series

As well as the World Championship qualifiers, new for this season are three World Seniors Open Series tournaments, which each carry full ranking points and prize money.

In the event of late withdrawals, the world ranking system is often used to replace those who withdraw from the main televised events.

Tour Membership

Entry for all tournaments will open on Monday 3 October via WPBSA SnookerScores with the entry deadline for the opening tournaments of the season set to fall on 14 October.

All players will need to secure, or already hold, a World Seniors Tour Membership for the 2022/23 Season. Professionals who already hold a WPBSA membership do not need both. 

Membership is available to purchase now via WPBSA SnookerScores.

Also it has been confirmed the the 2023 World Seniors Snooker Championship will once again be played at the Crucible and broadcasted by the BBC.

An Impromptu Interview with Jason Francis

Before you read further … I wanted to know more about the 900, and Jason had agreed to give me an exclusive interview for my blogs. Jason and I have known each other for many years and, well … our conversation lead us onto other subjects dear to us both, the Seniors and his future endeavours. That wasn’t planned but here goes … and enjoy!

M: On Tuesday next week, 8 players will compete in the first instalment of the 900 series. What inspired you to start this series and how did you come up with the concept?

J: I’ve always aim to create events that I, as a snooker fan, would want to watch or play in. That’s the main priority, at the end of the day I am a snooker fan. So whether it be the Legends Cup, the re-spotted black deciders, the team events, the doubles… its all about entertainment. So I created the Amateur Snooker League in 2021, ASL, and we did a trial event… it wasn’t right. So I listened to some tv companies, I tried to understand what is important to them… and I created the 900.

M: The players competing in the series are invited. How did this work and what criteria guided your choices? 

J: So I always said from the start the first event should reward those who have supported all my other events, no apologies for that. So many amateurs have taken time out to travel and play in whatever event I put on, many probably with no realistic chance of winning that event, but they’ve followed me so when I got this on I stuck by that promise, while at the same time making sure we tried to access every top amateur snooker champion in the world.

M: Organising such series of events comes at a cost and there is prize money as well. How is this series funded?

J: If you truly believe in something sometimes you have to be willing to back it, you have to set a level of prize money that is attractive, eye catching to amateurs but at the same time sustainable. On every event I have ever staged there has been no guarantee of me making money, that’s life as a promoter and what a lot of people just don’t get. There are plenty of people who sit in salaried positions in both sports I am involved in who can make decisions without that having any personal risk… I wonder sometimes if they would be making those choices if it was their money?

M: It is an amateur only series. Why is that?

J: That’s because we are televised and the WST professionals are not permitted to play on television without permission from world snooker and of course the 900 will clash with so many of their events over the course of the next 9 weeks. So many pros have asked me to play in it, I’ve told them in the future go and get permission and I will gladly have them in but the event trying to get sanctions comes with too many other restrictions that get imposed, especially around ownership of international tv rights outside the host broadcast.

M: On social media, you hinted at a “Professionals’ 900” and a “Women’s 900” in the future. Regarding the professionals in particular, how will that be made possible? Will they not be in breach of their contract considering that those events are televised?

J: As above… if the prize money is right I can invite pros and then its up to them to go and get permission, its seems they can all go and play pool at the moment so if a ‘professionals’ week happened on a non WST event week then why would they not allow their players to earn money in a week where they can’t provide a tournament? I think it would be pretty cruel to stop players earning money if they are not staging an event. The women’s is very much the same as no tv women’s event would have credibility without the top 4. Let’s see.

M: Among the players you invited, there is a significant number of “Seniors” players. I suppose that they are particularly keen to get their cues out as, this season, there is only one major Seniors event, the World Championship. What happened there? 

J: The 900 has a mix of Legends, Top Amateurs, Seniors, Juniors, Women and WDBS, it’s the inclusion of all that I am so proud of being able to do. Very few of these would have been on tv much, some not at all. They deserve their chance. The Seniors situation is a bit more complicated

M: In the last couple of years, a number of your Legends have definitely retired (Cliff Thorburn, John Parrott, Dennis Taylor). How does that impact the Seniors Tour? I’m mainly thinking about the promotion of the events here.

J: It’s simple, you’ve lost 4 commercially valuable and attractive names.. and so far we don’t have 4 to fill the gap but just because they are not hitting balls it does not mean that they are not of use at the events in other ways. Commentary, hosting, corporate hospitality. It’s a he problem though and one I was talking about way before it happened.

M: Younger “Legends” appear to be keen on playing on the Seniors tour. Mark Williams in particular has recently expressed his interest on social media. Currently, being a top player he can’t. However you hinted at changes that would make it possible next season. What are those changes?

J: So the truth is back in October 2021 I presented a blueprint for the future of seniors to my board, the WPBSA players board and WPBSA board itself

It was very much around the point above that we were losing ‘marquee’ names and we were not replacing them. The current agreement with WST allows us to invite players over the age of 40 ranked 65 and below, in return Seniors agrees not to clash events or approach any sponsors or broadcasters they work with. 

The agreement was right at the time we signed it, it no longer really works for either side so since January we have been trying to work on a new agreement with them and to explore my blueprint which requested to open up invites to the whole tour, even if it meant raising the age to 45. 

I also suggested if that was not acceptable it could be limited to tv invites to former major winners. This would not have affected the opportunities for amateurs, or any WST pro who was not invited, as that allocation of places would have remained the same. 

But the benefits would have been huge and to me it was so simple. The value of being able to invite Ronnie, Mark, John, Ballrun for example, 4 world champions to a seniors event staged at a time when no WST event was on, the commercial value of that to a sponsor, to ticket sales, TV, to the tour in general would have been massive in my opinion… and could have increased prize money significantly. 

And I go back to my very first point about putting on events I would like to play in… imagine winning a club qualifier knowing the chance to play Ronnie or John Higgins live on tv in the crucible is the prize? 

Anyway sadly it didn’t work out but that should not be a criticism of WST as at this time they are in a huge period of transition with their own challenges to face so I understand supporting seniors is not a priority. Barry stepping back feels a bit like a team losing their captain, then Nigel retiring as well means a hugely experienced operator is lost to the team, then you add on Pete and Eugene retiring who fitted all the tables and it’s no surprise that Jason Francis wanting Mark Williams in his senior events becomes less important to them.

M: What happened to the Uk Seniors in Hull

J: Lots of people ask what has happened to Hull, our home of the Uk Seniors for the past 3 years. That is something that has disappointed me. I found out that WST had placed the Tour Championship there early next year while I was actually in the venue for my darts. I worked so hard on that event and with the council, the mayor to try and get Hull on the map for snooker, maybe I did it too well as a major ITV just got dropped in right over the top of our planned 2023 UK Seniors. And what did irritate me, but was I accept an oversight, was that internally our sport talked about how great it was to get snooker to Hull, we’d been there three years! So anyway it was clear two events as close to each other would not work, and again me as a snooker fan am I going to buy a ticket to see Patrick Wallace v Darren Morgan (with respect to both) or am I going to go to a best of 19 between the likes of Ronnie and Judd? Not often I really get irritated but that was a blow as that decision was made without a single consideration of the Seniors tour.

M: So whats the future?

J: But the good news is from May, when the agreement ends, Seniors is free to do whatever it wants and my partners at the WPBSA have been so great in continuing to support their tour as they truly see the benefit of it. 

So whereas seniors fans and players may be disappointed for this season, please sit tight as with the freedom to stage events when and where we want, with no restrictions on who we talk to or invite, with my new broadcast partners on events in darts I think the Seniors could very well get back to where it was pre covid.

M: Back to the 900 … the line-up is extremely diverse, which is great to see. Notably, it includes female players. Yet you consider a “Women’s 900”. Why is that? 

J: I think a Women’s week special, just like the pros could work very well. Once again I would dip into my own pocket to get that on, its well-known I am a huge supporter of the women’s game, women in sport, and not just because I manage Reanne. Why more Women’s snooker is not on tv baffles me.

M: What about other “specific” 900s? A “Youth 900” maybe? Thinking “under 18”  and or “under 16” here. 

J: So this time the rules on betting meant I could not invite a Liam Davies, a Daniel Boyes or Stan Moody despite how good that would have been but what underlies the whole 900 concept is not just about this tv event. 

The software I have built with a young whizzkid called Aaron from Scotland can soon be licensed to clubs who can run their own events, their own leagues. 

The beauty of a game of 900 is its 15 minutes… it’s a couple of games in your lunch hour. In a night league format for 3 or 4 players to play a couple of games and be done before midnight. It suits the modern lifestyle. And then my events can be about leagues, clubs sending us their champions. It can be played as a doubles event, a team event… it’s so flexible. We already have enquires for clubs wanting to run their own 900 events.

M: Anything else planned?

J: You’ve known me long enough to know I never sit still but also a lot of people don’t know I’ve been fighting a criminal court case for almost three years after someone in the sport made up a series of lies and false allegations against me because I uncovered some financial irregularities in a company I was involved in with some other professionals. They tried to destroy my reputation, my role with seniors and me personally, it was incredibly stressful having to keep quiet about this during that period on legal advice. That all came to an end in June when the truth finally all came out in court, as I knew it would, and I was found not guilty, completely vindicated and got a costs order.

So that’s behind me and now I am free of that I am back on full charge…Doubles in November, Champs league for amateurs I hope to start in 2023. Added a 4th darts major, Legends is taking Ronnie to Bulgaria and Germany this season, working on exhibitions for Stephen H. Team Champs in April 23 and the small matter of 4 Seniors Qualifiers, 4 Super Seniors Qualifiers and 3 Seniors Open Events…keep up everyone lol

Thank you Jason and good luck in your endeavours!