It takes a lot of skill to play well on the GB 9 Ball Tour. It takes even more to be at the very top of the game. GB9 is fortunate to have a multitude of professional players within its ranks with the top four players in the British rankings known the world over for their exploits on the table. Here we showcase the players who will have some of the biggest bounties on their heads when the 2013 season kicks off in Telford in February, the official British Numbers 1, 2, 3 & 4.
3 x and reigning British #1, 6 x GB9 main event winner
No player has been more consistent throughout GB9’s history so far than Imran Majid. Having finished three out of the five seasons so far as British ranked 1st, his prize money and match win records are the envy of all the players on the tour. He has the nickname of ‘The Maharaja’ – a name that justice to his domination on the table and his status as the reigning king of the GB9 stage. His style of play is not one commonly seen in 9-ball. Whereas the sport is known for its electric atmosphere and fast pace, Majid’s style is akin to that of a chess player, slowly and methodically thinking about his every shot. He isn’t the British number 1 for nothing, and the price on his head will be highest of all in the 2013 season as he looks to add his seventh main event title to his glowing GB 9 Ball Tour record.
British #2, 2009 and 2010 British #1, 2011 World 9-Ball semi-finalist, 3 x GB9 main event winner
Fans and players alike consider Mark Gray to be one of the best match players in the world. His nickname of ‘Granite’ lays testament to a player who never knows when he’s beaten. Despite an excellent international record in the last two years, the 2011 season was somewhat of a write-off for Gray. However, despite being the only player in the top four not to have won a GB9 event last season, he did find himself in the final of two events and the quarter-finals of a third. Gray will be a hot favourite for competitions in the 2013 season, and his formidable and fluid style of play will be a match enough for any player who may challenge him. His last main event title came at the 2010 Paul Medati trophy and, whilst he has been a consistent performer in the last 12 months, he will be itching to get a main event title back under his belt in the near future.
British #3, 2010 World Blackball champion, 2 x GB9 main event winner
With his performances in Britain and across the world in the last two years, Jayson Shaw has matured into one of the finest pool players in the world. His nickname of ‘The Wizard’ bears relevance to frequently leaving his opponents spellbound at the end of matches. Known for his frightening speed around the table, he has been involved in some of GB9’s fastest ever matches and any player facing Shaw has to deal with both his speed and accuracy if they are to stand a chance against him. He is the defending Southern Masters champion and will be looking to add more titles to the two he has won since joining GB9. Also showing his aptitude with Blackball pool with his 2010 world title, his abilities with a cue are the envy of a lot of young players on the tour and Shaw’s game is sure to be as fierce as ever come the start of the upcoming 2013 season.
British #4, 2007 World 9-Ball champion, 1995 World Pool Masters champion, 3 x GB9 main event winner
Many would argue that his famous victory against Roberto Gomez in the 2007 World Championship final is what started British pool’s journey into the stratosphere. Since then Britain’s players have been feared in tournaments the world over, amongst whom without a doubt is Daryl Peach. On the top of his game he is a force to be reckoned and he is more than deserving of having ‘The Dazzler’ as a nickname. Whilst he will be first to admit he didn’t have the best season in 2012, his victory in the Northern Masters will be a decent foundation to work from in 2013. With a career that has spanned almost 20 years, Peach knows what it takes to win matches and, more importantly, win tournaments. He will no doubt be a force to be reckoned with come February as the tour returns for its sixth season of competition.