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Lively start for the 2021-22 World Snooker Tour

For avid fans of snooker, nothing else quite compares whenever watching their favorite sport. The sight of each smartly dressed protagonist standing next to the table, meticulously chalking their cue as they size up the next shot. Tension building as competitors take their shots, wincing in frustration at missed opportunities, maybe grinning with satisfaction after potting the black.

Despite the inevitable disruption caused by a global pandemic, the 2021-22 World Snooker Tour is now underway, as the top players target the biggest prizes and tournament success. Two tournaments have already been held in July and August this year, as we embark upon a schedule that provisionally features 17 world ranking events, alongside prestigious non-ranking events that include the 2021 Champion of Champions and 2022 Masters.

Opening the season was the Championship League, a huge event which features 128 professional snooker players and numerous group matches, offering £328,000 total prize fund and £33,000 for the winner. Rising through the ranks to triumph was 40-year-old David Gilbert of England, nicknamed “The Angry Farmer” but undoubtedly thrilled to win the first ranking title of his career.

Second on the agenda was the 2021 British Open, notable for its return to the World Snooker Tour calendar for the first time in 17 years, when John Higgins of Scotland claimed the 2004 title. Interestingly, he was one of just two players who hit 147 breaks this year, although he didn’t make it beyond the Last 32. The winner this time was Mark Williams of Wales, telling it was “almost destined” after pocketing the £100,000 top prize.

The next big event scheduled is the Northern Ireland Open starting on 17 October, held at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. Qualifiers have already taken place in August and September, with veteran snooker star Jimmy “The Whirlwind” White suffering elimination. This just goes to show that at any major snooker event, quite literally anything can and will happen. Leading players can be beaten, while underdogs can rise to the fore.

Predicting winners at snooker tournaments can be tricky business, especially whenever backing the favorite players. That’s why it always pays to compare odds at the best US betting sites, making use of detailed sportsbook guides provided by the experts at They rate American betting sites based on trust and reputation, the quality of betting lines and bonuses offered, plus safety and security alongside the speed of payouts.

Often one of the favorites heading into any major event, Judd Trump of England is a name instantly recognizable to snooker fans around the globe. 32-year-old Trump topped the 2020-21 World Snooker Tour season rankings and money charts, having won five ranking events from seven finals reached, although the latest ranking table suggest indicates he will face an almighty challenge this season.

By the end of August 2021, fellow Englishman Mark Selby had jumped slightly ahead of Trump for overall earnings, as the 38-year-old reached number one spot in the WPBSA rankings. Not far behind both is iconic Ronnie “The Rocket” O’Sullivan, as the 45-year-old seeks to recapture his best form. Likewise, they will all be wary of 39-year-old Neil “The Thunder from Down Under” Robertson, who remains the only Australian pro to win a ranking event.

Throughout what promises to be an exciting 2021-22 World Snooker Tour campaign, the ebb and flow of competition amongst the best players will be thrilling to observe. Beyond the top-ranking stars, there are also plenty of other talented snooker players, all waiting for their opportunity to claim glory at major events. For the fans, those potential surprises and upsets are what make snooker such a compelling sport.

Imran Majid Player Interview

Imran Majid with a couple fans

With the lack of events to report on at the moment, we are teaming with the Supr Charged Agency to feature interviews with various European and American players. Hopefully this will give all of the readers a chance to get to know these players better. 
This time, we have The Maharaja, Imran Majid.
Name (and nickname): Imran Majid (The Maharaja)
The Maharaja means Indian king. A lot of people say I am the best Indian player in the world!!
Age: 47
City: London, UK
When did you get your start playing pool?
I started playing snooker first at the age of 13. I have five 147 breaks and I have beaten Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams in tournament play.
Who was your inspiration/idol when you were young?
Stephen Hendry was my idol when I was young.
Why Stephen Hendry?
Hendry took the game to the next level and invented 'one visit' snooker. He used to kill off a frame in one visit more regularly than anyone else! He also had a great temperament and his technique was outstanding!
Who do you admire amongst today's players?
I admire Alex Pagulayan because he is an all rounder, very good at all games.
Who is the next big thing in pool today?
In pool today, I think the next big thing is Joshua Filler. Well, he is already big.
What are your greatest accomplishments?
My greatest accomplishments are firstly making the Mosconi cup team,  and then winning the World Team Championships and then winning a couple of Eurotour stops.
How big was it to get picked for the Mosconi Cup team?
It was massive for me to be selected for the Mosconi cup. I was ranked number 2 in Europe at the time. That's why I was selected. It's the biggest stage in the world of pool so I was over the moon to be selected.
Tell us about the experience of playing it.
The experience was to be honest quite unexplainable. I was playing for my continent and also my self dignity and pride. I wanted to test myself on the big stage and I passed the test with flying colours. I was under pressure a lot and was shaking but I handled the pressure very well. I beat Johnny Archer 7-2 in my singles and beat Earl Strickland and Rodney Morris in the doubles with my partner Nik Van den Berg. Strickland and Morris were undefeated in 6 Mosconi doubles matches previous to this, so it was extra sweet! 
How often did you practice at an early age and how often now?
When I was younger I used  to practice nearly everyday for 5 to 6 hours. These days I don't practice as much because I simply don't have the same energy as before. I practice maybe 4 times a week these days but I do a lot of coaching which keeps me in touch with the game. My memory gets refreshed a lot when I'm teaching so it's a good thing!
Do you use drills when you practice?
I don't do too many drills. I prefer playing people or playing the ghost. I have beaten all the ghosts from 9-ball up to 15-ball. It took me 7 months to beat the 15-ball ghost so I was very happy to beat it. I play snooker once a week as well, which keeps me in good stroke! Before a big tournament though, I will do some standard drills and practice the break a lot.
What should newcomers practice most?
Newcomers need to play a lot more big tournaments…throw themselves in the deep end. That's how they will improve and gain experience quickly. 
 What are newcomers doing wrong?
Some very good players lose matches because their break is weak!
What should advanced players practice most?
Advanced players should practice the break shot more as it is the most important shot in the game! 
What is the strongest part of your game?
I don’t really have too many strengths or weaknesses. I am pretty good all round.
What is the weakest part of your game?
Maybe I could improve my kicking skills a little.
Is fitness important for pool players?
Yes, I think fitness is very important in all sports. I have been to the latter end of many big tournaments, for example the US Open and World Championships, but I think my fitness level hurt me because I seemed to lose energy! I think it's unfortunate for my pool career that my wife is a great cook and makes an awesome chicken curry…lol!
What is your favorite game?
My favourite game is 10-ball and I also love one pocket but it's unfortunate not too many people play it in Europe. 
What are the 3 most important factors in a players game?
I believe that the 3 most important factors in pool are:
Self control first. Self control is 10 times more important than cue ball control!
Discipline – If you are playing pool at a high level you should treat it as a profession and do the right things on and off the table!
Self belief- You won't get anywhere if you don’t believe in yourself!
 Who has the best stroke in pool today?
I think Joshua Filler has the best stroke in pool today. He can generate a lot of power effortlessly. He is a total natural talent and I believe he will dominate for many years to come!
How is your mental strength?
My mental fitness is quite good. Darren Appleton once told me I have very good composure, maybe one of the best in the world! I do work a lot on my mental game and also teach it a lot. I'm not scared to play anyone and don't get phased in pressure situations!
Do you have any advice/tricks for players?
Advice/tricks I can give is to follow your dreams and goals … don’t let anything get in the way!
Before a big match or tournament dont think about pool. Do something different like listen to music, watch a film or simply hang out with friends. Save your mental energy for the pool match ahead!
How important is the equipment?
I don't think equipment is that important. A good player can play with anything to a certain extent. For example, I saw Joshua filler win the China Open with a carbon fibre shaft, then after the tournament literally threw it in the bin. He then changed back to wood and won a couple of more major events!
Do you use TAOM because they are a sponsor, or because you like their products?
I use Taom products because they are extremely good. I especially like the new Fusion tips and the pyro chalk is a good combination with it.
What in your opinion is required to be a good ambassador/sponsored player?
A good ambassador for any company should promote the brand to their full potential. Advertising logos for any brand is massive so a sponsored player should always make sure the logos are intact when playing. Feedback about equipment is very important to any company, so keep them up to date with feedback…but truthful feedback. If you don’t like a product for some reason, you should tell the sponsors and maybe they can engineer the product to improve it.
What should the billiard industry do to get more recognition outside the industry? 
I think the billiard industry should raise the profile of the game to attract external sponsors. Things like players wearing waistcoats and bow ties…also WWF style introductions to matches can all make pool more appealing to companies outside the industry. Maybe have a speed gun on the break as well, it all adds to great viewing for audiences!
Thoughts on Matchroom and their efforts to make pool great?
Matchroom are a blessing for the pool industry. They have put some second tier sports such as darts and poker on the map! They are the best sports promotion company in the business and we should work with them to make pool great! They are increasing prize money so it can only help players and the industry.
You do a lot of commentary, do you enjoy it?
Yes I do a lot of commentary, mainly for the Eurotour and some World Championships.
I enjoy it a lot and people give me good reviews about my commentary because I have the technical knowledge and can spice it up as well!
It also helps me to read the tv table to see how it is breaking, etc.
I can also promote my sponsors while commentating which goes out to a massive audience reach. That is good for my sponsors!
Recently, I have taken on a new commentating venture which is in the Oslo billiard centre in Norway. I commentate on the one and only Bragging Rights Challenge…lol!!
So yes, it’s a lot of fun and I enjoy it…I may be working with Kozoom in the near future.
Tell us about your 2019 goals and results
My 2019 season wasn't that great…had some personal problems. My only real notable result was 9th place at the US Open where I beat some great players en route. 
My goal is to win a major event, which I am still trying for. Perseverance is the key and I will continue to pursue my goals,  and I will succeed!!!
Was getting picked for 2019 Mosconi Cup a goal?
Yes, being selected for the Mosconi Cup was one of my goals! Not just a goal, but the ultimate goal!
Your thoughts on the outcome of Mosconi Cup 2019?
I feel that Team EUROPE missed a trick in 2019 with their team selection, especially for the doubles. There was a loophole with the fans choice and Johan spotted it and took full advantage. I think Alex Lely will do a great job now for team Europe and I predict they will win this time in 2020
You play lots of events in Europe these days.
What's the main differences between events in Europe and the US?
I feel that events in Europe have more strength in depth. For example, there are probably about 75/100 players that could win a Eurotour event, but a similar tournament in the USA could only have 10 possible winners. Players in Europe are willing to travel abroad a lot more to play tournaments so they will gain experience quicker…i think this is the underlying factor!
Goals for 2020
My goal for this year will remain the same to try and win a major, but with the current virus situation it looks like a lot of events will be postponed!
This is a bit heart breaking, because I have put in a lot of practice recently!
Who will win these majors this year? 
– World Cup of Pool
I think Austria will win the Cup again…they are built for this particular tournament!
– US Open
I will win the US Open this year!….gotta be positive right?
– 9-ball WC
The WC is open to maybe 100 players to win. If I had to guess, maybe it's Svb's time!

Shultz takes two out of three over Young to claim Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

Joshua Shultz

The finals of the Nov. 3-4 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour featured two representatives of the most dramatically increasing demographics in the sport; a teenager and a woman. The woman, Kimberly Young, sent the teenager, Joshua Shultz, to the loss side, only to have him come back and defeat her twice in a double elimination final to claim the event title. The event drew 29 entrants to Corner Pockets in Fayetteville, NC.
They met first in a winners’ side semifinal, as Phillip “Skibo” Britt met up with David Burke in the other one. Skibo sent Burke to the loss side 9-5, as Shultz and Young locked up in a double hill fight that eventually, 4-6, sent Shultz to the semifinals. Young fought to double hill in the hot seat match, as well, downing Skibo 4-8 to claim the hot seat for the first time since showing up on our payout lists 18 years ago, when she began competing on the Southeastern Amateur Ladies Tour.
On the loss side, Shultz opened his trek back to the finals against Geoff Grayson, who’d defeated Mark Williams and Billie Spadafora, both 6-4, to reach him. Burke drew Jason Brittain, who’d recently eliminated Johnny Haney 7-5 and JC Autrey 7-4.
Shultz and Burke advanced to the quarterfinals; Shultz 6-1 over Grayson and Burke 7-5 over Brittain. In a double hill quarterfinal, Shultz sent Burke home, and then, in the semifinals against Skibo, sent him home 6-3, as well.
Things began but did not end well for Young in the finals. She took an early 3-0 lead in the opening set of the true double elimination final, which, racing to 4, put her on the hill to claim the event title. In the following game, she took aim at the 9-ball that would have put the title in her pocket, only to miss it. Shultz came back to win 12 of the next 13 games, encompassing both sets (6-3, 6-1), to claim the event title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Corner Pockets for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (Nov. 10-11), will be hosted by Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC. 

2017 CBSA “YAQI Group Cup” Chinese Pool World Championships Slated for March

The People’s Government of Yushan County of China and The Beijing Xingpai Sports Development Co., Ltd. are very proud to present the 2017 CBSA “YAQI Group Cup” Chinese Pool World Championships, taking place March 13th – 16th at The First High School Stadium of Yushan County in Shangrao Yushan China.
The sixty-four player Men’s division will be made up of…
Top 15 International players from the qualification events
Top 15 Chinese players  from the qualification events
Top 8 ranked Chinese players from 2016 CBSA Chinese Pool Events
Top 4 players from the Chinese Pool International Qualifier held after the 2016 US Open 9-Ball Championship
Top 8 ranked WPA players
4 players recommended by the Chinese National Team
2016 Chinese World Pool World Champion
2015 Chinese World Pool World Champion
The thirty-two player Women’s division will be made up of…
Top 7 International players from the qualification events
Top 7 Chinese players  from the qualification events
Top 4 ranked Chinese players from 2016 CBSA Chinese Pool Events
Top 8 ranked WPA players
4 players recommended by the Chinese National Team
2016 Chinese World Pool World Champion
2015 Chinese World Pool World Champion
Before the Main Event, six days of qualification events will take place, offering entry to Chinese and International players. The Chinese player's qualifications will take place March 6th – 8th, with the International player qualifications, will take place March 9th – 11th. Entry into the qualification events will be $100, and entry into the final event will be $400 for all qualifying players. The organizing committee will cover the accommodations for all players including hotel and food expenses during the competition.
The qualification events will be best of 13 games for the Men’s division, and best of 9 games for the Women’s division. 
The main event will be played in two phases. Phase one will see four divisions (32 International Men, 32 Chinese Men, 16 International Women and 16 Chinese Women) compete in double elimination brackets. Those matches will be best of 17 games for the Men and best of 13 games for the Women. 
Phase two of the main event will see 32 Men and 16 Women playing in single-elimination brackets. Men will play best of 21 games in the first two rounds, best of 25 games in the quarter and semi-finals, and best of 41 games (spread over two sessions) in the finals. Women will play best of 17 games in the first round, best of 21 games in the quarter and semi-finals, and best of 33 games (spread over two sessions) in the finals. 
The total prize money for the YAQI Group Cup Chinese Pool World Championships will be $442,350 with $89,555 being awarded to the Men’s Champion and $59,700 being awarded to the Women’s Champion.
The Official Equipment for the YAQI Group Cup Chinese Pool World Championships is provided by STAR Billiards Tables, Cyclop Tournament TV Balls, Tianjin Junyao Sports Cultural Communication Co. Ltd (Lights) and Andy Billiards Cloth. The scoring system and Video Service Provider is Beijing Crand Science and Technology Co., Ltd.
The YAQI Group Cup Chinese Pool World Championships is hosted by The World Pool-Billiard Association, The Multi-ball Games Administrative Center of General Administration of Sports of China, The Chinese Billiards & Snooker Association, The Sports Bureau of Jiangxi Province of China and The People’s Government of Shangrao City of China. The event is supported by The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association and The International Billiards and Snooker Federation. 
Notable players already confirmed for this prestigious event include Darren AppletonGa-Young KimMark WilliamsNeil RobertsonJohn HigginsSiming ChenSha Sha Liu and Han Yu.

Sanlig China Billiard World Championship Final Stages Underway

Daryl Peach

One day of play is complete in the final stage of the Sanlig China Billiard World Championship, taking place in Yu Shan China, and the field has been cut in half in both the men’s and women’s divisions. 
Thursday play saw players separated into four divisions (Chinese Men, International Men, Chinese Women and International Women), and the goal of the day being to win two matches in order to advance to the single elimination brackets that will be contested on the final three days. 
With the Chinese players in their own brackets, the theme of the day was Snooker Stars vs English 8-Ball Stars, and in this event it was 8-Ball experience that won the day more times than not. 
#3 ranked Snooker Star Neil Robertson had a chance to qualify for the single elimination stage after dropping his first match to Yu Lung Chang 9-8. Robertson followed that up with a 9-6 win over #12 ranked Snooker Star Jun Hui Ding, but failed to show up for his final match against Scotsman Scott Gillespie, allowing Gillespie to advance. 
Other players that made it through to the single elimination stages with one loss were Daryl Peach, former World Snooker Champion Mark Williams, 2016 Player of the year Pin Yi Ko, Lee Van Cortezza and John Morra (who survived a tough match with John Higgins to end his day). 
International players who took a more direct (undefeated) route to the final stage included reigning champion Darren Appleton (with dominating wins over Judd Trump and Thorsten Hohmann), Reigning English 8-Ball World Champion Mick Hill and former World 8-Ball Champion Wu-Jia Qing. 
The ladies division saw WPA #1 ranked Ga-Young Kim advance undefeated with wins over Iris Ranola and Wei Tzu-Chien. Joining Kim with undefeated paths to the single elimination stages were Shin Mei Liu, Si-Ting Guo and Russian Anastsiia Nechaeva. 
WPBA star Kelly Fisher made her way to the single elimination stages with one loss, after recovering from a second round loss to Guo. Fisher eliminated Belgium’s Kamila Khodjaeva in her final match of the night. 
The players are now playing in single elimination brackets until a winner is crowned on Sunday. Follow all of the action with our online brackets and streaming coverage at

Snooker in Bangkok

Joe Perry and Mark Williams

Player's Championship from the Montien Riverside Hotel. Bangkok, Thailand. 24-28 March, 2015
Sponsored by Sang Som, a Thai whiskey, and D88 a Chinese conglomerate. Aramith was the ball of choice.
Welcome to cuesports paradise. In Bangkok, pool is the amateur cueman’s game of choice as there are bar boxes in bars everywhere yet, it’s big-money snooker that gets the fan and media attention.
32 players of international repute including World #1 Mark Selby,  #2, Neil Robertson, Judd Trump, Shaun Murphy, Mark Williams, China's Marco Fu, and the Thai local hero of the moment, Terchaiya Un-Nooh converged on Bangkok to vie for a prize fund close to half a million dollars.
These names may not mean much to you as snooker doesn't get much action on US TV. But there is always the Internet and Pretty much any snooker that is televised can be seen there and…for free.
Like the US, it was also nice to see the well known players openly hanging out in the lobby signing autographs and conversing casually with the fans. It’s also interesting to note that the front row of the audience was inhabited by many attractive, well dressed, young Thai women.
Thais love cue sport's. Not so long ago James Wattana put Thailand on the map as he had some close finishes on the world snooker tour. There are more snooker rooms than pool rooms but virtually every bar in Bangkok's party neighborhoods has at least one pool table while the music blares in the background, Most have more. Thai women love to play and revel in their success as they disclose to their unsuspecting, mostly male, foreign competitors that this “ain’t no disco.”
Pool also gets its fair share on Thai national TV as the Fox Sports International Channel delivers all the events that Accu-Stats captures; The US Open 9-Ball Championship, The Derby City Classic, and their "Make It Happen" Invitational series. Matchroom airs its World event's and the ubiquitous Mosconi Cup on another network.
Then, there are the serious pool rooms dotted along the sois (streets, pronounced soy) on and off Sukhumvit Rd. They have an expat pool league network that spans the bars and rooms that host some kind of tournament action almost every night of the week. Bigger events are held early Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
Hustlers, a definite destination room near Asok Skytrain station on Sukhumvit, has a keep-em-coming-back strategy that allows competitors to accumulate points scored from finishes in their biweekly tournaments and, at season-end, the top eight share a pro-rated prize fund of 50,000 baht–about $1750.
Occasionally you see some "A" players pop-up but it's mostly neighboring Filipinos, on the stall, who hop on flights and sneak in under the radar.
Hustlers has hosted a series of 100,000 baht, about 3500 US, money games. The side action was just as heavy with the standing room only crowds.
Many times the likes of Mika, Shane, Darren, and Efren have stopped in and held clinics on their way to world events hosted in Asia. Even Neil Robertson has graced their blue Simonis.
The Sports Academy, a pool ball lob across Sukhumvit from Hustlers, has 9-Ball and 10-Ball tourneys on Tuesdays and Thursdays respectively,
The Sportsman on Sukhumvit, soi 13, had just expanded to the second floor to include 10 new 9 footers and contribute to the aforementioned, weekly tournament schedule.
In the these rooms, the equipment is always world class: The balls are always Aramith; Cuetec is the house cue of choice while blue Masters Chalk matches the Simonis Cloth. Magic Racks are prevalent.
But it's snooker that's the flavor of the day; pool will have to wait, especially, for the £300,000 prize money the Players Championship has up for grabs. With the world Championship offering £300,000 for first, you can imagine the millions that the top snooker pros have stashed in tax havens around the world.
The shot-making was extraordinary as the deceptively, tight pockets accepted balls that have to be sighted perfectly. Player's leaving 12 foot, table-length safeties were in for a rude awakening as Robertson, Trump, and Williams aggressively drove the unsuspecting balls deep in the back of the pocket.
And, there are so many more harmonious “oohs” and “aahs” from the audience as balls rattle and hang.
In snooker, balls stranded, close to the cushion–thanks to the rounded, rather than straight, cut of the pockets–are almost impossible to make down the rail with any speed. More mastery is applied as these single, loose balls are “developed” by being bunted into the middle of the table.
The weirdest rule for a pool player to accept is that a player can simply roll the cue ball snugly behind an object ball to snooker his opponent without any ball having to hit a rail after contact.
The race to 4 matches, short when you consider that the world championship can be a race to 17, really puts the pressure on the top guys, because, as we all know, shorter races benefit the weaker player.
The events 8 “centuries”–a 100 point run that is equally as important in snooker as it as in Straight Pool–got rousing applause from the knowledgeable, mostly Thai, audience. Robertson had the highest  with 138 while Williams had the most with 2. In fact, his first was right out of the gate against local hero Un-Nooh. 
The fan turnout was at it's highest in the opening, standing room only, rounds as everyone wanted to see the snooker superstars that they have seen mostly on TV. Maybe, it was the fact that there were so many early upsets that slightly, lessened the audience attendance as the event wound down.
Robertson and Selby were eliminated early by Wales’ Williams and England’s Mark Davis, respectively. Davis, incidentally, has won the last two “6 red” world titles here in Bangkok.
Trump, the last top ten ranked survivor, only managed to get to the semis. Plus, the tournament was also shown LIVE on Thai national TV. Altho,’ taxis are cheap, getting around Bangkok traffic can be slow going so many elected to view remotely from the comfort of their couch.
Finalist and 3-time World Champion Mark Williams altho,’ not quite as we’ll known, is no slouch either. Still high from leaping past fans in the lobby with “Hang Time” that would challenge Michael Jordan, Williams was exhilarated after his semi-final 4-2 trouncing of Trump. he also had eliminated World #1, Mark Selby in the second round.
After the dinner break, Williams entered the arena to face Londoner Joe Perry, an opponent much less exposed to the limelight. Perry’s less strenuous path had upset fellow Brits Stuart Bingham, Michael Holt, and Anthony McGill – all players he had competed against in the past in his tortuous route to becoming a champion. 
With a, seemingly, impenetrable 3-0 lead, Williams had led the charge. After his 3rd round comeback from down 1-3 against England’s Matthew Selt, Mark had stated, ”It's not the way you start the match, it's the way you finish," The 40 year old Williams would soon have to eat those words.
In, potentially, the 4th and final frame, Williams managed little when offered a jawed ball sitting in the mouth of the pocket, Perry never paused and punished Williams by taking the frame. From 1-3, it wasn’t long before the motivated, London underdog was back on the comeback trail. Williams was confined to his seat as Perry, inspired, gained power and momentum.
It was’t all bad, Williams had pocketed £38,000, about 60 thou US, and had guaranteed his spot in Matchroom’s 2015 World Championships in the Crucible in Sheffield, England. “I’m so happy about that because it was my main aim at the start of the season."
Joe Perry was jubilant with his first tournament ranking points title and, of course, the tasty £100,000, or 4 MILLION+, Thai Baht pocket money. At around 8 bucks an hour, that’ll get you a lot of pool on Sukhumvit. Of course, money like this, to Judd, is mere “Trump change.” 
To keep up with snooker, visit and, to watch it LIVE, 
Our thanks to Media Manager Tai Chengzhe for his assistance in this article and P.R. Director Mullika Tongneausuk for the gracious hospitality..

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


Selby conquers the world

M. Selby

Mark Selby conquered the Crucible for the first time by beating Ronnie O'Sullivan 18-14 in the final of the Dafabet World Championship.
Selby produced an astonishing fight-back to win 13 of the last 17 frames and inflict O'Sullivan's first world final defeat on the five time champion.
O'Sullivan was looking for a third consecutive crown and appeared to be cruising when he led 8-3 and 10-5 on Sunday. But Selby rallied to 10-7 overnight then won five of the six frames in the third session as O'Sullivan, uncharacteristically, crumbed under the intense pressure.
And Leicester's 30-year-old Selby produced his best snooker of the match in the concluding session, winning the last three frames and sealing victory with a stunning clearance. He goes home with the trophy and a record £300,000 top prize, which makes him world number one on the new money list.
Since reaching his first Crucible final in 2007 – when he lost to John Higgins – Selby has become one of snooker's most consistent competitors, enjoying previous spells at the top of the rankings and winning the Masters three times as well as the UK Championship. The world title was the one glaring omission on his CV, but he now has his name engraved on the sport's most famous piece of silverware.
The best safety player in the world, he also produced nerveless breaks at key moments throughout the Championship, notably in the deciding frame of a 10-9 first round win over Michael White, and in the last session of his superb 17-14 victory over world number one Neil Robertson in the semi-finals.
Selby becomes the ninth player in snooker history to win the Triple Crown of major titles, joining Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Williams, Terry Griffiths, Alex Higgins and Neil Robertson. He was runner-up in both the UK and the Masters this season – thrashed 10-4 by O'Sullivan in the latter – but picked the perfect moment to win his first ranking title of the campaign and fourth of his career.
O'Sullivan's long unbeaten spell in Sheffield came to an end after winning 14 consecutive matches. He was denied the sixth world title of his career, which would have brought him level with Steve Davis and within one of Stephen Hendry's record. 
The Rocket, who had won his quarter and semi-final matches with a session to spare, was a huge odds-on favourite for the title when he led 10-5. But he lost all confidence and fluency in the third session, and despite dressing room huddles with psychiatrist Steve Peters, he was unable to regain his rhythm.
Trailing 12-11 going into the final session, O'Sullivan started strongly tonight with a break of 100, his 13th century of the tournament. But a missed black on 24 in the next stopped him from gathering momentum as Selby ground out that frame to regain the lead.
Runs of 23 and 25 helped Selby gain control of frame 26 and he sealed it by potting the pink after his opponent failed to gain the snooker he needed. And safety errors from O'Sullivan in the 27th gave Selby the opportunity to make 56 and extend his lead to 15-12 at the interval.
O'Sullivan took the next in two scoring visits, then made a stunning 37 clearance in frame 29, highlighted by a drilled yellow down the length of a side cushion.
But Selby wrestled back the initiative emphatically, making a 127 – his only century of the final – followed by an 87 to lead 17-14.
O'Sullivan looked certain to pull one back until he ran out of position at 56-0 in the next. Selby clawed back to within 29 points with one red left. And when his chance came, he proved himself a true champion. A long red was followed by a series of terrific pots, particularly the green which was close to the top cushion, as he cleared the table to capture the title.
"It hasn't sunk in yet," admitted Selby after winning the final watched by stars including actor Stephen Fry, darts supremo Phil Taylor, Iron Maiden drummer Nico McBrain and Muse frontman Matthew Bellamy. "In the next few days it will definitely settle in. To come through playing Ronnie in the final, it's a dream come true if you're going to win your first world title. 
"At 8-3 down, I knew Ronnie is one of the best front-runners in the world and I was just not playing well at all. I had my chances but kept missing and Ronnie was taking advantage most of the time. A couple of times he missed and I just kept digging in and nicking a few frames.
"To get out 10-7 down yesterday, I felt I was winning 10-7. I was physically and mentally tired yesterday – the same as when I got to the final seven years ago against John Higgins. Ronnie outplayed me yesterday and I was still only 10-7 behind and I still felt I hadn't turned up.
"All tournament I've felt confident and I knew if I got a chances I felt like I was going to score even though I didn't yesterday. Ronnie came back to 15-14 and asked me the question, and I probably played my best snooker of the match in those last three frames.
"My father passed away with cancer when I was 16, two months before I turned professional, and his last words to me were 'I want you to become World Champion'. I said to him I will be one day it's just a matter of when not if.
"There have been a lot of people in my life that have helped my through. Willie Thorne's brother, Malcolm, who sadly passed away a few years ago, spotted me when I used to go to Willie's club. He put me on the right track and sponsored me for a few years before I turned professional so I owe a lot to him and I'm sure he and my father were looking down smiling as I lifted that trophy."
O'Sullivan said: "I want to congratulate Mark on a brilliant match and a brilliant tournament. I tried my hardest but he was just too good.
"As a top snooker player you accept the losses with the wins, you can't have it your own way all the time. I've had some great victories here but losing is part of the sport and you've just got to accept that it's part and parcel of it. You have to go away and lick your wounds and go one better next time.
"It wasn't the most free-flowing match. There were a lot of safety bouts and I just got dragged into it. I tried to make something happen and open the balls up a few times but when you're forcing something to happen, it never quite happens.
"Everything I did he just had an answer for and I was finding it hard to put any momentum together. At some points I felt a bit numb out there because I was sat in my chair for long periods of time."


Williams – Pressure On World Qualifier

Two-time Crucible king Mark Williams will have to face the qualifying rounds of the Dafabet World Championship next month and admits he’d hate to miss out on snooker’s Theatre of Dreams.



The Welshman lifted the famous trophy in 2000 and 2003 and has won 18 ranking titles in all, but has dropped out of the world’s top 16 this season so has to win one qualifying match to earn a spot at the Crucible for the televised stages.



The qualifiers at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre run from April 8 to 16. The final round will be on April 15 and 16, with the winners to go through to the Crucible to be drawn at random against the top 16 seeds.



“I haven’t had to qualify many times in the past but I’ve got to do it now,” said 39-year-old Welshman Williams. “It’s not nice but I just have to get on with it. I don’t want to finish the season sitting at home rather than being at the Crucible. There’s a lot of pressure on everyone in that final qualifying round.”



Williams was out of the top 16 in 2009 but came through the qualifying round, beating Tom Ford 10-5. He has been ever-present at the Crucible since 1997. “That’s a good record and it would be nice to keep it going,” he added. “If I don’t make it then it’s up to me to get back into the top 16 next season to make sure I don’t have to qualify again.”



Graeme Dott, the 2006 World Champion, and two-time finalist Matthew Stevens will be among the other stars in the final qualifying round, while legends Steve Davis and Jimmy White will start their campaign earlier in the event. Both may need to win matches to keep their place on the World Snooker Tour.



Tickets for the qualifiers cost just £10 for a full day, exceptional value for the chance to see many leading players competing in snooker's biggest tournament.



BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW by calling the box office on 0114 2233777 or visiting



There is also a SPECIAL OFFER of any three days for £20. Quote 'Special Offer'.



Students can buy all-day tickets for the two Tuesdays for just £5 (limited offer). Quote 'Student Tuesday'.



Please note there is no play on Monday April 14 due to the tables being re-covered.



The Dafabet World Championship is supported by Sheffield City Council. The final stages run from April 19 to may 5 at the Crucible – for ticket details call 0844 65 65 147 or visit

White Craves Crucible Form

Michael White

Rising snooker star Michael White hopes he can recapture the form he showed at last season's World Championship as he looks ahead to the BetVictor Welsh Open, which startstomorrow.



Neath's 22-year-old White showed his huge potential with a run to the quarter-finals in Sheffield last April, scoring a brilliant win over two-time champion Mark Williams on his Crucible debut.



So far this term, White has continued to give glimpses of his talent, notably in a run to the quarter-finals of the Indian Open, but he is still waiting for his major breakthrough.



"Overall I haven't played as well as I did at the World Championship," admitted White. "In spells I have played some great snooker and wiped the floor with people, then at other times I have been below average. Consistency is lacking in my game and that is what I'm trying to find. I'm practising really hard and hoping to finish the season strongly.



"At the start of the season I was ranked on the edge of the top 32 and my target was to get into the top 20. I'm 35th now so that's going to be difficult. But my main ambition is to win a tournament and that's what I'm working towards. I know I have got the game to do it."



The BetVictor Welsh Open runs from February 19 to March 2 at the Newport Centre, with 128 players battling for the £60,000 first prize including Ronnie O'Sullivan, Neil Robertson, Judd Trump, Mark Selby and Ding Junhui.



White, one of ten Welsh players in the event, faces Chris Wakelin in his opening match during the afternoon session this Saturday.



"It will be the first time I have played in Newport as I've never qualified," White added. "My dad will be there to watch me for the first time since he came to the Crucible so that will spur me on. Hopefully there will be good crowds to support the Welsh players."



Tickets for the tournament are ON SALE NOW and fans are strongly advised to book fast as many sessions are expected to sell out quickly. For full details call 01633 656 757 or visit



The BetVictor Welsh Open is supported by Newport City Council.