Michael Judge dares to dream …

Last Monday Michael Judge didn’t even know that he would be playing in the World Championship 2019 qualifiers. He only was invited because Zhang Jankiang was denied his visa and had to withdraw.

We are one week later and now, he’s won two matches, beating Peter Lines and Xiao Guodong, both in a deciding frame and he’s going to play James Cahill in the last round for a possible place at the Crucible! James is an amateur as well, and this will be the first time ever that an amateur will play in the World Championship main event at the Crucible.

Here are all the results so far!

WC2019QualsDay1ResultsWC2019QualsDay2ResultsWC2019QualsDay3ResultsWC2019QualsDay4ResultsWC2019QualsDay5Results

The other “Seniors” involved didn’t – or don’t – do badly!

Jimmy White and Ken Doherty both won their first match and will play their second round match today. Jimmy is facing Ali Carter, Ken play Scott Donaldson.

David Lilley lost to Eden Sharav in round one, but the match was close. The final score was 10-7.

Jonathan Bagley really struggled with the conditions – very unfamiliar ones for him – during the first session. He progressively improved, but taming a heavy scorer like Thepchaya Un-nooh isn’t easy for anyone. The first session ended on as 8-1 score in favor of “Theppy”. Jonathan did himself proud though: in the second session he battled in true gladiator style and took three frames. He lost by 10-4 eventually but with honors!

 

The WSS ROKiT Sheffield Masters 2019- Joe Johnson is the Master!

The tournament was played yesterday over two sessions.

In the afternoon we had three quarter final matches.

Before the session there was a meet and greet for the VIPs, and the opportunity to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Legend’s presence at the crucible with a cake!

Stephen Hendry beat the defending Champion, Cliff Thorburn by 2-0. It wasn’t perfect snooker, but played in great spirit and very entertaining.

Barry Pinches beat Ken Doherty by 2-0, in a fast paced high quality encounter.

Joe Johnson beat Jimmy White by 2-1 (black ball shoot-out). Both were playing well and it went to the wire!

John Parrot unfortunately had to withdraw, due to illness. Aaron Canavan, the Seniors World Champion got a bye!

In the evening session we had the semi finals and the Final.

Again it started with a meet and greet.

SF1: Barry Pinches beat Stephen Hendry by 2-0

SF2: Joe Johnson beat Aaron Canavan by 2-1

The Final: Joe Johnson beat Barry Pinches by 2-1

WSSMasters2019Final-6562

 

All three matches were quality and hard-fought. The Crucible fans responded with enthusiasm, but always respectful.

Stephen Hendry’s endorsed game, “This is Pool/Snooker” was available to play at the Crucible.

The event charity of choice, Eden Dora Trust was present in the Crucible lobby and at the “Meet and Greet”. It’s a great cause, please support them if you can.

Here is the story in pictures

 

Congratulations Joe!

A very important announcement at the WSS ROKiT Masters 2019 Champion’s Dinner

Ahead of the WSS ROKiT Masters 2019, the defending Champion, Cliff Thorburn hosted a Canadian themed dinner, designed by his wife, Barbara.

It had everything: great food, laugher, memories… Cliff Thorburn was duly honoured. Jason Ferguson, representing WPBSA, Mandy Fisher, representing WWS, Nigel Mawer representing WDBS were all present. There was an auction, a raffle, trick-shots …

Here is the story in pictures…

And a very important announcement: The Crucible Theatre will host the WSS World Championship in the future, and this year event will take place mid August. WLBS and WDBS players will be invited in dedicated sessions. And the event will grow in the coming years featuring more players. Tomorrow’s show will be the last “Snooker Legend” show at the Crucible and the tenth since it all started with Alex Higgins in 2010.

Here it is as posted on WPBSA Web Site

Crucible to Stage World Seniors Snooker Championship

11th April 2019

 

With just ten days until the World Professional Snooker Championship hits Sheffield, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) has announced a new major annual snooker tournament that will see the game’s icons go head to head for the ultimate World Seniors title.

The ROKiT World Seniors Snooker Championship is coming to the Crucible Theatre as part of a new partnership with Sheffield City Council to give the city a second major snooker event each year.

Legends such as Stephen Hendry and Jimmy White join a field of 20 players from 16 countries who will battle it out over four days to see who will lift the World Seniors Championship trophy.

Also for the very first time, within their four-day stay, a session will be dedicated to showcase the talents of the World Women’s Snooker (WWS) Tour and the World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) Tour.

Jason Ferguson, Chairman of the WPBSA said: “It’s great news to place the World Seniors Championship in the venue where our legends created their legacy.

“Being able to use the event to also showcase the talents of the women’s and the disability tours sends an important message for our sport and also opens up the dream of playing in the Crucible Theatre for everyone.”

The event takes place from 15-18 August at the Crucible Theatre Sheffield, home of the annual World Snooker Championship since 1977.

Paul Billington, Director of Culture and Environment at SCC, said: “We’re delighted to bring a second major snooker event to Sheffield, the true home of the sport. Many of the legends who will take part in the ROKiT World Seniors Championship made their name in our iconic Crucible Theatre, where this new tournament will also take place.

“As well as the chance to watch legends from the men’s game, this event showcases women’s and disability snooker at the highest level opening up the game to a whole new audience.

“We look forward to welcoming snooker’s elite and many visiting fans to Sheffield for what promises to be a thrilling showdown.”

The competition will see 20 of snooker’s best-loved personalities play over 12 sessions across four days. Tickets go on sale for all 12 sessions on Thursday 18 April.

Tickets to the women’s and disability sessions can be purchased for just £1.47 with any full price World Seniors ticket.

Tickets will also be available for a VIP meet experience with senior players, that will be held on the final day.

All tickets will be available at http://www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

and the poster!

WSSWC2019Poster

Meanwhile, remember, this is happening at the Crucible today!

SixREdsBelfastDraw

Jonathan Bagley was playing yesterday at the World Championship 2019 Qualifiers at the English Institute of Sports. He was beaten 10-4 by Thepchaya Un-Nooh, but did himself proud. Jonathan really struggled at the start of the match in  those unfamiliar conditions. He trailed 8-1 at the end of the first session, but the match had been closer than the score suggested especially after the MSI. This showed in the second session: “Theppy” needed only two frames, but Jonathan made him work for them, winning the first mine session by 3-1.

Another WSS player was at the table as well. Michael Judge beat former World Seniors Champion Peter Lines by 10-0, in a match that lasted over 10 hours and finished at nearly 3 am…

Play Stephen Hendry’s “This is Snooker” at the Crucible !

Yes, you read it right! Here is the story:

Five days ago, VooFoo Studio announced “This Is Snooker” featuring snooker legend, Stephen Hendry. Here is the unedited press release:

Birmingham, United Kingdom – 4th April 2019. VooFoo Studios and publisher Double Eleven today announced This Is Snooker, a genre-defining cue sports simulation featuring seven-time world snooker champion, Stephen Hendry, will be coming soon to PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the Nintendo Switch™ console and Windows PC.

 

Former world number one for nine seasons, Hendry is widely regarded as one of snooker’s greatest ever players. Stephen features in the game as both an AI opponent and expert mentor in a series of exclusive ‘Cue Tips’ videos designed to help improve your real-life and in-game snooker skills. Players will also be invited to play-through a series of arcade scenarios that challenge you to recreate defining moments in the snooker legend’s record-breaking snooker career.

VooFoo Studios has worked meticulously with Hendry to recreate his unique characteristics and attacking style of play in-game and to enhance their ability to create totally believable cue-sport physics in a stunningly realistic simulation of one of the world’s most exciting and competitive sports. Also featured in the game is world-renowned professional snooker and pool referee, Michaela Tabb, whose familiar voice brings authority and authenticity to the in-game referee.

“Working with one of the world’s greatest ever snooker players has helped us create an incredibly realistic cue sports simulation” said Shaun Read, Game Director at VooFoo Studios. “We’re very excited to have Stephen involved, his input has enabled us to really fine tune the game mechanics to make This Is Snooker by far the best cue sports simulation we’ve ever made.”

Stephen Hendry commented: “I’m really proud to be involved in the development of such an ambitious recreation of snooker. I’ve been really impressed with just how realistic This Is Snooker is and the level of detail that has gone into making it look and feel so real.”

This Is Snooker has been developed from the ground up using VooFoo Studios’ completely revamped proprietary game and physics engine. “The unique new set of tools at our disposal has enabled us to do things we’ve never done before that will take the game and genre to a whole new level,” stated Mark Williams, Technology Director at VooFoo Studios. “Our new engine has allowed us to create unrivalled levels of graphical fidelity and hyper-realistic, true-to-life ball physics, we’re confident we’ve created the most technically advanced cue sports game ever made.”

Published by Double Eleven and developed by cue sports masters Voofoo Studios, This Is Snooker will include the previously announced title This Is Pool and will be available as the This Is Snooker – Pool Deluxe Edition, in a content-packed, complete cue-sports experience. This Is Pool will also be available to purchase separately. Play every major type of cue sport in six painstakingly-detailed locations with full pool and snooker career modes, mini games, trick shots, practice mode and extensive local and online multiplayer modes in a truly immersive cue sports simulation.

This Is Snooker – Pool Deluxe Edition is coming soon to PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the Nintendo Switch™ console and Windows PC.

this-is-snooker

The good news is that if you are coming on Thursday to the WSS ROKiT Seniors Masters 2019, ‘This Is Snooker “– featuring Stephen Hendry, will be playable at the Crucible when the doors open to the public and also during the intervals! 

Here is the trailer!

 

Surely you can’t miss that?

WSS ROKiT Tour players dare to dream about the Crucible

Worldsnooker has today published the draw and format for the World Championship 2019 Qualifiers.

Five WSS players are involved in the event, and need to win three matches to earn a spot at the Crucible in less than two weeks time.

Jimmy White

Jimmy’s first match will see him play Ross Bulman from Ireland, 17 years old and European Championship under 21 finalist. Ross is clearly a good prospect but will have to overcome a number of hurdles: he’s not used to the professional environment, he may not be used to play on Star tables and, he’s probably rarely played a multi-session match if ever, and, of course, he will be aware that he’s playing a legend of the sport. It’s certainly intimidating. For those reasons I make Jimmy a heavy favourite to win his first match in Sheffield. That match is scheduled on Friday 12 April, and Saturday 13 April 2019, at 2pm.

Here is Ross in action during the last European under-21 championship, against another good prospect, Julien Leclercq from Belgium:

Should Jimmy win this match, he will face the winner of Ali Carter v Paul Davison. That’s a very hard one! If he gets through that, waiting for him is the man who will emerge from this group of four: Michael White, Andy Hicks, Yuan Sijun and John Astley.

David Lilley

David  has been playing in everything: the WSS tour, the Challenge tour, and as a top up, in the Main Tour as well. His first opponent will be Eden Sharav and this match will be played to completion on April 11, 10 am and 7 pm. Should David win, he will be up against the winner of Ricky Walden and Alfie Burden. Then, wating for him could be Zhou Yuelong, Robin Hull, Liam Highfield or Hammad Miah.

Jonathan Bagley

Jonathan will need to brace himself for the fast and furious as he has been drawn against the Shoot Out 2019 champion, Thepchaya Un-Nooh. That match is scheduled fo  Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 10 am and 7 pm. This means that Jonathan will probably miss the ROKiT WSS Masters Gala Dinner which is a shame, although “Theppy” is not known for detaining his opponents for unduly long times, win or lose! Jonathan may still be able to join us, to celebrate or to find solace in great company. To be honest, I don’t rate Jonathan’s chances too high. I’m afraid that Thepchaya might have too much potting power for him … well, for most actually. He’s one I fancy to make it to the television stage at the Crucible. But should Jonathan survive the blitz, his next opponent would be Mark Joyce or Billy Joe Castle, with one of Billy O’Connor, Joe Swail, Jimmy Robertson (reigning European Masters champion)  or Chen Feilong waiting next. Tell me about a tough group!

Igor Figueiredo

“El Tigre”, the reigning Pan American Champion, is set to play Mark King first. That match will be played on Friday 13 April and Saturday 14 April, 2pm. It’s a clash of styles. Igor is flamboyant and, when on song a very heavy scorer, Mark King is a hard match player. I believe that Igor has a real chance here but he will have to work very hard for it and be patient too. Should he win Igor would play Lu Ning or Alan Taylor next. And, then, should he get past Lu or Alan, he may face another WSS player in ….

Ken Doherty

Ken’s first match will be against Andy Lee. That match is scheduled on Saturday 13 April, 10 am and 7 pm. It is, in my opinion a very winnable match, and it would probably be enough for Ken to regain his professional status. However, Ken’s next opponent would be either Scott Donaldson or Craig Steadman and both have shown very good form last week in Beijing, with Scott reaching the semi finals, whilst Craig sent the defending champion, Mark Selby, home.

Good luck guys!

 

Dine with the Champions … and help children with encephalitis

ROKiT Masters 2019 Gala Dinner

On the eve of the WSS ROKiT Masters 2019, the defending champion, Cliff Thorburn is inviting you to a Canadian themed night.

It will take place at the Mercure Kenwood Hall Hotel and Spa on Wednesday 10th April 2019. The Full address is: Mercure Kenwood Hall Hotel and Spa, Kenwood Road, Sheffield, S7 1NQ

Arrival is for 7pm, but if you want to come a bit earlier you may catch a legend warming up on our practice table. The hotel does a fantastic afternoon tea as well and a stunning lake to sit out and enjoy.

Dress for the dinner is smart casual, suggest jacket and open shirt for the gentlemen but of course you are welcome to wear a tie, no jeans or trainers please. Ladies …  we know better than to give you any advice on how to dress for an event.

The dinner menu has been designed by the defending Champion Cliff Thorburn so expect a night of Canadian cuisine.

Dinner Schedule

7pm – meet and greet with pre dinner drinks – sponsored by ABK Beer  and Whitney Neill G&T

7.30 – sit for dinner.

Canadian Themed Menu with main course specially designed by Barbara Thorburn.

Starter

Smoked salmon rosettes with caper and dill dressing accompanied with a maple and berry coulis OR Montreal caramelised onion chowder

Main

Barb’s maple and pineapple glazed ham OR Asparagus and onion quiche

Served with roast potatoes, glazed carrots and green beans

Dessert

Canadian strawberry shortcake with Tuile ice hockey stick

The cut off  is  5th April to finalize numbers in case you want to tell any of your friends who may want to join.

In-between main and dessert we will some opening speeches and honour our defending champion.

We will also host our raffle and auction draw.

All money raised from the raffle and the auction on the night will be going to our nominated charity, the Eden Dora Trust, which is a Sheffield based Charity for Children with Encephalitis. The Eden Dora Trust provides support for children and their families affected by Childhood Encephalitis and the subsequent lifelong acquired brain injury.

The will be some fantastic items to bid for including a package to see Cher in concert, a rare England shirt from 2011 signed by all the squad, with a recently signed shirt from Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher, a signed and mounted cue from Stephen Hendry as well as overnight spa packages and the chance to cook your own feast in the kitchens at wagamamas… Oh, and the small matter of a 9 carat gold necklace with a beautiful diamond, valued at £995

In the vases on your table will be snooker balls which we will encourage you to get your legends to sign and for you to keep as a memento of the night, in return we’d ask for a donation in the charity pot on your table.

After Dessert we will move to the practice table where John Virgo will do a short trick shot cabaret, be ready to get involved! If you have not seen his comedy impressions you are in for a treat.

Following that its Karaoke and music till late. We do take requests and competition is fierce!

We hope this will be a fantastic night in a fantastic location.

For those of you who want to make a real night of it we have a fantastic ROKiT World Seniors rate of £85 b&b with the hotel and during the snooker on the Thursday the partners could enjoy the brilliant spa and pool while you take a trip to the crucible? Just a thought!

And then …

on the Thursday 11th the serious snooker takes place in the Crucible. Just look at these round one match ups

From 2pm

Cliff Thorburn  v Stephen Hendry
Ken Doherty  v Barry Pinches
Jimmy White  v Joe Johnson
Aaron Canavan v John Parrott.

If you fancy coming, it’s not too late. Tickets can be booked at the crucible box office 01142496000 or at https://www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk/events/snooker-legends/dates

WSS ROKiT Tour gives a voice to the players

ROKiT World Snooker Logo

A few days back Jason Francis took on social media to stress how important it is for the WSS Tour future and growths that the players have a place to voice their opinions, concerns and suggestions. Jason and the other people at the elm of the WSS Tour really want this tour to be developed FOR the players and WITH the players. Therefore Jason invited the players interested in participating in a “Players Commission” to come forward.

He has been heard. On Thursday afternoon, Jason came back on social media with this announcement (source Facebook)

PLAYERS COMMISSION
I am delighted to announce that the following have accepted an invitation to represent the players on the World Seniors Tour next season. I have reserved a couple of spaces for invitations in the future as I believe we will need some overseas representation and perhaps some voices from lower down the ranking list. I may announce some more people soon. I am also asking T Bag to sit on the team as well. Your Commission is

PATRICK WALLACE -Chairman
T BAG
IAN SPAWTON
LEE RICHARDSON
SIMON DENT
BARRY PINCHES
IAN WAGSTAFF
RICHARD EMERY

Please support them

And a bit later he added this

Also delighted to confirm our World Champion has found out how to use that ROKiT phone and has also accepted a place on the commission. AARON CANAVAN

If you wonder who T Bag might be, the man has a name, Paul, and he’s been helping Jason with all things logistics since the start of the Snooker Legends.

This is an important and positive move regarding the future of the WSS ROKiT Tour. It’s also good to see the referees represented in this commission by Ian Wagstaff.