Eastmoor pool ace on cue for bright future after GB 9-Ball Tour success

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A PIN-POINT potter from Wakefield is on cue to enjoy a successful career at the pool table after continuing his climb up the British rankings.

Chris Hall, from Eastmoor, has just finished his second season in the GB9-Ball Tour, Britain’s official 9-ball pool event, and has climbed up to 12th in the rankings thanks to his success throughout the year.

The 29-year-old brought the tour to a close with a second-placed finish in the GB9 Challenge Cup in Daventry earlier this month, being edged out 9-8 by Phil Burford in the final.

An event win would have brought his season to an end in fine fashion but Hall can look back on an impressive campaign - and look ahead to even more success in 2013.

“The tour is going to get bigger and better next year,” said Hall, who practices at Vegas Sports Bar on Stanley Road.

“There is interest from European players and they’re thinking about a change in the format so it’s exciting times.

“I’ve had a good year this year, against some professional players, and hopefully next year will prove even better.”

The GB9-Ball Tour is split into three sections, with Hall being in a 16-player pro tour as well as the main 148-player tour, which sees the 132 players from the amateur ranks included.

The Eastmoor potter finished fourth in the pro rankings thanks to one final appearance and three quarter-final appearances in his five event showings this year, and 12th overall from the main tour events.

His success has come in just his second year competing and with the help of Vegas Sports Bar and coach Lionel Payne.

“I started playing snooker when I was 16 at St Michaels’ Snooker Club,” said Hall.

“I found the going tough to be honest but took to 9-ball pretty quickly when I started playing at Vegas Sports Bar.

“I have to thank the owners there, Shoka Ali and Ian Wilcock, because they gave me a job there and in turn that helps me practice because I’m down at the club when I’m working.”

Hall won the snooker Yorkshire Pairs title with Payne, a World Snooker coach by trade, in 2010 and still racks up in snooker halls playing for Lofthouse Gate in the Wakefield Snooker League on Tuesday nights.

Payne, who has also helped coach South Elmsall’s Kelly Fisher, one of the best female pool players in the world, is setting-up his own Junior Academy at Vegas Sports Bar to help young players improve their game.

The sessions are due to start in January and anyone interested should contact him direct on 07767 636646 for more information and to sign up.

See this week’s Wakefield Express for all the latest sports news from around the district.