Good luck to all those taking part in the Wyldecrest World Seniors Championship in Peterborough this weekend.

I was in Bradford last year and it was a lot of fun seeing some of the players from snooker’s golden TV age of the 1980s back in action.

This year the age limit has been increased from 40 and over to 45 and over, although last year’s final featured two players, Jimmy White and Steve Davis, who comfortably cleared this hurdle.

They will start among the favourites again, although Davis has a tricky opening round tie against Tony Drago.

The other likely title contender is Nigel Bond, although I wouldn’t write off Darren Morgan’s chances as the Welshman, though no longer on the tour, still plays regularly.

John Parrott also put up a good showing last year and I’m sure he will have been practising in readiness for this year’s event, which carries a top prize of £18,000.

It would be a big shock if some of the real veterans were successful. It’s 31 years since Cliff Thorburn won the World Championship and he is up against 69 year-old Doug Mountjoy, a twice UK champion.

Dennis Taylor and Joe Johnson, world champions in 1985 and 1986 respectively, will also find it tough against opposition more used to modern conditions.

There are two players for whom this weekend will be a real novelty. Steve Ventham has not played on TV since Junior Pot Black in 1983 and his first round opponent, Karl Townsend, has never before done so.

Best of threes seems short for a World Championship and the 30 second shot-clock is completely unnecessary - although it will apparently only come into force ten minutes into a frame - but I hope it goes well. There’s no reason why seniors snooker shouldn’t have a future, particularly with the players currently heading towards the qualifying age.

The World Seniors Championship is live all weekend on Sky Sports4.


Anonymous said...

Why not just do away with the shot clock all together and admit their mistake in having it there in the first place?

kildare cueman said...

Its hard to know how to go about Seniors snooker. Whether to make it a serious competitive event or a fun filled showcase event.

If it is to be taken seriously, then qualification and seeding must be based on previous results. The problem with this is that players like Ventham and Townsend, unknown quantities effectively, could affect viewing figures and stifle TV coverage and sponsorship.

I would like to see it ran like a proper tournament, with ranking points and best of 7 matches.

The old stagers that inspired the tournament, like Taylor and Thorburn, could be used in a masters style event in which invitations would be offered by the sponsors or TV company, thus keeping both nostalgists happy and providing a credible world championship.

Anonymous said...

shot clock - joke!

nigel for the title

jibjib said...

I understand the pulling power of having the likes of Davis & White in there, but really the tournament shouldn't be open for anyone still playing on the main tour. They have a massive advantage over the others in terms of the playing conditions and it's almost a certainty that one of them will win it.

The seniors' events should be entirely separate, with no overlap. That way you get a more even contest and you might attract more interest from stars of the past, if they feel they have a realistic chance of being competitive.

Anonymous said...

It's a bit baffling why there is a shot clock. There isn't one for the pros at their world champs so why have one in the seniors? Last year's event was great, so I hope the introduction of it this year doesn't spoil the fun.


Hi David. Good luck to all involved tomorrow and for the whole event.

Anonymous said...

seems there is a shot clock just because its sky

dont really see the need for it in any event

this is the last one it should have been implemented on

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the matches over the weekend, especially Gary Wilkinson v Darren Morgan. For me the early to mid 90s were the best days of snooker, so a match-up like this will evoke memories of those times.

Very much agree that Darren could end up winning it, although I'm not sure how well that would bode for the future. The Welsh Professional Championship and One-Frame Knockout were both discontinued after he won them (I think that might even apply to another tournament he won as well) and after he won the 1996 Irish Masters, he went back the next year, lost to Hendry on the black in the final, and didn't get invited back again!

Anonymous said...

I assume the shot clock is mainly to stop Dennis Taylor telling golf anecdotes and plugging "Snooker Legends" between shots.

I cannot get too excited about the format - it is effectively an invitational exhibition. Only 4 players here are on the main tour, all the others (and Drago in his time off the tour) could have played in the over 45's at the IBSF worlds but only Morgan and O'Kane did).

To players used to being at the top of the game I don't think the title 'best player over the age of 45' means all that much. I'm sure most of them are attracted mainly by the guaranteed place in next year's Premier League:)

Anonymous said...

Are there no Chinese wildcards? Mr Miaggio from Karate Kid was useful with a pool cue.

Paul said...

Dave will a win for whoever claims the title count as a professional win on a players cv ? Ie in golf it would count as part of the seniors tour but we dont have that in snooker.

Dave H said...

Yes, I'll be counting it as a professional title

Anonymous said...

if the winner of this tournament is a duffer, rest assured barry will move the goalposts and he wont be in next years pl

it was obvious to anyone with eyes that the pl this year shoehorned jimmy in the back door with that excuse.

if the winner wont suit and will be out his depth greatly, that idea will be binned.

mind you, jimmy is showing how poor he is in this years pl and maybe barry has already decided to bin the silly idea....

Anonymous said...

a professional title?

are the pockets templated?

they look like you could pot basketballs in them!

Paul said...

Thanks dave,also just wondering will any century break count towards a players tally ? Cheers

Janie Watkins said...

The other title Darren Morgan won that was then discontinued was the Pontins Professional.

Anonymous said...

Those pockets are huge!

Anonymous said...

The pockets are huge, more like PL tables.

Anonymous said...

anyone able to ask anyone important on twitbook if the pockets are templated to regulations?

Anonymous said...

nobody seems to care that the bags were massive.

oh well

shot clocks
ball in hand
time outs extensions
massive pockets

next we will be able to move balls that snooker us, just for a laugh.