• Hi Guest, The forum will be moving hosts on 26 July and as such will be closed from Midday until the move has completed.
    As we will be with new hosts it may take a while before DNS get updated so it could take while before you can get back on the forum.
    I think it will take at least 4 hours but could easily be 48!
    Ark Royal
  • There seems to be a problem with some alerts not being emailed to members. I have told the hosts and they are investigating.
  • Hi Guest Just in case you were not aware I wanted to highlight that you can now get a 20% discount on Inform Racing.
    Simply enter the coupon code ukbettingform when subscribing here.
    We have a lot of members who are existing users of Inform Racing so help is always available if needed.
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    AR
  • Sorry for the ongoing issues that you may have been experiencing whilst using the forum lately

    It really is frustrating when the forum slows down or Server Error 500 pops up.

    Apparently the hosts acknowledge there is a problem.
    Thank you for using our services and sorry for the experienced delay!
    Unfortunately, these errors are due to a higher server load. Our senior department knows about the issue and they are working towards a permanent resolution of the issue, however, I'd advise you to consider using our new cPanel cloud solutions: https://www.tsohost.com/web-hosting


    I will have to investigate what the differences are with what We have know compared to the alternative service they want us to migrate to.
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  • Hi Guest Just in case you were not aware I wanted to highlight that you can now get a free 7 day trial of Horseracebase here.
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Snooker

I’m enjoying listening to some of the old boys in the commentary to be fair, Tony Knowles criticising some of the Seniors play forgetting that they are past their best and also forgetting he is also no longer capable of the shots he thinks others should be. At least Cliff Thorburn adds the caveat that it’s much easier to pot them from the commentary box.
Especially liked Thorburn bantering with Virgo about the fact Doherty is considered an overseas champion, he seemed genuinely bothered that he should be on the list with himself and Robertson, he went off on a tangent saying it’s not overseas if you can get in a boat and row there, amusing stuff and I think they forget there was a match on.
..... yeah! I agree sometimes the banter is much better than the actual snooker. Always pleasant to listen to something that grabs your attention. Used to hate to watch Terry Griffiths as he was usually up and down about twenty times or so prior to selecting his shot. My hero was of course Alex Higgins who is unfortunately no longer with us. But real exciting times when he played!;)
 

The Hare

Colt
..... exactly right, wasting his time if he ever thinks he is going to make a comeback. Should stick to commentating while he still has the respectability. John Virgo and Dennis Taylor I notice are being put out to pasture and now look like surplus to requirements as far as commentaries are involved. I think that only Ronnie has proved that there is still snooker life beyond the 40 year old mark. Not many around that can say that and play to the degree which is required at top level.;)
Would say Mark Williams and John Higgins are quite decent for their age, similar to O'Sullivan age. Williams once won this event many years ago but never competed since. Even Bingham just a year younger. Hawkins 43 so a little younger but not too bad.
 

The Hare

Colt
I’m enjoying listening to some of the old boys in the commentary to be fair, Tony Knowles criticising some of the Seniors play forgetting that they are past their best and also forgetting he is also no longer capable of the shots he thinks others should be. At least Cliff Thorburn adds the caveat that it’s much easier to pot them from the commentary box.
Especially liked Thorburn bantering with Virgo about the fact Doherty is considered an overseas champion, he seemed genuinely bothered that he should be on the list with himself and Robertson, he went off on a tangent saying it’s not overseas if you can get in a boat and row there, amusing stuff and I think they forget there was a match on.
Poor Hendry. He seems to be dogged by players suddenly becoming World beaters against him. Thepchaiyah Un-Nooh with his 5 centuries in the UK at York, Chris Wakelin in one of those Home Nations events, then today Lee Walker. Never seen him play so well, certainly performance of the event so far.
Jimmy White was quite decent tonight as well, not seen the other games today.
Draw for Quarter Finals, last 2 Round 2 games tomorrow but not around.
Although the ratings have Doherty favourite against Walker I am sure it will be much closer on today's efforts.
AS you say O Outlander , Talaat was not so bad, missed his first frame yesterday and competed well until lost heart after first frame tonight and White got his act together.
1651867786650.png
 
Poor Hendry. He seems to be dogged by players suddenly becoming World beaters against him.
..... looks like one does not have to be a world beater to win against Hendry these days. He is a man living on past reputation and should hang up his boots now before there is more damage done. Looks like he wants to recapture his youth and his golden playing days, but to be honest and brutal, it aint gonna happen! If he was going to show any sort of form by now, it would have happened, after all he is not just getting pipped, he is getting his backside tanned. Today 0-3 is not exactly being at the races. Call it a day Stephen while you still can and keep your reputation intact. Follow Mr.Parrott and hang your cue up for good.;)
 

Neil Robertson wins World Snooker Tour’s Player of the Year, Ronnie O'Sullivan wins award voted for by journalists.

The most successful season of his career saw Neil Robertson win four tournaments including the English Open and the Tour Championship. Fresh from winning the World Championship, Ronnie O'Sullivan was voted as the Snooker Journalists’ Player of the Year, while his final victory over Judd Trump was also recognised. Reanne Evans and Alison Fisher have been entered into the Snooker Hall of Fame.

Neil Robertson has been named the World Snooker Tour’s Player of the Year, recognising an emphatic season which saw him win four tournaments.
The Australian enjoyed success at the English Open, the Masters, Players Championship and the Tour Championship, and will now have an extra piece of silverware to add to his collection.
Despite enjoying the most prolific season of his career, Robertson was left disappointed after a second round exit at the World Championship against Jack Lisowski. However, his incredible 147 against Lisowski saw him also pick up Magic Moment of the Year, after becoming only the eighth player to make a maximum at the Crucible.
The winner of that tournament - Ronnie O’Sullivan - took the Snooker Journalists’ Player of the Year award, while The Rocket’s display in the showpiece event against Judd Trump won Performance of the Year.
China’s Zhao Xintong won the Fans’ Player of the Year trophy following a season which saw him climb to number six in the world and win the UK Championship and German Masters.
There was also success for his compatriot Wu Yize, with the 18-year-old winning Rookie of the Year after reaching the last 32 of ranking events on three occasions.
Reanne Evans and Alison Fisher have been entered into the Snooker Hall of Fame, in recognition of their impact on the sport.
Evans is the most successful player of the women’s tour, having won the World Championship a record 12 times, while Fisher was a seven-time world champion in the 1980s and 1990s.;)
 

The Hare

Colt
So Parrott has retired, the free money from Seniors tournaments has ended now as they become more competitive. As you say Delboy99 Delboy99 it is time for Hendry to follow suit or take it seriously. But no Hearn keeps handing him a free card for the 2 or 3 events a year he comeptes in. Ruining a great reputation.

Well semi finals today and all playing well. Lines at 10/11 pick of the odds. Walker is playing much better than his rating I suspect so expect a clsoe game against Lilley who has already made it back on to next season's Tour.
1651994911041.png
 
So Parrott has retired, the free money from Seniors tournaments has ended now as they become more competitive. As you say Delboy99 Delboy99 it is time for Hendry to follow suit or take it seriously. But no Hearn keeps handing him a free card for the 2 or 3 events a year he comeptes in. Ruining a great reputation.

Well semi finals today and all playing well. Lines at 10/11 pick of the odds. Walker is playing much better than his rating I suspect so expect a clsoe game against Lilley who has already made it back on to next season's Tour.
View attachment 116668
..... would like to see Jimmy win it for old times sake. He has been good in his day but I don't know what he will be like in this company.;)
 

The Hare

Colt
Well both the lower rated won. On performance White has to be the fancy, very impressive against Lines and well above current rating. The long break could help but Walker is top rated and been in great form as well this week so as White favourite with bookies Walker has to be the bet.

1652032741708.png
 
Well both the lower rated won. On performance White has to be the fancy, very impressive against Lines and well above current rating. The long break could help but Walker is top rated and been in great form as well this week so as White favourite with bookies Walker has to be the bet.

View attachment 116693
..... come on Jimmy! I just have to cling on to the hope that Jimmy does his stuff and plays like yesteryear! He was a fine player in his prime but alas, that was long ago and not capable like Ronnie from the same era. Mind you I still think he would beat Hendry and maybe playing with his other hand. How many frames is this over?;)
 

Lee Walker Beats Jimmy White in World Seniors Final.

Lee Walker won a maiden World Seniors Championship title after a 5-4 victory over Jimmy White in the final on Sunday.





Walker fought his way back from 4-2 down, reeling off the last three frames to deny White a fourth success in the tournament.


It was a fitting ending for the Welshman, who had already demonstrated some remarkable battling qualities at the Crucible Theatre.


Walker coasted through his opening two fixtures with a brace of 3-0 wins against Tony Knowles and Stephen Hendry – compiling an excellent 121 against the latter.
But things got a lot tougher for the 46 year-old in the quarter-finals when he overturned an early 2-0 deficit to Ken Doherty, eventually prevailing 4-2.


There was an even bigger comeback in the semi-final, when he took the final four frames to deny reigning champion David Lilley in a decider.


Walker looked to be out of the running again in the world seniors final but managed to conjure another recovery act from the brink.


When White, who had produced two sparkling performances to beat Rory McLeod and Peter Lines in the earlier rounds, led by two frames with three to play, another title for the Whirlwind seemed inevitable.


But Walker discovered his scoring form at just the right time with breaks of
79 and 83 in the last two frames earning him the biggest victory of his career.


The former professional, who reached the quarter-finals of the World Championship 25 years ago, may now receive an invitation to the lucrative Champion of Champions – as has become customary in recent campaigns.


For White, it was disappointment at the last hurdle again after a similarly close loss at the same stage of the 2021 tournament.


The 2022 World Seniors Championship also proved to be the last competitive tournament for John Parrott, with the 1991 world champion announcing his retirement from the game. ;)
 

Ronnie O'Sullivan's relationship with daughter who banned him from meeting grandchild.

Snooker legend Ronnie O'Sullivan's daughter Taylor-Ann Magnus recently vowed he will "never meet" his own granddaughter after the pair became estranged.
Ronnie O’Sullivan has had a challenging home life over the years.


The 46-year-old snooker legend recently confirmed he'd got back together with his long-term fiancée Laila Rouass, but as stated by his daughter Taylor-Ann Magnus, 25, a reunion between them is off the cards.


O'Sullivan, who recently won the 2022 World Snooker Championship, hasn’t seen her in years and the origins of their fractured relationship goes back decades to his previous relationship with her mother.


In 2018, Taylor-Ann gave birth to her own daughter, but soon made it clear that she wanted her to have nothing to do with O’Sullivan.


Now in 2022, she has re-affirmed their estranged relationship, vowing Ronnie will never meet his three-year-old granddaughter.


Why is Ronnie O'Sullivan estranged from his daughter?​

In the 1990s, O'Sullivan was in a relationship with Sally-Ann Magnus, who moved into the O'Sullivan home when his parents were both sent to prison.



However, when Ronnie’s mum Maria was finally released, she kicked Sally-Ann out soon after, leading to their relationship coming to a swift end.


Because of this, he has only met their shared daughter Taylor-Ann Magnus, now 25, a handful of times.



After Taylor-Ann's child Zarah-Ann was born in 2018, she confirmed her daughter will grow up not knowing who O’Sullivan is.


Speaking to The Sun, she said: “He might be world champion to some, but he's not fit to be called 'Dad' let alone 'Grandad' as far as I'm concerned.


“Zarah-Ann will grow up never knowing who he is. He's made so many promises, but what he says and what he does are so different.”


Shortly after the birth of his granddaughter, O’Sullivan made it clear he wanted to meet her.


But Taylor-Ann refused to let it happen.
“When I read that Dad had said he wanted to see Zarah I thought there was a chance we could be a normal family and he could be a grandad to her," she went on.


“I had always hoped for a better, closer, more loving relationship with my dad and think I've been waiting for him my whole life.


“When I announced I was pregnant there was a little flurry of interest from Ronnie. His friend called me a couple of times and said Ronnie was really excited about being a grandad.


“I should have known better than to get my hopes up. He told a few reporters how sad he was that we aren't closer, and mentioned how much he'd love to see my daughter but that was pretty much it. It was just a show.


“He never contacted me personally once. It broke my heart.”;)


 

Chaotic life of snooker star Alex Higgins who was stabbed by girlfriend and died penniless.

Three World Cup titles, two World Championship wins and one girlfriend stabbing him - Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins was certainly one of snooker’s most colourful and intriguing characters.
It’s been almost 12 years since snooker legend Alex Higgins tragically passed away penniless in Belfast. The Hurricane was undoubtedly one of the most colourful, charismatic, and complicated characters in British sports history.


His nickname is fitting: a rapidly rotating storm of strong winds, thunder and lightening amid heavy rain that strikes fear as it approaches and leaves destruction in its wake. Hurricanes rotate in circles, imitating the cyclical nature of Higgins and his demons throughout his controversial career.


Higgins was an unpredictable personality who firmly established himself as one of snooker’s greatest characters, but this same persona robbed him of becoming one of the sport’s best players. Such a description implies how Higgins was very much a flawed genius, whose tormented soul could never separate his explosive inhibitions from his play with a cue in-hand.
This is a shame because his play was, well, extraordinary. In 1972, Higgins became the first qualifier in history to become world champion at the age of just 22. He added a second title in 1982, and he was a beaten finalist in between each triumph.


Higgins was also twice a Masters champion, a UK Championship winner and a three-time World Cup winner with the all-Ireland side. His ability to make key pots under pressure was unrivalled and few players can claim to be as cool in the biggest moments.


His 1982 win at the Crucible is one such highlight as Higgins dramatically secured the final three frames to claim the title, with the emotional scenes between his then-wife and daughter living long in the memory. His crucial 69 break against Jimmy White in the semi-final of the World Championship to reach the final is renowned as one of the best in snooker history.

While he was exceptional on the table, Higgins was labelled ‘The People’s Champion’ thanks to his anti-establishment mentality while playing with a unique aura. Higgins related to fans as he didn’t hide his love for drinking and smoking while having a laugh with his mates - only he was a superstar snooker player.
Higgins’ downfall was as rapid as his rise to the top of the sport as, within three years of his second world title, he was divorced and awarded a five-tournament ban - as well as a £12,000 fine - for head-butting a WPBSA official after he was asked to take a drugs test.


In 1989, Higgins broke several bones after he fell out a window while trying to escape from his own home to a casino - and then he won the Irish Professional Championships soon after, encapsulating his immense talent riddled by off-table antics.
A year later at the 1990 World Snooker Championships, Higgins lost to Steve James in the opening round amid a flood of rumours, including that he was facing disciplinary action for threatening to have World Cup team-mate Dennis Taylor shot during the tournament. The intoxicated Hurricane punched WPBSA press officer Colin Randle after turning up to a press conference to announce his retirement in a slurred rant - he was never going to go quietly, was he?
Higgins was awarded a one-year ban from competitive snooker and stripped of all ranking points, but it wouldn’t matter. The Hurricane had faded to a mere breeze.


Problems continued after his retirement. He was convicted of assaulting a 14-year-old boy and a year later, girlfriend Holly Haise stabbed him three times during an argument.
Higgins later admitted to smoking and drinking heavily, to regularly using cocaine and cannabis, and to struggling with a gambling addiction. The final admission explains how he blew around £4 million in career earnings.
In 1998, Higgins was diagnosed with throat cancer. By the time he died at the age of 61 in 2010, there were multiple contributory health-related causes.
Higgins represented snooker’s first real superstar, akin to Paul Gascoigne in his standing as a cult figure. When snooker was particularly popular in the 1980s, it was Higgins who undoubtedly appealed to a wider audience.


For all the negative publicity Higgins received as a result of ill-advised actions, the positivity the Hurricane brought to the sport of snooker will surely never be forgotten.;)
 

Snooker chiefs announce major change for 2023 World Championship.

What's old is new again as the Snooker World Championship will adopt a different format for the its qualifying rounds when the prestigious tournament rolls around in 2023.
Snooker chiefs have made an announcement regarding the 2023 World Championship. According to the World Snooker Tour website, from next year all the tournament’s qualifying rounds will be played over the best of 19 frames.
This decision was made based on feedback from the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) and players to revert back to the previous format. This is significantly longer than matches played over best of 11 frames, which had been the format of recent seasons.
The dates for the qualifying event will be announced at a later date. Also announced was the increase in prize money for several events in 2023.
The winner of the Turkish Open will receive £525,000, while the British Open conqueror will earn £478,000. Those who win the English, Northern Ireland, Scottish and Welsh Open will secure £427,000, along with the German and European masters.


The breakdowns for remaining events will be announced in due course. Speaking of prize money, world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has revealed he will spend the prize money from his record-equalling seventh world title by purchasing a rigid inflatable boat.


He plans to go to the Lake District and ‘explore’ - while also staying fit enough to compete and elongate his legendary career. “I’m going to do loads of stuff, I’m going to travel,” O’Sullivan said. “I might go to the Lake District, I’ve already got like a house boat up there but I might go and buy a little RIB and explore the lake and just have some fun. I’m just going to be enjoying myself and getting fit as well.”

;)
 

The Hare

Colt

Snooker chiefs announce major change for 2023 World Championship.

What's old is new again as the Snooker World Championship will adopt a different format for the its qualifying rounds when the prestigious tournament rolls around in 2023.
Snooker chiefs have made an announcement regarding the 2023 World Championship. According to the World Snooker Tour website, from next year all the tournament’s qualifying rounds will be played over the best of 19 frames.
This decision was made based on feedback from the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) and players to revert back to the previous format. This is significantly longer than matches played over best of 11 frames, which had been the format of recent seasons.
The dates for the qualifying event will be announced at a later date. Also announced was the increase in prize money for several events in 2023.
The winner of the Turkish Open will receive £525,000, while the British Open conqueror will earn £478,000. Those who win the English, Northern Ireland, Scottish and Welsh Open will secure £427,000, along with the German and European masters.


The breakdowns for remaining events will be announced in due course. Speaking of prize money, world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has revealed he will spend the prize money from his record-equalling seventh world title by purchasing a rigid inflatable boat.


He plans to go to the Lake District and ‘explore’ - while also staying fit enough to compete and elongate his legendary career. “I’m going to do loads of stuff, I’m going to travel,” O’Sullivan said. “I might go to the Lake District, I’ve already got like a house boat up there but I might go and buy a little RIB and explore the lake and just have some fun. I’m just going to be enjoying myself and getting fit as well.”

;)
Great to see reverting to the 19 frames format, a proper event again.
 

Neil Robertson wins World Snooker Tour’s Player of the Year, Ronnie O'Sullivan wins award voted for by journalists.

The most successful season of his career saw Neil Robertson win four tournaments including the English Open and the Tour Championship. Fresh from winning the World Championship, Ronnie O'Sullivan was voted as the Snooker Journalists’ Player of the Year, while his final victory over Judd Trump was also recognised. Reanne Evans and Alison Fisher have been entered into the Snooker Hall of Fame.

Neil Robertson has been named the World Snooker Tour’s Player of the Year, recognising an emphatic season which saw him win four tournaments.
The Australian enjoyed success at the English Open, the Masters, Players Championship and the Tour Championship, and will now have an extra piece of silverware to add to his collection.
Despite enjoying the most prolific season of his career, Robertson was left disappointed after a second round exit at the World Championship against Jack Lisowski. However, his incredible 147 against Lisowski saw him also pick up Magic Moment of the Year, after becoming only the eighth player to make a maximum at the Crucible.
The winner of that tournament - Ronnie O’Sullivan - took the Snooker Journalists’ Player of the Year award, while The Rocket’s display in the showpiece event against Judd Trump won Performance of the Year.
China’s Zhao Xintong won the Fans’ Player of the Year trophy following a season which saw him climb to number six in the world and win the UK Championship and German Masters.
There was also success for his compatriot Wu Yize, with the 18-year-old winning Rookie of the Year after reaching the last 32 of ranking events on three occasions.
Reanne Evans and Alison Fisher have been entered into the Snooker Hall of Fame, in recognition of their impact on the sport.
Evans is the most successful player of the women’s tour, having won the World Championship a record 12 times, while Fisher was a seven-time world champion in the 1980s and 1990s.
The WST say they have been added to the list because of their “outstanding contributions to the growth of snooker.”;)
 

Gary Wilson Set For Pool Debut.

Former Crucible semi-finalist Gary Wilson is temporarily switching cue sport codes next week, to make his nine ball pool debut at the UK Open and he is intent on making an impression.


The Wallsend cueman reached the British Open final at the start of last season, beating Stephen Hendry, Hossein Vafaei, David Gilbert and close friend Elliot Slessor on his way to the title match. However, he succumbed to a 6-4 loss against Mark Williams.


Since then, Wilson struggled to produce his best form and only went beyond the second round of a ranking event on three subsequent occasions during the season. He’s eyeing next term as an opportunity to up his consistency levels and target a place in the world’s top 16.


In the meantime, Wilson is preparing for his first ever appearance in a major nine ball pool event. He faces American Blaine Barcus on Tuesday at the Copper Box in London. Martin Gould is also in action and he takes on Tashunka Schultz. We caught up with 36-year-old Wilson to find out how he is feeling ahead of the tournament…


Gary, what was it that inspired you to throw your hat in the ring for the UK Open?


“As snooker players, playing in the club growing up, you always have a little mess around on the pool tables as well. Sometimes it was really just to show off. You go and play someone at a game of pool and clear up. Obviously at the top level it is a lot harder than that, with everyone being so good. I played a little bit of eight ball and nine ball, but not properly. I watched Judd Trump playing in the US Open last year and fancied playing myself, I saw the UK Open come up and went for it. The fact that the snooker season is finished made it an ideal opportunity to try something different.”


Judd had a few good wins at the US Open, before suffering a heavy defeat to former champion Jayson Shaw and then falling out of the loser’s bracket. How did you think he fared?


“Lets be frank, if snooker players had time to practise and play the game properly, then the majority of us would be able to play nine ball pretty well. Judd had a couple of results and was learning his way through it. Unfortunately, he came up against Jayson Shaw and didn’t have much of a shot. That can happen. Until you learn the intricacies of the game like the kick shots, bank shots and jump shots, you won’t be competing at the top end. Snooker players will always be pretty good at the general clearing up bit, but when you are playing the best players they will tie you up in knots. You need to know every facet of the game. I’ve been trying to get familiarised with all of that since the end of the snooker season.”


How have your preparations been going so far?


“I messaged a guy called Brian Halcrow, who is from the local area. He plays a lot of English eight ball, but has also been over to America to play nine ball. Brian offered to meet me at a club called Spot White in Sunderland and we had a couple of hours on the match table. He showed me the ropes and a few scenarios that might come up in safety situations. He offered me a couple of his cues, including a jump cue. I think I have some half decent equipment now. I’m actually using a cue which Gareth Potts (English and Chinese eight ball champion) gave me when I was playing Chinese eight ball, it is kind of half way between a snooker cue and a pool cue.


“I think that nine ball is one of the simpler versions of pool to pick up and it isn’t going to fry my head. The safety side is a little bit like snooker, in that you are only trying to hide one ball. I liked that and if I can get more acquainted with the safety side I think I can hold my own. I want to put in a good performance and not just turn up to have a go.”


What is the main target that you have set yourself for next week?


“I just want to go over and show what I can do as well as get some exposure. I’m looking forward to something different. I know what it is all about on the snooker front, but this is an experience of something new. There is a buzz and a different feeling when you are coming into a new environment. I had that when I started snooker, but in that instance it was my job and there was additional pressure. That isn’t the case here at all, it is a free shot to try something else in a one off occasion. I can’t wait to go down there and see what it is all about.”


What are your thoughts on last season and how do you feel ahead of the 22/23 campaign?


“Take away the final in the British Open and it was a really disappointing season. There were a lot of times that I didn’t play that badly and I was just on the wrong end of someone playing really well. I was against Jamie Clarke at the World Championship and I was stuck in my chair watching how well he was playing. In one sense you feel annoyed that it happened to you in the biggest tournament. He absolutely flew in that game. The upside is that I have hardly any money to defend next season. I hope to find that consistency in each tournament and feature in the latter stages. If I can do that I will push up the rankings and the top 16 becomes more possible. Those are my two targets, the top 16 and to win a tournament.


“Looking back over the years I seem to be a player who goes on a run and then goes missing for months on end. I feel like I’m due a run soon, but I want to make that more consistent. The guys around the top 16 seem to be getting quarter-finals at least on a regular basis. Next season is a big opportunity so I’m ready to work hard and try to stamp my authority on the season.”;)
 

The Hare

Colt

Gary Wilson Set For Pool Debut.

Former Crucible semi-finalist Gary Wilson is temporarily switching cue sport codes next week, to make his nine ball pool debut at the UK Open and he is intent on making an impression.


The Wallsend cueman reached the British Open final at the start of last season, beating Stephen Hendry, Hossein Vafaei, David Gilbert and close friend Elliot Slessor on his way to the title match. However, he succumbed to a 6-4 loss against Mark Williams.


Since then, Wilson struggled to produce his best form and only went beyond the second round of a ranking event on three subsequent occasions during the season. He’s eyeing next term as an opportunity to up his consistency levels and target a place in the world’s top 16.


In the meantime, Wilson is preparing for his first ever appearance in a major nine ball pool event. He faces American Blaine Barcus on Tuesday at the Copper Box in London. Martin Gould is also in action and he takes on Tashunka Schultz. We caught up with 36-year-old Wilson to find out how he is feeling ahead of the tournament…


Gary, what was it that inspired you to throw your hat in the ring for the UK Open?


“As snooker players, playing in the club growing up, you always have a little mess around on the pool tables as well. Sometimes it was really just to show off. You go and play someone at a game of pool and clear up. Obviously at the top level it is a lot harder than that, with everyone being so good. I played a little bit of eight ball and nine ball, but not properly. I watched Judd Trump playing in the US Open last year and fancied playing myself, I saw the UK Open come up and went for it. The fact that the snooker season is finished made it an ideal opportunity to try something different.”


Judd had a few good wins at the US Open, before suffering a heavy defeat to former champion Jayson Shaw and then falling out of the loser’s bracket. How did you think he fared?


“Lets be frank, if snooker players had time to practise and play the game properly, then the majority of us would be able to play nine ball pretty well. Judd had a couple of results and was learning his way through it. Unfortunately, he came up against Jayson Shaw and didn’t have much of a shot. That can happen. Until you learn the intricacies of the game like the kick shots, bank shots and jump shots, you won’t be competing at the top end. Snooker players will always be pretty good at the general clearing up bit, but when you are playing the best players they will tie you up in knots. You need to know every facet of the game. I’ve been trying to get familiarised with all of that since the end of the snooker season.”


How have your preparations been going so far?


“I messaged a guy called Brian Halcrow, who is from the local area. He plays a lot of English eight ball, but has also been over to America to play nine ball. Brian offered to meet me at a club called Spot White in Sunderland and we had a couple of hours on the match table. He showed me the ropes and a few scenarios that might come up in safety situations. He offered me a couple of his cues, including a jump cue. I think I have some half decent equipment now. I’m actually using a cue which Gareth Potts (English and Chinese eight ball champion) gave me when I was playing Chinese eight ball, it is kind of half way between a snooker cue and a pool cue.


“I think that nine ball is one of the simpler versions of pool to pick up and it isn’t going to fry my head. The safety side is a little bit like snooker, in that you are only trying to hide one ball. I liked that and if I can get more acquainted with the safety side I think I can hold my own. I want to put in a good performance and not just turn up to have a go.”


What is the main target that you have set yourself for next week?


“I just want to go over and show what I can do as well as get some exposure. I’m looking forward to something different. I know what it is all about on the snooker front, but this is an experience of something new. There is a buzz and a different feeling when you are coming into a new environment. I had that when I started snooker, but in that instance it was my job and there was additional pressure. That isn’t the case here at all, it is a free shot to try something else in a one off occasion. I can’t wait to go down there and see what it is all about.”


What are your thoughts on last season and how do you feel ahead of the 22/23 campaign?


“Take away the final in the British Open and it was a really disappointing season. There were a lot of times that I didn’t play that badly and I was just on the wrong end of someone playing really well. I was against Jamie Clarke at the World Championship and I was stuck in my chair watching how well he was playing. In one sense you feel annoyed that it happened to you in the biggest tournament. He absolutely flew in that game. The upside is that I have hardly any money to defend next season. I hope to find that consistency in each tournament and feature in the latter stages. If I can do that I will push up the rankings and the top 16 becomes more possible. Those are my two targets, the top 16 and to win a tournament.


“Looking back over the years I seem to be a player who goes on a run and then goes missing for months on end. I feel like I’m due a run soon, but I want to make that more consistent. The guys around the top 16 seem to be getting quarter-finals at least on a regular basis. Next season is a big opportunity so I’m ready to work hard and try to stamp my authority on the season.”;)
Very inconsistent Gary, like he says. Sometimes looks like he can compete with Top 16 but very easily loses his way. Maybe the Pool will inspire him like Selby.
 

Footballers' Wives star Laila Rouass and fiancé Ronnie O'Sullivan 'jet off on holiday together' as they are seen carrying suitcases after rekindling romance.

Laila Rouass and Ronnie O'Sullivan appear to have jetted off on holiday together after recently rekindling their romance.

The Footballers Wives star, 50, and the snooker ace, 46, announced their split back in February after 10 years together but recent pictures showed her wearing her engagement ring.

The pair were recently spotted in Essex lugging several suitcases while Ronnie could also be seen sporting a floral shirt ahead of their trip.
An insider revealed the excursion will come as a welcome break for the on-off couple following their recent reunion.
A source told The Mirror: 'They've both been through a tough time. The holiday should a much-needed bit of R and R.'
Laila cut a casual figure for the outing as she sported a black top with a scooped neckline which she wore under a grey hoodie.

The actress also wore a pair of grey patterned leggings along with a pair of dark boots.
Also sporting a pair of sunglasses, the star carried a grey carry-on as she and Ronnie made their way to their car.

The outing comes after Laila appeared on Friday's episode of Loose Women where she told how she had 'manifested' Ronnie back into her life.

Laila said: 'Me and Ronnie are back together, we found our way back. We just worked it out – back when I announced it, we hadn't been together for almost eight months at that time.'

'He text me and said: 'tell them you manifested me back into your life.';)
 
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