Blogger Michael Day reflects on the inaugural full season on the World Seniors Tour

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2017/18 WORLD SENIORS SNOOKER TOUR – SEASONAL REVIEW

From China to the Crucible, the inaugural World Seniors Snooker Tour has visited clubs and famous arenas in the UK and beyond.

Building on from the success of the popular Snooker Legends series and the re-invention of the World Seniors Championship, entrepreneur Jason Francis and his team expanded the seniors palette this season by adding three further major titles. The concept has gained momentum and approval, even being recognised by the sport’s governing body, the WPBSA, as opportunities and dreams have been realised for all amateur players aged 40 or above.

​The opening major of the season in October saw Jimmy White capture the UK Seniors Championship at the The Harlequin Theatre in Redhill; a quarter of a century on from winning the professional version.

White defeated Ken Doherty 4-2 in the final after overcoming amateur qualifiers Les Dodd and then Jonathan Bagley in the Quarter and Semi-Finals. During the event Doherty compiled a break of 137.

One of the most iconic venues in snooker history is Goffs – synonymous with professional snooker in Ireland. It got a chance to stage a big competitive event again with the creation of the Irish Seniors Masters in January.
There was also a return to the competitive fold for Steve Davis, who was a replacement for Stephen Hendry. The Nugget made the most of his cameo by eliminating Dennis Taylor, John Parrott and then qualifier Bagley 4-0 in the final.

The main event of the season was the expanded World Seniors Championship that again was open to any amateur player aged 40 or above.

Evolving the tournament and making it even more inclusive, there were eight opportunities for players to feature at the main stage via various club qualifiers and join the invited legends at the Baths Hall – double the amount from 2017. As well as domestic qualifiers, there was also a ground-breaking event staged in China – proof that the tour is thinking internationally.

16 players would remain in Scunthorpe. Much talk revolved around Hendry and his chances of claiming the title and a subsequent berth at Crucible qualifying afterwards, but it was the less talked about Aaron Canavan – a car restorer from Jersey, who ‘Dared to Dream’ and walked off with £10,000.

Canavan held his nerve in the final against former World Professional Championship Quarter-Finalist Patrick Wallace by slotting home the Tie-Breaker Black Ball to win 4-3, having been 3-1 down.

It didn’t work out for Canavan at the EIS earlier this week, but he can feast out on being a reigning World Champion for a good while yet.

The last major of the campaign was the one-day spectacular held at the Crucible on Thursday. The Seniors Masters saw 70 year old Cliff Thorburn roll back the years and lift the John Spencer Trophy aloft after a Tie-Breaker Black Ball victory over Bagley in the final.

Despite not securing one of the four major trophies, in some ways, Leeds taxi-driver Bagley was the player of the season because of his sheer consistency throughout.

Including the World Seniors in 2017, Bagley has qualified for every venue so far and finishes the tour as the Number 1 ranked amateur. Whilst it was terrific seeing Thorburn so joyous at winning the Masters, a trophy for Bagley would have been richly deserved given his efforts over the last few months. Of the five majors so far, he has made two finals and three semi-finals.

Hendry’s form in these events has also been a notable talking point having failed to make a final in the three legs he participated in. In fact, his only victory was a 3-0 defeat of Tony Knowles at Redhill. It is maybe a wake up call for the seven-times World Champion if he wants to be successful on the tour next season.

Talking of next season, the World Seniors Tour appears to be evolving again with qualifiers potentially being held in the USA and Australia. Considering it will be just its second full season, so much has been achieved in such a small space of time.

Although the quartet of major champions has now been confirmed, the Top 16 ranked amateurs from this season will compete at a special knock-out competition in a few weeks time. Bagley will be the top seed.

Pictures above are courtesy of the World Seniors Snooker Tour / Monique Limbos

Michael is passionate about snooker and, through his blog, gives us great insights into the amateur and women’s game as well as the professional events. He also covers pool, billiards and more. recommended to all cue sports fans!

Looking back at the Assetereum Seniors World Championship 2018

SeniorsWC2018-1127

It was an amazing event!

Aaron Canavan is your Champion!

Jason Francis took the opportunity to share some good news about next season. Here they are:

Assetereum World Seniors. We have some amazing facts so far! Over 500 players have entered the qualifiers this season. Peter Lines has flown the flag for our event, a very worthy Champion.

A minimum of 5 Senior events this coming season!

New opportunities for our Champions and we have qualifiers in Hong Kong and New York already lined up

Entry fee cut to £50, halved! We have joined with WDBS with a free place for their nominated player. Ladies are also now playing in our Tour

Ranking list will be official under WPBSA. £5500 on offer for top 16 at the end of the season Shootout

Lastly, next year at the end of the season we will have an event for the top 16 of the Tour and we will take them back to the Norbrek Castle where it all started for so many…

And I have published a gallery with all the images taken during the four days!

If you fancy mixing gastronomy with snooker

Then this Press Release by Jason Francis today is a “must read” … and act!

PRESS RELEASE
Snooker Legends and award winning restaurant Winteringham Fields team up for the Assetereum World Seniors Snooker Championships

Snooker Legends have partnered with award-winning BBC chef Colin McGurran and his Winteringham Fields restaurant for the 2018 Assetereum World Seniors Championships, held at The Baths Hall in Scunthorpe between the 20th and 24th March 2018. Eight snooker legends, including Stephen Hendry, Dennis Taylor, Joe Johnson, John Parrott and Cliff Thorburn, will battle it out for the title and £10,000 prize.

Visitors to Scunthorpe for the championships can also enjoy offers on meals and accommodation at Winteringham Fields, including the chance to share a private dining room with two legends of snooker, and get a one-hour masterclass, with champagne, at the venue after the dining experience.
Chef Patron,

Colin McGurran, who will be preparing the lunch and evening menus, said:
“I’m really looking forward to the day. I’m a huge fan of the game, and I can’t wait to meet, let alone serve, some of the biggest legends in snooker.
“My approach on the day will be simple: expect the unexpected. Tastes you’ve never come across, combinations you’d never dream of: we will make it real.”

Winteringham is also offering all Snooker Legends fans 20% off their evening meal and 50% off their room rate.

To book a meal and masterclass with Snooker Legends, please email Jason@snookerlegends.co.uk for prices and availability.

To dine and stay at Winteringham Fields, please go to www.winteringhamfields.co.uk

Or call 01784733096 quoting ‘Snooker Legends Deal’

#worldseniorstour #daretodream

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, sky, outdoor and nature
Snooker Legends

The Seniors Masters Trophy named after John Spencer

This was today published on WPBSA site:

Masters Trophy to be named after John Spencer

26th February 2018

Crucible Snooker Legends fitting

World Seniors Snooker has today announced that the World Seniors Masters trophy is to be named after the great John Spencer, the first-ever winner of the professional Masters tournament.

John Spencer smilingThe event will be staged at the iconic Crucible Theatre, Sheffield on 12th April 2018 and see eight players battle it out to win the John Spencer Trophy.

Jason Francis of World Seniors Snooker said: “As a three-time world champion, the first winner of the Masters and former WPBSA Chairman, John did so much for the game and I’m delighted that his partner Jean has granted us permission to name our trophy in his honour!”

Jason Ferguson, WPBSA Chairman said: “John Spencer was not only a huge snooker star during the formative years of the modern era, memorably becoming the first player to win the World Championship at the Crucible, but he was also one of my snooker heroes as a young player. He also previously served as WPBSA Chairman and I have many very fond memories of him. I kept in touch with him and spoke to him just before he passed away.

“The decision to name this trophy after him is a fitting one and I am sure that the event will be a success.”

Following the conclusion of play at the final qualifier at Upton Park Snooker Centre earlier this month the line-up for the World Seniors Masters event was finalised.

Jonathan Bagley, a taxi driver from Leeds, defeated former professional Barry Pinches on the final black ball to become the final qualifier for the event. He will now realise a dream to walk out at the Crucible Theatre where he will face 1985 world champion Dennis Taylor.

Jonathan completes a stellar line-up for the event which will also see former professional Michael Judge, who won the first qualifying event in Newbury, come up against seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry in the last eight.

The full draw is:

Joe Johnson v Cliff Thorburn
Dennis Taylor v Jonathan Bagley
Stephen Hendry v Michael Judge
John Parrott v Willie Thorne

The winner will take home the John Spencer Trophy and a first prize of £7,500.

#daretodream

Images provided by David Muscroft.

 

Seniors World Championship 2018 – New Title Sponsor

In this Press Release, Jason Francis has today announced a new Title Sponsor for the Seniors World Championship:

SeniorsWC2018NewTitleSponsor

This is of course great news for the players, and for the future of the Seniors Tour. Jason deserves a lot of praise for the way he seeks and secures deals for the Seniors Tour, in various sectors, not just in the betting industry. Make no mistake, this is a massive effort and a huge personal investment as well as financial risks.

Here is Stephen Hendry’s video:

 

And here is the link : https://www.assetereum.io/Register/Snookerlegends

(in the text above, it’s just an image, so not clickable).

I f you wish to support the Seniors tour…

Following Shaun Murphy’s generous gesture, Jason has been contacted by another tour player, which has prompted him to send this message around:

Dear World Seniors Tour Player,
Following on from the fantastic gesture from Shaun Murphy yesterday i received an email from another tour player asking if we accept donations from players and snooker fans of what we are doing trying to create this tour.
As i said to him anything we get donated will be paid out in full in prize money for you. I totally understand everyone has different financial circumstances but the one thing we have in common is our love for the game and our support of this venture. Therefore if anyone wishes to make a donation, either publicly or in private then please email me
jason@snookerlegends.co.uk
If you want to keep it private then we will say its an anonymous donor, if you want publicity for your business or a charity then we can use our huge social media numbers to do that as well.
We can provide receipts for any donations made, in some cases this can be tax efficient for you.
Most of you who know me will understand I will work as hard as I can to generate as many opportunities and as much prize money as possible but we welcome all the help we can so please get in touch.
thanks again

And, don’t forget, coming to the events, is also a great way to support the Seniors Tour whilst having a lot of fun!

WPBSA World Seniors Snooker Tour Announced

WorldSeniorsLogo

WPBSA made this announcement yesterday

WPBSA World Seniors Snooker Tour

14th December 2017

Snooker Legends arena

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) can today announce its involvement in the beginning of an official WPBSA World Seniors Tour.

WJimmy White with trophyhilst the World Snooker Tour has gone from strength to strength in recent years, it is vital that we consider the longevity of the careers of our players. We recognise the excellent work already carried out by Jason Francis and Snooker Legends in creating interest and events which many of our sporting greats now compete in. Our intention is to create a partnership with Jason to take what he has done global and create more playing opportunities for amateurs than ever before.

There is clearly a role to play for the WPBSA as snooker’s world governing body in ensuring this concept receives the attention and support it deserves. Globally, there are significant numbers of players who are over 40 who continue maintain a strong competitive instinct in our sport, this includes many passionate amateurs and includes both past and present World Snooker Tour players.

In support of the many players and the work of the World Snooker Federation as snookers IF, we are now engaged with the partners involved to build a tour of events as an official WPBSA World Seniors Snooker Tour.