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New Criteria For World Seniors Snooker

Mark Williams

Snooker’s celebrated World Seniors Championship has a brand new qualifying criteria this season, with the age limit reduced from 45 to 40.



The tournament will take place at the Blackpool Tower Circus Arena for the first time, onMarch 2nd and 3rd, 2015, and televised live on Sky Sports.  The changes to the criteria, which could see new faces join the stellar line-up, are as follows:



– All current or former professionals aged 40 or above at the end of the 2015 World Championship (May 4th, 2015) will be eligible to enter the event.

– All past World Seniors Champions who enter will be seeded through to the final stages in Blackpool (last 16).

– All past World Champions who enter will also be seeded through to the final stages

– The remainder of the 16 spots in Blackpool will be decided by a qualifying event.



The change in age limit means that former World Champions Mark Williams and Peter Ebdon will be able to enter the event.



They could join the likes of defending champion Steve Davis, Jimmy White, Dennis Taylor, Cliff Thorburn, Joe Johnson and Stephen Hendry, who all played in the tournament last year, as well as Ken Doherty who turns 45 this year.



Two-time World Champion Williams said: “You know you’re getting old when you’re able to play in a seniors event! But I’m looking forward to it and it will be a lot of fun and very competitive with so many great names.”



Doherty, the 1997 Crucible king, added: “It will be a fabulous atmosphere at a brilliant venue. It’s a title I’d love to win and I’ll be giving it everything.”



Leading professionals such as Joe Perry, Mark Davis, Dominic Dale, Alan McManus, Mark King and Fergal O’Brien – all currently within the world’s top 32 – could enter the qualifiers for the first time and chase the £18,000 top prize.



A spokesman for World Snooker said: “The success of the World Seniors Championship has grown year after year and we have decided to lower the age limit to give more top stars and fans' favourites the chance to enter. It will be fascinating to see who takes up the challenge and it seems sure we will have the strongest ever line-up for the tournament.



“That means that fans will see top quality snooker while enjoying the fun atmosphere. For the players, it’s often about catching up with old friends and enjoying some banter out there in the arena, but they remain fiercely competitive when there’s a trophy at stake.



“Blackpool is a stunning venue and we’re delighted to give snooker’s supporters in the north west region the chance to come to this wonderful two-day event."



Tickets are ON SALE NOW and fans MUST BOOK FAST to make sure of their seats as many sessions will sell out quickly.



Tickets for the Seniors start at just £10 (concessions £8) for details call 0871 620 7052 (calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras) or visit



The same venue will also host the spectacular one-frame Shoot-Out, featuring 64 of the world's best players, in the same week from March 4 to 6. For details


Blackpool To Host Snooker Spectacular

Blackpool will stage a sensational week of snooker next March with the World Seniors Championship followed by the dramatic Shoot-Out.


The World Seniors will take place at the Blackpool Tower Circus Arena for the first time, on Monday 2 March and Tuesday 3 March, 2015. Then the Shoot-Out returns to the same venue for the fifth consecutive year, from Wednesday 4 March to Friday 6 March.


Tickets are ON SALE NOW for what will be a glorious week of top class snooker action in the Lancashire seaside town. Fans MUST BOOK FAST to make sure of their seats as many sessions will sell out quickly.


Tickets for the Seniors start at just £10 (concessions £8). And for the Shoot-Out they start at just £12, with a 10% discount for groups of six or more. For details call 0871 620 7052 (calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras) or


The World Seniors Championship has been running since 2010 and brings together legends of the sport. Steve Davis is the defending champion while favourites like Jimmy White, Dennis Taylor and Cliff Thorburn have been recent regulars in the popular event.


Davis said: "It's a wonderful celebration of snooker, both for people who fell in love with the sport in the 1980s, and those new fans who want to see some of the all-time great characters showing they can still play. I hope the arena will be packed and the event will be a great success in its new home in Blackpool."


The Shoot-Out is fast and furious snooker at its best: a one-frame knockout featuring 64 of the world's best players, with a shot clock and plenty of crowd participation.


Dominic Dale won the trophy and £32,000 top prize last season and the player nicknamed The Spaceman is looking forward to landing back in Blackpool to defend his crown.


"The atmosphere in Blackpool is so special, it's unlike anywhere else," said Dale. "The crowd get involved and it's all about being able to embrace that and get them behind you. I love the event and winning it was one of the highlights of my career. I can't emphasise strongly enough what amazing fun it is for the fans, there is so much drama and so many great players involved."


Both tournaments will be televised on Sky Sports.


Selby Targeting Fourth Masters Crown

The world's best snooker players will be at Alexandra Palace in North London in January, and several sessions are selling out fast.



Tickets are the perfect Christmas present for anyone who loves live sport so book them NOW while they are still available. Snooker's most prestigious invitation tournament runs from January 12 to 19 and features the elite 16 players including World Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan, world number one Neil Robertson, defending champion Mark Selby plus Judd Trump, John Higgins, Mark Allen, Shaun Murphy, Ding Junhui and many more.



Tickets start at just £10, fantastic value for money, and there are also some amazing VIP and corporate hospitality packages available. To book call

0871 620 7052 (calls cost 10p per minute, plus network extras) or visit



Selby won the title for the third time last year by beating Robertson 10-6 in the final, and the Leicester man dreams of defending the crown and taking the £200,000 top prize. Steve Davis, Cliff Thorburn and Paul Hunter all won it three times while only Stephen Hendry (six) and Ronnie O'Sullivan (four) have surpassed that total.



"To defend the title and join Ronnie on four titles would be unbelievable," said Selby, who plays in the opening match of the tournament on Sunday January 12. "The Masters makes you feel special because it's only the best 16 players so you know that every match is going to be against another top player, and you will have to be at your best to win. And if you do win the title you know you've really earned it because you've beaten the best.



"I was gutted to lose to Neil Robertson in the UK Championship final last week but winning the Masters again would be the perfect way to bounce back from that. Ally Pally is brilliant for snooker, it really works as a venue and the atmosphere is fantastic."



Here's the match schedule for the first round:



Sunday January 12

1pm Mark Selby v Mark Davis

7pm Stuart Bingham v John Higgins



Monday January 13

1pm Judd Trump v Marco Fu

7pm Stephen Maguire v Joe Perry



Tuesday January 14

1pm Ding Junhui v Shaun Murphy

7pm Ronnie O'Sullivan v Robert Milkins



Wednesday January 15

1pm Neil Robertson v Mark Allen

7pm Barry Hawkins v Ricky Walden


Will Bond Defect To The East?

Nigel Bond is looking forward to defending the World Seniors Championship title in Portsmouth next month, but has revealed that his snooker career could lead to a permanent move to Russia.


Bond beat Tony Chappel 2-0 in the final last year and will be aiming for back-to-back titles at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth on October 19 and 20. Green baize legends like Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, Jimmy White, Dennis Taylor and Cliff Thorburn will also competing for the £18,000 top prize at the Sky-televised event.


Bond, age 47 from Derbyshire, is still going strong on the sport’s main tour and is ranked 44th in the world. But the player nicknamed 00-147 admits that he will consider moving base to eastern Europe in years to come.


“I have spent a lot of time in Russia, coaching players,” said Bond. “There is an academy in Moscow now and there is so much enthusiasm for snooker there. At the moment I am still enjoying professional snooker and I’m still competitive, but there could come a time when it makes financial sense for me to go over there and coach full time.


“I have also recently been to Macedonia to play an exhibition. It’s amazing to see these places where you would never think they have even heard of snooker, but so many people there watch the coverage on Eurosport and they love it.


“The main circuit now is fantastic for young players but for the older guys, the travelling is the downside. When you go to places like Australia and China regularly, it’s hard to get over the jet lag and it does tell on your body. That’s why I've started doing some cycling to stay fit, just a few miles around where I live, two or three times a week.”


Bond won the British Open in 1996 and reached the final of the World Championship in 1995. He lost in that Crucible final to Hendry, and he’s delighted to see the Scot among the field at the World Seniors for the first time.


“Stephen will be fired up and I’m sure he’ll be there to win,” added Bond. “Realistically I think those who are still playing regularly will have the best chance of taking the title.


“It was fantastic to win it last year and it’s just such a fun weekend because it’s chance to catch up with all of the players from the 1980s and 90s and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. The venue in Portsmouth was packed both days which added to the occasion and hopefully it will be the same this year.”


TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW and start at just £15. For details call 02392 6265 or


There are also some fabulous VIP tickets available which include:


• All day ticket

• Full access to the players' lounge

• Reserved seating in the arena

• One drink voucher

• Poster

• Commentary Ear Piece

• Complimentary Tea and Coffee


So get your tickets booked now and enjoy a wonderful weekend of snooker and fun! Sponsors the World Seniors Snooker Championship

World Snooker is delighted to announce as the new title sponsor of the World Seniors Championship.


The World Seniors Championship brings together legends of the sport from the past three decades. It will run over the weekend of October 19-20 at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth, and will receive extensive television coverage from Sky Sports.


Famous names competing for the title will include Steve Davis, Jimmy White, Dennis Taylor, Cliff Thorburn, Joe Johnson, defending champion Nigel Bond and, for the first time, seven-time World Champion Stephen Hendry.


The draw has been made and the first round line-up is as follows:


Tony Knowles v Darren Morgan

Dene O’Kane v Nigel Bond

Tony Drago v Qualifier 1

Steve Davis v Dennis Taylor

Joe Johnson v Stephen Hendry

Alain Robidoux v Tony Chappel

Cliff Thorburn v Qualifier 2

Doug Mountjoy v Jimmy White


World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “ are showing fantastic support for snooker this season through title sponsorship of a range of events.”


Hearn added: “The World Seniors has been a tremendous success since we brought it on to the calendar in 2010. It’s wonderful to see the legends of the game getting a chance to compete for a trophy, and the tournament is great fun for the fans watching live in Portsmouth or on Sky. We look forward to working with the 888 team and delivering a weekend of sensational snooker.”


Itai Pazner, Senior Vice President of, commented: “888 is very excited to continue our connection to Snooker across several events in the upcoming months. The feedback from our customers show that Snooker is one of their favorite sports which is why our sponsorship with our casino brand, 888casino, is the perfect match. We hope our customers will enjoy the extra promotions and content we will provide by teaming up with the World Seniors Championship and other Snooker events.”


Jimmy White, who won the title in 2010, said: "It's fantastic event which brings players from all around the world to compete. The event gets stronger every year. Everyone is there to enjoy it and everyone is there to win."


TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW and start at just £15. There are also some fabulous VIP tickets available with access to the players' lounge and the chance for fans to mingle with their heroes. For details call 02392 6265 or


For more information about this release or and its house of brands, please contact  Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Jennifer Von Strohe at


To watch the draw being made visit


Morgan Wins Senior Crown

Darren Morgan saw off a series of snooker legends to win the Wyldecrest Parks World Seniors Championship.
Welshman Morgan beat Cliff Thorburn, Jimmy White and Steve Davis on the final day of the event at the East of England Showground in Peterborough to take the £18,000 top prize.
In fact the 45-year-old from Newport won a total of six matches in the event as he had to get through two rounds in the qualifiers. He conceded just one frame in the tournament, against Davis in the final.
Six-times World Champion Davis, who was also runner-up in this event last year, won the opening frame of the final with a break of 72. Morgan started the second with nine reds and blacks, and went to make 86 for 1-1.
Davis had an early chance in the decider but could only make 14 before missing a tricky red along the top cushion, and Morgan kept his composure with a run of 60 to secure the title.
“It’s got to be up there with the best moments of my career,” said Morgan, who won the Irish Masters during his pro career but never captured a ranking title. “It’s just nice to be back and to be a World Champion.
“I came here just wanting to play well on TV, but I didn’t expect to play that well. In the final I just told myself to enjoy it and not to be frightened of losing.
“It’s been a fantastic tournament with good crowds and a brilliant atmosphere. I’ve really enjoyed seeing all the old friends and getting into the spirit of it.”
Morgan dropped out of the pro game four years ago and insists that he would not contemplate trying to come out of retirement. “It can’t happen, my life is too busy now,” he said. “If someone could put me straight back in the top 32 I would consider it, but it would be too hard for me to get there.
“But if I got offered any wild cards for pro events then I would definitely be interested!”
Davis said: “That’s two years in a row I’ve been runner-up, so maybe next year will be third time lucky. I missed a couple of pressure balls and Darren held himself together very well.”
Last 16
Steve Davis 2-1 Tony Drago
Dene O’Kane 2-1 Neal Foulds
Karl Townsend 2-0 Steve Ventham
John Parrott 2-1 Joe Johnson
Jimmy White 2-0 Tony Knowles
Dennis Taylor 2-0 Nigel Bond
Darren Morgan 2-0 Gary Wilkinson
Cliff Thorburn 2-1 Doug Mountjoy
Davis 2-0 O’Kane
Morgan 2-0 Thorburn
White 2-0 Taylor
Parrott 2-1 Townsend
Davis 2-0 Parrott
Morgan 2-0 White
Morgan 2-1 Davis