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Shotgun Misfires As Rhodes Takes Maiden GB9 Main Event

Michael Rhodes

The Northern Masters final of 2015 was contested by two players already having had a taste of victory  this season. They were Michael Rhodes, winner of February’s Pro Cup, and Craig Osborne, reigning Paul Medati Trophy champion and looking for his second major in a row.
Rhodes had to work mighty hard in his opening match with Martyn Taylor, and it was Taylor who snatched a last-gasp 9-8 win to send Rhodes into the losers bracket where he faced Dean Sporton. Desperate to avenge his hill-hill defeat, he cruised through 7 racks to 1 and  followed it up with a 7-2 dispatching of Adam Collins. Ben George was next in the firing line on the losers side, and Rhodes was in no mood to let up his winning pace. A 7-3 win saw him one win away from a place in the last 16, with young Scottish potter Chris Fraser standing in his way. Each opponent before him had gone one rack better and the same applied here – Fraser only managing 4 frames to Rhodes’ 7, and it was Rhodes who took a last 16 berth. There he faced Tom Staveley in what didn’t fail to be a terrific match. Rhodes won through 9-7 and faced Tony Drago in the quarter finals. The Tornado was looking to reach his first ever main event final, but that wait was to continue – another 9-7 win for Rhodes secured his spot in the final four and a semi final clash with Imran Majid. Majid himself last won a main event at last season’s Southern Masters, and his wait was also set to continue. A convincing 9-3 win saw Rhodes safely through to the final.
Osborne instead got off to a winning start in his campaign, with Ryan Hamer first in the firing link for the Suffolk shooter. A 9-4 win saw him safely through and his unbeaten start to the campaign continued in the following round, with Colin Connor failing to unsettle Osborne as he won 9 racks to 3. Where one North East potter in Hamer wasn’t enough, Osborne then came up against another for a spot in the straight knockout last 16. Sunderland’s Adam Benn Smith was ready and waiting to send Osborne into the losers bracket, but Osborne was in no mood to let up as he secured a second straight 9-4 win. The quarter finals beckoned for Osborne, but intent on stopping him was 2014 Midlands Classic champion Chris Hall. He too was desperate to get another title under his belt, but Osborne’s dominance continued with another 9-3 victory. His reward was a showdown with newcomer Martyn Taylor. Taylor had earlier scored a tremendous win over eventual finalist Michael Rhodes and he was looking for another major scalp here. However, Osborne stepped things up a gear, serving up Taylor a donut in a scorching 9-0 win. One more opponent stood in the way of Osborne and a second straight main event final in 2015. That man was snooker professional Chris Melling, back into the GB9 fold after a lengthy absence as he focussed on his snooker career. It was almost a flawless return for Melling and, but for running into a red-hot Osborne, things could have been very different. As it was, Osborne secured that one last victory to take him into his second final of the season, a 9-6 win over Melling seeing him over the line.
It was going to take a special effort to overcome Osborne and his scintillating form in the competition, but Rhodes was ready and waiting with a big game of his own. Zero break and runs in the match spelled out a tense affair, but Rhodes was the one to cross the line in first place. An 11 racks to 5 win over Osborne saw him take home his very first main event crown and denied back-to-back event wins for the Shotgun. That win sends Rhodes up to #2 in the rankings, with Osborne taking a well earned spot at provisional British #1 after two superb events.

GB9 2014 Preview

Memories from yesteryear will be rekindled in more ways than one as the GB 9 Ball Tour returns to Daventry for this year’s Paul Medati Trophy, the GB9 Pro Cup and the Rasson Billiards Challenge Cup.


Whilst not everyone on the tour will have played against or alongside Paul Medati in their careers, most will be aware of his dedication to cuesports and to GB9. A former snooker professional who made the hop over to American pool in later life, his was a warm and wonderful character who is missed on the tour to this day. His legacy lives on in GB9′s annual competition named in his honour, and the best pool players from across Great Britain and the continent will be doing battle to try and win the winner’s purse and beautiful Paul Medati Trophy itself.


This event also sees the tour return to arguably its spiritual home in the form of the superb Daventry Court Hotel in Northamptonshire. Previously known as the Barceló Hotel, this venue has hosted some of the most memorable matches in the tour’s history, and the combination of facilities and playing conditions made it one of the most popular venues in the tour’s portfolio. GB9 are delighted to be returning to the venue and hope that all competitors, both old and new, enjoy the tournament at the hotel.


The 2014 Paul Medati Trophy is also the first competition in GB9′s history to carry aGUARANTEED prize fund of £9,250 (11,300 Euro), with £1,300 (1,600 Euro)guaranteed for the winner of the main event. We hope that this guaranteed prize money will attract more players from across Great Britain and the rest of Europe to play on the tour and experience for themselves the tournament conditions that GB9 prides itself on.


GB9 are also delighted to announce that former US Mosconi Cup team member and US Open 9-Ball champion Corel Deuel will be competing in his first GB9 event. Corey is the reigning US snooker champion after having made a crossover to the 15-red cuesport in recent years. He has been nominated this season to represent the United States Snooker Association at the World Snooker Q-School event in Gloucester later this month. He will compete in the Paul Medati Trophy whilst over in England and we wish him the best of luck in both competitions during his time across the Atlantic.


Alongside the main event this weekend will also play host to two other events: The elite 16 man Pro division which at this event will see a number of familiar names from the Eurotour such as Stephan Cohen, Denis Grabe, and Bruno Muratore compete alongside the best the UK has to offer in Karl Boyes, Daryl Peach, Imran Majid, Phil Burford and Mark Gray. The less proficient pool enthusiasts will all compete in the Rasson Billiards Challenge Cup which uniquely to GB9 sees the field split into two equal sections with the lowest ranked participants playing each other for a ring fenced prize pool whilst the top ranked amateurs and players entering on a single event basis play each other for a slightly larger chunk of the prize money on offer.


With the arrival of our very own Rasson Victory table which will be used for all live-streamed matches, we are now in the enviable position to have seventeen tables available to us at tour events. This will allows us to continue to run the event on sixteen tables whilst we also run some exciting side action competitions and challenge matches in another room.


Play in Daventry will begin on the evening of Friday 16th May, with competition continuing right the way through to the evening of Sunday 18th. Entry to spectators is free all week and live-streaming will be available throughout the Paul Medati Trophy to compliment the unique rack-by-rack live-scoring service. Competition is sure to be as fierce as ever with the spirit of GB9′s most loved and respected players living on.


Entry to this event closes at midnight on Tuesday 13 May and so if you want to get involved do not delay and fill in the event entry form NOW.


In 2014 GB9 is proudly sponsored by Rasson Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Billiard Balls, OB Cues and Kamui Tips making the perfect combination of the very best equipment in the most outstanding venues.



Hill Wins Inaugural GB9 UK Open

Mick Hill

The first ever GB9 UK Open kicked off less than 24 hours after the completion of the final ranking event of the season, and many players disappointed with their finishing positions in the British Grand Prix were looking to make amends here. Many of the tour regulars, including some new faces, were eager to get going and pave their way to the final. However, it was two British faces – Mick Hill and Phil Burford – which were to compete in the final showdown of 2013. The format for this competition was slightly different to other events of the season; races to 10 on the winners side and from the last 32 onwards, races to 9 throughout the one-loss side and winner breaks in all matches. This format was sure to be a hit with the professionals, and so it appeared as the match unfolded.
Hill's route to the final started in the most peculiar of ways: he suffered a heavy defeat. Scotland's Michael Valentine was in inspired form, putting in four break and runs in beating Hill 10 racks to 2 and leaving him with a one-loss match against Nottingham's Dave Hopkin. Hill found some better form here in winning 9-3 and setting up a losers qualification match against Mark Parker. A high quality and close match was to follow as Hill made three break and runs in making his way to the last 32 and winning 9-7. Things didn't get any easier in his first two single knockout matches when he first came up against Davy Piergiovanni and then Darryn Walker. He took both men out by the same score line, with back to back 10-8 victories ensuring safe passage through to the quarter finals where he was due to meet Ben Buckley. Another gruelling counter followed as Hill defeated the Derby University student in a brilliant encounter by a score of 10-9 and set up a semi-final showdown against none other than Michael Valentine once again, his nemesis from the opening round of the tournament. The score line was completely different this time around – a close match with a different winner. A second consecutive victory on the hill saw Hill into his second final of the season with a brilliantly fought 10-9 win over the Scot.
Burford was looking to pick up where he left off in winning the British Grand Prix title just the previous say, but even his route to the final started in defeat. Italy’s Bruno Muratore saw his safe passage through to the winners’ qualification round with a gritty 10-9 win over the Locomotive. Eager to pick his form up, however, Burford ploughed his way through his two one-loss side matches by first defeating Bradley Parker 9-2 before following that up with a 9-4 win over Ian McCormick. He had to step his game up significantly to beat his next opponent – none other than fellow pro Chris Melling. Another classic tussle saw Burford come through victorious, winning 10 racks to 8 and heading into the last 16 to face GB9 debutant Zoltan Kojsza. An impressive first run came to an end for Kojsza as Burford progressed through to the final 8 with a well-deserved 10-4 win. As Mark Gray had done in the British Grand Prix, Phil Burford was to deny Shaun Storry in the last 8 once again. The Essex potter just count get over the second from last hurdle at either attempt during the two tournaments and succumbed to a heavy 10-1 defeat which saw Burford through to the semi-finals. His last opposition prior to the final was that of Russia’s Ruslan Chinahov in a match that Burford later described on Facebook as a ‘mental game’. After taking an incredible 9-0 lead, Chinahov edged his way back into the match to come within 2 at 9-7. Burford managed to stop the rot in the 17th rack, however, winning through 10 racks to 7 to set up a final with Hill.
That left two Englishmen, with three of the season’s five ranking event titles between them, to fight it out for the first ever UK Open crown. An undoubtedly high quality match was in store, and the fans were not let down. Burford was denied back to back crowns and what would have been his third GB9 title win of the season – Mick Hill saw through 11 racks to 7 to add the UK Open to his Paul Medati Trophy title won back in April. The former English 8-ball World Champion will surely look to this as a shot of confidence ready for the start of the 2014 GB9 season which commences in February.

Preview: 2013 GB9 Festival Of Pool

Current #1 ranked Imran Majid

World class pool returns to Telford as the 2013 GB9 British Grand Prix takes place forming the first part of the inaugural GB 9 Ball Tour Festival of Pool.
In a first of its kind for 9-ball pool in Great Britain, three top quality tournaments will be taking place back-to-back at the magnificent Park Inn by Radisson Hotel in Telford, home of this year’s Midlands Classic and Paul Medati Trophy competitions. The sixth GB9 British Grand Prix, the first ever GB9 UK Open and the annual Universities Pool Council Nine-Ball Championship will all take place at the Shropshire venue over the course of 10 action packed days with some of the world’s finest professional and amateur players will lock horns with over £30,000 up for grabs over the course of the festival.
The British Grand Prix has become known as the curtain closer on GB9′s recent seasons, and importantly the final chance of the year to accrue and defend ranking points to take with them into their official season end ranking. Starting last season it is also the event where we find out the two players chosen to represent Great Britain at the European Championship who finished in the top two spots in the official GB9 rankings. With any player in the top 20 still mathematically in with a realistic chance at making the top 2, there will be all to play for as the final GB9 ranking tournament of the season commences. Imran Majid will require a near miracle but will still be looking to defend his British Grand Prix crown when the tournament begins on Friday 29th November.
The UK 9-Ball Open is GB9′s newest and biggest event yet and this inaugural edition promises to be an unforgettable event. With a £20,000 prize fund including £4,000 added (subject to a full field of 128 competitors), the event has drawn interest from all corners of Europe with players hungry to grab a slice of the action. For the very first time, both the British Grand Prix and the UK Open events have been sanctioned by the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and the British Pool Federation (BPF) giving both events recognition as major tournaments in this season’s European calendar. Our thanks go to our friends at the EPBF for their support of these events. Speaking of his excitement of back to back major GB9 events, Chairperson Andy Warden had this to say: “I am genuinely really excited about the upcoming Festival of Pool events, the interest from all over Europe has been amazing and we have players flying in from as far afield as Russia, Croatia, Poland and Greece as well as GB9 regulars from Italy, Spain and Denmark.” Entries are still being accepted so get your entry form in now.
The Universities Pool Council first held its annual championship back in 2004. Now in its 10th season, they themselves have made the leap away from holding their tournaments in clubs and partnering with the GB 9 Ball Tour to host their events in a hotel set up for the very first time. Oliver Dark, Executive Chair of the UPC, is eager for the event to get going. “It really does feel special to be a part of the inaugural Festival of Pool, held at the truly excellent Park Inn by Radisson Telford” said Dark. “I know our students certainly can’t wait for the action to start! This is yet another major milestone in the development of the sport in this country and the GB9 continue to be the driving force behind this; much credit should go to them for making this happen.”
All three events will be taking place at the Park Inn by Radisson Hotel in Telford and all three events will be free to watch for spectators. With so much at stake and so much pool being played, there’s really never been a better time to get yourself along and witness for yourself the quality and passion that is the GB 9 Ball Tour.
Entry to spectators is free all weekend and live-streaming will be available throughout to compliment the unique rack-by-rack live-scoring service.
If you want to get involved it's not too late to enter – fill in the entry forms using the links above before Monday 25th November.
Don’t forget you can also follow GB9 on both Facebook and Twitter.
In 2013 GB9 is proudly sponsored by Carlson Rezidor Hotels, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Billiard Balls, OB Cues and Kamui Tips making the perfect combination of the very best equipment in the most outstanding venues.


Guapo Sorts The Boyes From The Men

Karl Boyes

The Northern Masters final for 2013 was contested between two of the most seasoned players in the UK right now. Karl Boyes, finally hitting somewhat of a purple patch in the domestic season, and Mark Gray who was looking to cement his place at the top of the provisional British rankings in readiness for the end of season World Pool Masters qualifiers.

Boyes started his campaign started his campaign in the tournament with a comfortable 9 racks to 2 victory against Brett Armer, following this up with a 9-5 victory over Jez Graham to put him safely into the last 32 stage. An international flavour came up in the next match as Bruno Muratore tried to stop Boyes in his tracks. It was Boyes who made it though, however, as he overcame the efforts of the pony-tailed Italian in a tense 9-8 win. This saw him through to a match against Sunderland’s Adam Benn Smith in the last 16, a match which he came through 9 racks to 4 and safely putting him into the last 8. There he faced an almighty fright from Benji Buckley before again coming through another hill-hill encounter, eliminating the Sheffield shooter 9-8 and putting him into the final four. Waiting for him there was Chris Hall of Wakefield, and he made sure of back to back victories over Yorkshiremen with a gritty 9-5 win, seeing him into his first main event final since July 2010.
Mark Gray began his challenge for the title against Colin Connor, and a straightforward 9-3 victory meant he next faced Pablo Garcia Lagar for a place in the last 32. He managed to go one better in this match, disposing of the Spaniard 9-2 and paving the way for a clash with April’s Paul Medati Trophy runner-up Craig Osborne. The man from Ipswich wasn’t going to replicate April’s feats as Gray eliminated him from the tournament 9 racks to 4. Gray saw himself into the last 16 against Andy Worthington, but another 9-2 victory saw him ease through to a potentially mouth-watering clash against Chris Melling, hoping to take the title back to Keighley with him in what was practically a home tournament for the Mosconi Cup MVP. The match was anything but the classic people were expecting, however, with Gray easing through 9-1 and setting up a semi-final against Imran Majid, himself looking to keep the pressure on Gray at the top of the provisional rankings. Gray was once again on the right end of the scoreline, and another 9-4 victory meant he made his way into the final without dropping more than four racks in any of his matches. A staggering statistic and form that was sure to bring out a brutal final.
The match was as tense as people were expecting, with Gray taking a 10-8 lead before Boyes edged the match back to level pegging at 10-10 with one rack to play. Gray had already run four racks in the match and Boyes picked the perfect time to make his fourth and final dish, sealing the title with a superb run out and an 11-10 victory which saw him rise to 2nd place in the provisional rankings with only his beaten finalist Mark Gray now standing above him.

GB9 World Pool Masters Qualifier rankings update

We recently announced that the GB9 results (best 3 from 5 events) will be used to determine one of the four UK players to participate in the 2013 World Pool Masters. Following the recent Northern Masters event, the rankings for this qualifier spot have been updated.  There is no change at the top with Mark Gray retaining the No.1 spot.  2nd and 3rd swap places between Imran Majid and Phil Burford, with Karl Boyes knocking Craig Osborne out of the current top 4 after his superb win at last weekend’s event.  With only one event left to determine which four players will play-off for the Master’s spot, there is everything to play for!

1 (1) Mark Gray
2 (3) Imran Majid
3 (2) Phil Burford
4 (-) Karl Boyes
The five events that will count towards the rankings are:
GB9 British Grand Prix – November 9-11 2012
GB9 Midlands Classic – February 22-24 2013
GB9 Paul Medati Trophy – April 12-14 2013
GB9 Northern Masters – June 7-9 2013
GB9 Southern Masters – August 9-11 2013
The top four players in this ranking will contest semi-finals and then a final (format to be determined) to be played immediately after the finish of the GB9 Southern Masters on August 11th. The winner will receive a spot in the 2013 World Pool Masters.
This will be the 21st annual running of the Masters; one of pool’s longest running invitational events and the 12th time it will have taken place in the UK. Previous home winners have been Daryl Peach (1995), Raj Hundal (2005) and Darren Appleton in 2009.
The 2013 PARTYPOKER.COM World Pool Masters is sponsored by, the world's leading online poker school. Cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith.
In 2013 GB9 is proudly sponsored by Carlson Rezidor Hotels, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Billiard Balls, OB Cues, Kamui Tips and Power Bridge making the perfect combination of the very best equipment in the most outstanding venues.

First Pro 10-Ball Event in Britain to be Shown Live on Cuesports TV

The ever innovative and evolving GB 9 Ball Tour will this weekend serve up the UK’s first ever professional 10-ball pool event. It is with great pleasure that Cuesport TV announce themselves as the Internet broadcast partner for this historic event.
Fans of the game will be able to watch live action of both the Pro Cup and the main Northern Masters 10-Ball tournament over at – to access the streaming a user will have to pay a small fee of £2.95 ($4.60) in advance or £4.95 ($7.70) during the weekend. The price provides access for the full two days of coverage and will enable a user to view the high quality (1.2mbps) multicam stream and live commentary.
The GB 9 Ball Tour features players of such high calibre as Karl Boyes, Raj Hundal, Darren Appleton, Tony Drago, Daryl Peach, Imran Majid, Mark Gray and last years Northern Masters champion Craig Osborne. With a vast number of International events now on the calendar there are a few of the regular professionals that are not competing in Daventry due to prior commitments but this will not detract from the overall quality of the event.
This is now the fifth season that Cuesport TV have partnered with the GB 9 Ball Tour and Managing Director, Pete Williams had this to say, “It is a honour to be involved with a very well organised and innvovative national pool tour that continues to grow year-on-year, one of the key driving forces has of course been the players and it is from consultation with them that this 10-Ball event has come about. It will offer a very different challenge to a lot of the players involved with the tour and also serves to freshen things up a bit. From a live streaming perspective it is great to finally have to quality 10-Ball content that we can show to our growing audience.”
The live streaming runs from 10:15am – 7:00pm (approximately) on Saturday 14th July and then from 10:15am – 11:00pm (approximately) on Sunday 15th July.
Anyone brand, pool club or cue sports manufacturer that has an interest in sponsoring all or part of a live streaming weekend should contact Pete Williams on
To give you an idea of the live streaming please visit this link: which is the Paul Medati Pro Cup Final from April this year between Tony Drago and Karl Boyes.

GB9 Paul Medati Trophy

The late Mark Lovell

In what will be perhaps the most poignant tour stop to date in all of its five seasons, the GB 9 Ball Tour returns to Daventry next weekend for the 2012 edition of the Paul Medati Trophy.

This season’s competition will bring with it an even higher emotional value to all the players on the tour as the Challenge division players battle it out for the inaugural Mark Lovell Challenge Cup.

As most on GB9 and inside the world of pool will be aware, Mark lost his long battle with cancer back in December 2011 at the age of 54. His mere presence on a pool table was enough to brighten any room he happened to be in and, although his time on GB9 was short, his gentlemanly nature and his presence on the tour has been felt for some time already.  In light of that, the tour has chosen to dedicate a Challenge Cup competition in his honour to coincide with the Paul Medati trophy.

Mark’s wife, Emily, has given her full backing to the competition and knows that it would be something Mark would be proud of, “Mark loved going to the GB9 tournaments and always came back saying how much he enjoyed it and what a great bunch of guys were there”, said Emily “It is so comforting to know that others battling cancer can benefit from a game that Mark loved.”

With two wonderful gentlemen and passionate pool players now tragically gone from the tour, it makes the continued partnership between GB9 and Macmillan Cancer Support more important than ever. The tour is proud to continue this partnership and, as in previous years, various fundraising drives and raffles will take place throughout the weekend, with every penny raised going to Macmillan, supporting cancer sufferers and their families across the UK. Both Paul Medati and Mark Lovell along with their respective families were helped a great deal by Macmillan in their final weeks, and their lives made as comfortable as possible in what so many of us can empathise are the most difficult and emotional circumstances.

World No.3 Chris Melling will be in attendance aiming to defend his crown from last year, along with numerous other players all hoping to take the gold medal home with them. Entry to spectators is free as ever, and play will commence at 4pm with the opening rounds of the first Mark Lovell Challenge Cup. Those in attendance will see the world class pool GB9 is renowned for and, perhaps more importantly for this weekend, exactly what two former players really meant to GB9 and their fellow players.

In 2012 GB9 is proudly sponsored by Barceló Hotels, SAM Leisure, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Billiard Balls and Power Bridge which together make the perfect combination of the very best equipment in the most outstanding venues.

Chipper Beats The Field For Maiden Victory

Shaun Chipperfield

The final of this year’s Midlands Classic pitted two players together with entirely different background – one perennial face on the GB 9 Ball Tour in Manchester’s James Kay, alongside a relative newcomer to the  sport in Norwich’s Shaun Chipperfield. Both players were seeded inside the top 32 coming into this event  and so started their campaigns in the last 64.

Given the drama in the opening two competitions, every single player was eager to hit the ground running and push on in the main event, with once again some staggering results coming throughout the two days’ play. As with Paul Taylor in the Challenge Cup against Mark Shepherd, Shaun Storry secured one of the biggest wins ever seen on the tour, coming back from 8-2 down to eliminate Challenge Cup champion Craig Waddingham 9 racks to 8.

Waddingham explained after the match that there’s very little he could have done to stop defeat.  “I missed one ball in the whole match.  It was my break that let me down I gave Shaun too many chances after them and ultimately that cost me dearly”.

Kay’s route to the final started in the best possible way, handing Tom Staveley a donut with a convincing 9-0. His next two triumphs were much more challenging, but he came through a thrilling 9-8 encounter against Belfast’s Mark McDonald before eliminating Adam Benn Smith 9 racks to 6 to reach the quarter finals. Waiting for him there was the daunting prospect of British number 1 Imran Majid, but a cool and collected Kay held his nerve to pull of a tremendous 9-7 victory and send the Londoner home. After taking out one of the most feared names on the tour, he then came up against another one at the semi-final stage in the form of Daryl Peach. The fact that each of the four opening racks resulted in break and runs showed the class both players showed to get to this stage.  It was Kay who made it to the finish line first, however, with a final score of 9-8 ending a match of tremendous quality and ensuring Kay of his first GB9 final since The Paul Medati Trophy in April 2010.

Chipperfield has, in a relatively short time, found himself as one of the most feared names in this season’s Challenge division, and it’s those same kind of players he had to despatch in his opening four matches on his route to the final. One of the best in the south west in the form of Gary Bullocke was his first victim –an excellent 9-7 victory putting Chipperfield into the last 32. Reading’s Phil Wildman was next up, and a slightly more convincing 9-5 score line ensured he continued his charge towards the last 16. He went one rack better in eliminating Chris Hall 9 racks to 4 before taking out Chris Buckmaster in another gruelling 9-7 match to book a mouth-watering showdown against world number 7 Darren Appleton. Chipperfield came flying out of the blocks and meant that Appleton couldn’t light the dynamite and end the Norfolk man’s route to the final. With four break and runs to his name come the end, a quite brilliant 9-5 victory put Chipperfield into his maiden GB9 final.

Neither player gave each other an inch in the final – at only one stage in the whole match did either player lead the other by more than a single rack. In amongst the balls, however, Chipperfield really was unstoppable, and his breaking was simply second to none. Kay threw absolutely everything he had at Chipperfield but it didn’t bring rewards with it, with Shaun taking the match 11 racks to 10.  He wins the £2,000 top prize for his efforts, the coveted gold medal and, perhaps most important of all, becomes the first player in GB9 history to win a main event from the Challenge division – an amazing effort.

“I’m shocked to have won a tournament and to have beaten such great players on the way”, said the new Midlands Classic champion. “I’m new to the game but I think I’ve finally found the right one having given snooker a try. GB9 is certainly up there with the best tours and tournaments I’ve been involved with –given how it’s organised and run it’s very professional and the tour itself will grow in the next few years. With so many good players currently on the tour it can only get better and stronger.”

2011 Event 5 – GB9 British Grand Prix

9-ball players from across the length and breadth of Great Britain will descend on Daventry in Northamptonshire for the last time this season as the 2011 edition of the GB 9 Ball Tour reaches its climax with the prestigious British Grand Prix.

This season feels as though it has come and gone in a flash and few players would argue otherwise. That said, this has been perhaps the most action-packed and wide open GB9 season since its inception back in 2008. As the fourth season of this increasingly fascinating and difficult tour comes to its conclusion, we’ll look back here on some of the most memorable moments from the past 8 months.

This season’s Midlands Classic was one where one of Great Britain’s brightest young prospects put his mark on the world of 9-ball pool. On the verge of a move over to the USA, Darlington’s Phil Burford took up a coveted reserve spot in the competition and subsequently swept all who stood in his path. He took out two of Britain’s best players – former British #1 Mark Gray and reigning #1 Imran Majid – on his route to the final, and saw off the challenge of Craig Osborne in the final to take a GB9 title over to the States with him. Jayson Shaw stormed to victory in the first Pro Cup of 2011 and Damian Massey was the Challenge Cup’s victorious counterpart with both players laying down markers of the quality they could show in the season.

Emotions were high as ever in the season’s second tournament, the 3rd annual Paul Medati Trophy. Guest referee Michaela Tabb and US Open champion Darren Appleton were the star attractions, and the latter came away with yet another title to add to his CV with victory in June’s Pro Cup. Another one of Britain’s hottest young stars in Mat Lawrenson ran away with the Challenge Cup, defeating in the final yet another player from the crop of young talent in the form of Mark Lunn. 2011 China Open champion Chris Melling was fresh back from the orient and in the form of his life, and it was this form which took him to his second GB9 main event title in the space of three events. This was also, once again, GB9’s annual event supporting Macmillan Cancer Support, and Phil Morgan’s sponsored row prior to the event was the tremendous highlight to a fundraising drive which saw over well over £2,000 raised for the charity.

The Northern Masters was next up in the calendar, and most of Britain’s premier cueists came to this event this time off the back of the 2011 World Championship held in Qatar. Whilst the atmosphere in GB9 often feels like it matches the heat out in the middle east, it was Craig Osborne who avenged his runner-up spot from March taking victory this time round in the main event. Tony Drago took a break out from the newly rejuvenated World Snooker calendar to enter into this tournament weekend, and his frighteningly quick playing style saw him walk away with the Pro Cup title. Even more of the best young talent that British 9-ball has to offer came to the summit of the Challenge Cup, with Colchester’s Shaun Storry taking his first competitive 9-ball title.

Not even four weeks after the Northern Masters came to a close, the Southern Masters title was up for grabs in another fiercely contested weekend. A relative newcomer to the sport of 9-ball in the shape of Eric Dockerty came into each match more confident than ever as the weekend went on, and that confidence peaked on the Saturday evening when he took his maiden GB9 Challenge Cup title. Daryl Peach ended his 10 month long GB9 drought in picking up the Pro Cup title back in September. As for the main event itself, Kevin Uzzell was somewhat of an outsider coming into the weekend. However, his preparation for the event was second to none and this showed with him claiming his first GB9 title – a stalwart of the tour earning a just reward.

|8975|Now, with the 2011 schedule coming to a close, the British Grand Prix will see the finest players in the country battle it out for the title, all aiming for the ranking points to challenge Imran Majid’s coveted status as British #1.

GB9 will also be introducing electronic laptop scoring systems for this event in readiness for the 2012 season – more information on this will be available throughout the competition to players and spectators on request. Fans of the tour and the sport across the world can now follow every single match on tour in real time through, bringing them closer to the action than ever before.

Spectator entry is free as ever, and play begins with the Challenge Cup opening round at 5pm on Friday 18th November, with play concluding with the British Grand Prix Final on Sunday evening. Don’t miss out on what will doubtless be yet another breathtaking display of 9-ball pool.