UK Snooker clubs are set to reopen from next week as England is set for stage three of Boris Johnson’s easing of the lockdown road map.
After months of indoor venues being closed because of high infection and high death rates from the corona virus KENT VARIANT, when the lockdown was announced in January, amateur players have been having to again find innovative ways to keep themselves occupied to keep their cue actions in gear in the tough few months.
Stage three includes the opening of indoor venues, with hospitality as pubs for the past few weeks have been having to open “outdoors” to customers.
SOME CLUB RESPONSES…
One such club, Woking Snooker Centre, which is next to Woking Football Stadium in Surrey, manager Peter Ruddick, busy brushing tables at the club, which has been in operation since the 1980s, said on the Club’s Facebook page:
“Making a plan to reopen Woking Snooker next Tuesday 11AM.”
Another club owner from the Winchester, wrote:
We are mega excited preparing for your return. Reopening Monday 17th May.
The manager at Oldham Snooker Academy added: “We are finally reopening on 17th May 2021. We look forward to seeing you all as valued friends and customers. Also, we will be uploading pictures of our new pool area. Watch this space.”
Masks will need to be worn at venues when walking around, but not when playing at tables. The usual measures that were in from last year when there was a small opening up of venues from July to October before the second lockdown will be in place. These include hand sanitiser stations. And screens on the tills. Bar areas will be limited to a certain number of people attending at any one time.
DAVID LILLEY was crowned Rokit World Seniors Champion over the weekend.
The 45-year-old potter from the North East, who made it as a pro after 30 years, managed to beat the six-times World finalist Jimmy White, who at the age of 59 is still competing to a high level on the World stage.
Lilley said after in an emotional speech.
“I don’t know what to say at moment, I’m a bit overwhelmed.”
When asked how he managed to hold himself together in the last frame with a break of 69, knowing that he was about to win a trophy at the Theatre of Dreams The Crucible against a Legend Jimmy White, Lilley said:
“I just went back to basics really. Walked into the shot, made sure the head was still and paused on the final backswing, otherwise if I hadn’t I would have probably fallen apart.”
But, it was Lilley who came out of the blocks confidently in the first three frames, including a break of 74 as Jimmy was slow off the block.
However, before the mid-session interval, White showed some of his vintage and knocked in a terrific 85 to at least get a frame on the board.
It was a similar pattern to last year’s World Seniors with White being 4 – 0 down to Irishman Ken Doherty, who then lost all five frames as White claimed his third World Seniors title.
However, this time, although White levelled at 3 – 3, Lilley won the last two he needed to secure an unbelievable first World title (at Seniors level).
Not only does Lilley pocket 15K, he also gains a spot in the Champion of Champions in November.
Lilley won the English Amateur Championship three times, the first in 1997 and became a pro for the first time in 2019 after progressing through the arduous QSchool events.
HENDRY STRUGGLING TO FIND A CUE ACTION…
Stephen Hendry, who was expecting a lot came up against another Tour player Igor Figuieredo from Brazil, the first player to play at The Crucible.
Hendry didn’t go beyond the quarters.
A FOND FAREWELL TO DENNIS TAYLOR…
IN an emotional farewell, DENNIS TAYLOR announced he was retiring from Seniors snooker as he was given an emotional send off with Rob Walker as he got to relive that great moment he won the World title in 1985 where 18.5 million people stayed up to watch the Northern Irishman lift the trophy well past midnight.
He said to Walker: “I’ve had a blessed life in snooker and never did I ever imagine I would become a pro snooker player and win the World title. It was a dream come true.”
He added: “The standard on the Seniors tour is just so high nowadays and you have to put in the hours and I haven’t got the time.”
But, he said he still loves doing the commentary in the box with JOHN VIRGO et al. And he would still be involved in the event, which is growing all the time.
SNOOKER HAS BEEN THE WINNER IN 2020/21…
MC Rob Walker spoke for every one of us snooker fans last night as he said that during this tough year during the coronavirus pandemic, snooker has been the winner as it has put on no less than 20 events during the crisis and has made people smile and escape the pain of what is happening outside our doors.
It was great to see The Crucible shine in the past weeks as the 2021 Betfred World Championships welcomed back spectators and the roar of the final was a sport at its best.
Walker paid tribute to Milton Keynes, which has hosted 90% of the events in the 2020/21 season but said that next season it was time for the players to “get back on the road.”
SnookerZone congratulates David Lilley on a great win.
JUDD TRUMP has been entered into snooker’s illustrious Hall of Fame for 2021.
The 31-year-old Ace in the Pack, winner of five ranking events this season, won the coveted award along with scooping this year’s Player of the Year Award for the third consecutive season.
He also recorded a record-breaking six ranking events last season along with scooping the 2019 Masters and World Championship.
On Facebook, he wrote:
I am deeply honoured to be recognised by both World Snooker Tour and fans alike with these awards for Player of the Year and Fans’ Player of the Year. Being also inducted into the Snooker Hall of Fame joining a list of Snooker Legends is especially humbling for me. Snooker is my life, not just my career and I am so proud to be a part of the past, present and future of the sport. I hope to inspire young players to dream big.
He added: Winning is great but the support of fans is priceless.
That puts him in with the likes of Seven-time World Champion Stephen Hendry, and the current World Champion Mark Selby, who is also in the Hall of Fame for his four time World Champion status along with John Higgins.
BRANDON PARKER ALSO ENTERED INTO SNOOKER’S HALL OF FAME
There are over 30 names on the list, and along with Judd Trump, Brandon Parker was also added in 2021 for his services to snooker after dying last year at the tender age of 55.
Joe and Fred Davis were the very first names on the Hall of Fame list.
With a heavy and broken heart, the family have given me their permission to let you guys know that my best friend and big part of the snooker family – Brandon Parker, lost his fight with Cancer today and passed away this afternoon 💔 pic.twitter.com/XBU71zEd1X
Parker had managed some top-level players including Matthew Stevens, Shaun Murphy and Kyren Wilson. He had also been a manager of the protege Paul Hunter, who died of cancer in 2006.
Parker had quit the Science industry in the 90s to manage a snooker management company called Wheels in Motion and later he would go on to found the Paul Hunter Foundation, to which Paul had urged him to set up in a bid to get more youngsters into play snooker and hone their talents.
The German Masters was named in Parker’s honour last year.
Former World Snooker Tour Chairman Barry Hearn tweeted upon Parker’s tragic death:
The passing of my friend Brandon Parker has sadden all of us at World Snooker. He more than anyone was instrumental in my return to Snooker ten years plus ago and without his support ,energy and ideas we would not be the sport we are today. A real friend who will be much missed.
Although there’s not many snooker films around, there are actually a few pool films on DVD and Blu Ray and during SnookerZone’s period of immobility, due to a shoulder injury (and operation), we managed to get hold of a couple that we could review when we were feeling better.
SnookerZone decided to review this film, available on Blu Ray, called Turn the River, starring Famke Janssen.
What’s it about?
The logline SnookerZone writes is simple: A pool shark, determined to win back her son must play the match of her life to raise enough cash to be able to take him away from a controlling father and stepmother.
Now, this film isn’t like The Colour of Money, starring Tom Cruise.
It’s grittier than that.
It’s less glamorous than Colour of Money, as we see into the world of a struggling female pool player, who literally SLEEPS at the pool hall struggling to make big money pool games.
But, what is great about this film is the relationships away from the pool table and how the viewer is drawn into them.
There’s the great relationship between Famke Janssen and her on screen son, Jaymie Dornan, (Gulley).
There’s the son’s tough relationship with the controlling father and somewhat naive stepmother.
And RIP TORN plays the pool hall owner, Quinette, who is willing to put a punt on Famke Janssen’s character, Kailey, being a winner in more ways than one.
This isn’t a rags to riches story like Colour of Money, and is quite emotional at the end. If you’re expecting a fairytale ending in this story, where the hero wins, you won’t get one.
But you do get raw drama with it, and in every family, there’s always a character who are torn between following what is expected of them in the eyes of society, to following their own dreams and wishes.
Famke Janssen, known for Blockbuster credits such as Golden Eye and Taken, plays the role with real grit. She’s not just a pool player, she’s a mother. And she wants what’s best for her son. Unfortunately, her best intentions, along with her actions, have dramatic consequences.
As a pool film, it’s definitely not your average. And there are not many decent snooker or pool films about. Colour of Money and The Hustler are classics, but SnookerZone enjoyed the grit and rawness of this film.
Worth a watch if you’re looking for something different away from the huge blockbuster-style films and want something grittier.
I actually preferred this film to the new film BREAK which we thought was predictable and not very imaginative in its story.
SnookerZone gives this film 4 stars.
You can get the film now on Blu Ray on Ebay where SnookerZone purchased it…
JIMMY WHITE and Stephen Hendry will be in the draw for the 2021 edition as the Whirlwind of London Town defends his title from last year beating Ken Doherty in the final 5 – 4.
Both Hendry and White made BIG news earlier this month as they faced each other once again in the World Championship qualifying rounds where the seven-time World Champion got the better of the Whirlwind once again.
However, they will not be drawing each other in the first round here as Hendry is facing old-timer Patsy Fagan and White is playing pal Tony Knowles.
The likes of Darren Morgan, Patrick Wallace et al came through qualifying earlier this year.
From an earlier report by the WPBSA, SnookerZone understands…
The former world number 34 – who reached the quarter-finals of the world professional championship on debut in 2001 – got the better of current main tour player Gerard Greene whilst advancing from Thursday’s action. Returning a couple of days later, the 51-year-old from Dungannon was flawless, making breaks of 81 and 61 as he defeated Steve Crowley 4-0 before further runs of 100 and 73 in another 4-0 victory, this time over Stuart Watson.
Wallace will be hoping to go one better than 2018 when he lost to eventual champion Aaron Canavan in a deciding frame final in Scunthorpe.
The final is a best of 9 clash and it finishes on Sunday 9th May.
Fans will be able to catch up with the action on the BBC Red Button or Website…
ONE of the top favourites to lift this year’s Betfred World Snooker Championship Neil Robertson has bowed out.
It was a burst of five successive frames from the Warrior Kyren Wilson to win the match 13 – 8 leaving Neil Robertson with another year to ponder why he has not lifted more World titles than just his one 11 years ago in 2010 – despite the fact he has won everything else in the game.
The Thunder from Down Under lifted a third UK title this season narrowly beating Judd Trump, and then, a few months later demolished Ronnie O’Sullivan in style at the Tour Championship.
Wilson, who was the runner-up in last year’s final to Ronnie O’Sullivan will also have a lot to ponder as he is one match away from becoming a potential finalist for the second year running.
The 2021 Betfred World Snooker Championship is hotting up nicely as we head into the quarter-finals with top seeds dominating the last-eight line-up.
Only Stuart Bingham, who this year had to qualify for the latter stages of the 2021 event has made it through to the last eight.
Bingham, who won in 2015, knows the score and in the 2015 edition, he beat Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump and Shaun Murphy to lift the title.
Ronnie O’Sullivan was knocked out of this year’s edition by the underdog Anthony McGill who put on a terrific display to narrowly pip O’Sullivan to the last eight.
Now favourite Judd Trump, Mark Selby, and the 2018 World Champion Mark Williams are safely through to the last eight stages along with Shaun Murphy and Neil Robertson.
It’s a sobering thought that favourite Judd Trump could be on course to equal his six ranking event titles he won last season after lifting the World title in 2019.
It could be even more sobering to think that Australian Neil Robertson, winner of the UK Championship this season, could lift the World title 11 years after his first.
And, of course, what a story it would be if the rejuvenated Mark Williams could lift another World title in the space of three years after winning his third in 2018 – 15 years after his second. He will have to get past an in-form Mark Selby first.
For the time being, Stephen Hendry, who made a return to the World stage in this year’s World Championship qualifiers, will be happy in the knowledge his seven World titles will not be equaled by Ronnie O’Sullivan- for another year.
Stuart Bingham told WST:
“Coming through the qualifiers has definitely helped me. In the first match I was confident. Normally being in the 16 you have to wait three or four weeks between the end of the season and the World Championship. Going there and getting the confidence by winning matches, you can’t buy that. I was ready more or less from the first ball in round one,” said 44-year-old Bingham.
“I’m not sure what my record is with Anthony. I remember all the losses and I’m not sure if I have actually beat him. He is a class act. He’s happy in himself with the way he is playing. It was a great last two frames to get over the line against Ronnie, so I’m expecting a tough game.
TWO of the 16 qualifiers have reached the second round of the Betfred World Championship 2021.
JAMIE JONES and Former World Champion Stuart Bingham managed to survive round one of the Crucible cauldron as play ventures into round two for the weekend and beyond.
Stuart Bingham, once a Champion in 2015, had been knocked out of the top 16 earlier on in the season and was struggling to keep his place there.
But, with his mountains of experience and confidence in his game, the former Master’s Champion of 2020 made a steely break in a decider against China’s Ding Junhui.
It’s another letdown for China’s no 1, who came close to winning the Championship in 2016 but lost to Selby in the final.
Unfortunately, with every passing year, Ding’s chances of securing snooker’s most coveted trophy become slimmer as there is a host of other decent Chinese players who could yet take Ding’s crown.
Yan Bingtao is still in the tournament and with his excellent Masters win this year to veteran JOHN HIGGINS, we may well end up uttering the words Yan Bingtao, World Champion, in future.
Sam Craigie, a debutant, who has come from the Levels Snooker Club stable of talent, made a promising start against the 2018 World Champion Mark Williams, but was unable to ride the course as Williams ran out a comfortable winner 10 – 4.
Mark Selby made light work of Norway’s Kurt Maflin, who did well last year at this event, but was unable to produce the form as Selby was in fine fettle, defeating THE VIKING 10 – 1.
As the lockdown restrictions ease, it has been a revelation to see audiences at snooker’s Blue Ribbon event with the second round set for up to 50% capacity.
The final is also hopefully set to see the 100% capacity, but how many that turn up will be interesting.
To not mention the World Number One Judd Trump would be a disservice, who has won a remarkable 11 ranking titles over two seasons, and said he was enjoying his snooker in the first round at The Crucible with being able to play in front of crowds again.
Some of the players have said they have struggled with the snooker bubble of Milton Keynes this season and are delighted to escape that venue of the Marshall Arena and play in the well-known surroundings of Sheffield in the UK.
Snooker is back in style at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield for its 44th year!
After being played in late summer August 2020 due to the pandemic and with modest crowds now allowed into the 1000 capacity arena at The Crucible for the two-week main event, it’s time to, as MC Rob Walker always utters every year, “get the boys on the baize.”
Snooker for the past months has been played out at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes and at the venue Celtic Manor in Wales due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The season has been dominated by Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, and, despite Ronnie O’Sullivan being in five ranking finals, the Rocket has yet to win one this season. Yet, he could still be the player to equal Stephen Hendry’s seven world titles if he wins in Sheffield this year.
Surprise wins this season have come from China’s new young gun Yan Bingtao and Northern Ireland’s Jordan Brown, who famously beat Ronnie to deny him a fifth Welsh Open!
The sport has already had a revival in the last decade under the shrewd BARRY HEARN and co, and seduces younger viewers and enthusiasts. But for sports betting, is there really so much to say?
First observation: Several snooker variants are listed on the list of betting supports authorised by the authorities. This is the case of French billiards, American billiards, English pool, and snooker. If the document specifies that “the pool phases of the competitions are not authorised betting media”, the said competitions appear numerous: French championships, European championships, world championships, but also the final of the Player Tour Championship, all the French national tournaments registered on the calendar of the French Billiards Federation, and finally all the international tournaments registered on the calendar of an international and/or continental body.
The choice is therefore wide, even if not all operators necessarily take advantage of the diversity of this range. On the other hand, the types of bets authorized remain rather limited: final competition ranking, result of a match between two players, number of medals per country, and finally the number of points of a game or a round.
Ronnie still on top: Can he win a Seventh World title?
He has the look of an Oasis band member, but above all, he has that deliciously British bad boy attitude that gives him that extra edge. In the very hushed atmosphere of English snooker clubs, Ronnie O’Sullivan is as striking for his playing style as for his often irreverent attitude. A tormented temperament which, at least in part, takes on the appearance of a family heritage. He has been on top for years and has had several comebacks. He’s a favorite for any snooker competition he takes part in. The odds are always on his side, but there are always new contenders on the lookout.
The heir to his crown could be Judd Trump, but there are a few more who would like to take his seat as the special one. Judd Trump has won five ranking events this season, and Australia’s Neil Robertson has taken the major title of the UK Championship.
On these old or new sports betting sites in Ireland, you will find the best betting advice and a welcome bonus that will give you that push in the back you need to successfully start betting on snooker tournaments.
The World Championships…
Of all the competitions open to betting, the finest – the World Championships – will be held at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre from 17th April to 3rd May in 2021. Traditionally the tournament is broadcasted by Eurosport and other big European sports channels, this year’s event will involve a total prize money of £2 million, of which £500,000 will go to the future champion. The event is also sponsored by a British bookmaker, Betfred, and is now known as the Betfred World Championship.
Since 1982, the competition has been based on an almost immutable format: 32 participants, knockout matches, half of the cast reserved for the 16 best players in the world rankings, a second open to qualified players… This qualification phase has just begun. It too is open to betting. A total of 128 players will take part in it with the hope of winning one of the 16 folding seats in play. In other words, a series of just three wins will open the doors to the main tournament.
Qualifying matches, like those in the first round, are played to the best of 19 sets (or “frames”). The second round and quarter-final matches are based on 25 sets. The semi-finals and the final are played with the best 33 and 35 sets respectively. This is almost double the number of the first matches of the competition, which logically reduces the amount of uncertainty for the bettor. One thing is sure, thousands of Brits will be glued to their TV screen to see how the legends are doing and if there will be young blood ready to take the trophy from under their noses.
Ronnie O’Sullivan will play Mark Joyce in the first round on Saturday.
As the curtain for snooker falls in 2020, JUDD TRUMP has made the main table at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes in 2020 his front living room and entertained audiences around the globe.
Last night, he picked up his third ranking title of the 2020/21 season, defeating his best pal Jack Lisowski 10 – 7, who was appearing in his fourth ranking event final.
It was a tale of two sessions as Lisowski came out in the afternoon appearing a wee bit nervous and the 31-year-old Ace in the Pack pounced on the nerves with a break of 75 in the first. A scrappy second frame and Lisowski got on the scoreboard, but by the mid-session interval was trailing 3 – 1 as Trump knocked a 122 on his way to the break.
After, Trump won the next two, but Lisowski managed a timely 77 break to hold in there at 5 – 2. It was important that Lisowski held in there to only trail by two but he ended up ending the session 6 – 2 down with it all to do.
The Evening Session…
When they came out for the evening session, it looked like Trump might sail to his third ranking title of the season and his 20th in total. In the first frame, Lisowski was 53 points up, but a steal from Trump with a 66 meant that it was looking gloomy for his best pal.
But things can change in the blink of an eye as Lisowski found some confidence and freedom and began a barrage of breaks – leaving Trump nailed to his chair for four frames with breaks of 99, 112, 87, and 95 to mark an incredible comeback to 7 – 6.
The next was a key frame, and although Trump hadn’t potted a ball for a good 30 mins, he then stole the next to go 8 – 6 with a modest 57 when Lisowski had been 50 in front. Jackpot Lisowski won the next, but it was Trump who knocked in a timely 78 and then won the next to seal his 20th ranking title, just two behind the number of titles held by Mark Williams.
Judd Trump said after that he was glad his best pal, who they have practiced together a lot and grown up on the junior scene, had shown the snooker he can play on the main stage – but glad he didn’t push him too much nearer the winning line.
Two weeks ago, in the UK Championship, memories of a deciding frame with Neil Robertson and a missed pink were all but forgotten.
He added: “It was an extremely good game, Jack made it very hard for me. He played some of the best snooker I have ever seen. Everything he looked at was going in. I had to make a couple of really good clearances. The clearance to go 8-6 was massive because I didn’t want him to get back level.”
Lisowski added: “I upped my game tonight and put him under pressure, I was on a roll. But I lost a couple of frames from 50 or 60 ahead. The clearance he made to go 8-6 was ridiculous. I’m please to have pushed the best player in the world and made him work for it. It has been an amazing week and my game is going in the right direction.”
The World Grand Prix sees Judd Trump win 12 titles in 25 months including the Masters.
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