The ‘Golden 8 Ball’ was started by Rob Pearce and Sharon Griffiths as a small family business venture back in 2010.
Inspired by other prestigious tournaments such as the Grand National in France and BAPTO, the Golden 8 Ball vision became a reality thanks to Rob’s existing involvement in the cue sports industry.
2011 – The first ever G8B event was hosted at Blackpool’s Norbreck Castle Hotel in June but only attracted 28 teams, even after extensive promotion and marketing. Heavy financial losses were made, casting doubts over the feasibility of the tournament. But feedback from players that attended was so positive, we felt it had potential. Listening to player’s feedback, we decided to improve the tournament and put on a second event. It was a big gamble.
2012 – The gamble paid off. Entries grew to 56 teams, and from that year, we knew the tournament had a potential future, even though it was still running at a financial loss. The 2012 event was a great success and players started spreading the word. Sharon started a Facebook Group and the Golden 8 Ball community was born.
2013 – Greene King became involved, submitting 14 teams and giving the event a boost. This time a total of 97 teams entered and the event cemented itself on the pool calendar. Held the same weekend, each year, at the Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool.
2014 – We partnered with BAPTO and purchased 34 SAM Atlantic tables, covered in Hainsworth Precision cloth and graced with Super Aramith Pro balls, to give our players – ‘The Ultimate Playing Experience’. The event continued its growth pattern with 127 teams attending.
2015 – The weekend continued to grow in popularity and a record breaking 135 teams attended. This year a Junior Singles trophy was introduced and we invested in more tables and a new website.
2016 – Golden 8 Ball fever had taken hold and word of the event had spread as far as Malta and Spain. The tournament filled within a few days of opening team registrations, with many teams reluctantly turned away as we didn’t have the capacity to take more. A new record 144 teams attended the weekend, with many more wanting to enter. 42 tables were now in use and Specsavers had become official sponsors of the referees. We employed the services of Biscuit Media to make the 2016 Promotional Video and capture the atmosphere of the Golden 8 Ball and spirit of its players. Watch player interviews HERE
2017 – The ‘Festival of Pool’ was launched to accommodate growing demand. The Golden 8 Ball would now be held over two weekends, back to back, with an Amateur only weekend and then the original Golden 8 Ball weekend. These were named ‘The Amateur Series’ and ‘The Pro-Am Series’. A total of 203 teams attended, with 75 in the Amateur Series – not bad for its first year. The new festival format worked, encouraging amateur players to come and experience the fun of the Golden 8 Ball for the first time. It also attracted more professional players, including the world famous cue sports player Tony Drago, who attended the Pro-Am series with teams from Malta.
2018 – Festival of Pool is happening again, with the introduction of a Special Needs event. Our ethos is ‘Pool for All’. We want the Golden 8 Ball to appeal to players of all skill levels and ability. We hope to populate this space with positive news and developments after June 2018.