Tag: Hull Open

Hull Open banner

888lcd.co.uk to Sponsor Hull Open

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) is today pleased to announce 888lcd.co.uk as title sponsors of this November’s Hull Open.

Owned by regular event sponsor Simon Berrisford of J&S Trading, 888lcd.co.uk supply mobile phone screens to a customer base of approximately 5,500 across the UK and is the latest company to support a WDBS competition.

Entries are now open for the event, which will now be known as the 888lcd.co.uk Hull Open, and returns to Hull’s Tradewell Snooker Centre on 10-12 November 2017 after its successful first event nearly a year ago. The main two-day event will be open to players from Groups 7-8, following our regular Friday open day at which players with all disabilities are encouraged to attend and try snooker. There will also be a Group 6 event for players with learning disabilities held alongside the open day.

Simon Berrisford of 888lcd.co.uk said: “On behalf of 888lcd.co.uk we are very proud to sponsor this year’s WDBS event in Hull.  The WDBS is an exciting arm of the WPBSA that is only going to grow and grow, which is why we wanted to be associated with it. We wish all of the  participants the very best of luck during the weekend and hope everyone has a fantastic experience.”

The 888lcd.co.uk Hull Open will be the final WDBS event staged during 2017, which following events in Manchester, Derby, Cwmbran and Wolverhampton has seen prize money and participants continue to grow significantly. Information as to next year’s calendar will be released shortly.

Learn more about 888lcd.co.uk at their website.

Selby Mencap Welcomed at Hull Open

World Disability Billiards and Snooker welcomed members from the Selby Gateway Leisure Mencap Society to its latest open day at this month’s Hull Open.

Led by Martin Waterhouse, who is a trustee and volunteer support worker of Selby District Mencap, the attendees were given the opportunity to practice snooker and receive coaching from WPBSA World Snooker coaches including Bob Hill, Tim Squires and Mark Parsons.

Picture of Martin Waterhouse playing snooker

Martin Waterhouse

“We did not know what to expect but it’s great to see disabled people being supported in the way that they have been in a setting like this,” said Martin. “I wish that there were more events similar so that people can get more involved in it.”

In particular, Martin was impressed by the coaching provided by Mark Parsons, who recently completed the WPBSA World Snooker Level 1 Community Coaching course and competes in WDBS events as a Group 2 wheelchair player.

“The actual coaching is fantastic,” said Martin. “The trainers and coaches are there to provide support and they are really on the ball.

“The one guy that stood out for me was Mark Parsons from Bristol. As a wheelchair user, the coaching that he provided was as good as any of the other coaches and I think that is a big positive message there.”

Photo of Selby players with Bob Hill

Team photo with WDBS coach Bob Hill

Waterhouse echoed the thoughts of WDBS director Bob Hill, who earlier this year told WDBS.info that he felt that snooker is an ideal sport for people with learning disabilities.

“Snooker as a sport is great for these guys because they don’t have to think a lot other than just potting balls,” added Martin. “It doesn’t really matter if they are any good at it – just potting one ball is a success. It’s a knock on effect of the better you get, the better it is. But I know from our experiences in Selby that just potting one ball in ten shots is fantastic for them so bring on the next event!”

Each of the players who attended from the group was presented with a WDBS polo shirt and visited York earlier this week for the start of the 2016 Betway UK Championship from the Barbican Centre.

Learn more about Mencap and support their work via social media using the hashtag #HereIAm

Hull Stages World Disability Snooker Event

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) held its second event for players with sensory disabilities last weekend at the Tradewell Snooker Centre in Kingston upon Hull.

The inaugural Hull Open welcomed players from classification Groups 7-8, including players who have either hearing or visual disabilities and saw entries more than double from the previous event for the same categories in Woking earlier this year.

The event was supported by prize fund sponsors Hudgell Solicitors, Think Telecom and the Hull Deaf Centre, who all contributed to a prize fund of £600 across both competitions.

Paul Smith shakes hand of Allan Morley of Think Telecom

Paul Smith and Allen Morley of sponsor Think Telecom

As in Woking, the Group 7 competition for players with visual impairments was won by Paul Smith from Stevenage, who defeated WDBS debutant Nick Neale 4-1 in the event final.

Having lost 3-0 to Neale in the group stages on Saturday, Smith, who lost one eye in a shooting accident when he was 10 and previously competed on the main tour during the 1990s, turned the tables in the final to become the third player so far to win multiple WDBS titles.

There was some consolation for Neale however as in addition to making it through to the final, he also took home the Group 7 high break prize for his opening day run of 40.

Andy Burton and WDBS Chairman Nigel Mawer

Andy Burton and WDBS Chairman Nigel Mawer

The Group 8 final was contested by two WDBS debutants, Warrington’s Andy Burton securing his first gold medal with a 3-0 victory against Hull’s Richard Gott.

A particularly competitive tournament, having received entries from players including a number of local players, as well as four members of the Warrington Deaf Snooker League who travelled together, it was Burton who dropped just two frames during the weekend to take the title. The high break prize was won by Mike Bryan who hit 39 during the group stage.

As at previous events, there was also a Challenge Cup event held, which was won by Group 7 semi-finalist David Baker, who defeated Hull’s Kevin Bentley over a single frame to add to his silver medal from Woking.

The event was preceded by a Friday open day, which as well as the players involved in the weekend tournament, welcomed players from Selby Gateway Leisure Mencap and NHS Humber CTLD.

The weekend was supported by WPBSA World Snooker coaches Bob Hill and Tim Squires, as well as former professional Ian Glover and our team of referees and coaches including those who play at Group 1-5 events.

WDBS director Clive Brown said: “It has been another fantastic weekend and it seems to be have been thoroughly enjoyed by everyone that has taken part as a competitor, as an official or as a helper. It is great to see that the visually impaired and the deaf are increasing in numbers at these events and let’s hope that we can continue to grow them further.”

The next WDBS tournament will be the 2017 Manchester Classic on 10-12 March 2017 at Q’s Sports and Entertainment Bar, Manchester. As in 2016, the event will be open to players with physical disabilities (Groups 1-5) and further information including the entry pack will be made available soon.

View event photos on the WDBS Facebook page at each of the following links:

Final results are available via the following links to MySnookerStats:

Hull to Host WDBS Event

This weekend World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) heads to East Yorkshire for its final event of 2016, the WDBS Hull Open at the Tradewell Snooker Centre on 11-13 November.

The WDBS has seen sustained growth following its first event held just under a year ago in Gloucester and its visit to the UK City of Culture for 2017 marks the first world disability snooker event to be staged in Yorkshire.

The weekend will be supported by Hull-based national legal services provider Hudgell Solicitors and telecommunications company Think Telecom, as well as the Hull Deaf Centre. With their support, the event will carry a record prize fund of £600, to be distributed across two competitions including players who fall under Groups 7-8 of the WDBS classification system.

The event will be the second open to players with sensory disabilities, specifically visual and hearing disabilities, and will see entries more than double since May’s Woking Open.

Among those to have entered are players from the Hull Deaf Centre, including Lee Douglas, Kevin Suddaby and Lewis Richardson who all competed in Woking. Both former professional Paul Smith and David Baker also return to the field, having contested the Group 7 final back in May.

As at previous WDBS events, the competition will be preceded by an open day on 11 November, at which people with any disabilities are encouraged to come and try snooker. This will run from 10:30am until 7:00pm and be supported by WPBSA World Snooker coaches including former professional Ian Glover.

Full coverage and updates throughout the weekend will be available at wdbs.info, in addition to our social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook. The latest results and group standings will be updated regularly via the MySnookerStats service.

World Sight Day 2016

The WDBS is today pleased to support World Sight Day 2016, a key date highlighting the impact of eye health in people’s lives.

Focusing on the theme of ‘Stronger Together’ the day is a reminder of the respective roles of different groups, from key decision makers and government officials, to patients and the wider health community, are all crucial and that the more groups that can be brought together, the stronger the eye health community can become.

Earlier this year the WDBS held its first competitive tournament open to group 7 players, ie those with visual disabilities, the Woking Open won by former professional Paul Smith.

In the final he edged out Blackburn’s David Baker, who is partially sighted following the loss of his right eye when he was 19. As he told us recently however, he has not let his disability get in the way of his long-held passion for snooker:

“I first began to play snooker when I was 16,” said Baker. “Not one to give up, following my accident I continued to learn and adjust myself to continue playing snooker. Looking back, I think it’s fair to say that my standard never dropped, it may well have improved due to the fact I now have a single tunnel vision.”wsd-logo-2016_blue_2

The challenge for Baker has not ended with the loss of his eye however as more recently he has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a medical condition characterised by chronic widespread pain and a heightened pain response to pressure.

“My fibromyalgia poses all sorts of problems and limits me considerably to how much I can play the game. In 2007 I was told that due to this I would never be able to play snooker again and I was totally devastated at the time as I could barely walk. But stubborn is my middle name and slowly I regained some of my strength back, as well as learning how best to cope with this challenge.”

Nearly ten years on from his diagnosis, Baker is back on the baize and considers snooker as something that is more than a hobby to him. As well as the physical benefits, he also considers the sport to have important mental and social benefits that anybody involved with the game can benefit from:

“I can honestly say that snooker has given me strength to cope in any situation, determination and taught me to never give up,” said the 50-year-old. “It helps with concentration, patience and to give you a form of exercise without really knowing it.

“Above all I have been able to meet some fantastic, like-minded people, so overall I can say that snooker has definitely helped me through life and given me some very close friends.”


Baker began his snooker journey playing for the Burnley Road Bowling Club in Accrington over 30 years ago and in 2014 was thrilled to be able to play at a Snooker Legends event alongside 1985 world champion Dennis Taylor and the ever-popular Jimmy White (watch here).

More recently, he heard of the WDBS prior to this year’s Manchester Classic and attended the open day at that event, prior to competing in Woking.

“Someone had mentioned the WDBS on one of the facebook snooker forums that I had joined that day and I got in touch with Chris Hornby (WPBSA Sport Development Manager), who invited me to the event at Manchester to see how it worked and to join in with some of the other disabled people from different categories on the Friday session.

“I enjoyed the experience and this subsequently led to me playing in Woking, which was a fantastic event and gave people the chance to get involved on more equal terms than playing able bodied players.

“It was great to be able to make new friends and to get the feeling that I was part of something special.”

David will be back in action at the WDBS Hull Open, which runs from 11-13 November 2016 at the Tradewell Snooker Centre, Hull. The event is supported by prize fund sponsors Hudgell Solicitors and Think Telecom and you can find out more information, including how to enter here.

Think Telecom to Support Hull Open

The WDBS is today delighted to announce that Think Telecom Ltd will support next month’s Hull Open event.

Based in Maidstone, Think Telecom are a telecoms wholesaler on the open reach network, specialising in offering bespoke telecommunications solutions including line rental, calls, broadband and merchant services to businesses within the UK.

Think Telecom join the already announced Hudgell Solicitors in backing the tournament, meaning that we can now confirm a minimum prize fund of £550 across the event.

As previously announced, there will be two classification groups eligible to compete in the main competition from 12-13 November 2016, including players with both visual (group 7) and hearing (group 8) disabilities.

There will also be a free open day on Friday 11th November 2016 at which people with any disabilities or level of experience, are encouraged to come and try snooker.

The event will take place at the Tradewell Snooker Centre, Hull, which has 14 full-size tables including one Star table fitted to professional templates.

We are still accepting entries for the 2016 Hull Open, with the entry deadline set to fall on Friday 4th November 2016. Further information is available in the entry pack, however please do not hesitate to contact us via our website or social media should you require further information.