Ferguson1

The Big Jason Ferguson Interview – Part One

While Barry Hearn as the chairman of World Snooker is the man responsible for commercial side of professional snooker, the man at the head of the sport’s regulatory body, the WPBSA, is former world number 28 Jason Ferguson, who since his re-election to the board as chairman in July 2010, has overseen a period of unprecedented change in professional snooker.

Three years on, I sat down with Jason this week at the Crucible to discuss a number of subjects, including flat draws, money based ranking lists, the Crucible, burn out, snooker in schools, the amateur game, wildcards, and much, much more.

Click below for the first of two parts…

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Balls

Asif Wins 2012 IBSF World Championship

While the UK Championship is currently dominating the snooker headlines this week, over in Bulgaria, Pakistan’s Muhammad Asif has recorded a 10-8 victory against Gary Wilson, to become the 2012 IBSF World Champion.

As well as being a prestigious tournament to win in its own right, the win will earn Asif a main tour card for the start of the 2013/14 season.

More will hopefully follow in due course as quotes emerge from Sofia.

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Haotian Downs Yinghui For IBSF U-21 Title

As the action unfolds in Gloucester, over in Wuxi, China, 14-year-old Lu Haotian his this morning defeated countryman Zhu Yinghui 9-6 to capture the 2012 IBSF World U-21 Championship. In doing so, Lu becomes the third Chinese player to win the title, following in the footsteps of Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo, past winners of the event in 2002 and 2005 respectively.

Presumably, Lu will also earn a nomination onto the main tour for 2013/14, although World Snooker are yet to confirm the tour qualification criteria for next season as the tour increases to 128 players.

Click here to watch the closing stages of today’s final.

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Vafaei Victorious In Epic IBSF Final

Congratulations to 17-year-old Iranian Hossein Vafaei who today resisted a brave fight-back from Welshman Lee Walker to capture the 2011 IBSF World Championship in Banglaore 10-9 on the final black. Having trailed 7-2 at one stage, it looked like the momentum was with Walker but eventually it was to be Vafaei who would emerge the winner to earn a nomination onto the main tour for 2012/13.

It is a historic triumph for Hossein who earlier this season won the silver medal at the 2011 Asian U-21 Championship, finishing as runner-up to China’s Cao Yupeng in Kish Island as a 16-year-old. Hossein also appeared as a wildcard at this season’s Shanghai Masters tournament, taking a frame off the experienced Fergal O’Brien in a 5-1 defeat.

A member of PJ Nolan’s Champions Academy, Hossein has been tipped by many inside the game as one to watch and now with his place on the main tour secured for next season it will be fascinating to see how he develops.

Hossein Vafaei 10-9 Lee Walker

81-30, 5-121, 72-1, 103-8, 76-4, 83-5, 62-59, 74-15, 92-0, 53-75, 73-25, 5-123, 14-80, 46-80, 73-43, 39-79, 52-57 and 58-52.

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Thirapongpaiboon

Thanawat Takes IBSF World U-21 Title

Congratulations to 17-year-old Thai talent Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon who has today defeated countryman Noppon Saengkham 9-3 in Montreal to win the IBSF World Under-21 Championship.

In doing so Thanawat secures a return to the professional circuit for the 2012/13 season and confirms his status as one of the youngsters to watch at the moment. More will follow on his success over the coming days.

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Thirapongpaiboon

IBSF World U-21 Championship 2011: Round Robin Latest

The race to succeed Sam Craigie as the IBSF World U-21 Champion and become the first man to secure a spot on the 2012/13 tour is now well underway in Montreal and you can view all of the latest results and updated groups over at the IBSF website here.

I will post in greater detail following the conclusion of the round robins but so far it appears to be a case of so far, so good for the most recognisable names such as Zhang Anda, Li Hang and Vinnie Muldoon, not to mention Thai trio Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon, Noppon Saengkham and Akani Songsermsawad…

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