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.”


Betty Logan said...

Lee was awarded a hamper full of pies by one of the sponsors, Peter’s Pies, for his victory (pictured).

There's nothing like a bit of incentive!

Redandblackblog said...

It's Peter's Foods not Pies!

Dave H said...

It said Peter's Pies on the press release

Anonymous said...

Think it was Kelly - not Allison - Fisher who held the previous record for the most unbeaten matches in women's snooker.

Anonymous said...

12Bet to sponsor UK Championship aswell.
So much for every tournament looking different.

jamie brannon said...

I was hoping that the ITV player would allow me too see the 'Powerball' snooker, alas it has not.

Having said that, I reckon that my opinion of the initative would have echoed the sentiments of Matthew Syed, who is a journalist not afraid to lambast changes.

I disagree that women cavorting around in skimpy outfits is seedy though, surely in these supposedly more liberal times, a woman who uses sex to earn money does not have to be stigmatised as not being morally sound. They use sexy women at the PDC darts and boxing, sports that Syed professes to like and it does nothing to detract from the event.

tThe reality has always been that the baulk of the under-50 male population will get a thrill from seeing hot women strutting their stuff, this does not the men who enjoy this morally bankrupt or for that matter seedy.

However, the boorish chanting I draw the line at as one thing that puts me going off to watch football is the infantile chanting and moronic abuse levelled at players and officials.

Funnily enough, Syed was seemingly on Wednesday in The Times championing this pantomime booing culture that has pervaded football for countless decades. This is snooker though, and we have a strong culture of fair play and respect that most definitely does not need changing.

It has to be said mind that not all fans at PDC darts are evicted from the venue and snooker needs to make it clear it won't be tolerated.

Don't know if anyone follows Mark Langdon of the Racing Post on Twitter, but he said some less than flattering, albeit constructive points about Peter Drury. He said that he barley remembered hearing Clive Everton in the commentary box.

Still, I would like to view the event, before questioning the product and the 'Rocket' has got the power. Guessing this won't be counted as a title on his career total?

Dave H said...

Sorry, I meant Kelly! (now amended)

Anonymous said...


the matches are all on youtube

jamie brannon said...

I thought Pukka Pies was more than a one-year deal?

Anyone know what day O'Sullivan is playing at the UK? Trying to work out which day to go.

Anonymous said...


is your first sentence meant to be a question?

Ronnie might not bother to turn up, even if he assures fans he will, so i wouldnt make plans to see him

jamie brannon said...

I am planning on the Sunday afternoon, but I couldn't seem to find out who was playing at certain times?

Teo said...

Combine this: http://www.worldsnooker.com/uk10_format.htm?tid=172

with this


Janie Watkins said...

sorry David - that was my fault. The company is called Peter's Foods and they have a lot more products besides pies.

Anonymous said...

That's really taking the piss. Awarding Lee a hamper of pies.

You couldn't make this sort of thing up!

Anonymous said...

It looks as though Stephen Lee is licking his lips in anticipation of the offerings.

MaximumSnooker said...

He made the quarter finals of the UK championship last year and nearly won all those Pukka Pies also!

Anonymous said...

Powersnooker was cheap and tacky and a section of the crowd were out of control but Hearn encourages such behaviour.

The rules are a joke - with the crowd shouting 'powerzone' each time the white ended up in baulk. Foul the black whilst in the correct segment and get penalised 28 points! What on earth were the organisers on about?

Abusing players (Shaun Murphy in particular) by shouting profanities. Calling one of the refs Pat Butcher and demanding Tabb to be the sole referee, disgusting.

Surprisingly, Tabb was very flustered but made an immediate error by having two powerballs on the table at the opening shot of the event. The blue was missing from the table and she called out 'technical problem' replaced the powerball that was on the blue spot with the blue and put the second powerball under the table. Replacing a ball which couldn't go on its own spot in a Jimmy White match, she was under pressure to replace quickly and when Jimmy said something she curtly said 'whatever'in reply to him and just didn't put it back properly in the end. In the post match chat Jimmy said something like 'a referees never said that to me before'. Also when Tabb was asked about whether the white was in the powerzone if it was on the baulk line. She said it would have to be just over it to be so but the rules say that the cue ball in in baulk if it is on the line.

A shambles in all respects.

Betty Logan said...

I don't think you can lay this at Hearn's door since he didn't organise it. His events such as the Premier League aren't tacky and I don't imagine he would have been enamoured by what he saw. The aim of Power Snooker is to "modernise" snooker, but you modernise snooker by making the "snooker" relevant to a new generation not by making it irrelevant, which is what Power Snooker did. People who think this type of thing has a place on the calender are adopting a dangerous stance, because more than anything it makes snooker look like a sport that has lost its way which isn't a good image to project.

Premier League football has accepted dwindling audiences in the UK and that's why they're focusing on generating markets in the Far East. Snooker has a quality product and it's focus should be full bloodedly on developing new international markets. A major move in the right direction would be to accommodate international audiences, and that means no more bank holiday world finals, and possibly making finals best-of-11s or best-of-13s and playing them in the afternoon rather than two sessions into the evening.

Dave H said...

The old ITV best of 25 finals that finished on a Sunday afternoon worked pretty well

In fact they got some of the biggest ever audiences for snooker

Janie Watkins said...

So for those of you taking the "p***" out of the presentation to Stephen on Sunday, I can inform you that Stephen gave his hamper to Rob Milkins.

Rob is chuffed, as with all the expenses of the new baby and not much time, that's saved a bit of cooking this week!!

I'm not sure if Stephen Maguire is giving his hamper to Marcus!!!!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the UK Championship Final should adopt the Sunday afternoon climax and best of 25 frames.

jamie brannon said...

The 1980's was a different era though, the Sunday afternoon's are no longer grabbing the best ratings. To me, snooker is at it's best as evening entertainment.

I am not saying there is some scope for the odd afternoon final, but on the whole evening finishes are preferable.

Betty - You say that the 'power girls' were sexist, yet say Hearn doesn't champion this type of behaviour. He does if you have watched the PDC darts then you will see that he likes his 'girls'.

Dave H said...

Evening, yes

One in the morning, no

Redandblackblog said...

Given the hamper to Milkins! He's never gone short on a meal! I enjoyed Peter's Foods free sample of a sausage roll - another bonus of attending the SWSA on Friday.

Betty Logan said...

I said the attitude towards the power girls was sexist because the presenter came across as a borderline sex predator. I also said in my post on Power Snooker that the Power Girls were an aspect that could be incorporated into the traditional game to add a bit of glamour, maybe as a ball spotter to aid the referee, or as assistants for the players to get out their extensions and rub down their cues.

My point on afternoon snooker was that maybe by sacrificing a share of the UK audience you could make massive inroads into audience shares in the far East and central Europe. Even if Power Snooker magically got X Factor audiences that's only 10 million — just imagine how many millions more in China would watch if allowing for the time difference the finals were shown at 8pm/9pm rather than 4am/5am. It's the equivalent of 12pm kickoffs in football. It's just a question of raw numbers really. India will join China in the top three/four economies at some point in this decade and already has a great billiards tradition which would be a great foundation for launching snooker, and by good fortune is in a similar time zone to China. Between China and India you have 2.5 billion people — a third of the population of the planet! Afternoon finals don't prevent the British from watching, but it potentially brings exposure to 2.5 billion if snooker chooses to go into India, which it definitely should do at some point.

Anonymous said...

Betty, It certainly CAN be laid at Hearns door even if he didn't organise it. Did you see AND HEAR him being interviewed before it started? He positively encouraged it.

And you suggest that power girls can be incorporated in the traditional game, having a ball spotter to help the referee and having players assistants????

Your spaceship is waiting to take you home!!!

Anonymous said...

I understand Stephen Lee has been seen on the TV tonight on ITV's Fiddles, Cheats and Scams.
Can anyone shed any light on this?

Betty Logan said...

He was sponsored with money from a fraudulent Ponzi scheme.

shaun foster(wigan) said...

im thirty years old and captain my local snooker team in wigan.the night after after the power snooker farce myself and a few similar aged and older players were enjoying a few beers talking about how ridiculous it had been when the 4 youngest members of the team(18-21) walked in with stop watches and proceeded to put 9 reds on the table.they had loved the game and have been playing it all week as well as playing proper snooker so if this gets people playing in the clubs and introduces them to the snooker game it cant do any harm as im sure it will only be a spin off like 20/20 cricket or other shortened formats in sport

Keith said...

The strangest thing was the rule changes. The idea of the player breaking getting the next shot is interesting, and worth trying on its own: there's no guarentee of an easy opening, so there'd still be safety skills, but with the reds open. Everything else though, all those double and quadruple points...what were they thinking of? Even 20/20 snooker didn't do things like "12 for a boundary instead of 6".