Ben George is the T9B Star of 2016

Ben George impresses on T9B Debut 

The busy Total9ball calendar of events kicked of with the always popular Search For A Star Sponsorship event this year held at The Raging Ball High Wycombe. This is a unique event as its designed to look after the higher handicap players pitting them against each other to battle it out for prize money, a T9B sponsorship deal and a beautiful glass trophy. The maximum handicap for this event is -1. The T9B handicap system ranges from -4 to +4 therefore this event is always extremely open and picking a win is about as easy as picking the winning lottery numbers.

This event sponsored by Dynamic Billard and Raging Ball attracted a brilliant 42 entries and all players were given as always great value for money with the opening round being a random three match league stage. The top 32 players after the 63 league matches were complete would entered into the knockout stages with the 16 best performing players seeded against the other players. This event always proves to be a classic and the 2016 edition certainly didn’t disappoint.

Just four players made it through the group stages with a 100% win record and they were Alim Khan, Bartek Skoneicki, Ben George and Paul Taylor. Although these players won three out of three matches the route wasn’t plain sailing as there were many close matches with Bartek winning 7v5, 7v6, 7v6 and Paul Taylor’s results were 7v6, 7v6 7v4. The final qualifying spaces were resolved with an exciting penalty shoot-out as four players were completely tied on matches won and rack difference and there was only three spaces remaining in the final 32. Ciprain Dandu, Danny Johnson, Graham Clegg and Lionel Brown took to the stream table to battle it out for qualification. The 9ball was placed on the spot with the white ball placed anywhere along the head string line, this was cut throat action as it was immediately sudden death and one miss could end that players event. Danny Johnson was the player who unfortunately missed the chance to advance with the other three players.

The Last 32

Again T9B tried to offer as much value as possible by letting so many players through to the knock-out phase and the vibe in the Raging Ball High Wycombe was very high with all players determined to take the title.

Results from the last 32 are below with seeded players on the left.

Nick Hampton 7v5 Fi Ramonski

Dave Paterson 5v7 Mark Knightley

Chris Seville 7v3 Veselin Papradanov

Alim Khan 7v4 Steve Chick

Boris Dolenc 7v6 Chris Parker

Mark Newell 7v5 Graham Clegg

Joe Granville 7v4 Ciprian Dandu

Paul Taylor 7v5 Mark Parker

Lazslo Zsom 7v5 Bradley Holt

Ben George 7v3 Wayne Rooke

Aslam Abubaker 7v5 Mark Williams

Jermaine Pierre 3v7 Bob Harris

Bartek Skoneicki 7v4 Tash Schultz

Ashik Nathwani 7v5 Micheal Beeston

Del Sim 7v3 Lionel Brown

Adrian Hickson 4v7 GJ Orangoren

So just 16 players remained and the event from here just flew by as all matches were assigned a table at the brilliant High Wycombe venue.

Ben George took on Lazslo Zsom and from what I saw of this match the standard was very high with both players looking like they were nearing top gear. Ben ran out a 7v5 winner. Alim Khan achieved the best result of the round and a shock defeat of many players favourite for the event Chris Seville 7v3. Experienced Bob Harris ended Aslam Abubaker’s chance of regaining the title he won in 2014 seven racks to three. Mark Knightley one half of the Watford Power team that won the T9B Scotch Doubles in 2015 edged out Nick Hampton 7v6 while Paul Taylor the other half of the Watford Power duo took out Joe Granville 7v4. Del Sim was to much for GJ Orangoren on the day winning 7v3 while local player Mark Newell was involved in a nail biter against Boris Dolenc the match ended 7v6 in favour of Newell. Ashik Nathwani completed this round of results with a good 7v5 victory against Bartek Skoneicki.

So just eight players remained, even going into the Quarter Finals it was still hard to predict the way this event would swing but the T9B Champion Of Champions Winner Ashik Nathwani would be the bookies favourite based on results from previous T9B events.

Well ahead of schedule the Quarter Final matches kicked off and there was some mouth watering matches about to begin. As with most T9B events this was handicap event and to say we pretty much have it bang on was proved in this round the results are below.

Mark Knightley 7v6 Alim Khan

Mark Newell 7v6 Paul Taylor

Ben George 7v6 Bob Harris

Ashik Nathwani 7v3 Del Sim

three out of four hill-hill matches isn’t bad and the close matches just added to the excitement at the Raging Ball.

Two players really excelled in the Semi Finals and massively outplayed there opponents Mark Newell produced the only 7v0 result of the day as he booked up his place in his first T9B event Final. It would be Ben George of Wales who would contest the final against Mark as he smashed Ashik Nathwani 7v1 in the other Semi Final.

So here we go Ben George vs Mark Newell in the T9B Search For A Star Final 2016. This is what this event is all about two players who have never reached a Final at T9B before battling it out. The Winner of this event would receive £500 in total with the Runner Up collecting £250. This match had everything, break and runs, great potting, good safety, a few nervous shots and yes you guessed it a hill-hill finish with a cruel twist. Both players knew this was the final rack and would decide the winner of this magnificent tournament. Mark Newell was first in, after cutting in a ball along the top rail with the rest he left the opportunity to stun into the 9ball which was close to the bottom right pocket. Newell took this opportunity and looked to have hit it perfectly… but wait the white followed through after hitting the 9ball rocking on the pocket edge unfortunately for Newell gravity took over and the white ball dropped. Having looked beaten Ben had cueball in hand and moped up the remaining balls to take the title under extreme pressure.

Very well done to Ben George for an all round brilliant performance throughout this event and unlucky to Mark Newell, sometimes this game can be so cruel but still a fantastic performance on reaching your first final. We always say playing regular events is the fastest way to improve and your a great credit to that statement as each event you look stronger and stronger, an event win is just around the corner i’m sure.

Ben George as the winner of this event gets the first invite to the T9B Champion Of Champions event. This event is open to 16 selected event winners only and has a guaranteed prize fund of £2000.

A massive thanks to our sponsors Dynamic Billard and Raging Ball. Also T9B and the players would like to thank Sharon Allingham who helped on the tournament desk making sure the event ran smoothly.

Sure if you missed this event you missed a cracker but there is plenty more coming as T9B have over 30 events scheduled for this season with a mix of Handicapped, Scratch, 9ball, 10ball and Scotch Double all planned. More details here:- T9B Calendar 2016

Make sure you join as a member for 2016 now for £25. This will give you priority entry for events, save you £5 per event on entry fees and make you eligible for the Champion Of Champions event should you qualify.