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Murphy Storms To Bulgaria Title

Shaun Murphy won his third title of 2014 by beating Martin Gould 4-2 in the final of the Victoria Bulgarian Open in Sofia.


World number seven Murphy played superb snooker throughout the European Tour event in the Bulgarian capital, conceding just seven frames in seven matches on his way to the 25,000 Euro top prize.


After a barren spell of nearly three years, Murphy won the Gdynia Open and Haikou World Open last season, and now has his first title of the 2014/15 campaign. 


Former World and UK Champion Murphy dominated the opening frame before Gould took the next two with breaks of 60 and 45. But Murphy then stepped up a gear and fired in breaks of 89, 99 and 63 to win the last three frames in style.


"Most of the matches this week have gone my way all the way through, but Martin really pushed me hard," said Manchester-based 32-year-old Murphy. "At 2-1 I had to get myself sorted. I played really well after that.


"It has been a brilliant year for me so far. I've been working very hard on my game and it's really nice to see the fruits of that. I'm a much better player now than I was when I won the world title nearly ten years ago. Hopefully there's more to come. I'm going to keep putting the hours in on the practice table and going for it. There will be no burn-out for me.


"I've been coming to Bulgaria for a few years now and I know how popular snooker is here. The fans are fantastic – they love the sport and I can't wait to come back next year."


Earlier in the semi-finals, Murphy beat Michael White 4-0 while Gould saw off Peter Ebdon 4-2.


The 2014/15 European Tour series comprises six events across the continent, with the top 24 in the final Order or Merit to go through to the Players Championship next March to battle for the £100,000 jackpot. 


The next event is the Ruhr Open in Germany from November 19 to 23.


Results (last 16 onwards):

Last 16

Shaun Murphy 4-0 Jimmy White

Mark Selby 4-2 Robbie Williams

Michael Wasley 4-3 Judd Trump

Michael White 4-3 Jimmy Robertson

Luca Brecel 4-1 Mark King

Mark Davis 4-1 Alan McManus

Martin Gould 4-1 Ricky Walden

Peter Ebdon 4-2 Joe Perry



Murphy 4-2 Selby

Ebdon 4-1 Wasley

Gould 4-2 Davis

White 4-2 Brecel



Murphy 4-0 White

Gould 4-2 Ebdon



Murphy 4-2 Gould



Date: Sunday October 5, 2014

Contact: Ivan Hirschowitz, World Snooker media office, 07766 656133

Tickets are now on sale for:

Champion of Champions
3-9 November, Ricoh Arena, Coventry

UK Championship
25 November – 7 December, York Barbican, York

The Masters
11-18 January, Alexandra Palace, London

World Snooker Championship
18 April – 4 May, The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

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New Criteria For World Seniors Snooker

Mark Williams

Snooker’s celebrated World Seniors Championship has a brand new qualifying criteria this season, with the age limit reduced from 45 to 40.



The tournament will take place at the Blackpool Tower Circus Arena for the first time, onMarch 2nd and 3rd, 2015, and televised live on Sky Sports.  The changes to the criteria, which could see new faces join the stellar line-up, are as follows:



– All current or former professionals aged 40 or above at the end of the 2015 World Championship (May 4th, 2015) will be eligible to enter the event.

– All past World Seniors Champions who enter will be seeded through to the final stages in Blackpool (last 16).

– All past World Champions who enter will also be seeded through to the final stages

– The remainder of the 16 spots in Blackpool will be decided by a qualifying event.



The change in age limit means that former World Champions Mark Williams and Peter Ebdon will be able to enter the event.



They could join the likes of defending champion Steve Davis, Jimmy White, Dennis Taylor, Cliff Thorburn, Joe Johnson and Stephen Hendry, who all played in the tournament last year, as well as Ken Doherty who turns 45 this year.



Two-time World Champion Williams said: “You know you’re getting old when you’re able to play in a seniors event! But I’m looking forward to it and it will be a lot of fun and very competitive with so many great names.”



Doherty, the 1997 Crucible king, added: “It will be a fabulous atmosphere at a brilliant venue. It’s a title I’d love to win and I’ll be giving it everything.”



Leading professionals such as Joe Perry, Mark Davis, Dominic Dale, Alan McManus, Mark King and Fergal O’Brien – all currently within the world’s top 32 – could enter the qualifiers for the first time and chase the £18,000 top prize.



A spokesman for World Snooker said: “The success of the World Seniors Championship has grown year after year and we have decided to lower the age limit to give more top stars and fans' favourites the chance to enter. It will be fascinating to see who takes up the challenge and it seems sure we will have the strongest ever line-up for the tournament.



“That means that fans will see top quality snooker while enjoying the fun atmosphere. For the players, it’s often about catching up with old friends and enjoying some banter out there in the arena, but they remain fiercely competitive when there’s a trophy at stake.



“Blackpool is a stunning venue and we’re delighted to give snooker’s supporters in the north west region the chance to come to this wonderful two-day event."



Tickets are ON SALE NOW and fans MUST BOOK FAST to make sure of their seats as many sessions will sell out quickly.



Tickets for the Seniors start at just £10 (concessions £8) for details call 0871 620 7052 (calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras) or visit



The same venue will also host the spectacular one-frame Shoot-Out, featuring 64 of the world's best players, in the same week from March 4 to 6. For details


Streamlined Murphy Hopes For Masters Success

Shaun Murphy
©World Snooker

Shaun Murphy has embarked on a health and fitness regime in recent months which he hopes will give his snooker career fresh impetus.

The former World and UK Champion is looking forward to next week’s Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace, where victory would see him join the small group of players to have won the sport’s ‘triple crown.’

Murphy has followed a careful diet over the past five months in order to lose weight, which could help improve his stamina and concentration at the table.

“I have completely changed my eating habits,” said the 31-year-old. “It has been a real education to learn about diet for the first time. In the past, my relationship with food was always based on how I felt. As a sportsman you are constantly up and down and that affected my diet. Since August, I have stopped eating things which I don’t deem to be good for me.

“I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, though I haven’t gone vegan like Peter Ebdon. I’ve given up fizzy drinks and I just drink a lot of water instead, plus I’ve given up chocolate. I’m just generally being healthier.

“Having done and it and enjoyed the rewards of it, I wish I had done this years ago. It’s not easy and you need motivation to do it. It’s really about having the discipline to make the right choices.”

Murphy hasn’t won a tournament since the 2011 Brazil Masters, but believes that he will soon get back to lifting trophies.

“I’ve been going through a tough time on the table,” admits the Sale-based cueman. “I keep coming up against players who play fantastic snooker against me and deserve their victories. There’s not much I can try other than good old fashioned hard work. I have improved the weaknesses in my game and I know that good things are just around the corner.”

Next Tuesday (January 14) at 1pm, Murphy faces a tough opening match in the Dafabet Masters against Ding Junhui, who has won three ranking titles this season.

But having reached the final two years ago, Murphy is excited by the prospect of chasing the £200,000 top prize. “Prize money-wise it is the second biggest tournament,” said the world number eight. “I didn’t have a great record in it until it moved to Ally Pally, and since then I’ve been runner-up and got to the semi-finals. I like the venue.”

The tournament runs from January 12 to 19 and also features the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, John Higgins and Judd Trump.

Tickets for the Dafabet Masters are still on sale, though many sessions are selling out fast. They start at just £10, amazing value for money. To book call 0871 620 7052 (calls cost 10p per minute, plus network extras) or visit