It’s been 5 months since I ended the BWPPA tour as the Challenge no.1. This year promises to be a great season on the worlds largest wheelchair American pool tour. A new sponsorship scheme by the BWPPA has encouraged new members, and a few players have returned from UK 8-ball pool. The “Mosconi Cup” style Great Britain v Europe Nation Continental Cup is hopefully returning this year, it’s definitely a target to get on team GB this year. Cuescore have got on board this season too, so hopefully live scoring will be available at BWPPA tournaments. Hopefully this is the beginning of more to come, and wheelchair pool goes from strength to strength. It would be great for the sport if the likes of Kurt Deklerck, Jouni Tahti and Henrik Larsson joined Fred Dinsmore and entered a few BWPPA tour events, because then we would have the worlds best playing on the tour, however I understand the financial implications for them.
I’m looking forward to rekindling my rivalry with “Hotwheels” Frankie Gillen, he’s been off the tour for 3 or 4 years. Gary Swift is back on the tour this year as well, it will be interesting to see how he gets on, as he was a top 5 player around the time that I joined the tour in 2007. Anyway, here’s a brief review of what I’ve been upto these last few months.
Last year a series of American pool tournaments was scheduled to be held at Escape Pool Bar in Barnsley. I was disappointed when it collapsed before the first event, because I was looking forward to playing in more tournaments and I’d geared myself up for a busy year on the pool table.
Fast forward 12 months and 2018 promises to be the same. I’ve already played in 2 tournaments as the start of the BWPPA tour approaches.
Event 1 – Liverpool 9-ball Series, Rileys Sports Bar, Liverpool
In February I hit the road for the opening event of Tony Southern’s Liverpool 9-ball Series. I used to enjoy playing at Rileys Wavertree in Liverpool on the BWPPA tour, unfortunately like so many good Rileys clubs that was closed down years ago.
Instead it was to the city centre. I drew Tony first, here I am entering tournaments to play against different opponents and I get someone I’ve spent 9 years playing against on tour! Conditions weren’t great. There was a wall up against the top of the table. I’ve got a Sanctuary cue that is 7 inches shorter than a standard cue that I use for the odd shot where space is tight. I ended up playing the majority of the match with it. That took some getting used to and in the end Tony beat me 6-2.
Rokas Proscevicius was next in the one-loss side. It went hill-hill and I over cut the 9-ball for the match. It was one of those where you tell yourself not to catch it thick.
Northern 9-ball Tour, Escape Pool Bar, Barnsley.
When I started playing 9-ball pool seriously around 2007 there was a thriving scene in Yorkshire with regular tournaments in Barnsley and Wakefield. That’s died off with the closure of so many Rileys clubs in recent years. Andy Stock is hopefully planning to hold more events at Barnsley.
In the first one of the year I was drawn against Elliott Sanderson. I didn’t have a chance really, Elliott is a superb talent and he beat me 7-0 in what seemed like 10 minutes. Martyn Taylor was next. I potted a monster of a 9-ball to win the second rack, apart from that I didn’t play well and he beat me 7-1. Elliott and Martyn were semi-finalists and there was a couple of pros in the event so I suppose that shows how good they are.
It’s been good preparation, and I hope to enter as many tournaments as possible this year to help sharpen my game up. To follow the progress of the BWPPA GNO Players Championship visit https://cuescore.com/tournament/BWPPA+Ranking+EVENT+No.1+2018-GNO+Players+Championship/2217980
Until next time, keep a smooth stroke!