Barry Pinches is anticipating the “hardest game he has ever played” when he faces his son, Luke, at Q School in Burton on Wednesday. Once ranked as high as 18th in the world, Barry dropped off the main tour at the end of his 26th campaign as a professional in 2015/16. He’ll hope to move a step closer to getting back into the zone while son Luke, 17, has never competed on the World Snooker Tour before and is hoping to secure his maiden berth on the sport’s elite circuit.
Pinches Snr faced seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry at the 2004 World Championship in the Crucible and was only defeated 13-12, but he says a Q-School best-of-seven with his son is the most daunting snooker match he will have played. “I played Luke in a pro-am in Brighton once and beat him 4-2. But this is obviously a completely different situation because Q-School is such an important event,” he said. “At the pro-am I tried to treat him like any other opponent, then afterwards I gave him some advice on shot selection. “Throughout my career I have always tried to treat every match the same and give every opponent respect, but this will be very difficult. It will be the hardest game I have ever played.” Pinches says he’d normally give his son a 20-point start, though he admits the teenager is now more than good enough to beat him anyway.
At 47, Pinches is desperate for another show at the main tour, given how things have changed drastically under Barry Hearn’s guidance of the game. “I’d love to have another crack at the pro tour. When I was on the circuit before it was expensive, but now they have got rid of entry fees and the prize money is going up every year. There is a lot happening in the sport now under Barry Hearn.”