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New coming up on SnookerZone in 2020…

Fresh from the Christmas break and going into the New Year, it’s going to be an exciting 2020 for SnookerZone. 

We’re going to briefly let you know what’s coming up in early 2020, review wise.

Before Christmas, we managed to get hold of a special training aid from Nic Barrow on loan to review for the site.

The Cue Action Trainer will be SnookerZone’s first big review of 2020. 

This device is so much more than just a cueing aid. We’ve had it for a week now and have been practicing with it on the kitchen side, but there is a lot more for us to report over the next five to six weeks that we have access to it very kindly from Nic.

CAT
More than just a cueing aid: Nic Barrow’s Cue Action Trainer

We’ll be charting our cueing progress with the CAT and also recording two videos with it illustrating the power of this training aid.

Already, even just by practicing on the kitchen table we’ve noticed 7 advantages and benefits of the CAT in action.

CAT
The CAT has 7 useful benefits to work on your game at home or away…

7 Initial Benefits of using the Cue Action Trainer

They are:

  1. The CAT gives you a proper feeling of a straight action rather than just a “look” of a straight action. When it comes to your eyes, they can be very deceptive about what looks straight, as well as what feels straight.
  2. This training device allows you to get down on the line of aim better and teaches you the importance of getting the cue down first onto the line and NOT your body first! Remember, CUE FIRST, THEN BODY. The CAT helps to shape your body around the cue.
  3. The CAT forces you to commit to a line of aim and then it’s simply a case of cueing practice to ensure that you deliver the cue straight along that line selected by the CAT.
  4. One of the technical advantages of the CAT since practicing for the first week with it away from a snooker table is it allows you to feel how loose or tight you are holding the grip on the cue. Because the CAT legs are so sensitive, any tight grip will mean the cue pulls offline when using the CAT for practice!
  5. In one of the videos that come with the product, Nic Barrow talks about “stopping and checking” for instant feedback. This allows you to observe what is happening with the cue and allows you to correct errors. When SnookerZone was practicing with the CAT during the Christmas week on the kitchen side, we noticed our cueing had a tendency to arch to the left, meaning we’d be imparting left-hand side on the cue ball. The CAT has so far ensured we are more to what seems to be the right. CENTER.
  6. The CAT also helps you discover your ideal stance position. By getting down and moving your body around, you can discover what stance is best for you, and the most comfortable. It will also ensure you’re not crowding the cue with your chest and hips. Testing is key here!
  7. The CAT helps to focus your mind on your technique on these aspects! 100% concentration and focus are needed when you’re using this device! It really is a workout in every aspect.

So, the big question, will it help you pot more balls? Well, that’s a question that SnookerZone will come back to in around six weeks’ time. We’ll let you know the final verdict.

CAT
Nic demoing the benefits of the CAT

Over the weeks, we’ll be giving mini-updates on progress! So stay tuned.

We played a match with a snooker friend over the weekend, and, the results of just a week were positive in terms of a much smoother awareness of what we were doing with our cue and our technique.

INITIAL TIP When using the CAT.

When you’ve finished using the CAT in a session, try to implement what you’ve learned straight away on the table. Test, test, and test some more when it comes to your mechanics. The CAT will help you understand your mechanical set-up much faster. Remember, the cue is first, your body is second.

All that remains to be said for now is we hope you all have a Happy New Year, and we’ll see you on the other side in 2020!

Many thanks. 

From Chris Gaynor at SnookerZone. 

PS: Take your cueing to the next level in 2020 by reserving your CAT now. Nic Barrow has 37 on offer for March delivery so…

Reserve yours now

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Snooker’s top 10 money earners ending 2019

So, as 2019 ends, who has landed in the top 10 on the money list during what has been a fascinating year of top-class snooker and the 2019/2020 season so far? 

JuddTrump
Top of the earnings and the leader of the pack in 2019…Judd Trump

Naturally, with Judd Trump winning the World Championship in May, and then in the 2019/2020 season winning three ranking events, (still much more to be played) the 30-year-old Juddernaut from Bristol is currently on top in this season’s money earnings at 526K.

The other nine are as follows:

  • Shaun Murphy – he came runner-up in the Shanghai Masters early on in the season, and he’s in the second spot with 375K after a BIG win in the China Championship.

 

  • Ronnie O’Sullivan – The Rocket claimed the Invitational event the Shanghai Masters early on, and reached a final of the Northern Ireland Open. He’s third with over 294K.

 

  • Mark Selby – A two-time ranking event winner so far, and climbing back up the rankings, the Jester from Leicester is currently in fourth with a nice 285K.
Junhui Ding
How will Ding get on in 2020 after he landed a BIG UK win in 2019?

 

  • Ding Junhui – The UK Champion by way of his mega 200K win in York sees him land the fifth spot. Ding’s UK win has set him back on the path to confidence and a prospect of being just as successful in 2020. With the Masters coming up in January, there’s a good chance that Ding is one of the favorites now, especially as Ronnie O’Sullivan will not be in the line-up.
  • Neil Robertson – Although the talented Australian was crowned the 2019 Champion of Champions Champion, Neil’s success in ranking events has so far in the 2019/2020 season eluded him. But his CofC helped him to the sixth spot with 262K earned so far.
  • Stephen Maguire – Stephen’s fantastic performance to get to the final of the UK Championship against Ding was one of the underrated highlights of the season so far, but it cements his place in the top 10 to end 2019 in the seventh spot with 238K.
StephenMaguire
A brilliant run in York for the “on fire Maguire”. He also won the Six Reds beating John Higgins and was Team Scotland with John in the World Cup…

 

  • Mark Allen – The Pistol from Northern Ireland has been one of the most consistent players of the season in reaching a string of semi-finals, but so far has yet to break a final duck to win. Having said that, Allen is definitely one to watch as the season continues to unfold, as his consistency means he will near enough be at the business end of tournaments in the New Year.

John Higgins – The 44-year-old Wizard of Wishaw has yet to claim a ranking title since the 2018 Welsh Open, and is sitting on 30 ranking titles. But, you just never know with John. Despite being in three World Championship finals in a row, you just never know when the next BIG win for John will be around the corner. A good win at the World Cup with his buddy Maguire, and some consistent result, he’s in ninth spot with 178K so far.

  • Yan Bingtao: In at number 10! The Chinese teenager Yan, a potential heir to Ding in the future, won his first ranking event at Riga this season. He appears on the list for that very reason. We can probably expect more from Yan in 2020 if he gets his head down and dedicates his time to becoming a multiple winner in the game. The first ranking event win may well have given him the confidence to win more. He almost came good in the UK semi-finals, losing to Ding Junhui, whom he would have learned a lot from in that match, and, indeed, the tournament. His earnings for the 2019 end going into 2020 are 145K and counting…

Thanks to the CueTracker website for the money stats et al…

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Thumbs up: Selby lands last 2019 ranking event win

MARK SELBY landed the last ranking event final of 2019 and the last of the decade at the 19.com Scottish Open in Glasgow over the weekend. 

Mark Selby
Thumbs up from Selby sealing the second Home Nations win in 2019 in Scotland

The 36-year-old three-time World Champion defeated young talent Jack Lisowski in the final 9 -6 to scoop the 70K first prize and become the first player to win two Home Nations events in one season.

A few months ago he landed the English Open after a dry spell of winning no tournaments for a year or so.

Selby said after about his opponent 28-year-old Lisowski that it was only a matter of time before he would win a tournament as he said he is such a talent and makes the game look easy when it comes to potting balls from anywhere on the table.

[bctt tweet=”Lisowski in the post-match interview said he definitely needed to work on his safety game more but could take lots of positives from his seven days in Glasgow.” username=”@chrisgaynor2″]

Jack Lisowski
A great week in Glasgow for Lisowski: Lots of positives…

Selby landed his 17th ranking title after knocking out the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan in the quarter-finals on the way to his win.

Lisowski knocked out John Higgins and Mark Allen on his way to his third ranking event final.

Home Nations winners of 2019 so far…

  • Mark Selby – English Open, Scottish Open
  • Judd Trump – Northern Ireland Open. 

 

The next major event will be in 2020 in mid-January at the Alexandra Palace in London as Judd Trump defends his Master’s title.

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Ding “Major Happy” – Once Again

China’s top snooker star Ding Junhui had a problem.

He was asking himself this question over and over in his mind, could he win again? He said.

The 32-year-old was worried as he hadn’t won a Triple Crown Major since 2011.

Ding
Major Happy Again: Ding Junhui is the 2019 UK Champion

But now, the Chinese snooker star, who won his first ranking event in 2005, scooped his third UK Championship in York, 10 years after winning his second UK title in 2009.

Ding defeated Scotland’s Stephen Maguire 10 – 6 in a high-scoring powerhouse of a match which saw a string of centuries from both players and ended with Ding powering to the win with yet another century.

Ding Major Happy…

Stephen Maguire played his part in a thrilling final, as he battled in the first session from 4 – 0 down to only trail by two frames at the end of the first session.

Maguire, also seeking a second UK title, not having won since 2004, had possibly peaked too early in his semi-final match with Mark Allen, whom he demolished in a fantastic 6 – 0 whitewash.

Ding pocketed the 200K at the Barbican and books a place in the Champion of Champions next year, along with Neil Robertson and Judd Trump.

Junhui Ding

UK Championship: Other Notable Performances…

There was also the pick of the tournament, 54-year-old Nigel Bond, a silver oldie from yesteryear, who managed to reach his first Major quarter-final since 2003, who had on route to his QF knocked out the current World Champion Judd Trump.

There was also a good run for the 2005 World Championship finalist Welshman Matthew Stevens, rolling back the years in York reaching a QF. He won the UK in 2003.

WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THAT MAJOR WIN FOR BOND BELOW…

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What ever happened to the hook rest invention?

Cueing in front of a ball can be awkward.

Some players put rests on top of spiders.

Some players even lift the normal rest up in mid-air, and are as steady as a rock to pot a ball.

Not recommended though if you’re not a steady Eddie.

But this invention had a brief spot in the limelight a few years ago.

Ronnie O’Sullivan liked it.

However, SnookerZone would like to know why it isn’t around now?

Watch the video below to find out what it was all about, NOW…

 

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Judd Trump’s Triple Hopes Dashed in York…

World Champion Judd Trump’s hopes of scooping three majors in one year were dashed yesterday by 54-year-old Nigel Bond. 

Judd Trump

The 30-year-old winner of the Masters in January, and the World Championship in May, had high hopes of coming into the UK Championship as the hot favourite to lift a second UK title and be the fourth player to win all three majors in a year.

But it was an in-form and surprising performance from Bond, a 1996 British Open winner who rolled back the years with some dazzling snooker.

Trump said after he wasn’t surprised by the win as “Nigel was and is a good player”.

Bond said on the BBC after that doing a sideline of coaching all around the world was a “good distraction.”

He said he can’t do six hours a day practice now, but having a few frames with the younger ones at the Sheffield Academy was OK for him.

TRUMP NOT SHAKEN OR STIRRED…

Bond has the chance to reach a ranking event quarter-final since 2008 the China Open. But his last UK Championship best finish was in 2003!

The UK Championship runs until Sunday 8th December and Ronnie O’Sullivan could now be the favourite to lift a 20th Major Triple Crown.

Mark Williams, the 2018 World Champion was knocked out early by Welsh compatriot Michael White.

2005 World finalist and Welshman Matthew Stevens is also having a good run in York reaching Round 4.

Bond could play either Gary Wilson or Joe Perry in R4. Wilson also made history in York with four centuries on the bounce in a best of 11 match.

 

And Barry Hawkins made the highest break of the event, a 147, and takes away the 15K prize unless someone else doesn’t make another maximum before the close on Sunday.

That’s the fourth 147 of the season, but still requires 16 more before there’s a share of a £1 million prize pot!

The UK tournament top prize is a hefty 200K.