Congratulations to James Wattana, the former world no.3 from Thailand, who has won the Asian Championship and will thus be returning to the professional circuit as from next season.

Wattana is now 39 and had pretty much retired after being relegated last year.

Good luck to him as he obviously still enjoys competing, although he will find it hard coming into the qualifiers from the very first round.

He was a very good player in his day and his influence in popularising snooker in Thailand and Asia in general can't be underestimated.

He'll be back in action for the qualifying rounds of the Shanghai Masters, which start on August 3.


Monique said...

I wish him all the best. It takes some love of the game and dedication to come back on the saddle like that!
Also he's one of the centurion of centuries (140 if I'm right) and the "owner" of 3 maxis (only Hendry, ROS and Higgins have more). Tells something about the player he was.

Anonymous said...

IMHO he is the 2nd best middle pocket potter of all time, behind Hendo.

Go James!

Janie said...

It's great for snooker in Thailand and I'm sure the fact that Wattana will be around from Round One will be a great help to the other Thai players coming onto the tour in 2009-10: Noppadol Sangnil, Thepchaiya Un Nooh.

I'm looking forward to the first qualifiers to see a whole barrage of international players taking up their places.

although it would be nice if we could have at least a week's close season first!!

The first PIOS event for 2009-10 starts late June!!

Monique said...

lol Janie! You would need your fix after 3 days ... badly ;)

Anonymous said...

Lets get James back on tour and we might get a ranking event out of Thailand as well ...

you can hear the little wheels in the little heads in Bristol whirr around as we speak ...

mathsisfun said...

It will be nice to see another familiar face in the early rounds of the qualifiers.

I wonder how likely it is Jimmy White v James Wattana is in the last 64. Takes snooker back about 15 years (although maybe the last 8 then).

Anonymous said...

Maybe they will hold the entire segment of the draw back in which Wattana is playing over to Thailand if they stage another event there.
Good to see the old boy back anyway.

snoopy said...

do we know how many events next season - is it just 6 (no NI and Bahrain) - or will there some smaller events too

what's the rest of the calendar?

also did Mei Xiwen get 3rd asia spot?

Anonymous said...

Good to see new young talent coming through.

Anonymous said...

To Janie,

Great news Wattana is back. Any chance of getting cameras to show online PIOS matches next season?

I went over to your twitter during the world championships. I don't think the updates were coming through, were they? Ha! BTW, did i see you on TV at the Final of the Super 6's in the press box with a camera?

I presume this is the 'Unofficial' 2009/10 season:

Sept: Shanghai Masters
Oct: Grand Prix
Dec: UK Championship

Jan: The Masters
Feb: Welsh Open
Mar: China Open
Apr: World Championships

Lost: NI Trophy, Bahrain, Malta.

Question: Can Dave/anyone give me the final list of who made on to the tour for next season? Did anyone get the freebie card for the tour that the WSA give it?

Thanks, Joe

Anonymous said...

Monique said... Also he's one of the centurion of centuries (140 if I'm right) and the "owner" of 3 maxis (only Hendry, ROS and Higgins have more). Tells something about the player he was.

Has'nt Nick Dyson had "3 maxis" as well?


Anonymous said... IMHO he is the 2nd best middle pocket potter of all time, behind Hendo.

And IMHO you have forgotten about Paul Hunter. Surely you've heard how he became such a prolific middle pocket potter?

Anonymous said...

I have not forgotten Hunter, but i too would put Wattana second behind Hendry as the best middle pocket player of all time.

Matt said...


The final list of 2009/10 tour players is not confirmed yet. I've done a piece on this on my blog (click my name above this post if interested), but to summarise I think that the situation is as follows:

The top 64 from last season stay on, plus the top eight others from the one year list which leaves 24 places.

Then the PIOS finished a couple of days ago so the top eight from there (Jogia, Guodong, Haneveer, Page, Rowlings, Sangnil, Steadman and Woollastion), will be promoted, leaving 16 places.

Of those Wattana has one for winning the Asia Championship, Anda Zhang one for the Asia U-21, Thepchaiya Un-nooh for winning the IBSF last year and Jimmy Robertson I believe has a place for finishing top of the English Pro-Ticket Tour.

I have also read that Michael White will finish top of the Welsh list and get their nomination but I've not seen that confirmed anywhere...

Anonymous said...

and i am the original anonymous who posted at 3.14pm. i never forgot about paul hunter. great player that he was, imho, he was nowhere near as prolific a middle ball potter as the two players i mentioned in the 2nd reply to this blog.

just because your opinion differs from mine, doesnt mean i forgot. ;)

RichP said...

I don't see why Wattana shouldn't still be able to compete to a decent level afterall he's only 39. Dropping off the tour may have helped in that he may have refocused and seen this as a fresh challenge as opposed to the continual gradual decline he was on before. Hope he does well.

jamie said...

Fantastic news I will be following him as my 2nd favourite player next season. I am seriously considering heading down to Prestatyn for his opening qualifier in August.

Chris said...

It just shows his dedication, I do hope James gets back on TV this year. That would be a great achievement.

Anonymous said...

Once great player but the last time we saw him on the Tour his cue action had gone completely.
Cant imagine he'll make an impact this time around.

Anonymous said...

he wont be as bad as last time, if recent reports are correct, but bearing in mind the last time he was on our screens he was impersonating a man using a saw on most shots he wont do too well IMHO