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

Remembering Alex Higgins ahead of the battle for the Dennis Taylor Trophy.

Today in Belfast, eight men will do battle for this:

The Dennis Taylor Trophy

The Dennis Taylor Trophy. 

And, yesterday, the Belfast Telegraph has published this good article, interviewed some of the players involved in today’s ROKiT Six Reds championship about Northern Ireland most iconic snooker son, Alex Higgins.

‘I became the Hurricane’s No.1 hate figure. Towards the end of his life I made a point of going to see him and I’m so glad I did’

Legend Stephen Hendry on his relationship with Alex Higgins and relishing playing in Belfast again

By Frank Brownlow

When Stephen Hendry strides to the table at the Waterfront Hall tomorrow in the Senior Six Reds World Championship, he will receive the warmest of Belfast welcomes.

And that’s just what you’d expect for the finest player ever to pick up a snooker cue who won a record seven world titles in his 1990s heyday.

But there was a time when Hendry’s reception here would have been at best lukewarm, given that he had become the bête noire of Belfast’s favourite snooker son, Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins, who died in 2010.

Hendry recalls: “I turned pro at 16 and Alex was brilliant with me. He always had time for a word of encouragement. I used to practice with him and that was amazing.

“But as I became more successful and started winning a lot of tournaments things changed between us – I suppose we simply became rivals.

“I seemed to replace Steve Davis as his No.1 hate figure!

“It was sad really because Alex had been my hero when I was growing up.

“But towards the end of his life when he was very ill I made a point of going to see him and I’m so glad that I did because he was brilliant with me and that meant so much.

“Snooker wouldn’t be the success story it is today without Alex Higgins. He helped transform it into a big television hit and that brought in big prize money.”

Hendry was the new star who freshened up the game in the 1990s.

Hendry, like over 20 million others, had watched his television set enthralled as Dennis Taylor and Steve Davis slugged it out in the famous 1985 World Championship final at the Crucible, the Ulsterman winning the ultimate thriller on the very last black well after midnight.

That was the game’s golden era when the likes of Davis, Higgins and Jimmy White – who will also compete at the Waterfront Hall tomorrow – where some of the most famous faces on television.

But then along came Scottish young gun Hendry, taking the game by the scruff of the neck and winning the first of his record seven world titles in 1990 at the tender age of 21, the youngest player to wear the crown.

If Davis was the man of the 1980s, the 90s was Hendry’s decade.

His ice-cool demeanour didn’t always endear him to the public with the likes of Higgins and White – the Hurricane and the Whirlwind – blasting their way to the top of the popularity polls.

But Hendry was the man, inflicting heartbreak after heartbreak upon White in particular, highlighted by four World Championship final successes against the Whirlwind, who was to endure a record six in all.

White is still battling away on the main tour but Hendry hung up his cue in 2012 and currently works as a pundit for both BBC and ITV.

And the Scot admits he can’t wait to get back into action in Belfast tomorrow in a quick-fire eight-player tournament that will be played in one day – with a £20,000 winner-takes-all prize.

Legends Hendry and White will be joined by 1997 World champion Ken Doherty, surprise ’86 champion Joe Johnson, Tony Drago, Jonathan Bagley, Aaron Canavan and Dungannon professional Patrick Wallace.

Four quarter-finals will be played in the afternoon (from 1pm) with the tournament played to a finish tomorrow night (from 7pm).

Hendry says: “I have played at the Waterfront Hall before and it’s a great venue.

“I remember playing Ronnie O’Sullivan there once and the place was packed, the atmosphere was electric.

“It should be a great day. Hopefully there will be a big crowd and I’m sure we will put on a good show for them.

“I haven’t played all that much of the Six Reds format but I know it will be fast and furious. It’s a big prize on offer so I’m sure the competition will be fierce.

“I’m sure that the Belfast public will create a great atmosphere.

“It’s great to be going to a city where the people love their snooker and that’s down to the likes of Alex Higgins, Dennis Taylor and these days Mark Allen,” he adds. “When I won my first ranking tournament, the Grand Prix in 1987, I beat Dennis Taylor in the final so I have great memories of that. Dennis was another top player.”

And with the World Championship starting next month, Hendry feels Antrim cueman Allen – who made his triple crown breakthrough last year by winning the Masters – is among the big hopes.

“Mark Allen has everything,” he says.

“He has a different style than most other players. He is very exciting to watch.

“His cueball control is superb and that enables him to score heavily when he gets in which is what sets the top players apart.

“I’m surprised he hasn’t won the world title already.

“The World Championship is a very different tournament to the rest. The Crucible is a unique venue. Some players don’t like the long matches which demand hours of concentration.

“But Mark certainly has the bottle to do it and he has the game to go with it. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t win it at some point.

“This time around I would be looking at Ronnie, Neil Robertson or Judd Trump. If Mark Selby can get his match head on he can challenge for the title.”

Hendry – now 50 – regularly plays in seniors tournaments.

“I enjoy playing in the seniors events, it’s great catching up with the other players again. I also love playing golf,” he says.

“I do miss playing in the big tournaments on the big occasions, playing at the Crucible, but I don’t miss the seven or eight hours per day of practice.

“Punditry work keeps me involved in the game. It’s not as good as playing but it’s the next best thing.

“I do four tournaments for ITV and the three triple crown events on the BBC and I really enjoy it.

“Snooker is all I have known from a young age – I started out on a small table at home – so I will always be involved in the game in some way.”

White, too, cannot wait to get on the baize tomorrow.

“It’s a fantastic format. I am not at the end of my career but I would say I am in the twilight of my career,” the Whirlwind says.

“I am playing okay – my game is in good shape.

“It will be a brilliant tournament and what an incentive – £20,000 for the winner.

“I know I will have to be at my best with the likes of Stephen Hendry and Ken Doherty in the mix.

“I would say that Ken and myself are the sharpest players in the field, simply due to the fact that we still play on the main tour. But the competition will be fierce.

“Six reds on the table, best of seven frames – it will be very intense. It’s a short format that I really enjoy.

“The Waterfront Hall is a brilliant venue, one of the best around.

“Northern Ireland is a real snooker hotbed because of Alex Higgins and Dennis Taylor.

“Joe Swail followed them and now you have Mark Allen who is one of the top players in the world. The game is in great nick in Northern Ireland and should be for a long time to come.

“Barry Hearn is doing a brilliant job running snooker. If you are a young, talented snooker player today, you are going to make a lot of money – millions.

“You used to hear players saying there weren’t enough tournaments. Now some of them are saying there are too many. If you don’t like it, take a holiday. No one is forced to play.

“It’s great that people still cheer for me after all these years. People have always liked the way I attack, the way I go for my shots and take risks.

“Ronnie O’Sullivan has a similar style and people love watching him as well.

“I think the seniors tour will be massive in three or four years, just like golf.”

Also competing tomorrow will be the popular Drago from Malta.

Drago, famed for his fast-paced play, reached the World Championship quarter-finals in 1988 and was previously ranked in the world’s top 10.

This will be Drago’s first tournament since spending a month in hospital last year with a heart complaint.

He says: “I’m fit and well and really looking forward to playing in Belfast – the Six Reds format will produce some exciting snooker.”

• FOR tickets telephone the box office on 90334455 or visit http://www.waterfront.co.uk

Belfast Telegraph

Former World Seniors Champion Charity Exhibition!

Mark Williams, who won the World Seniors Championship in 2015, at only 39 – and has been teased for it endlessly since – is doing a charity exhibition in Cleethorpes, on April 12, 2019. This was brought to my attention by Nigel Coton, a player competing on both the Disability Snooker Tour and the Seniors Snooker Tour. Thank you Nigel!

Here is the information available in the press

Mark Williams at Beachcomber, Cleethorpes

April 12 @ 7:30 pm

£25 – £45

Poster for Mark Williams at Beechcomber Cleethorpes

Food available on the night and a great selection of beers, wines and soft drinks.

All proceeds go to health tree foundation trust and special baby care unit.

Mark will play 12 frames on the night. (Local players.)

Snooker competition will be held at Ray Edmonds snooker centre on dates to be arranged. £10 entry. Winners will play a frame on the night.

Raffles
Name cards on going to raise funds.

Details

Date: April 12
Time: 7:30 pm
Cost: £25 – £45

Venue

Beechcomber, Cleethorpes

208 North Sea Lane
Cleethorpes, DN36 4ET United Kingdom
Get Directions
Phone: 01472 812666

Nigel was able to give me a bit more information.

As mentioned, the exhibition is in support of the Health Tree Foundation . It is  organised by Jamie Barrett, a former pro, who sadly lost his wife 3 years ago far too young. Jamie is from Grimsby, only a couple of miles away from Cleethorpes.

Here is an interview with Jamie, ahead of the 2016 UK Championship

As explained above, “Willo” will take on 12 “local” players, including Nigel Coton himself. Nigel can only play with one hand and will (try to) challenge Mark Williams to play him one-handed as well. This is something Mark occasionally does even in ranking events, although only for the odd shot. Here is a recent example.

Hopefully Willo will accept the challenge. Should be great!!!

If you have the opportunity, get yourself there, have fun and support a good cause!

Igor Figueiredo from Brazil wins the WSS World Championship 2019 – Q6 in Houston, Texas.

The Seniors Tour is in Houston Texas for the sixth 2019 World Championship qualifying event of this season. It’s happening this week-end!

Here is the draw:

houston 2019 draw

And the format:

houston 2019 format

And here is the Last 32 draw in a slightly easier-to-read presentation

Match 1: Lee Richardson (Eng) (1) 3-0 Christiano Galeses (Bra)
Match 2: Robert Bell  (Ire) 1-3 Laslo Kovacs (USA)
Match 3: Steven Bremar (Ber) 3-0 Januario De Souza (Bra)
Match 4: Paul Fedden (Ber) 2-3 Majid Randhawa (USA)
Match 5: Levi Meiller (Can) (5) 3-0 Adel Guindi (USA)
Match 6: Jesus De Olivera (Bra) 3-0 Ricardo e Silva (Bra)
Match 7: William Hoenig (USA) 0-3 Daren Taylor (USA)
Match 8: Osni Xavier Kuss (Bra) 0-3 John White (Can) (4)
———————————————————
Match 9: Richard Emery (Eng) (2) 3-0 Khan Laheeq (Pak)
Match 10: John Hoenig  (USA) 0-3 Pedro Luiz Poli (Bra)
Match 11: Pravin Patel (USA) 0-3 Mark White (USA)
Match 12: Firmiano De Souza Neto (Bra) 2-3 Mihai Visovan (USA)
Match 13: Hans Blanckaert (Bel) (6) 1-3 Aleya Prabhakar (USA)
Match 14: Anita Chan (Can) 0-3 Charlie Brown (Can)
Match 15: Ernst Bezemer (USA) 3-2 Dayron Azevedo (Bra)
Match 16: Bernard Frerotte 0-3 (101, 71, 50) Igor Figueiredo (Bra) (3)

Last 16

Lee Richardson (84) 3-0 Laslo Kovacs
Steven Bremar 2-3 Majid Randhawa
Levi Meiller 3-0 Jesus De Olivera
Daren Taylor 3-0 John White
———————————————————
Richard Emery 3-0 Pedro Luis Poli
Mark White 3-0 Mihai Visovan
Aleya Prabhakar 2-3 Charlie Brown
Ernst Bezemer 0-3 (146Igor Figueiredo

QF

Lee Richardson 3-0 Majid Randhawa
Levi Meiller 2-3 Daren Taylor
———————————————————
Richard Emery 3-0 Mark White
Charlie Brown 1-3 Igor Figueiredo

SF

Lee Richarson 2-3 Daren Taylor
———————————————————
Richard Emery 0-3 Igor Figueiredo

The Final

Daren Taylor 0-3 (58,60,63) Igor Figueiredo

The trophies were presented by the President of the U. S. Snooker Association, Ajeya Prabhakar.

Well done to all involved! 

As it transpires, Houston is really a hard place !

One where you can get some mean soft shell crab, but lettuce is a rarity !

 

Events to come…

Action starts again on the World Seniors Tour in just two days.

Be ready!

IrishMasters2019-Poster-1IrishMasters2019-Poster-2

and those two proud Irish / Northern Irish have qualified for this event in the iconic Goffs bear pit! Good luck Patrick and Rodney!

IrishMasters2019-HappyQualifiers

Goffs

And then, on January 11, 2018, Jimmy White will be in Lincoln

JimmyExho11.01.2018

This is a special exhibition as it’s gathering money to support disability snooker.

The man behind this exhibition is Nigel Coton, a disabled player himself. He knows how difficult it can be for disabled players to fund their participation in WDBS events, as many are on benefits and quite lonely. Nigel himself is not in that situation but he wants to help those less privileged because for many of those players, WDBS snooker is very important: it’s a place where they feel welcome and valued, and for some it’s even their only “family”.

So, if you can, come and support this great event.

There is only one VIP non playing table for five persons left, but there is still plenty of seats available in the arena.

VIP tickets offer ringside seats, a Champagne buffet and the exclusive “meet and greet” reception before the main event from 16.30 to 18.30.

The Arena doors open at 18.30 and the main show starts at 19.00 sharp.

I will be at both events, in Goffs and in Lincoln … with my camera. Beware!

World Seniors Cue Zones with PJ in Goffs

Some exciting news published by RIBSA 

World Seniors Cue Zones with PJ in Goffs

 

Next January Snooker is back in Goffs with the legends of the game. Jimmy White, Dennis Taylor, Willie Thorne, Ken Doherty and Patrick Wallace will battle it out with one of our top amateur players over the weekend of the 5th and 6th January 2019 in the famous venue of Goffs in Co Kildare.

  • Cue Zone with PJ

RIBSA will be also holding a Cue Zone with our RIBSA National Coach PJ Nolan at the event so get your tickets today to watch the legends and maybe get a few tips to improve your game from Ireland’s top coach.

The Cue Zones will be open to anyone who attends the event in Goffs so do not miss out and get your tickets today.

  • World Seniors Snooker Tour for the Seniors Irish Masters in Goffs.

The stars Jimmy White, Ken Doherty, Joe Johnson, Willie Thorne, John Virgo, Dennis Taylor and Michaela Tabb. RIBSA will hold a qualifying event on December 1st in Roadstone SC  to join this stellar line up.

  • Gala Dinner

We are delighted to announce details of the Seniors Irish Masters Gala Launch Dinner which takes place at the Osprey Hotel in Naas as will have all the Snooker Legends in attendance.

We are hoping you will want to join us. Your ticket includes a welcome drink on arrival, 3 courses and the company of some of snookers greatest characters. A seat this year is just 60 euros but numbers are limited.

If you wish to secure your seat, or a table for your company or group of 8 hosted by a legend, then please email jason@snookerlegends.co.uk

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKETS

PJ Nolan is a legend himself. He’s not just an excellent coach, he’s one who is totally dedicated to the players he support and coaches. I’ve met him in countless comps, and he makes a point to be there and watch all the matches his “students” are involved in, offering them support and advice as long as they are in the tournament.