The World Seniors Championship was launched last night with a Sportsmans’ Dinner at which a good time was had by all.

It ended with a rousing version of the U2 song ‘With Or Without You’ by Peter Ebdon (pictured), who remained in good spirits despite having exited the tournament earlier in the evening.

Ebdon was beaten 2-0 by Nigel Bond, who potted an excellent black using the rest to win the opener before dominating the second.

Willie Thorne conducted a charity auction and interviewed each of the seniors, all of whom are looking forward to a weekend of renewing old friendships and on-table rivalries.

Co-organiser Joe Johnson has drawn Steve Davis in the quarter-finals in a repeat of the 1986 and 1987 World Championship final.

Fans’ favourites Jimmy White tackles legendary Canadian ‘Grinder’ Cliff Thorburn.

Quarter-final draw:
Ken Doherty v Nigel Bond (11am)
Steve Davis v Joe Johnson (12pm)
Dennis Taylor v John Parrott (3pm)
Cliff Thorburn v Jimmy White (4pm)


shaun said...

good luck to all the gents lets hope its the start of some sort of senior tour

Anonymous said...

What have ticket sales been like?

Betty Logan said...

So in the semi-finals we have two middle ranked players, one in the doldrums and another that has just dropped off the tour this year. How boring. The only redeeming feature of this tournament would be a Davis vs. White final.

Dave H said...

It's not boring for the people who have come along. They're loving the tournament and the chance to chat to the players and get autographs.

Ticket sales have been excellent.

Anonymous said...

I'll second it not being boring.
We've just got back from watching the quarter finals,and everyone we spoke to was having a great time.
I hope the event is staged again next year.

Witz78 said...

Im sure the people who are there are having a great time, but lets get real here.

This tournament is a bit of a damp squib compared to what it could and should have been.

Held over 3 days, so there was easily scope to have 16 players involved and a chance for more blasts from the past like Griffiths, Meo, Foulds, Knowles, Thorne etc playing in it.

With some of the guys currently on the tour, they should have been handicapped to make the matches a bit fairer, though some may question why the likes of Bond, Doherty and Ebdon were even involved in this event.

Hopefully the mistakes made here can be learned and the event can return far bigger next year.

The success of the Snooker Legends tour proves theres a market for this Seniors World Championship to grow into a stand out event every year.

Dave H said...

Yes, let's get real here: some people have absolutely no idea of the work that goes into getting an event like this on.

Disagree with the format? Simple. Raise the money needed to put on an event. Find a sponsor, find a broadcaster, find a venue, liaise with World Snooker for a date in the calendar, persuade the players to enter, pay the officials, pay the security, pay the caterers, pay the table fitter, pay all the other people needed, attend to all the problems that crop up throughout the event and then you can run your own tournament.

Because actually doing it is far harder than denouncing something on the internet.

You'd do well to find anyone at the tournament describing it as a 'damp squib.'

Anonymous said...

harsh but fair davey boy

Anonymous said...


in 1991 there was a 16 man best of 9 tournament why only 9 man best of 3s,5s and 7 this year.

surely the Goal should be to get it a regular thing.

you cant truly enjoy a match that's over before it started.

yes im sure at the venu its a carnival atmosphere and fun for Spectators and players alike however the matches are only the side show where for this sort of event to have legs it has to be the focus.

Witz78 said...

Until i win the lottery, holding a tournament of my own will remain a dream.

As for denouncing the event, whilst im sure if i was in attendance id be having a great weekend, i see my comments as constructive criticism of the event, and probably what the bulk of fans from the outside of the event feel. That the event is a good idea and long overdue, but could have been better.

The event has already been put on, the sponsor has been found, the venue has been found, the date has been found, the 20k top prize would easily have persuaded many more "seniors" to play (though i suspect most would be happy just to be involved for the thrill of playing a competitive game in front of a crowd again and catching up with old colleagues)The officials, security,caterers, table fitter and all the other people needed have been paid too so the structure was all in place to make this event what im sure it will become in years to come.

kildare cueman said...

It is an interesting concept, and one I feel has potential for the future.

I understand your frustrations at the naysayers Dave, but surely it's healthy to speculate on how the tournament can be improved upon and upgrade from a fun event to a competetive one, that can truely be described as a world championship.

Why not allow all current and former professionals over a certain age to enter?

The seedings for year one could be determined by the current ranking list, with qualifiers held in clubs.

The eight qualifiers could play the eight seeds with the winners contesting the quarters at a suitable time, thereby ensuring credibility as a "World" event.

I don't feel there is sufficient demand for a circuit but the legends tour may become a forerunner for a tour with modest prizemoney.

Anonymous said...

Take a bow Dave well said!!!

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly enjoyed it. Just got back home. Willie said he has a cataract in one eye and can't play anymore. Was great to mingle with the stars. I left my seat and came back 5 mins later to find dennis taylor plonked in it! Joe johnson is an absolute legend and gentleman and had time for eveyone. Looking forward to next years event.

Bryn said...

Sad to see this getting trashed by some outside (non) observers. The tournament has not been as predictable in results as might have been predicted at either qualifying or final stages.
Everything has to start somewhere and I'm sure the valid criticisms will be taken on board. There needs to be a fuller, more defined set of players (with possibly handicaps for 'younger' players), perhaps best of 5's throughtout, and live streaming. But this is an initiative set up by Joe, given a good presentation and sponsorship and fair prize money. Next years will be even better, but looking back this seems to have gone much better than the championship Cliff Wilson won, or the Kit Kat break for World Champions (neither of which returned).
Look forward to it coming back, alongside the Legends tour - all long overdue - think of the players now departed we could have seen again.

Betty Logan said...

Bringing in top tour players doesn't make any more sense than putting Johnson, Thorburn and Taylor into the first round at the Crucible. The outcome is inevitable, it simply doesn't work as an actual contest.

kildare said...

well done jimmy white finally a world title and a well deserved one..I cant wait to watch this tournament on sky sports..hopefully it will be staged next year and be live on tv..i hope to attend goffs to see the legends tour in may..jimmy should bring the title with him

Betty Logan said...

It's very lucky it had a stylish finish with Davis and Jimmy making the final. It could just as easily have been Doherty and Ebdon. I do think 40 is too young for a seniors event — Steve Davis was still winning major titles at 40, so maybe 45 would be a more reasonable cut-off age...

Dave H said...

Steve and Jimmy played the best snooker, ergo they reached the final

Anonymous said...

Steve Davis was 38 when he last won a tournament not 40 so 40 is old enough

Betty Logan said...

On a sidenote, during commentary at the World Open, Willie voiced an interest in participating in a Legends event, but Dennis Taylor slapped him down by informing Willie he isn't good enough to be in one.

Anonymous said...



look at you dave

well done the white stuff

Anonymous said...

A possible qualification for the seniors championship could be that it invited entries from all ranking tournament winners and runners up from the past who were not playing on the current world tour,However this would obviously exclude people like Davis, White, Ebdon, Bond, Doherty and others but surely the purpose of a seniors tournament is to bring back well known players from the past not to be hijacked by current tour professionals.

Betty Logan said...

WRONG Anon. Steve Davis's last tournament win was the China International at 40, and he also won the Masters earlier in the year at the age of 39.

Mal said...

And Jimmy White beat Paul hunter in the international open? at the age of 41 just a couple of months before his 42nd birthday.

I think White was the smart bet - been on reasonable form this season and would be more determined than Ebdon/Doherty for this type of event, though Bond and Parrott would also have been good shouts. Also, I think the old legends would still have a chance - in first to two Dennis Taylor and cliff Thorburn proved at the legends events that they could still (occasionally) beat White and Parrott and Taylor even knocked in a few centuries.
I think 45 would be a good age and also could be limited - i.e. not in top 32. The event would be popular anyway if it has the big names from bygone days.

Anonymous said...

You appear to have missed my point Betty all the players I named are competing currently on the main tour. A seniors tour should be for players that have retired from the main tour.

jamie brannon said...

I agree, that if people are running are just slagging it off unfairly, but I don't think just because we have not staged a tournament, we have no right to question the field or format ina constructive manner. If anything this helps event organisers see what fans do like or not.

I personally think this was an excellent innovation, and even though I questioned the wisdom of one or two things, I still believe it was a fantastic idea to implement something like this and understand that things will be far from perfect in the inaugural staging of a tournament.