Archive Page

Neil Robertson Is A Class Act On And Off The Snooker Table

Niel Robertson

Neil Robertson is a professional snooker player from Australia. He claimed his first professional title in the 2006/2007 season at Grand Prix in Aberdeen. Robertson is one of the eleven players who earned the career-triple crown of the World Championship in 2010, the UK Championship in 2013, 2015, and Masters in 2012.

In 2014, Neil Robertson became the first snooker player to compile more than 100-century breaks during a single season. And is one of five players in the world who have compiled more than 700 career centuries. Also, he holds the distinction of having won one professional tournament in every season from 2006 to 2020. This streak extended recently at the European Masters 2020 when Neil Robertson recorded a whitewash in a two-session ranking final.

Due to his success and experience, Nail Robertson is a favourite option for many punters, and he enjoys a large fan base from across the world. And as a result of this, many sports betting sites, including, offer competitive odds on all of the competitions that he participates in.

Why His Class Extends Beyond the Snooker Table
Neil Robertson is one of the most considerate, thoughtful, and talkative snooker players. He’s a student of the snooker sport as well as a player, and he is well-clued up of all the moments of the past. Neil Robertson has come through an array of travails as an individual, which range from being stuck in Melbourne after he failed at the UK-based snooker tour in the early 1990s to his addiction to some computer games. Additionally, he has never looked back or complained even after he dropped out of the top sixteen three years ago.

Instead, he discusses his life extensively and openly. When Neil Robertson wins, he’s honest. And when he loses, he’s refreshingly reflective. In snooker, he is one of the most enduring and likeable characters. He is a player for not only all seasons but also every season.

Snooker is not as popular in his country as cricket, but Neil Robertson carries himself with much integrity. Devoid of ego, Robertson will willingly devote his time to fans and the general public promoting and speaking about snooker as much as his shooting.

If Neil Robertson is in good condition and place with his game, both the fans and punters are also in an excellent position to enjoy the match and win the bets, respectively. Let us hope that next season will be one of his best.

Final Thoughts
Neil Robertson is an individual who is dedicated to ensuring that all people around him are happy. Most of these people are his die-hard fans, sports lovers, and punters. Robertson started his season with a victory over Sunny Akanl from Thailand in the European Masters tournament, which shows that the remaining part will also be successful for him, and all of his supporters.

If you love snooker, there are high chances that you always follow all the events and tournaments that Neil Robertson takes part in. And what is more, you have earned some cash if you have been placing wagers on him. So whether you are new to sports betting or a seasoned gambler, Neil Robertson and top sports betting sites should be your go-to options.

Matchroom Live To Broadcast World Snooker Championship

Fans across the globe will have the chance to watch snooker’s biggest tournament, the Betfred World Championship, as Matchroom Live will broadcast the event in all countries without alternative coverage.

Go to Matchroom.Live to register

The Matchroom Live platform was launched in May, giving fans across the planet the chance to watch live content from the outstanding portfolio of Matchroom sports, including snooker, darts, boxing, pool and many more. There is also a wealth of classic archive content featuring great moments from the past 40 years.

And one of the most prestigious events in sport, the Betfred World Snooker Championship which has a history dating back to 1927, will receive extensive live broadcast every day.

This will start with the qualifying rounds, running from July 21st to 28th, with 128 players, all chasing one of 16 coveted spots for the final stages at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. From veteran Jimmy White to 14-year-old Iulian Boiko, the field is packed with a range of legends and young talents.

All eight days of action from the qualifying rounds will be available FREE for all fans where broadcast is not available.

The final stages at the famous Crucible then run from July 31 to August 16. Judd Trump won the title for the first time in sensational style last year, making a record seven century breaks as he beat John Higgins in the final. He will be defending the trophy against the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and many more of the sport’s top stars.

This will be available on Matchroom Live’s new subscription service. Fans can sign up for a monthly fee for the chance to watch not just snooker, but a wide range of world class sports content. There is also the option to watch a single day of action.

WST Chairman Barry Hearn said: “Matchroom Live is a fantastic innovation for sports fans internationally as it makes top class live events available to everyone in all corners of the globe.

“We have created a price structure which is fair and affordable for sports enthusiasts based on the percentage of the content available to access in each country.

“Around the world, people love live sport. But there are territories where they are starved of the big events because of a lack of television coverage. Matchroom Live gives them that opportunity to see the elite events and the star names. It is all about spreading the joy which live sport can bring.

“The popularity of snooker, darts, boxing and our other sports has grown so much in recent years and we want to reach out further to more and more people, and make the action available.

“And it’s not just live content because Matchroom Live contains a remarkable wealth of archive footage, going back to the 1980s, featuring names from Steve Davis and Ronnie O’Sullivan, to Chris Eubank and Anthony Joshua, to Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen, and many more. I could spend weeks on there just watching the classic moments!

“Anyone who loves sport must register for Matchroom Live today, it is the perfect new platform for those who share our passion.”

Matchroom Live is a video-first platform, with the ability to cast to virtually any device whether that be a console, Smart TV, or connected device. The services will also allow fans to watch up to four live events at once with ‘QuadPlay’. The service is built and powered by sports streaming and video technology specialists StreamAMG.

Snooker’s Championship League Returns On June 1st On ITV

Snooker’s Championship League will return with an exciting new format from June 1st to 11th live on ITV, bringing world-class sport back to living rooms nationwide.
Featuring 64-players in round-robin groups, the new-look Championship League will take place behind closed doors at Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes with strict rules on social distancing, COVID testing and hygiene in place, in line with government guidelines. Marshall Arena has been selected as the venue as it has an on-site accommodation meaning no players, officials or staff will need to leave the venue once they have entered.
All 128 World Snooker Tour card holders will be invited to participate, with the top 64 who enter receiving a place in the tournament. Top players including Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, Mark Allen and Kyren Wilson have already confirmed they will enter the event.
Championship League will be split into three phases, with all matches during all stages played as the best-of-four frames. Play will begin at 3pm each day, running continuously until both groups are complete, with the exception of Friday, June 5th when play will begin at 4pm.
• GROUP MATCHES from June 1st to 8th will feature 16 groups of four players, with two groups played each day across two tables. The player who tops each group table will progress to Phase Two. Players will be awarded three points for a win and one point for a drawn match.
• GROUP WINNERS from June 9th to 10th sees the 16 group winners split into four further groups of four, with two groups per day also played over two tables.
• TOURNAMENT FINALS from June 11th will see the four Phase Two winners battle it out over one final group, played on one table, to determine the Championship League winner.
The total prize fund will stand at over £200,000. Players will earn a guaranteed £1,000 with the winner taking home £30,000 and a place in November’s Champion of Champions. Championship League will not be a ranking event and will be promoted by Matchroom Multi Sport.
All players, staff and contractors will be virus-tested prior to entering the venue and will be in isolation until their results are known. Players will require a negative test result in order to enter the venue. They will play all group matches on one day, remaining on site throughout, and will then leave the venue.
Other safety measures in place will include:
• Social distancing measures in place throughout the venue.
• Players seated at least two metres apart during matches.
• Players using anti-bacterial hand sanitiser before matches and avoiding handshakes.
• Referees endeavouring to keep two metres away from players where possible.
• There will be no access for players’ guests.
• First aid personnel on site at all times
Matchroom Sport Chairman Barry Hearn said: “During the challenging times of the past few weeks we have examined the opportunities which still exist and worked relentlessly towards the goal of getting our tour going again. While most other sports remain sidelined, we are ready to return from June 1st. This sends out a message to the sporting world that snooker is at the forefront of innovation.
“Our first priority has to be safety and we have had detailed discussions with government in creating a set of approved guidelines for the event which will be rigorously followed. We are making this very clear to the players and everyone working on the event.
“We will be the first major sport to get back to live televised action. That’s not by chance, it’s because of the hard work and preparation we have done during the lockdown to make sure we are ready to get going again as soon as it is legal.
“Liaising with government advisors, we have prepared highly detailed health and safety documents which will be followed to the letter during the tournament. These measures surpass any others made in any other professional sport right now.
“In particular, procedures are being put in place for testing players, staff and contractors, which ensure that we are doing everything possible to keep the event safe. Players who have any doubts about their own welfare can rest assured that all precautions are being taken.
“I am confident that there is no other major sport which can meet health and safety criteria on isolation and social distancing as stringently as snooker can, so we are able to return more quickly than others.
“One of the reasons we have selected the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes is that the accommodation is on site, which means that once players arrive for testing the night before they play, they don’t need to leave until their matches have finished, and they can remain isolated within the venue. It is a superb venue with ideal facilities.
“Following testing, the players will remain in an isolated environment until they are eliminated from the event. It is a group format so the group winners will leave the venue, then come back for their next group when the process begins again. Keeping players isolated at all possible times is an integral part of the procedures we are putting in place.
“These are challenging times but as always we are looking at the opportunities rather than the limitations.
“Championship League will provide 11 days of televised sport with extensive live coverage, from 3pm until 10pm each day. For the fans out there who are starved of live sport it will be a fantastic boost and a very welcome diversion from these tough times we are all going through.
“We are thrilled to be working with ITV on Championship League for the first time, with an exciting new format. The field of players and more details will be announced in the coming days.”
Controller of ITV Sport Production, Mark Demuth, said: “We know fans have been missing live action since the lockdown has been in place, so we’re delighted to bring snooker back, marking the return of live sport to free-to-air TV. Behind the scenes, our team has been working with the event organisers to ensure strict adherence to guidelines to safeguard the well-being of all involved, which is our priority.”
Further information on format and players entered will be announced in due course.

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..

2015 Chinese 8-Ball World Championships – A Player’s Perspective

Darren Appleton

There were 3 venues used for meetings, practice and matches for stage 1. The 2 hotels that all the players were staying at and a school auditorium. All stage 2 matches were played in the auditorium and Table #1 was the TV table but there were 3 tables that were being streamed. The matches played on Table #1 were filmed during all stages of the tournament. A players lounge, media room, interview room, and practice room were all provided at the auditorium for the entire tournament. The player’s lounge was spacious with comfortable seating and provided a large screen tv to watch the live matches on table #1. It was also constantly stocked with drinks, sandwiches, and snacks for the players. The International players stayed at The Yutai International Hotel and the Chinese players stayed at the other hotel. The Hotels provided 3 complimentary meals/day in a banquet style and at least 2 1/2hours was offered for each meal time. 
There were dozens of volunteers working to assist the players with anything they needed at all of the venues at any time of day. Most of these volunteers spoke English and Chinese and did a good job as translators. They were all very friendly and helpful. The service from the actual employees was also wonderful and quick. 
Once we arrived at our airport we were met by volunteers to help us get to our hotel. However many of us arrived too late to take the last bullet train to Yushan City so they bused us to the train station and put us up at the hotel there. In the morning the tournament organizer and the volunteers met with us and helped us get on the bullet train. It was a 2 ½ hour ride at approx. 300 km/hr. When we arrived at the train station in Yushan we were met by many volunteers who organized us into 2 chartered buses. There were many Billiard fans at the station to welcome us and witness our arrival. It seemed that the whole city, no the whole country, knew that we were coming. 
Star Billiard Company was a major sponsor and provided all of the Billiard equipment for the event. The tables were 4 ½’ x 9’ Chinese 8 Ball tables. They were designed to be a very good test of excellent play. The pockets were rounded similar to Snooker tables but made large enough to accept a 2 ¼” pool ball from any angle. However, if the object ball touched the rail even slightly before the pocket it would not go in. The rails were also Snooker rails but designed to sit high enough to allow a 2 ¼” pool ball to rebound correctly. They covered these tables with #10, double shaved, one directional nap, Snooker cloth. I have never played on better cloth in my life. You could literally soft roll a ball the length of the table and trust that it would go straight. All the players I spoke with seemed equally impressed. To add to the quality of these tables the slate beds were constantly heated with an electric heater. The tables were cleaned and ironed after each session. The balls were the Cyclop balls. They played fine but the colors were different than some of us were used to. 
Tournament Format
The tournament was played in 2 stages, Stage 1 was the qualifying stage, and Stage 2 was the championship Stage where everyone was already in the money. Stage 1 was divided by approx. 120 Chinese men players competing for 16 spots and approx. 80 International men players competing for 16 spots. The women had fewer players in Stage 1 but the format was the same. However the Chinese women competed for 8 spots and the International women players competed for 8 spots. There were 3 days of qualifiers in Stage 1 and every player who didn’t qualify on day 1 got a chance to try again on Day 2 and Day 3. Stage 2 for men consisted of 64 players; 16 Chinese players who were invited straight into Stage 2, 16 Chinese men who qualified from Stage 1. Also 16 International men who were invited and 16 International men who qualified from Stage 1. The women only had 32 players in Stage 2 but the player breakdown was the same as the men. 
In stage 1 we played winner break and no call shot except on the 8 Ball. We could break from anywhere behind the baulk line but 4 balls needed to hit the rail in order for it to be a legal break. A scratch on the break gave the incoming player ball in hand from behind the baulk line. Other than that it was basically the same rules as BCA. In Stage 2 they played call shot for every shot and alternate break. 
All players competing in Stage 1 received approx. $500 towards their flight to China. There was a $100 entry fee charged at the time of check in to the host hotel. If you made it to Stage 2 you had to pay an additional $300 entry fee but you were then guaranteed $800 for making it to the last 64. Once you arrived in China they covered your food, hotel, and travel. They even paid for the day hiking excursion. We were told that the area in and around where we were hiking was where the movie Avatar was filmed. However I am not sure how to substantiate that claim.
Prize Fund
The Men’s event had a total prize fund of approx. $500,000 with the Champion getting a whopping $100,000US. The Women’s event had a total prize fund of approx. $300,000 with the Champion getting approx. $60,000. The Men’s event paid out 64 spots while the women’s event paid out 32 spots. Over and above the prize fund it appears that the total cost of this event was in the millions. 
The Men’s event saw Darren Appleton and Mark Selby, both from England, compete in the finals, with Darren winning by a score of 21-19 to claim the title of 2015 Chinese 8 Ball World Champion. The women’s event Champion was Bai Ge from China. Other noteable finishes were Neil Robertson from England finishing in 3rd place and Allison Fisher finishing in 4th place. Stan Tourangeau from Canada was the only player from our little group that made it to Stage 2. 
Future plans
I was told that the Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association (CBSA) and Star Billiard Tables have committed to a minimum 5 year plan to promote this game in China and Internationally. 
Traffic in China
From a foreigners perspective it appears that there are no rules or very few rules to driving in China. Every day and all day long we witnessed cars, buses, taxis, rickshaws, mini trucks, mopeds, etc. moving in all directions on the roads and streets. They were also almost constantly on their horns, warning others of their approach. I never saw an accident but I did notice that the vehicles never moved at a very fast pace. They got where they were going slow but sure. Good peripheral vision is a must there. 
The elevators were much the same as in North America. However every time I reached the floor I wanted to get out on I had a difficult time getting out of the elevator because the people waiting to get on the elevator quickly entered it without letting passenger get off first. It was quite frustrating as this happened every time. 
The food at the hotel was always buffet style and was ok but unfortunately it was pretty much the same food every day. Breakfast was exactly the same every day. Lunch was the same with an occasional change and dinner was also the same with an occasional change. However the special dinners, like on opening day, were always fabulous. They never seemed to stop bringing more dishes and many choices as well. A feast in every sense of the word. I never saw so many bottles of water in my life. They were always supplying us with bottles water, at the venue, in the practice room, by our match table, in the players room, in the hotel room, everywhere. Cases and cases of water every day. It seemed that there were volunteers that were there just to supply us with bottled water. 

Appleton is the First Chinese 8-Ball World Champion

The first ever "China Billiard World Championship" (Chinese 8-Ball*) was held from 29 January 2015 in the beautiful YuShan City (JiangXi Province) of China.  A total prize money of RMB¥ 3 million (approximately US$480,000), out of which ¥600,000 was awarded to the Men's Champion, while ¥400,000 was awarded to its lady counterpart.  Although it might seem to be "odd cents" when comparing to most major snooker championships, the tournament is already head-to-head with the World 9-Ball Championship in terms of prize monies paid.
The tournament was hosted by the China Billiard Association (CBSA), and in a scale much larger than any snooker or pool tournaments.  Apart from regular Chinese 8-Ball players, many current snooker and pool professionals joined the scene, 23 countries, spanning all 5 continents, and over 300 renowned international players participated in the event.  Shaun Murphy, John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Thorsten Hohmann, Chris Melling and so on are just a few names to mention.  Almost all the top women players came to YuShan to compete for the honour.
In the Men's Division, Darren Appleton was the one who laughed to the last, with tears and on his knees, by claiming the title in the end and pocketed away the US$90,000+ first prize.
It was 4 days before the stage 2 of the tournament came to its Final.  Ironically, the two biggest name in its own category staged in this "clash of the titans".  Mark Selby, world snooker champion, and Darren Appleton, world pool champion, met in a race to 21 for the first ever world title in Chinese 8-Ball.

The path to the final was never easy for either player.  Selby had to take on Chris Melling on the way then Liu HaiTao (China #1) in the semi-final, while Appleton saw off Neil Robertson (former world #1 in snooker) then the 2015 CBSA World 9-Ball Champion Chu Bingjie of China in the other semi.
Soon after the award ceremony completed as Bai Ge of China claimed the women's title, the 20-racks first session of the men's final commenced.  In the first 16 racks, Appleton led only by a mere 2-rack margin (9-7).  At the end of the session, the differnce remained the same when Appleton and Selby (11-9) left the battlefield during recess.
The final session started at 7:30 in the evening, and Appleton immediately increased the lead by winning the first 4 racks after returning.  Mark Selby, who is renowned for his "comebacks", took the next three racks, then two more in the next three to make it all square at 18-18.
Selby then took the 37th, and made the score 19-18 in his favour and took the lead for the first time in the match.  The 38th rack was a tough one and after far too many attempts by both players in making pots, Appleton demonstrated top-level defense and gained "ball-in-hand" to clear the table.
Selby had the break in the 39th.  With balls potted on the break, the audience was about to witness a clearance by this world snooker champion.  Dramatically, Selby missed an easy pot.  Appleton once again taught the world what top class defensive play is and reached the hill.
"Break and Run" was what the almighty Darren Appleton did in the 40th rack and brought himself down to his knees celebrating the tough and difficult win.  Appleton could not hold back his tears, it was a sweet revenge for Appleton after losing to Mark Selby in the English Blackball final in 2006 for a prize of £10,000.

Some might not understand why Appleton had four fingers up when receiving the trophy.  This was because, after 24 years of hard work, he finally has in his pocket four world titles in the different categories of 9-Ball, 10-Ball, 14.1, and now Chinese 8-Ball.

Appleton revealed that the prize money could relief his recent mortgage.  As well, buying a few drinks for his friends waiting for him to party in the Philippines (where the next tournament is being held) is inevitable.  However, since Appleton has been too busy lately, the most important of all will therefore be going on a honeymoon trip with his newly wedded (in 2014) and beautiful wife Angie.

AZBilliards would like to thank our colleague Samuel Lai from for providing use this report.


Bai Ge Crowned World Women Chinese 8-Ball Champion

Bai Ge

The first ever "China Billiard World Championship" (Chinese 8-Ball*) was held from 29 January 2015 in the beautiful YuShan City (JiangXi Province) of China.  A total prize money of RMB¥ 3 million (approximately US$480,000), out of which ¥600,000 was awarded to the Men's Champion, while ¥400,000 was awarded to its lady counterpart.  Although it might seem to be "odd cents" when comparing to most major snooker championships, the tournament is already head-to-head with the World 9-Ball Championship in terms of prize monies paid.
The tournament was hosted by the China Billiard Association (CBSA), and in a scale much larger than any snooker or pool tournaments.  Apart from regular Chinese 8-Ball players, many current snooker and pool professionals joined the scene, 23 countries, spanning all 5 continents, and over 300 renowned international players participated in the event.  Shaun Murphy, John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Thorsten Hohmann, Chris Melling and so on are just a few names to mention.  Almost all the top women players came to YuShan to compete for the honour.
In the Women's Division, world champions including Liu ShaSha, Han Yu, Kelly Fisher, Jasmin Ouschan, Allison Fisher, Kim Ga-Young, together with some other top class players are in the final round of Stage 2.  In the end, Bai Ge (白鸽), a player registered in Shanghai) claimed the championship by beating another seasoned Chinese 8-Ball player Zhang XiaoTong (张晓彤), walking away with a US$60,000+ first prize.  The final score was 17-13.

The direct translation of the name Bai Ge is "Pigeon", and the champion really spreaded her wings and won the tournament with flying colours.  She eliminated two world champions, Han Yu (韩雨) and Kelly Fisher, in the semi-finals and quarter-finals respectively.  Another world champion Liu ShaSha suffered from serious flu during the tournament and lost to Kelly Fisher in the last 16.  Zhang XiaoTong stormed into the final as strong as Bai Ge did, also took on two world champions (Allision Fisher and Fu XiaoFang) befoer meeting Bai Ge for a race to 17 final.

The two-session women's final was played one day before the men's last match.  In the first session, Bai Ge took the lead very soon and led by 7-3.  Zhang worked hard and fought back to close the margin at 9-7 before the session ended.
The final session started on the next day, Bai Ge again was dominating the games.  When the score was 15-11 in Bai Ge's favour, and when she sunk the 8, she literally jumped up and started celebrating.  Obviously she forgot that it was a race to 17.  "I was too emotional and thought I had won after sinking that black." said Bai Ge, "When I started celebrating, the crowd was dead quiet, then I realised that the match was not over yet.  After that I warned myself that I have to cool down immediately."

This is the first international event that Bai Ge had even won.  "My form was better than the day before!" said the Champion. "I did not feel any pressure and I was just trying to play my best.  I was physically tired in the first session and hence I was not playing too well.  My original target was to make it into the quarter-finals and that had already been acquired.  I got into form very quickly in the final session.  Whoever got into the final would like to win, and that was why I had that embarfassing 'early celebration' earlier on".
Bai Ge expressed her gratefulness to her parents who had supported her all the way.  The champion also made appreciation to the Shanghai Billiards Association and the PuDong Billiards Association, both councils have been taking care of her billiards career.

The Shanghai Billiards Association is planning to present a special "Non-Olympic Athlete Award" to Bai Ge.  Previously, Pan XiaoTing, Fu JianBao, Liu YuZhen and Chu BingJie had also received this honour.

Derby City Day Two: Morra Shows Heart

John Morra (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson –

LIVE from the Horseshoe Southern Indiana Resort and Casino, Elizabeth, IN

Day two allows the worldwide competitors to settle in over their jet lag, adjust to the freeze of the Kentucky winter…and their stroke; Blood pressure is lowering and bank accounts are rising.
The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge
The George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge begins today!
14.1 enthusiasts hunt to run as many balls as they can and the highest 8 switch to a single elimination format until the winner is honored on Saturday.
See it live at
Diamond BIG Foot 10-Ball Challenge.
The single elimination, all balls count, shoot-out began with the return of Alex Pagulayan and Jayson Shaw to the Accu-Stats Arena and  Internet stream.
The all balls count, rather than the usual call shot of pro 10-Ball competition, has a caveat: The 10 on the break is respotted and the breaker continues shooting.
Alex having returned from his foray into the world of big money snooker managed to qualify for all IBSF snooker events in 2015. That means he'll be hanging out the likes of Ronnie O'Sullivan, Neil Robertson, and Mark Selby. And with a 300,000 pounds for a World title win, who can blame him.
But let's face it, winning the Diamond Derby City Classic Master of the Table award offers the best prize money in Pro Pool so, that's about 50,000+ reasons to be here.
Plus, if one can take the BIG Foot title, that'll pocket an additional $16,000.
Jayson Shaw, just coming for back to back Turning Stone wins should have been feeling pretty confident but he confessed that BIG Foot got to him. "It's surprisingly different from a 9 foot. I haven't had much opportunity to compete on the 10-foot so, I was happy that I got 8 games."
Alex, on the other hand, had experience as he had competed in a previous Accu-Stats Invitational BIG Foot event.
After his seemingly, stress-free, 11-8 win a fan commented that he really looked comfortable out there. Alex responded, "I may have looked comfortable on the outside, but inside, I was shaking with butterflies."
Against Bustamante, John Morra began with an ominous scratch on the opening break. Busty took full advantage and was soon ahead 6-1. 
Morra, normally unemotional, was showed frustration as he was still scratching and, after a miscue,  hunched over and pounded the table with his fist.
Busty was now confident–maybe a little too confident; He missed a 9 that would, he felt, at 7-1, cinched the match.
But John Morra is man of different mettle.
A player, rejuvenated, stepped to the table. By the time John got to 6 Bustamante had garnered only two more games. Bustey then got to 10 and was breaking: He scratched! John ran out. At 10-10, a safety battle ensued that had the audience gasping. Morra nipped and ducked and soon secured that golden moment; Ball in hand. His inner strength came shining through and campy ran the remainder of the rack…and the match. The American Heart Association has a new poster boy: John Morra.
His emotions now allowed a smile. When asked, "What's your secret?, he responded, "Never give up!"
Johnny Archer has no give-up in him either. But against some devastating rolls and Shane Van Boening's ball splattering break, he was rendered helpless.
Shane looked like he was breaking on a bar box; Balls, "Opened like an umbrella." as Accu-Stats' commentator Danny Diliberto so eloquently states.
Shane knows how to close the deal; Johnny was soon put out of his misery. You can be assured, in the coming days, he'll be looking for a rematch on the 9 foot.
The Accu-Stats DVD library has a new addition, Mexico's Ruben Batista. A short time in the States, Ruben has already secured a semi-final finish in a MEZZ State Tour stop and a runner-up at the Hard Times 10-Ball Open on the West Coast.
Speaking of MEZZ, his opponent in the last round of the evening, was very a happy Jason Klatt. Jason had just renewed his player representative contract with MEZZ. "I'm happy they renewed," he commented, "After playing with my MEZZ for about 5 years now, I wouldn't know how to shoot with anything else."
it showed. An admittedly very nervous Batista took a while to overcome his opening round jitters under the Accu-Stats lights but, it was a little to late to catch the confident Klatt.
BIG Foot action continues at
Diamond Derby City Classic XVII: Bank Pool Division.
After a grueling two days of. "When's the redraw or, when do I play,"  413 Bankers where whittled down to about 100, 40 of whom still have a buy-back.
Efren, Orcollo, Justin Hall, Shannon Daulton, Brandon Shuff, Mika Immonen, Warren Kiamco, John Brumback, Jason Miller, and John Morra, to name few, are still undefeated.
The upsets continued as Skyler Woodward went two and out; his last loss to Rob Hart. Shane was also two and out. Alex Olinger had that honor but there is no shame in it. Alex is no stranger to high drama. As a White Diamond, Brickyard, and Shooters, Olathe, KS titlist, he doesn't rattle.
Unofficial Banks Ring Game
Skyler Woodward redeemed himself. After the shock of two and out in the Banks Division he headed straight to he a somewhat impromptu Banks Ring Game with Mike Delawder, Billy Thorpe, Danny Smith and Richie Richeson.
The $2,000 a man, winner-take-all, race to 100 rails is a somewhat new format. Each rail counts as one, so if you pocket a two railer and then a 3 railer then, you only have 95 more rails to go. Fun huh?
As was mentioned, Skyler redeemed himself. With runs like a 13 and then a 7, he was the first man to a 100…and the 10 large.
Don't worry if you missed it. You can be sure that he'll be in attendance in the Accu-Stats Arena for Friday night's official Ring Game.
American Rotation
Mike Dechaine  captured his 3rd, consecutive US American Rotation Championship title by overpowering Jody McLaughlin.
Diamond thanks its sponsors: The Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Cyclop Balls, Simonis Cloth, BCA Pool League, and BadBoys Billiard Productions.
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, OB Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, Samsara Cues, and National Billiard Academy.