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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


Melling, Steadman, Tian and Zhang earn World Snooker Tour cards

2012 Mosconi Cup MVP Chris Melling

Chris Melling, Craig Steadman and Chinese duo Zhang Anda and Tian Pengfei were the four players to earn two-year tour cards from 2014 Q School event one.
The quartet came through a tough field in Gloucester to reach the semi-finals and book a place on the World Snooker circuit for the next two seasons.
Yorkshire's 35-year-old Melling is best known as a pool player, a former eight-ball World Champion and world number three at nine-ball. He previously played professional snooker in 2001/02 and 2003/04 but struggled to make an impact.
Now the player nicknamed the Magician believes he is ready to succeed on the green baize. "When I played pro snooker before there were only seven tournaments, played in Prestatyn and it was hard to get through the qualifiers," said Melling, who edged out Welshman Duane Jones 4-3 today with breaks of 86, 60 and 75.
"These days there are a lot more tournaments plus the flat draws give everyone a much better chance to get to the venues, and I love playing in front of a big crowd. In the past the top 16 were too protected.
"When I was a snooker player before I was mixing it with pool, which is difficult. I will still play a few pool events next season but mainly I will be focussed on snooker and I am really enjoying playing at the moment.
"It was only because the pool calendar went downhill that I started playing snooker a couple of months ago, for the first time in five years. I bought a cue, and on the third day of practice I made a 147. So I decided to give Q School a try, and now I'm on the tour for two years."
Melling also revealed that tips from a former World Champion had paid off. "I play at the Cue Gardens club in Bradford and Joe Johnson has been a big help to me, giving me free practice and a lot of advice about safety. I have never had anyone to really push me before but he has given me a lot of confidence, and if I don't complete the routines he gives me, he lets me know about it."
Steadman dropped off the tour at the end of last season, but bounced straight back by winning five matches at Q School, losing just two frames in the process. He finished with a 4-0 defeat of John Sutton, highlighted by breaks of 70 and 84.
"I played well all the way through, although just winning was the main thing," said Lancashire's 31-year-old Steadman. "It's just a relief to be back on tour because I felt I was improving at the end of last season so now I have the chance to keep that going. 
"I got to the last 16 of the China Open, then the ferrule fell off my cue and I lost to Mike Dunn, which was a shame because I felt I could have done more damage in that event. But I left it too late to get into the top 64 and keep my place. At least with Q School you have the chance to get straight back on.
"There are a lot of good players here and people were talking about the best parts of the draw to be in. But I didn't look at the draw once, I just found out what time I was playing each day. The best of sevens are short sprints but I've got plenty of experience at that from the European Tour events."
China's 26-year-old Tian and 22-year-old Zhang also regained their tour places having been relegated at the end of last season. Tian saw off Eden Sharav today with top breaks of 92, 58 and 127, while Zhang edged out Jamie Clarke 4-3 with 86, 71 and a crucial 54 in the decider. 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