Hi everyone, I've just got back from the Welsh Open where I lost 4-2 to Cao Yupeng. He finished off with back-to-back century breaks, so no complaints really. The set-up in Newport was fantastic and because there were only four tables it really made you feel like part of the event.
The week before I had a great win 5-4 over Liang Wenbo to qualify for the China Open at the end of March. It will be my second time in China this season after the Shanghai Masters, and I am really looking forward to getting out there again. With it being Beijing I am hoping to see the Great Wall at some point, although there won't be too much spare time as the World Championship qualifiers start a couple of days after it finishes.
Recently we had a big exhibition night at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds where I play, with Steve Davis. It was a fantastic night and brought back a lot of good memories from similar nights when I was younger.
I can remember playing Dennis Taylor and Joe Johnson and just being in awe of them. Joe split the pack up from behind and I made a break of about 30, which felt like about 100 at the time! My dad still has it on film. When you look back they are just one frame and don't mean much in the scheme of things, but they are such a good experience and seeing the young lads playing Steve brought back some good feelings.
The night with Davis was part of the celebration of 40 years of the Northern Snooker Centre. It was one of the first modern snooker centres to open and welcome women and children.
On the night, Steve unveiled a plaque that officially renamed the arena the Paul Hunter Matchroom, and a number of Paul's family and friends were there to see his father donate his Masters trophy to the club for display.
There are already a number of memorials to Paul, most notably the Paul Hunter Classic tournament in Germany, but it will be nice to have a permanent tribute to a great player sadly missed in not only Leeds but throughout the snooker world.
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