An interview with Jimmy White

Earlier this month, Jimmy, the reigning Seniors UK Champion was in Ireland to play Ronnie O’Sullivan in three exhibitions. He was interviewed by Conor Sharkey.

There are a couple of inaccuracies in this article, notably the fact the Stephen Hendry retired well before Steve Davis did, but Jimmy’s quotes are very interesting all the same.

Here it is from the Donegal News

Two things attracted my attention.

Jimmy states this is his last year as a pro. Now, what does that mean? I would be very surprised if he was willing to retire, he’s the type you have to scrape off the table! So what then? Is he possibly determined to concentrate on the Seniors Tour exclusively? Is he expecting the invitational tour cards to disappear now that the Seniors Tour is growing and seniors players are offered their own set of tournaments to play in?

Jimmy’s assessment of the current players isn’t exactly all positive. In fact it’s pretty damning in some aspects. He’s questioning their motivation and desire, including when talking about Ding and Trump. He states that most current players’ game is incomplete, some aspects are poor or missing and they don’t cope with longer formats well. The last bit of course isn’t helped by the fact that the “standard” format nowadays is the best of 7. He’s clearly not impressed with what he perceives as being most players mentality. I think he’s a bit too harsh actually. Many do struggle badly financially and that’s hard to put that off your mind when bills await to be paid. Rookies face a top 64 player in first round more often than not and get nothing for their efforts if they lose, even if they played well, gave their more experienced opponent a good game and entertained the audience. I’m not sure that this system is a great “motivator”.

Great interview with Stephen Hendry

A bit by chance, I stumbled upon this great interview by Stephen Hendry. It was recorded at the Crucible during the last World Championship

Amongst other things Stephen talks about the book he has coming. This book is available for pre-order on amazon: here is the link https://www.amazon.co.uk/Me-Table-Stephen-Hendry/dp/1786065681

He also touches on various subjects like the decline of snooker, at least when it comes to getting young people to play in the UK, why Barry Hearn’s plans to clamp on slow play aren’t quite right or realistic, and why we shouldn’t expect a return to competition on the main tour, although he definitely wants to play on the Seniors tour.

 

Longevity …

SeniorsUK2017-9111

Today, this man, the World Seniors UK Champion, reached 37 years, 7 months, 3 days & counting at the service of professional snooker, overcoming Steve Davis longevity record.

It’s quite remarkable! Congratulations Jimmy!

David Hendon stated that Fred Davis was a pro for 57 years, so Jimmy has some way to go. Fred Davis 57 years playing longevity is a fact, but nobody would be able to stay a pro nowadays not going past R1 in any ranking event for 12 seasons and being ranked n°259. Fred Davis, a great player, had an extraordinary career, and deserves every credit for still playing at 80, but the situations aren’t comparable.

The Return of Robidoux …

Having a Seniors event scheduled in Toronto has inspired Alain Robidoux to look up for his cue (Source WPBSA)

Robidoux on Cue for Seniors Return

6th June 2018

The World Seniors Snooker Tour qualifiers in Toronto will welcome another familiar face when it is played in December as Canadian legend and former world number nine Alain Robidoux is another legend who will once again dare to dream.

Robidoux was runner up to Ronnie O’Sullivan at the 1996 German Open and reached the semi-finals of the 1997 professional World Championship before losing to eventual champion Ken Doherty. He is a former Canadian snooker champion and played in the golden era of Cliff Thorburn, Bill Werbeniuk and Kirk Stevens.

Alain Robidoux said: “Where is my cue? Time to practice for the World Seniors Tour, a good reason to go back on the green baize! Excited again!”

The World Seniors Snooker Tour qualifiers are being staged at the Corner Bank Sports Bar and Grill in Toronto on 7-9 December 2018.

The event is open to any amateur player over 40 who is a member of their national federation. Enter now by clicking HERE.

Bonne chance Alain!

Blast from the past and it’s great! 

https://www.wpbsa.com/okane-to-compete-on-world-seniors-tour/

O’Kane to Compete on World Seniors Tour

29th May 2018

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.

To enter a qualifier click HERE.

Here is Dene O’Kane wikipedia profile

Assetereum World Seniors Masters 2018 – Cliff Thorburn is your Champion!

Congratulations Cliff Thorburn

Assetrereum World Seniors Masters 2018 Champion

Cliff beat Jonathan Bagley by 2-0 in the Final to lift the John Spencer Trophy … the same John Spencer who had beaten him in the first ever World Final at the Crucible, 41 years ago!

David Caulfield made an excellent account of Cliff’s triump on his blog

Here is an excerpt with Cliff’s quotes … to say that it meant a lot is a huge understatement!

The 1980 world champion said: “It’s very meaningful for me being back here at the Crucible. Jonathan actually beat me the last few times but I just felt good being here – there are lots of good memories here.”

“I’m 70 now and I get a little nervy but I’m just so proud to win the first John Spencer Trophy. John helped me to turn pro and he was a great friend for all of my life, he was a classy individual.”

And here are all the images I took at the event:

Quarter Finals

Semi Finals and Final 

Aaron Canavan beaten by Robert Milkins at the World Championships 2018 Qualifiers

WC2018AaronCanavan

Robert Milkins, a professional since 1995, who was once ranked as high as 13th in the world, had too much experience for Aaron who was competing in his first ever professional match. Robert eventually beat Aaron by 10-1. But the match wasn’t as one-sided as the score suggests. During the first half of the match, Aaron competed really well, in particular in the tactical department. However he didn’t have Robert’s scoring power and struggled with the pace of the table that was … too slow! Indeed, in preparation of this match, Aaron had practiced on a very fast table. Yesterday, in the English Institute of Sports, its was chilly and damp, and the tables were playing slow (this was told to me by both Aaron and Robert independently).

Disappointment obviously, but a great experience nonetheless.