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posticon   Posted: 2019-09-26 11:46

INDUSTRY_NEWS

BetVictor European Series Takes World Snooker Tour’s Overall Prize Money To Record Level

London/Gibraltar, 26 September 2019

BetVictor, a leading global gambling company, is sponsoring four world ranking events on snooker’s global tour this season, creating the brand-new BetVictor European Series. The new series sees the World Snooker Tour’s overall prize money increase to a record level of approximately £15 million.

The four tournaments are:

• 2020 BetVictor European Masters, January 20-26, Austria
• 2020 BetVictor German Masters, January 29 to February 2, Berlin, Germany
• 2020 BetVictor Shoot Out - February 20-23, Watford, England
• 2020 BetVictor Gibraltar Open - March 13-15, Gibraltar

A unique ranking list will run throughout these events, with the player earning the most money across the BetVictor European Series receiving a bonus of £150,000.

Top prizes have also been increased:

• BetVictor European Masters: £80,000 to the winner (up from last season’s £75,000)
• BetVictor Shoot Out: £50,000 to the winner and £20,000 to the runner-up (up from last season’s £32,000 and £16,000)
• BetVictor Gibraltar Open: £50,000 to the winner and £20,000 to the runner-up (up from last season’s £25,000 and £12,000)

These additions bring the total prize money for the 2019-20 season to £14,641,000.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “We are delighted to announce the new BetVictor European Series, a fabulous addition to our tour. The race to win the series and earn a huge bonus of £150,000 adds an extra element of intrigue throughout the four events. Each event is superb in its own right, but the support BetVictor brings takes it all to a new level and ties them together into a distinctive series.

“I would love to see a few players in the mix with the chance to win the bonus going into the last tournament in Gibraltar, that would bring a thrilling conclusion to the series. For the players it’s an extra incentive to get their name down for these events and make sure they have the chance to boost their prize money in dramatic fashion.”

Director of Sportsbook at BetVictor, Matt Scarrott, added: "We have a strong relationship with World Snooker having partnered with them on a number of events and I’m confident that this brand-new series will add to World Snooker’s international success.

"The global growth in the sport’s popularity is a testament of the fantastic work World Snooker have been developing over recent years, and we’re delighted to be part of this successful journey. We’re particularly proud to see the last of the European Series tournament take place in Gibraltar - home to BetVictor."

BetVictor



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posticon   Posted: 2019-10-01 18:09

INDUSTRY_NEWS

WADA Publishes 2020 Prohibited List

On September 30, 2019 the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) publishes the 2012 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods; the 2020 Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes; and the 2020 Monitoring Program. The List, which was approved by WADA's Executive Committee (ExCo) on September 23, 2019, comes into force on January 1, 2020.

The List, which is one of six International Standards that are mandatory for all Signatories of the World Anti-Doping Code, designates what substances and methods are prohibited both in- and out-of-competition, and which substances are banned in particular sports.

WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said: "WADA is pleased to announce the publication of the 2019 Prohibited List. Updated annually, the List undergoes an extensive consultation period with a wide array of anti-doping stakeholders from around the globe. This is a very comprehensive process which aims to ensure that new substances and methods with doping potential - which are either currently on the market or in some cases still in clinical development - are included in the List. This helps us to protect not only the integrity of sport, but the health of athletes worldwide."

(read full report from WADA)

WADA publishes 2020 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods

Today, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) publishes the 2020 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (List); the 2020 Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes; and the 2020 Monitoring Program. The List, which was approved by WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo) on 23 September 2019, comes into force on 1 January 2020.

The List, which is one of six International Standards that are mandatory for all Signatories of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), designates what substances and methods are prohibited both in- and out-of-competition, and which substances are banned in particular sports.

WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said: “WADA is pleased to announce the publication of the 2020 Prohibited List. Updated annually, the List undergoes an extensive consultation period with a wide array of anti-doping stakeholders from around the globe. This is a very comprehensive process which aims to ensure that new substances and methods with doping potential – which are either currently on the market or in some cases still in clinical development – are included in the List. This helps us to protect not only the integrity of sport, but the health of athletes worldwide.”

The List is released three months ahead of it taking effect so that athletes and their entourage can acquaint themselves with any modifications. Ultimately, athletes are responsible for prohibited substances found in their body and prohibited methods found to have been used. Athlete entourage are also liable for Anti-Doping Rule Violations if determined to be complicit. Consequently, if there is any doubt as to the status of a substance or method, it is important that they contact their respective Anti-Doping Organization (International Federation or National Anti-Doping Organization) for advice.

The List’s annual revision process is led by WADA, beginning with an initial meeting in January and concluding with the publication of the List by 1 October. This is an extensive consultation process that includes WADA’s List Expert Group – composed of some of the most highly qualified experts in the world – gathering information, including the latest scientific and medical research, trends, and intelligence gathered from law enforcement and pharmaceutical companies; circulating a draft List among stakeholders; taking their submissions into consideration; and revising the draft, followed by review by the Agency’s Health, Medical and Research (HMR) Committee. The HMR Committee then makes its recommendation to the WADA ExCo, which approves the List during its September meeting.

For a substance or method to be added to the List, it must be determined that it meets at least two of the following three criteria:

It has the potential to enhance or enhances sport performance
It represents an actual or potential health risk to the athletes
It violates the spirit of sport
It should be noted that for athletes who have a legitimate medical reason for using a prohibited substance or method that is on the List, they may be accommodated if they meet the criteria outlined in the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE). The TUE process has overwhelming acceptance from athletes, physicians and anti-doping stakeholders worldwide.

Languages and Formats

The 2020 Prohibited List; the 2020 Summary of Modifications and Explanatory Notes; and the 2020 Monitoring Program are available for download on WADA’s website in English and French with Spanish to follow shortly.

Stakeholders wishing to translate the List into other languages are kindly asked to signal their interest at info@wada-ama.org, by 31 October 2019. If interested, WADA would provide the necessary files and, once the translation is finalized, would make the List available on the Agency’s website.

The List’s mobile-friendly digital edition will go live on 1 January 2020.


BCA



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posticon   Posted: 2019-10-02 11:31

INDUSTRY_NEWS

World Snooker Teams Up With Hawes & Curtis For New Home Nations Dress Code

“You can have any colour you want, as long as it’s black,” said Henry Ford about his Model T cars in 1909.

Snooker players will have a similar choice throughout this season’s Home Nations series.

World Snooker has joined forces with renowned clothing firm Hawes & Curtis to create a new dress code for the four Home Nations events, starting with this month’s 19.com English Open.

All 128 players will wear black tailored long-sleeved shirts together with black or dark tailored trousers.

Snooker’s traditional attire of waistcoats and bow ties has been dropped for this series.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “The new dress code for the Home Nations events will help the series become distinctive and develop a unique identity.

“We know that waistcoats and bow ties are closely associated with the traditions of our sport and we have no plans to change the dress code for the majority of our key events.

“But we have decided to make this change for the Home Nations and we hope the black shirts will be stylish and practical for the players.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Hawes & Curtis and we’re delighted with the product they have designed.”

Hawes & Curtis is a London-based firm established in 1913 with the intention of creating high quality, exclusive clothing. Hawes & Curtis has been acclaimed by royalty and aristocracy alike; most famously by the Duke of Windsor and Earl Mountbatten.

Hawes & Curtis CEO Touker Suleyman said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to support World Snooker and we are delighted to provide the new distinctive dress code for the Home Nations event. Since 1913, Hawes & Curtis has dressed the best, including royalty and Hollywood stars. Today we are very proud to dress all 128 top snooker players in our formal wear.”

The Home Nations events are

19.com English Open, Crawley, October 14th to 20th, 2019

19.com Northern Ireland Open, Belfast, November 11th to 17th, 2019

19.com Scottish Open, Glasgow, December 9th to 15th, 2019

ManBetX Welsh Open, Cardiff, February 10th to 16th, 2020


All four events will be televised on Eurosport and Quest and there is a £1 million bonus for any player who can win all four.

Tickets are on sale now – for details see www.worldsnooker.com/tickets

WorldSnooker



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posticon   Posted: 2019-10-16 03:52

INDUSTRY_NEWS

The Predator Group is proud to celebrate its 25th Anniversary in 2019.

Jacksonville, USA, October 10th, 2019

Thanks to an amazing team of passionate individuals, the company has revolutionized how the game of pocket billiards is played since the introduction of the original 314 low-deflection shaft in 1994. A quarter of a century after this ground-breaking technology was introduced, this United States-based company has grown to become the largest and most innovation-driven manufacturer in pool and billiards worldwide.

HOW IT ALL GOT STARTED

Out of all the billiards shafts, cues and components that Predator Group has been associated with over the last 25 years, none may be more important than the tip that was on Allan McCarty’s cue in the early 1990s.

A frequent player who had dabbled in developing inventions, McCarty was leading his opponent during a billiards match when his tip loosened and popped off of the ferrule. He switched out that shaft for his reserve and immediately struggled to make balls. McCarty lost the match, walking away from the experience lighter in the wallet and questioning how these two seemingly identical shafts could play so differently.

McCarty teamed up with Steve Titus, a self-made engineer he’d met at a tournament a couple of years before. Together, the two constructed a mechanical arm for testing billiard cues named Iron Willie. This helped them to develop a product which would deliver more consistency and accuracy. They toiled away in their Clawson, Michigan shop for about a year and a half, ultimately creating a six-piece spliced wooden shaft.

That desire to design and develop a superior performing product led to Predator’s initial product creation – a multi-splice shaft introduced as the original 314 shaft in 1994. Predator’s cutting-edge shaft technology reduced the error factor called “cue ball deflection”, where the mass of the shaft pushes the cue ball off the aiming line when using English or side spin. Put simply, this new technology made it easier to pocket balls using English and helped players progress faster.

What started as two guys fighting to educate the industry on their research findings now has evolved into the industry trendsetter in pool and billiards technology. The company has grown into the largest billiard cue manufacturer worldwide – thanks largely to the people who work for and with the company.

“There’s all the cue makers and then there’s us,” said McCarty. “They’re selling design, we’re selling performance with design.”

“When we received our first cue and shaft combination way back in 1998, we knew immediately that Predator was an innovative and technology-advanced cue manufacturer,” said Sid Kreis of Seybert’s Billiard Supply, one of Predator’s leading distributors.

THE QUEST FOR INNOVATION

It would have been easy to sit back and be satisfied with creating the billiard cue shaft which revolutionized the industry. “However, the goal is to always challenge the standards of the industry – then design a completely new standard.” said President Karim Belhaj, who rose from company intern in 1997 to owning the company today. “Every time we made it to the top, we thought ‘how do we better ourselves?’”

In a company that was created by pool players, it didn’t take long for the team to realize there was more to playing proficient pool than simply minimizing deflection. Predator released the first BK break cue in 2001, equipped with a balanced weight design as well as a tip and ferrule developed to transfer maximum energy. Four years later, a reengineered break cue called the BK2 would hit the market with an improved grip, phenolic and carbon fiber tip plate and improved shaft design.

A dozen years after the original 314 shafts became available to consumers, Predator introduced the second generation of low-deflection shaft technology – featuring a lighter and improved 10-piece spliced construction, which resulted in better wood grain consistency throughout. Four years ago, the company debuted the third generation of these revolutionary shafts, featuring a lower front-end mass, V-Tek front end construction as well as the eight-layer Victory tip. “We design every single shaft based on what the player needs to improve his or her game,” said Belhaj.

Since the turn of the century, Predator’s engineers have been working on methods to build a cue shaft from composite technology. As materials improved and processes perfected, the years of trial and errors resulted in the debut of Predator REVO shaft in 2016. Made from aerospace grade carbon fiber, this latest innovation offers reduced deflection at high and low speeds coupled with unmatched durability. When Predator’s Chief Engineer Paul Costain had his first prototypes of REVO ready for field testing a few years ago, it was essential for him to see the players’ feedback: “I remember very well the first time I saw people testing the Predator REVO – at first they were skeptical. So, to see their face when they hit the first few shots was quite enjoyable – I could see instantly they could feel the difference… and then of course they didn’t want to give the shaft back!”

Following this success, the carbon composite BK Rush break cue was released in 2017 – the most powerful and most accurate break cue ever designed.

As the technology and innovation improved, so too has the playing experience for beginning and amateur players. With cue ball deflection significantly decreased compared to the equipment of decades ago, the competitors of today can pocket balls more accurately while utilizing English and sidespin with much more ease. “Due to the Predator equipment, the pockets for amateurs seem bigger than normal because you can play more precisely,” said Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Ralf Souquet, who has won every major title in the sport using a 314 shaft.

Today, Predator’s extensive family of products connect with different players – from the road hustler to the World Champion, there is a Predator cue for everyone. We not only specialize in performance but also in design. From the entry-level Roadline “Sneaky Pete” to the 25th Anniversary limited edition cues, there is an artistic and fashionable style to match the various preferences of players. Whether a player is looking for a classic or intricate look, Predator has a design which can connect with the individual and provide a unique style, coupled with unmatched construction and technology.

“Predator helps players be the best version of themselves,” said Karim Belhaj.

OUR COMMITMENT TO GROW THE SPORT

Ever since Titus and McCarty started working on the original shafts, Predator has been striving to connect people to the game as well as give back to the billiards industry.

When the company was in its infancy, McCarty made sure the product was in the hands of not only nationally known professional players but those dominant at the regional level as well – recognizing word-of-mouth exposure would be essential to the product’s growth. As Predator slowly grew to become a worldwide company, the manufacturer’s commitment to providing professionals with the tools needed for success has not changed. Today, countless players all over the world rely on the company’s cues in tournament competition – including World Champions and BCA Hall of Famers. As a result, players using Predator cues have won more titles than all of the other cue brands combined.

As a company which constantly strives to improve its equipment and the players’ experience, this working relationship also allows Predator’s designers to receive valuable feedback on its products from some of the best professionals competing today.

“I remember one year every European Mosconi cup player played with Predator. That’s mental,” said Hall of Famer and longtime brand ambassador Darren Appleton. “They have helped me massively in my career and God knows what I would not have been able to achieve without them.”

“Predator brings the equipment and I bring the skills, so together we can achieve greatness,” said women’s professional, Jasmin Ouschan, who started using the company’s equipment as a junior.

Predator is also proud to support John Schmidt and his quest to beat the longest-standing record in the sport, Willie Mosconi’s 526-ball run. John achieved his dream by an astounding 100 balls, running 626 without a miss, which already placed the formerly nicknamed “Mr. 400” in a class of his own: “I was using a P3 Red with a REVO 12.4 shaft – fantastic cue. Everybody loves their cue, that sounds forced but it’s really the best cue I’ve ever played with”, said John “Mr. 626” Schmidt.

Predator’s support of the industry also extends to professional and amateur tournaments throughout the world, as well as in the United States. The company has been a longtime title sponsor of the Mosconi Cup, Matchroom events, the Euro Tour for both men and women, Tony Robles’ Predator Pro-am Tour in the northeastern United States, the World Pool and Billiards Association’s Players Championship, and many other events.

“Predator has been a big part of the industry so far and will be even more so in the future,” said Emily Frazer, Chief Operating Officer for Matchroom Multisport, producer of the Mosconi Cup. “Predator has been in business for 25 years and Matchroom has shared a relationship with them for the majority of that. We only hope to continue and strengthen that partnership as we push together our passion and goal of taking our sport to the next level.”

This past year, the company again expanded its position within the professional billiards industry with the debut of the Predator World 10-ball Championships which brought back a World WPA event in the United States for the first time in over 20 years.

The event had been dormant since 2015 as it struggled to find available sponsors and prize funds, but Predator saw the event as a unique opportunity to help grow the number of professional events worldwide while celebrating the company’s silver anniversary. Partnering with Cue Sports International, the inaugural tournament was played this past July in conjunction with the BCA Pool League’s national and world championships in Las Vegas. This event, which was won by Ping-Chung Ko, showcases the best professional players in the world and helps in the company’s mission of building a bridge between the recreational pool player and the game’s elite. As WPA President Ian Anderson said, “We are very proud to be associated with Predator and to have them as a partner in the promotion and development of pool and billiards.”

Predator continues to focus on the future by making the world a better place, one pool game at a time.­

Special thanks to Keith Paradise, Senior Editor at Billiards Digest, for his contribution in writing this article.

Predator



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posticon   Posted: 2019-10-21 06:53

INDUSTRY_NEWS

Simonis and Aramith team up with the Atlantic Challenge Cup 2019

Iwan Simonis, producer of the world-renowned billiard cloth, have again agreed to partner the Atlantic Challenge Cup in 2019. In an agreement reached recently, Simonis 860 tournament blue will be used at this year’s event which is held in Treviso Italy at the BHR Best Western Premier hotel. The Duramith technology will also be used again at the Atlantic Challenge Cup as Saluc, the makers of the famous Aramith brand have also agreed to partner this year’s event. The Duramith balls have been an integral part of the professional billiard scene for some years already and this is another indication of the material quality used at the ACC.

Mr Bernard Bollette, Commercial Director Simonis cloth and Aramith balls had this to say on the partnership. “EPBF/IBPF is a historical partner of many decades without interruption. They excel in the organization of pool events. As the best and oldest cloth and ball manufacturers, we as Iwan Simonis and Saluc are particularly proud and excited to support this youth event, the Atlantic Challenge Cup that EPBF organize with the Billiard Congress of America”.

Starting on the 28th November, the teams will play different formats in individuals, doubles and teams’ races to six in order to win points for their team. The first team to win 11 points will be crowned ACC champions, you can watch this all live on the EPBF social media channels with more information to follow.

IBPF President David Morris said, “It’s great to have Simonis cloth and Aramith balls used for the Atlantic Challenge Cup again” Their equipment is truly a class act and one that the players appreciate at all our events. It means a great deal to our organization when these two companies, with so much respect in the industry, join us in our efforts to promote the youth sport. It will be another great event and I am really looking forward to it already”

Launched by the European Pocket Billiard Federation and the Billiard Congress of America in 2015, the Atlantic Challenge Cup pits the best of youth from Europe and America in a Mosconi Cup style event in a race to 11 with a possible 21 total matches. Six players on each team, four boys and two girls, will battle it out to see who will have the bragging rights across the Atlantic.

Press release issued by the EPBF/BCA.

More information can be found at atlanticchallengecup.com, our FB page or contact our press office, press@epbf.com

AAC



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