The introduction of the UK Pool Tour in 2012 was a major success for the sport in terms of interest from amateur level players and the quality of the events.
Without doubt the Open Draw format for the main Tour event and the Challenge event proved to be a major benefit to the members, plus the exclusion of Premier League players from entering the Challenge event. Prize monies in each event were spread amongst the players with everyone having a fair chance to be amongst the prize winners.
Introducing the Premier League a year early, it was intended not to start until 2013, was also a massive success story. Not only the players who were placed in the initial league have benefited from the early start, but the incentive for everyone involved on the tour to gain a place in the 2013 Premier League was a major feature of the entire tour.
Such was the success of the inaugural UK Tour that the organisers were caught napping in their valuation of the interest for membership in the 2nd year.
With the majority of the amateur tour members being of a similar skill level last year there has been an encouragement for players to seek membership for 2013 which has resulted in a dilemma for the organisers, “Too Many Applicants”. What a problem to have.
Venues were booked prior to the massive entry received which may result in under 200 entrants being able to play on next year’s tour, an increase of around 30% from the 2012 level. Entries are still arriving with applicants now at over 215, and more arriving every week. Any applicant who is not successful in gaining membership in 2013 will be contacted.
Organisers are again looking at increasing the number of tables at the 2013 tour venues to ensure all applicants are catered for but it is not going to be an easy problem to solve.
Discussions are already taking place with venues to allow an increase in entrants for 2014 to a level over 220 players which will enable the prize fund to be about £130,000 for 2014 plus the introduction of television for the play-off stages of the Premier League.
The “Festival of Pool” at Tour 2, Easter weekend, will be launched early January.
A big thank you to the members of the English Pool Association and everyone who is supporting the 2013 UK tour, the largest and best Eightball tour for amateur pool players.
UK Tour events will again be played in 4 Star hotels, using Supreme Tables, with Strachan quality fabric and top class Aramith Balls plus SKYSPORTS and World Rules.