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Snooker: Gary Rogers cues up world bid
CUEMASTER Gary Rogers is hoping to hold the world in his hands at the globe’s premier billiards tournament this weekend.
The Heworth Conservative Club member is taking part in the World Billiards Championship at the Northern Snooker Centre, in Leeds, with the target of reaching the knockout stages.
Rogers is taking part in the long-up tournament – a one frame, first to 400 points format – which gets under way on Saturday and runs until Wednesday.
He has already cued up in the pre-championship Jim Williamson Memorial Open last weekend, when he successfully came through his group and reached the last 32.
A break of 56 was not enough to prevent him going down 272-175 to Phil Mumford in his opening match but he saw off Eddie Fielding 168-130 to progress.
He met Alok Kumar in the knockout stages and could only watch on as the Indian sensation put on a masterclass – breaks of 177, 130, 103 and 50 helping him to a 578-138 victory.
Rogers, who has been sponsored by York snooker player Adrian Barraclough and his window firm Quickslide, said he was delighted to be playing once again on the world stage – having been a regular in the event a few years ago and having also competed in 2008 and 2009.
Among the players registered for the event is short-form (150up) champion Rupesh Shah and former world number one David Causier.
The current world champion, Pankaj Advani, isn’t playing after competing in snooker’s Indian Open last week.
“I am due to play two games on Saturday and two on Sunday in the group format. I just want to do as well as I can,” he said.
“I’ve played for Heworth in the local leagues in recent years but they have no team any more and I was considering trying to get into more events.
“This is the beginning again for me. Going back a few years I was playing in these events all the time. It improves your play.
“I’m a bit inconsistent nowadays and it will be interesting to see how it goes. I’m practising reasonably well, though, but billiards can be a different game to play when your opponent is playing really well.
“I am reasonably hopeful and I will be giving it my best shot. To get through the group stages and into the knockout competition would be great.”
Rogers has also been buoyed after being selected by Yorkshire for the county team championships next month, along with Fulford player Terry Ward.
“That is great news,” he added. “I have played for Yorkshire before – going back ten years or so – and it is quite an honour.”
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