The BWPPA season began in March with the Gentlemen’s Night Out Southern 9-ball Open. It felt great being back at the Wheelchair Cuesports Academy in Aylesbury, where I had won my first BWPPA title 4 months before (Read about that here). Roy Kimberley was my first opponent in the main event, he beat me 7-2. Not the best start, but like most American pool tournaments it was a double elimination format so I went over to the one-loss side of the draw.
In the one-loss bracket I came up against Stuart Vincent who was making his debut in a BWPPA tournament. I went 5-1 up on Vincent, I was doing to him what Roy Kimberley did to me in my previous match. My 5-1 lead became a 6-5 lead, and he potted the 9-ball to make it 6-6 only to go in-off into a side pocket. I learnt a lot from that win.
In the losers qualifier for the main event semi-finals I faced Tony Southern. I went 4-0 down, but I made it 4-2. I under hit a shot on the 8-ball to the 9-ball otherwise it could’ve gone 4-3. Southern won the next few racks to beat me 7-2 and send me into the challenge event the next day.
Despite the fire alarm going off at the hotel in the middle of the night, I felt confident about winning back to back BWPPA challenge event titles. Nick Oliver was my opponent in the final. Oliver won the first rack, but I won the next 5 racks. I was playing good, and was getting a few good rolls, but you’ve got to take them when you can because it can soon change round. We shared the next 2 racks, so I led 6-2. Oliver won the next 3 racks to make it 6-5. Here we go again I thought. I felt nervous, but in a good way. I knew that if I had one chance, I would kill the match off. I made a long 8-ball and had good position on the 9-ball, it dropped and an overwhelming feeling of relief came over me at first, but then I realised I had won back to back BWPPA challenge event titles.
In May I made my competitive return to Escape Pool Bar in Barnsley for the BWPPA Simonis Northern 9-ball Open. It was the first tournament at Escape, which is where I practise since I won back to back challenge titles on the BWPPA tour. I was feeling the pressure to be honest!
The pressure told in my first match in the main event as I lost 7-1 to Daniel Lee. In the one-loss side I was up against Nick Oliver again. I went 3-0 and 5-3 down against Oliver, but I came back to win 6-5. The last few racks of that match were streamed on Facebook Live (the video can be seen on my Facebook page)
In the losers qualifier for the main event semi-finals I drew Tony Southern. Southern went 4-0 up, but then I won the next 3 racks to win 7-4.
I was up against Southern in the challenge event semi-final the next day. He beat me 5-2.
No BWPPA challenge events hat-trick then. The third BWPPA tour stop was the Talisman British 10-ball Championship in July. Although 9-ball is my favourite game, it’s no secret that I struggle with the break at 10-ball. I lost 6-0 to Fred Dinsmore in my first match. I only had a few chances, he showed why he’s one of the best players in the world. In the one-loss side of the draw, i drew Craig Welsh and lost 6-3. In the challenge event Nick Oliver was my opponent in the semi-finals. I lost 5-2. Not a good weekend really.
The BWPPA Kamui 9-ball Shootout was back at Escape Pool Bar in September. I lost 7-3 to Danny Luton in my first match, and 7-1 to Fred Dinsmore in the one-loss bracket. In the challenge event semi-final, I was up against a BWPPA debutant Darren Taylor. I lost 5-3. I think it’s clear with my 2 tournament performances this year at Escape Pool Bar in Barnsley that I have found it difficult dealing with my own expectations when playing on “home soil”. I practise at Escape Pool Bar, and I haven’t managed to replicate the performances there that have seen me win tournaments elsewhere.
My season came to an end in November with the BWPPA Predator British 9-ball Championship. 12 months previous I beat Fred Dinsmore, Craig Welsh and Aslam Abubaker to win my first BWPPA title. I wanted to end the season on a high note, after having 2 disappointing tournaments. If I’m being honest though I put too much pressure on myself and I was unable to play. I lost 7-3 to Danny Luton in my first match. I then went 6-1 down to Darren Taylor in the one-loss bracket before I had a bit of a resurgence to pull it back to 6-3 before he won 7-3. In the challenge event I lost 5-2 to Craig Welsh in the semi-finals.
Looking back at the season maybe I put too much pressure on myself after winning back to back challenge events on the BWPPA tour. I’ve learnt a lot from this season though, and I maintained my top 8 ranking on the BWPPA tour. I’m already looking forward to next season. In addition to the BWPPA tour, in 2017 I will also be competing in the Break Box Pool Series at Escape Pool Bar in Barnsley which will be an amateur tour with 5 tour stops alternating between 9-ball and 10-ball. The BBPS will be the first regular competition I’ve had outside of wheelchair competition since 2010 so it will sharpen my game up for sure.
I am also hoping to enter the WPA World 9-ball Championship for wheelchair players at Tamper in Finland next August. I have set up a crowdfunding page here You can also find out how your business can benefit from sponsoring me here
I wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
My provisional calendar for 2017
Break Box Series 9-ball event 1 @ Escape Pool Bar, Barnsley – 7th January
Break Box Series 10-ball event 2 @ Escape Pool Bar, Barnsley – 18th March
BWPPA Tour Southern 9-ball Open @ Wheelchair Cuesports Academy, Aylesbury – 8/9th April
BWPPA Tour Northern 9-ball Open @ Escape Pool Bar, Barnsley – 20/21st May
Break Box Series 9-ball event 3 @ Escape Pool Bar, Barnsley – 1st July
BWPPA Tour British 10-ball Championship @ Wheelchair Cuesports Academy, Aylesbury – 15/16th July
WPA World 9-ball Championship for W/C players @ Tamperehall, Tampere in Finland – 17/20 August
Break Box Series 10-ball event 4 @ Escape Pool Bar, Barnsley – 2nd September
BWPPA Tour Shootout @ Escape Pool Bar, Barnsley 16/17th September
BWPPA Tour British 9-ball Championship @ Wheelchair Cuesports Academy, Aylesbury 4/5th November
Break Box Series 9-ball event 5 @ Escape Pool Bar, Barnsley 11th November