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GB 9-Ball Tour Kicks Off 2016 Season

World class 9-ball pool is back on the calendar as the 9th season of the GB 9 Ball Tour gets under way at the Park Inn by Radisson Hotel in Telford.
After a three month break since Craig Osborne sealed his spot at the top of the standings for the 2015 season, the 2016 season is shaping up to be one of the biggest in years for the domestic game in Great Britain. Following on from another resounding success for Team EUROPE at the Mosconi Cup back in December, the buzz around 9-ball pool is at its highest in some time. This buzz has been backed up by a fully subscribed 2016 season on GB9 with all available spots being sealed well before the turn of the year. The popular tour format remains the same as ever, with a double elimination main event at each tour weekend plus a Challenge/Pro divisional event where the best professionals and amateurs battle out against one another in their class. The tour is brought to you by those with a genuine love of the game, and with your continued support we will endeavour to create excitement and enjoyment in equal measure.
A number of exciting new faces will be gracing the tour for the 2016 season. To name but a few, they include Andy MacDonald – English Pool Top 8 Professional, Edward Poultney -newly crowned UPC 9-ball champion winning his way onto the tour for the first time, and Chris Seville who has been playing well on the amateur circuit and is stepping up to the GB9 Pro division. Also returning to the tour after time away are some of the real big guns, such as Daryl Peach, Phil Burford, Damian Massey and Elliott Sanderson. It all adds up to one of the strongest fields ever to sign up to play on the tour, and backs up the well held belief that this is one of the toughest national pool tours in existence.
Our thanks must also go to the magnificent Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Telford and all the staff who work on site. Their support of the tour over recent years has been of special note; few hotels are able to hold American pool events and so their continued efforts to host events should not go without mention. It goes without saying that without a venue there would be no events, so it should be put on record how grateful the tour is for their support back since they first hosted an event back in 2013.
Following feedback from a number of players, in recognition of increased popularity in the 2016 tour, we have taken the decision to increase the total trophies (salvers) up for grabs at each event of the season from five to eight. The finalist of all divisional events will now also receive a salver to commemorate their successes, meaning that both the winner and runner-up of all 4 events (Main, Pro, Challenge Tier 1 & Challenge Tier 2) now receive a coveted Salver to keep in recognition of their achievement. The winner of the Main event also gets their name engraved on the main trophy which will be displayed at the event.
And of course as an extra incentive to all players this season the two players ranked No.1 & No.2 on the end of season Main rankings will receive an additional prize of £1000 and £500 respectively.
Entry to this event closes tonight but if you know of friends who are interested in having a go on the tour this season please ask them to fill in an application form to join our reserve list to be kept up to date with space availability.
Play begins as ever on the afternoon of Friday with the opening rounds of the Midlands Classic, with play right through the weekend up until the early evening of Sunday 31st January. Entry to spectators is free of charge as ever and, with so many big names taking part in competition this year, now is the perfect opportunity to come and watch some of the stars of our sport in action. This is a season not too be missed, so even if you can’t be at the venue you can once again keep up to date with GB9’s innovative scoring system GB9-Live, alongside the ever popular Live-Stream of the TV table to fans across the world. We look forward to seeing you all in Telford ready for another season of world class pool.
In 2016 GB9 is proudly sponsored by Simonis Cloth, Aramith Billiard Balls and Carlson Rezidor Hotels making the perfect combination of the very best equipment in the most outstanding venues.

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.

Peach Wins GB9 Southern Masters

Daryl Peach

GB9′s first event ever event in Essex has reached its conclusion with Daryl Peach beating Karl Boyes to win his first GB9 event in over 12 months at the 2013 Southern Masters at London Stansted airport.

This event was the first of its kind in GB9′s six year history, and the somewhat curious location ensured a truly cosmopolitan feel to a national tournament. Participants from Italy, Denmark and Spain all flew over to Great Britain to contest perhaps this season’s most anticipated competition yet. With places in a World Pool Masters qualifier at the conclusion of the event up for grabs, this was sure to be a hotly contested event and the immense quality of pool certainly didn’t disappoint.  Peach who was down in tenth position in the rankings for the World Pool Masters qualifying spot prior to the start of play, had already done his maths and worked out that he needed nothing short of winning the main event in order to be in the running, a fact which brought immense pressure on each of his matches and that makes his win quite incredible.
Peach began his route to the final with a smooth 9-5 win against Spain’s Albert Casellas which put him through to a winners qualifying stage match with another Spaniard in the form of Juan Carlos Exposito. He ensured that Spain suffered a second consecutive defeat as a 9-4 win comfortably saw the 2007 World Champion into the last 32. Here he was to meet his first Brit in the form of Tom Staveley. Any complacency was left well and truly at the door as he hammered his compatriot 9-0 to advance to a last 16 match up with Imran Majid. A very high quality encounter followed with four break and runs helping Peach to a 9-7 win and a quarter final with another international figure in the form of Denmark’s Jan Keller. His third international opponent suffered the same fate as his first – 9-5 was the score in favour of Peach, and a semi-final with Dave Nelson awaited him. Special mention must go to Nelson at this point for a quite amazing run of his own to the semi-final. After qualifying for the single knockout last 32 with a comfortable 9-2 win over Martyn Royce, no less than THREE hill-hill encounters followed against Courtney Symons, Tommy Donlon and Kevin Simpson, all of which he managed to win 9 racks to 8 to meet Peach in the semi. His luck was to run out, however, and Peach saw off his Wakefield opponent 9-5 and secure a place in the final.
Boyes began his route to his second consecutive GB9 final in a similar manner to Peach: he defeated a Spaniard, this time round in the form of Hector Luna Iglesias. 9-2 was the scoreline against Iglesias and he went one better against his next opponent, Adam Collins, dispatching him 9-1 and reaching the last 32 stage. Boyes had so far only lost three racks in his first two matches and only lost another three here; he defeated Nathan James 9 racks to 3 and set up a last 16 clash with Sunderland’s Adam Benn Smith. His was a much sterner test, but Boyes saw his north-east opponent off 9-8 to reach the quarter finals. A fellow north-east potter in the form of Michael Rhodes was waiting for him, but with a 9-3 score-line Boyes saw himself into the final four. Fellow professional Mark Gray was sure to put up a stiff test with just one more win required for both to reach their second consecutive GB9 final. A repeat of the Northern Masters final ensured a quality battle ensued but it was Boyes heading to the final showdown with a 9 racks to 6 victory. The final was due to be a hotly contested battle with Peach looking to secure his place in the World Pool Masters qualifier which immediately followed the final and Boyes looking to become the first player since Daryl Peach in 2010 to win back to back main events on the GB 9 Ball Tour. It was Peach who took the spoils, however, with a solid 11-4 win securing his place alongside Boyes in the qualifier and taking home the £1700 winner’s purse.
In the Challenge event it was two more professionals who made their way to the final, with Raj Hundal and Chris Melling both making amends for their last 32 exits in the main event. Hundal made his way to the final with victories over Shaun Chipperfield 7-0, Phil Burford 7-6, Alvaro Canoniga 7-3 and Damian Massey 7-5. Melling joined him with a 7-4 defeat of Craig Osborne, before beating Bruno Muratore 7-2, Arfan Dad 7-3 and Benji Buckley 7-4.  With a long journey home ahead of him Melling let Hundal take the title and settled himself with a well-earned runner-up position.
The GB 9 Ball Tour will return for the 2013 ‘Festival of Pool‘ at the end of November, beginning with the last tour event of the season, The GB9 British Grand Prix, followed on 2-3 December by the inaugural GB9 UK 9-Ball Open with a prize fund of £20,000 including £4,000 added.  The week will conclude with the Universities Pool Council annual 9-Ball Championships.  All three events will take place at the magnificent Park Inn by Radisson hotel, Telford, UK.
We are now taking applications for the new look 2014 GB9 season, entry to 10 events over 5 tour weekends is priced at just £399 for Challenge tour players, so playing on the UK’s official, professional 9-ball pool tour has never been so affordable. Just fill in the application form on our web site.


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

2011 Event 5 – GB9 British Grand Prix

9-ball players from across the length and breadth of Great Britain will descend on Daventry in Northamptonshire for the last time this season as the 2011 edition of the GB 9 Ball Tour reaches its climax with the prestigious British Grand Prix.

This season feels as though it has come and gone in a flash and few players would argue otherwise. That said, this has been perhaps the most action-packed and wide open GB9 season since its inception back in 2008. As the fourth season of this increasingly fascinating and difficult tour comes to its conclusion, we’ll look back here on some of the most memorable moments from the past 8 months.

This season’s Midlands Classic was one where one of Great Britain’s brightest young prospects put his mark on the world of 9-ball pool. On the verge of a move over to the USA, Darlington’s Phil Burford took up a coveted reserve spot in the competition and subsequently swept all who stood in his path. He took out two of Britain’s best players – former British #1 Mark Gray and reigning #1 Imran Majid – on his route to the final, and saw off the challenge of Craig Osborne in the final to take a GB9 title over to the States with him. Jayson Shaw stormed to victory in the first Pro Cup of 2011 and Damian Massey was the Challenge Cup’s victorious counterpart with both players laying down markers of the quality they could show in the season.

Emotions were high as ever in the season’s second tournament, the 3rd annual Paul Medati Trophy. Guest referee Michaela Tabb and US Open champion Darren Appleton were the star attractions, and the latter came away with yet another title to add to his CV with victory in June’s Pro Cup. Another one of Britain’s hottest young stars in Mat Lawrenson ran away with the Challenge Cup, defeating in the final yet another player from the crop of young talent in the form of Mark Lunn. 2011 China Open champion Chris Melling was fresh back from the orient and in the form of his life, and it was this form which took him to his second GB9 main event title in the space of three events. This was also, once again, GB9’s annual event supporting Macmillan Cancer Support, and Phil Morgan’s sponsored row prior to the event was the tremendous highlight to a fundraising drive which saw over well over £2,000 raised for the charity.

The Northern Masters was next up in the calendar, and most of Britain’s premier cueists came to this event this time off the back of the 2011 World Championship held in Qatar. Whilst the atmosphere in GB9 often feels like it matches the heat out in the middle east, it was Craig Osborne who avenged his runner-up spot from March taking victory this time round in the main event. Tony Drago took a break out from the newly rejuvenated World Snooker calendar to enter into this tournament weekend, and his frighteningly quick playing style saw him walk away with the Pro Cup title. Even more of the best young talent that British 9-ball has to offer came to the summit of the Challenge Cup, with Colchester’s Shaun Storry taking his first competitive 9-ball title.

Not even four weeks after the Northern Masters came to a close, the Southern Masters title was up for grabs in another fiercely contested weekend. A relative newcomer to the sport of 9-ball in the shape of Eric Dockerty came into each match more confident than ever as the weekend went on, and that confidence peaked on the Saturday evening when he took his maiden GB9 Challenge Cup title. Daryl Peach ended his 10 month long GB9 drought in picking up the Pro Cup title back in September. As for the main event itself, Kevin Uzzell was somewhat of an outsider coming into the weekend. However, his preparation for the event was second to none and this showed with him claiming his first GB9 title – a stalwart of the tour earning a just reward.

|8975|Now, with the 2011 schedule coming to a close, the British Grand Prix will see the finest players in the country battle it out for the title, all aiming for the ranking points to challenge Imran Majid’s coveted status as British #1.

GB9 will also be introducing electronic laptop scoring systems for this event in readiness for the 2012 season – more information on this will be available throughout the competition to players and spectators on request. Fans of the tour and the sport across the world can now follow every single match on tour in real time through, bringing them closer to the action than ever before.

Spectator entry is free as ever, and play begins with the Challenge Cup opening round at 5pm on Friday 18th November, with play concluding with the British Grand Prix Final on Sunday evening. Don’t miss out on what will doubtless be yet another breathtaking display of 9-ball pool.