Judd Trump beat Graeme Dott 3-2 in the Group Six final of BetVictor Championship League Snooker to book his place in March’s big-money Winners’ Group.
It’s the perfect warm up for Trump ahead of next week’s Dafabet Masters where he defends his title.
World number one Trump won four of his six Group Phase games to reach the play-offs at the Morningside Arena, Leicester. Live coverage of the event is available on a host of betting websites and on zhibo.tv, one of the biggest sports streaming platforms in China.
In the semi-finals Trump defeated John Higgins 3-1, with breaks including an 82 and a 96. He fell behind to Dott in the Group Final but levelled with a 73 break and then moved ahead with a 59. Dott’s 72 break in the fourth forced a decider, but Trump sealed the win with a 120, which could have been a maximum had he not missed the yellow from its spot.
“I’m pleased to get the win; it gives me some confidence for the Masters and means I am into the Winners’ Group,” said Trump, who also took home the £500 group high-break prize for a 145 made against Joe Perry.
“I haven’t played by best but it’s always nice to get the win. I made a few centuries, played well in patches but also missed a few easy balls. I always love playing the Championship League, it’s always good to be involved and everyone wants to win when they come here.”
Dott had trailed Dave Gilbert 2-0 in their semi-final clash but turned things around to level at 2-2 before making a 140 in the decider to reach his second group final of the season; he’d lost to Scott Donaldson in the Group Four showpiece.
Dott, Gilbert, Higgins and Williams will return for Group 7 in March. Joe Perry and Mark King have been eliminated from the competition having finished sixth and seventh on the league table.
BetVictor Championship League Snooker is a venture between Matchroom Sport and Perform where 25 of the game’s elite players compete for their share of a total prize pot of up to £205,000.
Each of the seven players faces each other once in the round-robin group stage, after which the top four players in the league table progress to Thursday evening’s play-offs. The eventual group champion advances to Winners’ Group in March with the remaining players who finished in the top five during the league phase continuing to group three later this month, where three new players join the tournament.
The bottom two players in each group phase are eliminated. All matches are best of five.
Group Seven begins at 11am on Monday, March 2. Live scoring can be found at www.wst.tv. Group fixtures and results and details of how to watch can be found at http://www.championshipleaguesnooker.co.uk/.
Follow BetVictor Championship League on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and scores from Morningside Arena, Leicester.
Graeme Dott 2–3 Judd Trump
66-5 (65), 26-86 (73), 11-65 (59), 82-35 (72), 0-120 (120)
Judd Trump 3-1 John Higgins
82-38 (82), 96-0 (96), 0-89 (61), 67-30
Dave Gilbert 2-3 Graeme Dott
60-18 (60), 49-12, 51-64, 8-78 (74), 0-140 (140)