WDBS Champion of Champions 2023 | Tournament Preview

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The Champion of Champions will return tomorrow (10 June) following a four-year absence from the World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) Tour calendar.

To be held for the first time at the Landywood Snooker Club, the competition will be played under a new format which will see the top two ranked players (from September 2021-May 2023) from each classification group face off in eight extended best of 11 frames matches.

Landywood Snooker Club at the British Open
An all-new venue for the Champion of Champions

The Groups

The final of the Group 1/2 competition will be contested by Tony Southern and Shahab Siddiqui, with a new winner guaranteed after victories for Daniel Lee and Aslam Abubaker in the previous two stagings of the event.

Tony Southern and Shahab Siddiqui

Top ranked Southern, who reached the final in 2018, will be aiming to add to victories at the British Open and Hull Open tournaments so far this season, while Siddiqui will be looking to capture his first title since the 2022 UK Championship.

Group 3 returns to the order of play having not been held in 2019 due to changes to the classification group recently enforced at the time. Aiming to succeed Daniel Blunn (who now competes in Group 4) as champion will therefore be Kal Mattu and Joe Hardstaff.

Joe Hardstaff playing snooker

The contest will see a repeat of the recent Hull Open final which saw Hardstaff defeat number one ranked Mattu to lift his maiden WDBS title and qualify for the Champion of Champions for the first time.

William Thomson and Daniel Blunn smiling

Returning to Group 4 will be William Thomson and Daniel Blunn, in a repeat of the 2018 Group 3 final. Blunn will be gunning to lift the Nick Oliver Trophy for the second time, while two-time runner-up Thomson will be hoping it will be third time lucky.

Micky Chambers and Dean Simmons shake hands

In Group 5, defending champion Mickey Chambers is set to take on five-time silver-medallist Dean Simmons as he bids to join an exclusive group of players to have won back to back titles at the Champion of Champions. In fact, only Nick Neale has to date won the event on more than one occasion, having triumphed in the Group 7 category in both 2018 and 2019.

Matthew Haslam and Leroy Williams shake hands

There is guaranteed to be a first-time champion in Group 6A as event debutant Alan Reynolds takes on 2019 runner-up Mohamed Faisal Butt, while Leroy Williams will be looking to defend the Group 6B title against first-time qualifier Matthew Haslam.

Mike Gillespie and Paul Smith

Group 7 will also see a new champion, with 2018 runner-up Paul Smith due to face Mike Gillespie in a repeat of their recent Hull Open final won by Smith. Gillespie will compete in the final for the first time, having previously exited at the group stage on both occasions.

Shabir Ahmed and Lewis Knowles with trophy

Finally, the Group 8 final will be contested for a third time by Lewis Knowles and Shabir Ahmed, with Knowles having won a dramatic deciding frame in 2018 to lift his maiden WDBS title, before Ahmed scored an 8-5 win in 2019 to avenge the defeat.

The WDBS Champion of Champions will run from 10am on Saturday 10 June 2023 with five frames to be played in the first session, followed by a possible six from approximately 4pm.