A busy few days has seen Stephen Lee win the fourth European Tour Players Championship of the season with a 4-2 defeat of Stephen Maguire at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester.
Lee was among the class of 1992: talented teenagers who had taken up snooker in the boom years and turned professional when the game was thrown open to anyone.
His career has not been as successful as the most famous of the ’92 alumni, Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins and Mark Williams, but he has won four major ranking titles and now has a chance to get back into the top 16.
Lee was awarded a hamper full of pies by one of the sponsors, Peter’s Pies, for his victory (pictured).
In Leeds yesterday, Mike Russell defeated Dhruv Sitwala 1,738-1,204 to win a remarkable tenth world professional billiards title.
Billiards has fallen off the radar in recent years. The World Championship is the only remaining event of a calendar that used to feature five or six tournaments.
It means the leading players are less competitive but Russell, as he has been for the last two decades, is still the man to beat.
The woman to beat in the snooker world is undoubtedly Reanne Evans who has now surpassed Kelly Fisher’s record of winning 69 successive matches.
Evans extended her unbeaten run to 72 in winning the East Anglian Championship at Cambridge Snooker Centre.
Some good news today. 12bet.com, who sponsored the World Open, were so pleased with the exposure they got from that deal that they are also sponsoring the UK Championship.
“It is a testament to what snooker can deliver in terms of exceptional reach of the television and media coverage,” said World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn.
Finally, a last word on Power Snooker from Matthew Syed, the award winning sports columnist for The Times.
Syed went along on Saturday and it’s fair to say he wasn’t impressed.
“To enter the IndigoO2 Arena on Saturday was to enter a kind of sporting purgatory, a glimpse of what sport would look like if handed over to the producers of The Jerry Springer Show,” he wrote, before concluding: “This was shameless, tasteless and undigested drivel of a kind that makes Loose Women look classy. Expect it to catch on.”