Archive Page

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.


Spaceman Into Orbit With Shoot-Out Triumph

Dominic Dale

Dominic Dale won the 888casino Shoot-Out in Blackpool, snooker's quick-fire one-frame knockout event, beating Stuart Bingham in the final.


Colourful character Dale, nicknamed the Spaceman, won six matches to take the £32,000 top prize, the third biggest pay-day of his 22-year career.


Cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd, 42-year-old Dale rose to the challenge of the exhilarating tournament, deadly potting and quick thinking his key attributes. The Welshman, sporting a peroxide blonde hair-cut, knocked out Fergal O'Brien, Barry Hawkins, Mark Allen, Andrew Higginson and Ryan Day to reach the final before getting the better of Basilson's Bingham.


A superb break of 61 put Dale in control, though he missed a red to a centre pocket to gift Bingham a chance. But having made just 15, the Essex cueman missed an easy pink, allowing Dale to wrap up victory by a 77-19 scoreline.


"In the last few years at this event I have been a nervous wreck, I found it hard to strike the cue ball," admitted Dale, who has won two world ranking events, the 1997 Grand Prix and 2007 Shanghai Masters. "But this time I felt very calm and I potted a lot of good pressure balls.


"The crowd adored me because I'm an extrovert and I relish this type of occasion. It's wonderful to be popular and I wanted to win it for them. It's a fantastic venue and a one-off tournament so to win a prestigious trophy at the age of 42 is very special.


"I have practised harder in the last three or four years than I had done in my whole career. We have so many tournaments now and that gives me motivation to do well. I've won a big cheque today and that will keep me going for a while."


Dale, who sang a few lines of 'My Way' after collecting the trophy in the arena, plans to keep his hair blonde for the time being. "It must be lucky so I won’t change it until I have a bad run!" he joked.


The tournament, first staged in 2011, featured frames lasting a maximum of ten minutes, with a 15 second shot clock for the first five minutes and 10 seconds for the last five.


Ronnie O to Face Peter Ebdon at the Crucible

Ronnie O’Sullivan will take on Peter Ebdon in the opening round of the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, which starts on Saturday.

The random draw took place on Talksport radio earlier today with the top 16 seeds pitted at against the 16 qualifiers.

The Championship runs from April 21 to May 7 and TICKETS FOR SELECTED SESSIONS ARE STILL AVAILABLE. For details call 0844 6565 147 or visit

Three-time World Champion O’Sullivan will have a tough task against in-form Ebdon, who won the Bank of Beijing China Open earlier this month and thrashed Alfie Burden 10-0 in his qualifying match for Sheffield yesterday.

On the opening day of the £1.1 million tournament, defending champion John Higgins will take on China’s Liang Wenbo, a former Shanghai Masters finalist who is currently ranked 38th in the world.

Belgian prodigy Luca Brecel, age 17 years and one month, will become the youngest player ever to compete at the Crucible when he faces Stephen Maguire.

Two more debutants, Welshman Jamie Jones and China’s Cao Yupeng, were drawn out against Shaun Murphy and Mark Allen respectively.

Seven time champion Stephen Hendry came through the qualifiers and has been handed a tie with Stuart Bingham, who beat Hendry in the first round on his Crucible debut in 2000.

Last year’s Crucible runner-up Judd Trump will meet Dominic Dale, while the only two non-British former champions in the field, Neil Robertson and Ken Doherty, will go head to head in the opening round.

The full draw is:

John Higgins v Liang Wenbo (Saturday April 21 10am and 7pm)
Stuart Bingham v Stephen Hendry (Saturday April 21 2.30pm and Sunday April 22 7pm)
Graeme Dott v Joe Perry (Tuesday April 24 2.30pm and Wednesday April 25 10am)
Stephen Maguire v Luca Brecel (Sunday April 22 10am and Monday April 23 10am)
Shaun Murphy v Jamie Jones (Sunday April 22 2.30pm and Monday April 23 2.30pm)
Stephen Lee v Andrew Higginson (Monday April 23 7pm and Tuesday April 24 7pm)
Ali Carter v Mark Davis (Wednesday April 25 7pm and Thursday April 26 1pm)
Judd Trump v Dominic Dale (Tuesday April 24 10am and Wednesday April 25 2.30pm)
Mark Williams v Liu Chuang (Wednesday April 25 2.30pm and Thursday April 26 7pm)
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Peter Ebdon (Monday April 23 2.30pm and Tuesday April 24 2.30pm)
Martin Gould v David Gilbert (Saturday April 21 10am and Sunday April 22 10am)
Neil Robertson v Ken Doherty (Saturday April 21 2.30pm and Sunday April 22 7pm)
Ding Junhui v Ryan Day (Tuesday April 24 10am and Wednesday April 25 10am)
Mark Allen v Cao Yupeng (Saturday April 21 7pm and Sunday April 22 2.30pm)
Matthew Stevens v Marco Fu (Monday April 23 10am and 7pm)
Mark Selby v Barry Hawkins (Tuesday April 24 7pm and Wednesday April 25 7pm)

There are also hospitality packages up for grabs and it’s THE ONLY WAY TO SEE THE FINAL as tickets are sold out. For details call Frank Smith on 01277 359925