Had a fantastic time from start to finish. All the pros that came in went down a treat with the locals and we raised we reckon over £1000 with more to follow.
Thanks to everyone that came down and in particular Adrian Baraclough who saw what we were doing and helped turn it from a one table snookathon to a full on snooker festival lasting from 1pm till 1am with all 3 tables in play solidly between those times.
I'll try to write more but fact is I've been awake for the last 37 hours and can't even think straight at the moment! Main thing for me is that after the first couple of hours I found my range and pretty much kept it up until about half 7 this morning when I lost it completely and couldn't string more than 2 pots together, and then it was a battle to the line. I was flagging badly about 9pm last night but had a pick me up in the form of vodka red bull and about 20 minutes after sinking that I was right back into it and zoned in, I think I peaked from 3am-6am which wasn't bad going considering I'd been playing for 16 or more hours up till that point! I can't imagine how bad it would've been if I was playing rubbish but I was loving it and that made the hours fly by and I think Jim was struggling at times with his form but I pulled him out of it by staying focussed on the snooker, and by the end he wasn't missing.
We had the marathon table in the middle with things going on on the outside tables. We had a rule that either me or Jim had to be on the marathon table at all times and we were only each allowed a maximum of 2 frames out before returning and we kept that up throughout. We were also playing others on the outside tables a lot of the time as well so it was far from being a 12 hours each athon, plus we spent a lot of hours total with both of us on the marathon table.
The spell from 1am when everyone left was quality because our mate Alex the muscles stuck around until a team mate of me and Jim called Andy finished his night shift and took over about 6am. Alex watched us and played a few frames when one of us needed a break and Jims girlfriend Faye hung around for moral support and made us cups of coffee and vodka red bulls. We had music on the laptop which caused a few arguments (nothing more annoying than putting something on and trying to play a frame only to see one of the others when you're down on the shot head to the laptop and look for something else to put on before the first track had even reached the good bit! And we were all at it!).
When the Shanghai final came on we had that on the screen as well and one overriding memory will be stopping play when Higgins was on 56 and watching the rest of the maximum and cheering when he potted the black after something disturbed him when he first got down on the shot. What bottle! That was inspirational for a couple of frames afterwards and lifted our games.
As we got inside the last hour a feeling of elation came out in our games and we both got another wind and started enjoying it again for the home stretch. We also had to cope with the delirium and brain freeze making us take on the wrong shots and forget the scores and lose count on the breaks. The funniest part was when Jim announced he was taking on a cross double (in reference to Mike Hallett) and hit it quite hard and when the double missed he called "treble" and that missed and then he called "quadruple" and it just reached the middle pocket. As the white had travelled up and down the table before the ball dropped I tried to say "that was a double cross quadruple" because the white had twice crossed in front of the object ball, but it was like a really hard tongue twister and I couldn't say it, and Jim knew what I meant and he tried to say it but he couldn't either and then I finally got it right and we couldn't stop laughing for about 10 minutes which meant we had to abandon play for a bit to calm ourselves because neither of us could cue up for laughing. Total delirium in action!
Anyway to finish for now, the whole day was about raising money for 6 year old Blaise who has terminal cancer and he made an appearance and stayed for a couple of hours with his brothers and cousin Jo who is the same age as him and is also Jim's niece.
They stopped Blaises treatment because they know his cancer is too far gone and can't be fixed, and his family want him to have quality of life for what's left of it, so his hair has grown back and he looks like a normal kid and he was playing hide and seek with the others and running around and loving watching the snooker. You can tell the other kids all think the world of him and it is devastating to think how they're all going to cope over the coming weeks, months and years and lifetimes. It is all very upsetting and it's really hard writing this at the moment because it's impossible to understand how absolutely cruel and totally unfair it is that this poor little lad and his family have such a death sentence hanging over them. 6 years old is no age for a lifetime.
We were all glad to see them because it gave us extra incentive to finish the job and raise as much as we possibly could to at least try to help the family have some good lasting memories of Blaise before he's too ill to do the things in life he deserves to do. And obviously this isn't an isolated case, it's just close to home for Jim and therefore me as we're good mates which is why we wanted to set up the online thing to help others in a similar situation.
So thanks to all that donated and the site is still taking donations http://www.justgiving.com/Snooker-Island
so if you've only just come across this and want to chip in then please do.
Right, I think I need about 20 hours kip. I'll stick some photos up in the next couple of days when I get chance.