Tuesday, 19 June 2007

American Pool: 9-Ball Eurotour Austria

John Vassalos wins the www.poolcomps.com 2007 Austrian Open!
In a nail biting final rack John managed to secure victory against snooker star Tony Drago after spawning a previous chance to win the match 10-8 and allowing Tony to pull it level at 9-9. Luckily for John he was breaking in the final rack and was able to take control of the match and close out for his first victory on the Eurotour.

Unfortunately Tony Drago will have to wait yet again for his first victory on the Eurotour, which is sure to come at some point judging by his consistent performances over the last few seasons.

Some great performances were seen throughout the event most noteably Jasmin Ouschan, who defeated Fabio Petroni, Stephan Cohen and Tony Drago before she fell to World Masters champion Tomas Engert in the last 16. Other strong performances came from what are becoming regular faces in the latter stages of Eurotour events now and can be found in the final placements for the top 16:

1. John Vassalos (Greece)
2. Tony Drago (Malta)
3. Nick van den Berg (Holland)
3. Markus Juva (Finland)
5. Thomas Engert (Germany)
5. Tomasz Kaplan (Poland)
5. Konstantin Stepanov (Russia)
5. Niels Feijen (Holland)
9. Ralph Souquet (Germany)
9. Jonni Fulcher (Great Britain)
9. Stephan Cohen (France)
9. Huidji See (Holland)
9. Albin Ouschan jr. (Austria)
9. Zuroan Svilar (Russia)
9. Imran Majid (Great Britain)
9. Jasmin Ouschan (Austria)

Exciting moves have now been made at the top of the Eurotour Rankings, points were tight and are still tight at the top with only 105 points separating the top 5 players. With his consistant performances over the last season, Konstantine Stepanov, pictured left, has thoroughly deserved his number 1 spot. Hot on his heals only 30 points behind is Great Britain's Jonni Fulcher who also reaches his highest ranking to date.

The top 20 now looks as follows:

1 STEPANOV Konstantin RUS 2145
2 FULCHER Jonni SUI 2115
3 FEIJEN Niels NED 2105
4 PETRONI Fabio ITA 2090
5 PEACH Daryl GBR 2040
6 ORTMANN Oliver GER 2030
7 REIMERING Christian GER 1990
8 SOUQUET Ralf GER 1980
9 ENGERT Thomas GER 1975
10 TSCHUDI Marco SUI 1945
11 DRAGO Tony MLT 1930
12 VAN DEN BERG Nick NED 1925
13 MURATORE Bruno ITA 1875
14 ALCAIDE David ESP 1835
15 KEMPTER Martin AUT 1780
16 FAZANES Antonio ESP 1775
17 SCHMIDT Michael GER 1750
18 DABOVIC Dejan AUT 1730
19 KAPLAN Thomasz POL 1730
20 BABICA Radoslaw POL 1650

More results and pictures can be found at www.eurotour.nu.

Snooker: Van Hove Does The Double

After an extremly classy show of solid match snooker, Kevin Van Hove from Belgium has won the European Snooker Championships in Carlow to go with his previous victory in the International Open tour card playoff. On his route to the title Kevin overcame Thomas McSorley, Gary Thomson, Brendan O'Donoghue, Vincent Muldoon and finally Rodney Goggins, who, thanks to Kevin already securing his tour card the week before, will now take up another of the tour card places available for the 2007/8 professional season.

Both men played fantastic snooker over the whole two week period and thoroughly deserve their tour cards. We wish them all the luck in the world on the main tour and hope to see them on TV soon after the start of the new season.

On a more unfortunate note, spare a thought for Bjorn Haneveer who has yet again narrowly missed claiming a tour card by the narrowest of margins. Losing 6-5 to Rodney Goggins in the semi-final, it is another case of so near and yet so far for Bjorn, who narrowly missed collecting his card through the Pontins Internation Open Series despite winning one of the events!
We wish Bjorn all the best in the coming season and hope that he can finally secure his place back on the main tour.

Congratulations also on some great performances in reaching the quarter finals go to Lasse Munstermann, vincent Muldoon, Brendan O'Donaghue, Tom Gleeson and Martin Mc Crudden.

The tournament was a fantastic success yet again, so congratulations also go to the organisers and the table fitters for preparing the tables and the tournament which ran smoothly and without a hitch over the two weeks. I personally enjoyed myself hugely and will be looking forward to having another pop at the big european amateurs again next year.


1st - Kevin Van Hove

2nd - Rodney Goggins

3rd - Bjorn Haneveer
- Vincent Muldoon

5th - Lasse Munsterman
- Brendan O'Donoghue
- Tom Gleeson
- Martin Mc Crudden

9th - Sacha Lippe
- Simon Zammit
- Yvan van Velthoven
- Robert Murphy
- Gary Thomson
- Jordan Brown
- David Mills
- Jonathon Nelson

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Snooker: York Out! Telford In!

Due to lots of building work going on at the Barbican in York, World Snooker have decided to move the Maplin UK Championships to the Telford International Centre.

This is a big loss for York, they weren't hoping to lose the tournament but lots of delays gave World Snooker cold feet, and they decided to jump ship. I'm sure they don't want the tournament going on in the middle of a monumental "viking style" building site.

The Telford International Centre has previously staged two ranking tournaments, the 2000 Grand Prix and the 2002 British Open, as well as the qualifying rounds of the 2002 World Championship.

A spokesman for World Snooker said, "From past experience we know that the Telford International Centre has proved a popular venue for the players, and that there is enthusiastic support for snooker in the area, so we are delighted to be staging one of our biggest tournaments there."
Maplin Marketing Director David O'Reilly said: "Maplin is excited about moving to the Telford International Centre. I think this is an excellent venue to host one of the most important events in the snooker calendar."

Tom Gray, CEO at The International Centre, said: "We are very much looking forward to hosting the Maplin UK Championship in December. It is a fantastic event - not just for our venue but for the whole of Shropshire."

"Since we last hosted a snooker tournament, our venue has gone through a massive redevelopment programme, which has seen the addition of purpose-built conference and seminar rooms, as well as the addition of a second on-site hotel, and a third just two minutes away.

"These developments help to ensure that we are a first class venue worthy of hosting such a prestigious event."

It's not known if the UK championships will move back to the Barbican next season. I'm sure Telford will want the event for more than one season. It's a bit of a blunder from the bosses at the Barbican to get themselves into a situation where they've managed to lose the event. I'm pretty sure World Snooker didn't want to leave York, as everybody involved thinks the Barbican is a great venue for a major snooker tournament. Maybe they'll get some other tournament back next season.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Snooker: Alex is at it Again!

What would you do if this man confronted you? Well, allegedly, he's done it again! Local press in County Durham, where Alex was playing a charity match, have reported that Alex has punched a referee.

This is even more amazing as the match was a fund raiser against his old mate Jimmy White. Apparently the match ended in chaos when the referee Terry Riley refused to carry on after Higgins punched him in the stomach. It's said that Higgins lost his temper when the referee called a foul on him.

Terry Riley is a class one international referee and reportedly told the Northern Echo, "It was a punch and officials are not there to be punched. He just came at me and punched me in the stomach, that was when I pushed him away."

Naturally Higgins said it had been blown out of all proportion, "we were both out of order", yeah right!

This brings back memories of bad boy Higgins and I think that this kind of behaviour is best out of the professional game rather than in it. Recently I've heard Higgins say the sport isn't a Gentleman's game like when he used to play. I think he is now, and has been most of his life, a very disillusioned man with no real perspective on life, - although I don't really want to go into that too deeply! :-)

I would still love to see him play live again though, but would rather him behave himself rather than him misbehave. His talent on the table has always been a joy to watch and I consider myself lucky to have seen him play once before, LIVE, in Preston, at the Guild Hall.

Snooker: The Dream Is Over

After a super human performance by Anthony Brabin, relaxed in the knowledge he was already out of the tournament, my hopes of qualifying were finally dashed last night with a 4-1 defeat. The problems of round robin format became painfully apparent. I played a good match, kept it tight, but he just kept potting long reds from tight on the baulk cushion and making frame winning breaks. I cannot take anything away from him, he played great and deserved to win the match. It's just a little bit annoying that thanks to that match, I am now out of the tournament.

It has been a great experience, my first European Championships and I hope not my last. I'm very disappointed not to have qualified, especially when looking at the high break list I am in the top 10 most consistent players in the event until now. A few people have remarked that it was a very tough group. Still not wanting to make excuses, the other guys played great. So here's congratulations to the qualifiers from group A: Alex Borg, Gary Thomson, Martin McCrudden and Itaro Santos. Good luck in the rest of the event and watch out next year!

As for me, well... I'll head back to Zurich on Wednesday, and then to Rankweil, Austria for the 9-Ball Eurotour. Perhaps lady luck will shine brighter the next time.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Snooker: Fulcher Ends Borg's Unbeaten Run

In a fine display of solid match snooker, Jonni Fulcher derailed the Borg Express finally ending his run of 25 straight wins in European Snooker. Borg had only three chances in the balls in the entire match, which he was unable to capitalize upon. Five chances in all were all that Fulcher needed to clintch the match with a very convincing 4-0 winning margin. He fired in breaks of 63, 64 and 69 striding his way to one of the best of his career wins.

This is Fulcher's first European Championships representing Switzerland, where he has lived for the past four years. Currently one of the top 10 ranked European Pool players he is showing that he's not constrained to the American disciplines and, with his roots in snooker, performances like this show that he's a force to be reckoned with on the European Snooker front.

Snooker: European Championships Group Stages drawing to an exciting close

After an action packed first week at the European Snooker Championships, the group stages are finally getting close to the business end of things. Things in groups C and H seem pretty clear cut and the top four seeds are now pretty much home and dry, but in groups A, B, D, E, F and G, it is still not clear who will go through to the last 32.

If you take group A for example, you have potentially 5 players who could all qualify. Martin McCrudden (pictured left) has won all his matches so far and is guaranteed a place in the last 32. However, Alex Borg, Gary Thomson, Itaro Santos and Jonni Fulcher could all potentially finish with 4 or more wins, which would mean it would come down to frame difference as to who gets the final spot in the last 32. What is sure now though is that the top 4 from this group will come from those 5 players. Jonni Fulcher is in a dangerous situation though, not only does he need to win his last two matches, but he also requires one of the other players to finish with only 4 wins, and then he has to hope that he has a better frame difference!

Similar situations exist in the other groups mentioned above. As we approach the last two match rounds the nerves are beginning to jangle and the importance of playing out the final few matches becomes strikingly obvious. It's at times like these when the problems of round robin formats become obvious with the potential for players who no longer have a chance of qualifying to no longer give 100% thus giving advantages to certain players in the group that only play such players later on.

In terms of the quality of play and players in the amature ranks you need look no further than the high break table in order to see what a truly world class field have turned out in Carlow. A clear talent in the 16 year old Michael White stands out. Consistency is the name of the game and it's the following list shows that a number of the top players continue to produce snooker of the highest standard.

White Michael 137, 105, 84, 78, 70, 54
Brown Jordan 136, 107, 80, 79, 68, 56, 55, 51, 50
Berkhout Ton 131
Münstermann Lasse 129, 50
Goggins Rodney 127, 79, 71, 71, 59, 53, 50
Nelson Jonathon 127, 63, 56
Mazrocis Stefan 106, 95, 92, 89, 67, 62
McCrudden Martin 105, 96, 53
Murphy Robert 102, 81, 75, 74, 72, 62
Borg Alex 100, 100, 93, 57, 50
O'Donoghue Brendan 99, 81
Mills David 96, 72, 71, 62, 62, 51
McHugh Richard 93, 70, 64, 62
Van Veldhoven Yvan 92, 76, 62, 57, 51
Lavery Declan 89, 86, 79, 62
Haneveer Bjorn 89, 81, 77
Cruickshanks Bobby 89, 77, 75
Meara Joe 89, 54, 50, 50
Zammit Simon 86, 64, 61, 54
Gleeson Tom 85, 83, 82, 78, 59, 58
McSorley Thomas 81, 75, 53
Torpey John 79, 60, 58, 54, 54
Muldoon Vincent 76, 70, 70, 58
Fulcher Jonny 76, 69, 64, 63, 62, 62, 61
Thomson Gary 76, 63, 63
Lippe Sascha 71, 68, 56, 54, 51, 51
Fernandez Roey 71, 66, 66, 60, 50
Duffy Adam 71, 60, 51
Steins Jordan 70, 66, 61, 54
Rhodes Michael 70, 60, 60, 53

Friday, 8 June 2007

Snooker: European Championships

This year the European Amature Snooker Championships are being held in Carlow, Republic of Ireland. The event got underway this Wednesday with a number of big names amateur and ex-professional names in the line up. Most notably Darren Morgen, Eugine Hughes playing in the Seniors. Alex Borg from Malta (Photo left - European champion for the last two years!), Bjorn Haneveer from Belgium, Yannick Poulin from France, Stefan Mazrocis from Holland, Michael White from Wales... The list goes on.

Snooker is spreading ever further and wider accross Europe, this year the list of countries taking part is as large as ever with players from 25 countries and 26 countries in all represented when including referees.
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Jersey, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Wales.

The format for the men's tournament is 8 groups of 8 players playing round robin with the top 4 going through to the last 32 knockout stage. For the Masters it is 4 groups of 8 with top 4 going through to the last 16 knockout stage and for the girls 4 groups of 6 with top 2 going through to the last 8 knockout stage.

The main news for the tournament can be found here. Live scoring can be found here.

We wish everyone a great tournament and I look forward to posting more about the progress of the tournament and perhaps my own progress as the days unfold.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Snooker: Paul Hunter Fundraiser

If you're a Paul Hunter fan and miss him in the world of snooker, you might be interested in this article that came up in the greenbaize news feed further down this page.

After reading the article I had a quick look around for the online condolence book that was mentioned. I don't know if it's the same one, but I found this one here with hundreds and hundreds of Hunter tributes and pictures.

Paul and Lindsey Hunter's charity of choice is the NET Patient Foundation and if you want to donate you can do so here or here.

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Snooker: 2007/2008 Season on Google Calendar

Do you use Google Calendar? Well if you do, greenbaize have created a Google Calendar for the 2007/2008 Snooker Season. Simply click on the Google Calendar button below to add it to your calendar!

We will also keep it visible in the top right hand side of this blog. If dates change or if you think that any of the dates in the calendar are wrong, let us know and we'll fix it!

Friday, 1 June 2007

Snooker: Ronnie Punished for UK Walkout

Ronnie O'Sullivan has been punished for walking out of last seasons UK Championship in York.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association's disciplinary committee ruled he had breached rules after in his match against Hendry.

Has has been fined in excess of £20,000!!! The fine comprises of £4,050 in forfeited winnings, £5,000 towards the hearing's costs and an £11,750 fine. Ronnie was also docked 900 ranking points.

Ronnie attended the hearing and his management company, 110sport, issued a statement that said they were disappointed with the decision and would not rule out an appeal. They also said, "We regret the outcome of the tribunal given that certain declarations of a sensitive and personal nature were made by the player and by myself on his behalf. We would have expected the Association to support their member."

I think the punishment is very firm and bordering on fair. It's good to finally see the governing body flexing their muscles and not shying away from punishing one of their star assets for an inexcusable action.

I only hope that if Ronnie appeals, the governing body will not crumble under pressure. This should send out a clear message to other professionals that they have a duty to the paying public and cannot behave in the way Ronnie did. I think 95% of the professionals already know their responsibilites, Ronnie is an exception. But let's not forget that Ding Junhui almost did the same thing in the Masters and I'm certain that if Ronnie's walkout would not have happened, we wouldn't have seen Ding do almost the same thing a few months later.

What are your feelings on Ronnie's punishment?? Please comment below....