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2019 Supreme Pool Series | The Liberty Games Open Preview

A two-time event winner on last season’s inaugural Supreme Pool Series, reigning BI World Champion Scott Gillespie begins his Liberty Games Open campaign against Clint I’Anson in an opening round blockbuster on Friday. 
Held at the Players Pool and Snooker Lounge near Stoke-on-Trent, the competition is the curtain raiser to this year’s prestigious five-event Supreme Pool Series that brings together top, multi-disciplined English 8-Ball players from across the world. Entries from the UK, Europe, Africa and even Australia will have their eyes on the title and a lucrative £5,000 top prize payday come Sunday evening. 
Scotland’s Gillespie made history in 2018 when he claimed the first ever SPS event. He will be hoping to repeat his success of making a fast start to a new term this weekend, although he faces the unenviable task of multiple major tournament winner I'Anson first up in a preliminary round tie.
Pre-tournament favourite Phil Harrison also secured a double of SPS titles last year – winning the back-to-back Strachan Open and Supreme Masters during the summer months. One of several current or former world title holders on display this year, Harrison looks set to cross cues with 2017 IPA World Champion Craig Marsh in the first round proper. 
Number 1 ranked player Liam Dunster, who claimed last season’s concluding Grand Final and walked off with a record-breaking cheque of £51,000, will start the defence of his pole position against the rapid Darren McVicar. 
There are currently thirteen preliminary round matches that will kick off the action with Chris Melling versus rising star Callum Singleton being the opening main arena match. Other high-profile fixtures during the first sessions include Adam Davis v Jon McAllister, Shane Thompson v Jack Whelan and recently crowned IPA World Champion Marc Farnsworth v Arfan Dad
Former professional snooker player and 2010 Shanghai Masters finalist Jamie Burnett has signed up to the series, and he too is on duty early doors when up against another promising youngster in Kian Monaghan. An entrant who has made an even bigger commitment is Australia’s Jake McCartney, whose thirst for premier level pool will be quenched in this unique, pressure environment. McCartney plays Scott Crawley Friday lunchtime. 
Just some of the superstar names waiting in the first round are Tom Cousins, Gareth Hibbott, Shaun Chipperfield and Ronan McCarthy.
Following the success of their introduction at the Grand Final last December, the series makes a full transition to Supreme Rules throughout this year. Format-wise, the 2019 Liberty Games Open features an initial double-elimination qualifying portion where eight will emerge undefeated, whilst another eight will come through the ‘Losers’ Side’ to join them. From the last 16 onwards the tournament becomes straight knockout. 
You can catch free, live action of the 2019 Liberty Games Open courtesy of Beard Productions on YouTube across all three days. Starting Friday at 12.30GMT, four tables from each session will be streamed simultaneously.  
For news stories and updates from the Supreme Pool Series, please visit or the official Players Pool Events Facebook page here.
Tournament sponsor Liberty Games' website is here.

Harrison Hangs Tough During Supreme Win

Phil Harrison

Phil Harrison recorded one of the greatest tournament victories in the history of English 8 Ball Pool when he became the 2018 Supreme Masters Champion last weekend.
Contested at the renowned Players Pool and Snooker Lounge, the tournament was the third leg of this year's ground-breaking Supreme Pool Series which sees competitors from both rule sets, and the UK and beyond, crossing cues for a £152,250 total prize fund.
Already regarded as one of the sport's all-time legends, Harrison added another significant entry to his illustrious bio and boosted his popularity once again with the quiet and classy way he went about his business throughout.
Fresh from claiming last month's Strachan Cup, an exceptional brace of consecutive victories on the series looked like a forlorn ambition for Harrison when Darrell Whitworth caused an upset by defeating him 11-6 in the First Round.
Despite this early setback that pushed him to the very start of the Losers' Section, the former WEPF World Champion embarked on tackling a gauntlet of high profile names in order to get back on track. 44-year-old Harrison eliminated Tony Halpin, Ronan McCarthy, Zak Shepherd, Darren Appleton, Chris Melling and then Clint I'Anson just to qualify for the Last 16 Knock-Outs where the competition was effectively re-set.
Now back on a level footing with everyone else remaining, the Cambridgeshire cueist defeated current IPA Premier League leader Neil Raybone 11-6 and then IPA professional Drew Hughes 11-5 to reach the Last 4.
Max Nosko was enjoying a memorable run in Newcastle-Under-Lyme and had already secured the additional 'Best Non-Elite' prize after walloping 2015 IPA World Champion Jack Whelan 11-1 in the Quarters. The Bristolian's hopes were extinguished, though, by the eventual champion, 11-6.
Harrison's opponent in the final was none other than the reigning and five-times WEPF World Champion Mick Hill, who was once again the pre-tournament favourite. 
Despite suffering from a neck injury which was clearly visible during his opening fixture on the main arena table, Hill won four straight matches to serenely qualify for the Last 16 undefeated. 
During the Knock-Outs Craig Lakin held Hill at 8-8 before the latter pulled away with the last three frames. Further big name rivals in the form of Shaun Chipperfield and Marc Farnsworth would await Hill in the Quarters and Semis, but respective 11-6 and 11-5 scorelines saw off the danger.
Arguably the top two English 8 Ball players in the world today, the finalists would write another thrilling chapter into their ongoing saga. In recent head-to-heads Hill had denied Harrison in the 2017 and 2018 World Finals, but on his way to the Strachan Cup last month Harrison put on a clinic when he stopped Hill in the Semi-Finals.
In front of a live stream audience of thousands, predictably, the final was very high on quality with few unforced errors. The lead changed hands on several occasions and there was never more than two frames between them, but ultimately the pair found themselves locked at 10-10 and staring down a deciding frame with a difference of £8,000 in prize money and one of the most prestigious titles in the sport up for grabs.
​Having won the lag around an hour and forty minutes earlier, Harrison split the pack well and crucially made balls off the break. He then proceeded by coolly holding his nerves together and converting a finish in the same one visit for a memorable victory.​​
Harrison was presented the beautiful trophy by tournament and series sponsor Laura Martin from Supreme Pool. He also banked a handsome £13,000 cheque, the largest amount, so far, to be awarded in English 8 Ball Pool this year.
When you regard Harrison's early disappointment on the Friday afternoon, the amount of, and standard of the players he faced subsequently, this is a remarkable achievement. You would be hard pushed to find a tougher and more grueling path to glory within the sport.
The 2018 Supreme Masters grabbed the imagination of the viewing public with live streaming of up to four tables on multiple platforms across the three days. On Facebook alone there have been a million reaches so far.
There are now just two more events of the campaign remaining – the Classic (28th-30th September) and the Home Leisure Direct Grand Finals (30th November – 2nd December) which holds a record-breaking £51,000 top prize.

2018 Strachan Cup Preview – Supreme Pool Series Event 2

The latest leg of the ground-breaking Supreme Pool Series starts this Friday with the three-day Strachan Cup.
Following on from Scott Gillespie's glory at the season opening Jason Owen Open in May, 128 of English 8 Ball Pool's top exponents from the UK and beyond will travel to the world renowned Players Pool and Snooker Lounge for a slice of history and a cool £5,000 winners purse.
As if the catalogue of immensely talented and successful entries was not enough, the ante has been upped yet again with the introduction of Mick Hill – arguably the greatest player of all time in this discipline.
The Englishman, who is the pre-tournament favourite, recently secured a record-extending fifth WEPF World Championship title in Blackpool with an exciting final victory over another one of the Supreme Series' big hitters, Phil Harrison.
Hill begins his bid on the live streamed arena table Friday lunchtime with an intriguing clash against Mike King, a member of the English squad that defended the WEPF World Team Championship last month too.
Once again returning to their English 8 Ball roots are global Cuesports stars Darren Appleton, Chris Melling and Jayson Shaw. Despite their long term self-exoduses from the smaller table, the Mosconi Cup winning trio proved they are serious contenders with a number of fine results in Event 1. Shaw, in particular, impressed when reaching the Quarter-Finals.
In what is possibly the pick of the opening round fixtures, Melling crosses cues with Gillespie. One of these two signature names will immediately be pushed onto the interminable Losers Side where they would have to win eight straight matches to qualify for the straight Knock-Out Last 8.
Including Hill, the 2018 Strachan Cup can boast featuring all three current World Champions of the sport. IPA World Champion Ben Davies meets fellow Welshman Ben Fortey first up, whilst the ultra-consistent Liam Dunster of Scotland – runner-up to Gillespie in May and recent IPA Champions Cup winner, is due to open his account against big money match player Max Nosko.
Former WEPF World Champions Tom Cousins and Harrison face dangerous opponents Paul Riley and Matt Brierley respectively in Round One, whilst IPA World Number 1 Marc Farnsworth is scheduled to play former IPA World Champion Jack Whelan in another blockbuster.
The profile and riches of the inaugural Supreme Pool Series – which culminates in December's Home Leisure Direct Grand Finals where the winner will bank a record £51,000, has enticed players from outside of the UK to play.
Alongside strong representation from the Home Nations, players representing the Republic of Ireland, France, Morrocco, India and Malta will all be exhibited this weekend. Further evidence of the series' worldwide appeal is the entry of Jake McCartney, who will make the long journey from Australia to compete.
From start to finish, the whole of this weekend's must watch action will be covered live by Beard Productions, who will stream four tables simultaneously for each and every session.
To keep up to date with all the latest news and live stream information, please join the dedicated  Players Pool Events Facebook page here and visit the official website here.

2018 Jason Owen Open – A Look At The Draw

There will be several high profile First Round clashes at the greatly anticipated Jason Owen Open, the opening event of the ground-breaking Supreme Pool Series.
Conducted live on Facebook and YouTube, the 128 player random draw predictably threw up some mouth-watering ties given the strength and depth of the series. As with all this year's tournaments, the format is initially Double Elimination qualifying, with the final 8 competing a straight Knock-Out. The Jason Owen Open, which runs between the 4th-6th May, boasts a total prize purse of over £18,000 with £5,000 going to the champion. 
Amongst the picks of the round is Shane Thompson v Jayson Shaw. Thompson is an ever-improving, hardened and successful player on both the tournament and money match scenes, whilst global cuesports superstar Shaw – World Blackball Champion in 2010, will be returning to his small table roots. 
Another superstar making a return to English Pool after a sustained absence is Darren Appleton, he has also been handed a very tough assignment with professional Clint I'Anson; one of the most consistent performers on the IPA circuit this decade. 
Shaw and Appleton's fellow Mosconi Cup winners and World Champions too, Chris Melling and Karl Boyes are back on the smaller table, they will face Scott Ross and Stefan Risidi respectively. 
Undoubtedly one of the pre-tournament favourites will be two-time WEPF World Champion Tom Cousins, who meets the experienced Paul Riley first up, whilst another ex-World Champion Phil Harrison drew one of the eight 'To Be Confirmed' names in the last section.
The Supreme Pool Series exhibits past and present World Champions from both sides of the rules divide – Current IPA World Champion Ben Davies is paired with Rich Wharton in Round One.  
Jack Whelan, who won the IPA World Title in 2015, pits his wits against newly crowned Scottish Professional Champion Mark Boyle in yet another mouth-watering fixture. Reigning BI World Champion Liam Dunster tackles Andrew McKie. 
Other very notable match-ups include Yannick Beaufils v Adam Davis,Karl O'Donoghue v Shaun Chipperfield, Neil Raybone v Craig Waddingham, Jordan Church v Lee Clough and Arfan Dad v Dan Davy. 
The Jason Owen Open is the first of five events throughout the year at the Players Pool and Snooker Lounge in Stoke-on-Trent. The season ending Home Leisure Direct Grand Final will see the winner bank £40,000. 
To see the draw in full, please visit the Players Pool Events group or the Beard Productions page on Facebook. 

2018 Supreme Pool Series – A Game-Changer For English 8 Ball

The 2018 Supreme Pool Series is the brave new world that the players and fans of top tier English 8 Ball Pool have been calling for. 
In short, it unleashes the world's best players from both sides of the great rules divide, who will come together and contest five mega events across 2018 at the renowned Players Pool and Snooker Lounge in Stoke-on-Trent.  
A total prize fund of over £125,000 will be up for grabs in what is by far the most lucrative independent English 8 Ball series there has ever been. The winner of the Grand Final in December will bank a staggering £40,000, which completely dwarfs anything else the sport has to currently offer in monetary terms. 
English 8 Ball icon and Players Pool Events entrepreneur Lee Kendall, along with his hard working team, are behind the series, which aims to put the players first and awaken the sleeping dragon profile of the sport. 
Following on from a very successful and popular catalogue of amateur and invitational events over the last couple of years at the same venue, it was a natural progression for the Players Pool Events team to take. 
It was a brave call, but undoubtedly the correct one. For far too long the planet's most prolific have been kept apart; this is where they will look each other in the eyes, play under the same roof and challenge for deserved, unparalleled prize funds.
The concept has received universal acclaim from the industry's premier brand names. Supreme Pool, Strachan, Aramith, Home Leisure Direct and Jason Owen Cues have all given their backing to this new era of the sport, which will hopefully benefit all. 
Beard Productions, widely regarded as the flag bearer for live streaming in this environment, will be covering the whole series from preview to review, whilst the Winning Post will also be live at the venue and online to cater for all official betting activities. 
So who has entered? The entry list is an embarrasment of riches with World Champions, major title winners, internationals and professionals past and present all predictably throwing their names into the gauntlet.
Craig Marsh, Gareth Hibbott and Jack Whelan – all IPA World Champions, will be on display, as too are former WEPF World Champions Tom Cousins, Phil Harrison and Adam Davis. Reigning BI World Champion Liam Dunster is also involved, as well as Ben Davies.
The temptation has also lured box office names Carl Morris and Chris Melling out of the shadows and back into the limelight of their spiritual homes – for Morris, it ends his 7 year self exodus from the sport.
Perhaps the most notable World Champion of all to feature, though, is arguably the greatest ever English 8 Ball Pool exponent; 'The Golden Boy' Gareth Potts
A record breaking 4-time World Champion in this discipline, Potts' most recent World Title at the Lakeside in 2013 was the last time we saw him in top level competition on the small table. 
Since then he has carved out a life changing career in the Far East with Chinese 8 Ball Pool, from which he has won the prestigious World Masters on three occasions. However, just like fellow trend setters Morris and Melling, the urge to be a part of this was too strong. 
Marc Farnsworth, Ronan McCarthy, Mark Boyle, Rob Chilton, Lee Clough, Neil Raybone, Craig Waddingham, Clint I'Anson and Jordan Church are just some of the other major champions involved – plenty more are set to feature as well.
Craig Lakin, Shaun Storry, Rob Wharne and Greg Batten, the winners of the previous events to be held at Players throughout 2016 & 2017, have not shied away from the most testing of challenges either. They'll be back attempting to claim more silverware and money.
Players from all corners of the United Kingdom and Ireland are represented, with interest also coming from across the channel and overseas. The international outreach and appetite is for all to see.
The much anticipated action begins at the start of May with the season opening Jason Owen Open. Be sure to keep an eye on all the updates and features here at The Cue View.
2018 Supreme Pool Series Schedule
Jason Owen Open (4th-6th May)
Strachan Cup (13th-15th July)
Supreme Masters (17th-19th August)
The Challenge (28th-30th September)
Home Leisure Direct Grand Final (November 30th – December 2nd)

Invincible Zheng Yubo Is The New World Chinese 8-Ball Master

Zheng Yubo (Photo courtesy of Max Mu)

Zheng Yubo went undefeated throughout to become just the third different winner of the JOY World Chinese 8-Ball Masters, collecting a record breaking $151,000 top prize in the process. 
64 players from 23 countries featured in the double elimination main draw, although come the Last 8, it was an exclusively home affair in Qinhuangdao. 
3-time champion Gareth Potts wasn't helped being struck by illness for his title defence. The Englishman was dethroned after losing two of his opening four fixtures.
Newly crowned World 9-Ball Champion Carlo Biado was eliminated sooner; exiting the competition at the earliest possible avenue via a brace of defeats straight off.
International resistance came in the shape of the USA's Shane Van Boening and Chile's Enrique Rojas who, after a trio of wins, both secured very credible Top 12 finishes.
Having come through International Qualifying in the same venue prior to this, Jack Whelan (UK) and Delgerhuu Ahtuya (Mongolia) also put up spirited displays, as too did reigning World Under 17 9-Ball Champion Sanjin Pehlivanovic (Bosnia & Herzegovina), who was automatically awarded a wildcard. All three made the Top 16.
However, it was home nation star Zheng who took the spoils, and no-one can say his triumph isn't deserved. 
Off the back of a tremendous season that saw him claim back-to-back tour events in Linyi and Lianyungang, Zheng went through the entire draw without losing.
In the earlier rounds he defeated Li Hewen, Van Boening and two-time winner and current World Chinese Pool Champion Yang Fan. In the Winner's Side Final he dispatched Wu Hao 12-9.
Zheng's opponent in the one-off Championship Match was youngster Zhang Kunpeng, who last year was caught and ousted by Potts in a Black-Ball Shoot-Out in the final. 
After a loss in the Last 16 Winners Side, Zhang took the long road to the final and had to win a further 7 matches on route.
​Predictably, there was expectation of a close final between the pair, however, it was anything but. Yubo was simply awesome as he forged a commanding lead which his rival could never claw back. He even managed to race through the last few racks to take the tie and championship, 19-9, before the allotted time limit expired.
​Kunpeng, who himself picked up a tour win in Xining during the campaign, will surely be sore losing consecutive World Masters finals, although happy with the way he made it through considering an early loss – in 2017 he appeared in the final as the undefeated player.
For the full set of results, please visit the dedicated results page at to see how the event unfolded.
To learn more about Chinese 8-Ball, please visit Home Leisure Direct's complete guide here.

Chinese 8-Ball Masters International Qualifiers Confirmed

Clint I’Anson

The 64 player main draw line-up for the 2018 Joy World Chinese 8-Ball Masters is now complete following the conclusion of the International Qualifying Event.
There was success for the United Kingdom as former IPA World Professional Blackball Pool Champion Jack Whelan advanced through undefeated, as too did fellow professional Clint I'Anson.
Whelan and I'Anson, who have won the IPA World Championship Doubles together before, will join fellow Brits Gareth Potts, Karl Boyes, Shaun Storry and Ben Davies in pursuit of the $151,000 top prize.
Among the eight overseas players to have qualified also included Holland's Alex Lely – the 1999 World Pool Masters Champion and South Africa's Jason Saleon. Both Lely and Saleon also progressed without losing a match.
Emerging from the Losers' Side were American Pool stars Klenti Kaci (Albania) and Denis Grabe (Estonia).
​Talented teenager Kaci finished top of the 2017 World Pool Series rankings after winning two of the four main events held in New York. The consistent Grabe has represented his country in the televised World Cup of Pool before and finished a very respectable 13th place here last year.
​There was prosperity for the female side of the sport too as Singapore's Charlene Chai made it through after ironically ousting fellow lady player Catherine Spyrou of Cyprus 8-7 in the last round.
Mongolia's Delgerhuu Ahtuya pipped Chan Keng Kweng (Singapore) 9-8 to also reach the main draw.
The main event begins tomorrow in Qinhuangdao. If you haven't already done so, you can read our preview here.
If you are unfamiliar with the Chinese 8-Ball discipline, why not head on over to Home Leisure Direct's blog here to learn more.

Chinese Pool World Championship Day One Complete

Darren Appleton

Day one of the 2017 Yaqi Group Cup Chinese Pool World Championship is complete, and half of the players advancing into the single elimination stages are now known. 
Last year’s third place finisher, Darren Appleton, has qualified for the final stage, but it wasn’t easy. Appleton was taken to the hill by Iran’s Mohammad Pordeliri, and then taken to the hill again by AzBilliards 2016 Player of the Year Jayson Shaw. Shaw was running out the final rack and scratched in the side to gift an open table (and a trip to the single elimination stage) to Appleton. Shaw will face England’s Jack Whelan on day two to determine who goes to the final stage and who goes home. 
American Corey Deuel turned in two match wins on day one to earn his place in the single elimination final stage. He and Appleton will be joined by such notables as Wu Jia Qing, Pin Yi Ko, Lee Van Corteza.
Players who need one more win on day two to advance include Alex Pagulayan, Michael Hill, Carlo Biado, Ching-Shun Yang, Brandon Shuff and Antonio Lining
The ladies division sees a veritable who’s who of ladies pool on the one loss side, fighting for a spot in stage two. Karen Corr will face AzB Ladies Player of the Year Han Yu, Filipino sensation Chezka Centeno will take on Chihiro Kawahara, Kelly Fisher will face Rubelin Amit and Ga-Young Kim will play Claudia Djajalie on day two. Bai Ge, Sha Sha Liu, Siming Chen and Yuan-Chun Lin have already qualified to join eight Chinese women in stage two. 
After the first matches of the day finish here in Yu Shan China, the remaining players will be redrawn into a single elimination bracket that will be used to determine the eventual World Champion. 
AzBilliards is live streaming from the event at, and fans can follow along with online brackets for each division at…
International Men –
Chinese Men –
International Women –
Chinese Women –

IPA Championships Come To A Dramatic Conclusion

A trio of titles were decided on the sixth and final day of the 2017 IPA World Championships.


The night after Craig Marsh and Collette Henrikson's victories in the Individual and Ladies Championships respectively, there was still plenty of nerve jangling pool to be played at the Bradford Hotel arena.

As it turned out, all the winners of the events on Sunday had already claimed prizes of a similar nature before in their careers.
Gareth Hibbott bounced back from the disappointment of losing his World Individual and Doubles crowns earlier in the week by ousting Mark White 7-6 to become the IPA's Senior Champion for the first time.
In both the main Singles and Doubles, Hibbott had failed to get past the Last 16 in either defence. However, he still made sure of silverware with impressive wins over Andy Lucas, Steve Wall, Darren McVicar and Geoff Allen on route to the final.
White had played extremely well himself throughout the competition claiming highlight victories over Andy Blurton and Paul Harkness along the way.
Unfazed by the cameras in the main arena, White led 6-4 but was left helpless as his opponent cleared from his dry break, and then broke and dished from his own to force a decider.
White did make balls off a crunching split in Frame 13, but whilst on a clearance for the title, adrenaline perhaps caused him to over hit a positional shot when just three more pots away.
Although nearly ruining it himself, Hibbott coolly cleared up to bag yet another major honour.
The Doubles Championship continues to give us value for money and entertainment. Played in a 'Scotch' format with a 'BlackBall ShootOut' should the scores be tied at 6-6, there have been plenty of stories this week.
Plymouth pairing of Jez Graham and Darren McVicar had certainly been in the thick of it. In their Last 16, Quarter-Final and Semi-Final fixtures they found themselves 6-5 down and staring elimination. 
Yet each time they managed to muster the twelve frame, and then hold their nerves in the Pool equivalent of a 'Penalty ShootOut'.
However, despite taking an early 3-0 advantage in the Final, it was long time friends Clint I'Anson and Jordan Church who blistered back with seven straight frames for the victory, and a £2,500 payday.
Church, who has made the switch to the IPA circuit this year, is a former two time WEPF World Junior Champion.
For I'Anson, it was the second time in three years he had tasted success in this tournament; back in 2015 he partnered Jack Whelan at the Magna Centre in Sheffield. 
But that wasn't Clint's last participation. He instantly returned to the arena for the inaugural Mixed Doubles final with Deb Burchell. Burchell was looking to end her week on a high after being dethroned as the two time Ladies Champion in the Last 16, and become the first winner again of another IPA World Title.
In a gripping final, Burchell and I'Anson recovered from 3-1 down against Welsh team of Jonathan Busnell and Kirsty Davies to go 4-3 up, but eventually winning 5-4. 
So much drama and entertainment the week has conjured, it seemed a fitting and deserving climax to have it go all the way.

IPA World Final – Magic Marsh Makes It Right

Craig Marsh banished thoughts of his heartbreaking defeat in last year's final by making amends and going all the way to become the 2017 IPA World Champion. 


12 months earlier, in exactly the same arena, the Welsh cueist suffered in his chair as he watched opponent Gareth Hibbott coolly clear the balls in a last set, deciding frame thriller. Fast forward a year later and it was himself who felt the elation and joy of being the last player standing in the biggest event on the IPA circuit. 

Marsh had it tough throughout in Bradford. In his First Round, Second Round and Quarter- Final matches he trailed 2-1 before having to win the last two sets in each for victory. That Last 8 success being against the pre-tournament favourite and current Professional Number 1 Marc Farnsworth. 
Going into Finals Day Saturday he was the only remaining professional of the quartet and an even money shot to lift the trophy and pocket the £10,000 winners cheque; he lived up to the pressure. 
His Semi-Final opponent Ian Ali in many ways had been the player of the tournament up until that point. Having won seven consecutive matches to reach the Last 4, he had dropped just 5 sets in total and took out Jordan Church, Clint I'Anson, Brian Halcrow, Jimmy Croxton and Ben Davies on route.
Ali started well by going 3-1 up in the first set, but it quickly turned around as Craig won three on the spin to take it 4-3. Incredibly, the exact same sequence was reserved in Set 2 as Ian levelled at 1-1. 
But a combination of factors from there on in saw Craig become stronger as he claimed Sets 3 and 4 for an overall 3-1 victory. 
His final opponent would be amateur Simon Fitzsimmons, a 33/1 shot at the start of the week.
Fitzsimmons came into the championship in great form having claimed a number of independent tournaments on the English Pool scene. During this event he eliminated seeds Josh Durant and Ronan McCarthy, as well as recovering from 2-0 down to Jeremy Hooper in the Quarters – keeping his nerve during a deciding frame finish.
Today he faced the classy, methodical Frenchman Yannick Beaufils who was aiming to reach his second career world individual final having been runner-up in the WEPF's version in 2002. He was also trying to become the first overseas player to reach the final of this competition.
However, Fitzsimmons made sure of an all British final when advancing as a 3-1 victor.
Later that evening, the stage would be set for the best of 7 sets title decider. Just like last year, you could have forgiven Marsh for having a sinking feeling as he watched Fitzsimmons blister his way to a 4-1 opening set win.
Yet one of Craig's primary qualities this week has been his temperament and refusing to panic when going behind.​ He got on the board with the second set and then went in front 2-1 at the mid-session interval.
On the resumption, Craig's strength continued to grow. He chalked up the fourth set 4-1 and then moved 3-0 up in the fifth – one more frame away from the title.
Looking as if that would be the end, he failed to get position on the black. In an attempt to pot the black when playing off the baulk cushion first, the cue ball went in off. Simon duly cleared to stay in it.
Not dwelling on that opportunity, Marsh returned to break in the next. Another feature of his game here has been his awesome break shot. He again got a very good split, found a ball into a pocket, and like he has done so many times this week, he cleared the table for an overall 4-1 win to become the new IPA World Champion.
After previous champions Gareth Potts (2014), Jack Whelan (2015) and Gareth Hibbott (2016), Marsh is the first non-Englishman to lift the trophy.