Congratulations to Mark Allen, who defeated local hero Ding Junhui to win the Jiangsu Classic in Wuxi City.

Allen’s rise has been rapid since he turned professional in 2005 but this is his first title.

It won’t be his last in my opinion. Far from it. He’s got the game, the self belief and time on his side and will be a top player for many years to come.

An advantage for him is that he was used to winning when he turned professional having won everything he conceivably could as an amateur: the Northern Ireland title at all age levels, the world amateur championship, European amateur championship and European under 19 championship.

What a shame the Northern Ireland Trophy has been axed from the schedule. Allen’s involvement would have created a great buzz after his run to the World Championship semi-finals.

Even so, we’ll be seeing plenty more of him in the future.

Congratulations should also go to Mark Selby, who joined snooker’s 147 club during the tournament.

Selby’s break-building has improved considerably over the last three years. Last season, he finished second on the list of century makers behind John Higgins.

He constructed a 141 break at the 2008 Masters and superseded that with a 145 last season.

His maximum was the 69th in snooker history. OK, so they’ve become far more common in recent years but making one is still a landmark worth celebrating.

Credit to the players who went out to play in the Jiangsu Classic, which further enhanced the game’s growing status in China.

One player who would have gone anywhere for snooker was Paul Hunter, who died in 2006.

Every year since a tournament has been organised in his name. The Paul Hunter English Open returns in July and, as the name suggests, it’s open to everyone.

It’s a good way to remember Paul and take part in event that attracts several professionals.

You can do so by downloading the entry form from the EASB website.


Anonymous said...

Off topic but when will the next podcast be up?

Janie Watkins said...

Rather good professionals too as Neil Robertson won the English Open in 2008.

Off topic but I'd like to pay tribute, after we heard the very sad news today of the death of Jack Carney.
A former British Boys Snooker Champion and Billiards finalist, Jack spent his latter years as a coach, organiser and team manager for the Welsh Association.
He will be very sadly missed and everyone in Wales and around the world who knew Jack, as a true gentleman of the sport, will join me in sending condolences to his family.

Anonymous said...

off topic

anyone watch the tennis?


dave, is there not a way people can contact you so that 'we' dont need to read lots of off topics and questions directed to you?

Anonymous said...


Just looking at the entrance criteria for the Paul Hunter English Open it strikes me that with good publicity this event could be expanded out to cover a more national focus. Qualifying tournaments around the country would be an ideal base to qualify for the main event in Yorkshire and would give club players the chance to compete against better amateurs and possibly even local professionals. This seems to me like an ideal opportunity to get snooker out and about to the masses in the same way as many tournaments did in the 80's. Opening up these evenst to everyone, with say a £10 entrance fee I'm sure would attract a great deal of interest if marketed properly at grass roots level. I think there would be a willingness amongst snooker fans and players to see this as a good way to continue Paul's legacy. The £60 entrance fee and the estimate of 128 entries is a bit limiting in my opinion. Let's have a tournament from the grass roots up for a change! A bit like the FA Cup of Snooker?

Dave H said...

The next podcast should go up next week all being well.

I like the idea about the FA Cup style event. Wasn't the recent UK Open darts played along the same lines?

Anonymous said...

Yes Dave it was, I think having Paul's name attached to such an event would also add the necessary prestige. From local, to regional, to national finals I can't see this not attracting interest if marketed properly across the UK and possibly even mainland Europe. It would be a very fitting tribute to Paul if this started the grass roots revolution that the game is crying out for. The chance for say a young player of some promise to play a local professional early on in the event would be fantastic. The old '21' handicap could be applied to all pro's who enter at early stages, very much like the old format of the ever popular Pontins Opens. All it would need are a few local and regional 'champions' that could communicate to get this off the ground, I'm sure Paul's name attached would also secure the funding required to stage such an event and have a decent website running for updates etc.

Anonymous said...

Why did you delet my r.i.p. post?

wildJONESEYE said...

forgot two put name dave i posted that

Dave H said...

I deleted a post that read 'RPI Jack' as I assumed someone was taking the mickey in that rib tickling way that has made reading these comments such a pleasure of late

If it was a genuine post and merely a mistake in typing then I apologise

jamie said...

The Grand Prix tried the FA Cup format last year.

Anonymous said...


I think you're missing my point. This would not be a professionals only tournament it would be open, in all senses of the word. Meaning that anyone could play anyone, pro, amateur, junior, ex-pro's, monkeys, ok not monkeys but you get my drift.