Preview: 2015 GB9 Midlands Classic, the Rasson Billiards Pro Cup & Challenge Cup
Article by Martyn Royce
The GB 9 Ball Tour is back with a bang as the 2015 season commences with the Midlands Classic at the Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Telford, Shropshire.
As the Tour enters an historic eighth season in February, time should be taken to thank all of the players who have signed up as members for the five events which await this year. The end of 2014 saw a period of real uncertainty with regard to the future of the tour, and radical solutions had to be found to make the tour both sustainable and appealing. However, the backing of players both past and present ensured that we had enough players to make this 2015 season a reality. As has been the case right from the very beginning, it is the players who make GB9, and we as a committee cannot stress that enough. GB9 continues to proudly fly the flag for professional 9-ball in Great Britain, and with your continued support we shall do so for a long time to come.
Once again there have been a number of changes made in the off-season, each designed to make the best and most enjoyable weekend possible for the tour’s players.
The darling son of the GB 9 Ball Tour, Lee Rigby, stepped aside at the end of the 2013 season to focus himself more on his family and work life. However, the lure of the tour has appeared too much to resist. GB9 are delighted to welcome him back onto the tour in a new capacity of Event Director whose main objective is to maximise the experience of GB9 events for the players working closely with the Tournament Director. He will also provide GB9 with other important benefits including running our state of the art live-streaming, and event photography on behalf of our sponsors. We are sure that you, the players and fans alike, will give him the warmest of possible welcomes as he returns to GB9.
We must stress that Phil Turner remains as Tournament Director and will be wholly responsible (and your main point of contact) for the running of all competition. Mel Harley resumes the role of Head Referee with support from referee Lewis Taylor.
One of the common comments from players in the last couple of seasons is that they would like more game time for their money. As a result, GB9 are pleased to introduce a number of additional side events into the tour weekend. None of these events will count towards official GB9 rankings and additional entry fees will apply – they are just an opportunity for tour players to keep their arm loose and enjoy even more pool in their weekend. At this first event we will be hosting a Scotch doubles 9-ball competition on the Saturday afternoon. Should any players or spectators have any ideas of other side events the tour could host across the season, do not hesitate to let the Event Director or a committee member know.
Farewell Daventry, Hello Telford
After returning to the Daventry Court Hotel for the duration of the 2014 season, we have moved back to the wonderful Park Inn by Radisson Hotel in Telford, Shropshire. We would like to extend our gratitude towards the staff in Daventry for their hospitality last season and give a warm welcome return to Telford. The Park Inn by Radisson hotel will play host to all five tour events in the 2015 season and we have negotiated improved hotel rates for all players and their friends and families. We hope that players will support both the hotel and the tour with the improved prices on offer.
Play at the 2015 Midlands Classic will commence on the afternoon of Friday 20th February, with play running through until the evening of Sunday 22nd February. Spectators and fans of players are most welcome to attend free of charge to see who will win the first spoils of the new year. We are sure that the quality of pool on show will be as high as ever, and anyone coming along to watch some of the world’s finest players will not leave disappointed. We look forward to seeing you there!
In 2015 GB9 is proudly sponsored by Rasson Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Billiard Balls and Carlson Rezidor Hotels making the perfect combination of the very best equipment in the most outstanding venues.