In addition to Jimmy White, the defending Champion and Ken Doherty, two more names have been confirmed for the Seniors UK Championship in Hull: Joe Johnson and Aaron Canavan, the reigning Seniors World Champion.
tweets by Jason Francis yesterday:
As the current World Seniors Champion we are delighted to announce that Aaron Canavan will take his place as number 2 seed in Hull @hull_venue Dreams do come true! Book now
New Zealand’s Dene O’Kane has announced he will be dusting off his cue and entering the World Seniors Tour qualifiers in Hong Kong this September.
The former world number 18 and two-time World Championship quarter-finalist will be returning to the country where he reached his only professional ranking final at the 1989 Hong Kong Open, narrowly losing out 9-8 to Mike Hallett.
Dene O’Kane said: “I am delighted to be a part of the new World Seniors Snooker Tour. I must say it is long overdue and will be the perfect platform for many ex-professional players to compete again together with new opportunities for amateur players in participating countries.”
Jason Francis, Chairman of World Seniors Snooker said: “The tour we are building is the perfect vehicle for former professionals of the game like Dene who were household names in the 1980s and still enjoy competing, It would be great to see more players of his era giving this tour a go.”
The UK Seniors Championship qualifiers take place on 21-23 September 2018 at the i20 club in Kowloon, Hong Kong. It is open to any player over 40 years of age who is a member of their national federation. The winner in Hong Kong will take their place alongside legends including Jimmy White in Hull this October, with the winner to earn their place at the professional 2019 Betfred World Championship.
Delighted to announce @kendoherty1997 will be playing in the UK Seniors Championships @hull_venue in October. More legends will be announced soon. Tickets selling. Legends Lunches and VIP meet and greets available
The top 16 players – based on the final 2017/18 rankings – battled it out last week-end in Newbury and it was Patrick Wallace who came out the winner. He received his trophy from Nigel Coton, both Seniors and WDBS player.
Patrick faced Sean Lanigan in the final. Sean had defeated the reigning Seniors World Champion, Aaron Canava, in the semi finals.
There were also new goodies on offer and promoted by the top model on duty, Gary Filtness
Gary won the high break prize too but I wonder if he got his prize money; indeed this is what Jason Francis tweeted:
High Break at the seniors was a 109 by @GaryFiltness we had 4 other centuries as well and too many 50+ to list. Thanks to @Magician147 for donating the £500 which Gary will get if he manages a 24 hour sponsored silence.
So, here are my picks on the 2017/18 Seniors season highlights and heroes…
First of all, one man who deserves a special mention is Jason Francis, the creator and original promoter of the World Seniors tour. Jason did put an extraordinary amount of work and passion in developing the tour: it had just one event last season, it had four this season, it will have at least 6 next season. Take a bow Jason!
But we shouldn’t forget that behind Jason there is a dedicated team, working tirelessly. Thank you guys and gals! One member of this team was working at the Masters only days after her partner passed away, she found the courage to be 100% professional and even to smile. That’s how decdicated they are. So big, big respect and thank you to all of them.
Now onto the awards…
Player of the season: Jonathan Bagley
Jonathan finished n°1 in the rankings this season, having qualified for all four main events. He reached the semi-finals in the Seniors UK, the final in the Seniors Irish Masters, the semi finals in the Seniors World Championship, and the Final in the Seniors Masters.
Achievement of the season: Aaron Canavan, World Champion
Aaron had never competed at professional level before playing at the World Championship qualifiers last months. Family circumstances came in the way of his snooker ambitions when he was a teenager, and he had rarely played outside the Channel Islands … but he dared to dream and is our reigning World Champion, a hero at home, and a fantastic advert for Seniors snooker!
Sub(stitute) of the season: Steve Davis, Irish Masters Champion
Steve Davis isn’t a snooker player anymore … he’s DJ Thundermuscle nowadays. When he accepted to replace Stephen Hendry at the Irish Masters, he made it clear this was a one-off. Who would have guessed that he was going to lift the Alex Higgins Trophy in Goffs? Not many surely. But that’s exactly what he did! And he was presented the trophy by Lauren Higgins, the daughter of his once harsh rival…
Amazing story of the season: Cao Kaisheng
Cao had never left China… before he qualified for the Seniors World Championship, came out the best out of a 80+ qualifier field in Beijing and traveled to Scunthorpe! He made himself very proud by reaching the semi finals, despite the tiredness of the travel and the stress of playing in front of thousands glued on the streaming at home: they were half a million watching at prime time. That’s serious pressure.
Magic moment of the season: Cliff Thorburn celebrates after winning the Masters
It had been more than 30 years since Cliff Thorburn, 70 years old, had last lifted a trophy. Last months he won the Seniors Masters at the Crucible and celebrated in style before declaring “This feels so good, it’s been so long”. This is what sport is all about: the passion and desire never go. It may have slipped under the media radar but those who were at the Crucible that night surely lived it with Cliff. It was marvellous, it was magic!
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) is today delighted to announce the official formation of the WPBSA World Seniors Snooker Tour.
Following the statement last December that the WPBSA would engage to develop an official tour of events for players over 40, we can now confirm that a new subsidiary company known as World Seniors Snooker will be formed under the auspices of the WPBSA, which during the 2018/19 season will run a full calendar of six World Seniors ranking events.
Jason Francis, founder of Snooker Legends will be a partner in the company and brings a wealth of experience from his previous involvement in developing successful Legends events and more recently was granted the rights to run the World Seniors Championship on behalf of the World Snooker Tour. Following two successful events, the project now merits the support of snooker’s world governing body and its amateur international federation, the World Snooker Federation to continue its growth.
Francis will be joined on the board by WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson and WPBSA player director and current professional world number eight Shaun Murphy, who will both support the tour with their undoubted passion to develop amateur snooker globally.
The 2018/19 calendar for the World Seniors Snooker Tour will comprise six major ranking events, highlighted by the World Seniors Championship to be held next March.
European Seniors Open (venue TBC) – 11-14 October 2018
UK Seniors Championship (Hull) – 23-25 October 2018
Seniors Irish Masters (Goffs, Ireland) – 4-6 January 2019
World Seniors 6-Red Championship (Belfast, Northern Ireland) – 2-3 March 2019
World Seniors Championship (venue TBC) – 25-29 March 2019
Seniors Masters (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield) – 10-11 April 2019
These events will be supplemented by 15 qualifying tournaments, including new events in Canada, Hong Kong, Belgium and the United States of America. Each qualifier will carry a minimum €1,000 prize for the winner and a place at a World Seniors ranking event.
The WPBSA World Seniors Snooker Tour will comprise six international ranking events during the 2018/19 season and carrying a total prize fund of £200,000.
The first prize for the 2019 World Seniors Championship will increase from £10,000 to £25,000.
There will be 15 international qualifying events staged during the season, each carrying a minimum first prize of €1,000.
The WPBSA and the World Seniors Snooker Tour will continue to work together to provide a pathway for amateurs to be able to compete at professional events. The winners of the 2019 World Seniors Championship and now the 2018 UK Seniors Championship will both earn a place at the 2019 professional World Championship qualifiers.
There will be a one-year amateur World Seniors ranking list, which will see the top 16 ranked players at the end of the season qualify for a new event to be staged at Blackpool’s Norbreck Castle In 2019.
All players who currently, or go on to receive an Invitational Tour Card to play on the World Snooker Tour will be eligible to compete in World Seniors Tour events.
Dare to dream
Under the ‘dare to dream’ message World Seniors events staged during the past two years have seen many retired players picking up their cues again, with opportunities to either return to or even compete for the first time at some of snooker’s most iconic venues now available to them.
The WPBSA clearly recognises that there is a demand from many amateurs and the former greats of the professional sport who have still got the desire to play snooker competitively. The World Seniors Snooker Tour therefore provides an important facility by which retiring players from the professional World Snooker Tour will be able to extend their careers.
These events also carry a great nostalgia, evoking memories of great sporting moments that we have witnessed in snooker that have created the legends in our sport. Nobody will forget the first ever maximum 147 break made at the Crucible made by Canada’s Cliff Thorburn back in 1983 and so to see him lift the trophy at the same venue some 35 years later last month was a truly special moment.
WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson said: “Today we pay thanks to those greats who have helped bring our sport to where it is today. The tour will provide a supporting role to the World Snooker Tour, providing an attractive corporate model, being agile enough to work with amateur federations and new territories around the world and at the same time using great champions of the past to deliver our message.”
World Seniors chairman Jason Francis said: “It is a proud and historic day for me to help create new opportunities for players, whether they are former world champions or enthusiastic club players. I am grateful for the support from World Snooker and the WPBSA for helping us to make this a reality.”
If you are a World Seniors Tour Player don’t hesitate to join the discusiion there.
This is Jason’s “summary” message on the forum
Leaving sheff but will update properly later.
6 ranking events
200k prize money
15 qualifiers including Hong Kong, Houston Texas, Toronto Canada, China, Belgium, Ireland and England
Minimum 1000 euros winner qualifier
Win a wc qualifier and get £2500!
New official playing shirt to replace dickies in qualifiers which player must buy
Q format – don’t say I don’t listen 😎
European open Best of 5 no respot
Irish masters best of 5 no respot
6 reds best of 7 no respot
Worlds, masters and uk 2-2 then respot.
Respot deciders at all Final Events
£50 entry per event
Have to be a member of your national governing body before first days play
Winner of uk and worlds get place in world professional qualifiers
More referees and steaming at qualifiers
Top 16 end of season norbreck castle
Belfast 6 reds 20k winner takes all!!!