Summer of Snooker

While snooker is often (with some justification), criticised for its lack of events, it is hard to make that accusation at the moment as although the top 16 will not see ranking event action until early September, there are more than enough tournaments scheduled for the upcoming weeks. Click below to read what is going on and where…

Pontin’s Pro Am Event Three, (18th-19th July 2009)

This weekend sees the third event of the 2009/10 Pontin’s Pro-Am Series played to a conclusion as Michael White looks to follow up his event two victory with another strong performance. He will not find it easy however as once again he has a strong field to come through, including players such as Jamie Cope and Judd Trump (who meet in a mouthwatering round one clash), as well as Ken Doherty, Fergal O’Brien, Ricky Walden and Craig Steadman.

You can view the draw over at Global Snooker here.

Paul Hunter English Open 2009 (22nd-26th July 2009)

Next up is the Paul Hunter English Open, an event that is both hosted and sponsored by the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds and will see 100 players come together and battle it out to succeed Xiao Guodong as champion.

Although Ryan Day is the sole representative of the top 16, the likes of Stuart Bingham, Michael Holt, Dave Harold and Stephen Lee ensure that the 17-32 bracket is well-represented. In total 20 of the 96 main tour players for 2009/10 will be in action and as Matt Couch showed when he won two years ago with victory against Neil Robertson, it is far from a certainty that one of the top ranked players will win the event.

Aside from the professionals it will be interesting to see how the number one of the women’s game Reanne Evans fares, as well as Oliver Lines who is the son of world number 64 Peter Lines. With promising youngsters such as Jack Lisowski involved too, I would not like to pick a winner!

Interestingly it seems that there may be live coverage of the event provided by CueSport TV online, hopefully Pete will be able to update us on that! If not, entry to go and watch the event is free so if you fancy a day out watching some top class snooker, you could do far worse than go along to Leeds at some point next week.

You can view the draw for the event over at the EASB website by clicking here.

World Games (22nd-26th July 2009)

Meanwhile over in Taiwan on the same dates, 16 players will compete in the prestigious World Games event, last won in 2005 by world number 32 Gerard Greene.

As defending champion Gerard is back again and faces Francois Ellis in the first round, while fellow professionals such as Ricky Walden, Nigel Bond, Paul Davies, Mike Dunn, Atthasit Mahitthi and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh are also involved.

Another player taking part is young Stephen Craigie who qualified by winning the European Under-19’s Championship in 2008 and told the Chronicle:

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I cannot wait to get to China, take in the atmosphere, meet all the other competitors and watch all the events at the different venues.

“It will be a tall order, but I would love to come back to the North East with a medal – I would be so proud.

“I will be the youngest player at the Games, but when I am at the table I will be fully focused on what I am doing and why I am there.”

You can view the draw over at Global Snooker here.

Lucan Racing Irish Classic 2009 (24nd-26th July 2009)

Next up is the Lucan Racing Irish Classic which sees the best players from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland battle it out for the title at the Celbridge Snooker Club in Kildare.

Back to defend the the trophy that he won in 2008 is Ken Doherty, as well as the men he beat en route, Joe Delaney, Michael Judge and Fergal O’Brien. They will be joined by Joe Swail, David Morris, Patrick Wallace and tour newcomer Brendan O’Donoghue as the tournament begins with a round-robin format, new for this year.

You can view the draw over at Global Snooker here.

PIOS Event Two (27nd-31st July 2009)

The following week sees firstly the second event of the 2009/10 PIOS get underway as the battle for 2010/11 tour spaces continues. Will young Jack Lisowski be able to make it two from two, something that would be an incredible achievement, particularly as he is on a collision course to meet Liam Highfield in the first round, the man who pushed him all the way in the Event One final – no seeded draws in the PIOS!

With such a high quality field however it makes calling a winner as ever very difficult and it will be interesting to see who can survive the early rounds and really make a push for an important 300 points towards their end ranking.

You can view the full draw over at Global Snooker here.

Pro Challenge Series Event One (28nd-30th July 2009)

Finally in July, the first of the seven events making up the new World Snooker Pro Challenge Series will be staged at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds as the players compete for a top prize of £5,000.

Details on the exact times, format and indeed the players involved remain sketchy at this time, but having heard on the grapevine that players of the calibre of Ricky Walden and Graeme Dott will be taking part, it sounds like the field will be a strong one as players look to gain vital match practice ahead of the crucial Shanghai Masters qualifiers in early August.

As soon as more details become available I will be sure to post here and hopefully I will be able to visit the event, providing the very latest updates via my Twitter page…