Can Judd Trump Make it 3?

The 2019 Betway UK Championship starts tomorrow in York as Ronnie O’Sullivan defends the 2018 edition he won as Champion. 

Judd Trump

Coming into the event as a hot favourite is the 2019 World Snooker Champion Judd Trump, who will be seeking to put the icing on the cake for 2019 with a win in York to make it three triple crowns in one year.

His first-round match will be an interesting one as he faces the new addition to the tour, the Moroccan player Amine Amiri, whose pro career, like many these days, hasn’t started off well as he lost to Barry Hawkins 4 – 0 in the 2019 English Open.

Unfortunately, Amiri also faces the World Champion in the event after this one, in the Home Nations in Scotland as well.

It will be an interesting event this one, as Ronnie O’Sullivan will be looking to make it 20 majors to cement his crown further as officially the best snooker player on the planet – despite a confident and in-form Judd Trump being the best in the world this year.

Who will fall first in York?

However, remember, there are 126 other players in the event, and it could well be two weeks of shocks, tears and joy for some of the lower-ranking players on the tour at the Barbican.

Other notable draws to keep an eye on in the first round, include:

Mark Selby v Andy Hicks.

The Jester from Leicester last year was knocked out by James Cahill, who then a few months after went and knocked out Ronnie O’Sullivan in the first round in Sheffield.

Cahill will face World Championship semi-finalist David Gilbert this time around.

Hicks regained his tour card to be a pro, and can still be a tough starter for anyone.

Mark Allen v Jimmy White: 

Fresh from his Champion of Champion’s appearance against Ronnie, Jimmy White faces last year’s runner-up Mark Allen, and Jimmy’s re-invigorated performance in Coventry may well offer a boost in confidence for York against the Pistol.

Matches are ALL best of 11 until the final, which is the best of 19 and the tournament ends on the Sunday 8th December. 

Two weeks of snooker fever, then four days after, possibly ELECTION DEPRESSION…





Judd Trump bags a whopping 504K this season in 2019 so far…

World Champion Judd Trump rolled to yet another title this season – claiming the 2019 Northern Ireland Open title defeating Ronnie O’Sullivan 9 – 7 in a top-quality final. 

Three finals in three weeks for Judd Trump…

The 30-year-old’s prize money total for this current season so far has just topped the half-a-million mark as the Ace in the Pack has claimed three big titles already.

Judd started off the season winning the International Championship in Daqing, then, a few months later won the World Open but a few weeks ago. Now, he claimed his second Northern Ireland Open, defending the title from last season and becoming the first player to successfully defend a Home Nations title.

Squeezed in between that was his final appearance in the elite Champion of Champions final against Neil Robertson where he only narrowly lost 10 – 9!.

Three finals in three weeks.

He bagged 70K for the win in Belfast and lifted the Alex Higgins trophy.

It was fitting that two of the World’s best appeared in the final again, as Ronnie was potentially on for a 37th ranking title, which would have put him on top of the list of ranking wins – beating Stephen Hendry’s 36.

Ronnie will be defending his UK Championship in York in a week or so time.

But Judd will have ideas of scooping the treble in York by becoming the fourth player to win snooker’s triple crown’s all in one year, including two in a season – that being the Masters, UK and World Championship.

Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams have won the triple crown in the same year of two seasons.

It’s rare for current World Champions to have so much success in the season after scooping the World title, especially their first. Judd has got better and better since the World final where he steam-rollered John Higgins.

Ironically, the Juddernaut played John Higgins in the semi-finals in Belfast and outplayed John yet again in every department.

Trump is getting better and better…

Judd is riding the crest of a wave at moment, but it doesn’t look like his form will dip just yet.

York will be the next BIG test for Judd.

Watch as coach Steve Barton explains how to do Judd Trump’s impressive exhibition black he made against John Higgins in the semi-finals below.


Ronnie O’Sullivan’s Surprise Break Off: What it teaches you…

So, you want to try a new break-off shot, because you’re bored with the conservative break-off and want to surprise your opponent, but not sure what to do?


In the Northern Ireland Open on Tuesday, five-times World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan showed us another alternative way you can break-off to start a frame.

It’s a useful shot to have in your knowledge base in the ways you can break-off from the break-off.

There’s loads of ways you can break off in snooker.

1) There’s the conservative break-off which is the traditional way of starting a frame of snooker.

2) There’s an attacking break-off which is a slight twist on the conservative one, where you strike the middle to second last red and the balls should open up a bit more. That’s an attacking safety.

3) There’s also slipping the cue ball between the blue and hitting the opposite red on the other side of the triangle and that’s not done often in professional snooker. It can be risky.

This is Ronnie’s one. WATCH NOW…

In Nic Barrow’s snookergym training, he goes through the ways to break off plus offers some useful tips for maximising your break-off shot.

The secret to a good break-off is getting that cue ball tight on the baulk cushion and making it as difficult for your opponent as possible.


So, what does Ronnie O’Sullivan’s break-off shot last night tell us in the bigger picture of snooker.

The break-off shot is one of the underrated shots in snooker and should be practiced as much as potting, break building, and safety.

It is in fact, the first safety shot you play on the table so it helps to get it right!

It also can become an interesting mind trick for your opponent.

Why not try mixing up your break-off shots a little and leave your opponent guessing what break-off you might do the next time it’s your turn to start the frame?

There are many ways you can play little mind tricks on your opponent without them even knowing.

The more you play with people, the more you will notice these little “tricks” in frames.

It’s also useful to watch as much TV pro snooker as you can and you can spot little “tricks” professionals are doing.


It does not just apply to the break-off!

Watch Nic’s part two of his break-off secrets below…

PS: Ronnie’s break off in the Northern Ireland Open also appears in John Virgo’s Trickshots DVD where he plays Alex Higgins in an exhibition frame.


Neil Robertson claims 2nd Champion of Champions Crown

Australian Neil Robertson has claimed the 2019 Manbetx Champion of Champions title – four years after winning it in 2015. 


He was involved in a high scoring, highly entertaining final with current World Champion Judd Trump, who was just unable to fall over the line in a final frame thriller 10 – 9.

The 37-year-old Thunder from Down Under was nip and tuck with Trump all the way as he led 5 – 4 at the first session of the afternoon’s play.

The boxing style encounter, where both men were knocking in high breaks in more or less every frame, continued right to the end.

[bctt tweet=”It will be the last time the Ricoh Arena in Coventry will host the Champion of Champions as in 2020 it will be hosted near London in Milton Keynes next year. ” username=”@chrisgaynor2″]

Robertson becomes the second man to win multiple Champion of Champions titles, alongside five times World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Judd Trump still on for treble this year…

For Trump, he said after he was obviously disappointed with not getting over the line and adding the event to his growing AND masterful CV, but that he was happy with how he played and said that Neil played the better of the two men on the day and deserved the win.

Judd still has the possibility of lifting the three major UK titles in the same year, as the UK Championship in York will be on soon in the next two to three weeks.

Robertson’s season has peaked at the right time with him bagging the 150K, what with his non-eventful start, and hiccups along the way so far.

Judd also goes to the Northern Ireland Open as the defending champion this week, with much good form so he will be looking to maintain that good form.

Robertson and Trump made 14 tons between them during the event, 8 of which came in the final, with Robertson making 5 and Judd 3.

That means Neil is automatically into the next CofC next year!




What your first snooker coaching lesson might entail…


So, when I booked my first ever lesson with a coach, I was nervous about what to expect.

Everyone would be, right?

It’s natural.

Would the coach be any good? Would the lesson be worth it? What would we be doing in the lesson? How does it work? These thoughts and questions were all rolling around in my head.

After I had the lesson, (in my case), a FULL day’s training, there was a feeling of utter relief. But, more importantly, a feeling of pure satisfaction. It was the most satisfying day I had had. EVER.

Enjoyable. Worthwhile.

So, if you’re skeptical about having a coaching lesson with a coach, SnookerZone will give you a short teaser into what to expect on a first coaching lesson with a coach.

What happens? What you might do.

Your first lesson with a snooker coach might look like this…

So, I met up with Brian Cox on a drizzly day around four years ago at Woking Snooker Centre for the first time.

Our first encounter then became a regular encounter.

What happened first…

So, first off, the first thing you might do with a snooker coach worth their sort is to have a preliminary discussion on your goals and aims within the game.

What do you intend to do with the new-found training you are about to learn?

In our case, our goal was to become a decent club player that knows what to do around the table.

We weren’t looking to become a pro or top amateur. Although, NEVER SAY NEVER.

Here’s the thing:

[bctt tweet=”Make sure you go to your lesson with a clear plan of what it is you want to get out of it! And, more importantly, what you might want to learn.  Go with plenty of questions and an open mind.” username=”@chrisgaynor2″]

The coach will observe your current game…

After the chitchat, the coach will probably then get you to pot some balls for ten minutes, and observe your whole game. Everything from your cue action, alignment, and focus will be analyzed.

You will probably have photos taken during that time to show you what your technique and alignment was prior to being shown your new technique and alignment.

The coach will be thorough in this. Cox was. You will be taken through the key areas such as:

  • Grip
  • Bridge
  • stance
  • Alignment
  • Cue action
  • Shot preparation

You will then be shown how the professionals deal with approaching the shots. This is more than just about being aligned right on the shot. This is about being shown how to get into good pre-shot and post-shot habits.

For example, planning the shot.

Making sure you’ve looked around the table properly beforehand and, focus when you’re down on delivering the cue straight to pot the ball.

The coach will take photo/videos of your settings, before and after

A good snooker coach will take photos and videos of before and after and will also send you a post-lesson email or WhatsApp message debriefing you and reminding you what you learned.

Obviously, depending on how much snooker you’ve played before, you might not even need much adjusting re your technique or alignment.

You might need a major tweak/s.

You might need minor ones.

The good coach will know. 

More importantly, you will come away from a lesson with a good coach feeling these emotions…

  • Inspired
  • Motivated
  • Keen to do more!
  • More confident

A good coach will not harass you to have another lesson. It’s up to you.

But, what you put into what you do after in terms of practice is up to you.

You get out what you put in. 

After the lesson/s, the ball is in your court.

But, having a lesson with a coach going over the basics is ESSENTIAL!

Meet a coach in the Coaching Zone now and then…

Book a lesson with one of them. 




Judd Trump is smashing it in 2019…

Current World Champion Judd Trump claimed his second World ranking title of the 2019/2020 season at the World Open in Yushan over the weekend.

He defeated the Thai whirlwind Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 10 – 5, to bag another 150K in the bank and his 13th ranking title.

Un-Nooh had the biggest payout of his career pocketing 75K and came close to winning his second ranking title. He won the Shootout in February.

Trump also won 6K for the high break prize of 144.

The 30-year-old Bristol potter has had an incredible year of snooker. It started with him winning the Masters in London and then in May claiming the second triple crown event the World Championship in Sheffield.

Can he do the treble, all in the same year, with just the UK Championship left?

In between that, he’s won one of the Coral World series of events and two of the major Chinese events, including last week’s World Open.

Trump goes to this week’s Champion of Champions event in Coventry as one of the favourites, with only this major event at the Ricoh yet to be ticked off his list to add to his CV.

Ronnie O’Sullivan has won the Champion of Champions event three times, but Trump will be looking to add his now Legend name to the title, with the likes of Neil Robertson, John Higgins and Shaun Murphy, also former winners of the event.