Archive Page

Kennedy comes from the loss side to win second straight J. Pechauer SE Open 9-Ball stop

(l to r) Amateur winners Bill Bloom, Miscue Lounge Owner Ricky Martin & Che Mvros

Boom goes undefeated to capture Amateur title
 
On Saturday, August 19, Tommy Kennedy, tour director of the J. Pechauer Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, chalked up his second straight victory on the tour. Following his victory a week earlier at Uncle Waldo's Billiards in Daytona Beach, in which he followed a hot seat loss with a finals victory, Kennedy and the tour visited the Miscue Lounge in Fort Myers and repeated that process in the Bob and Brad Martin Memorial Tournament. Stephen Richmond sent him to the semifinals in this most recent, $600-added event that drew a short field of 14 entrants, but Kennedy came back to win a decisive victory in the finals.
 
In a $400-added Amateur event that drew 34 entrants on Sunday, August 20, Bill Bloom downed separate opponents in the hot seat (Antti Matilla) and finals (Che Mrvos) to claim the amateur title.
 
Kennedy's path in the Open event went through Randy Epperson in a winners' side semifinal, as Richmond battled Keith Lennox. Kennedy got into the hot seat match with a 9-4 win over Epperson and was joined by Richmond, who'd sent Lennox over 9-5. Richmond claimed the hot seat and his last win of the event 9-4 over Kennedy and waited on his return.
 
On the loss side, Epperson picked up Antti Matilla, who'd gotten by Anthony G. and John Deek to reach him. Lennox drew Glenn Olson, who'd defeated James R. and Jimmy Clay. Lennox locked up in a double hill fight that he eventually won against Olson, and in the quarterfinals, met up with Epperson, who'd eliminated Matilla 7-2.
 
Epperson downed Lennox 7-3 in those quarterfinals, but was defeated, same score, by Kennedy in the semifinals. Kennedy got his second shot at Richmond and took full advantage, downing him 11-4 in the finals to claim his second straight SE Open 9-Ball title.
 
In the Amateur event, Bill Bloom advanced to the hot seat match with a double hill win over Chris Hall in one winners' side semifinal, while Antti Matilla defeated Billy McBride 6-4 to join him. Bloom claimed the hot seat 6-4.
 
On the loss side, Hall picked up Trey Jankowski, who'd just defeated Eddie Green 4-1 in the event's first money round. McBride drew Che Mrvos, who'd eliminated Eric Huddleston 4-1.
 
Jankowski and Mrvos advanced to the quarterfinals over Hall and McBride, by the same 4-1 score. A double hill battle in those quarterfinals advanced Mrvos to the semifinals, where he defeated Matilla 4-1 for a shot at Bloom in the hot seat. Bloom completed his undefeated run with a 9-5 victory over Mrvos in the finals.
 
Kennedy, as tour director, thanked the ownership and staff at Miscue Lounge, as well as title sponsor  J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Mueller Recreational Products, Simonis Cloth, Billiard Buzz, and Chris and Israel Hightower (Cue Man Billiard Products).

Shotgun Misfires As Rhodes Takes Maiden GB9 Main Event

Michael Rhodes

The Northern Masters final of 2015 was contested by two players already having had a taste of victory  this season. They were Michael Rhodes, winner of February’s Pro Cup, and Craig Osborne, reigning Paul Medati Trophy champion and looking for his second major in a row.
 
Rhodes had to work mighty hard in his opening match with Martyn Taylor, and it was Taylor who snatched a last-gasp 9-8 win to send Rhodes into the losers bracket where he faced Dean Sporton. Desperate to avenge his hill-hill defeat, he cruised through 7 racks to 1 and  followed it up with a 7-2 dispatching of Adam Collins. Ben George was next in the firing line on the losers side, and Rhodes was in no mood to let up his winning pace. A 7-3 win saw him one win away from a place in the last 16, with young Scottish potter Chris Fraser standing in his way. Each opponent before him had gone one rack better and the same applied here – Fraser only managing 4 frames to Rhodes’ 7, and it was Rhodes who took a last 16 berth. There he faced Tom Staveley in what didn’t fail to be a terrific match. Rhodes won through 9-7 and faced Tony Drago in the quarter finals. The Tornado was looking to reach his first ever main event final, but that wait was to continue – another 9-7 win for Rhodes secured his spot in the final four and a semi final clash with Imran Majid. Majid himself last won a main event at last season’s Southern Masters, and his wait was also set to continue. A convincing 9-3 win saw Rhodes safely through to the final.
 
Osborne instead got off to a winning start in his campaign, with Ryan Hamer first in the firing link for the Suffolk shooter. A 9-4 win saw him safely through and his unbeaten start to the campaign continued in the following round, with Colin Connor failing to unsettle Osborne as he won 9 racks to 3. Where one North East potter in Hamer wasn’t enough, Osborne then came up against another for a spot in the straight knockout last 16. Sunderland’s Adam Benn Smith was ready and waiting to send Osborne into the losers bracket, but Osborne was in no mood to let up as he secured a second straight 9-4 win. The quarter finals beckoned for Osborne, but intent on stopping him was 2014 Midlands Classic champion Chris Hall. He too was desperate to get another title under his belt, but Osborne’s dominance continued with another 9-3 victory. His reward was a showdown with newcomer Martyn Taylor. Taylor had earlier scored a tremendous win over eventual finalist Michael Rhodes and he was looking for another major scalp here. However, Osborne stepped things up a gear, serving up Taylor a donut in a scorching 9-0 win. One more opponent stood in the way of Osborne and a second straight main event final in 2015. That man was snooker professional Chris Melling, back into the GB9 fold after a lengthy absence as he focussed on his snooker career. It was almost a flawless return for Melling and, but for running into a red-hot Osborne, things could have been very different. As it was, Osborne secured that one last victory to take him into his second final of the season, a 9-6 win over Melling seeing him over the line.
 
It was going to take a special effort to overcome Osborne and his scintillating form in the competition, but Rhodes was ready and waiting with a big game of his own. Zero break and runs in the match spelled out a tense affair, but Rhodes was the one to cross the line in first place. An 11 racks to 5 win over Osborne saw him take home his very first main event crown and denied back-to-back event wins for the Shotgun. That win sends Rhodes up to #2 in the rankings, with Osborne taking a well earned spot at provisional British #1 after two superb events.

Tornado Sweeps Away Maharaja In GB9 Pro Cup

Tony Drago

The third Rasson Billiards Pro Cup of the season was to be contested between two players both experiencing a dry run of success on the tour. Malta’s finest and London’s finest, Tony Drago and Imran Majid, took to the floor with both looking for a first tournament win in over a year.
 
Drago opened his account against the ever improving Ashik Nathwani. The seasoned professional was too good for Nathwani, however, and Drago won through 10-5 to face the newly crowned Northern Masters champion Craig Osborne in the winners qualifying round. Osborne’s ruthless form over the weekend wasn’t ceasing, and this time Drago was on the wrong end of a 10-5 reverse which saw him in the last chance saloon with Chris Cowie. Drago, hungry for success, was taking no chances against Cowie. A safe 10-4 win ensured passage to the quarter finals where Chris Hall was waiting for him. Drago once again was taking no prisoners. Following up from a 9-3 win over Hall in the Northern Masters, a hard fought 10-6 win ensured a mouth watering semi final in a rematch with Osborne. The Shotgun was two wins away from a perfect weekend and was eager to see off Drago here, but Drago pulled a rabbit out of the hat at the perfect moment. An excellent 10-8 win put Drago into the final and ended Osborne’s weekend.
 
Majid began his Pro Cup campaign against David Worrow, and he too was in no mood for letting up. A hard fought 10-7 win put him into a qualifying round match against Darryn Walker. Walker was looking for his second Pro Cup in succession, but Majid was the one to walk away victorious. Another win by 10 racks to 7 was enough to put Majid into the quarter finals. Majid had only hit two break and runs in his two matches at present, but he doubled his tally in his quarter final match with Ian Mccormick. Those two runouts helped him towards a 10-5 victory and into a last 4 showdown with Chris Melling. Melling already had one semi final under his belt in the weekend and was looking to make it one better this time round, but the Maharaja had other ideas. Another big effort from Melling was in vain as Majid sneaked home and into the final with a victory by 10 racks to 8.
 
The contrasting styles of the two players – slow and composed from Majid, fast and ruthless from Drago – lead to a fascinating final that didn’t disappoint. Three runouts from Drago helped him cross the finish line in first place with a very well earned 11-5 victory to take him his first GB9 title since the 2011 Pro Cup (III).

GB 9-Ball Tour Updates

Daventry Court

The penultimate round of this season’s GB 9 Ball Tour hits town this weekend as the Southern Masters is contested at the Daventry Court Hotel in Northamptonshire.

 

As the 7th GB9 season draws ever closer to its climax, the fourth event of 2014 brings together once again some of the country’s finest cueists as they lock horns to see who will take home the next major British title. Having already gone past the halfway stage of this 2014 season, it’s fair to say that the dominance of Phil Burford and Mark Gray at the top of the rankings will take quite some stopping at this event. With 3rd placed Daryl Peach flying the flag for Great Britain at the WPA World Team Championship alongside Karl Boyes, Chris Melling and Allison Fisher, it will take nothing short of a tournament win for any of the chasing pack to close that gap. With some of the country’s leading amateur’s at the head of that pack including reigning Midlands Classic champion Chris Hall, Michael Rhodes, Craig Osborne and Darryn Walker, all of the top players will have to be on their toes. It remains to see whether any of those four, or any of the other exciting amateurs in the field, can stop Burford and Gray on their quest for yet more silverware.

 

The magnificent Daventry Court Hotel will host its 14th GB9 event to date, a run which stretches all the way back to the 2010 British Grand Prix. It has proven itself over the years to be a very popular venue with players, officials and all those involved with the GB 9 Ball Tour. The tour is also due to close the season out at the hotel with this year’s British Grand Prix between November 7th and 9th. We are sure that this event will be as smooth and enjoyable as those previous, and GB9 would like to extend its thanks and gratitude to the hotel and its staff for their tireless work to date in making tour events so memorable.

 

The Southern Masters is due to begin on the evening of Friday 1st August, with play across the weekend coming to a conclusion on the evening of Sunday 3rd August. Entry to spectators is free as ever. Players entries MUST be received by midnight on Tuesday 29 July. Live streaming will be available once again, alongside the innovative rack-by-rack live-scoring system, GB9-Live. High octane pool is guaranteed once again as the race to grab those crucial ranking points hot’s up, so get yourself down to Daventry to witness the cream of American pool players that this country has to offer.

 

In 2014 GB9 is proudly sponsored by Rasson Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Billiard Balls, OB Cues and Kamui Tips making the perfect combination of the very best equipment in the most outstanding venues.

Hall Beats Them All For Maiden Main Title

Chris Hall

The first main event final of the season saw Darlington’s Phil Burford come up against Wakefield’s Chris Hall. Both players have been stalwarts of the tour for a number of years now, and it was fitting that two such players should contest the first major showdown of the season.
 
Hall opened his account for the weekend in fine style, dispatching of Welshman Nathan James 9-0 in a mere 35 minutes to secure passage through to the last 32. Here he met two times defending Universities Pool Council 9-Ball champion Benji Buckley in a much closer affair. Hall came away victorious, however, with a solid 9-5 scoreline ensuring safe passage to the round of 16. His opponent, Dave Evans, suffered almost the same fate as Hall’s first opponent. 9-1 was the score in favour of Hall, taking the Yorkshireman through to a quarter final showdown with none other than Tony Drago. Smelling blood from his early exit in the World Snooker Welsh Open earlier in the week, a quarter final was the best he could manage here. An incredible match which Hall won 9-7 saw the pair share no less than SEVEN break and runs between them in a match that took just 66 minutes. Hall then had another high quality match in the semi-finals, this time against Ipswich’s Craig Osborne. Another three break and runs from Hall took his tally for the competition to 15 in the space of four matches and helped him to a 9-6 victory to send him into his first main event final.
 
Burford’s last 64 match saw him overcome a resilient Simon Gardner, with a 9-5 win seeing him into the last 32 to face Colchester’s Shaun Storry. Three break and runs each would often be a sign of a close match, but Shaun’s three were his only rack wins as Burford won 9-3. His opponent in the last 16 was Stuart Colclough, another long time tour player. Another 9-5 victory was enough to take Burford into a quarter final match with Wolverhampton’s Darryn Walker. Walker has established himself as a feared name in British 9-ball in recent years, but this time he was no match for the defending Midlands Classic champion. Burford won through 9 racks to 4 to take him into an all north-east semi final against Michael Rhodes. It was Burford who came out on top 9 racks to 4 to take him just 11 more racks away from a successful defence of his title.
 
Many saw Burford as heavy favourite going into the final, but it was Hall who raced into what can only be called a shock 9-0 lead to leave Burford hanging on by his fingertips. The seemingly impossible wasn’t to follow, and Hall soon wrapped up the two racks he required to take a tremendous 11-3 victory over Burford to take his maiden main event win at a GB9 event.

Classy Massey Secures Challenge Tier I Title

The first Tier I final in the newly formed Challenge Cup competition was also contested by two long time GB9 players in the form of Stewart Colclough and Damian Massey. With some of the UK’s top amateurs competing in this division, the competition was as hotly contested as people expected.
 
Colclough started his campaign against GB9 regular and World Snooker referee Martyn Royce, seeing out a comfortable 9-3 victory and leaving him to face Nottingham’s Dave Hopkin in the next round. Colclough found a ruthless streak here to dominate the match, four break and runs helping him whitewash Hopkin 9-0 and into the last 8. A terrific match against Mark Foster is what followed next, with a 9-7 win with a further three break and runs putting Colclough just nine more racks from another Challenge Cup final. Trying to stop him was 8-ball convert Neil Raybone, but his brave efforts proved futile in the end – Colclough wrapped up a 9 racks to 6 victory to put him in the final.
 
Massey’s opening match went the same way as Colclough’s opener against Royce, with a 9-3 victory over Michael McDonald seeing him through to the last 16 where he was to face Cornishman Robin Cripps. Both players brought their A games to the table, and two veterans of 9-ball in the south of England fought out a match that went all the way, with Massey edging into the quarter finals by 9 racks to 8. There he met Chris Hall, fresh from his victory in the main event, with both looking to continue their winning runs in the Challenge Cup going. Again, it was Massey who dumped the new Midlands Classic champion out of the event with a 9-8 win to set up a semi-final with Shaun Storry. Once again the match went the distance and, once again, it was the Dynamic Billard sponsored Massey whose experience told and saw him through 9-8 and into the final.
 
Nobody would have been surprised at the final going the distance, but it took 15 racks rather than 17 to decide the outcome. Massey once again held on to take the first Tier I Challenge Cup title of the season by 9 racks to 6.

Guapo Sorts The Boyes From The Men

Karl Boyes

The Northern Masters final for 2013 was contested between two of the most seasoned players in the UK right now. Karl Boyes, finally hitting somewhat of a purple patch in the domestic season, and Mark Gray who was looking to cement his place at the top of the provisional British rankings in readiness for the end of season World Pool Masters qualifiers.

 
Boyes started his campaign started his campaign in the tournament with a comfortable 9 racks to 2 victory against Brett Armer, following this up with a 9-5 victory over Jez Graham to put him safely into the last 32 stage. An international flavour came up in the next match as Bruno Muratore tried to stop Boyes in his tracks. It was Boyes who made it though, however, as he overcame the efforts of the pony-tailed Italian in a tense 9-8 win. This saw him through to a match against Sunderland’s Adam Benn Smith in the last 16, a match which he came through 9 racks to 4 and safely putting him into the last 8. There he faced an almighty fright from Benji Buckley before again coming through another hill-hill encounter, eliminating the Sheffield shooter 9-8 and putting him into the final four. Waiting for him there was Chris Hall of Wakefield, and he made sure of back to back victories over Yorkshiremen with a gritty 9-5 win, seeing him into his first main event final since July 2010.
 
Mark Gray began his challenge for the title against Colin Connor, and a straightforward 9-3 victory meant he next faced Pablo Garcia Lagar for a place in the last 32. He managed to go one better in this match, disposing of the Spaniard 9-2 and paving the way for a clash with April’s Paul Medati Trophy runner-up Craig Osborne. The man from Ipswich wasn’t going to replicate April’s feats as Gray eliminated him from the tournament 9 racks to 4. Gray saw himself into the last 16 against Andy Worthington, but another 9-2 victory saw him ease through to a potentially mouth-watering clash against Chris Melling, hoping to take the title back to Keighley with him in what was practically a home tournament for the Mosconi Cup MVP. The match was anything but the classic people were expecting, however, with Gray easing through 9-1 and setting up a semi-final against Imran Majid, himself looking to keep the pressure on Gray at the top of the provisional rankings. Gray was once again on the right end of the scoreline, and another 9-4 victory meant he made his way into the final without dropping more than four racks in any of his matches. A staggering statistic and form that was sure to bring out a brutal final.
 
The match was as tense as people were expecting, with Gray taking a 10-8 lead before Boyes edged the match back to level pegging at 10-10 with one rack to play. Gray had already run four racks in the match and Boyes picked the perfect time to make his fourth and final dish, sealing the title with a superb run out and an 11-10 victory which saw him rise to 2nd place in the provisional rankings with only his beaten finalist Mark Gray now standing above him.

Wizard Leaves Shotgun Spellbound Again

Jayson Shaw

Jayson Shaw and Craig Osborne made their way each into yet another final in the first Pro Cup of the season. With the newly revamped double-elimination 16-man field coming into effect in the competition, the field truly has become an elite group of the finest 9-ball players Great Britain has to offer.

Picking up where he left off after his British Grand Prix victory back in November, Shaw’s first victory of the season came over good friend Chris Melling. Nothing short of a top draw match was in order, with Shaw coming away 9-5 victor. In his winners bracket match he came up against Chris Hall, being pushed all the way to the hill before qualifiying for the quarter finals with a 9-8 win. the curiousities of the draw meant a rematch with Melling came next. It was a case of different result, same winner, as Shaw came through another hill-hill battle on top to make the semi-finals. His third consecutive hill-hill match came in the form of Daryl Peach and once again it was Shaw who came out on top to make his second straight GB9 final.

Osborne made slightly harder work on his way to the final, but still showed the quirky style of grit and finesse we’ve grown to love with Ozzy. His opening match against Pro Cup returnee Damian Massey was a real grinder, but he came through 9-8 to set up a winners’ bracket match with Daryl Peach. The wheels temporarily fell right of the Ozzy bandwagon and a 9-3 victory for Peach meant Osborne went into the losers’ bracket. A steady 9-6 victory over Karl Boyes saw him find his feet again and set up a quarter-final against James Kay. He came through that match 9-7 to set up a semi-final against Michael Valentine, a match which finished with the same scoreline and the same winner, sending Osborne through to yet another final.

Good friends off of the table, these two are nothing short of nemeses when playing against one another –a quality final was guaranteed for all the spectators. Perhaps surprisingly, therefore, the margin of victory in the final was the largest of any match in the whole competition: it was Shaw who kept up his unbeaten record against Osborne with a crushing 9-2 score line to take his first gold medal of the season along with the £1,000 winner’s cheque

Chipper Beats The Field For Maiden Victory

Shaun Chipperfield

The final of this year’s Midlands Classic pitted two players together with entirely different background – one perennial face on the GB 9 Ball Tour in Manchester’s James Kay, alongside a relative newcomer to the  sport in Norwich’s Shaun Chipperfield. Both players were seeded inside the top 32 coming into this event  and so started their campaigns in the last 64.

Given the drama in the opening two competitions, every single player was eager to hit the ground running and push on in the main event, with once again some staggering results coming throughout the two days’ play. As with Paul Taylor in the Challenge Cup against Mark Shepherd, Shaun Storry secured one of the biggest wins ever seen on the tour, coming back from 8-2 down to eliminate Challenge Cup champion Craig Waddingham 9 racks to 8.

Waddingham explained after the match that there’s very little he could have done to stop defeat.  “I missed one ball in the whole match.  It was my break that let me down I gave Shaun too many chances after them and ultimately that cost me dearly”.

Kay’s route to the final started in the best possible way, handing Tom Staveley a donut with a convincing 9-0. His next two triumphs were much more challenging, but he came through a thrilling 9-8 encounter against Belfast’s Mark McDonald before eliminating Adam Benn Smith 9 racks to 6 to reach the quarter finals. Waiting for him there was the daunting prospect of British number 1 Imran Majid, but a cool and collected Kay held his nerve to pull of a tremendous 9-7 victory and send the Londoner home. After taking out one of the most feared names on the tour, he then came up against another one at the semi-final stage in the form of Daryl Peach. The fact that each of the four opening racks resulted in break and runs showed the class both players showed to get to this stage.  It was Kay who made it to the finish line first, however, with a final score of 9-8 ending a match of tremendous quality and ensuring Kay of his first GB9 final since The Paul Medati Trophy in April 2010.

Chipperfield has, in a relatively short time, found himself as one of the most feared names in this season’s Challenge division, and it’s those same kind of players he had to despatch in his opening four matches on his route to the final. One of the best in the south west in the form of Gary Bullocke was his first victim –an excellent 9-7 victory putting Chipperfield into the last 32. Reading’s Phil Wildman was next up, and a slightly more convincing 9-5 score line ensured he continued his charge towards the last 16. He went one rack better in eliminating Chris Hall 9 racks to 4 before taking out Chris Buckmaster in another gruelling 9-7 match to book a mouth-watering showdown against world number 7 Darren Appleton. Chipperfield came flying out of the blocks and meant that Appleton couldn’t light the dynamite and end the Norfolk man’s route to the final. With four break and runs to his name come the end, a quite brilliant 9-5 victory put Chipperfield into his maiden GB9 final.

Neither player gave each other an inch in the final – at only one stage in the whole match did either player lead the other by more than a single rack. In amongst the balls, however, Chipperfield really was unstoppable, and his breaking was simply second to none. Kay threw absolutely everything he had at Chipperfield but it didn’t bring rewards with it, with Shaun taking the match 11 racks to 10.  He wins the £2,000 top prize for his efforts, the coveted gold medal and, perhaps most important of all, becomes the first player in GB9 history to win a main event from the Challenge division – an amazing effort.

“I’m shocked to have won a tournament and to have beaten such great players on the way”, said the new Midlands Classic champion. “I’m new to the game but I think I’ve finally found the right one having given snooker a try. GB9 is certainly up there with the best tours and tournaments I’ve been involved with –given how it’s organised and run it’s very professional and the tour itself will grow in the next few years. With so many good players currently on the tour it can only get better and stronger.”