Preview: 2016 GB9 Midlands Classic

gb9balltour_267pxPreview: 2016 GB9 Midlands Classic, the Pro Cup & Challenge Cup

World class 9-ball pool is back on the calendar as the 9th season of the GB 9 Ball Tour gets under way at the Park Inn by Radisson Hotel in Telford.

After a three month break since Craig Osborne sealed his spot at the top of the standings for the 2015 season, the 2016 season is shaping up to be one of the biggest in years for the domestic game in Great Britain. Following on from another resounding success for Team Europe at the Mosconi Cup back in December, the buzz around 9-ball pool is at its highest in some time. This buzz has been backed up by a fully subscribed 2016 season on GB9 with all available spots being sealed well before the turn of the year. The popular tour format remains the same as ever, with a double elimination main event at each tour weekend plus a Challenge/Pro divisional event where the best professionals and amateurs battle out against one another in their class. The tour is brought to you by those with a genuine love of the game, and with your continued support we will endeavour to create excitement and enjoyment in equal measure.

2015 GB9 Midlands Classic Champion, Mark Gray

2015 GB9 Midlands Classic Champion, Mark Gray

A number of exciting new faces will be gracing the tour for the 2016 season. To name but a few, they include Andy Macdonald – English Pool Top 8 Professional, Edward Poultney -newly crowned UPC 9-ball champion winning his way onto the tour for the first time, and Chris Seville who has been playing well on the amateur circuit and is stepping up to the GB9 Pro division. Also returning to the tour after time away are some of the real big guns, such as Daryl Peach, Phil Burford, Damian Massey and Elliott Sanderson. It all adds up to one of the strongest fields ever to sign up to play on the tour, and backs up the well held belief that this is one of the toughest national pool tours in existence.

Our thanks must also go to the magnificent Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Telford and all the staff who work on site. Their support of the tour over recent years has been of special note; few hotels are able to hold American pool events and so their continued efforts to host events should not go without mention. It goes without saying that without a venue there would be no events, so it should be put on record how grateful the tour is for their support back since they first hosted an event back in 2013.

Following feedback from a number of players, in recognition of increased popularity in the 2016 tour, we have taken the decision to increase the total trophies (salvers) up for grabs at each event of the season from five to eight. The finalist of all divisional events will now also receive a salver to commemorate their successes, meaning that both the winner and runner-up of all 4 events (Main, Pro, Challenge Tier 1 & Challenge Tier 2) now receive a coveted Salver to keep in recognition of their achievement. The winner of the Main event also gets their name engraved on the main trophy which will be displayed at the event.

And of course as an extra incentive to all players this season the two players ranked No.1 & No.2 on the end of season Main rankings will receive an additional prize of £1000 and £500 respectively.

Entry to this event closes tonight but if you know of friends who are interested in having a go on the tour this season please ask them to fill in an application form to join our reserve list to be kept up to date with space availability.

Play begins as ever on the afternoon of Friday with the opening rounds of the Midlands Classic, with play right through the weekend up until the early evening of Sunday 31st January. Entry to spectators is free of charge as ever and, with so many big names taking part in competition this year, now is the perfect opportunity to come and watch some of the stars of our sport in action. This is a season not too be missed, so even if you can’t be at the venue you can once again keep up to date with GB9’s innovative scoring system GB9-Live, alongside the ever popular Live-Stream of the TV table to fans across the world. We look forward to seeing you all in Telford ready for another season of world class pool.

In 2016 GB9 is proudly sponsored by Simonis Cloth, Aramith Billiard Balls and Carlson Rezidor Hotels making the perfect combination of the very best equipment in the most outstanding venues.