The 2018 UK Pool Tour is about to kick off at the home of 8 ball pool, the Imperial Hotel, Blackpool. This impressive hotel is about to play host to some of the finest pool playing talent on the planet and here we have a rundown of who is likely to feature in this weekend’s action, kicking off at 1pm on Friday 2nd February.
The start of the 2017 season saw Tom Cousins taking the spoils at each of the first 3 events, surely lightening can't strike twice but no doubt Tom will be looking to get off to a flying start in Blackpool at a venue where he has seen numerous victories including his two World Championship titles. He begins with a preliminary match against new player Fraser Allan, just about the toughest starter match for a new player on the tour!
Phil Harrison capped his 2018 season by taking the final tour of the season and making the final of the Premier League knockout. No doubt he won't be looking to leave it so late to pick up a title this season and will be looking to get off to a flying start against Paul Carr.
A number of tough first round games are on the cards including Matt Brierley vs Dom Cooney, Shaun Storry vs Neil Davey and Ryan Bodsworth vs Glenn Cahir, all of which could be too close to call.
As always entry is free so if you want to watch some top quality pool then get down to the Imperial Hotel. If you can't make it for any reason then catch some of the action on our stream. The link will be posted on this site and on Facebook in advance of the event starting.
The draws for the tour and the challenge events can be found below:
2017 was a great year for the UK Tour! Tom Cousins’ feat of winning three successive titles was fantastic to witness and it could be some time before it is equalled or bettered. The new format Premier League was very well received; with money riding on every game the focus was high and the standard was superb. An ultra consistent Adam Davis took the league title whilst Steve Petty was the man to watch at the final tour taking the inaugural Premier League Knockout. Phil Harrison also reminded everyone of his talent with a great performance taking down the last tour of the season. Amy Beauchamp also rounded off a great year following up her World Championship win by taking the Ladies Premier League.
But already thoughts are turning to a new Tour series. With 11 weeks to go before the first tournament the signs are 2018 could be even more memorable.
Organisers are delighted by the response of players wanting to sign up for a chance to win some of the £115,000 prize fund and can now announce a record number of entrants.
“The most pleasing aspect for next season is that 34 of the 40 players in the final rankings from the 2017 season have again entered for 2018,” said Tour administrator, George Harwood.
“This is the highest number ever achieved since the Tour began and includes most of the sport’s world class performers.
“This is tribute to the esteem in which the UK Tour is held among the players.
“Only a handful of unallocated places remain but anyone thinking of joining the Tour now need to be quick off the mark.”
Ben Flack will be joining the Premier League cast of stars after gaining top spot in the Challenge event.
Joining Ben, will be Rob Wharne who cemented his place with a second final appearance of the season at Tour 5 and ended up finishing 5th on the Tour rankings. Rob was runner-up at Tour Four and also reached the fifth Challenge event final, losing to Shane Thompson.
All other places in the Premier League will be announced before the end of November but as always will include the cream of English 8-Ball Pool.
John Roe, World Champion in 2012, returns to the Tour alongside previous European title holder, Ryan Shaw.
Scotland will be well represented again while most of the top players from 2014 World team champions, Morocco are heading to the UK once more.
If you want be part of the action get in touch with George Harwood via http://ukpooltour.com
The inaugural Premier League knockout saw the top 8 players from the Premier League over the first 4 tours split into two groups, based on their final standing. The groups were as follows:
|GROUP 1||GROUP 2|
|ADAM DAVIS||STEVE PETTY|
|GIUSEPPE D’IMPERIO||ALEX LEWIS|
|TOM COUSINS||PHIL HARRISON|
|MATT BRIERLEY||DAVE FERNANDEZ|
Two players from each group would progress through to the semi-finals, where the money would start and a straight KO would decide the eventual winner. In order to progress to this stage each player would need to win two matches.
The first set of games was a tight affair with 3 matches ending 8-6 and a deciding frame win for Steve Petty over Alex Lewis.
The next set saw D’Imperio edge a long game against Cousins 8-6 to go through to the KO. In group 2 Petty ran out an impressive 8-3 winner against Harrison and two players departed the event, Matt Brierley who lost out 8-6 to Adam Davis and Dave Fernandez who was demolished by Alex Lewis 8-0.
This set up the final round of games to make the semi-final line-up. Cousins ran out an 8-3 winner against an under par Davis who had just come off a semi-final loss in the main tour. Harrison ran out the same score against Lewis to book his place.
The semi-finals on the Sunday morning was an unsurprisingly tight affair with such quality on show. Petty vs Cousins was the stream game and can be seen on our YouTube page (). A high quality match saw Petty run out an 8-6 victor. He had to wait for his final opponent as Harrison and D’Imperio were locked in a tense battle that eventually saw Harrison edge it 8-7. The final was again streamed and is available to be viewed on our YouTube channel. Here Steve Petty showed his class and ensured that he didn’t leave the 2017 season without a title to his name by running out an 8-3 winner against an admittedly below par Phil Harrison for the second time after having previously beat him to the same score line in the group stages. Petty’s efforts saw him pick up a cheque for £2000 with Harrison having the consolation of £1000 to add to his previous night’s tour winnings!
Amy Beauchamp, the current Ladies World Champion, added to her impressive list of titles this weekend by securing the Ladies Premier League title.
Beauchamp, who has been in fine form all season, took the title in style by continuing her undefeated streak and beating her closest competition and 2016 winner, Sharon James, 5-1 in the last game of the season.
James was still in with a shout of picking up the title should the results go her way at the final event but Beauchamp was in no mood to rest on her laurels and set out with a 5-0 win against Jeanette Baptist before following that up with a 5-1 win against Irene Wood. James therefore had to settle with second place whilst Tanisha Beckford notched up 3 wins against Wood, Holt and Mitchell to secure 3rd place.
Bristol’s Shane Thompson hasn’t had the best of seasons. He entered the final tour of the season placed 62nd and finished 9th in the Premier League, meaning that he missed out on the knockout and was instead placed in the Challenge event. This, however, proved to be a nice turn of events as he found form at just the right time, having a nice run on the tour, getting to the quarter finals before losing out 7-5 to Adam Davis and then going all the way in the Challenge event.
Thompson’s run to the final was not an easy one as he went to decider’s again both Champion of Champions winner Gerry Canning and England player Mike King. He next faced tough opposition, and a local derby, against Max Nosko, running out a 5-2 winner before dispatching of Brett Wild with relative ease 5-1.
On the other side, Wharne was having another great weekend. He followed up his tour 4 final appearance with another at tour 5 and then made the final of the Challenge event, no mean feat. Wharne appeared to make short work of some tough opposition, tour 2 finalist Dylan Leary and Morocco’s Yasser Amrani Hanchi amongst them.
The final was a close affair against the two England teammates and it was to be Thompson who would run out a 6-5 winner and pick up the cheque for £1000.
|FINAL||SHANE THOMPSON ||ROB WHARNE |
|SEMIS||Brett Wild [5-1]||Gavin Lomax [5-1]|
|QUARTERS||Max Nosko [5-2]||Pat Ward [5-3]|
|LAST 16||Mike King [5-4]||Reece Townsend [5-1]|
|LAST 32||Gerry Canning [5-4]||Mark Price [5-0]|
|LAST 64||Steve McCann [5-1]||Yasser Amrani Hanchi [5-2]|
|LAST 128||Luke Austin [4-0]||Dylan Leary [4-2]|
Phil Harrison capped what could have been considered, by his high standards, a poor season by hitting top gear, taking the final event of the season and also making the final of the inaugural Premier League knockout.
The Cambridgeshire cueist didn’t have it all his own way and got off to a shaky start. His first round game against Alex Lawrence could have easily been his last of the tournament as he saw a 4-1 lead evaporate before finding himself 6-5 down. But for one loose positional shot to get on black the game was up for Harrison. When his chance presented itself he did what he does best and closed out the match and from then on never looked back. With a long line of quality players ahead including Englands’ Mike King and Karl Sutton and inform player and tour newcomer Shaun Storry, Harrison made short work of his opposition and booked his place in the final.
On the other side of the draw, tour 4 finalist Rob Wharne was having another great tour. A tough match against 3x2017 tour winner Tom Cousins saw Wharne come out a 7-5 victor and this was his only close match until the semi-finals. Here he met fellow Staffordshire player Adam Davis, who comprehensively beat him in the previous final. Davis should have taken a 7-5 lead after potting two fantastic doubles to leave a straightforward black, however he appeared to have a mental block taking a long time on what should have been a drop in only to see it hit the jaws and stay up. This gave Wharne just the opportunity he needed to get back in the match, eventually taking it 8-7 and setting up his second final appearance in a row.
The final was a quality affair with Harrison hitting top gear from the off. He took a 4-0 lead and it looked like the writing could be on the wall until Wharne hit back with back to back clearances from the break. Harrison, with all his experience, was not fazed and as soon as the opportunity presented itself he got back on the scoreboard and never let up, running out an 8-2 victor.
|FINAL||PHIL HARRISON ||ROB WHARNE |
|SEMIS||Dylan Leary [8-4]||Adam Davis [8-7]|
|QUARTERS||Shaun Storry [7-0]||Pat Ward [7-2]|
|LAST 16||Karl Sutton [7-2]||Darrell Whitworth [7-4]|
|LAST 32||Richard King [7-5]||Tom Cousins [7-5]|
|LAST 64||Mike King [7-2]||Bye [7-0]|
|LAST 128||Alex Lawrence [7-6]||Avtar Singh [7-3]|
UK POOL TOUR 5 - THE PARK INN, TELFORD (20th - 22nd October)
The final tour of the 2017 season is almost upon us and there is all to play for in each event as the players attempt to cement their place on their respective leader boards! On the main tour, Tom Cousins is sure to keep his number one spot after picking up the first 3 tour titles of the season but second through to fifth is tight between Adam Davis, Steve Petty, Matt Brierley and Phil Harrison. Each of these players seems assured of a Premier League place for the 2018 season whilst a host of others will be aiming to do their best to secure the coveted spots. Details are still to be finalised but it looks likely that the top 10 from the tour plus the Premier League KO winner and the top seed in the Challenge will be offered a place.
The top spot in the challenge rankings seems sure to be fought between current number one Ben Flack and Rob Wharne, who is currently trailing 10 points behind in second. Wharne will need a little luck on his side as he is on the opposite side of the draw to Flack so is unable to take him out early himself and also faces a tough battle against tour 2 finalist Dylan Leary in his opening match.
The ladies premier league is tight at the top with just one point separating current World Champion Amy Beauchamp and 2016 PL Champion Sharon James. Beauchamp has a game in hand in addition to the extra point so it seems that she is likely to take the title but as her last game is against James, a slip up in her two opening matches could result in a thrilling last match for the title!
The league stage of the Men's Premier League is now over and the line up for the inaugural Premier League KO title is confirmed as Adam Davis, Steve Petty, Phil Harrison, Tom Cousins, Dave Fernandez, Matt Brierley, Giuseppe D'Imperio and Alex Lewis. The players are split into two groups and need to win two matches to progress to the semi-finals, from which it is a straight knockout. The draw can be found below:
With a record number of entrants on this final tour of the season it looks certain to be a great weekend and also bodes well for a full house next season so if you're looking to be a part of the 2018 season then get your entry form in quick!
Beard Productions will be streaming from Friday afternoon until close of play on Saturday night. If you can’t make it down to the the Park Inn at Telford, where entry to watch all the action is free, then make sure you catch the action on the stream. The link will be posted on this site and on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ukpooltour/
The draws for both the tour and the challenge events can be viewed below:
If results are anything to go by then the route to the final for both Ben Flack and Ryan Bodsworth seemed fairly straightforward! Neither player dropped more than 2 frames in any match on their way to the final. That alone is some achievement considering the high standard of opponents that they faced. For Bodsworth, however, this is an especially tough feat as it is the young Huddersfield players first year on the tour. Results such as a 5-1 victory over former World Champion John Roe in the semi-final indicate that Ryan could well be a player to watch for the future!
Ben Flack on the other hand is well versed in making the final stages of tournaments having been a previous World Masters Champion and World Champion with the England Men’s Team. Flack is renowned for his slow and solid style and he again showed his class and consistency as he took the final 6-2 and along with it the title and the £1000 prize money.
|FINAL||BEN FLACK ||RYAN BODSWORTH |
|SEMIS||Pat Ward [5-2]||John Roe [5-1]|
|QUARTERS||Carl Hough [5-2]||Andy O’Hara [5-0]|
|LAST 16||Kieran Lennon [5-2]||Lewis Calcutt [5-2]|
|LAST 32||Andy Barker [5-2]||Sam Bircher [5-2]|
|LAST 64||Michael Davies [5-2]||Rich Lowther [5-2]|
|LAST 128||Matt Brannan [4-0]||Ray Dean [4-0]|
Adam Davis' resounding 8-1 victory over in form player Rob Wharne in the final of tour 4 has sent out a clear warning that the former World Champion is on fine form and one of the players to watch on the tour. Davis, who currently sits on top of the Premier League table, ended Tom Cousins' run of 3 successive tour wins by taking the fourth title at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham.
Both players had tough routes to the final, with each making their way through a deciding frame along the way. Wharne could easily have been out in the last 64 to qualifier Chris Dyson who clawed back an early deficit and then missed a chance in the decider before Wharne managed to get over the line. After this Wharne made light work of the rest of the field until he ran into former World Champion and past tour winner, Adam Davis, who played a solid final taking out chances with relentless consistency.
Davis cruised into the last 32 with two convincing victories before encountering tour 2 finalist Dylan Leary who gave him a tougher ride. Davis edged this 7-5 and followed with a similar result against Pat Ward, who had a good weekend also making the semi-final of the Challenge event, eventually losing out to Challenge winner Ben Flack. A delayed quarter final saw Davis pitted against Neil Davey, running out a 7-3 winner and getting a well-deserved break due to the staggered start times for the semi-final to allow for the streaming of both matches. The break was much required as a long and draining semi-final awaited where he eventually ran out an 8-7 victor against D’Imperio.
|FINAL||ADAM DAVIS ||ROB WHARNE |
|SEMIS||Giueseppe D’Imperio [8-7]||Max Nosko [8-3]|
|QUARTERS||Neil Davey [7-3]||Phil Harrison [7-0]|
|LAST 16||Pat Ward [7-5]||Harjeet Singh [7-4]|
|LAST 32||Dylan Leary [7-5]||Ben Bennett [7-1]|
|LAST 64||Michael Cromwell [7-1]||Chris Dyson [7-6]|
|LAST 128||Scott Yardley [7-3]||Nigel Hilton [7-0]|