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