Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

I am going to post this up now because no doubt I will forget later!!

Happy New Year from me and everyone at Billiards Boutique

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Snooker: Sir Rodney Walker re-elected

Walker is in pocket and still in the chair (Guardian Newspaper)

Sir Rodney Walker has been re-elected as Chairman of the WPBSA by a margin of 43-0 at an AGM in Sheffield.

The accounts of the WPBSA were not questioned even though a company owned by Sir Rodney received over £75,000 in commisions from the WPBSA.

Click on the title at the top for further article.

Friday, December 29, 2006

9-ball Pool: Get your entries in NOW!

The full scale national launch of APN-Leagues is only 1 week away - closing date for entries is Friday 5th January.

Only £35.00 to enter a league and with an estimated £35,000 in prize money and £5,000 guaranteed at the national finals why would you want to miss out?

All matches are handicapped and race to 9 and with two matches per week there is plenty on offer. Anyone can win!

Call 01305 779596 for further details or email info@americanpool-network.co.uk

9-ball Pool: My Greatest Pool Moment

Back earlier in this year I recorded my greatest ever pool moment. I got invited to a Jimmy White exhibition in Bournemouth.

It was packed and the atmosphere was excellent. Jimmy played 3 frames of snooker and won all three then came the 9-ball. I was lucky enough to be drawn out of the hat and stepped up to the table (in front of around 200 punters!) and shook Jimmy's hand. He told me I could have the break and quite arrogantly I added "Are you sure?"

So anyway I give them an almighty wallop and make a ball off the break. I leave myself a difficult cut into the corner on the 1 ball but make it nicely.

The balls were all sat there and the only real difficulty position wise was the 7 to the 8. Needless to say I messed the position up by not really deciding on the shot to play. I left the cue ball touching the side rail with the 8-ball about 2 3rds away. I rolled it in dead weight to hold for the 9 and it sunk!

Now my heart was pounding and all I was saying in my head was DO NOT MISS. I didn't and the crowd were cheering, it felt like I had won the worlds!!!

Jimmy said "nice 8 it was tough!" I said "Thanks".

It is nice to have broke and dished a legend like Jimmy and I can now tell everyone that I have a 100% record against the whirlwind!!! Just wish I had bet the house on it!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Snooker: Ebdon wins the UK Championships

Stepehn Hendry failed in his attempt to win his 6th UK title and looked lacklustre in the final against Peter Ebdon.

Ebdon beat Hendry 10-6 in the final to join an elite list of players that have won both the UK and World Championship titles and from what I saw of him all week he deserved the victory.

9-Ball Pool: Gray wins another UK title

Peterborough's former main tour snooker professional Mark Gray has adapted to the game of 9-ball like a duck to water. Over the past 2 seasons he has won over 5 main BPPPA Tour titles.

Last weekend in Manchester he won yet another with an amazing 11-10 victory over former UK number 1 Daryl Peach in the final.

Mark now tops the rankings

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Petroni wins 9-ball title in Spain

Flamboyant Italian Fabio Petroni has won the PoolComps.com Spanish Open 9-ball event held in the Costa Del Sol. Petroni destroyed dutchman Niels Feijen 10-1 in the final to lift his first title in a few years.

The win puts Petroni up to 4th in the official European 9-ball rankings.

Nick van den Berg keeps his top spot with Imran Majid and Daryl Peach of Britain in 6th and 12th respectively.

The Eurotour now stops for a winter break and is back in February 2007 with the Czech Open

Snooker: UK Champs semi-finals

Two fantastic matches and very close results were the order of the day at the semi-final stage. Ebdon and Dott werelooking to do a repeat of this years World Championships Final but Dott lost to inform countryman Stephen Hendry who was looking for his 6th UK title.


Peter Ebdon (Eng) 9-7 John Higgins (Sco)
Stephen Hendry (Sco) 9-7 Graeme Dott (Sco)

Snooker: UK Champs Quarter-Finals

Peter Ebdon who has kind of gone unoticed so far in this tournament produced one of his best performances in a while to beat defending champion Junhui 9-5 in the quarter finals. Another astonishing result was the 9-1 victory by Stephen Hendry over Ronnie O'Sullivan, although not a real scoreline as Ronnie conceded the match in a bizarre turn of events when he was 4-1 down.

Ding Junhui (Chn) 5-9 Peter Ebdon (Eng)
John Higgins (Sco) 9-3 Joe Perry (Eng)
Stephen Hendry (Sco) 9-1 Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng)
Graeme Dott (Sco) 9-6 Steve Davis (Eng)

Snooker: UK Champs 3rd round results

The current 888.com world champion Graeme Dot continued his excellent form with a 9-1 demolition of Finlands Robin Hull. eigning UK Champion Ding Junhui also made it into the last eight with a 9-5 win over Stevens

Ding Junhui (Chn) 9-5 Matthew Stevens (Wal)
Stuart Bingham (Eng) 4-9 Peter Ebdon (Eng)
John Higgins (Sco) 9-2 Stephen Lee (Eng)
Joe Perry (Eng)9-6 Ken Doherty (Ire)
Stephen Hendry (Sco) 9-6 Mark Williams (Wal)
Stephen Maguire (Sco) 3-9 Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng)
Alan McManus (Sco) 7-9 Steve Davis (Eng)
Robin Hull (Fin) 1-9 Graeme Dott (Sco)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Snooker: UK Championships 2nd Round Results

Graeme Dott is in awesome form going into the last 16 and Robin Hull of Finland the world number 59 also reached the last 16 with a 9-4 win over Grand Prix champion Neil Robertson

Matthew Stevens (Wal) 9-5 David Gray
Ali Carter 8-9 Stuart Bingham
Peter Ebdon 9-6 Mark Selby
Barry Hawkins 4-9 Joe Perry
Stephen Lee 9-6 Rod Lawler
Mark Williams (Wal) 9-7 Gerard Greene (NI)
Stephen Maguire (Sco) 9-8 Joe Swail (NI)
Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-8 Ricky Walden
Steve Davis 9-5 Jamie Burnett (Sco)
John Higgins (Sco) 9-4 Mark King
Shaun Murphy 3-9 Alan McManus (Sco)
Neil Robertson (Aus) 4-9 Robin Hull (Fin)
Graeme Dott (Sco) 9-2 Scott MacKenzie (Sco)
Stephen Hendry (Sco) 9-7 Dave Harold
Ding Junhui (Chn) 9-7 Ryan Day
K Doherty (Ire) 9-1 Mike Dunn

Monday, December 11, 2006

USA Retain the Mosconi Cup

From a 9-6 winning position overnight on Saturday Europe managed to throw away the Mosconi Cup last night.

Mika Immonen will be kicking himself as twice in the same match against Mike Davis he had the chance to not only win but win the Mosconi Cup for Europe for the first time in since 2002.

Earlier both Ralf Souquet and Nick van den Berg had fought back from 4-2 deficits to win vital points against Archer and Strickland respectively. The USA never laid down though and in the end retained the Mosconi Cup with the 12-12 scoreline.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

"Maharaja's" Magic sinks Archer

Imran Majid "The Maharaja of Pool", Britains Mosconi Cup debutant put Europe into 5-3 Mosocni Cup lead over the USA by beating Amercan captain Johnny Archer 7-2 in last nights singles.

Europe picked up 2 of last nights three singles matches to take a 6-4 lead into day 3.

For more Mosconi Cup news visit: www.mosconicup.com

Thursday, December 07, 2006

9-ball Pool: Mosconi Cup Preview

Over the last couple of years Europe have not had the best of times in this annual USA v Europe battle of the baize. On paper this year Europe look to have the strongest team for a while and with a non-playing captain taking the pressure off, plus the fact that the partizan Dutch crowd will be cheering them on it looks good for the team in Blue.

On the other hand the USA have not really impressed this year in terms of individual performances, apart from the runner-up spot that Rodney Morris achieved in the IPT World 8-ball Championships.

Team Europe:
  • Mika Immonen
  • Ralf Souquet
  • Thomas Engert
  • Nick van den Berg
  • Imran Majid
  • David Alcaide

Team USA:

  • Johnny Archer
  • Earl Strickland
  • Rodney Morris
  • John Schmidt
  • Mike Davis
  • Corey Deuel

My money is on Europe this year! First session is this evening with the first match involving all 12 players.

Snooker: UK Champs 1st Round Results

All of the first round results are below players are English unless stated. There were a few thumping victories in the first round this year with the biggest being Michael Holts 9-0 drubbing from Scotlands Scott MacKenzie. Other notable wins were the 9-1 victories by Mark Selby and Joe Perry.

Ryan Day (Wal) 9-5 Liu Song (Chn)
David Gray 9-2 Barry Pinches
Stuart Bingham 9-8 Rory McLeod
Mark Selby 9-1 John Parrott
Mark King 9-4 Adrian Gunnell
Anthony Hamilton 7-9 Rod Lawler
Joe Perry 9-1 Michael Judge (Ire)
James Wattana (Tha) 5-9 Mike Dunn
Robert Milkins 7-9 Dave Harold
Marco Fu (Hkg) v Gerard Greene
Joe Swail (NI) 9-7 Joe Delaney (Ire)
Ian McCulloch 6-9 Ricky Walden
Alan McManus (Sco) 9-5 Marcus Campbell (Sco)
Andy Hicks 3-9 Jamie Burnett (Sco)
Nigel Bond 5-9 Robin Hull (Fin)
Michael Holt 0-9 Scott MacKenzie (Sco)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Snooker: UK Championship starts today

The second most eagerly anticipated and prestigious events on the snooker calendar - The UK Championships - starts today at the York Barbican Centre.

Bookies favourite will once again be Ronnie O'Sullivan who only this weekend demolished Jimmy White 5-0 in the final of the Betfrad Premier League.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Snooker Cues UK

Want to purchase Snooker Cues UK this Christmas? Then look no further than www.BilliardsBoutique.com for high quality Snooker Cues and pool cues plus a whole host of related accessories.

Billiards Boutique are official stockists of Peradon and Cannon cues but if there is not a cue in the range that you like then why not design your own snooker cue using the online Cue Wizard.

Cue Wizard technology is owned by Peradon and allows users unlimited design options for a custom made pool or snooker cue. The image updates every time a change is made and can be used by even the most technophobic operator.

Get 5% off the retail price for using Cue Wizard at Billiards Boutique.

Shocks a Plenty as Snooker Grand Prix reaches last four

After the round-robin stage a number of high profile players were eliminated from the Royal London Watches Grand Prix. Most notable were current world champion Graeme Dott and former world champions Mark Williams, Shaun Murphy, Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis.

The format gave some of the young up and coming players the opportunity to progress to the latter stages of a major tournament and a number of them have taken the opportunity.

At the quarter-final stage the last two remaining players from the worlds top 10 were eliminated in very one-sided scorelines. Ronnie O'Sullivan was defeated 5-1 by Australian Neil Robertson and John Higgins lost 5-2 to Mark King.

The other semi-finalists are Jamie Cope and Alan McManus (having his best tournament in a long time.)

Matches can be followed live online at www.bbc.co.uk/snooker

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Snooker: Grand Prix Results Day 1

Day one is complete in this years Royal London Watches Grand Prix with a couple of upsets in the group stage already. Most notably Ryan Day's 3-0 victory over 2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy and old-timer Nigel Bonds 3-2 win over Neil Robertson.

Snooker: Grand Prix 2006 Day One Results

The tournament is live all week on BBC and BBC interactive

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Snooker: Grand Prix starts today

The Grand Prix from Aberdeen starts today, it is the first "major" of the season and sees the top 32 players plus 16 qualifiers compete for the title. John Higgins is the defending champion.

The tournament is live on the BBC

Todays schedule

Tasty matches include:

Higgins v Wattana
Murphy v Day
Dott v Junhui

with the matches being best of 5 I think these early rounds are for the taking and I am expecting a number of shocks.

Friday, October 20, 2006

US 8-ball Tournament this Sunday

The 3rd of four IPT Tour Card satellite qualifiers is this weekend in Rileys Solihull. The action will take place on sunday 22nd October. Registration is at 9:30am - 10:15am with play to commence around 10:45am.

Entry is £25.00 pay on the day. Each player is guaranteed at least 3 matches in the first round. The winner will get entry into the final qualifier to play for a tour card entry later in November.

Any questions email info@americanpool-network.co.uk (The promoters) or call 01305 779596

Is it the end of the IPT?

With the news that the IPT have failed to pa any of the $3million from the IPT World Open a number people invloved in the industry are asking is this the end of the IPT?

It certainly does not look good, Trudeau has stated to players that payment is imminent and the delay has been caused by factors outside his control (mainly the proposed $150 million takeover by Macau businessman Stanley Ho). However there has been word that Ho has pulled out of the deal and the recent ruling that the USA are banning any form of online gambling certainly adds fuel to the fire. Ho has made his money through HO Casino and its online gambling interface.

Whether the IPT does continue is something we will have to keep a close eye on, however the media coverage that the sport of pool has received since it's inception last year has been amazing. Pool, in some peoples eyes, is no longer a game for seedy bars and gamblers but is a sexy, exciting and often flamboyant game. This has to be good for the development of the game.

One issue is that were the IPT to cease would players put their trust and money into any other organisation that comes along and promises the world? If the IPT does fail then it is going to be difficult to garner the interest of the media without huge wads of cash.

We will see!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Raybone wins in Solihull

22 year old Neil Raybone has picked up the £2,000 winner's cheque from the EPT Midlands Open held last weekend in Rileys Solihull. The Midland potter made it an impressive first EPT season with a runner-up spot last time around in Harrow, to tour founder Daryl Peach. and now a win.

In the final Raybone defeated European Number 1 Nick van den Berg of Holland 10-4. Van den Berg add's to the list of high profile players that have played on the EPT in it's first year. The likes of Tony Drago and Ronnie O'Sullivan have also graced the tour with reasonable success.

For more information visit www.empirepooltour.com

Snooker: Grand Prix starts next week

It seems a long time since the first event of the season - The Northern Ireland trophy, but Snooker's main tour is back next week with a brand new format for the Grand Prix.

All of the players that have qualified have been placed into groups. The tournaments first round is in a round robin format with short best of 5 frame matches.

This format gives some of the up and coming stars their chance to shine as shorter matches have surely got to suit them.

The top two in each group progress to the knockout round where normal service resumes.

These are the odds from www.stanjames.com (top 16 odds only)


O'Sullivan, Ronnie 10/3
Junhui, Ding 7/1
Higgins, John 10/1
Hendry, Stephen 12/1
Williams, Mark 12/1
Murphy, Shaun 14/1
Stevens, Matthew 20/1
Day, Ryan 25/1
Doherty, Ken 25/1
Robertson, Neil 25/1
Dott, Graeme 28/1
Maguire, Stephen 28/1
Ebdon, Peter 33/1
Cope, Jamie 40/1
Lee, Stephen 40/1
Selby, Mark 40/1

A nioce couple of outside bets are Peter Ebdon at 33-1 and Stephen Lee at 40-1. No guesses as to who the favourite is but Ding should yet again give Ronnie a run for his money.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Snooker Mourns the loss of Paul Hunter

Paul Hunter, dubbed "The David Beckham of Snooker" has sadly lost his battle with cancer and passed away last night.

Paul's death is a sad loss for snooker, as the sport has been robbed of a genuine talent that never fully reached his full potential, the 27 year old 3 times Master's winner leaves a wife and child and our thoughts are with his family.

Paul Hunter R.I.P.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

3 Tips When Buying a Snooker Cue

1. Learn about splicing -

The shaft and the butt are spliced in two ways:

a) Machine spliced - you can tell this by the distinctive pointed splices in the butt wood
b) Hand spliced - This has a more fluid splicing pattern and the tops of the butt wood are rounded into the shaft material.

2. Look for Matching grain

When you buy a snooker cue you get a better consistency of wood and therefore feel through the hit with a shaft and butt that use the same piece of wood throughout. Check to see that the grain matches across the joint. If it doesn't then it is generally a different piece of wood.

3. Looks don't equal feel.

If a cue looks nice it doesn't necessarily mean that it will play nice. I have had a customer recently spend £180+ on a snooker cue that looks gorgeous but he could just not get on with it. Try a few before you buy.

Snooker: Learn to Focus = Learn to Win

Trying to move up a level in any sport often means turning a losing habit into a winning habit. Quite often though a sportsperson will have the innate ability but cannot turn that natural talent into a winning formula.

Generally this is caused by a lack of focus, something that can easily be addressed. In billiards, pool and snooker this is a particularly important aspect of getting into the winning mould. How often do we hear players say “I took my eye off it” or “I just wasn’t concentrating?” This is to do with focus and it can be caused by external factors both on and off the table.

Everything we do in our day-to-day life can have an effect on our focus and concentration. Many a time I have heard players in my local league claiming that they just did not play well in a particular match. It is very difficult to focus on a game like billiards when your mind is elsewhere, if you have had a bad day at work or home then this will affect your game. Billiards relies on focus and concentration and without them you may as well not turn up!

How can we try to regain this level of focus to allow us to play our match? It is a very difficult question and not one that has a finite answer; different people will deal with focus in many different ways. This guide offer’s a number of solutions as to how to regain your focus whilst playing.

Pre-Shot Routine

To regain or even maintain focus and concentration during a game it is important to have your own pre-shot routine, a set of movements, or a mental checklist before you get down on every shot. If you get into your shooting position the same way every time you shoot then it allows you to concentrate solely on the job in hand and can cut out some of the many external factor’s that may be going on around you.

Take a Break

In a match you can sometimes get frustrated when the “roll” does not go your way. I am a firm believer in the old adage that you make your own luck. Take a break from the table; get a drink, a toilet break, anything to refresh your mind. Come back to the table and on your next visit try to put all your efforts into the job in hand.

Re-hydrate

Although billiards is not a particularly physical sport it does take a large amount of mental concentration and calculation. Matches can go on for a long time in often very smoky atmospheres. With this point in mind it is important to re-hydrate regularly, billiards players often miss this factor. Water enables the body to function properly not only in a physical way but also mentally.

Ignore the Surroundings

I have been in a lot of matches where I have allowed my surroundings and what is happening on other tables to affect my focus and concentration. This can be other billiards matches, music or a particularly loud conversation. The best way to eliminate this external factor is to not allow your eyes to move from the table. Whether it is you or your opponent at the table your eyes should not leave the baize. This focuses your mind on the task and makes you mentally ready should your opponent make a mistake.

Eliminating external factors in your efforts to focus will greatly improve your game. This coupled with the will to win and the determination to improve will move your game to a sufficient level to achieve success.

Remember Learn to Focus = Learn to Win.

© Copyright 2006 P. Williams www.BilliardsBoutique.com

Saturday, September 30, 2006

New Custom Snooker Cue Design service

Billiards Boutique have teamed up with Peradon and Cue Wizard to offer a custom snooker cue design service.

By using the servie through Billiards Boutique customers will be able to claim 5% off their custom designed cue. The system is easy to use and the cue image is updated live as you design it.

Why not visit it now and see what you can come up with?

Custom Snooker Cue

Saturday, September 23, 2006

APN-Leagues start soon

APN-Leagues the UK's only amateur 9-ball pool league system is re-launching soon with the original 1 league clubs from May. They all have new start dates and the new league session offers the first opportunity to qualify for 2007 national finals.

Current UK amateur number 1 Brad Keats is competing once again in the Bournemouth league and is looking for his third league win out of 5 attempts.

The first ever regional championships are happening over the weekend of 29th-1st October at Rileys Northampton where the Northern regionals will take place. Later on in October will be the Southern regionals in Harrow.

For more information visit www.apn-leagues.co.uk

Friday, September 22, 2006

Peradon Launch new Snooker Cue Range

Peradon, the world's oldest snooker cue manufacturer have released (1st September) a brand new range of 38 snooker cues.

There are 19 brand new cues in the range with a number of big sellers and favourites being kept.

The range is extended to feature some amazing new hand spliced designs like the 3/4 jointed York which is now the top of the range model at £189.99

There is also a new development in the range - the Lazer Snooker Cue - this cue is made from hand spliced Ebonex, a composite material that has the look and feel of real Ebony. This will be the norm in a few years time as companies strive to offer eco friendly options.

Visit Billiards Boutique for the full range

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Morris & Reyes Compete for $500,000

After a gruelling days play in Reno Rodney Morris and Efren Reyes emerged out of the round-robin group knowing that one of them will be walking away with $500,000 in the richest ever pool tournament.

In yesterdays action Morris won 4 out of his 5 matches and that included an 8-7 win over Reyes. Reyes won three of his matches and was tied with Mika Immonen. Reyes got through on a better games won %.

This is Reyes' second IPT final, he defeated Mike Sigel in the King of the Hill in December, he also made it to the last 6 at the last event in Vegas.

Morris has played blinding pool all week and I personally fancy him to lift the title, however, you can never underestimate Reyes and even at 51 he is still one of the best (if not the best) players in the world.

Action can be seen live on PPV online at www.internationalpooltour.com

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Only six players remain at $3million pool event

Only six players, from the origial 200, remain at the IPT World Open 8-ball Pool Championships. This means that one of these remaining players will wak away with the biggest first place prize in the history of pool $500,000.

The remaining players are:

Rodney Morris (USA)
Oliver Ortmann (Germany)
Mika Immonen (Finland)
Corey Deuel (USA)
Dennis Orcollo (Phillipines)
Efren Reyes (Phillipines)

Unfortunately both Mick Hill and Karl Boyes of the UK fell in the last 18 last night.

Billiard Boutique prediction:

Rodney Morris v Oliver Ortmann in the final.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

IPT World Open - Round 1 Complete

World Open 8-Ball Championship Update
Someone One Day Closer to $500,000!

Round one of the historic $3 million IPT World 8-Ball Open Championship is officially in the books. Eighty players will not advance and will have to be satisfied with only $5,000. Click here to see who will advance to Round Two.

Conditions seemed to be tougher today as the humidity began to build – maybe because of the noticeably larger crowds in attendance today. The moisture caused the cloth to slow down and the pockets to play tighter. There were more than a few rattled balls and plenty of frustrated players. It only gets tougher tomorrow as the remaining 120 players will each play every session and use all 60 tables. Click here to see the groupings for Round Two.

The IPT has had professional sports photographers at work all day, and the online photo gallery is packed with over 1,500 pictures of the action. Click here for the photo gallery.

The IPT’s exacting standards have yielded a few casualties today. Phenolic cue tips cut short the runs of Hall of Famer Ed Kelly and Sweden’s Tom Storm, who both were disqualified for using the banned equipment. At least five dress code violations cost players a total of $5,000.

The IPT’s television production team was on the floor capturing initial round action, including the highly anticipated match between undefeated players Earl Strickland and Jasmin Ouschan. Earl did not disappoint the crowds with his antics, and Jasmin made it quite uncomfortable for him until he finally pulled ahead from a 6-6 twelfth game to win the match 8-6.

Even if you can’t make it to Reno, you can still join in on the action because the official IPT Members Club has gone live! Starting Thursday, fans will be able to watch the tournament live online. Do not miss this chance to watch the action as players compete for the $500,000 first prize, or their share of the unprecedented $3,000,000 prize fund. Click here for details.

Deno Andrews
Chief Operating Officer
International Pool Tour
www.internationalpooltour.com

World Open Update - Players meeting


World Open 8-Ball Championship Update

The action starts today, Sunday, Sept. 3, and all the players are in Reno for the $3 million World Open 8-Ball Championship at the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino. The winner of this historic tournament will receive an unprecedented $500,000 first prize! The World Open 8-Ball Championship is the biggest tournament in the history of the sport. Live coverage of the event including player stats, pictures, groupings, and more is available on www.internationalpooltour.com.

In addition, starting Thursday September 7, live streaming video from the television table will be available! Don’t miss your chance to see this event live!

The billiard glitterati from around the globe gathered for a player’s meeting that revealed some big news for the International Pool Tour. Some last minute changes in the line up have added Rudolfo Luat of the Philippines and Michael Schmidt from Germany. They will take slots vacated by George SanSouci of New York, who had to withdraw for personal reasons and the U.K.’s snooker great Ronnie O’Sullivan is out with a recurring ear infection.

A change in the payout schedule means that every game makes a difference in the money – even if a player can’t advance to the next round, he can still move up in the payout. After the first round, players eliminated will receive payouts based on their rank within the eliminated group. Rank is determined by number of wins, first, then by game winning percentage and then the number of break-and-runs. In keeping with the IPT’s philosophy, this will ensure that every match, every game will be hard fought.

While the IPT doesn’t use a shot clock, new time limits will keep the action moving along. In a given match, there must be three games on the wire by the 30-minute mark. If the game is lagging, a referee will watch the game to see which player is slowing things down. After an hour, there must be seven games, 11 after 90 minutes and 13 after two hours. After two hours, 15 minutes, the match over, unless the score is tied. This will deliver quick-paced action to the live broadcast audience. “We want every player to play every game with total effort and focus,” said Tour Director Deno Andrews.

An IPT Web site membership will be able to watch the tournament live as it’s streamed over the Internet. Access to instructional segments and past tournaments along with many other benefits come with the IPT Web site membership at www.internationalpooltour.com.

IPT founder Kevin Trudeau told an appreciative crowd that the tour is “ahead of schedule,” on all fronts. He had great news about television broadcasts: OLN Network, which will become Comcast’s Versus network on Sept. 25, will allocate a Saturday night slot in primetime for IPT broadcasts. Trudeau said that the IPT is in negotiations with broadcasters in Asia, New Zealand and Canada among others to pick up the IPT shows.

Trudeau also announced that he’s received over 100 proposals for sponsorship from a variety of companies, and that Vonage and Dish Network have signed on as sponsors for this week’s tournament.

While there was plenty of good news at the players’ meeting, there was some bad news, too. Andrews announced that the IPT Players 8-Ball Championship scheduled for Oct. 22 29 in London, England, has been cancelled due to problems in negotiations with the facility. However, the IPT will guarantee a minimum of $13,000 for the year for every player who plays in all the 2006 tournaments. The IPT will write a check to make up the difference.

Finally, Trudeau announced that the IPT has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Ho Interactive, a new company started by casino owner billionaire Stanley Ho, who also owns online gambling site www.hocasino.com Trudeau said that Ho Interactive will be taken public on the London exchange at some point in the near future.

Players wrapped up practice on the 50 Diamond IPT-specified tables at about 9:15, ready for action to begin at 10 a.m. Sunday. Each tournament day will see five rounds of play, so check out www.internationalpooltour.com anytime throughout the day for the best tournament coverage in the history of the sport.

Deno Andrews
Chief Operating Officer
International Pool Tour
www.internationalpooltour.com

Friday, September 01, 2006

IPT World Open Groups

The player groupings for the first round of the IPT World 8-ball Open Championships have been announced. The 200 players will compete for the biggest pay-day in the history of pool. $3,000,000 is on offer and each player walks way with a minimum $5000.

The winner will receive $500,000 and will be the richest winner in pool tournament history.

Players to look out for are Thorsten Hohmann (winner of the Noth American Open), Marlon Manalo (2nd in North American Open), Chia-Ching Wu (17 year old qualifier and WPA World 8-ball Champion) plus the likes of Reyes, Bustamante, Archer, Nevel and Britains Daryl Peach.

IPT Player Groupings

Friday, August 25, 2006

APN announce Regional Championships 2006


Regional Championships 2006


Download Tournament Flyer!!!


Download Tournament Format!!!


APN are pleased to announce the dates for the inaugural 2006 APN-Leagues Regional Championships. There will be 2 Tournaments played in sections, North and South, that will be played at Rileys Northampton and Rileys Harrow respectively.

With 159 potential players at both venues contributing to the Friday evening - Sunday night events, there will be an opportunity for 23 players from each section to advance to the APN National Championships in December where they will be joined by the 17 league winners + 1 wildcard for a 64 player field.

As well as the Regional Championships, APN will be hosting a variety of other smaller competitions over the weekend. This will include Break comps, Friday and Saturday night flyers (around £5/£10 entry) and a host of other activities.

Exact tournament format details will be released nearer the time when we have a better idea of how many players will be turning up.

Remember to bring any pool playing friends along for the weekend...there will be plenty of action on the outside tables that will keep all players busy.

Any enquiries for these events should be directed to APN on 01305 779 596, or via email at:
info@americanpool-network.co.uk

Please confirm your attendance as soon as possible!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

World Cup of Pool - Preview

PartyPoker.Com World Cup of Pool - Preview.

The first ever World Cup of Pool takes place this week at the Newport Centre in Newport, South wales. Thirty two 2 man teams will be battling for the title and a share of the $250,000 prize fund. Such world class stars as Ronnie O'Sullivan, Steve Davis, Efren Reyes, Francisco Bustamante, Niels Feijen, Earl Strickland and Thomas Engert will be representing their countries for the first time on an international stage.

The event runs from 22nd-27th August 2006 at The Newport Centre, South Wales and is sponsored by PartyPoker.Com and promoted by Matchroom Sport.

The tournament is a single elimination scotch doubles event. This means that players will be taking alternate shots within their team. It will be excellent for the 31 hours of TV coverage to be broadcast later in the year and the packed audiences in the Newport Centre.

First Round matches (Race to 9)

Tuesday 22nd August 2pm
1. Thailand v Canada
2. Qatar v Malaysia
3. Czech Republic v Poland

Tuesday 22nd August 7pm
4. Philippines v Malta
5. Taiwan v India
6. England B v Korea

Wednesday 23rd August 2pm
7. Hungary v Russia
8. Hong Kong v Sweden
9. Japan v Indonesia

Wednesday 23rd August 7pm
10. Spain v England A
11. Singapore v USA
12. Wales v Germany

Thursday August 24th 2pm
13. Ireland v Finland
14. South Africa v Italy
15. Vietnam v Croatia

Thursday August 24th 7pm
16. Scotland v Holland

Second round matches will commence Thursday evening and will be completed on Friday. All quarter-final matches are played on Saturday with the semi-finals and final on Sunday.

Prize Money
Winners:
US$60,000 x 1
Runners Up:
US$30,000 x 1
Semi-Finalists:
US$16,000 x 2
Quarter-Finalists:
US$10,000 x 4
Last 16:
US$5,000 x 8
Last 32:
US$3,000 x 16
Total
US$250,000
* All prize money is split between the two players

Hot favouriates for the event are the Phillipines with Reyes and Bustamante. A good bet for me is the USA side of Morri and Strickland who have played ths format together before very successfully in the Mosconi Cup. Other sides to look for are Holland, Germany.

If you want a good bet on an outsider I would pick Wales (McKenna & Davies) or Czech Republic (Hybler & Gavenciak).

Out of the two English teams I think that the B team will actually progress further with both Peach and Davis having had experience in the Mosconi Cup.

Come and visit Billiards Boutique at the World Cup of Pool - we have an exhibition stand on Saturday and Sunday so come along and say hello, if anyone is interested we have four sets of tickets for saturday and sundays play. Come along to the stand and pick up a voucher or find out more about APN Leagues.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Snooker Cue Splicing Techniques

After selection the butt timber is then spliced onto the ash shaft, this is done in one of two ways, by machine or by hand. The two methods produce cues of very different appearance.

Machine splicing is less expensive than hand splicing but is a very effective way of adding the butt timber to the shaft. The butt timber (usually ebony) is cut to provide four points, which are glued into four slots machined into the shaft timber. The finished cue has a distinctive four point pattern where the butt meets the shaft.

Hand splicing is the traditional method developed by Peradon for splicing the butt timber to the shaft. The shaft has two flats planed on opposite sides of the butt end. The hardwood butt timber is glued to these flats. The cue is then rotated through 90 degrees and two further flats are planed and two more pieces of butt timber glued into place. The cue is then shaped to produce the distinctive four rounded point pattern where the butt meets the shaft.

The appearance of both machine and hand spliced cues can be enhanced with additional exotic wood splices or coloured veneers.

This material adapted from the Peradon Cues sales brochure.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Developing Professional Snooker

Snooker has declined over the last decade from it's glory days in the mid-eighties. There are a number of factors that have brought this about and there are also a number of key things that need to be addressed in order for the professional game to develop.

World Snooker, until the management of Sir Rodney Walker, was in turmoil and losing money all over the place. Walker has come in and steadied the ship, for the first time in a few years World Snooker made a profit last year. If the game in general is in a healthy position financially then this only serves to help all other aspects, increased prize money, better sponsor bargaining power to name just two.

The loss of Imperial Tobacco was a huge loss for the sport and knowing this was going to happen in advance I am surprised that World Snooker did not plan for this in advance and try to cover the gap in funding. 888.com coming on board for the World Championships and Saga Insurance for the Masters are a real step in the right direction. But prize money has dwindled greatly over the past few years (athough is up this year). The game needs more sponsors, but then that could be said for most professional sports (except the likes of Golf, Football and Tennis).

In my opinion it would be easier to find sponsors if the game was given a more global feel. The only events outside of the UK are The Malta Cup and China Trophy. With the massive expanse of the game out in China and the far east it may be an idea for more tournaments in that continent. Also Germany hold a large invitational event each year why not turn that intoa ranking event. If these invitational tournaments were given more status (much like the I Trophy this year) then sponsorship and TV revenues increase.

I am not trying to imply that it is easy to fid sponsors as it is not, but by creating a more geographic spread for tournaments new sponsors may be attracted due to the more global feel. Snooker has the best TV coverage of any cue sport worldwide both in it's physical production and in the professionalism of the whole team.

My Plan For Snooker!
  • 10 Month ranking season
  • 1 main tour event per month
  • 10 Main Ranking events in total (9 + World Championships)
  • Smaller events that players can pick and choose to play in or not with ranking points 75% less than Main Tour events. These would be ideal for new tour players or players looking to improve ranking over a season.
  • Abolition of current seeding structure.
  • New structure of Top 16 plus 16 qualifiers (qualifying tournaments not seeded giving new/younger players a greater chance to progress.)
  • By having a two tier ranking tournament system it means more money and a greater number of players are able to make a living.

NI Trophy Quarter Final Results

Dominic Dale has continues his fantastic run by beating 2006 world champion Graeme Dott in the quarter-finals to reach the semi-finals of the Northern Ireland Trophy. In the semi he will now play Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Quarter-Final Results (winner in red)

Graeme Dott 2 v 5 Dominic Dale
Ryan Day 1 v 5 Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ken Doherty 1 v 5 Ding Junhui
Shaun Murphy 4 v 5 Stephen Lee

Semi-final match up

Dominic Dale v Ronnie O'Sullivan

I think Dale has his work cut out in this match, Ronnie has looked fluid and relaxed all week and it may be one match too far for Welshman Dale. My prediction 6-2 O'Sullivan.

Ding Junhui v Stephen Lee

Ding has fired in this tournament and has looked excellent of late with his maturity and conidence growing all the time. I think he will prove too much for te resurgent Lee who has also put in some good performances. My prediction 6-4 Junhui.



Friday, August 18, 2006

NI Trophy - Quarter Finals set

The quarter finals in the NI Trophy are set with a number of top seeds being eliminated last night.

Mark Williams, Matthew Stevens, Stephen Hendry and John Higgins all fell last night in some very close matches.

Last 16 Results (winner in red)

Graeme Dott 5 v 4 Mark Selby
Gerard Greene 4 v 5 Dominic Dale
Mark Williams 2 v 5 Ryan Day
Matthew Stevens 2 v 5 Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ken Doherty 5 v 4 Stephen Maguire
Ding Junhui 5 v 3 John Higgins
Shaun Murphy 5 v 4 Neil Robertson
Stephen Lee 5 v 4 Stephen Hendry

Billiards Boutique prediction: 1st) Ronnie O'Sullivan 2nd) Ding Junhui

Thursday, August 17, 2006

NI Trophy Second Round Results

The second round is complete at the Northern Ireland trophy with a few shock defeats for the worlds top 16 players.

Full Results (winner in red)

G. Dott 5 v 3 J. Burnett
A. Carter 2 v 5 M. Selby
S. Davis 2 v 5 G. Greene
P. Ebdon 3 v 5 D. Dale
M. Williams 5 v 1 A. Norman
B. Hawkins 1 v 5 R. Day
M. Stevens 5 v 0 M. King
R. O'Sullivan 5 v 4 S. Pettman
K. Doherty 5 v 4 J. Wattana
S. Maguire 5 v 2 M. Dunn
A. Hamilton 3 v 5 D. Junhui
J. Higgins 5 v 3 R. Milkins
S. Murphy 5 v 4 T. Pengfei
N. Robertson 5 v 3 N. Bond
S. Lee 5 v 2 D. Roe
S. Hendry 5 v 3 I. McCulloch

The third round has started today and results will be updated as we get them.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Useful Links

Welcome to the link page here you will find a list of useful and interestng world wide web links. All of these links are external and Billiards Boutique cannot be held responsible for the content.

Pool and Snooker Links
Snooker Discussion forum
3 ball rack
UK 9 Ball Pool Leagues
USA Pool Leagues
Pool Table Felt
Bank Shot Training Aid
Ace's Web World: Pool and Billiards
Ghost Ball Training Device
Solid Wood Pool Tables
8 Ball Secrets
Cuestars: Snooker For All
110 Sports Management
Billiards & Barstools
3 Cushion Billiards
German 9-ball Tour
AE Schmidt Billiards
Custom Pool Tables
New and Antique Pool Tables
ABC Billiards
Advanced Billiards and Cues
Professional Billiards Match Videos
Addicted to Pool
Australian 8-ball Federation
Allied Billiards
American Heritage Billiards
Aberdeen 9-ball Association
Antique Pool Tables
Antique Billiard Tables
Arbroath Pool League
Top Quality Billiard Slate
Artistic Pool
Billiards-Bars-Spas
Table Sport Products
B & W Billiards
Barenada's Pool Page
Bear Log Billiards
Beverley Pool League
Mexican Billiards
Billiard Art

Custom Pool Cues
AE Cues
Raven Custom Cues
Arnot Custom Cues
Mike Gulyassy Custom Cues
Bama Cues
Custom Handcrafted Cues

Professional Player Sites
John "The Jackal" Ouwehand
Ralf "The Kaiser" Souquet
Allison "The Duchess of Doom" Fisher
Allan Lys
Andy "The Magic Man" Segal

Other Websites
Magazine Subsciption Deals
Blog Directory
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Submit Your Website
Frequently Asked

NI Trophy First Round Results

The First Round is complete at the first snooker ranking vent of the season. The NI Trophy is being held as a ranking event for the firt time at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.

First Round Results (winner in red)

David Gray 2 v 5. Jamie Burnett
Mark Selby 5 v 4. Tony Drago
Joe Swail 1 v 5. Gerard Greene
Marco Fu 3 v 5. Dominic Dale
Joe Perry 4 v 5. Andrew Norman
Ryan Day 5 v 1. Mark Allen
Mark King 5 v 3. Rory McLeod
Alan McManus 2 v 5. Stuart Pettman
James Wattana 5 v 4. Jimmy Michie
Michael Holt 2 v 5. Mike Dunn
Ding Junhui 5 v 4. Paul Davies
Robert Milkins 5 v 2. Rod Lawler
Andy Hicks 3 v 5. Tian Pengfei
Nigel Bond 5 v 1. Michael Judge
Stuart Bingham 4 v 5. David Roe
Ian McCulloch 5 v 1. Matthew Couch

All second round ties commence today and can be seen on Eurosport.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Empire Pool Tour grows in strengh

The Empire Pool Tour ran it's second event this last weekend n Harrow with 100 top 8-ball players turning up to participate in the event. Such notable players as Mika Immonen, Marcus Chamat and Ronnie O'Sullivan competed for a share of the £8000 prize money.

There were some early round shocks with none of the aforementioned players making the money stages.

It was left to tour founder and UK number 1 Daryl Peach to walk away with the £2000 first prize. He defeated Neil Raybone 10-7 in the final to take the winners cheque.

For more information visit:

www.empirepooltour.com

Friday, August 04, 2006

Updates from IPT Victoria Qualifier

First Round Matches

Steve Higton 10-3 Jonathan Bushnell
Kevin Hew 10-5 Martinho Correia
Ben Davies 10-4 Imran Majid
Mark Gray 10-4 Andy Nicholson

Second Round

Tony Drago 10-8 Steve Higton

We will update more results when we have them!

IPT World OPen Qualifiers

The first UK IPT World Open qualifier has started with a disappointing 11 player field. Billiards Boutique are being represented by Martinho Correia who recently won two of our satellite qualifiers.

Other players in the draw are:

J. Bushnell
T. Drago
B. Davies
M. Gray
K. Hew
S. Higton
T. Judet
I. Majid
A. Nicholson
A. Worthington

Mark Gray former main tour snooker pro has only ever played two 8-ball events and won them bot so he will be dangerous. We spok to Martinho yesterday and he played 17 sets against Tony Drago in practice and beat him 15 sets - 2. WE know he is playing well and hope that this time he can do the business.

Online coverage can be found here:

IPT WO-9 Qualifier

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Predator 5k Series Pool Cues


We have now finally completed the task of adding all of the brand new Predator 5K Series Pool Cues to the Billiards Boutique website. Not only that but we also have the prices. All of the new cues and shafts are available now on pre-order only. The cues will be available towards the end of August.

If you want a high performance and beautiful looking cue then look no further then the new Predator 5K series. Be one of the first people to own these amazing cues.

Pictured left is the Predator 5K2 Pool Cue.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Busy Day at the Office

Yet another busy day for us today with a number of updates being made to the site. As you can see all Peradon Snooker Cues are 15% Off during August.

Andy has spent the day adding the brand new Predator 5k series cues to the site along with the second generation shafts.

We don't even have prices yet and can't get the cues until the end of August but they look fantastic - not happy with the small images at present they need a bit of tweaking but the large images are excellent, you need to click on the small image!

Getting ready for our trip to the World Cup of Pool, we have a stand there for the two days at the weekend 26th - 27th August. Come and visit us - also tickets are free! Contact Matchroom Sport or the Newport Centre direct and they will get them sent out.

Look out for more news about this inaugural event.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Win a $250.00 Billiards Boutique shopping spree with The Snooker Forum

The Northern Ireland trophy is the first ranking event of the new season and runs from 13th-20th August at the Belfast Hall.

BilliardsBoutique.com are pleased to announce that they will be sponsoring The Snooker Forum 2006-2007 prediction contest. The overall winner at the end of the season will receive a $250.00 shopping spree on www.BilliardsBoutique.com to spend on what they like!

Get predicting now and it could be you in may that receives this excellent prize.

The Snooker Forum Prediction contest.

The first round draw

David Gray v. Jamie Burnett
Mark Selby v. Tony Drago
Joe Swail v. Gerard Greene
Marco Fu v. Dominic Dale
Joe Perry v. Andrew Norman
Ryan Day v. Mark Allen
Mark King v. Rory McLeod
Alan McManus v. Stuart Pettman
James Wattana v. Jimmy Michie
Michael Holt v. Mike Dunn
Ding Junhui v. Paul Davies
Robert Milkins v. Rod Lawler
Andy Hicks v. Tian Pengfei
Nigel Bond v. Michael Judge
Stuart Bingham v. David Roe
Ian McCulloch v. Matthew Couch

World Champion to visit Harrow

The Empire Pool Tour have announced that former World 9-ball champion Mika Immonen will be participating in the EPT Harrow Open over the weekend of 12-13th of August. The field is expected to sell out and a number of top pro's from Europe will be here to battle for the £8,000 in guaranteed prize money.

Another notable former world champion that has signed up for the event is former World snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.

The event will have a £2,000 first prize and any of the top players will fancy their chances, Mark Gray the EPT's last winner will be there to try and make it two out of two.

Monday, July 31, 2006

15% Off Peradon Snooker Cues

The new snooker season is upon us with the Northern Ireland Trophy, a brand new ranking event set for 13th-20th August.

Billiards Boutique is getting into the snooker mood by offering 15% off of all Peradon snooker cues during the month of August. This discount is available online or in store.

This is a massive saving from the original prices and would be an ideal time to purchase a fantastic English made ash snooker cue.

Peradon Cues are the oldest cue manufacturing company in the world and first started making hand spliced cues in 1885. Many professional players have or still do use Peradon Snooker Cues for world ranking events. Most notably was Joe Davis who even gave the company sole rights to use his name. The Joe Davis cue is available in 1, 2 and 3 piece models and features a solid ebony butt with a Sycamore front splice.

Visit www.Billiardsboutique.com for further details.

Hohmann Wins North American Open 8-ball Championships

In what can only be described as an epic final, Thorsten Hohmann walked away with $350,000 in cash from the North American Open 8-ball Championships.

The tournament was the first event on the 2006 International Pool Tour and when it started last weekend had 200 world class 8-ball pool players battling for a share of the unsurpassed $2,050,000 in prize money.

Over the week the gruelling match schedule of up to 10 hours per day of competitive match play whittled the field down to the final 2. Hohmann the reigning Straight Pool world champion and Marlon Manalo of the Phillipines. Both players had fantastic records throughout the tournament with Manalo only losing 5 of his 8 matches before the final. Hohmann on the other hand had only lost 7 of his - and had beaten Manalo 8-1 in the final group round.

The match was always set to be a classic and the packed auditorium were not disappointed. When either player got to the table they cleared the balls, the only ball in open play that was missed was Manalo that missed a difficult combination shot down the rail.

So if neither player was missing why was the match so close with the winner breaks format? This was don the the tournament long problem of dry breaks. Manalo was the one that really suffered, he was 7-6 up and breaking for the match and did not get a ball. Hohmann then promptly ran out. Hohmann then broke for the match and made a ball an the rest as they say is history.

It was a thoroughly entertaining final match and an excellent advert for the sport and for the IPT. Congratulations go to Thorsten Hohmann.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Reyes falls as final group is completed

The final of the North American 8-Ball Open Championships is set. King of the Hill winner and pre-tournament favourite Efren Reyes will not be in the final match. After an intense and very close final group Reyes' Phillipino compatriat Marlon Manalo topped the group on 4 wins and a better game winning percentage than German Thorsten Hohmann. Hohmann the former world 9-ball pool champion and current world 14.1 straight pool champion joins Manalo in the final where one player will walk away with $350,000.

The final Group Standings

Player Wins GW%
M. Manalo 4 61.04
T. Hohmann 4 57.27
D. Orcollo 3 56.03
E. Reyes 2 58.87
R. Souquet 1 58.24
E. Stalev 1 53.75

It will be a very tight final with both players playing some fantastic pool throughout the tournament, Hohmann has the best Break & Run percentage and did beat Manalo in the final group last night. However, going into a final the form book can be ripped up!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Pool has new found friends

With Ronnie O'Sullivan out in the states playing on the IPT 8-Ball Tour many people in this country have all of a sudden begun to give the game the recognition it deserves.

Even the Guardian newspaper has been getting in on the act with a feature about O'Sullivan in the paper. Can be read here:http://sport.guardian.co.uk/snooker/story/0,,1832727,00.html

The IPT was always going to cause a stir to the pool scene and even the cue sports world in general as the prize money on offer is unprecedented. Ronnie as helped build the image for the IPT brand by helping out at Press Conferences and telling peoplehow difficult the game really is.

I have heard people question the integrity of IPT founder Kevin Trudeau saying that he is in to make a fast buck, my reply is so what? Even if the tour does collapse after a year or two years the players that have won an event or have reached the latter stages will be financially secure for life. The players deserve the opportunity to earn huge amounts of money ligitimately rather than scraping a living in dark, damp pool halls across the globe. If the players are getting paid then I don't see why anyone has cause to complain.

If the tour continues past two, three or even four years then other promoters are going to have to dig deep to attract the players. Too much in pool has been about promoters and governing bodies making money, often at the detriment of the player.

May the IPT live on!

Final Six Set to Battle at the IPT North American Open 8-Ball Championship

Eighteen players came into Friday’s rounds with high hopes, but only six will return for Saturday’s matches. Friday was the most grueling and intense day of all at the North American Open 8-Ball Championship. Every player played five rounds, which amounted to around 12 total hours of match time, and every game counted to make it into the final 6!

The players who went home after Friday’s rounds didn’t go empty-handed, though. Each of them earned $30,000. The International Pool Tour has given away $1,316,000 so far, and by the time Sunday’s final match is over, $2,000,000 in prize money will have been paid out!

There was a big crowd for today’s matches, and it’s only going to get bigger, considering the amount of money and the quality of play. Efren “Bata” Reyes went undefeated today, winning five matches in a row non-stop despite the grueling schedule. Also qualifying from his group was the enigmatic Evgeny Stalev from Russia.

Ralf Souquet has already won two major tournaments this year and qualified to return tomorrow with a 4-1 record. Will he be the one to take the $350,000 prize? Joining him from that group is Filipino Dennis Orcollo, definitely a strong contender. Orcollo had to fight his way onto the tour at a qualification event in Bellflower, CA, proving his mental and physical toughness.

The last group came down to the wire, as everyone awaited the outcome of the Thorsten Hohmann/Marcus Chamat match. From being down 7-4, Hohmann pulled back into the game to come within two and then broke and ran the last two. He cemented his spot in tomorrow’s matches with that win, and Marlon Manalo, though tied with Chamat as far as games, advanced because of his games-won percentage.

The minimum that a player can win in tomorrow’s rounds is $40,000, with third place receiving $80,000. Second place earns $99,000, with an unprecented $350,000 going to first place. Keep watching the IPT’s website for more information and stories.

Click here for tournament results, statistics, pictures, and stories from the IPT North American Open 8-Ball Championship!

Friday, July 28, 2006

IPT eliminates 18 more players

The IPT North American Open is getting tougher and tougher. There are now only 18 players left from the original 200 strong field.

Notable players eliminated last night included 6 times world champion Earl Strickland, Mick Hill, NIck van den Berg, Mika Immonen, Raj Hundal and Corey Deuel.

A player that is setting the world alite is former snooker pro Quentin Hann, he won 4 out of 5 yesterday and advances into the last 18.

Round 5 Groups

Hann (Aus), Stalev (RUS), Reyes (PHI), Nevel (USA), Appleton (GBR), Luat (PHI)

Bustamante (PHI), Matlock (USA), Peach (GBR), Orcollo (PHI), Alcano (PHI), Souquet (GER)

Manalo (PHI), Pagulayan (PHI), Hohmann (GER), Chamat (SWE), Owen (USA), Diks (NED)

Astonishingly (or not!) the Phillipines still have 7 players standing going into round 5. Favourites are still Reyes and Bustamante, however, a dark horse that has just been staying out of the limelight is Stalev of Russia.

Tonights action is live on Eurosport from 9pm.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

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Field down to 36 in Vegas

From 200 players that started the IPT North American Open the field was cut down to 36 players in last nights matches.

A number of pre-tournament favourites and other notable players were eliminated on Wednesday and had to settle for $10,000 each from the massive $2,050,000 prize fund. Players eliminated included Ronnie O'Sullivan, Johnny Archer, Nick Varner and Vilmos Foeldes.

Raj Hundal of Great Britain scraped through to the next round after having only won one match. He got through on games won percentage.

Other Brits still standing are Daryl Peach, Darren Appleton and Mick Hill, they are joined by a massive contingent of 9 Philipinos including Bustamante, Reyes and Pagulayan plus 9 Americans.

The players in this round are guaranteed $17,000 but know that if they can get through one more round they will be earning $30,000 each. The eventual winner picking up a whopping $350,000

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Playing Field Cut in Half Heading into Day 3

The 120-player field is being chopped in half by virtue of a brutal second full day of play for all of the entrants. Tuesday’s schedule worked the players through five full rounds without a break. Tomorrow they can expect to play only four rounds out of five.

Mike Sigel did not advance to Wednesday’s rounds. He had a chance, but it came down to between him and Marko Lohtander. Sigel lost to Marlon Manalo 8-5, while Lohtander defeated Wayne Catledge 8-3. “I didn't get out when I should have,” Sigel explained afterward. “I had plenty of chances. I missed the nine—I got careless, I missed the eight. I can't believe it didn’t go in. I had plenty of chances—there is no excuse. I’m not comfortable playing on the tables—that’s it.”

Sarah Ellerby was the only woman remaining who had the chance to move on, as Allison Fisher, Gerda Hofstatter, and Loree Jon Jones passed through Tuesday’s rounds without a win. In her last round, Ellerby went up against Teddy Garrahan and won, but there was a tie in her group—three players had won three games, and Ellerby had the percentage of games won necessary to advance. Hofstatter won her fourth-round match against Ismael Paez 8-5.

Snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan, who has been generating huge interest in the international scene, barely squeaked by into the next round. He lost his hill-hill match against Mika Immonen, and though he tied with two other people in his group, he advanced because of his higher games-won percentage.

George Breedlove was also on tenterhooks after winning his double-hill match against Sammy Jones. “Anybody that wants to come to Indiana and work with me for thirty days and do everything I do—they can bet fifty thousand at the end of thirty days.”When asked how he felt after the day’s play, he said, “Well, I always feel like I’m King Kong, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get to the top of the building.” Breedlove tied with John Schmidt and Jianbo Fu for three wins, but he lost by a small percentage.Larry Nevel advanced to the next round by three one-hundredths of a percentage point over Takeshi Okumura. That really brings home how important every single game can be.

David Matlock had an easy time of it in the fifth round, as his opponent, Greg Hogue, forfeited. “I had a good day today—I was undefeated. I really don’t know why my last opponent didn’t show—it could have been worth something. Today was much better. I struggled yesterday, but everyone had problems yesterday. I dry broke I don’t know how many times yesterday,” Matlock said.

He then added, “I changed my break a little from yesterday, I was hanging on to the cue a little too hard, had kind of a death grip on it, so I let up a little. My closest match was eight-five, but they were all closer than the score showed. I feel real good going into the next round tomorrow—you know it’s going to get tougher from here—it’s sure not going to get easier. I got better today, and I’m just gonna get a good night’s rest and be prepared for tomorrow.”

No explanations for George San Souci’s forfeit have been forthcoming as yet, but it is to be assumed that it is because of his previous four losses, as with Greg Hogue. With the new games-won percentage method of seeding, this could be devastating to them both.

For a list of the 60 remaining players, please click here.

Visit the IPT for the latest news on their North American Open 8-Ball Championship.

IPT announce PartyGaming Sponsorship Deal

PartyGaming to Sponsor International Pool Tour

World’s Largest Online Poker Brand and IPT form marketing partnership
July 23rd, 2006

Las Vegas, Nevada: PartyGaming Plc, best known for its online poker room PartyPoker.com and PartyPoker.net, the world’s largest on-line poker school, has signed on with the International Pool Tour in a major sponsorship deal, it was announced today.

PartyGaming has become the official on-line gaming sponsor of the IPT’s “North American 8-Ball Open Championship,” being held at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas from July 23rd-July 30th.
PartyGaming Plc. was founded in 2001 and is widely considered the leading on-line gaming company. It has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 2005 and has customers in over 190 countries.

The International Pool Tour’s “North American 8-Ball Open Championship” will be the most widely-televised and promoted pool event in history. Every round of the tournament will be covered live and on a delayed tape basis in prime-time on Eurosport, which is seen in 54 countries and 20 languages through Europe. Major announcements about the U.S. broadcast schedule will be made during the week of the event. Other major broadcast deals for IPT programming, including the North American 8-Ball Open, will be announced shortly.

“We’re proud to be working with PartyGaming and PartyPoker.Net on the richest and most dramatic pool event ever,” said Jon Denny, IPT Executive Director. “They have a great product and the highest level of integrity. It’s also obvious that there’s a strong connection between poker and pool. We’re excited that the two leaders in poker and pool can collaborate here in Las Vegas and beyond.”

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Day 1 and 2 complete in Vegas

Days One and Two, which make up the first official round of the International Pool Tour North American Open, are now in the history books.

The historic $2,000,000+ tournament with its unprecedented first place prize of $350,000 has seen great play, controversy, and difficulties overcoming the grueling tournament format and tough playing conditions. Here is a slight recap of the goings on at the tournament. For full coverage, visit www.internationalpooltour.com. There you can follow all the action including scoring, pictures, stories, and more.

The IPT has sent home 80 of the original 200 players who showed up for its North American 8-Ball Open Championship, with only 120 returning for Tuesday's matches. Monday began with 100 of the world's finest players, but 40 were eliminated through the grueling round-robin, race-to-8 format. With five rounds throughout the day, players had to play four matches to determine whether or not they would advance. Every player in the tournament so far has played a minimum of eight hours on their day of play; many players played ten or more hours.

the beginning of day one, everyone was smiling and having a great time. By the end of day two, there was happiness on the faces of many, and devastation facing the 80 who have been eliminated from the tournament, including some favorites to do very well and maybe even win the tournament. To see a list of the players who are still playing, and those who have been eliminated, click here!

The equipment is generating plenty of controversy, with many American players disparaging the custom cloth and the European and snooker players thankful for it. However, the most common complaint so far is the general inability of the players to pocket balls on the break. Players like Corey Deuel, Johnny Archer, Jimmy White, Shannon Daulton-all known for their excellent breaking abilities-have all made comments to the effect that they are encountering severe difficulties with their breaks.

The IPT tables made by Diamond have the tightest possible pockets, in order to meet IPT code. The pockets are cut to 4 1/2 inches. However, taking into consideration the thickness of the cloth, the corner pockets are really 4 1/4" - 4 3/8" which make pocketing balls very challenging. The IPT has purposely made the playing conditions so difficult so that only the best players can win. However, being the best in this tournament format requires not only precision skills at billiards, it also requires mental and physical tenacity. The slow nap cloth made by Gorina has proven to be a challenge to American players who don't have much experience playing on this sort of cloth. Many players have tried rolling the ball on safety shots and never reaching a rail. More fouls have been called at this tournament for this very reason than at any other tournament explained one of the official referees. Players do however like the Sardo M-5000 Tight Rack because it eliminates any potential problems caused by a bad rack. Using the M-5000 guarantees a consistent rack every time. To learn about official IPT equipment, click here.

One major story line is how the ladies will fare at on the IPT. So far, the ladies seemed to have trouble keeping up with the rest of the pack, with the exception of Allison Fisher and Sarah Ellerby-both Brits-will advance to Tuesday's play. Loree Jon Jones also played well and advanced to the second round with two wins and two losses. Former World Champion Gerda Hofstatter slid into round two in a three way tie for third place in her bracket. She was tied in wins with Jim Weast and Hall of Famer Ed Kelly. However, Gerda had the best winning percentage and prevailed by only a 1.1% margin over Weast. Many women never won a single match.

The Hall of Famers exhibited similar troubles remaining competitive today. Earl Strickland, Efren Reyes, and Mike Sigel had no worries, but the majority of the HOF members held less than a 50% games-won average.
Needless to say, when exhaustion sets in with the players, tempers flare, and controversy enter the game. There were a few disputes during Round 1. David Alcaide, who was one of the IPT qualification event winners in Veert, The Netherlands, was found to be using a phenolic tip on his break cue. He was penalized one game by the referee and not allowed to use the cue again. Also, in the match between Grady Mathews and Jeff Abernathy, both players were warned for their unsportsman-like conduct. At one point in the match, a referee made a call that Mathews found questionable, causing "The Professor" to go off the air, resulting in a penalty against him dished out by the referee. In his match against Philip Harrison of the U.K., Mike Sigel complained to the referee that Harrison had taken a bathroom break without his express permission. The referee penalized Harrison a game; however, the game was reinstated by Charles Ursitti when Harrison's corner man explained to him that Sigel had never said Harrison was not allowed to take a break. The rule is clear that if a player wants to take a break, he must do so on his inning, or have permission from the opponent. Harrison told Sigel that he needed to go to the bathroom. Sigel said nothing and Harrison took that as acknowledgement of his request. Sigel tried to make a big deal out of it, but by not saying no, it was construed as giving him permission to do so.

To read the rules, click here. Some of these disputes were caught by IPT photographers and are in the photo gallery, click here to see them.

This recap barely scratched the surface of all that went on. Visit www.internationalpooltour.com for the whole story, including in depth stories, photos, statistics, and the list of players who advanced to Round 2. You will be surprised by many of the players who failed to advance. Matches start at 10am (Pacific). Every player tomorrow will play five straight matches.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Welcome to the BCE Westbury Pool Table


Westbury - a name synonomos with World and other ranking championship snooker now comes to pool. Crafted in traditional english style featuring satin-finish honey rosewood, the Westbury pool table combines outstanding quality ad elegant design at an unbelievably affordable price.

The first coin-operated pool table designed by and built for BCE, The Westbury provides a quality alternative to the tables already on the market

12 Key feature make the Westbury the one to own
  • Available in 7ft coin-operated and freeplay versions. 6ft coin-op also available
  • Precision ground slate
  • Cushions and slate interchangeable with Riley tables
  • 100% Wool Boxxer Directional Pro-Nap Cloth
  • Quick release topframe
  • Quick release cushions, changeable in minutes
  • Aluminium slate bearers
  • Lockable valet storage compartment for brush, tips, chalk etc...
  • Cue ball retention at end of game
  • Robust cash box security
  • coin mechanism programmable from 10p to £2.00
  • Non-reset meter
  • Supplied with cues, balls and triangle

Predator Shaft Technology


BilliardsBoutique.com are pleased to announce that they will soon be carrying Predator Pool Cues and Predator Shafts.

Predator set up in 1992 to develop a technologically advanced cue shaft to decrease cue ball deflection and increase performance. Nowadays over 50% of professional pool players use Predator technology to aid their game.

Predator has built their business on their technologically-advanced pool cue shafts. If you want to enhance your game, simply replace the shaft of your existing cue with a Predator.

Predator is scientifically proven to shoot straighter when you use English (side spin). This is because the shaft produces as much as 50% less cueball deflection than any other cue, simply meaning you will be more accurate.

More Spin: Predator cues and shafts generate more spin (on average, 15-25% more). It is easier to draw and follow the cueball with a Predator pool cue shaft.

Flexural Consistency: Because the Predator shaft is spliced in ten pieces it will give you more consistent results and have a tendency to stay straighter than a conventional one piece shaft.

Results: Over 90% of independently surveyed Predator owners believed that playing with Predator improved their game.

Strong Warranties: All Predator Cues and Shafts are warranted for life against any manufacturer defect. If the ferrule ever cracks it is replaced free of charge. If the splices ever separate, the shaft is replaced free of charge.

Service: If you buy a Predator Product, you can call their factory toll-free at any time, and they will give you top priority. Predator is proud of their reputation of not only having one of the best performing pool cues in the industry, but possibly some of the best service also.

Feel: Traditional shafts vibrate on impact and distort the natural feel of the cue. The purer transfer of energy in the 314 shaft produces less vibration and leaves the player with a very solid feel.

Predator shafts come in a variety of joint pins that will fit the majority of pool cues on the market, call us or email us to see if we can get a Predator shaft for your cue.

We will soon be able to offer thesecond generation Predator 314 and Z-shafts. As of August we will also be able to supply the brand new Predator 5K series.

Friday, July 21, 2006

25% Off Fury Pool Cues


Fury Pool Cues feature selected maple shafts and pressed Irish linen wraps. We are proud of the fact that we keep all Fury Cues in stock.

The IPT North American 8-ball Open is upon and we thought we would get into the spirit of things by offering 25% off ALL Fury Pool Cues until July 30th 2006.

That is a massive £15.00 off the usual price of £60.00

Fury Pool Cues have been played with, or are still used, by IPT Pro's Rodney Morris, Jose Parica, Keith McCready and the UK's Kelly Fisher. They are made using high quality materials and are very affordable in price, they can be upgraded to fit a Predator 314 or Z-shaft. The Fury Cues in stock feature great decoration created using overlays not inlays but you will struggle to tell the difference.

Buy a Fury Pool Cue

IPT North American Open Update


Breaking News

Hall of Fame Member Jim Rempe has withdrawn from the tournament citing "personal reasons" that are keeping him from being able to perform under the grueling tournament format and conditions. On a telephone call, he reported that he was disappointed about not being able to play "in the biggest tournament of his life." Rempe hopes to be able to compete in the World Open, another major just six weeks away.

Filling Rempe's spot in the tournament is Keith Bennett. Bennett has played in multiple IPT qualification events. In the North American Open Qualification System, Bennett took third place in two separate events; he was one of only two players to do so in those 25 events.

The IPT North American Open 8-Ball Championship starts Sunday morning, July 23, 2006. Match times are 10am, 12:30pm, 3pm, 5:30pm, and 8pm (Pacific) daily.

Up to the minute results, pictures, stories, and other information will be available on line at www.internationalpooltour.com. Web coverage for this $2,000,000 event will be unprecedented in the world of billiards. The winner of this event will receive an historic $350,000 first prize! Don't miss any of the action.

Deno J. Andrews
Tour Director,
International Pool Tour
www.internationalpooltour.com

Billiards Boutique note: IPT is live on Eurosport in the UK

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Stan James release odds for IPT NA 8-ball Open

IPT North American 8-ball Open - Odds Announced

Stan James the Gibralter based Bookmaker have announced odds for the International Pool Tour North American 8-Ball Open.

Currently available are outright tournament odds only and there are a number of tasty bets available in the field of 200 players.

Joint Favourites for the title are:

Johnny Archer (USA), Efren Reyes (PHI) & Francisco Bustamnate (PHI) all at 14-1.

Of the favourites the best bet in my opinion is Efren Reyes after he won the IPT King of the Hill event in December last year.

Another Philipino, Marlon Manalo, who only lost 1 match (to Reyes) in the King of the Hill is also good value at 16-1.

There are a large number of British players playing in the event with World Snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan at 50-1. This will be his first major pool tournament so it will be interesting to see how he fairs on the smaller tables.

Other Brits are not rated by the bookies but at 150-1 former world 8-ball pool champion Mick Hill looks a good each way bet. Each way pays 1/4 the odds on the top four finishers.

Many people's outsider on forums in the states in Larry Nevel, little known over here but he had to win a qualifier to play in this event and at 200-1 is very good value indeed.

The full list of odds is available here

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Get on the Forums

In addition to Billiards Boutique we also run another site, mainly dedicated to the US Cuesport disciplines but open to all!

There is a forum that is open for cue sport discussion so why not join (It is FREE) and post your twopence worth!

Pool and snooker forum

Correia Does The Double

Martin Correia has won his second APN Promotions IPT Satellite qualifier in a row by defeating Damien Overton in the final at Rileys Victoria on Sunday.

The field in Victoria was a disappointing 19 with group stages followed by straight KO.

Group A turned out to be the group of death as Overton, Correia, Osborne and Brown were all drawn together. In the final match both Correia and Osbore would have progressed had Osborne won the match. Correia won it 5-4 and sent Overton through to the quarters.

The 1/4 Finals

Martin Correia 7-5 Ali Ramzi
Tony Burton 7-4 Caroline Walch
Gareth Esprit 5-7 Bartek Czapla
Andy Nicholson 2-7 Damien Overton

The Semi-Finals

Martin Correia 7-1 Tony Burton
Bartek Czapla 3-7 Damien Overton

The Final

Martin Correia 7-6 Damien Overton

This was one of the best finals I have ever seen. Damien was leading 6-3 and ran the rack on the hill but over ran position on the 8 ball leaving himself hooked. He called a corner pocket and tried a 3 rail kick, he narrowly missed his intended pocket and left the table open for Martin.

Martin then cleared his balls and won the next two racks taking it to hill-hill with Martin to break. He came up dry and let Damien in. Overton again ran all object balls and did not get the intended position on the 8 ball. The only shot he had was a full table audacious carom off the 15 ball, it just missed and went two rails into the centre pocket giving Martin the rack and the match.

James Kay won the event in Manchester with a 7-5 win over Paul Williams.

Next event in Sunday 23rd July at Rileys Solihull.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Quinten Hann makes pro come back

Quinten Hann back in the Pro Ranks


After the disgrace of Quinten Hann's match fixing allegations he decided to resign his membership of the WPBSA last year.

The talented, but often explosive, Australian cue man makes his professional comeback in the IPT North American 8-ball Open starting on the 23rd July.

In selecting Hann for the main tour the IPT have certainly opened a can of worms, should he be allowed to compete on a professional level again, in selecting him they have obviously give him the benefit of the doubt and gonein with blinkers on as they select the talent and not the man.

Hann has been drawn in probably the toughest group in the first round. He has been drawn with Ivica Putnik of Croatia, a regular top 32 player on the European 9-ball tour. The flamboyant, but brilliant Jimmy White, Spain's number 1 David Alcaide and Ronato Alcano a talented Philipino. Hann has played 8-ball before but on the smaller english tables.

He will know how White plays after his snooker days. He should progess through to the next round as the top 3 players go through so he only really needs 2 wins.

Live coverage of the IPT begins on British Eurosport on Sunday 23rd July.

What is the best way to clean your Pool Balls or Snooker Balls?

Cleaning your Pool Balls or Snooker Balls

More serious players these days tend to purchase a set of pool balls or snooker balls of their own so that they get more consistency in their game. But what is the best way to clean them?

The first question is what type of ball? Different balls need to be cleaned in different ways due to the materials used in the construction. Supapro balls are made of polyester and need to be treated in a completely different way to Aramith Balls which are constructed from phenolic resin.

Cleaning Supapro Pool/Snooker Balls (Polyester material)

Polyester balls have to be treated a lot more carefully as they do tend to scratch and lose their polish very easily. To clean a polyester pool or snooker ball use a light solution of warm water and a small amount of washing up liquid. Do not use an abrasive (even for stubbon stains) as this will scratch the ball and leave an unpolished finish. Use a cotton cloth or sponge and scrub gently for the worst offenders.

When you have completed the cleaning make sure you wash off the solution with clean warm water as the washing up liquid will form a film over the surface of the balls.

Make sure the balls are dried before use. For a better finish use a ball polish with a micro-fibre cloth.

Cleaning Aramith Balls

Aramith are the world leaders in Pool and Snooker Ball manufacture. Their balls are used in the majority of World Snooker Association tournaments and World Pool Association events as well.
The key to Aramith's success is in the material, phenolic resin. This material is scratch resistant and also highly polished. As a result aramith balls remain cleaner for longer and also produce less friction and therefore cloth wear.

When cleaning aramith balls do not use liquid detergents as it has been found recently to cause a film over the top of balls. The best bet is warm water to remove chalk residue an then to completely dry the balls (make sure it is a lint-free cloth) before applying Aramith Ball Cleaner, for more stubborn stains use Aramith Ball Restorer. Both of these products have been developed by Aramith for use on Aramith balls.

For all snooker balls and pool balls be sure to visit www.BilliardsBoutique.com

Please note: This article was updated on 21-5-013 as some previous information provided to us by a third party proved to be incorrect.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Playing 8-ball at the weekend?

IPT Satellite Qualifiers


We are off to host two satellite qualifiers this weekend. One in Rileys Victoria (London) and the other in Rileys Manchester (Deansgate)

I will personally be in London and am looking forward to a quality day of 8-ball pool. We are anticipating around 30 runners at each of the events and on offer, for the £25.00 entry fee, is a spot at the official UK IPT qualifier at Rileys Victoria on 4th August worth around £420.00 ($750.00).

The last event of it's nature that we promoted was a huge success with 35 players turning up for a full days pool action. Eventually the event was won by both Martin Correia and Gareth Esprit who both enjoyed their jaunts in the IPT qualifiers.

There is also a further event in Solihull on 23rd July only £20.00 to enter if you played in either of the Manchester or Victoria qualifiers before.