WPBSA Statement – 9th December 2022

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson has taken the decision to suspend Lu Ning, Li Hang, Zhao Jianbo, Bai Langning and Chang Bingyu from attending or competing on the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect.

This follows the suspension of Liang Wenbo on 27 October 2022 and a subsequent investigation which remains ongoing into allegations of manipulating the outcome of matches for betting purposes in breach of the WPBSA Conduct Regulations.

The suspensions of all six players will remain in place until the conclusion of the investigation or any subsequent charges that may or may not be brought. These players have the right to appeal this decision.

The investigation remains ongoing, and no further comment will be made until the investigation is complete.

The post  WPBSA Statement – 9th December 2022 appeared first on World Snooker.


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Patrick Delsemme Passes Away – World Snooker

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Will Trump Beat 147s Record?

With three maximum breaks in this calendar year, Judd Trump looks on course to eventually eclipse the record for the most 147s made in professional competition.

Ronnie O’Sullivan holds the record with 15 official 147s, followed by John Higgins with 12, Stephen Hendry with 11, Stuart Bingham with nine then Trump with eight. But Trump, 33, is the only one of those players aged less than 46, so has plenty of time to catch up.

Players With Five Or More 147s
Ronnie O’Sullivan 15
John Higgins 12
Stephen Hendry 11
Stuart Bingham 9
Judd Trump 8
Ding Junhui 6
Shaun Murphy 6
Tom Ford 5
Neil Robertson 5
Marco Fu 5

In fact Trump didn’t make a 147 during his first eight seasons on tour, before scoring his first official perfect break during the Antwerp Open, late in 2013. His tally now stands at eight, and over that same nine-year period, no other player has made more than six.

Most 147s since the 2013 Antwerp Open
Judd Trump 8
Stuart Bingham 6
John Higgins 5
Shaun Murphy 5
Gary Wilson 4
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4
Kyren Wilson, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, Tom Ford, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Marco Fu all have 3

In 2022, Trump has become the second player to make three 147s in a year, joining Shaun Murphy who achieved the feat in 2014. Bristol’s Trump has a chance to set a new record of four at next week’s BetVictor English Open.

And looking ahead, if he can average one maximum every year, he would overtake O’Sullivan’s record by 2030, assuming the Rocket doesn’t add to his tally of 15.

“In the last few years I have started to make them more consistently, maybe one a season,” Trump told The Sportman. “And if I continue at that strike rate, I’d expect to get somewhere near it at the end. I have to make maybe one every couple of seasons to get to that record provided he doesn’t make too many. Any record you can get near to which Ronnie or Stephen Hendry have set is always special, and that is maybe one that is achievable for me.

“The total centuries record, also. Ronnie is more than 300 ahead, but I have always been a heavy scorer and there were a few seasons I was making a lot more than anyone else. Hopefully I can get back to that and catch him up. He looks like he is going to play for the next five to ten years so it will be difficult.

“I will have to keep going at the rate that I am going and try to haul him back. For me the break building and 147s is special, I still get an unbelievable buzz from making a 147.”

Watch Trump, O’Sullivan and a wide range of snooker’s top stars at next week’s BetVictor English Open in Brentwood – for ticket details click here.


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Wonderful Wilson Crushes O’Connor In Scottish Final

Gary Wilson won the last six frames in a row as he beat Joe O’Connor 9-2 in the final of the BetVictor Scottish Open, to capture his first ranking title 18 years after turning professional.

The Wallsend cueman first appeared on the World Snooker Tour in 2004, after winning the World under-21 championship. Since then he has competed in two ranking finals, suffering defeat at the 2015 China Open to Mark Selby and the 2021 British Open against Mark Williams.

Wilson also graced the hallowed single table setup at the Crucible in 2019, following a fine run to the World Championship semi-finals. The 37-year-old beat Luca Brecel, Mark Selby and Ali Carter, before losing to eventual winner Judd Trump. Those near misses made this evening’s emphatic triumph taste all the sweeter.

Wilson pockets a top prize of £80,000 and will now move up to 18th position in the world rankings. It also catapults him to second place in the BetVictor Series, where the player who accumulates the most money over the qualifying events will scoop a bumper £150,000 bonus.

O’Connor’s first foray into a ranking final ends with disappointment. The 27-year-old has spent four seasons as a professional and enjoyed the finest run of his career thus far.

He dumped out a star studded cast across the week, beating Zhao Xintong, Ding Junhui, Mark Williams and Ricky Walden to make the semis. O’Connor then scored a sensational 6-3 defeat of 2010 World Champion Neil Robertson. He leaves Edinburgh with the consolation of the £35,000 runner-up prize.

Much of the damage was done in the afternoon session, where Wilson clinically moved to a 6-2 lead and punished any errors made by his opponent.

Wilson took the first frame this evening, before crucially stealing the next on the black to move one from the win at 8-2. He wasted no time getting over the line, firing in a match winning break of 94 to capture his first major title.

“It means the world. Many times over my career I’ve thought I would never get to this stage. You watch people do it on the telly and it seems harder and harder. It is getting harder. The standard is so good,” said an elated Wilson.

“It is unbelievable to think that after the career I’ve had, which has been so up and down, I’ve finally won a tournament. I’ve fulfilled a lifelong ambition from when I was eight years old, I’ve done it.

“I purposefully tried to put no expectation on myself. I’ve been in a couple of finals and lost situations in matches where I should have won. Even at 8-2 you are still thinking the worst could happen, but you are concentrating and plowing on to the line. It is just something that I have learned to do over the years. After so many years of defeats you learn to accept anything that comes.

“I reckon you can get about six or seven pints at least in this trophy. So I am going to give that a go tonight and see what happens.”

O’Connor said: “I have had an amazing week. I’ve beat a lot of top 16 players. Unfortunately today, I didn’t play my best. Congratulations to Gary, he was amazing and fully deserved the win.

“I loved every minute. I’d like to say a big thanks to my family and friends who came down to watch and thanks to the crowd, you’ve been amazing.”


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Outstanding O’Connor Reaches Maiden Final

World number 55 Joe O’Connor stunned 2010 World Champion Neil Robertson 6-3 to reach his maiden ranking event final at the BetVictor Scottish Open in Edinburgh.

After four years as a professional, 27-year-old O’Connor will contest a title match for the first time tomorrow when he takes on Gary Wilson. It will be the first time they have faced each other on the World Snooker Tour.

With Wilson himself vying for a first ranking title, there is guaranteed to be a maiden ranking event winner tomorrow. The pair will do battle over the best of 17 frames, with the Stephen Hendry Trophy and a top prize of £80,000 on the line.

O’Connor first qualified as a professional in 2018, when he came through the EBSA Playoffs to earn a tour card. The Leicester cueman sensationally reached a maiden ranking semi-final a year later at the 2019 Welsh Open, where his run was ended by Stuart Bingham. This evening he went one step further by ousting 23-time ranking event winner Robertson.

The result is the latest in a superb run this week, which has also seen O’Connor defeat Zhao Xintong, Ding Junhui, Mark Williams and Ricky Walden.

Tonight’s victory marks O’Connor’s first ever win over Robertson. Their only other meeting came at the 2014 UK Championship, when Robertson prevailed in a 6-0 whitewash. A vastly improved O’Connor fared far better this evening.

Melbourne’s Robertson misses out on a second Scottish Open title. However, the £17,500 earned this week could prove to be important with it putting him into the top 32 on the one-year list. That means Robertson moves into position for a World Grand Prix spot ahead of the qualification cut off at the end of the English Open.

Robertson could hardly have got off to a better start tonight, firing in a break of 137 to take the opener. However, O’Connor is made of stern stuff and wasn’t going to be intimidated. He claimed the next two frames to move 2-1 ahead, before a break of 127 from Robertson made it 2-2 heading into the mid-session.

When play resumed the Australian composed his third century of the match, a break of 116, to lead 3-2. It would turn out to be his last frame won in the tie.

O’Connor restored parity with a fine break of 137 to take the sixth frame. Robertson led 60-14 in the seventh, but O’Connor summoned one of the clearances of the season with 47 to steal on the black. He then moved a frame from victory and stormed over the line with a superb break of 71.

“I’m absolutely buzzing and over the moon, what can I say,” proclaimed a jubilant O’Connor.

“It would mean everything to win tomorrow. It is what you play for. It is why you pick up a cue. You look at the top boys on TV and think that you want to be there one day. After watching Mark Selby’s success, it has inspired me more. He is someone I look up to that has achieved so much in the game. I want to be like that.

“I’ve been waiting for my game to click. I don’t think it has clicked, but somehow I keep clinically getting over the line. I might look back next week and think everything went right. It feels like I’ve got an extra 10 or 20 percent in there, but that might sound mad.

“I will just concentrate on my own game. I’ll make sure I prepare and eat close to the match and get some practice in. I will just trust myself. I’ve prepared well for this tournament. Hopefully my action can hold up and take me through.”


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Robertson Into Edinburgh Semis – World Snooker

Neil Robertson scored his seventh consecutive win over Mark Selby, winning 5-2 to book his place in the semi-finals of the BetVictor Scottish Open in Edinburgh.

The last time Selby conquered Robertson was back at the 2020 World Championship, where he came through in the quarter-finals. Since then, 2010 Crucible King Robertson has embarked on a relentless streak against Selby, building a 17-8 lead in the head-to-head.

Robertson is aiming to pick up the Stephen Hendry Trophy for a second time this weekend. He was Scottish Open champion in 2017, when an extraordinary comeback in the final gave him the title. The Australian rallied from 8-4 down against China’s Cao Yupeng to win 9-8.

Selby is a two-time winner of the Scottish Open, having claimed the title in his first two appearances in 2019 and 2020. However, the four-time World Champion will have to settle for a spot in the last eight this time around.

Melbourne cueman Robertson put on a devastating display in the early stages this evening. Breaks of 133, 99 and 83 saw the Thunder from Down Under storm to a 3-0 lead. There was little Selby could do in the face of the Robertson blitz. However, he showed his typical steel with a break of 104 to head into the mid-session two behind at 3-1.

A run of exactly 100 saw Robertson re-establish his three frame cushion upon the resumption. Selby replied with 105 to stay alive at 4-2, but Robertson got over the line with 60 in the seventh to end a 5-2 winner. He now faces Joe O’Connor in tomorrow’s semi-finals over the best of 11 frames.

Robertson said: “The overall standard was fantastic from both of us. It was one of those matches where I seemed to be able to create the opportunity to have a look at a long ball. I was very accurate from range tonight and clinical when I knocked in the long reds. The momentum was always with me and I was very happy with how I played.

“There have been a few deciders (in his recent run against Selby) where we’ve both played brilliantly. A semi-final at the Champion of Champions comes to mind. There were a few deciders that could have gone either way if he got the first chance. It doesn’t mean too much. I don’t think top players look at the head to head.

“It would be nice to get the title. Winning the mixed doubles was great. Every top player just wants to win something. You don’t really care where it comes from or when it is. Now I want to push on and add more titles to the collection. In the next match I want to play really well and see where it leaves me.”

O’Connor earned his semi-final slot with an impressive 5-1 demolition of three-time ranking event winner Ricky Walden.

The Leicester cueman will appear in his second ranking semi tomorrow evening. The first came at 2019 Welsh Open, where he was beaten by Stuart Bingham.

O’Connor fired in breaks of 127 and 81 on his way to this evening’s win. Afterwards he admitted it would be a dream to win tomorrow evening.

O’Connor said: “It would mean everything to make the final. I’ve practised all these hours for God knows how many years now just to get a chance at winning a title. Hopefully I can play well again and have a chance.

“I looked over a couple of times tonight and Neil was clearing up. He looked like he was palying well. It was nothing different to what I would expect from Neil. I’m just going to concentrate on my own game and hopefully that’s good enough.”


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Higgins Survives Cao Scare – World Snooker

Scotland’s home hero John Higgins rallied from 3-2 down to beat China’s Cao Yupeng 4-3 and keep his hopes alive at the BetVictor Scottish Open in Edinburgh.

Higgins is aiming to capture the Stephen Hendry Trophy for the first time in his career, having been runner-up on two occasions. He lost the 2016 final 9-4 to Marco Fu and fell short in the 2021 title match by a 9-5 scoreline against Luca Brecel.

Glasgow’s 31-time ranking event winner played some superb snooker throughout last season, making five major finals, but didn’t add to his silverware collection. Higgins’ last ranking silverware came at the 2021 Players Championship.

Breaks of 72 and 73 gave four-time World Champion Higgins an early 2-0 lead this afternoon, before Cao hit back with three consecutive frames to move one from victory at 3-2. Higgins dug deep and forced a decider with a contribution of 70 and a break of 55 in the final frame saw him over the line a 4-3 victor. He plays Welshman Jamie Jones in the last 32.

The win moves Higgins to £12,000 on the live one-year list. However, that still leaves him some way short of the top 32, where he needs to be a the end of the English Open to qualify for the World Grand Prix. Despite being thrilled at the result, Higgins wasn’t happy with his performance.

Higgins said: “I’m delighted I won, but I don’t know how I won. I don’t normally complain, but I put a new tip on and I was all over the place. I’ve left it too big.

“My oldest son was here today. He was giving me the pep talk in the car, it didn’t really do me too much good. I’m only joking, it was good to have a bit of company.”

Recently crowned UK Champion Mark Allen booked his progression thanks to a 4-2 victory over former German Masters winner Martin Gould.

Allen is aiming to become only the fifth player to win three successive ranking tournaments, following his UK title and victory at the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open.  The Antrim cueman top scored with 132 and faces Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in the next round.

Current BetVictor Series leader Kyren Wilson edged through with a 4-3 win over former Masters and UK Champion Matthew Stevens. The player who earns the most prize money over the qualifying BetVictor Series events scoops a bumper £150,000 bonus. Wilson will be hoping to go further and build on his lead. He plays Glaswegian Stephen Maguire in the next round after he defeated Ashley Hugill 4-1.

Sam Craigie sent Scotland’s Fraser Patrick home with a 4-3 defeat, while former Masters winner Yan Bingtao beat Liam Highfield 4-3.

The evening saw the last 32 get underway and Gary Wilson scored a significant first ever win over World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, prevailing by a 4-3 scoreline.

Wilson had come up short in all of his prior meetings with the Rocket, suffering losses at German Masters, World Championship and Shanghai Masters in 2017.

Wallsend’s Wilson crafted breaks of 72 and 82 during the tie, before a match winning 73 in the decider. Next up he faces either Yan Bingtao or Hossein Vafaei for a place in the quarter-finals.

“Of pretty much all of the top players on the tour, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Williams were the only two I haven’t beaten before. I think there’s only Mark left now. It’s nice, you don’t want to keep playing someone and not winning. It is good to tick that one off and get a result,” said 37-year-old Wilson.

“I don’t ever really feel comfortable with my game generally. It is hard to block out when you feel that way. On the very rare occasion I feel confident and good about my game it doesn’t matter who I’m playing.”

Anthony McGill won an all-Scottish clash with Scott Donaldson 4-3 to make the last 16. He now faces 2010 World Champion Neil Robertson, who beat Joe Perry 4-1.

For full results click here.


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Wilson And Trump Prevail on Day Of Big Breaks

Kyren Wilson narrowly missed out on making four consecutive centuries and Judd Trump fired in the eighth 147 break of his career, as both players secured respective whitewash victories on day two of the BetVictor Scottish Open in Edinburgh.

Wilson was pitted against three-time Women’s World Champion Ng On Yee in the opening round and treated the early morning crowds to a break building blitz, making three consecutive century runs of 100, 100 and 114 to move 3-0 ahead.

Only Neil Robertson has made four consecutive centuries to win a best of seven, a feat achieved at the BetVictor European Masters earlier this year. Wilson came agonisingly close to adding his name to the list today. The Warrior had two opportunities among the balls in the fourth frame, but only managed to make 28 on both occasions. However, he did enough to wrap up a 4-0 win and earn a last 64 meeting with Matthew Stevens.

Wilson, who won the BetVictor European Masters earlier this season, currently sits on top of the BetVictor Series standings. The player who accumulates the most prize money over the series will earn a bumper £150,000 bonus.

“It is strange coming off, having had three centuries and feeling a little bit disappointed. That is just me being greedy. I had the chance for four in a row and just missed a red to the middle pocket. I started off really strongly with a long red on the first shot of the day. I made 100 from it and followed suit in the next two frames. I am pleased with that performance,” said 30-year-old Wilson.

“Matthew has been playing well and qualified for the UK Championship. He is a great player who has won many tournaments in the past. It is good to see him back playing well.”

Trump crafted his magical maximum in the opening frame of a 4-0 whitewash win over Mitchell Mann.

It was the sixth 147 break to be made this season and it puts Trump in line for the £5,000 high break prize. It leaves Trump seven behind Ronnie O’Sullivan’s record of 15 professional maximums. Bristol’s 23-time ranking event winner also made further breaks of 62 and 107 on his way to wrapping up this afternoon’s win.

Trump said: “Making a 147 is always super special to me. I could feel the excitement out there. It is a venue I’ve never been to before and my first time in Edinburgh. Snooker hasn’t been here for a long time, so for people to be able to come and watch is good enough. However, to make a 147 isn’t something that happens in every tournament. Everyone who has been here and been part of it can go away with a smile on their face.

“A 147 is the pinnacle for me. It is better than winning any tournament. Maybe winning the World Championship is the exception. Other than that there is no better buzz. The nerves start going to make sure you don’t miss something easy. You know that everyone at home is willing you on to make it. You are a part of history every time you do it.”

Scotland’s Scott Donaldson landed a surprise 4-0 win over 2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy to earn a spot in the last 32.

Donaldson practises in Edinburgh and enjoyed a strong home backing this afternoon. The world number 53 composed runs of 93, 77 and 63 on his way to the win and now plays either Sean O’Sullivan or Anthony McGill.

“I’ve been playing well for a little bit now. To do it in front of my home fans is extra special. It is nice to play in a good atmosphere again,” said former Scottish Open quarter-finalist Donaldson.

“I’ve had to get a few of the players to give me a few passes for the amount of people that have come from the club as it is just a few miles down the road. To play like that in front of my home fans is a good feeling.”

In the evening, World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan held off a Ben Woollaston fightback to earn his place in the last 32 with a 4-2 win.

The Rocket took the opening three frames, before Woollaston kept his hopes alive with a superb run of 132. He then took a dramatic fifth by a point on the black to reduce his arrears to 3-2. However, O’Sullivan snuffed out any hopes of a revival with 93 to get over the line.

Mark Selby eased into the last 32 with a 4-0 whitewash win over John Astley. The two-time Scottish Open winner compiled breaks of 59, 92 and 85 on his way to the win and will face Robert Milkins up next.

Glasgow’s Anthony McGill sealed his progression with a 4-0 whitewash win over Sean O’Sullivan, while Australia’s 2010 World Champion Neil Robertson beat India’s Himanshu Jain 4-1.

For full results click here.


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Lift Off For Rapid Rocket

World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan fired in a century break in an astonishing three minutes and 34 seconds, just three seconds short of the world record time, on his way to a 4-0 win over Bai Langning at the BetVictor Scottish Open.

The entire victory took just 43 minutes for O’Sullivan to complete. The 39-time ranking event winner was in no mood for hanging around, averaging 11.4 seconds per shot throughout the tie.

After edging a tight first frame, O’Sullivan composed his quickfire break of 118 to lead 2-0. The break narrowly fell short of overturning Tony Drago’s record of three minutes and 31 seconds, which was set at the 1996 UK Championship.

O’Sullivan then added the third frame, before closing out the victory with a break of 56 in the fourth. Next up O’Sullivan faces Ben Woollaston, as he continues his bid to win the Stephen Hendry Trophy for the first time.

“I just felt like I needed to speed up a bit. I needed to try and enjoy it,” said 46-year-old O’Sullivan. “Edinburgh is a nice city. I’ve got some runs sorted out with people who live about here so that will be nice. I’ll try to find a few restaurants, relax and do a bit of reading. I’ll enjoy my time here.”

Former Scottish Open winner Neil Robertson also enjoyed a comfortable passage to the last 64, beating Mark Davis by a 4-1 scoreline.

Australia’s Robertson composed breaks of 104, 61, 52 and 92 on his way to victory. He faces Himanshu Dinesh Jain in the next round.

Robertson said: “I thought it was good. I potted well and scored well. I am very pleased. Mark is a very tough opponent to play in the opening round.

“It is beautiful up here. I Tweeted about it earlier, I like the scenery and everything. The historical buildings, pathways and roads are amazing. I’ve always loved coming to Scotland. I’ve won four of my ranking events up here and I always get good support from the crowd. I want to stay up here for as long as possible.”

Shaun Murphy cruised to a quickfire 4-0 win over Lei Peifan. He emulated O’Sullivan by closing out the win in 43 minutes of playing time. The Magician conjured breaks of 100, 104 and 107 during the rout. He plays Scott Donaldson in the last 64.

Mark Selby progressed with a 4-2 win over Aaron Hill, while Barry Hawkins eased to a 4-0 defeat of Andrew Pagett.

For full scores click here.

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Cazoo Masters Draw And Schedule Confirmed

Neil Robertson will begin the defence of his Cazoo Masters title against another Triple Crown winner, Shaun Murphy, in the opening match of the tournament at Alexandra Palace in London in January.

Tickets, starting at just £25, are still available for most sessions but fans MUST BOOK now that the schedule has been announced as certain matches are sell to sell out fast. For details CLICK HERE

The draw for the tournament has been made:

1 Neil Robertson v Shaun Murphy: Sunday January 8th at 1pm 
8 Kyren Wilson v Stuart Bingham: Wednesday January 11th at 7pm
5 Mark Allen v Barry Hawkins: Tuesday January 10th at 1pm
4 Judd Trump v Ryan Day: Wednesday January 11th at 1pm
3 Mark Selby v Zhao Xintong: Sunday January 8th at 7pm
6 John Higgins v Jack Lisowski: Monday January 9th at 7pm
7 Mark Williams v Yan Bingtao: Tuesday January 10th at 7pm
2 Ronnie O’Sullivan v Luca Brecel: Monday January 9th at 1pm

Robertson and Murphy have met twice in the final of the Masters – in 2012 when the Australian won 10-6 and 2015 when Murphy took revenge with a 10-2 success.

World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan will be up against Luca Brecel on Monday January 9th at 1pm, while Judd Trump will take on Cazoo British Open winner Ryan Day on Wednesday January 11th at 1pm.

The schedule after round one is:

Thursday January 12th 1pm: QF4 (Williams / Yan / Ding v O’Sullivan / Brecel)
Thursday January 12th 7pm: QF3 (Selby / Zhao v Higgins / Lisowski)
Friday January 13th 1pm: QF2 (Allen / Hawkins v Trump / Day)
Friday January 13th 7pm: QF1: (Robertson / Murphy v Wilson / Bingham)
Saturday January 14th 1pm: SF2
Saturday January 14th 7pm: SF1
Sunday January 15th: Final

The Cazoo Masters, running from January 8 to 15, is snooker’s biggest invitation event and has been staged every year since 1975.

There are sensational luxury packages available for the ultimate snooker experience. The VIP Sofa Booths, close to the table, include a private Baize Lounge for a two course lunch or dinner with drinks, plus drinks and snacks delivered to your seat in between frames!

And the Cazoo Century Club hospitality is unrivalled as a bespoke offering at this prestigious event. Take a seat in our high-end restaurant setting, overlooking the arena. Enjoy fine dining and drinks before the match then socialise with friends while watching the action!


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