Joe Swail lost his professional status at the end of last season and has decided to compete on the Seniors tour this season, as reported by WPBSA
Swail to Compete on ROKiT World Seniors Tour
Two-time former World Championship semi-finalist Joe Swail has announced his intention to compete on the ROKiT World Seniors Snooker Tour next season.
Northern Ireland’s Swail was relegated from the professional World Snooker Tour at the end of the 2018/19 season following defeat to Joe O’Connor at April’s World Championship qualifiers. Known by his nickname ‘The Outlaw’ Swail decided not to attempt to regain his tour card through Q School and will instead switch his focus to providing coaching and competing on the Seniors circuit.
During his professional career Swail’s best performance was his run to the final of the 2009 Welsh Open, while he also reached a further nine ranking semi-finals, including at the 2000 and 2001 World Championship events.
Swail will now join a rapidly expanding Seniors circuit and will play for the right to compete at major events alongside the likes of seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry and former UK and Masters champion Jimmy White. The 49-year-old is already guaranteed to be in action at one major event following the decision to seed him through to the final stages of the ROKiT 6-Red World Seniors Championship, to take place in Coleraine in June 2020 with a £20,000 ‘winner takes all’ top prize, won this year by White.
Jason Francis, World Seniors Snooker Chairman said: “It is testimony to the growth of the ROKiT World Seniors Snooker Tour during that has been such a short time that a player of Joe Swail’s calibre has chosen to join us for the new season. We have demonstrated over the past 12 months that there is a viable alternative for players of all ability once their professional career is at an end and we look forward to welcoming more players like Joe over the coming months.”
The ROKiT 6-Red World Seniors Championship takes place at the Riverside Theatre in Coleraine from 5-6 June 2020. Tickets are now on sale HERE and include a meet and greet option with all the players.
Joe Swail will have to qualify for most events, but he has been given a seeded spot in the 2020 ROKiT 6-Red World Seniors Championship. This decision has not pleased everyone, with some regulars on the seniors tour arguing that Joe’s career doesn’t justify such privilege. Playing qualifiers doesn’t come cheap and players who are regulars invest a lot of money and efforts in the seniors tour. Someone seemingly getting “fast-tracked” isn’t going down well, understandably. However Joe isn’t given a “Legends” status, he’s given a seeded spot just for that one event, that will be held in his country, Northern Ireland. Joe is extremely popular in Northern Ireland, and his guaranteed presence at the venue, is also a guarantee to strongly attract the local audience and to help the success of the tournament as a whole. Commercially, it’s the right decision. This is beneficial to everyone involved in the WSS ROKiT Tour, a tour that is still in development and needs to grow its income to be able to further expand.