There has been a lot of action to follow this week in snooker with many of the different tours accepting the plaudits at an iconic snooker venue.
Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy
The Crucible Theatre, normally reserved for just the World Snooker Championship, successfully hosted a range of other tournaments last weekend in Sheffield.
It was 38 years since a certain Jimmy White made his debut at the snooker venue, infamously never to capture the sport’s greatest prize.
Fans were chuffed then to see the “Whirlwind” triumph there this year in what was the first World Seniors Championship to be staged at the Crucible.
White didn’t produce the snooker of his heyday but did manage to overcome the likes of James Wattana and Darren Morgan to lift a fifth piece of silverware on the World Seniors Tour.
It was later announced that the World Seniors Championship would be added to the criteria for qualifying for this season’s Champion of Champions, so the 57 year-old could yet be gracing the stage at the Ricoh Arena in November too.
Evans and Ahmed Enjoy Crucible Magic
It wasn’t only White who got to experience the adulation of a Crucible crowd again.
The inaugural Women’s Tour Championship and Disability Tour Championship were both staged at the snooker venue, with world champion Reanne Evans and Shabir Ahmed emerging as respective winners.
The former’s glory was tarnished slightly by the fact that her final with Ng On Yee, originally pencilled in for three frames, was cut to the best of one in order to avoid a schedule clash with the World Seniors Championship.
But it still represented the first time in 15 years that women’s snooker graced the spiritual home of the sport, so it was a positive advertisement overall.
The same can be said for the World Disability Billiards and Snooker circuit, which got to showcase its talent to a wider audience.
Four of the best players since the tour was launched in 2015 participated, with Ahmed beating Daniel Blunn in the final.
— Matt (@ProSnookerBlog) August 18, 2019
Venues Announced for Challenge Tour
Speaking of snooker venues, the full list of destinations for this season’s Challenge Tour has been revealed.
World Snooker’s Challenge Tour, in its second year and providing an avenue for amateur players to get promoted onto the Main Tour, gets under way at the end of the month in Germany.
Six of the events will be staged in the UK with the remaining four in cities across Europe.
WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson said: “We are delighted to announce a range of high quality venues for this season’s Challenge Tour.”
“This tour is an important breeding ground for talent, giving players below professional level the chance to improve their skills and gain competitive experience.
“The final play off in March will be awarded to a suitably prestigious venue and host nation.
“We have ongoing discussions and the venue will be announced in due course.”
This weekend will see the return of the Paul Hunter Classic to the calendar, but with quite a different look to it.
No longer a ranking event, this year’s edition will feature only 16 invited players with a top prize of just £10,000.
Defending champion Kyren Wilson, Barry Hawkins, David Gilbert, and Ken Doherty are among those in action at the Stadthalle.