Article by Martyn Royce
One of the biggest tournament in GB9’s history takes place this coming weekend as the second staging of the UK Open takes place at the Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Telford.
Three years on from the inaugural UK Open, the tournament returns in place of this year’s Northern Masters tournament with arguably the biggest prizes ever on offer to some of Europe’s top players. For the first time, GB9 has collaborated with Matchroom Sport in hosting an event which carries ranking points for European team selection in the Mosconi Cup. Alongside all Eurotour events and other major amateur competitions such as the Duerne City Classic and the Longoni Benelux Open, placings in the competition will count towards a collective ranking list to determine two of the five places open to Team Europe in this year’s Mosconi Cup. What’s more, this tournament guarantees a prize find of £13,500 with £2,500 being taken home by the winner.
The format for the competition resembles the usual double elimination format used across GB9 competitions, with the only noticeable difference being that races to 11 will take place from the quarter-final stage. There will also be a bonus event for all players not making the last 32 stage. A truly star-studded line-up is due to compete in the tournament, with confirmed names such as Ralf Souquet, Niels Feijen, Nikos Ekonomopolous, Mika Immonen, Jayson Shaw & David Alcaide alongside many of the top professionals and amateurs from across Great Britain. This promises to be one of the strongest line-ups ever to compete in an event on these shores, and fans are urged to come and sample the action in Telford if they can.
Also making a return to the tour, Rasson Billiards have confirmed a new sponsorship deal with GB9 for the rest of the 2016 season. Rasson have used feedback given by GB9 players last season to completely redesign their Victory table and we are excited to have the new Victory II table as our finals table. Incidentally this same table will be used at all Matchroom Sport events for the next three years. Some of the key improvements that have been made are as follows:
– The overall height of the table has been reduced
– The table now features an all new slate levelling system (LevelBox – Patent Pending) allowing for micro adjustments across 22 key positions
– The pockets have been completely redesigned to eliminate bounce-outs and scuffing whist reducing impact noise.
– The main support beam of the table has been changed from wood to steel to offer superior stability
– The cushions are of the highest standard – Artemis K66
GB9, as official UK agents for Rasson, have a very limited number of these fantastic tables in stock in the UK ready for immediate delivery and installation. We have put together a superb package which we are offering to GB9 members and their friends. Should you wish to find out more information, please speak to a GB9 official or committee member at the weekend.
Play begins at the UK Open in Telford at the slightly earlier time of midday on Friday 22nd July, with play continuing through the weekend and concluding on the evening of Sunday 24th July. Entry to this world class event is free of charge to all spectators, but our fantastic Live-Streaming from the Rasson Victory II table will be available to watch across the world. GB9’s innovative live scoring system, GB9-Live, will also be covering rack-by-rack scores across every match played in the competition. This promises to be a weekend of unforgettable pool, and we hope you don’t miss out.
We still have a few spaces available in this event but entry closes at midnight on Tuesday 19th July so don’t delay and enter now. Further information can be found on the event details page of our website.
In 2016 GB9 is proudly sponsored by Simonis Cloth, Aramith Billiard Balls, McDermott Cue, Kamui Tips, Rasson Billiards and Carlson Rezidor Hotels making the perfect combination of the very best equipment in the most outstanding venues.