The Southern Masters returns to the Puma Court Hotel in Daventry next week as the best American Pool players in the UK battle it out in the latest stop on the GB 9 Ball Tour.
With the tour approaching the close of its fifth groundbreaking season and with the nights drawing in once again, this penultimate event on the 2012 calendar is the first chance to reflect on another memorable year on Britain’s most intense and hard fought pool tour. Whilst finalised details of the 2013 season are imminent, ranking points and position on the ranking list are as important as ever to all the players on the circuit, not least because the top two players at the end of the season will have the honour of representing Great Britain at the 2013 European Championships, courtesy of the British Pool Federation. The battle at the top will once again go down to the wire, with some new faces already proving themselves to be worthy competitors against seasoned professionals and GB9 stalwarts.
Even though major changes to the Tour are due in 2013, the changes made in 2012 have already had a major impact on competition weekends across the year. Without a shadow of doubt, the biggest change this year has been the full roll-out of GB9Live – an innovative, world class competition data system designed to make the tournament weekend for both players and spectators more fluid than ever before.
Replacing the pen and paper scoresheet last used at the 2011 Southern Masters, the laptop based system was first trialled at the British Grand Prix back last November. GB9Live allows the players themselves to create a rack by rack live score whilst they are taking part in a match which is automatically broadcast across the internet for the world to see. The system has recently been interlinked with the GB 9 Ball Tour Twitter and Facebook pages so that people who follow the tour through social networks can be closer to the tour than ever before. From this event onwards, GB9Live will be able to tweet out match results as and when they come to a conclusion, giving those who can’t make it to the venue themselves the very latest results straight from the table.
GB9Live has had unanimous support from the beginning from the tour’s players. Penzance’s Robin Cripps, a GB9 player since 2009, has seen improvement from previous years on tour. ‘This system is so much better (than pen and paper)’, he said. ‘There’s no chance of getting a wrong score plus it’s better for people at home, especially my friends and family back in Cornwall, who are following my progress.’ His words were echoed by Leeds’ Liam Waterworth, himself a tour player since 2011. ‘I found the GB9Live scoring system is very effective. Most importantly it is simple for the players to operate. It is also efficient to the online viewers as they are getting an accurate reading of all the live scores and results.’
It’s not too late to give your feedback on the proposed changes to the tour for the 2013 season. Use our feedback form to tell us what you think about our plans for 2013 and to submit any ideas, comments or suggestions that you may have. You will also be entered into our free prize draw to win a brand new OB J-Line cue courtesy of the tour’s new cue sponsor, OB Cues.
With defending champion Kevin Uzzell taking a year out from GB9 this season, the Southern Masters title is well and truly up for grabs. The tour’s return to 9-ball pool from July’s inaugural 10-ball event will begin at 4pm on Friday 28th September, with play continuing place throughout the weekend until the evening of Sunday September 30th. With vital ranking points up for grabs and not many chances left this season to gain them, play is guaranteed to be as ferocious as ever. Entry to the Puma Court Hotel is free of charge once again – perhaps the greatest gathering of American Pool players in the world all in one tournament. What better way to spend a weekend without paying a penny? If you can’t make it down to the event, however, you can follow all the action LIVE on CueSport TV with mouthwatering ties being streamed live across the world.
We will also be providing Live-scoring throughout the event. Just click the link to track the competition round on round.