Stephen Hendry decision to return to pro competition illustrates why the WSS tour is important

Jason Ferguson reckons that playing on the WSS Tour has been a big factor in Stephen Hendry decision to return to the Main Tour competition as it has helped him to rediscover his love for the game.

Here is WPBSA article:

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) has welcomed the decision of World Snooker Tour to award seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry an Invitational Tour Card from the start of the 2020/21 season.

The decision follows a successful run at the recent World Seniors Snooker Championship which saw the 51-year-old defeat current tour player Nigel Bond and 2018 Seniors champion Aaron Canavan to reach the semi-finals, before losing 4-2 to old rival Jimmy White at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

Despite his defeat, both those within the game and fans at home were impressed by the form of the Scot – who hit seven breaks over 50 during the tournament – and Hendry himself has said that he “really enjoyed” competing again at the tournament.

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson believes that the rekindling of Hendry’s competitive spirit at the tournament underlines the importance of the World Seniors Tour as part of the WPBSA’s Sport Development structure.

“I am delighted to see that Stephen has decided that now is the time to compete once again at the highest level of our sport,” said Ferguson. “Few players have contributed to the success of our sport as Stephen Hendry during the modern era and it is with open arms that we welcome this great champion to the World Snooker Tour once again.”

“It is also important to acknowledge the role that the World Seniors Snooker Tour, a project instigated by the WPBSA prior to its launch at the 2018 World Championship, has played in his decision. During the years following his retirement in 2012 there were few opportunities for players like him to continue playing competitively following life on the professional circuit.

“With many older professionals either having fallen off the main tour, or approaching that stage of their careers, it was vital that we provided them with another means by which they can continue to play the game they love competitively. In Stephen’s case, his enjoyment gained by returning to the baize has led to his return to the WST circuit and I have no doubt that the World Seniors Tour will continue to provide a springboard for more of our sport’s former champions to bounce back on the professional tour.”

We all wish Stephen the very best.

One-off opportunity for Super Seniors in Jersey

Jason Francis just shared this on social media:

SUPER SENIORS!

Super Seniors
We are offering single one off entry to the Super Seniors Event in Jersey as the field was not filled from yesterdays main event entry. If you are over 55 on or before 2nd November you can come to Jersey from Thursday 5th – 8th to play in that one event. its £50 entry and the winner will get a place at the Senior Masters and is guaranteed £1000 at that event. Entries open from Noon here: follow this link

The WSS ROKiT Phones.com 2020 World Championship starts today – here is all you need to know

We are back at the Crucible … and Jimmy White will be looking to defend his title. Will he be the first to break the “Curse”? We will find out in the coming days.

Here is the draw, and the schedule for round one:

World Seniors Draw ChartSeniorsWorldR1

If you are in the UK, you will be able to watch on BBC. All you need to know is here.

The event will be covered in China as well on the usual streaming channels.

Everywhere else in the world, you will be able to watch the action on the Matchroom.live  platform. You’ll need to subscribe but it’s free.

A preview of the event is available here.

The players have access to the brand new Ding Junhui Snooker Academy in Sheffield for practice. Thank you Ding!

SeniorsPracticeInColors

There was a pre-revent party yesterday, outdoors and duly “social distanced”.

Here are the best pictures by Andy Chubb

Andy will be the only photographer in the “bubble”. I have asked, and kindly be granted, permission to use the pictures shared by WSS on social media on this blog. Thank you!

The Snooker Family comes together, plays and sings to support Health Services.

Jason Francis, chairman of  World Seniors Snooker and “inventor “of the Snooker Legends is passionate about snooker, caring about people, extremely dynamic, has a background in the world theatre, panto and shows … and a creative mind.

Since the lockdown, he has come up with a number of initiatives aiming at keeping people busy and positive whilst gathering money to support the NHS, and its equivalent organisations in other countries. 

The first one was the blue ball challenge. 

Players who have a table at home were invited to attempt to pot the blue – on its spot – playing from the D. There were given 10 attempts and were invited either to do it “live” on facebook or to record their performance to be shown later on social media. Everyone interested in supporting them, were invited to have a guess about how many they would get, just for fun, to watch and, if possible, to make a donation to support a health service, NHS, or a local hospital, a charity or the player’s national health service if they aren’t British.

Players from all abilities and background took the challenge: seniors, juniors, main tour, men and women, ablebodied and disabled. Players came from Britain, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada, Bermuda, Thailand … and I’m sure I’m missing quite a few.

On May 4, this was proudly published

Blue Ball Challenge

Polo shirts are now available, featuring the players name and their score. They are availbale for £20, of wich £10 goes to the cause.

Here is the “Dylan Smith” one … Dylan is only 12 years old and scored 8 out of 10!

Dylan Smith Polo

If you are interested in getting a polo, and support the cause, here is the link allowing you to order one by email

The blue ball challenge was a great success but, as not every player has access to a table at home, the cause is currently running out of blue ball challengers…

So Jason is now coming up with a different challenge: the first poke.

Here is Jason explaining what it’s all about:

And that’s not all … the snooker family got together to produce this 🎤:

Here is what was shared by Jason on the World Seniors Snooker official Facebook page, regarding the song and rights attached to it:

The Snooker Family have come together to continue our fundraising for Health Workers. If you enjoy this please consider donating to our cause at

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/snookerfamily

This recording is a cover performed with permission of the owner of the backing track. Karaoke. Co. Uk Original Song written by Sting (c) A&M records ltd. We do not own the copyright or any rights to the song

So, if you want to help and support your health services, there are plenty of ways you can do just that AND have fun at the same time! THANK YOU!

ROKIT PHONES REVENTON QUALIFIER MAY 24-26 ADELAIDE CANCELLED

This was shared to day by World Seniors Snooker on social media

STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF ABSC AUSTRALIA
ROKIT PHONES REVENTON QUALIFIER MAY 24-26 ADELAIDE CANCELLED

In light of recent developments in respect of the COVID-19 virus, the Board of the ABSC has resolved to cancel all national and open tournaments presently scheduled in the period up to 30 June 2020. Ultimately the health, safety and welfare of the players, officials and the community generally has to take precedence. The Board expects that its decision will be mirrored at a State & Territory level by its various Member States.
Any entry fees paid to date for any ABSC events will be refunded in full. We suggest you seek to obtain a refund or insurance payment for any travel expenses already incurred or defer and reuse the airfares in the future.
This decision also extends to players who are eligible to compete in tournaments overseas. At this time the ABSC will not support any player who wishes to travel internationally to play in tournaments.
The Board will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will advise of any change to its position as and when necessary.

Australia

 

Seniors Irish Masters 2020 – Draw and Format

SeniorsIrishMastersPoster-2

Followowing the Liverpool event last week, the draw is now complete

Here are the draw and format:

Friday 27th March 2020

Session 1 – 7pm

Jimmy White v Tony Drago
Michael Judge v Dennis Taylor

Saturday 28th March 2020

Session 2 – 10am

John Parrott v Rory McLeod
Stephen Hendry v Cliff Thorburn

Session 3 – 2pm

Winner Match 1 v Winner Match 3
Winner Match 2 v Winner Match 4

The Final – 7.30pm

All matches to the final are best of 5, the final is best of 7.
Roll on roll off format.

Get your tickets here.

Launch of the WSS ROKiT UK Championship 2019 in Hull

A special event will be held in Hull on September 17, 2019 to launch the WSS ROKiT UK Championship 2019. This is the announcement:

SENIOR SNOOKER CHAMPIONSHIP AT PQ

snooker-championship

Snooker Legend ‘The Whirlwind’ to launch Senior Snooker Championship at Princes Quay   

Fans will get the chance to meet Jimmy White at this year’s official Launch Event 

When: 17th September, 11am-1:15pm 

Where: PQ, Quayside Level 1  

 Ahead of the ROKiT UK Seniors Snooker Championship, which returns to the Bonus Arena on the 24th and 25th October, Princes Quay shopping centre will be host to a special event which sees Snooker Legend Jimmy White and snooker pundits come together for an exclusive launch.  

 The event will consist of opening statements and reviews, with expert knowledge from Jason Francis and ‘The Whirlwind’ himself, Jimmy White. The pinnacle of event will be the live draw, deciding which players will be drawn against one another, giving fans the opportunity to plan which matches they’ll be attending.  

 Fans will get the chance to meet The Whirlwind with photo opportunities and autographs available. There will also be chance for visitors to brush up on their snooker skills FREE of charge at the two tables installed for the event, courtesy of Tradewell Snooker Club 

 Sarah Smith, Marketing Manager said:  

“We’ve been working closely with the Bonus Arena to plan the Launch Event and we can’t wait to welcome Jimmy White to Princes Quay. It will be a great chance for fans to meet their snooker hero and come and revel in the excitement as the draw is announced. 

It’s another great event on the PQ calendar and with lots of others in the pipeline, we urge our customers to keep their eyes peeled on the Princes Quay website for all the latest news and events.”  

Wrecking Ball Music and Books will be hosting a stall where fans can get their hands on The Whirlwind’s 2015 hit autobiography ‘Second Wind’ as well as previous titles such as ‘Behind the White Ball’ and ‘Jimmy White’s Snooker Masterclass’. The snooker super star, famous for his fluid attacking style of play, has won two of snooker’s three majors and is currently tenth on the all-time list of ranking event winners.  

In the upcoming qualifier competition at the end of September, it will be decided who will face the likes of Jimmy and other big names such as Cliff Thorburn and Patrick Wallace, in the final at The Bonus Arena in Hull.  

Dan Harris, General Manager of the Bonus Arena, said:  

“Hull is fast becoming a snooker city and last year the reaction to the legends was fantastic. Jimmy White is truly a legend of the game and we are delighted he will be joining us next Tuesday for the tournament draw. Fans will get the chance to meet Jimmy as we launch this year’s event.”   

The event will be live streamed across the PQ and Snooker Legends’ Facebook pages.  

Should be fun!

European Open 2018 cancelled – Press Release

After long months of uncertainty, we finally have news abot the 2018 European Open, and, unfortunately it’s not great.

Here is the press release:

PRESS RELEASE 3RD SEPTEMBER 2019

Last Season the ROKiT Phones.com World Seniors Snooker Tour held qualifiers for a European Open which was scheduled to be played in October 2018. Sadly for economic reasons the event was cancelled but players had won qualifiers in Letterkenny, Brugge and Northampton to play, we had also awarded a place to the EBSA European Seniors Champion.

With no contracted European event this season, we feel it is only right and proper that the players who won those events do get rewarded with a place at a full ranking event. Therefore we have taken the decision to place these players in events this season, guaranteeing their rightful opportunity, rather than having to wait for a proposed European Seniors Championship.

Former Professional Sean Lanigan will line up in the Uk Seniors Championship which will be staged at the Bonus Arena in Hull on the 24th and 25th October. Crucible quarter finalist Patrick Wallace has been awarded a spot of the Senior Masters in May, current World Number 1 Michael Judge will line up in Goffs on the 27th and 28th March and EBSA Seniors Champion, and recent Worlds Runner Up Darren Morgan will appear in the 6 reds Championship in Coleraine in June.

We would also like to announce some opportunities for amateur players who are supporting multiple events. The player who sits at World Number 1 on the ranking list following our qualifier in Essen Germany on 26th April will also get awarded a place at the Senior Masters in May. The player who sits highest on the 1 year money list, who is not already invited, after the Senior Masters will be awarded a place in the 6 reds, as will the player ranked number 1 on the Super Seniors Ranking List.

Jason Francis, Chairman of the ROKit Phones.com World Seniors Snooker Tour, said “We felt it was important to reward the players who had won their right to a place in a full televised ranking event, we also wanted to reward players who are consistently doing well in our global qualifying events but not necessarily winning them. We will continue to review strategy and build on our recent World Championships.”

I kept asking for news to Jason Francis all last season and I know with 100% certainty that he tried his absolute hardest to get the event staged. I’m sure that this decision must have been very hard to take, and only after exhausting every other possibility.

WSS ROKiT Phones.com 2019 World Championship – QF Day in pictures!

Those are the results of the QF at the Crucible yesterday:

Session 1

Aaron Canavan 1-3 Leo Fernandez
Jimmy White 3-2 Stuart Watson

Session 2

Stephen Hendry 1-3 Darren Morgan
James Wattana 3-1 Chen Gang

The defending Champion, Aaron Canavan is out but deserves huge praise for the way he supported  the tour as a World Champion. Yesterday was no exception. Aaron was extremely gracious in defeat, wishing his opponent the best of luck and wowing to give it his all to requalify and come back next year hopefully. Good luck Aaron!

Jimmy White is through to the semi finals, but probaly only because of a huge slice of bad luck hitting his opponent Stuart Watson. Stuart was absolutely devastated. He played brilliant snooker at the Crucible and should be very proud. Hopefully he will be able to take the positives in a couple of days.

Stephen Hendry was beaten by Darren Morgan, which didn’t surprise me. Stephen continues to play the way he always did, taking ultra attacking shots, but he doesn’t have the game for that anymore. He still knocks some amazing balls but the consistency is gone and, with the type of game he plays, he’s bound to leave a lot to his opponents when missing. Darren is a quality player and he duly took advantage.

James Wattana and Chen Gang delivered a quality match. It’s bit of a pity for Chen that he played James at this stage. IMO he played better than some of the semi finalists…

Here are the pictures!

The morning session was devoted to showcasing Women Snooker.

The Women Tour Championship saw Reanne Evans win once again!

The four ladies involved offered the audience an entertaining and high quality session. It was really a wonderful advert for the women’s game. Willie Thorne for instance admitted that he never usually watches it, but he was mightily impressed by the quality on display.

SF1 : Reanne Evans beat Nutcharut Wongharuthai

SF2: On Yee Ng beat Rebecca Kenna

Final:  Reanne Evans beat On Yee Ng

Here are the pictures:

 

 

WSS ROKiT 2019 World Championship Build-up – John Parrott v Willie Thorne/Darren Morgan

The second match of the 16, August 2019 morning session will oppose John Parrott to the winner of Willie Thorne v Darren Morgan.

UKHull-ParrottConfirmed

set on winning John was nicknamed “the Entertainer”, but he was dead serious at the table. He won nine ranking events, including the 1991 World Championship and the 1991 UK Championship, making him one of the only six players to have won both tournaments in the same year. His highest ranking, which he held for three seasons, was n°2. He scored 221 centuries – a remarkable feat at the time – including a 147.

When playing on WSS ROKiT Tour,  John likes to honour his nickname, and often cracks a joke aimed at his opponent,  at the MC, or even at members of the audience.

You can read John Parrott’s profile on this blog here

And John Parrott’s profile by Elliot West is here

John will face either Willie Thorne or Darren Morgan. The preview of that match is available on this blog.

Should John face Darren, as I expect, we have a serious match on our hands. Although John had a much impressive carreer than Darren, the latter has a 5-2 lead in their head-to-head, and notably beat him at the World Championship in 1994. Taking into account that John won the first match they played in 1988 when Darren was in his first year as a pro, the statistics are heavily in favour of Darren. You can see the details of the seven matches they played on cuetracker.

Mini Preview. If John Parrott does indeed meet Darren Morgan, I expect Darren to win, partly because of their head to head, mainly because Darren is still playing competitively on a regular basis.  If, much to my surprise, he faces Willie, I definitely fancy John to win.

Just for the record here are the details of the John v Willie head-to-head (source cuetracker) . They played each other 17 times, John won 11 of their matches, Willie 5, and they had a draw. Those elements, combined with Willie’s health and eyes issues explain why I’m not giving Willie much chances.