Pool player in frame for worlds

Queenstown’s Simon Singleton on his way to winning the South Island singles title last Saturday....
Queenstown’s Simon Singleton on his way to winning the South Island singles title last Saturday. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Champion Queenstown pool player Simon Singleton’s in good nick for two upcoming tournaments in Blackpool, England — including next week’s World Eightball Pool Federation champs at which he’s captaining New Zealand’s men’s team.

The 41-year old’s warmed up by playing four tournaments in NZ over three weeks.

In the first, the South Island Superleague, he lost the singles final to his pairs partner at the worlds, Christchurch’s Adam Lilley.

He then won a singles title in Palmerston North, then the North Island pairs for the third year in a row with Havelock North’s Bayden Jackson.

Singleton then took out the South Island singles title in Invercargill last Saturday.

He and Lilley are wildcard entries in a televised Ultimate Pool singles event running in Blackpool from tomorrow till Sunday.

The 10-day world champs, contested by 17 countries, then start on Tuesday.

It’s NZ’s first time at these worlds in 25 years.

Unfortunately, because it’s partly self-funded, not all of NZ’s best players are going.

Kiwis, Singleton adds, also aren’t used to the different-sized balls that’ll be used — he got used to them playing Australia’s Pockets Pro Series last year, where he won two events and finished fourth.

He thinks he and Lilley should go well as a pairing, however.

Ironically, Singleton — who moved to Queenstown in 2010 — says Blackpool’s just half an hour away from Preston, where he grew up.

In those days, however, he only played snooker — "I only started playing pool in NZ, really".