It has been announced today that a qualifying event for the inaugural Snookerbacker Classic will be coming to Ireland early next year. The new tournament, which is being initiated by the renowned Snookerbacker Blog, is a unique opportunity for amateurs in the sport to gain invaluable experience and win a very special prize.
CrossGuns Snooker Club in Dublin will host the Irish leg of the tournament on Saturday, 15th January 2012. It will be held in conjunction with other regional events in Scotland, Northern England, Wales and South West England, and South England with each champion progressing to Finals Day at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester next February.
The entry fee for the Irish edition is a mere €50 with only 16 places available on a first come first served basis. The winner of the qualifying event will receive a minimum of £100 pounds with the overall SB Classic champion on Finals Day awarded the 2012 Q-School entrance fee and four Players Tour Championship entrance fees – the equivalent of £1,400 – as well as the first ever Snookerbacker Classic Trophy.
The runner-up on Finals Day in Gloucester will also earn the entrance fee for Q-School in May 2012. This is an amazing chance for amateurs and juniors all over Ireland to gain a different avenue onto the professional main circuit as early as next season – an opportunity Snookerbacker is proud to provide.
“Since I thought of staging a prestigious national event for amateurs I have always wanted to stage a section of it in Ireland. Being half-Irish myself it was always on the agenda. The opportunity arose by chance and through speaking to Finn (Ruane), the proprietor of the famous CrossGuns Snooker Club in Dublin who offered me his club to stage a qualifier there.
This event offers a great opportunity for players whether they be juniors or amateurs to really get involved in some top matchplay snooker at great venues. The events will also have extensive coverage both on my own and other internet sites and through Snooker Scene who are supporting the event.”
Snooker Scene is not the only source of endorsement that Snookerbacker has received. World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn stated that it is a “very good initiative” and that “anyone who wants to follow their dream, play in Q-School with the chance to qualify for the main tour, should get their name down” while defending Shanghai Masters champion Ali Carter is hosting the South of England qualifying event at Chelmsford Snooker Club.
To get a new tournament off the ground is difficult but Snookerbacker is looking forward to the task and potentially offering a route onto the professional circuit for a new star in the sport. “I can’t wait to come over to Ireland and I’m really looking forward to what should be a great occasion in the amateur snooker calendar with the chance for the best player from Ireland to pit their wits against the winning players from Scotland, Northern England, Wales and South West England and the South.
For me personally, the event is a real challenge but a rewarding experience and I’d like to thank Finn for his help so far in getting the Irish leg off the ground” Events like this will help to create a buzz around the amateur scene and offer bragging rights for those that come away from each region with a win.
For a relatively small entrance fee, the ultimate reward at the end is fantastic and here is hoping for a competitive qualifying leg in Ireland.