The owner of the UK Pool Tour would like to announce that the English Pool Association has expressed an interest in taking over the management of the tour and this will be discussed at the EPA national meeting, which will be held this weekend.
Any such progress on this subject would be welcomed and supported by the current owner. The only important issue is to keep the UK Pool Tour continuing for the benefit of the many players who want to be a part of the tour.
The UK Pool Tour has long been regarded as the pinnacle of tours in terms of organisation and settings but a consistent grievance for some players is the rising cost of hotel fees and the additional cost incurred in those hotels for food and drink. Well, this year the tour is attempting to remedy this by playing 4 of the 5 tours in top class club venues around the country in an effort to provide freedom of choice to all participants. For those who would still like to book accommodation this will still be possible and suitable, quality locations will be sought in close proximity to the venues. For others who would rather travel to and from the event, this is now an option. In addition, the cost of refreshments in the venues is likely to be a fraction of that within the hotels. All in all, this should provide maximum flexibility to all our members whilst still providing the high quality of organisation and conditions that is to be expected on the tour. All events will be played on the usual top-class Supreme pool tables, pre-checked by our table technician, and the same administration team will be present to ensure that everything runs smoothly. The tour Grand Final will be played at the Park Inn by Radisson, Telford, and this is the only event where hotel fees will be compulsory. For players local to the venues this could result in a considerable saving over the year!
The new format and start times will result in a need to cap numbers entering the tour so if you’re thinking of joining then now is the time to get your name in as only a limited number of places are available. For anyone who wants more information, or for those already signed up who want further details, please contact the tournament director, George Harwood, via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01706 642770.
The dates for the tours are as follows:
TOUR ONE: CLUB 147, LEICESTER – 2ND/3RD FEBRUARY*
TOUR TWO: SPOTS & STRIPES, LONDON – 20TH/21ST APRIL (EASTER WEEKEND)*
TOUR THREE: CLUB 147, LEICESTER – 14TH/16TH JUNE*
TOUR FOUR: TBC – 31ST AUGUST/1ST SEPTEMBER*
TOUR FIVE: PARK INN, TELFORD – 18TH-20TH OCTOBER
*The dates for tours 1 to 4 allow for a start time early Saturday morning. It may be that the tour starts at 7pm on the Friday at each event, dependent upon numbers.
Congratulations to Sharon James who showed her class and consistency throughout the season to take the 2018 Ladies Premier League.
James, who previously won the title back in 2016, got off to a flying start, winning 8 out of her first 9 games with the only loss being in a deciding frame against Dawn Wright. Surprisingly this was one of only 4 wins for Wright who must have been delighted that one of those was against someone of James’ class. James continued to build on this impressive start and when it came to the last tour of the season her position at the top had already been sealed. Whilst James had 2017 Champion Amy Beauchamp and Leanne Cragg hot on her heels, neither could catch James as the best they could hope for was a tie on points and James was guaranteed the win based on head to head against the two.
The 2018 Premier League couldn’t have been closer with 3 of the players finishing tied at the top on 14 points with only frame difference to separate them! It was Dylan Leary who edged it in the end, ahead of Adam Davis and Josh Kane, and rightly so as he put on an emphatic display of pool in his final three matches to beat former Premier League winner Adam Davis 8-3, Rob Wharne 8-5 and then recorded a resounding 8-2 victory over Phil Harrison. Such convincing wins not only racked up the points but, importantly this year, the frames, especially with one of the wins coming against his closest rival Davis who ended up in second place.
Leary’s victory has secured his position in next year’s Premier League and also saw him pick up £1400 over the four tours as the unique format of the Premier League enables a player to pick up £200 for each victory, paid out in cash on the weekend.
The high standard in the league kept it ultra-competitive and resulted in a tight top 8 spacing that saw only 4 points difference between 1st and 8th. In fact, even Lee Kendall, who finished in 12th place, picked up £700. After having had a tremendous season on the tour itself, many would have been surprised to find Kendall bottom of the Premier League, but such is the standard.
Next year will see a new batch of players compete to see who is the number one player on the tour but, for now, the Premier League title is in the well-deserved hands of Dylan Leary!
Karl Sutton rounded off a superb year on the UK Pool Tour by winning the final Challenge event of the season. Sutton, who up until this year had not picked up a tour title, has had a phenomenal season, winning tours 3 and 4, including doing the double on tour 3 by picking up the Challenge event in the same weekend and his overall performance in the Challenge event this year would be difficult to rival. The first Challenge event of the season in Blackpool saw him pick up the title with a 6-3 victory over Danny Davies. The second event saw him narrowly lose in the last 32 to Harjeet Singh 5-4. He bounced back at the third event, picking the title up with a resounding 6-2 victory against Gurvinder Gill. The fourth tour saw him in with a shout of repeating the double as he picked up the tour title on the Saturday night and then found himself in the semi final of the Challenge on the Sunday afternoon. The match went all the way with Sutton just missing out 5-4 to the inform Eddie Barker, who had recently made the semi final of the World Championships. The fifth event saw him in with the possibility of topping both league tables and he didn’t disappoint as he made the quarter finals of the tour, losing to the eventual winner, Phil Harrison, and won the Challenge event for the third time in the season with a 6-4 win over Cambridge’s Dom Cooney, a young and talented player who will no doubt be picking up big titles himself in the coming years.
His route to the final was an especially difficult one, defeating the current World Masters Champion, Callum Singleton, 5-0 in the last 16, Neil Davey 5-2 in the quarter final, and up and coming Sam Bircher, 5-4 in the semi-final, which also happened to be a repeat of the tour 3 final.
Cooney made his route to the final look relatively straightforward with convincing wins against Reece Townsend, Paul Carr and Jack Pople. His only real test proved to be a 5-4 victory over Warrington’s Phil Naylor. A special mention also to tour regular Paul Carr on reaching the quarter finals, having some convincing victories on the Saturday before winning two tough games, firstly a 5-4 victory against ex-Premier League player, Lee Howitt, and then 5-3 against Marvin Nestor to make the quarters, a tour best for Paul, highlighting that a bit of dedication to the game can pay dividends.
Sutton finished with on 58 points on the tour rankings, 6 ahead of Phil Harrison, and 62 on the Challenge rankings, a massive 20 points ahead of his closest rival, England teammate Shane Thompson. After finishing 19th in last years tour and 60th in 2016, something has clearly clicked for the Ipswich cueist as he has gone from strength to strength this season. He also figured in the European Championships, losing out in a deciding frame to Ben Flack, and recently picked up the National Amateur title in Great Yarmouth. This will certainly be a season that Sutton will not want to end and will be looking to build on for next year with a view to going one further than his 2016 effort in the World Championships, where he lost out to Shaun Chipperfield in the final, and you certainly wouldn’t want to back against him in this kind of form!
It’s official, Phil Harrison owns the final tour of the season, every season! The Cambridgeshire cueist has made the final of every tour 5 event since he joined the tour in 2014 and has now won the last 4 of the those after beating Adam Davis in a thrilling deciding frame match!
All the way back in 2014, Harrison met Tom Cousins in the final. After having already won two events that season Harrison was to be denied a third as Cousins took the match 8-5. Fast forward to 2015 and Harrison got his revenge as the pair met again in the final with Harrison this time taking it by the same score line. On to 2016 and Harrison this time met Craig Waddingham in the final and again won 8-5. In 2017, Harrison was faced with Rob Wharne, who was having a great season culminating in his first tour final, sadly for Wharne it seems like fate for Harrison to take this title and he did so with a convincing 8-2 win.
This time it was to be Adam Davis’ turn to try to prise the title from Harrison’s firm grip! Davis had overcome two tough deciding frame matches against former World Master’s Champion Jack Pople and England Captain and Tour 1 winner, Lee Kendall, before meeting Tom Cousins in the semi-final. After two close encounters, Davis made short work of one of the very best around, defeating Cousins 8-2, he was clearly on top form and a great final seemed a certainty.
Harrison made his route to the final seem relatively straightforward, even though it was far from it, defeating ex-England player Chris Day 8-5 in the semi-final, tours 3 and 4 champion Karl Sutton 7-1 in the quarter final and good friend and regular supporter, Rich Wharton, 7-4 in the last 16. All eyes were on Sutton at this tour as he had the opportunity to match Tom Cousins’ amazing feat of 3 back-to-back titles in 2017. After getting off to a great start with some convincing wins and looking like he could be unstoppable he had the misfortune of running into Harrison at ‘his’ tour and he showed his ruthless streak on the table with a resounding win.
The final was a tense affair. Harrison got off to a great start, taking a 4-1 lead, but at this level that can soon turn around and it did so here as Davis took 6 out of the next 8 frames to lead 7-6. Davis was presented with a chance to win the match off his final break but was unable to convert it and let Harrison back in. Harrison managed to pull out a nice snooker when he looked to be in trouble and this was enough to win him the frame to take it to a decider. You’d never back against Phil in a decider, especially when it’s his break, and that proved true here as he crunched the pack to leave a relatively straightforward finish for the match. His experience in these situations helped him to comfortably convert the opportunity and add a fourth tour 5 title in a row!
2018 UKPT Event 5 - Telford
Normally the focus at the 5th, and final, tour of the season is all about where people end up in the rankings, specifically for the Premier League placings and who can top each list. On this occasion, however, all eyes are on Karl Sutton. The Norwich cueist has produced some fantastic performances in the past two tours and has been nigh on unstoppable as he's picked both tour titles, a challenge title and a challenge semi-final, narrowly losing out 5-4 to Eddie Barker. The question now is, can Karl Sutton match Tom Cousins' amazing achievement of the 2017 season and pick up 3 tour wins on the bounce? When Cousins managed this last year, it seemed a feat that no one else would manage to emulate, but Sutton is on the cusp of doing so and who would back against him as he is clearly still in devastating form, recently adding the National Amateur title to his collection and defeating the likes of Giuseppe D'Imperio and Shaun Chipperfield along the way.
The Ladies Premier League sees Sharon James sitting comfortably at the top and the first-place position guaranteed. James only has 1 game left to go, as opposed to 3 for her closest rivals, Leanne Cragg and Amy Beauchamp. Should James lose her remaining game and either Beauchamp or Cragg win all 3, which only one can do as they're playing each other, then they would finish tied on points. James, however, beat both players earlier in the season and as such would win on head-to-head. Congratulations, therefore, go to James on reclaiming the Premier League title that she previously held back in 2016!
Congratulations also go to Dylan Leary for topping the Men's Premier League. Leary was joint on points with Davis and Kane but topped it by virtue of a better frame difference, aided by resounding wins of 8-3 and 8-2 against Davis and Harrison, respectively, at the fourth tour. Topping the table in such an elite field is an amazing achievement and all credit goes to Leary who has worked hard to do so, but the Premier League is not yet over. The final tour sees the top 8 players from the Premier League, Leary, Davis, Kane, Whitworth, D'Imperio, Cousins, Harrison and Brierley, do battle for a £5000 prize fund, so all is yet to play for. The remaining four, Wharne, Flack, Ward and Kendall, drop out and instead attempt to ply their skills in the Challenge event. The draw for the first match in the Premier League Knockout is a follows:
DYLAN LEARY vs PHIL HARRISON
GIUSEPPE D'IMPERIO vs TOM COUSINS
ADAM DAVIS vs MATT BRIERLEY
JOSH KANE vs DARRELL WHITWORTH
The tour itself sees a number of people battling for the coveted top 10 spots as these guarantee entry to the Premier League for 2019. The top 4 of Sutton, Kendall, Harrison and Flack, seem fairly safe, but for the rest it's anyone's guess who will end up making the cut. The likes of Tom Cousins and Giuseppe D'Imperio, seemingly ever-present in the Premier League, will need to produce their A-games as they currently languish in joint 18th place. Darrell Whitworth currently sits in 11th position and will be looking to add to his tally to keep his place in the Premier League after fairing so well in it in his first season, finishing in 4th. Tour 1 finalist David Stock will be looking to put in a performance at the last event to match that at the first to book his place in the top 10 as he has struggled to pick up any points to add to his tour 1 haul. He currently sits in 12th place, one ahead of Matt Brierley, by virtue of two merit points, who will be looking to make it three years on the bounce in the Premier League. All it takes is one good run at the last event to catapult someone into the top 10, due to rankings based on a single year, as such it could easily be someone currently ranked in the 30s who manages to book their place; it's certainly all to play for at the final tour!
As always, the tour is open for all to come and watch and play starts at 1pm on Friday 19th October at the Park Inn Hotel in Telford. Streaming will begin at 9am on Saturday 20th October and the link will be available on this site and Facebook.
The draw for both the tour and the challenge can be found below:
Fancy free entry to the UKPT?
Since its introduction in 2012 the UK Pool Tour has continued to go from strength to strength. The UK Pool Tour is recognised as the place where the best players in the country pit their wits against each other and play out for a prize fund that has consistently paid out well above the level it generates from the players. The prize money for 2019 will be in excess of £100,000 and as always, any winnings will be available to collect on the weekend.
If you want to be part of the best pool tour around and test your skills against some of the best players in the world then don't delay, get your entry in now as places are strictly limited.
FREE ENTRY PROMOTION*
For all NEW players to the tour, an offer is being extended to try it out for free at the last tour of the season in Telford on 19th-21st October. In order to be eligible for this deal, you must be a new player that signs up for the 2019 season and pay the first two deposits (£170 in total) before the end of September. When you send in your entry form and appropriate deposit, please mark it as EARLY BIRD PAYMENT to ensure that you're entered into tour 5. Please be aware that the usual hotel fees apply.
*Free entry is only applicable to 2018 UKPT5 for new players that have paid the applicable deposit. Remaining tour fees then apply with the next deposit due early January 2019. Hotel fees apply.
It is intended that we will be having over 160 players on the 2019 tour of which around 120 will be from the existing members of the tour. This will give 40+ new entrants the opportunity to enter next years’ UK Pool Tour.
All details of the tour are, including an application form, can be found by clicking here. We are now accepting entries from suitable new entrants; please include the initial £50 deposit.
The tour consists of 5 weekends of pool played out at fantastic hotels across the UK. At each weekend there are at least two tournaments on offer. There is the tour itself, which is one of the most coveted titles in the pool world. Here you will be competing against the very best of players from around the UK and beyond. In addition to this there is the Challenge Event. This is only available to non-Premier League players and therefore levels the playing field a little.
For those who do exceptionally well there is the chance to play in the Premier League. This is where the elite do battle for a share of a substantial prize fund.
In addition to the 5 weekend event tours you will be able to enter into the World Qualifiers held at Tour Two, where the last 16 player go forward to the 2019 World Championship Finals.
All UK Tour Members can also enter directly into the World Masters (subject to entry fee), which has a prize fund of £18,000. This event is held during the World Championships.
The Ladies Premier League has been a great success and will be continued in the 2019 season.
If you require any further details please ring me on 07734-307135.
Tournament Director, George Harwood.
>>> UK Pool Tour Booking Form 2019 <<<
2018 UKPT Challenge 4 - Daventry
The Challenge event is generally considered extremely tough to do consistently well in due to its shorter format compared to the tour and the high quality of opponent that you inevitably meet. Shane Thompson is currently single handedly debunking this myth by making the latter stages of all four Challenge events so far this season, such is the quality of the man! Thompson started with a last 16 placing in event 1, before making the final of event 2, he swiftly followed this up with a quarter final placing at event 3 and has now surpassed all of those by taking the title at event 4!
Thompson, a current England International and previous Challenge event winner on two occasions, is well known for his money match exploits, having taken on all comers for big stakes at his home venue of Spenny's Sports Bar in Bridgwater, but he is clearly intent on establishing himself on the tournament scene and with consistent results like this is clearly on course to do so. His run to the final pitted him against some tough opponents, a 5-0 win over tour 3 finalist Sam Bircher and 5-4 win against former England player Neil Davey being two of the highlights, but his toughest game came in the final against London’s Eddie Barker.
Barker, who was this years World Championship semi-finalist, had an equally tough run to the final which involved taking out back-to-back tour winner Karl Sutton in the semi-final. Sutton was on course to make history by becoming the first player to win the double-double, both the tour and the challenge on back to back events. His dream was to come to an end in the semis as Barker showed his class and composure to take the victory in a deciding frame. This set up a high standard final between two players who were both Premier League players in 2017. Thompson was to come out on top in a deciding frame and put himself second in the Challenge rankings, narrowly behind Karl Sutton, both of whom are a clear distance ahead of the crowd, so the top spot will be theirs to battle for at the final Challenge event of 2018 at Telford in October.
|FINAL||SHANE THOMPSON ||EDDIE BARKER |
|SEMIS||Neil Davey [5-4]||Karl Sutton [5-4]|
|QUARTERS||Sam Bircher [5-0]||Steve Singh [5-1]|
|LAST 16||Greg Gamlin [5-2]||Lakesh Badhan [5-2]|
|LAST 32||Gurvinder Gill [5-3]||Dale Greenwood [5-2]|
|LAST 64||Mark Ash [5-0]||Chris Day [5-1]|
|LAST 128||Andrew Day [4-0]||Richard John [4-1]|