Awards night, January 28th, 2010

Photos courtesy of Roland Herrera and his assistants

Simonetta Herrera looks suitably happy to have won the closest Bristol Premier League title race on record, for her first major Bristol Backgammon honour. Second, third and fourth were Steffen Nowak, Stuart Mann (absent from the ceremony) and Phil CharltonSimonetta Herrera, Premier League champion

Steffen Nowak, Premier League runner-upPhil Charlton, Premier League fourth place
Premier Two had two parallel divisions for the second successive year, and Simon Hughes beat Marcus Wrinch in the title play-off. Marcus and the other players to gain automatic promotion -- Miles Farren and Neil Young -- were unable to be presentSimon Hughes, Premier Two champion
Chas Perry took the Conference League title, and was the only player who did enough to advance to the 2010 Premier League via that route. Malcolm Patterson was runner-upChas Perry, 2009 Conference championMalcolm Patterson, Conference runner-up
Bristol Backgammon Director Ian Tarr has waited a long time for his first major domestic honour. That wait ended when his late surge took him to the OGP title. Second and third were Gaz Owen and Simonetta Herrera, who is holding Gaz's trophy after the obligatory Awards Night deliberate mistakeIan Tarr, Open Grand Prix champion

Gaz Owen, Open Grand Prix runner-upSimonetta Herrera, Open Grand Prix third place
Intermediate entrants at the monthly grand prix tournaments were sparse in 2009. John Plummer won the May tournament in his only visit before December, when his return saw him do just enough to push Malcolm Patterson back into the IGP runner-up spot. Both players thus achieved Premier Status, although John's Hereford base was the major factor in his non-appearance on the night and the decision not to participate in the 2010 Premier LeagueMalcolm Patterson, Intermediate Grand Prix runner-up
Latest winners of the Consulting Doubles Grand Prix title were Stuart Mann and Lewis Young, who both missed the awards evening. Third and fourth placed Chas Perry and Tony Walters were there to pick up their prizes, howeverChas Perry, who took third place in the Consulting Doubles Grand PrixTony Walters, placed fourth in the Consulting Doubles Grand Prix
The inaugural Clock Tournament Grand Prix series saw the season dominated by the Herreras -- Roland and Simonetta taking first and second prizes respectivelyRoland Herrera, winner of the inaugural series of Clock Tournament Grand Prix eventsSimonetta Herrera, Clock Tournament Grand Prix runner-up
Simon Hughes' handicap of two (shortly to be reduced) was enough to make him a particularly formidable opponent in the 2009 Ed Turner sponsored Handicap Trophy, and he took the title by the narrowest of margins from second placed Peter Edwards, another absentee on the nightSimon Hughes, Handicap Trophy champion
The 2009 Intermediates Trophy title went to Tim Parker, whose season was severely hampered by working away from BristolTim Parker, Intermediate Trophy winner
The ninth Bristol Masters tournament saw Roland Herrera overcome Gaz Owen in the final. Both players are pictured with their awards (although don't look too closely at the engraving on Gaz's trophy!)Roland Herrera, winner of the ninth Bristol MastersGaz Owen, 2009 Bristol Masters runner-up
Paul Gilbertson has taken on the sponsorship of the Rookie of the Year award, and provided the winner with the best sponsored prize yet in the history of Bristol Backgammon. Winner Chas Perry had his accommodation and entry to BIBA's Bright 'n' Breezy event paid for by Paul with a contribution from BIBA's Michael Crane, plus the awards he is pictured with here. Chas was adjudged the winner, with Tim Parker getting an honourable mentionChas Perry, 2009's Bristol Backgammon Rookie of the Year
Roland Herrera is our other new sponsor, having taken on the 1000 to 1 awards. When he also decided to award a 50 bounty to the first player to exceed his own record sequence of thirteen wins in contributing competitions, he could scarcely have credited that Gaz Owen would come along immediately with an astonishing sequence of eighteen wins! And now Gaz, pictured with his award, has decided to continue in a similar vein by offering a 100 prize to the first player to exceed his new record sequence! Fat chance, you might say, but you just never knowGaz Owen receives the prize for his fantastic eighteen match winning sequence (conceptual odds 250,000 to 1) from sponsor Roland Herrera
2009 sees the end of Martin Hemming's sponsorship of the Most Improved Player award. While Richard Holness had a fine first season in Premier Two, the judges just gave Simon Hughes the nod for his transformation from Premier Two struggler to Premier Two champion. An interested onlooker makes sure she can be included in the photoSimon Hughes, adjudged the year's Most Improved Player
The prize for year end rankings leader has thus far been exclusively the domain of Stuart Mann. In 2009 Roland Herrera took the leadership from Stuart, and held onto itRoland Herrera, year end Bristol rankings leader
Two years ago Stuart Mann was presented with an award to commemorate his achievement in becoming the first player to record a century of Premier League wins. Now, two years later, two other players have reached the same milestone. Phil Charlton and Ian Tarr are pictured after receiving their awardsPhil Charlton and Ian Tarr, who became the second and third players respectively to win a century of Bristol Premier League matches within four weeks of one another
Three of our quarterly Lesters Trophy tournaments carry an additional reward in the form of a special memorial trophy. Gaz Owen won the March tournament to claim the Samuel Meade Memorial Shield, while both the Sarah Rosich Memorial Trophy (for the June tournament) and the John Chidgey Cup (for the December tournament) went to Ian Tarr in 2009Gaz Owen, Samuel Mead Memorial Shield winnerIan Tarr, Sarah Rosich Memorial Cup and John Chidgey Cup winner
Our regular Monday sessions now feature three four-monthly competitions, featuring various short format events. The Spring, Summer and Autumn Grand Prix competitions (Bristol Backgammon has no winter!) were won by Ian Tarr (one) and Roland Herrera (two)Ian Tarr, Monday Club Spring Grand Prix winnerRoland Herrera, Monday Club Summer and Autumn Grand Prix winner
And here's the group who were present for the ceremonyThe assembled throng

Photos courtesy of Roland Herrera and his assistants

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