The Canadian Billiards & Snooker Association is pleased to announce that our national English Billiards affiliate, the Winnipeg Veterans’ English Billiards League will once again be hosting the 2017 Vimy Ridge Classic in association with World Billiards at Canada’s most venerable veterans organization at the Anavets Assinaboia Unit #283 club in Winnipeg, Manitoba!
The Vimy Ridge Classic is a Level 3 World Ranking event with £2,000+ in prize money and full world ranking points. It is played in the timed format and acts as a warm-up event for the main event, a Level 5 Major World Ranking event with £8,000 prize money and double ranking points.
This is the third bi-annual hosting of this event for the WVEBL and, like in years past, this tournament will be attracting a number of world-class international players from the UK, India and, for the first time, a player all the way from Australia. Returning to Winnipeg for the third time:
Mike Russell is the pre-eminent proponent of the modern game of English Billiards. Born in 1969, Mike received his early billiards training in the Teesside Boys Billiards League with coaching from former BBC snooker commentator and billiards enthusiast Jack Karnehm (whose billiards training videos can still be found on YouTube). Mike became the youngest ever world champion in billiards at age 18, and has accumulated more world championships than any other player in the post-war modern era of billiards. He is one of only a very few players to generate a break of more than 1,000 points in the modern era. Mike is currently the national snooker and billiards coach in Malaysia, and is a third time visitor to Winnipeg, having won each of the two previous editions of the Americas Cup in 2013 and 2015.
Rob Hall was born in 1984 and lives in Norton Disney, Lincolnshire, England where he helps manage and operate his family’s inn and convention centre along with his parents and brother. Rob has been a multiple English Amateur billiards champion, and was a finalist in the 2015 World Championships of Billiards in Leeds. He plays recreationally in the Lincoln & District League, where he sports a handicap of -800 in a league similar to the WVEBL. His highest break in competition was over 500 points, and he has managed a break of over 1,000 in practice. Rob is a third time visitor to Winnipeg, having won each of the two previous editions of the Vimy Ridge Classic tournament in 2013 and 2015.
Dhruv was born in 1972 and lives in Mumbai, India where he works for the Oil & Natural Gas Corporation. He took up billiards at the relatively late age of 22, but in a country where billiards is said to be the second most popular sport after cricket, has become one of the stars of the game. Dhruv won the Asian Billiards Championship in both 2015 and 2016, and was a finalist in the World Billiards Championship at Leeds in both 2010 and 2016. His highest break in competition is 654. Dhruv is also a third time visitor to Winnipeg, having appeared in the two previous editions of the Vimy Ridge Memorial and the Americas Cup in 2013 and 2015. In the 2015 Americas Cup, Dhruv became the first cueist ever to complete a Long Up format match of 400-up in his first visit to the table, compiling a break of 400 points under the Baulk Line Rule.