Thursday, December 13, 2007

14th Mosconi Cup Starts Tonight

The 14th Mosconi Cup, the annual 9-ball battle between USA and Europe, starts tonight live on Sky Sports in the UK and via the Internet on PPV via www.mosconicup.com

Team USA have won for the last 5 years and are again the bookmakers favourites with Stan James having them as 4/7 to lift the title.

Team USA features 2007 US Open 9-ball Champion Shane Van Boening plus Mosconi regulars, Jonny Archer, Corey Deuel, Earl Strickland and Rodney Morris.

Team Europe boasts 2007 World Champion Daryl Peach plus Niels Feijen, Ralf Souquet, Konstantin Stepanov and Tony Drago.

This year the action takes place in Las Vegas where a partizan US crowd will no doubt act as USA's "extra player".

It is a tough one to call but on paper the US side is the strongest and the majority of them have played Mosconi Cup together before. I want a European win but it will depend on how they manage the conditions and how they gel as a team.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

9-ball: Muratore Shines in Spain

Italian Bruno Muratore has won his first ever European tour event by beating Radoslaw Babica of Poland 10-9 to take the title and 5000 euro first prize.

Muratore had a great weekend beating European Number 1 Konstantin Stepanov in the 1/4 finals and then beating last tour stop winner Mark Gray in the semi-finals.

All results can be found here:

www.eurotour.nu

Snooker: Day One Upsets for Hendry and Doherty

Day One of the Maplins UK Championships has already seen two former world champions beaten in the first round.

Stephen Hendry was the first to fall to rising star Mark Allen - the scoreline over these longer matches was also a surprise as Allen beat him 9-4.

The second champ to be dismissed was Ken Doherty defeated by another player currently climbing the rankings and finding a bit of form. Nigel Bond, not one of the youngest on the tour but stringing together a number of consistent results. He beat Doherty in a twitchy affair 9-7.

Other Results:
Mark Williams 9-3 Ricky Walden
Stephen Maguire 9-3 Joe Swail

Matches finishing today:
Peter Ebdon 5-3 Ian McCulloch
Steve Davis 2-6 Stuart Bingham
Ding Junhui 6-2 Adrian Gunnell
Shaun Murphy 4-4 Paul Davies

Coverage continues on BBC 1 and 2 today.

Friday, December 07, 2007

9-ball: Costa Del Sol Open Undeway

The final Eurotour event of the season is underway with 40 British players taking part including World Championship bronze medallist Karl Boyes and World Champion Daryl Peach.

There are a number of British players playing in their first Eurotour event, Colin Gray, Andy Jeronimidis and Alan Millership.

Jeronimidis has won his first two matches to set up a tie with World Champion Daryl Peach.

All the results can be followed online at www.eurotour.nu

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Shop News: Order Early For Christmas

We are currently experiencing a very busy period in the lead up to Christmas.

It is advised that you order as early as possible to enable us to deliver your goods in time for Christmas. Whilst most parcels will arrive within our normal estimated delivery times - there will be some that take longer.

If you require high-end American Pool Cues or shafts then you need to order NOW! We do not stock these items and each one is a special order that can take 14 days to arrive.

We use three carriers for our parcels, Royal Mail, DHL (within the UK) and FedEx (larger International Orders). Our DHL service is normally next day but at this time of year allow three days delivery time.

If you experience any problems please call us as soon as possible.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Snooker: Maplin UK Championship Preview

After a week of intense competition at the World Snooker Centre at Pontins in Prestatyn, 16 players have qualified for the games second most prestigious tournament the Maplin UK Championship.

The qualified players are listed below:

Ian McCulloch
Joe Swail
Ricky Walden
Mark Allen
Nigel Bond
Adrian Gunnell
Stuart Bingham
Paul Davies
Dave Harold
Anthony Hamilton
Marco Fu
Joe Perry
Michael Holt
Mark King
Barry Hawkins
Jamie Cope

Qualifying for any of the ranking events is getting tougher and tougher, this was proved this time when former top 16 player Matthew Stevens was beaten Adrian Gunnell. Also on the list of high profile casualties was Shanghai Masters winner Dominic Dale, Grand Prix semi-finalist Gerard Greene and Northern Ireland Trophy runner-up Fergal O'Brien.

The main event kicks off next saturday at the Telford International Centre.

Bookmakers Odds:

Stan James place Ronnie O'Sullivan as the 3/1 favourite - last night he reached the final of the Premier League playoffs so is a man in some sort of form. 2nd favourite for the title is Dind Junhui at 6/1 followed by Higgins and Murphy at 8/1 and 9/1 respectively.

They are only offering each way on the finalists so looking at the draw the bottom half is definately tougher so an outsider to come from the top? Last years winner Peter Ebdon who has always liked the longer match format. He is available for 20/1 so a £5 each way bet would mean a £160 return.

It is difficuolt to predict a winner due to the way that snooker has gone this year, 3 events and 3 different winners with only one from inside the top 16 players.

Murphy looks good and has a good draw so he may be able to add to his previous world title. Another to look out for is Mark Selby and new young gun Mark Allen.

All matches are live on BBC TV and over the internet.

Complete Draw

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Marco Fu Given Masters Wildcard

Royal London Watches Grand Prix champion Marco Fu has been given the final wildcard place for the Masters in January.

Fu, who defeated Ronnie O'Sullivan in October's Grand Prix final joins snooker's top 16 elite players plus qualifier Barry Hawkins.

Fu will play Steve Davis in the first round.

£200 Added - Get Your Entries In!

Get your entries in for the Billiards Boutique Christmas Pool Open.

Saturday 15th December is the qualification event, £10 to enter in advance and each player will be given a time slot to play their qualifying matches.

The qualifiers will be run as best of three frame matches in a double elimination format.

This means everyone is guaranteed 2 matches for their money. Two players from the winners side and two rom the losers side will progress to the knockout stages on Sunday 16th December.

The knockout stages will all be best of 9 frame matches with the winner taking the trophy and the £220 first prize.

All entry fee's are paid out in prize money plus £200 will be added by Billiards Boutique. Total prize money for the event is £520 (based on a field of 32).

Payouts are as follows:

1st: £220.00
2nd: £110.00
3rd: £55.00
£55.00
5th: £20.00
£20.00
£20.00
£20.00

To enter you must pay in advance and you can do is via credit/debit card over the phone on 01305 822132. There will be an additional £1 charged for all card entries.

For more details email or call Pete Williams.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Snooker: Premier League Finals Preview

This weekend see's the semi-finals and the finals of the Partybets.com Premier League snooker.

The league which started in September with 7 of the worlds best snooker players reaches it's finale this weekend at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

Stephen Hendry on home soil will play the bookies favourite to lift the crown - Ronnie O'Sulliavn in the first semi-final - followed by snooker's biggest rising star Ding JunHui taking on current world champion, another Scot on home soil, John Higgins.

The outright odds look like this:

Stanjames.com
O'Sullivan - 5/6
Junhui - 10/3
Hendry - 5/1
Higgins - 5/1

I think with the crowd behind them you cannot discount either of the two Scottish players and I would be putting my money on Stephen Hendry at 5/1.

O'Sullivan can be very volatile at times and although calmer this season anything can happen. None of the players in this tournament have won a ranking event this season and the Premier league will be good match practice going into next week's Maplin Uk Championship.

All the Premier league matches are live on Sky Sports over the weekend.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Barnsley Open 1st/2nd December

The Barnsley 9-ball Open takes place this weekend 1st/2nd December at the fantastic Rileys club in Barnsley.

Highly regarded tournament director Shirley Ang will again take the reigns in what is anticipated to be a high quality field - it is believed that 2007 World Pool Champion Daryl Peach will be in attendance.

Saturday night will see the £250 per man special event take place - straight KO, 8 players - winner takes all!

The cameras from Cuesport TV will be covering the action for later broadcast.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Buyers Guide: Snooker Cues

1. Learn about splicing

The butt timber is spliced (joined) 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 section has been adapted from the Peradon sales brochure)

2. Look for Matching grain

You can always tell the quality of a snooker cue based on whether the grain of the wood matches across the joint.
Having a cue with matching grain affords the user a more consistent and fluid feel to every stroke. A cue that is constructed in this manner will also have a more even balance and the weight will be distributed more evenly.

3. Looks don't equal feel.
This is such an obvious statement but it is very true. The most expensive cue in a range is generally expensive because of the materials that have been used. Another factor is the actual man hours that it takes to produce each individual cue. By purchasing the top of the range cue you are not getting a higher performance model but just a cue that is more aesthetically pleasing. You can get the same performance out of a cheaper more plain looking cue.
It is important that you only take this as advice, you might personally find the top of the range cue suits you best.

You can always come in to Billiards Boutique and handle a few cues before you purchase.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

8-ball Pool Tournament

Due to the success of the last tournament at our snooker cue shop in Portland we are running our second monthly competition on Saturday 13th October.

It is £5 to enter with £40 added. All entry fees paid out in prize money. This particular event is played to WEPF world rules and all matches will be best of 5 frames (final best of 7).

Limited to 32 runners so book early on 01305 822132.

The last tournament was won by Charlie McKinlay - can he make it a double?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A Long Time Away

It has been a long time since we posted on the blog and the reason has been the fact that Billiards Boutique has been so damn busy!

The beginning of September saw the launch of our brand new store at Southwell Business Park, Portland. On the opening day we decided to run a free entry pool tournament with £100 cash up for grabs. The event attracted 28 local players and was won by Dorset County Pool Player Charlie McKinlay.

It was a huge success and as a result we are running another one on the 13th October. £5 entry with £40 added to the prize fund.

In addition to opening the new store we have been putting a lot of work into the website to give it better functionality and search engine rankings!

You may well have seen us at some of the Premier League Snooker Events this year as well - We had a trade stand at Haywards Heath and Plymouth. If you didn't go then you missed out on a free snooker cue and case competition that we were running.

Look out for details of an upcoming Portland Christmas 8-ball Open and I will post again soon.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Shanghai Masters: 1/4 Final Matches

The quarter-final matches are now set for the 2007 Shanghai Masters with the remainder of the round two matches finished this afternoon

Round 2 Results

Stephen Hendry (Sco) 3-5 Stephen Lee (Eng)
Stephen Maguire (Sco) 4-5 Matthew Stevens (Wal)
Ding Junhui (Chi) 1-5 Graeme Dott (Sco)
Adrian Gunnell (Eng) 1-5 Dominic Dale (Wal)
Stuart Bingham (Eng) 5-4 Stuart Pettman (Eng)
John Higgins (Sco) 3-5 Mark Selby (Eng)
Dave Harold (Eng) 5-1 Steve Davis (Eng)
Ian McCulloch (Eng) 3-5 Ryan Day (Wal)

Friday's Quarter-Final Matches

Ryan Day (Wal) v Matthew Stevens (Wal)
Dave Harold (Eng) v Dominic Dale (Wal)
Stephen Lee (Eng) v Graeme Dott (Sco)
Mark Selby (Eng) v Stuart Bingham (Eng)

So who is your money on?

It is a very open tournament now with a lot of the so called big-guns now out of the event, after his 2nd at the 2007 World's Mark Selby would be my favourite but it is anyone's for the taking.

Good to see a resurgence in Welsh snooker as well with three Welsh players in the 1/4's

Shanghai Masters: Selby Exacts Revenge

In the second round of the Shanghai Masters (the 2007-08 season opener) Mark Selby has gained revenge for his world final defeat to John Higgins in May. Selby won the match 5-3 to progress into the 1/4 finals.

The other big shock of the day was Steve Davis being thumped 5-1 by a resurgent Dave Harold. Harold has now beaten two former world champions en route to the 1/4 finals.

Other results:

Stuart Bingham (Eng) 5-4 Stuart Pettman (Eng)
John Higgins (Sco) 3-5 Mark Selby (Eng)
Dave Harold (Eng) 5-1 Steve Davis (Eng)
Ian McCulloch (Eng) 3-5 Ryan Day (Wal)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

World Cup of Pool 2007

The date and venue are set for the second ever World Cup of Pool. 32 nations of two man teams will be competing for a share of the $250,000 prize fund with the $60,000 first prize.

Defending champions and Number 1 seeds the Phillipines (Efren Reyes & Francisco Bustamante) will be looking to make it two from two and in the first round have what on paper looks like an easy match against Scotland (Pat Holtz & Michael Valentine). I am sure the Scottish lads will want to prove me wrong and Pat in particular has been in excellent form this year with a semi-final finish in the World Pool Masters.

Full List of Teams

Full First Round Draw Sheet

The date is Tuesday, September 25 to Sunday, September 30 at the Outland nightclub in Rotterdam, Holland. The dutch as hosts have two teams and they both look very strong, Alex Lely will be out of retirement for this one!

Shanghai Masters - Round 1

Round 1 of the Shanghai Masters is complete with Tony Drago, Fergal O'Brien, Dominic Dale, Adrian Gunnell and Stuart Pettman having easy passages through the difficult WILDCARD round.

The only two "tour regulars" to fall at this stage were Scott MacKenzie who lost a tough match 5-4 to Yang Qintian, Michael Judge who lost 5-3 to Xiao Guodong and Mike Dunn who lost 5-3 to Yu Delu.

This means the first round proper is now complete however, one name missing from the draw is Ronnie O'Sullivan who after advice from his doctor has withdrawn due to a back problem.

Completed 1st Round Matches

John Higgins 5 v 2 Jamie Cope
Peter Ebdon 3 v 5 Dave Harold
Steve Davis 5 v 4 Fergal O'Brien
Ali Carter 1 v 5 Adrian Gunnell
Ryan Day 5 v 1 Tony Drago
Stephen Maguire 5 v 1 Xiao Guodong
Stephen Lee 5 v 4 Marco Fu

Two massive upsets in the first round with Dave Harold (who has confessed he wants to break back into the top 16) beating Peter Ebdon and Ali Carter losing heavily 5-1 to Adrian Gunnell.

More results to follow







Friday, August 03, 2007

We Have Moved!

Well it has been a few months in the making but we have finally moved from our tiny premises in Brewers Quay, Weymouth.

The new shop, at Southwell Business Park, is about 12 times larger than the last cupboard!

The new store will have room for 120 cues on display plus many more in storage, you will also be able to try out a pool or snooker cue on our newly installed slate bedded pool tables, there will be no charge and you can try as many cues as you like to get the right one for you.

I will post some pictures of the new unit soon.

All in all the move is very exciting and is a massive development in the growth of Billiards Boutique, a big thanks to our customers over the last year who have contributed to this growth.

Look out for special invites to the Official Opening in September - potentially 40% Off certain stock ranges.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Disabled ex-snooker star makes new bid for cash help

Former Snooker pro Chris Small has threatened legal action against World Snooker if his latest bid for funds from the Snooker benevolent fund is refused.

The 33-year-old former LG Cup winner had his first application for funds refused and now he is trying again.

The fund was set up for just this scenario so I don't understand whay it is not being paid out.

Some other people make some very interesting points on the Scotsman.com where this article was sourced from:
http://news.scotsman.com/edinburgh.cfm?id=1107752007

I can understand the comments about him being secure after a lifetime of snooker where he earned a decent living, but my point would be if he is entitled to the money then he should be paid.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

First Round Draw Complete for Shanghai Masters

The qualifying matches of the first ever Shanghai Masters Snooker Tournament have now been completed with some well known and not so well-known faces making it into the draw.

Tony Drago, who has had some major success at pool recently, has made a comeback to the main tour TV stages and will have to play one of the Chinese Wildcards in his first match.

There are 8 wildcard matches that put the qualifiers against 8 Chinese wildcards, some don't agree with this system, but it certainly develops the game in China and gives some of their younger players the chance to compete with the professionals.

Wildcard Round (qualifiers only)
wc1 Scott Mackenzie
wc2 Stuart Pettman
wc3 Fergal O'Brien
wc4 Adrian Gunnell
wc5 Dominic Dale
wc6 Tony Drago
wc7 Michael Judge
wc8 Mike Dunn

1st Round (Seeded Players in Red)
John Higgins v Jamie Cope
Mark Selby v Winner of WC1
Mark Williams v Stuart Bingham
Ronnie O'Sullivan v Winner of WC2
Peter Ebdon v Dave Harold
Steve Davis v Winner of WC3
Ali Carter v Winner of WC4
Ken Doherty v Winner of WC5
Shaun Murphy v Ian McCulloch
Ryan Day v Winner of WC6
Stephen Maguire v Winner of WC7
Neil Robertson v Matthew Stevens
Stephen Hendry v Nigel Bond
Stephen Lee v Marco Fu
Ding Junhui v Winner of WC8
Graeme Dott v Michael Holt

Potentially we are set for a rematch of the 888.com World Championship final if both Selby and Higgins get through their first round matches.

Pick of the round for me though is Neil Robertson against Matthew Stevens, Stevens had an off season last year and had to qualify for this event after dropping out of the top 16, he will be looking to remedy that this season.

Monday, July 09, 2007

New Snooker Cues Have Arrived

We have just introduced a limited time offer on two great ADAM snooker cues - each of the cues feature high quality ash shafts, blue diamond tips and machined spliced rosewood butts. They also have inlays of exotic timbers such as Paduk.

Both cues come with a black leatherette case with burgundy leather trim and an extension.

The limited time offer is whilst stocks last and the cue pictured is 21% Off the RRP, the price includes our Free UK Delivery.

Go and buy one before it is too late.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

More Disappointment for UK 9-ball Players

The BPPPA have announced that thismonths proposed UK 9-ball Open Championships, due to be held at the City of Manchester Stadium, have been cancelled.

This latest announcement is one of a long running series of disappointments for Britains players, the British Open was also cancelled last year. It leaves a lot of members with a bitter taste in their mouth asking the question was it just a carrot to get us to join the tour?

Ted Bristow, the BPPPA President stated, "We are extremely disappointed that we have been forced to cancel the event."

Mr Bristow when on to explain the reasons behind the cancellations and that every attempt was made to try and secure a sponsor after the initial sponsor had pulled out.

It has meant that the latest BPPPA Tour event only had 47 players taking part in Manchester. This is the lowest turnout of a Main Tour event in its history and on paper does not bode well for the future.

Players and fans of the sport hope that something can be resolved quickly to give the UK a decent professional 9-ball tour.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Billiards Boutique Provide Student Support

Billiards Boutique Provide Student Support via Sponsorship of the UPC


Billiards Boutique of Weymouth has become an affiliate of the Universities Pool Council (UPC) this week in order to provide support to our countries youth.

The Universities Pool Council (UPC) promotes the sport of pool at Higher Education institutions in the United Kingdom and exists for the benefit of players at this level. They are recognised by both the English Pool Association (EPA) and the British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) as the governing body for university pool.

UPC Communications Director, David Graham says, ‘I am delighted that Billiards Boutique has chosen to become affiliated with the UPC and am excited by the prospect of a working relationship between the two of us.’

Read Full Release at Billiards Boutique.

Engert Becomes latest World Pool Master

Thomas Engert has won the 2007 World Pool Masters this last weekend in Egmond-An-Zee in Holland.

The field of 16 of the world's top 9-ballers were invited to this annual even by Matchroom Sport and will be televised later in the year on Sky Sports in the UK.

Undoubtedly one of the biggest surprises was that not one US player was invited to this event for the first time in its history, whether this reflects the changing state of pool or just that there are enough events for Americans to play at home will remain to be seen and is surely something for another discussion.

Also for the second time in Masters history a female player, this time Jasmin Ouschan, took to the table against the men.

Full results:

Round 1 (Losers receive $1500):

David Alcaide (Esp) 8 – 6 Ralf Souquet (Ger)
Oliver Ortmann (Ger) 8 – 3 Naoyuki Oi (Jap)
Pat Holtz (Sco) 8 – 6 Li He-wen (Chn)
Niels Feijen (Ned) 8 – 6 Imran Majid (Eng)
Wu Chia-ching (Tpe) 8 – 1 Tyler Edey (Can)
Thomas Engert (Ger) 8 - 4 Tony Drago (Mlt)
Nick van den Berg (Ned) 8 - 1 Jasmin Ouschan (Aut)
Fabio Petroni (Ita) 8 – 6 Ronnie Alcano (Phi)

The double world 8 & 9 ball champion Ronnie Alcano was surprisingly eliminated at this stage by the ever stubborn Fabio Petroni. Only one of the British based players made it through to the second round with Pat Holtz beating Li He-Wen who some thought could actually win the event.

Quarter-Finals (Losers Received $2500):

David Alcaide (Esp) 8 - 3 Oliver Ortmann (Ger)
Pat Holtz (Sco) 8 – 5 Niels Feijen (Ned)
Thomas Engert (Ger) 8 - 7 Wu Chia-ching (Tpe)
Nick van den Berg (Ned) 8 – 7 Fabio Petroni (Ita)

David Alcaide looked to be in excellent form after demolishing Ortmann 8-3 and Pat Holtz had an amazing 8-5 win over Niels Feijen putting him into the semi-finals.

Semi-Finals (Losers $5000):

David Alcaide (Esp) 8 – 5 Pat Holtz (Sco)
Thomas Engert (Ger) 8 – 4 Nick van den Berg (Ned)

The in form Alcaide was one match too many for Pat Holtz who hd an excellent tournament and took home $5000 for his troubles. Engert stormed past Van den Berg to book his place in the final.

Final (Winner $20000 - 2nd $10000):

Thomas Engert (Ger) 8 – 5 David Alcaide (Esp)

So a great tournament for Thomas Engert who played some great pool to win the WPM 2007. Can he defend his title in 2008?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Snooker: Ronnie O'Sullivan Fined £20,000

Ronnie O'Sullivan has been fined a massive £20,000 for walking out in his Uk Championship Quarter-Final against Stephen Hendry.

The fine is broken down as £4050 in forfeited prize money, £5000 court costs and then an £11,750 fine.

Although this has been drsagging on for some time I never thought that the fine imposed would be that big.

I suppose that it brings the game into disrepute and that paying customers were robbed of the chance to see a classic match. Although Ronnie had not been playing great he was only trailing 4-1 in the best of 19 match when he walked out.

Since his walkout however, Ronnie has been a true professional, his performance in the Masters was awesome and he also showed signs of his brilliance in this years World Championship.

In addition to the fine he has also been docked 900 ranking points.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

2007/08 World Snooker Tour Announced

The dates for the 2007/08 World Snooker Tour have been announced with (as previously reported) one addition to the series.

In addition to the Shanghai Masters World Snooker has also announced that prize money will increase by £250,000 this season with over £1 million available at the 888.com World Snooker Championships, including £250,000 to the eventual winner.

The additional prize money will see an increase in the payouts to the winner, runner-up and semi-finalists of the Royal London Watches Grand Prix, the Maplin UK Championship and the SAGA Insurance Masters.

The full calendar is below, some venues are yet to be decided:

Shanghai Masters
Grand Stage,
Shanghai
August 6-12, 2007

Pot Black Invitational
Venue to be confirmed
October 6, 2007

Royal London Watches Grand Prix
Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre
October 13-21, 2007

Northern Ireland Trophy
Waterfront Hall, Belfast
November 4-11, 2007

Maplin UK Championship
Venue to be confirmed
December 3-16, 2007

The SAGA Insurance Masters
Wembley Arena
January 13-20, 2008

Welsh Open
Venue to be confirmed
February 11-17, 2008

Beijing China Open
Venue to be confirmed
March 23–30, 2008

888.com World Snooker Championship
Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
April 19-5 May, 2008

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Worlds Most Expensive Pool Cue?

A cue by Gus Szamboti - one of the foremost American makers - is being sold on eBay at the moment, at the time of writing the cue was already over $36000.

This cue is a real rarity and a one off, plus Gus has passed so will no longer be making cues.

Follow the link here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Original-SIGNED-GUS-SZAMBOTI-Pool-Cue_W0QQitemZ290119607898QQihZ019QQcategoryZ21212QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Peach Only 50 Points Off Top Spot

Daryl Peach is only 50 points away from being Europe's number 1 pool player.

His win in this months German Open (his first Eurotour win) has catapulted him into 4th place behind Niels Feijen, Fabio Petroni and Oliver Ortmann.

Also this week the EPBF has released the full 42 participants from Europe that have qualified for the 2007 World 9-ball Championships held in Manila in November. The nation with the highest number of representatives is Germnay with 7 closely followed by the Brits with 6.

This further demonstrates the growth on a world level that our players are making with absolutely no support from their governing body.

The Brits going to Manila are as follows: Steve Davis, Raj Hundal, Imran Majid, Daryl Peach, Craig Osborne and Kevin Uzzell.

There is still one European spot up for grabs via an open qualifier later in the year.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

China to Host Two World Ranking Events

It was announced today, by World Snooker, that China will host two world ranking events next season. The first event (and a new event to the calendar) will be the season opener running from 6th-12th August.

The new tournament will be known as the Shanghai Masters and will be underwritten by the Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association. The contract that has been signed between the WSA and the CBSA means that these two tournaments are secured for the next five years.

The second ranking event will be the China Open in March where Graeme Dott will look to defend his title.

Personally I think this is a great move for World Snooker and further illustrates the rapid growth that snooker has had in China over the last 5 years. Any edition to the ranking calendar is good for the development of the game both at home and abroad.

My one concern (in terms of Chinese players) is that the qualifiers for the event will be held in Prestatyn, meaning 8 Chinese Wild cards. I think it is perhaps time to move the qualifiers to the nation of the event.

Read the full press release here

Make Your Comment Below.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Snooker Ace Drago wins in Southfields

Tony "The Tornado" Drago won the Rileys 9-ball Knockout held at Rileys Southfields on Sunday.

The event attracted a number of high profile players including Drago, Imran Majid and Rico Diks.

The tournament was straight knockout race-to-5 racks in all rounds so the matches were short and sweet.

In the final Drago defeated Anthony Ginn 5-3 to take the £1000 first prize.

Craig Osborne picked up 3rd place.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

9-year Old Makes a 50 Break

9 year old Shane Castle knocked in an amazing 61 break against Jason Hildyard at the Chandlers Ford U-21 Roll Up snooker event.

This is Hampshire reports that: Castle started on full-sized tables less than two years ago but has quickly established himself as one of the country's top players in his age group.

On his debut at the Pontin's Prestatyn Star of the Future' tournament in February, he reached the under-12 final.

And, on his ninth birthday in January, he signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Insurance Brokers Oliver and Sanders.

Coach Dave Mumford has been working with Castle for more than a year.
"Breaks are one measure of progress," he said. "The other is how he performs in tournaments which, to me, is more important.

"The progress he has made is phenomenal; he must not lose sight of that. But also he needs to be more focused in his match-play.

"A 61 in 15 months, nine-years-old, how much more progress do you want? It's scary."

We will be keeping an eye for this youngster as he progresses

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

BCA 9-Ball Championships Started

The BCA 9-Ball Pool Championships including 128 of the worlds greatest pool players both male and female are competing in Vegas this week.

A number of British hopefuls are playing including former World Masters Champion Raj Hundal and Darren Appleton.

Best place for updates is: www.azbilliards.com

Or to view the draw visit: http://www.azbilliards.com/brackets/showbrackets.cfm?tourneynum=2506

Daryl Peach wins 2nd Tournament in a Week

Daryl Peach continued his excellent run of form by winning the latest installment of the BPPPA Tour in Stafford.

Peach came from behind to beat good friend Stuart Colclough (his first final) 11-9.

This caps off an amazing week for Daryl as the previous Sunday he won the German Open Eurotour event - a win that moved him to number 5 in the European rankings.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

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Stock is limited so please do not delay or you may be disappointed

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Mickey Flynns 10-Ball Event

I made my long awaited return to the tournament scene on Sunday with a trip to Mickey Flynns in Cambridge.

A quality field of 40 players contested this 10-ball event.

The first round was a group stage with each match consisting of 8 racks. All racks had to be played meaning a draw was an option.

I lost my first match to a mate of mine (keeping the score a secret!!!) which meant I had work to do to qualify for the KO stage. I won my next match 5-3 against Colin Gray and then needed a draw or better against Gary Holloway - I won that match 6-2 to cement my place in the last 16.

It was the first time I had made the KO stages of any tournament and not bad considering I had not played a tournament since Jan '05.

It was not to be my day though as in the last 16 I got hammered 9-0 by Wayne Fryer (he went on to be runner-up!) - I was 5-0 down before I got my first visit to the table and he played awesome. He hardly missed a ball and fully deserved the win!

I got a taste for competition again and will hopefully play some more events this year.

Results

1st) Kevin Hew - £350.00
2nd) Wayne Fryer - £150.00
3rd) So Shaw & Anthony Ginn - £90.00
5th) Gareth Esprit, Brad Parker, Mike Rogers, Carlton Watson - £60.00

Peach wins in Germany

Britains Daryl Peach has won the latest Eurotour 9-ball event in Sindelfingen Germany.

Peach came through a field of over 200 players to take the title and 5000 Euro winners cheque. The result moves Daryl up to number 5 on the Eurotour rankings.

It was a good weekend for the Brits with four players in the last 16: along with Peach, Raj Hundal, Mark Gray and Richard Jones made the last 16.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I am Playing Again!!!

Finally! I am playing a tournament this weekend for the first time since the BPPPA Harrow Open in January 2005.

The event I am partaking in is the Mickey Flynn's 10-ball Open in Cambridge. A quality field is already assembled and it will be a great day out at least 3 matches in the group stages.

Difficult game though 10-ball, especially if you don't make a ball on the break!

Anyway I will give it my best shot.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Snooker Table Conditions in Doubt at Crucible

I have been watching a lot of the snooker over the last week and in all of the matches I have watched I have doubted the consistency in the cushions.

Is it me or are they playing very inconsistent? A number of shots are coming off the cushions a lot faster than the way they went in this means that players are over-running position on a lot of occasions. Never have I noticed this before, also there seems to be fewer century breaks are the cushions the cause?

On the other hand certain cushions are making the ball square up after contact which means not enough bounce.

Surely at Snooker pinnacle event this problem should be addressed?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Hendry Unconvincing even with New Snooker Cue

Stephen Hendry made, what in some people's eyes would be regarded as mad, a decision to change his trusty cue 2 weeks before the start of he 2007 Snooker World Championships.

It did not look to be the right decision either as he struggled past David Gilbert in the first round after being 4-1 down.

A snooker cue is generally seen as an extension to a players cueing arm and it takes some time for that feeling to exist with a new cue.

Why make a decision to change this close to the World Championships? I am unsure but Hendry is confident that the cue can move him forward - The cue he is using is an Acuerate, a cue developed by leading coach Chris Henry that uses low deflection technology to stop the cue ball squirting when playing with side.

I believe Hendry is the first Pro to use one in competition and it will be interesting to see how he progresses.

Hendry's match in the second round started today against Ali Carter.

Friday, April 27, 2007

An "Almost" 147

Unlucky goes out to Joe Swail who was on a maximum attempt when a kick left him low on his next red.

He potted the red quite easily and then left himself what would have been a thin cut into the corner on the next black - he decided to take the pink after long deliberation and attempted what would have been a Crucible first - 146 break. It was not to be as he missed an easy black off its spot off the next red.

There would have been £157,000 for a 147, I would have taken that black on!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A "Kick" Up the Behind

Kicks have always been part of professional snooker but as each tournament goes by why do we see more and more?

I have noticed more in the first week of this years world championship than any other tournament - I could be looking for them though!

There are many arguments as to what causes a kick, or bad contact between the cue ball and the object ball these are some of them:

  1. Chalk residue - when chalk deposits itself on the cue ball (or when balls pick up chalk from the cloth) it creates an area that when contact is made the ball will jump in the air or kick. Many tests have been carried out. Some prove the theory and some don't. Players such as Mike Massey believe it has something to do with the finer Green chalk used by snooker players, this may also account for the reason that there are less kicks in pool.
  2. Static - The fine napped cloths that are used in professional snooker events can create a static charge on the balls surface due to the friction and temperatures the balls reach on contact. A static charge as opposed to a clean surface would again cause a kick.
  3. Manufacturing Process - One of the newest theories out there is that of the oils used in the manufacturing process and that the balls used in professional tournaments actually lubricate themselves during play. If this lubrication has not happened then a poor contact will occur. For more on this argument visit Talk Snooker Forum.

I for one am not completely convinced by any of the arguments and feel that at the professional level it could be a combination of all of the factors, including the lighting conditions caused by TV.

The debate continues.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

World Snooker: Wait is Over

The 2007 888.com World Snooker Championships started at 10am this morning with defending champion Graeme Dott against Ian McCulloch and Peter Ebdon vs Nigel Bond

The Dott vs McCulloch match was slow going with only 2 breaks over 50. After the interval Dott shot to a 4-2 lead but a missed black on frame ball let McCulloch in for a clearance. He then took the next 2 to lead 5-4 going into the second session tonight.

In the other match Peter Ebdon stormed into a 4-0 but the mid session interval seemed to revive Nigel Bond who strung 5 frames together to take the lead going into the second session. The highlight was a 114 in the 9th frame which is currently the highest break of the event.

Coverage available on BBC and BBCi all week.

Buy Snooker Cues

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

888.com World Snooker Championships 2007: Our Guide!

The 2007 World Snooker Championship is only days away and a fortnight of snooker bliss begins.

This year will in my opinion see one of the closest fought championships in a long time. Nobody has this year dominated the Ranking events, which leaves a lot of players in a position to grab the games ultimate prize.

Lets start with the favourites. Ronnie O’Sullivan, undoubtedly the games most natural talent, has once again had an up and down season. At the Masters in January we saw the side of Ronnie that is both brilliant and exciting yet preceding that we saw him walk out of his match with Stephen Hendry when the game was not lost.

All of the top bookmakers place Ronnie as the favourite with the best odds of 7/2 available at both Stan James and Ladbrokes.

It is then difficult to pick a second favourite with seven players hanging around on the same odds. Pick of the bunch would be John Higgins at 14/1 at Bet Fred.

We have seen rapid improvements in the games of Chinese sensation Ding Junhui and Australian Neil Robertson. Robertson has won 2 ranking events this season that has seen him move to World Number 7 in the provisional rankings. Ding on the other hand has had a consistent season with a few dips, most notably last week in his home tournament the China Open where he failed to progress beyond the first round.

What of last seasons champion? Well, Graeme Dott is in a rich vein of form after winning the China Open a couple of weeks ago – he demolished Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-2 in the semi-finals en route to the final. He always brings his “A-Game” to the Crucible and I am surprised to find him at 12/1 in most places with a best price of 14/1 at William Hill.

I think there are also a couple of other players that are also worthy of a mention – Stephen Hendry (he will be playing with a new snooker cue at this event) and can be backed at 10/1 at Bet Fred and cannot be overlooked. Peter Ebdon an amazing Crucible performer over the years and his best price is 14/1 available at Stan James and Bet Fred. Shaun Murphy a previous winner is also someone not to be dismissed and has had a topsy-turvy season with a high point of a win in the Malta Cup.

Matthew Stevens, twice a runner-up has had a disappointing season that has seen him fall out of the top 16 provisionally, so he will be looking for a good performance to keep his ranking in the elite 16 players.

Fancy an underdog?

The biggest price can be had on BBC presenter and 1991 World Champion John Parrott who at 500/1 is a bit of a long shot, however, you may see him progress through the first round at least as he has drawn fellow presenter Steve Davis in the 1st Round.

A player in my opinion that you have to look out for is Judd Trump, the lowest ranked and youngest player in the tournament. He is ranked number 71 in the world and is only 17 years old. He is the third youngest player ever to compete at snookers pinnacle event, the other two are multiple world champions, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O’Sullivan. Judd can be backed at 66/1 for the outright win at William Hill.

The tastiest tie of the 1st round see’s Ronnie O’Sullivan play Ding Junhui in what will be a rpeat of the 2007 Masters Final. Ronnie won that match 10-3 so Ding will be out for revenge. I think if Ding beats O’Sullivan then he will win the World Championships.
If O’Sullivan wins that match then the title will go to either him, Neil Robertson or Stephen Hendry, if I had to move off the fence I would pick Stephen Hendry.

HAVE YOUR SAY BELOW

Thursday, April 12, 2007

China to Become Snooker's New World Force?

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/sports/2007-04/03/content_842170.htm

The China Daily (link above) has reported that China are aiming to stage no less than 10 World Ranking events.

The thinking behind this move (although it would not happen for a good number of years yet) is that as the game is enjoying rapid growth in China it is important from an awareness point of view that Chinese players are featured in the world ranking list. Currently it takes chinese players a long time to move through the rankings due to the structure of the sport.

10 events in China would mean it would be easier for Chinese players to break into the higher echelons of the sport.

Ding JunHui has shown the prowess of Chinese players with a number of World Ranking wins already under his belt. However, Junhui has had to move to the UK to achieve this. Ranking events in China would mean less trvelling and more opportunities for Chinese players to promote themselves.

Personally I think any move to introduce more rankinf events into the calendar is a good move and would be welcomed by all of the players and supporters alike.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Site News: A few Changes

After a couple of months with a new site design we have taken the decision to revert back to the old style. The main reason for this is that the old design allows us more freedom with the content that we want to make available.

We have also added a couple of neat little extras to help your browsing pleasure. If you have an account with Billiards Boutique then you can now add product reviews to the system, please try and be honest, we get to check everything before it goes live.

The second is a very simple little tool that allows you to email a specific product to a friend via a pop-up window, you can have control over the message that you send but there is already one included as default.

If you have any questions regarding these items then please call or email.

Dott Wins in China

A bit delayed I know but in case you weren't aware my prediction was correct!!!

Graeme Dott defeated Jamie Cope in the final of the China Open by a score of 9-5. Dott, I predicted he would win from the 1/4's onwards, went home with a cheque for £35,000 and another ranking title - only his swecond ever ranking event win - the first was last years World Championships.

Jamie Cope, who is only 21, has reached two finals this year and has been beaten in both, however he looks in great form along with Dott going into this months World Championships. Cope went away with £17,500 for 2nd and also picked up £2,000 for his 145 break against Shaun Murphy.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Snooker: China Open 1/4 Finalists Decided

The 1/4 finalists for this years China Open are now decided.

Marco Fu is the only Asian player left in the tournament and will be an unlikely hero to the Chinese crowd should he manage to go all the way in this event. Crowd favourite and former winner Ding Junhui went out in the 1st round 5-3 to Barry Hawkins, Hawkins had not won a ranking match all season until this match.

1/4 Final Draw

Jamie Cope (Eng) v Shaun Murphy (Eng)
Barry Hawkins (Eng) v Ken Doherty (Ire)
Marco Fu (HK) v Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng)
John Higgins (Sco) v Graeme Dott (Sco)

Jamie Cope is the lowest ranked player still in with a shout and has again put in an excellent run of form with the World Championships only just around the corner.

I personally fancy Graeme Dott to win this event - but don't put any money on him on my account.

Everything Back on Track!

This last 10-15 days have been an absolute nightmare at Billiards Boutique!

First we could not take any internet payments as our change of business status meant we had to change banks and then our telephone number decided to go down for 5 days whilst BT changed the numbers over.

Never work with children, animals or BT!

I hate telecomms companies I have never found one that acts fast and puts the customer first - have you? Either hours on the telephone trying to get through or (in a case I have previously had) you get hung up on when you do get through.

Fortunately we are not like that at Billiards Boutique and if you can't get through leave us a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can. We like to put the customer first but if for some strange reason you think that we haven't please let us know - but don't shout at us we are only a small company!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

China Open 2007 Underway

The China Open started on Sunday in Beijing with the wildcard rounds.

In total 6 Chinese players made it into the first round proper with home favourite Ding Junhui one of them.

Ronnie O'Sullivan has blasted into the last 16 with a 5-1 win and another crowd favourite Jimmy White, after two poor seasons, has reached the last 16 also. Jimmy's route was rather diferent though as Stephen Lee withdrew from the event.

Updates available from World Snooker

Monday, March 26, 2007

EPT London Open CANCELLED

The Empire Pool Tour London Open, set for March 31st, has been cancelled.

This is caused due to a clash with the EPBF sanctioned Swiss Open Biel 9-ball pool event.

It is especially heart breaking for me as it would have been the first tournament I had played in since January 2005.

I will post details of the re-arranged dates when I have them.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

German's Dominate European Pool Championships

The state of German Pool and the strength in depth that they possess is something I have touched on many times before. This last week in Liberec has really been the proof of the pudding.

The latest German winner is Thorsten Hohmann the 2003 World Pool Champion who defeated Radolslaw Babica (Poland) 9-3 in the final of the 9-ball event. But it is not only the winners that have taken precedence as Ralf Souquet also made it to the last four of the 9-ball event and 5 German's in total made it through to the knockout stages.

A special mention must also be made about Matt Lawrenson the U-18 that made it through to the KO stage of the 9-ball, the only Brit to do so. It did not turn out to be the best of tournaments for Britain and the slightly weakened squad did not make the best of the opportunity.

Round-up

I forgot to post the other day but Daniel Luton picked up a Gold medal for Britain in the Men's 8-ball Wheelchair division and Roy Kimberly took bronze.

Eylul Kibaroglu (Turkey) won the women's 9-ball division and Jasmin Ouschan proved that she is definately Europe's number 1 women's player with another bronze medal meaning she did not finish outside the top three in each of the divisions (on a side note she has also been invited to the World Pool Master's - the second ever female competitor).

Yet another Gold was won by Britain in the men's wheelchair 9-ball. This time Roy Kimberley winning 7-6 over Henrik Larsson of Sweden.

Final Medal Table

Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
Germany 3 0 2 5
Great Britain 2 0 1 3
Austria 1 1 4 6
Holland 1 0 2 3
Turkey 1 0 0 1
Sweden 0 2 0 2
Denmark 0 1 1 2
Poland 0 1 1 2
Russia 0 1 1 2
Norway 0 1 0 1
Malta 0 1 0 1
Slovenia 0 0 2 2
Finland 0 0 1 1
Greece 0 0 1 1

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Drago is the Nearly Man in 8-ball Event.

AsMalta's sole representative at this years European Pool Championships it was always going to be difficult for Tony Drago to take home a medal for his country. However he has done just that!

He battled his way through a 200+ field of some of Europe's best pool players in the 8-ball division.

He reached the final where he came up against multiple European champion Oliver Ortmann, it ended up being a step too far for Tony as he was beaten 8-3 by Ortmann but does take home a silver medal for Malta.

The Medals

Gold - Oliver Ortmann (Germany)
Silver - Tony Drago (Malta)
Bronze - Aris Damoulakis (Greece), Marcus Westen (Germany)

Drago now turns his attention to the 9-ball division.

In the womens division Diana Stateczny (Germany) defeated Charlotte Sorensen (Denmark) 6-5 in the final to take the glory for Germany. Eleswhere Jasmin Ouschan picked up another medal for Austria, this time a bronze and she was joined on the rostrum by Estelle Bijnen (Holland).

Buy Predator Pool Cues

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Feijen and Ouschan Victorious in Liberec

Niels Feijen has picked up the first Gold medal of the week at the European Pool Championships by picking up the Men's Straight Pool Title. He defeated Russian Konstantin Stepanov 125-30 in the final in front of a packed auditorium.

The Bronze medals were picked up by Radoslaw Babica (Poland) and Martin Kempter (Austria) who were beaten at the semi-final stage by Feijen and Stepanov respectively.

In the Women's event Austrian starlet Jasmin Ouschan bagged yet another European title and looks to totally dominate the entire European Championships. She beat fellow compatriate Sabrina Naverschnig in the final. Estelle Bijnen(Holland) and Charlotte Sorensen (Denmark)rounded off the medals.

After one event Austria top the medal table.

The 8-ball event has now started and live coverage is available on www.Bwin.com just register and then you can watch all the pool you want!

Predator American Pool Cues

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Billiards Boutique: European Pool Championships Start Today!

Billiards Boutique: European Pool Championships Start Today!

European Pool Championships Start Today!

The European Pool Championships started this morning in Liberec, Czech Republic.

Over 250 players from all corners of Europe will be competing in the 8-ball, 9-ball and Straight Pool divisions.

Britain's representatives started this morning in the Straight Pool category which are races to 125 points.

For full details and a link to live streaming video visit: www.europeanpoolchampionships.com

Back to BilliardsBoutique.com

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Alcaide Wins the 8-ball Grand Masters

Spains David Alcaide has won the first ever 8-ball Grand Masters event held in Cambridge over the weekend of 10th-12th March.

The tournament featured 32 of Europe's top pool players including Tony Drago, Niels Feijen, Nick van den Berg and Britains Imran Majid.

The tournament had a brutal schedule with around 6 hours of pool on the first day for each player and then 12 hours on the next two days depending on match length. The players could not however claim they did not get value for money as each had put in £500 of their own money

This made for an impressive £16,000 prize money and a £6,000 first prize.

Alcaide looked impressive from the start and in his first match ran out an entire set to win 8-0, his opponent never gettng to the table. He followed this up with 2 more racks in the next set. Matches were race to 8, winner breaks and best of 5 sets - hence the long match times.

The semi-finals consisted of 3 club mates that play out of Rileys Victoria in London. Imran Majid, Rico Diks and Tony Drago.

The final went the full distance with Alcaide taking the cash, trophy and the title 3-2 over Imran Majid.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

11th Weymouth Open Pool Tournament Announced

The 11th Weymouth Open Pool Tournament will take place from the 23rd-25th March 2007 at the Weymouth & Portland Snooker Club, in Weymouth Dorset.

On offer for amateur pool players is a share of the £1350 prize pot and the title of Weymouth Open Champion.

The tournament is for amateur players only and is played to old E.P.A rules (not World Rules).

The entry is fee is a reasonable £15. Qualifiers take place at the following times and is strictly first-come first-serve.
  • Friday 23rd March 7pm
  • Saturday 24th March 10:30am
  • Saturday 24th March 2pm
  • Saturday 24th March 6:30pm

Entry forms are available from the club on 01305 788593 or email Billiards Boutique and we can send you one.

Prize Structure

Winner £500 + Trophy
Runner Up £250 + Trophy
Semi's £100
1/4's £50
Last Sixteen £25

Get your entries in as soon as possible as this event limited to 112 players.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

See Billiards Boutique this Month!

During this month Billiards Boutique will have a presence at the following events:
  • 8-ball Grand Masters - 32 Players, £500.00 per player, £16,000 prize money - held at Mickey Flynn's American Pool, Cambridge - 10th-12th March
  • Weymouth Open Pool Tournament - £15.00 entry, £1350.00 prize money - held at Weymouth & Portland Snooker Club, Weymouth - 23rd-25th March
  • Finns Open Pool - £2.00 entry, £75.00 prize money - Finns, Weymouth - Sunday 25th March
  • EPT London Open - £8,000 prize money, £90.00 entry - Rileys Harrow, London 31st-1st Mar/Apr

If you have an event either locally or nationally let us know and we will post it!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Drago Out! Higginson Marches On!

Andrew Higginson, last months surprise Runner-up in the Welsh Open, has continued his excellent form by marching into the 4th qualifying round of the 888.com World Snooker Championships. He now faces Ricky Walden to put him another step closer to the crucible.

Tony Drago "The Tornado" all round crowd favourite did not have the same luck though and lost a very close match to Liu Song of China by 10 frames to 9.

The lowest ranked player still in the tournament is James Leadbetter who has already won 3 matches to reach his 4th qualifying round tie with John Parrott.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Snooker: 888.com Qualifiers underway

The Qualifiers for the 2007 888.com World Snooker Championships started on the 23rd February at Pontins in Prestatyn.

The complete draw for the qualifying rounds is via the link below.

888.com World Snooker Championship Qualifiers - may need to register on the World Snooker site.

8-ball Pool: Phil Harrison win Mickey Flynn's Season Opener

Mickey Flynn's has always been regarded as one of the best pool halls in the UK, with the quality of the tables, the staff and the fantastic hospitality.

This season Mickey Flynn's are running a joint 8-ball/10-ball tour to allow players tournament practice for the two UK tours. The EPT and the UK 10-ball tour.

This first event could have had £320.00added to the prize money with a full field but as it turned out it was very disapointing with only 20 players making the journey to Cambridge.

Due to the small field Ricardo Jones, Tournament Director, decided on an unusual format that is employed at the Derby City Classic. Each round is drawn at random like the FA Cup in football, and each player receives 2 lives meaning that they get at least two matches.

Final 6 and Tournament Payouts:

1st Phil Harrison - £250.00
2nd Ricardo Jones - £100.00
3rd= Mickey Lambert / Vinnie Calabrese - £75.00
5th= Lee Rigby / Lee Tucker - £50.00

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Trajdos Wins the Czech Open

Little known Polish cueist Wojciech Trajdos has completed an amazing run of matches at the Czech Open this weekend. Due to the new format he had to qualify for the last 64 stage and played an amazing 12 matches to win the title against Russian Konstantin Stepanov.

Stepanov had earlier beaten him in the double-eliminaton stage buy Trajdos exacted revenge with his 10-6 victory in the final.

He picks up a cheque for 6500 euro and this one result will catapult him into Europe's top 150 players.

Imran Majid was the last surviving Brit when he was defeated 10-8 by Engert in the last 16.

Local player Damian Massey had a great result in his first Eurotour outing when he reched the last 24 stage.


Full results available at: www.eurotour.nu

Friday, February 23, 2007

Billiards Boutique: Bournemouths Damian Massey makes last 64

Billiards Boutique: Bournemouths Damian Massey makes last 64

Bournemouths Damian Massey makes last 64

Damian Massey (friend of mine) has made the last 64 of the Eurotour Czech Open. He is still undefeated going into the second stage and will now have to face one of Europe's top 32 players.

The former main tour snooker pro has taken some time out over the last year to practice hard and in his first Eurotour event is already in the money!

Other Brits Daryl Peach, Imran Majid and Craig Osbourne now enter the event in this new format.

Another player that has gone through undefeated through the double elimination rounds is none other than Filipino sensation Marlon Manalo also playing in his first Eurotour event.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bit of an Update!

Haven't posted for a while I have been quite busy. I have posted below a bit of a round-up.

Snooker

Anyway in the last week Neil Robertson has won his second world ranking event of the season moving him to world number 4 provisionally. Its an excellent season for the Aussie that follows up from his Grand Prix win in the Autumn. The match did not all go his way though and Andrew Higginson took him to a final frame decider in his first final. Higginson also banged in a 147 earlier in the week.

Next event is the China Open, a bit of a World Championship warm up.

9-ball

Sandor Tot former European number 1 won the World Class 9-ball Open Switzerland. He defeated Sascha Specchia in the final 11-9.

Tony Drago has also been busy. He won the Center Pocket Open in Holland defeating Belgian Serge Das 10-8 in the final.

The Eurotour Czech Open started today with a huge list of Brits participating. The tour has moved to a new format for this year which see's the top 32 ranked players being seeded through to the last 64 on Saturday. A friend of mine - Damian Massey - is making his Eurotour debut.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Snooker: Murphy Sets New Ranking Record

Shaun Murphy last night set a new snooker ranking event record when he defeated Jamie Cope 5-0 in the Welsh Open.

Murphy became the first player in 31 years and 201 world ranking tournaments to compile 4 consecutive centuries in a best of 9 frame match. The first frame ended with a run of 135 and was followed by a 123, 102 and a 101. He also had a chance in the last frame but lost position at a crucial moment.

Murphy who won the Malta Cup earlier this month looks in fine form again and now plays Jamie Burnett of Scotland who put away the last Welshman in the draw, Mark Williams.

Full 2nd Round Results
Stephen Lee (Eng) 2-5 Nigel Bond (Eng)
Allister Carter (Eng) 5-3 Stuart Bingham (Eng)
Barry Hawkins (Eng) 2-5 Michael Judge (Ire)
John Higgins (Sco) 3-5 Andrew Higginson (Eng)
Shaun Murphy (Eng) 5-0 Jamie Cope (Eng)
Mark Williams (Wal) 4-5 Jamie Burnett (Sco)
Stephen Maguire (Sco) 5-0 Alan McManus (Sco)
Ken Doherty (Ire) 5-3 Joe Swail (NI)
Stephen Hendry (Sco) 5-2 Ben Woolaston (Eng)
Neil Robertson (Aus) 5-2 Michael Holt (Eng)
Matthew Stevens (Wal) 1-5 Mark Selby (Eng)
Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng) 5-1 Ian McCulloch (Eng)
Peter Ebdon (Eng) 4-5 Dave Harold (Eng)
Anthony Hamilton (Eng) 5-4 Joe Perry (Eng)
Steve Davis (Eng) 5-0 David Gilbert (Eng)
Graeme Dott (Sco) 5-3 Gerard Greene (NI)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snooker: Ronnie Romps through against McCulloch

Ian McCulloch did not have the happiest of Valentines days - he got trounced 5-1 by Ronnie O'Sullivan in the second round of the Welsh Open today. Ronnie, who is looking for his third Welsh Open title, looked completely comfortable throughout the match and will be confident going into his last 16 match.

A member of the old guard - Nigel Bond - who is having a resurgence this season also had a great result by eating last years winner Stephen Lee 5-2.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Snooker: Welsh Open 1st Round Results

The Welsh Open started on Monday with a full field of 48 players battling for the title. Unusual for a World Snooker event is that the 1st round in this tournament consists of players that would normally be in the final qualifying round.

Full 1st round results

Nigel Bond (Eng) 5-3 Liang Wenbo (Chn)
Stuart Bingham (Eng) 5-0 Joe Delaney (Ire)
Ryan Day (Wal) 0-5 Michael Judge (Ire)
Marco Fu (HK) 2-5 Andrew Higginson (Eng)
Ding Junhui (Chn) v Jamie Cope (Eng)
Robert Milkins (Eng) 3-5 Jamie Burnett (Sco)
Alan McManus (Sco) 5-2 Rod Lawler (Eng)
Joe Swail (NI) 5-1 Adrian Gunnell (Eng)
David Gray (Eng) 3-5 Ben Woolaston (Eng)
Michael Holt (Eng) 5-4 Ricky Walden (Eng)
Mark Selby (Eng) 5-0 Ian Preece (Wal)
Ian McCulloch (Eng) v Mark Allen (NI)
Andy Hicks (Eng) 4-5 Dave Harold (Eng)
Joe Perry (Eng) 5-2 John Parrott (Eng)
James Wattana (Tha) 1-5 David Gilbert (Eng)
Mark King (Eng) 0-5 Gerard Greene (NI)

Past winners
1992 - Stephen Hendry (Scotland)
1993 - Ken Doherty (Ireland)
1994 - Steve Davis (England)
1995 - Steve Davis (England)
1996 - Mark Williams (Wales)
1997 - Stephen Hendry (Scotland)
1998 - Paul Hunter (England)
1999 - Mark Williams (Wales)
2000 - John Higgins (Scotland)
2001 - Ken Doherty (Ireland)
2002 - Paul Hunter (England)
2003 - Stephen Hendry (Scotland)
2004 - Ronnie O'Sullivan (England)
2005 - Ronnie O'Sullivan (England)
2006 - Stephen Lee (England)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

888.com Announce deal with Rileys Clubs

888.Com Announce Deal with Rileys Pool and Snooker Clubs

Feb-08-2007 - Casino Times

By Easter 2007 Rileys Ltd, who own 168 snooker and pool clubs across the UK, will have live poker tournaments in 100 of their clubs.

The partnership with 888.com is in a consultancy capacity and will see the launch of Rileys Poker website that will be run by the online casino.

The two companies will be working together to develop numerous areas including poker leagues, local and regional tournaments plus a nationwide event with a live televised final.

In my opinion Rileys could do with trying to achieve there core business and offering a quality environment for their 250000 cue sports members. Some of this money could have been used to develop pool and snooker in the UK, especially where prize funds are lacking.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Get Your Sunglasses Out

Get Your Sunglasses out!

A new look Billiards Boutique website was unveiled last night with a striking new colour scheme. The same categories and the same great products are still on offer yet the new design allows greater flexibility and is also easier to navigate.

Please let us know what you think as your opinion is important:

email: sales@billiardsboutique.com or call us on +44 (0) 1305 779927

Monday, February 05, 2007

Snooker: Murphy Wins the Malta Cup

2005 World Snooker Champion - Shaun Murphy, has this weekend picked up his second ranking event title with victory over Ryan Day in the Malta Cup.

The scoreline of 9-4 will give Murphy every confidence with the Welsh Open and World Championhship coming up. The tournament was full of shocks with many of the top players falling early on.

The media seem to think that Stephen Hendry played the best snooker had it not been for a bout of gastroenteritis in the semi-final.

The Welsh Open starts this coming Sunday from the Newport Centre in Wales.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

8-Ball Pool: Davies wins EPT Liverpool Open

Ben Davies of Wales has beaten Richard Jones of England 10-8 to win the EPT Liverpool Open.

Welshman Davies battled his way through a disappointing field of just 69 players in last weekends EPT Liverpool Open. Although the turnout was low the quality was very high. Imran Mjid, Mark Gray, Daryl Peach, Mick Hill, Neil Raybone and Darren Appleton all competed for the title and £1500 guaranteed 1st place prize money.

In addition players were represented from 11 nations with players from France, Austria and Spain joining the myriad of Brits.

A number of factors have caused the low turnout (in my opinion):

1. Another event in the north of England
2. Same £8000 purse, but the split is less top heavy so payment goes down to the last 32.
3. Higher entry fee of £90.00

I think the Harrow open at the end of March will be packed (I will also be making a return to competitive pool!)

The EPT has the potential to change pool in this country and offers real prize money, in real conditions with top class players. I think a move to Double elimination may also improve the field so that players can get at least two matches for their £90.

5th Annual US Pro Tour Championships Announced

5th Annual US Pro Tour Championship Announced

March 27- April 1,2007
Normandie Casino, Los Angeles

Dragon Promotions will be bringing the US Pro Tour Championship back to Los Angeles! Being the only major men's pro billiards event on the West Coast, fans and players will be happy to see this events return at the Normandie Casino in Gardena, CA. This 9-Ball tournament will have a guaranteed $20,000 added and limited to 96 players paying $12,000 1st Place .

This years event will again be aired in a 4 hour production for ESPN including the Quarter, Semi and Finals. Last year the US Pro Tour Championships was aired in North America, Asia, Latin America, and Australia.

This years field will be stacked again with the world's best players including defending champion Rodney Morris, Runner-Up and World Straight Pool Champion Thorsten Hohmann, past US PTC Champion Mika Immonen, #1 US Ranked Johnny Archer, former BCA Open Champion Charlie Williams, US Mosconi Cup Rookie Mike Davis, Korean Champion Shin Young Park and the rest of the stars of the UPA.

As tradition, after the finals on Sunday will be the Annual UPA Year End Awards for 2006 Player of the Year, Sportsman of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Man of the Year. New awards this year will include Most Entertaining Player and Best Dressed Player. All your favorite players will be there so fans mark the dates on your calendar now! For additonal information of the pro event call (602) 653-9974 or email uparep@yahoo.com and goto . www.upatour.com All other inquiries on tickets or sponsorship and advertising on ESPN contact dragonpromotionsnews@gmail.com or goto www.dragonpromotions.com

9-Ball Race to 11
Double Elimination
TV Rounds Race to 7 Alternate Breaks

Prize Money Payout with $20,000 guaranteed added and based on 96 Player Field:

1st $12,000 (Guaranteed $10,000 for 1st Place)
2nd 5000
3rd 4000
4th 3000
5-6th 2600
7-8th 2100
9-12 1600
13-16 1200
17-24 765

Total Purse: $50,720

$385 entry fee $65 reg.fee includes ticket for banquet
$450 entry fee on March 14 and after

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Snooker: O'Sullivan Dumped out by Holt in Malta

Ronnie O'Sullivan continued his Jekyll and Hyde season and was dumped out by journeyman professional Michael Holt 5-3 in the Malta Cup.

Ronnie was far from the player that brilliantly destroyed Ding Junhui 10-3 in the final of the Saga Insurance Masters earlier this month and still seems to be acting as the spoilt child to World Snooker.

He did make an attempt to speak to the media after his defeat as his World Snooker contract states, but three times he refused to comment when asked about the match with Holt.

There is no doubting O'Sullivans ability - he could even be described as a snooker playing genius - however it is difficult to know which Ronnie is going to turn up to an event.

The biggest question in my opion is what if this had been a different player? Would the likes of Higgins, Hendry or Dott get away with it or would World Snooker enforce the laws, as they should do? It is time to stop this farce and either allow O'Sullivan some time out from the game or reprimand him.

What makes it worse is the fact that Ronnie is not being open with the media, this opens up a lot of debate. If Ronnie really does have personal problems then I think everyone would be behind him to sort them out.

I have to mention Holt though who cannot be discounted for what turned out to be a very professional performance the 28 year old said "To beat Ronnie at any time is a confidence boost because he's such a brilliant player." Holt now plays Mark King in the second round, a match that on paper he should fancy winning.

Monday, January 29, 2007

9-ball Pool: Imran Majid Wins in Weert

Britains highly ranked Imran Majid has defeated Christian Weigoni of Germany 10-5 to take 4000 euro and the Weert Open title.

Billed as one of the prestigious open events in Europe, it has previously been won by fellow Brit Lee Chanman.

Majid came through the massive field undefeated and stormed to victory live on streamed video on Bet and Win.

Complete Weert Open Results

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Ortmann/Roschkowsky win 6000 Euro!

Weert Open Special Event

Oliver Ortmann and Andreas Roschkowsky both of Germany have defeated the team of Engert and Feijen in the Weert Open Special Event.

The event featured 8 teams playing scotch doubles 8-ball for a winner takes all 6000 euro prize.

Results

  • Thomas Engert/Niels Feijen - Darren Appleton/Karl Boyes 7-6
  • Oliver Ortmann/Andreas Roschkowsky - Raj Hundall/Imran Majid 7-4
  • Christian Reimering/Alexander Dremsizis - Sven Pauritsch/Thomas Seiffert 7-3
  • Mario Lannoye/Serge Das - Bye

Semi-Finals

  • Thomas Engert/Niels Feijen - Christian Reimering/Alexander Dremsizis 6-1 Oliver
  • Ortmann/Andreas Roschkowsky - Mario Lannoye/Serge Das 6-3

Final

  • Oliver Ortmann/Andreas Roschkowsky - Thomas Engert/Niels Feijen 6-2

The main event of the Weert Opein now into its last 32 stage with Britains Karl Boyes, Imran Mjid and Raj Hundal still in the hunt for the 4000 euro 1st prize.

Friday, January 26, 2007

ENJOYPOOL.COM 9-BALL SPONSORS NAMED

ENJOYPOOL.COM 9-BALL SPONSORS NAMED
BCA accepts bids from industry supporters

Colorado Springs, Colorado: The Billiard Congress of America [BCA] concluded its preliminary sponsorship round with the opening of sealed competitive bids from a number of industry sponsors on Monday, January 22. The results have named exclusive official product sponsorships to: Olhausen Billiard Mfg. (table), Cue-Tec (cue), Championship Billiard Cloth / Tour Edition (cloth), Super Aramith Pro (ball), plus awarded the closed captioning sponsorship to PoolDawg.com and an arena sponsorship to the American Poolplayers Association.

The BCA recently issued the official sponsorship offers to qualified BCA Business Members, and solicited sealed bids for product sponsorships and non-competing advertising opportunities in support of the upcoming 2007 EnjoyPool.com 9-Ball Championships. The event is scheduled at the Riviera in Las Vegas, May 13-19, with ESPN broadcast taping of the semi-finals and finals at the close of the week-long event.

The long-running broadcast property showcases elite pro talent against a backdrop of top billiard equipment, lighting and game room furniture and accessories. Official sponsors enjoy high-visibility brand presence through multiple ESPN and ESPN2 broadcasts throughout the year, each featuring full-color rotating ad panels along three arena sightlines to maximize brand exposure. Viewer ratings in 2006 set a new benchmark with a .64 (reaching 586,540 households). [ more ]

Unclaimed product categories (chalk, rack, furniture & lighting) will remain open for bid through February 16, along with associated, non-competing ad placement on the arena scoreboard and sideline rotating banners. Bidding remains restricted to BCA Business Members in good standing and more details may be requested by email.

BILLIARD EDUCATION FOUNDATION TAKES JUNIOR REINS

BILLIARD EDUCATION FOUNDATION TAKES JUNIOR REINS
BEF to manage BCA Junior Nationals, Programs & Education

Colorado Springs, Colorado: The Billiard Congress of America (BCA) has announced plans to transfer the oversight and management of its junior programs, including the BCA Junior National Championship and qualifier series, to the Billiard Education Foundation (BEF). In addition, the BCA pledged to support the BEF’s efforts with $50,000 in annual funding over the next three years.

“We believe that it is more appropriate for the BEF to concentrate on the development of junior players and programs, while we focus our efforts on industry-related pursuits,” said BCA CEO Rob Johnson. “These programs fit within the BEF's purpose and mission, and we’re certain that the move will bring junior programs to a new level of success. We hope that the entire industry will support these new efforts by the BEF.”

“I think that the BCA has provided everyone—industry, current players, and new players—with a wonderful opportunity, and everyone gets to work on it,” stated BEF President Tom Riccobene. “It’s for the kids, and that makes it a bit different. Teachers, kids, parents, businesses—anyone can help. And it’s not been done until now. I’m very glad that the BCA recognized that the BEF is well-suited for this task, as we have always been a huge proponent of the junior programs.”

In addition to managing the various junior programs, the BEF will also continue to award education scholarships and work to place its Curriculum Guide in schools throughout the United States.

The Billiard Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity organization committed to furthering the standard of excellence and leadership within the billiard community by engaging in activities related to the education and cultural advancement of tomorrow’s leaders.

For more information, please contact the BEF office by mail to PO Box 818, Lafayette, CO 80026; by phone to 303-926-1039; or by email to info@BilliardEducation.com.

IPT: Important Message from Kevin Trudeau

Dear IPT Players & Entrants of the 2007 Tour Card Qualifiers,

The IPT 2007 Season has still not been determined. We are still in theprocess of revamping our business model based on the unforeseen legislationoutlawing on-line gaming in the United States. Without our major onlinecasino sponsor, the IPT must undergo a substantial change to its businessmodel. I would like to see the IPT make a strong comeback from this dramaticsetback that we have had to deal with. The most important updates are as follows:.

Players from the 2006 World Open will continue to be paid monthly untilyou are paid in full. Payments will be made on the first of each month. Nopayment will be made February 1st. The next payment will be March 1st, 2007.The amount of each payment will be determined each month and may vary fromtime to time. It is our full intention to get everyone paid in full within the next six months.

As I mentioned previously, for all those who entered 2007 Tour Cardqualification tournaments, if we are not capable of fulfilling our commitments relating to the 2007 Tour, you will be refunded your enrollment fee. We plan on making an announcement on April 15, outlining the 2007 & 2008 seasons.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we deal with these challenging and unavoidable market-condition situations.

I do have a request for everyone receiving this email. I love the game of pool and I am very much committed to continuing to invest my own money and time to making the IPT a successful reality for many years to come. I need to know if you, the players, want the IPT to flourish. I need to know if I have your support. If you, the players, could care less if the IPT continues operating, and if you, the players do not support me in this endeavor, then it would be foolish of me to continue pursuing this tour. Therefore, I request that you respond to this email letting me know if you want this tour to exist and if you support me personally.

I hope that together we can build a successful tour. Thank you again for all of your encouragement, support, and patience up until this point.

Very truly yours,Kevin Trudeau
Founder, IPT

9 Ball Pool: 'Dynamic' Manchester Open II


British Professional Pool Players Association

‘Dynamic’ Manchester Open
BPPPA ‘Dynamic’ Tour Stop No. 2


Mark Gray one of the many former snooker players now playing 9 Ball once again rose to the occasion by winning the ‘Dynamic’ Manchester Open.

The latest B.P.P.P.A. event held in Stretford, Manchester, was the first time without B.P.P.P.A. President and Tournament Director Ted Bristow who was not officiating due to his recent health problems. The tournament however was left in the safe hands of Shirley Ang and Nigel Webb, both accomplished Tournament Leaders, who both did excellent work to keep things running smoothly all weekend.

Despite a very talented field of players it was experience that took the edge and brought Mark Gray and Daryl Peach to yet another final.

It looked like it was going to be one way traffic as Gray raced into a 3 rack lead even though Peach won the lag. Gray broke and ran his break in the second rack and Peach then scratched from his break in the third to see Gray leading 3-0.

In the fourth rack it looked certain that the score was going to be 4-0 but Gray left himself a very awkward shot bridging over another ball and missed his shot to let Peach back into the match to reduce the deficit. Peach broke and ran the next rack to bring the score back to within one rack, but Gray replied immediately with another superb clearance to lead 4-2. Peach kept the trend going with another break and run to close the gap back to one. From there on the game was equally matched and the battle of wits and accurate potting eventually gave the audience a hill-hill situation. The final rack in this race to 11 was very tactical with both players searching for that perfect safety shot. Eventually, it was Gray that found it and took the title with an 11-10 scoreline.

Earlier in the day both players along with Tommy Donlon were nominated for the 2006 Player of the Year award and there were no surprises here. Mark Gray won the accolade narrowly beating Daryl Peach for his outstanding and consistent performances throughout the season.


Gray had swept the field aside beating Simon Widlo 9-6, James Kay 9-2 and followed these up with thumping wins over Steve Brown 9-3 and Andy Worthington 9-4; whilst Peach was seeing off Lee Rigby and Jonathan Mathers and Jon Davies in the Quarter Final. Steve Higton was Daryl’s Semi-Final opponent and a tough match looked on the cards but that was never the case; not that Higton did anything wrong, Peach just did not miss and even had Higton himself leading the plaudits.

Andy Worthington was full of praise for his last 16 opponent Thomas Ainsworth-Smith who recently won the first ‘Dynamic’ Youth event and still a junior will surely be a name to watch out for in the future.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

ATEi 2007

I have just got back from the ATEi 2007 at Earls Court arena in London. This annual trade get together for the amusement industry is on a massive scale!

I have to say that it is more geared towards amusement trade operators, arcades, pool/snooker halls and pubs. The sheer scale of the equipment on offer is breathtaking. If you want something coin operated and are in the trade then get down to Earls Court - its FREE to people in the industry and runs 23rd-25th January.

Although the majority of the manufacturers were not to the liking or suitability of Billiards Boutique we did make some new contacts and re-ignite some old ones.

Look out for two very innovative products to be sold via Billiards Boutique in the not too distant future (well by next week hopefully!!!)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Poole to Pool Champion?


Billiards Boutique Press Release

Poole to Pool Champion?

The talents of a young man from Poole have been recognised by pool and snooker retailer, Billiards Boutique who have offered a sponsorship deal to aid his chances in the British Professional Pool Players Association 2007 Junior and Men’s 9-ball Tours.

Sixteen year old Louis Clarke has been playing snooker and pool since the age of eight and already demonstrates the talent and skills needed to rival the champions.

Louis’ passion and desire to improve has seen him progress at an incredible rate. Louis says, “It was Dad that first got me into the game and now, with his support and my commitment I am starting to see the results of all the hours of practise.”

“I play for about 15 hours per week whilst my friends are hanging out or playing computer games but I hope that one day I’ll be recognised as the pool playing equivalent of Steve Davis or Ronnie O’Sullivan.”

Louis goes onto say “It’s not only the satisfaction of potting the balls and winning the game, it’s about outwitting your opponent; you have to think at least two shots ahead, so it’s quite intense. I like to think of it as chess but with balls!’

Pool is quite well known in the UK, but unlike snooker there is very little in the way of corporate or media support which both Louis and his sponsor are keen to change.
Pete Williams, Proprietor of Billiards Boutique of Weymouth says of Louis, “His skill is exceptional; he’s a very talented young man. I am often asked to provide sponsorship for players but have not entered into it until I met Louis - His determination to succeed is an inspiration and he deserves all the help we can give him.”

Snooker: O'Sullivan Storms to Masters Victory

Ronnie O'Sullivan put in a vintage display of cuemanship to defeat Ding Junhui 10-3 to take the Masters Title for the third time.

It could have been completely different though as Ding took the first 2 frames in emphatic fashion. The quality of the snooker never dipped but Ronnie just found another gear to leave Ding in his seat for most of the match.

O'Sullivan almost added insult to injury as he was close to making a maximum 147 break which would have meant a split of the £35,000 that Ding had already wrapped up. However one shot out of position meant Ronnie had to settle for a 145.

It was also nice to see Ronnie praising Ding's game at the end of the match and I agree he will be a multiple World Champion.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Snooker: Masters Update

I have been quite busy over the last couple of days so have not managed to get around to doing my daily Saga Insurance Masters updates.

So here are the results from the 1/4s onwards for those of you that don't already know!

1/4 Finals

Stephen Maguire (Sco) 6-2 Neil Robertson (Aus)
Ken Doherty (Ire) 5-6 Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng)
Stephen Hendry (Sco) 6-3 Shaun Murphy (Eng)
Stephen Lee (Eng) 2-6 Ding Junhui (Chn)

Semi-Finals

Stephen Maguire (Sco) 4-6 Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng)
Stephen Hendry (Sco) 2-6 Ding Junhui (Chn)

So once again an O'Sullivan vs Junhui final. Ding has been the more consistent performer throughout this tournament but Ronnie has more experience in finals so its a tough one to call.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

ESPN Picks Guinness over San Miguel.

ESPN Picks Guinness Over San Miguel for Asian 9-Ball Tour

In what may well be regarded as an unprecedented move ESPN has picked Guinness over San Miguel Beer for its annual Asian 9-Ball Tour which has been sponsored by San Miguel since its inception in 2003 and provided a major boost to the regional network’s viewing audience.

American Pool: Feijen wins DCC 9-Ball

Niels Feijen scored an almost perfect run in the Derby City Classic 9-ball event by almost going undefeated through 15 rounds of pool. Rodolfo Luat defeated him and Feijen still had his Buyback available.

He picked up $16,800 for first whilst Luat picked up $8,400. Luat also picked up 2nd place in the master of the table event pocketing $3,000.

Once again Efren Reyes was crowned Master of the Table and picked up $20,000. This after having won the One Pocket event and 2nd in the Bank Pool made it a very successful event for the Filipino Master.

Visit: www.DerbyCityClassic.com

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snooker: Doherty, Lee and O'Sullivan advance

The Saga Insurance Masters is already proving to be a very exciting tournament this year. Last night Ken Doherty put on a display of masterful "matchplay snooker" to defeat Barry Hawkins 6-3. Ken never really went for the balls and just made it difficult for Hawkins to score. The more Ken played this way the more frustrated Hawkins became. Doherty now advances to the last 8.

Graeme Dott the reigning World Champion was in action today but will have every reason to be disappointed. He capitulated to an in form Stephen Lee by 6 frames to 2.

In this afternoons match Ronnie O'Sullivan put on one of the best perfromances I have ever seen. He made short work of Ali Carter and knocked in at least a 50+ break in every frame with 2 centuries. He eventually won 6-1.

Follow all the news at www.bbc.co.uk/snooker

Monday, January 15, 2007

8-ball Pool: EPT Announce Two Tier Plan

The Empire Pool Tour has announced plans to introduce a two tier tournament system after the current ranking season which starts in February.

The outline plans are as follows: The Top 64 ranked players after the final event of this season (see previous post: New EPT Season) will be invited to play in what will become the EPT Pro Tour which will carry increased and guaranteed prize money. The remaining players will be able to play in the EPT Challenge Tour which will have lower entry fees and will also carry its own guranteed prize money.

At the end of each season the bottom 16 from the Pro Tour will be relegated and the Top 16 from the Challenge Tour will be promoted.

Personally I think this is a step in the right direction for UK pool. It allows players to develop on the Challenge Tour and be able to compete on a level playing field with players of their own standard.

Snooker: Defending Champion is Ousted

Defending Masters Champion John Higgins has been eliminated at the first hurdle in this years tournament.

Stephen Maguire, a fellow Scot, has beaten him 6-5 to go through to the quarter-final stage.

Neither player really settled into this match and it was more about the misses than the potting despite a 95 and 116 break by Maguire.

Maguire will now play the very-much-in-form Neil Robertson.

Snooker: Sorry Williams Dealt a Right Aussie Blow

Mark Williams put in a dismal performance in the first round of the Saga Insurance Masters this morning and was eventually beaten 6-0 by Grand Prix winner, Australian, Neil Robertson.

Robertson is the first of the top 16 through to the last eight and he will face either Stephen Maguire or last years champion John Higgins.

Coverage continues from 2:30pm today on BBC Interactive or at www.bbc.co.uk/snooker

Snooker: Carter through into Round 1

Ali Carter battled back from a 3-1 defecit to win 6-5 yesterday against Stuart Bingham in the wildcard round of the Saga Insurance Masters.

Carter's victory puts him into the first round proper where he will face last years runner-up Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ding-a-ling!

Ding Junhui Becomes Youngest Player to Compile a Televised 147 Maximum Break

The Saga Insurance Masters started today and Ding Junhui has continued his excellent form by defeating Anthony Hamilton 6-2 in front of a packed Wembley crowd. However, the best part of the match was not the victory but the maximum break that he compiled to go 5-2 in front.

Ding, aged 19, becomes the youngest ever player to compile a televised 147 break. The previous record was set by Ronnie O'Sullivan aged 22 at the 1997 World Championships.

This is also only the second maximum in Masters history, with Kirk Stevens in 1984 also achieving the feat.

On another note Jimmy White, given a wildcard into this years tournament, lost 6-1 to Matthew Stevens to continue his run of poor form that has seen him drop to number 56 in the world rankings.

For further information visit:

www.bbc.co.uk/snooker - live coverage online

www.worldsnooker.com