Pool scene across the Fens continues to thrive amid lockdown

PUBLISHED: 16:01 22 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:01 22 May 2020

Former world champion Andy Lucas from Wisbech is one of the many players taking part in livestream pool events during the lockdown. Picture: ARCHANT

Former world champion Andy Lucas from Wisbech is one of the many players taking part in livestream pool events during the lockdown. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Players from across Fenland’s pool community have kept their eye on the ball during the coronavirus pandemic thanks to one man’s idea.

Kelley Lewis has been broadcasting livestream pool events, running various leagues and tournaments from professional standard down to casual nights out.

Since the lockdown measures were imposed, Kelley has enabled players to interact and take part in pool events, including ex-world champion Andy Lucas from Wisbech as well as current England stars.

“It has become quite clear that for hospitality, local pubs and clubs there is no real sign of a light at the end of the tunnel,” Kelley said.

“Within a couple of weeks of lockdown, I had invested in new software and setup groups to invite players who have their own tables to compete and interact with one another, to play in online matches and competitions.

“Not everyone has the luxury of a pool table at home so we live stream a lot of the matches and tournaments so those who love pool can connect watch and interact.”

A 24-player league has been launched, which concludes on Sunday, May 31. The league runs along LDM XT rules, allowing players to compete against each other over video software as close to normal rules as possible.

As well as this, 16 of the most active UK players have competed in a cross-table, cross-country tournament where the winner faced a Spanish player in the Spanish equivalent of the tournament.

Kelley is pleased with the amount of reaction he’s got from running pool matches on the Lewis Digital Media Facebook page, and with hundreds of players getting involved, he believes this has connected more people together from across the pool scene.

“Wisbech and the surrounding area has an amazing pool community with hundreds of players competing in team leagues, singles leagues and KO tournaments not only in Wisbech but up and down the country,” he said.

“We run weekly drop in competitions, where every player is broadcast live to pot as many balls as they can with three lives and same format on a timer. We are getting around 20 -24 players each night.

“I think this is a good show of how a community can react in such a way to stay connected with each other in today’s digital world, where they can stay in touch, compete from the comfort of their own homes!”


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