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20 Jan 17 21:28
Date Joined: 13 Jul 05
| Topic/replies: 4,339 | Blogger: BornToWin's blog
... the average age of the semi finalists.

42 - Journeyman Joe, strived for years for crumbs from the top table now suddenly on £300k+ a year.
41 - Ronnie O' no not another outburst, a shadow of the guy who could hardly win a world title until the way was cleared.
39- Marco Who? Ranking final every 10 years or so... oh wait now a regular.
37- Barry I find a bit of an enigma certainly has a clincher's disease though.

Standards are as low as they have perhaps ever been. Robbo, Ding, Allen, and Murphy are all particularly devoid of minerals. The remainder of the top 10 are ball run bucket pocket champ Bingham, the fading John Higgins (thanks for buckets Bazza I like cash), Judd (boy I can pot, why can't I win?).

Selby is an interesting one, keep thinking he will go on to dominate majorly but then gets Bazza'ed like he did today.

Kyren Wilson has a shout I suppose, but he's 25 - king Hendry VII had about 4 world titles by then.

So, who else is coming through aged 25 or under? Erm, em, eh, Luca Brecel!?

The game is in a serious decline, but the show must go on!
Show More
Report peckerdunne January 20, 2017 10:51 PM GMT
A good and correct post.............

Said so a number of years ago and it just gets worse...
Report gentlemanjohn January 20, 2017 11:13 PM GMT
The game has gone haywire over the past 10-15 years, grandads taking over and no young players coming through. And instead of doing anything about it, the games rulers, cheered on by the bbc keep telling us that the standard has never been higher. I heard parrot and doherty talking yesterday as if this was one of the best masters tournaments ever. Hazels interview with barry hearn yesterday made me want to kick the tv screen in. Their complacency is sickening.
Report thegiggilo January 20, 2017 11:33 PM GMT
Absolute trash worst masters in history,why would anyone remember the masters of 2017 think three or four of us have been saying the same thing for years on here,yet 90% of the posters,mainly fanboys were saying standards were rising I see they have all disappeared.I see they're going on about record centurys again at the masters,really is nauseating stuff
Report ccd January 21, 2017 12:31 AM GMT
See my post 'Its like Last of the Summer Wine...' We need some new stars. Time for Barry to wildcard one promising new YOUNG player into each tournament or SOMETHING!

I don't know what the answer is - maybe the game has skipped a generation.

Maybe this is about the wider problem of an ageing population. If you read the Guardian you will know how bad the 'millennials' have it - horrific debts, never go out, no hope, no future. The baby boomers are coining it and the kids are basically finished.
Report Platini January 21, 2017 12:31 AM GMT
all part of the dumbed down society im afraid

we've had dumbed down politics and dumbed down media. why not dumbed down sports?  Sad
Report ccd January 21, 2017 12:50 AM GMT
I watch the BBC coverage and see millionaire after millionaire talking about the game that made them. I really hope I am right in imagining they are doing there bit to water the grassroots.
Report gentlemanjohn January 21, 2017 12:56 AM GMT
Dont know about the rest, but i will say doherty has a good club in dublin which encourages kids to join and play on reduced rates. Sure, he's a canny businessman, (they dont call him crafty for his snooker skills) but he does care and is making an effort. Just saddens me to hear him trot out the party line so often when deep down i think he knows the truth.
Report ccd January 21, 2017 12:57 AM GMT
You get the truth more from Hendry - he is less of company man I think.
Let's make hats saying 'make snooker great again'
Report jed.davison January 21, 2017 12:58 AM GMT
What kind of hats?
Report ccd January 21, 2017 12:59 AM GMT
Big ones!
Report jed.davison January 21, 2017 1:06 AM GMT
I always like to play snooker in a hat. I've got a fetching pork-pie hat I wear to the pub which houses my favourite pool table locally. But I'd play snooker in a beanie. I've never really got into nine-ball, but I could see myself settling on a fez if I did.
Report gentlemanjohn January 21, 2017 1:08 AM GMT
Anything but a trilby..look how twattish those guys look on sky when they show the golf trilby tour...
Report jed.davison January 21, 2017 1:13 AM GMT
The trilby is the favoured headwear of buffoons, gentlemanjohn.
Report jed.davison January 21, 2017 1:17 AM GMT
Curiously I have been talking about Jacob Rees-Mogg on the politics thread just now, and he has argued that people who are authorised to issue on-the-spot fines should have to wear bowler hats.
Report thegiggilo January 21, 2017 1:44 AM GMT
Maybe the way forward get o'sullivan and nookie bear to wear fez's in sundays final,evertime they knock in a ton can turn to the crowd and say ''just like that''!
Report moondan January 21, 2017 8:35 AM GMT
Dennis and Stephen in commentary.

Hendry  "the players are saying the pockets are playing Generous"  slight pause from Dennis " well they covered the cushions yesterday.

Hendry   "I am only saying what the players are talking about"

It was quite obvious Dennis wanted to get off this subject and I could hear him thinking, " For f--ks sake Stephen your rolling in money,
please shut the f-ck up"

Earlier in the day hEARN stated that if you give the fans what they want snooker will thrive.

Meanwhile Davis and his Parrot continue to plumb new depths with the worst ever commentaries in the history of the game.

In the old days at Wembley you could go to the dogs on a friday and Monday if snooker finished really early, now under Hearn he has taken snooker to the dogs full time.
Of course the fanboys are loving it but what do they know? Ignorance is bliss they say but they are the real enemy of the game. It should be compulsery for them to wear the fanboy badge at all tournaments.

While this is organised the rest of us should pelt shXthead Hearn with lumps of it.
Report johnnythebull January 21, 2017 9:15 AM GMT
can't recall seeing tighter pockets in an event for a long timeWink
Report peckerdunne January 21, 2017 1:12 PM GMT
In the old days at Wembley you could go to the dogs on a friday and Monday if snooker finished really early, now under Hearn he has taken snooker to the dogs full time.

LOL.........Not bad for a banjaxed old timer............Laugh
Report BornToWin January 21, 2017 1:46 PM GMT
Some of the near jaw slide ins are embarrassing. Even into the middle bags at reasonable pace.
Report thegiggilo January 21, 2017 4:38 PM GMT
Looks like the fanboy nookie bear finals on another 10-2 drubbing..
Report ZenMaster January 21, 2017 8:50 PM GMT
Are younger players less dedicated than the older guard>?  let's not just focus on table conditions, because this is all about mindset.

Young kids taking up the game are not handling the pressure or discipline as they did. There must be something in this.

Perhaps the pressure of not making it becomes too much for them. I mean what do they have to fall back on these days? a customer service job on £7.20, prospects look weak.
30 years ago if the snooker didn't work out, you would still get a job running a club perhaps, but not these days.

We are not breeding tough nut players. Is this an effect from generation snowflake?
Report BornToWin January 21, 2017 9:32 PM GMT
The money available should dictate that it is an attractive proposition to become a top snooker player.

The journey is too long I guess, not all top snooker players are great overnight.

Today's quick fix generation could see the next Steve Davis jack it in after 1 frame.
Report thegiggilo January 21, 2017 11:29 PM GMT
thegiggilo 21 Jan 17 01:44  

Maybe the way forward get o'sullivan and nookie bear to wear fez's in sundays final,evertime they knock in a ton can turn to the crowd and say ''just like that''

To easy this game....Cool
Report moondan January 22, 2017 1:08 AM GMT
Zen, its a case of where have all the snooker clubs gone, places to play the game or have the time and money to learn, its not cheap, so unless your daddies rich its almost impossible.
Running a pub or a snooker hall is a  quick way to an early grave. Property is far too expensive now and space is in short supply so its not going to get cheaper anytime soon and it has to pay its way.
The kids are into all the fancy games on computers or such, its a different world now.
When I was going to the tournaments it was mostly older folks and even in the 80s unless Alex was playing you could count the faces on 2 hands until it got to the quarters.
Snookers fan base in those days was mums at home or dads out of work but very few young lads, they would rather chase girls.

Snooker is china bound the tv companies are giving it one last go but unless viewing figures improve drastically then its difficult to make the argument for them
Snooker once had a season but now Hearn has it wall to wall with tournaments that are worthless and overkill is a worry.
Anyway hope I am wrong.
By the way I do agree with your point about Reardon.
Report ZenMaster January 22, 2017 7:31 PM GMT
Snooker is a unique game as you know Moondan, but one factor which is overlooked or taken for granted is how a snooker player is under the spotlight and how a shy/self conscious character may suffer.

It is a game where all eyes are on you for quite lengthy periods of time, just you with a crowd looking down and judging everything you do. Most individual sports alternate strike, golf, darts, tennis, squash etc. The crowd's interest diverts away quite quickly from one player to another but in snooker the players are under pressure and focus for long periods of time as they display their craft/art.

It takes a certain character to cope with this spotlight and expectation.  The Chinese culturally are quite introverted and shy in front of crowds, so although they will produce technically proficient players, the question is how many of those will be confident enough in front of a crowd to really shine.
Report moondan January 22, 2017 8:19 PM GMT

I think you have hit the nail on the head with the chinese.  I keep hearing how they will take over the game but snooker has been big in china for at least 30 years and Ding seems to confirm your view.
For quite a while I thought Ding may be controlled if you understand what I mean and he did what he was told but maybe you are totally right, not that makes me feel any better, he has cost me a fortune.Cry

Shame Perry has collapsed,  another costly enterprise for me.
Report gentlemanjohn January 22, 2017 8:31 PM GMT
There was definitely too much hype around the chinese from the likes of davis and parrot, but look at it another way: imagine a group of 14 or 15 year old british kids having to decamp to china in order to try and make it in the pro ranks? How do you think they'd fare, no matter how talented some of them were? Would they all make an instant breakthrough? I seriusly doubt it.

If it gets to the stage, and it surely will, where chinese players can feasibly stay at home and still play on the full tour, then i think we'll see more coming through. Might take a few years though.

Moondan, you lost on ding last year even though he was availbe to back at 40s and beyond on here, and Perry who started the week around 100 or thereabouts. Is it around time, do you thin, you thought about trying to master the modern art of trading Wink
Report gentlemanjohn January 22, 2017 8:34 PM GMT
Plus, i dont buy the shyness/introvert angle for one second. Being withdrawn and introverted didn't prevent Davis or Hendry from being 2 of the 3 best players of all time.
Report Platini January 22, 2017 9:00 PM GMT
Ding is just very average. Gotta be someone better than him from China.
Report gentlemanjohn January 22, 2017 9:09 PM GMT
If Liang had a safety game, he'd be comfortably ahead of Ding. Can't see him every developing one though
Report moondan January 22, 2017 9:11 PM GMT

I only got a computer about 14 years ago for my kids when they left primary and though they have tried to help me with its mystery's they  tell me I am too thick and they are right.

I spent my whole working life doing maths in my head and on paper and have no time for the modern ways. I do cover my bets if possible if I think its worthwhile.
I sometimes wish that Betfair was around in 62 but too old and too thick to take advantage now but I do understand where you are coming from.

I have never thought about Davis or Hendry being introverted just dedicated and single minded but perhaps you are right.
Report gentlemanjohn January 22, 2017 11:01 PM GMT
Ha no worries moondan, i'm a traditionalist in many ways myself but i know i'd be totally lost without the exchanges and the myriad ways it allows you to cover bets. Only problem is its often too tempting to start shifting positions when the sensible thing is jsut to leave well enough alone and let your bet play out. I too wish they had been around 10-20 years sooner....a decade of pay packets might have been saved from my grateful local independent!!

As for introverted snooker players, i'm not actually convinced there's any major correlation between personality and career achievement. I was merely picking up on a point zen made above which did not make sense to me. But as a generalisation, it does seem to me that players like Davis or Hendry (and i'd probably add Ronnie to that list) who were not outgoing characters were able to flourish while if you compiled a list of the game's under-achievers, i bet it would be top heavy with flamboyant, in your face characters. That's all really.
Report ZenMaster January 23, 2017 12:10 AM GMT
You are right john that Davis was very shy as a teenager, and Hendry is more than likely an introvert. It is a game full of introverts and probably the chosen sport for the introvert as you can practice alone with limited social interaction. Introverts excel at the game.

Yet the introvert then has to somehow perform in front of 2,000 people and the cameras. It's a unique game and the introvert somehow has to hold himself together under the spotlight. For every introvert that can do this, there are thousands that would fold under that pressure.

As i have said before, on the practice table there is very little between most of the players, it's about producing it when you are under pressure and feeling self-conscious.
Davis and Hendry proved their metal, let's see if the Chinese introverts can produce the same metal.
Report ZenMaster January 23, 2017 12:13 AM GMT
By the way, many players who are in your face characters are actually in character, and are natural introverts putting on a mask.
This could be one for the psychological researchers.
Report gentlemanjohn January 23, 2017 1:01 PM GMT
Zen, i agree with yoru last post certainly. Wouldn't surprise me if Alex was a true introvert at heart, he was certainly a shy and awkward teenager anyway. What kind of person would he have been without drink? Impossible to know i suppose...

However, i remain to be convinced there's much in this introverted angle. I think there are other reasons why chinese players might be struggling to make the breakthrough in greater numbers, including cultural as i outlined above. Maybe the youth coaching set-up over there isn't up to scratch as most of these guys seem easy pickings for the hardened match players they encounter when they hit the UK. I dont know to be honest.

Anyway, for what it's worth, here's my amateur cod psychology theory on introversion and sporting success. I think being shy and retiring can be a major impediment in team sports where a timid guy is more likely to leave the fireworks to more confident or assertive team-mates. How many talented soccer players fail to fulfil their potential because they were unable to assert themselves, found it too easy to retreat to the comfort of the pack and leave others to finish the job? Not for nothing is the out and out goalscorer the hardest breed of all to find in football. Counter-intuitively, it is not human nature to push ourselves forward for those glory roles, but essentially to want the safe, comfortable existence of the pack mentality.

Conversely, the guy playing on his own does not have that option. He knows nobody else is going to do the job for him and perhaps that helps him to be more single-minded and determined in pursuit of hsi goal. Introverted people are very independent minded, thus eminently suited for the demands of an individual sport. If they have the talent and have put the work in, like a davis or a hendry, there is no reason why they should suffer lack of confidence or belief on the biggest stages. In fact, i think the opposite is more likely to hold true if anything.

On a practical level, an introvert would be very unlikely to be found tweeting from his dressing room during the interval of a world championship game. In fact, the true introvert would have no business being on that stupid medium in the first place!
Report ZenMaster January 23, 2017 1:30 PM GMT
Interesting john, but do the Chinese truly feel independent when playing in a match? Does Ding feel the weight of China on his shoulders because he is Chinese and part of 'team China" and will this effect every other Chinese player. Perhaps it's the combination of introvert and pressure of representing China that is tougher to handle than truly independent players like the ageing British players?

I also have a doubt the individual decision making of the Chinese players, culturally they follow orders to fine detail. Can they problem solve by themselves, under the spotlight with confidence without that infrastructure they are culturally accustomed to?

Matchplay requires confidence of commitment. Do they truly believe in their decision making?
Report moondan January 23, 2017 2:12 PM GMT
Some deep thinking here.

The only thing I would add is that I do believe Hendry and Davis are more selfish than most and hated losing more than anyone else.

Its very obvious to me that Davis hates giving Stephen any credit and never misses a chance to undermine what Stephen achieved.
It seems quite lost on Davis that Hendry was clearing the table probably better than anyone ever has and on more difficult conditions and it is still the Hendry standard.
If you listen to Davis and his Parrot they would have you believe the game has improved but its very difficult to believe when you look at Hendrys overall performances. 7 centuries in his 10-4 victory in the final of the uk in 94 a feat that nobody has come close to.

Re China where Hendry spends so much of his time now promoting the grass roots there the game will just get bigger and bigger and even today millions more play snooker than in the uk.
We are snookers spiritual home but in a few years China will be the powerhouse.
Report crepello January 23, 2017 5:47 PM GMT
ZenMaster    23 Jan 17 13:30 

I also have a doubt the individual decision making of the Chinese players, culturally they follow orders to fine detail. Can they problem solve by themselves, under the spotlight with confidence without that infrastructure they are culturally accustomed to?

If I may interject into your interesting discussion, I agree with the above comment by Zenmaster ....

The Chinese love to copy but can they let whatever talent they have come to the surface?

Surely we should have had more players from China by now - the present few are not up to it even against our old timers ...

That said, we really need some new UK blood and I cannot see where it is coming from - hopes for Judd are fading ......
Report moondan January 23, 2017 7:32 PM GMT
I must come to the defence of Ding even after falling victim to some of his lac lustre performances and very tempted to come to conclusions that are unprintable.
Funnily I had much the same disappointments with Ronnie back in the 90s where you wondered where his game had gone at times.

I think Ding has a game that is far more sophisticated than Liang though less watchable but its forgotten that him and Hendry are the only players that have won 5        in a season.
I think Ding is a genuine victim of what Zen and GentlemenJohn are exploring along with crepello, if others suffer the same it seems to me they are well hidden.
Regarding the lack of chinese players coming through, Hendry says its unbelievable the standard of some, perhaps there is only so many places on the tour and perhaps there is some protectionism at work even if none can be admitted.
Report moondan January 23, 2017 7:32 PM GMT
I must come to the defence of Ding even after falling victim to some of his lac lustre performances and very tempted to come to conclusions that are unprintable.
Funnily I had much the same disappointments with Ronnie back in the 90s where you wondered where his game had gone at times.

I think Ding has a game that is far more sophisticated than Liang though less watchable but its forgotten that him and Hendry are the only players that have won 5        in a season.
I think Ding is a genuine victim of what Zen and GentlemenJohn are exploring along with crepello, if others suffer the same it seems to me they are well hidden.
Regarding the lack of chinese players coming through, Hendry says its unbelievable the standard of some, perhaps there is only so many places on the tour and perhaps there is some protectionism at work even if none can be admitted.
Report moondan January 23, 2017 7:37 PM GMT
Should have said 5 ranking events.
Report gentlemanjohn January 24, 2017 3:16 PM GMT
Moondan, that's a very fair and warranted defence of Ding. I must admit the chap is a total enigma to me. For a guy who arrived in the UK as a 13 or 14 year old, in an alien environment and unable to speak the language, i think what he achieved was remarkable, but then he has looked so bad at times in recent years that i sometimes can't help wondering if all is well in his life or, even, if there are darker forces at play. I dont think i have ever come across a player with such a wide gap between his best and worst form, on any given day he can be either next to unplayable or, seemingly, hardly able to play. I doubt I'll ever figure him out really.
Report gentlemanjohn January 24, 2017 3:32 PM GMT
Also moondan, i like the term "deep thinking" which i have to admit is a rather charitable description of my inane ramblings at least Wink

But i'm yet to be convinced that there might be something in the Chinese psyche that woudl prevent them from being accomplished matchplay performers. For a start i think its too much of a stretch to reduce a population of 1bn to a single homogeneous mass, lacking the individualism to make important and wise decisions off their own bat. Liang, for one, does not fit the mould of the obedient, rigid conformist of popular imagination, not that he hasn't his own deep flaws as a player, of course. Perhaps Liang is simply an outlier, the exception proving the rule. I dont know about that.

Because, Ding apart, no Chinese player has broken through at the very top yet, I think it's way too soon to say there is a fundamental flaw in their make-up that is holding them back. By the same token, wouldn't you assume a rigid Communist enclave like the old Soviet Union would be less likely to produce great chess players (a "sport" comparable to snooker in the sense of making quick decisions and problem-solving), yet the fact is the Soviets produced the greatest grandmasters chess has ever known.

More deep-thinking or witless musing? Take your pick Confused
Report ZenMaster January 26, 2017 2:34 AM GMT
Getting back to the original point of the thread regarding the age of these players. To me it only proves that a mature matchplay game is the recipe for success, and that comes from experience.
Too much emphasis is put on the modern conditions and any generosity of pockets. Snooker is still about eeking out an error from your opponent and capitalising on it. These older players have spent a decade or two more educating themselves on shot selection and composure.

It had always been an old mans game until the 80's and then we had 2 excellent decades of young guns bursting through. Those young guns are now the old guard, and are maintaining solid matchplay form. The kids are struggling but hey, the same is happening in tennis as well. Look at the semi finalists in the Australian Open,out of 8 semi finalists across the men's and women's singles, 6 of the players are 30+ including a 35 (Federer), 36 (Venus), 35 (Serena) and 34 (Lucic-Baroni).
Report Latalomne January 26, 2017 1:51 PM GMT
Watched Jimmy White beat Sam Baird yesterday, and, to an extent, he's still got it!  Looked pretty decent in the balls still, and, were it not for a few ridiculous Baird flukes, he'd have beaten him more convincingly. 

The tennis thing is much freakier, IMHO, given the obvious difference in physical demands of snooker.
Report gentlemanjohn January 26, 2017 5:06 PM GMT
The tennis thing might be a bit freakish, but it's certainly an interesting development. There does seem to be something lacking in the current generation of young stars who repeatedly come up short when faced with the ultimate test and the missing ingredient seems to be bottle or something comparable. Their nerve seems to fail them on the critical points.

Its hard to put a finger on why the millenial generation is not faring better. Maybe its too much hard work and sacrifice for young kids now to try and forge their way to the very top, maybe they're just happy to coast to a certain level and enjoy whatever spoils that brings and get on with their comfortable lives. That's a harsh assessment but perhaps there's a grain of truth in it.

One thing i'll say for the 90s snooker generation is they were properly battle-hardened before they got to the pro ranks. They served their apprenticeships playing pro-ams and by travelling to clubs to play intense practise sessions against the likes of Davis and O'Sullivan. Higgins speaks about his dad driving him up to Hendry's club just to watch the great man practise. Those guys were ready to hit the ground running when the time came.

Those closer to the grass roots than me might tell me otherwise, but I dont think today's generation of young players get half as good a grounding as that.
Report BornToWin January 27, 2017 4:06 PM GMT
Well the final itself was 41 v 42, I would hazard a guess that one of the big 3 events hasn't seen an over 40 final for many, many years if at all. Maybe back to the Joe Davis days?

Some statto can give us the facts.

I think there is a basic lack of talent coming through, and it is imo undoubtedly due to the weak 'apprenticeships'.

As I say, the mental weakness of Robbo, Murphy, Allen and Ding in particular is amazing. They are established top 10. Sure they hold it together now and again (helped by opponents mainly, possibly each other) but would you bet on them?
Report trebor January 27, 2017 4:56 PM GMT
There was two finals in November where both finalists where over 40
Report gentlemanjohn January 27, 2017 5:47 PM GMT
The last time there was an over 40s masters final (a masters' masters!) was the very first final in 1975 - Spencer (40) v Reardon (43)

In the UK, Ronnie became only the third player over 40 to reach the final after Doug Mountjoy (46) in 1988 and Steve Davis (48) in 2005.

As for the worlds, Reardon (50) is the last over 40 to reach a final when he lost to Alex in '82. Reardon against Charlton in '75 is the last time two over 40s contested a World final. What odds a repeat in 2017?
Report trebor January 27, 2017 6:13 PM GMT
There may be a lack of talent coming through, youngsters would rather play computer games nowadays than the real thing is a big reason imo.

The ones that do come through play the wrong type of game, blame Hendry for that, he was exceptionally talented and could get away with his attacking style, or should I say, get away with it while on form and full of confidence. But even Hendry could not manage the attacking style as others learnt how to combat it, and then his confidence lessened.

If we take the "Big 5's" (Davis, Hendry, Higgins, Williams and O'Sullivan's) records against each other in finals, (finals because otherwise Hendry's and Davis's record would get worse as they struggled later in their career) then Hendry's record is not that good.







So Hendry's attacking play against the best was not that great, 44% win rate, Davis's safety game producing a 57% success and O'Sullivan's game yielding a 65% win rate. Higgins is 44% and Williams 41%.

Yet we get Hendry and others in commentary (how many tournaments did Mr 147 win?)telling players that they must attack and take every half chance that presents itself, imo that is the reason that Hendry's record against other top players is not that good, sure against a lesser player he would steamroller them, and they could not take advantage of any misses. But most of all I believe that it is the reason that Hendry's career was not that long, 10 /12 great years but then a fairly rapid decline, and that's 4 years before the broken cue incident. his record after the broken cue was only 1% worse.

I still think it is extremely close who is the GOAT, but one thing that I don't really get is the importance put on World Championships wins as a deciding factor. just as they do in Golf and Tennis, but snooker is completely different, and that is because they increase the number of frames in each match, the best player at the time now has more chance of winning and is probably under less pressure than in other tournaments? if they increased the number of rounds in major golf tournaments to 8, Nicklaus would probably won another 6 at least!

Finals bring with them pressure, seems strange that Hendry's record is poor and O'Sullivan's that much better as some people seem to think Ronnie is the poor one under pressure??
Report Latalomne January 27, 2017 6:20 PM GMT
Great post, Trebor!
Report BornToWin January 27, 2017 6:54 PM GMT
I did think Dracula would have been the man, I don't remember the 75 final as I was not yet hatched.

But the stats show it is pretty much unheard of for a major to be contested between two old fogies.
Report gentlemanjohn January 27, 2017 9:50 PM GMT
Interesting stuff as always trebor. Intriguing observations about Hendry and his attacking style, not sure how much i'd go along with it, but certainly some food for thought there.

I disagree on the importance of world titles. For me, they are and always will be the true acid test, followed closely by the other 2 majors. Hendry always spoke about his season being based around peaking for the big 3 events and i'm inclined to attach more weight to them than to all the other titles put together.

The golf comparison doesn't work for me, because 72 holes in golf is more than sufficient to sort the wheat from the chaff. You can have a bad round in a major, possibly throw in another dodgy half round too, and still be well in contention come back 9 sunday evening. A best of 7 or 9 in snooker does not afford you that luxury. The longer format is there for a reason, i can't even conceive the sport without it. I'm a bit surprised to be even arguing this to be honest.

So anyway, here's an alternative take, based on Hendry's record against the big 4 in the 3 majors, all matches included:

Hendry 6 Williams 7
Hendry 4 Higgins 2
Hendry  7  Davis 2
Hendry 6 O'sullivan 4

It's not surprising that it shows Hendry's record in a better light, winning records against all except, interestingly, Williams. Of course, the stats dont take into account players at various stages of their careers, a lot of nuances can be brought into the equation as we all know!
Report ZenMaster January 27, 2017 11:23 PM GMT
Very interesting chaps.

I have an interesting stat, considering Ronnie is considered the more fragile under pressure.
Hendry and O'Sullivan have met in 12 finals, this is the tally of victories in those finals:

O'sullivan 9 Hendry 3

Now then, Hendry can say he focused his season around the majors, but he should be up for any final, especially against his main rival and there is no excuse of being caught cold etc.
Report peckerdunne January 31, 2017 1:10 PM GMT
Good stuff.
Report crepello February 2, 2017 10:09 AM GMT
ZenMaster    27 Jan 17 23:23 
Very interesting chaps.

I have an interesting stat, considering Ronnie is considered the more fragile under pressure.
Hendry and O'Sullivan have met in 12 finals, this is the tally of victories in those finals:

O'sullivan 9 Hendry 3

Zen - I used your figures above (9-3) to try to outsmart my snooker mad son - but he disputes your figures - are these Ranking Event Finals?

Is there any chance you could indicate which finals they were?
Report jed.davison February 2, 2017 12:40 PM GMT
Hendry had done the vast majority of his winning prior to the turn of the millennium - seven of the finals in question were after then, Ronnie won six of them. They included two Premier League finals.

It is very noticeable that Hendry's record of success is massively weighted in favour of the major tournaments, while Steve Davis used to mop up everything he could - save for his relatively weak record in the Masters which he only won twice, and one of them when he was way past his best.

Sadly, any comparison between the three best players of the last thirty-five years can not included collateral form in the final of the World Championship, so can only be a matter of opinion. My own belief is that Hendry overshadows them all, but I understand that although his light may have shone the brightest, his career did not have the timespan of Davis or O'Sullivan's.

Always a fascinating debate imo.
Report gentlemanjohn February 2, 2017 5:39 PM GMT
Its 9-4 in favour of O'Sullivan in finals to be exact, as indicated above by trebor, and i'd have to agree its a compelling stat. Even if you take it up to 2000, if you allow that to be the cut-off point for Hendry's peak years, its still 4-3 in favour of Ronald. Whatever way you spin it, he clearly had the edge in finals.

Still, its not the be all and end all. I'd still count Hendry's edge in all matches in Major tournaments as significant too. They're all pressure matches in majors, not just finals, and that's where the best are at their very best.

All told, i have no strong opinion on the GOAT issue, there are compelling claims either way, "neck or nothing" between them, as a racing man might say. If they were great racehorses, they'd both have a 195 rating or thereabouts, with a squiggle next to O'Sullivans name because there is still scope to push on and reach new heigths though personally have my doubts he has it within him to do so.
Report trebor February 2, 2017 6:37 PM GMT
Without changing the standard of any of the players, if Hendry had been born 6 years later, Davis would probably have had 8 maybe 9 World titles? not sure Hendry, O'Sullivan or Higgins would have more than they got. Would that make Davis the GOAT?

Always thought Monty was the luckiest golfer in regards to the time of birth as he missed the 1957/58 group of great golfers and fitted into a weaker space in time. bit like the O'sullivan, Higgins and Williams all being born same year.
Report jed.davison February 3, 2017 1:06 PM GMT
Another big thing in Hendry's favour is that he did not take over from an ailing Davis - he knocked an imperious Davis right off his perch, albeit with a bit of help from Jimmy.

1990, Davis is coming off his annus mirabilis, all kinds of records before his victory 18-3 over Hercule in 89.

He is all but unbeatable. And he never wins another world title, when he's contested all the last nine or something.

Looking back, and even as a lifelong Jimmy lover, it's a shame he beat Davis in the 1990 semi.

Hendry was 21 that year. By the time he was 28 he had won six world titles, five UKs and six Masters and Davis was dead and buried.
Report ZenMaster February 6, 2017 2:20 AM GMT
These are the finals between Hendry and O'Sullivan
Yes, 9-4 to O'Sullivan.

1993 UK Championship Final
O'Sullivan 10 Hendry 6

1993 European Open Final
Hendry 9 O'Sullivan 5

1996 Masters Final
Hendry 10 O'Sullivan 5

1997 European League Final
O'Sullivan 10 Hendry 8

1997 Charity Challenge Final (Champions Cup)
Hendry 9 O'Sullivan 8

1997 UK Championships Final
O'Sullivan 10 Hendry 6

2000 Scottish Masters Final
O'Sullivan 9 Hendry 6

2001 Premiere League Final
O'Sullivan 9 Hendry 7

2001 Irish Masters Final
O'Sullivan 9 Hendry 8

2003 European Open Final
O'Sullivan 9 Hendry 6

2003 British Open Final
Hendry 9 O'Sullivan 6

2005 Welsh Open Final
O' Sullivan 9 Hendry 8

2005 Premier League Final
O'Sullivan 6 Hendry 0
Report ZenMaster February 6, 2017 2:42 AM GMT
Zen - I used your figures above (9-3) to try to outsmart my snooker mad son - but he disputes your figures - are these Ranking Event Finals?

I had overlooked the Charity Challenge Final of 1997, so my figures were wrong and it is 9-4 ( trebor has done a great job on the stats on an earlier post) but it's still a measure of O'Sullivan being dominant in these finals.
One could look at the Crucible form as judgement, and Hendry certainly had the measure of O'Sullivan there. However i feel that in all these final Hendry would have been focussed and determined, yet it is Ronnie who has the edge and some may say Hendry had lost motivation by the year 2000, but these were finals in which he was still desperate to win against his main rival.
Report trebor February 6, 2017 9:41 AM GMT
The Charity Challenge Final of 1997, was an amazing match, Hendry 6 ahead needing one more frame to win the final, and O'Sullivan wins 6 on the trot in an amazing hour of potting, only for Hendry to win the deciding frame with a 147,

The final was not on TV other than a highlights programme on ITV about midnight, and talk about the BBC being bad, they start the highlights at 8-2 to Hendry and the guy presenting the programme told you to stay till the end so not to miss something very special in the deciding frame!
Report moondan February 6, 2017 10:29 AM GMT
Hi lads.

Could not watch the final yesterday as watching Carter for me is like watching the same game over and over again.

Re the Hendry v O'sullivan debate.

Looking at the great years of Davis and Hendry their years of total domination were in fact quite similar and came between roughly the 5th and 15th seasons and then you could say they fell off a cliff.
I know the odd tournament came their way after but also came the unexplained misses and I think they both had had enough and the toll of the pressure years had finally taken its toll.
Endless hours of practise and the pressure of the fear of losing that they had lived with had sapped away all the enjoyment and they were in fact seeking a way out.
Ronnie of course never dominated in any way and yet it could easily be argued he had tools at his disposal that were of a higher quality.
On balance I think Hendry would have come out on top had the 3 all turned pro in the same year but only because his pressure game was certainly the strongest I have ever seen.
Of course as I have always so boringly maintained it is totally absurd to compare players who through their careers had an ever changing table that did have such a huge impact on break building.
I would also say the pressure of enormous concentrated achievement is quite different to achievement put together over a longer time frame.
I short Ronnie never had to carry the weight of expectation that the other two did, only because although he carried the favorite tag in so many tournaments you would be homeless if you backed him too often.
Report moondan February 6, 2017 10:58 AM GMT

Yes a fantastic match and also Dings favorite.

I could really do with a few Hendry v O'sullivan matches now.
Report crepello February 7, 2017 10:10 AM GMT
Thanks Zen - appreciate the effort .....
Report gentlemanjohn February 7, 2017 11:07 AM GMT
moondan 06 Feb 17 10:58 

I could really do with a few Hendry v O'sullivan matches now.

World Seniors Final 2019, will be a classic
Report gentlemanjohn February 7, 2017 11:17 AM GMT
trebor 02 Feb 17 18:37 
Without changing the standard of any of the players, if Hendry had been born 6 years later, Davis would probably have had 8 maybe 9 World titles? not sure Hendry, O'Sullivan or Higgins would have more than they got. Would that make Davis the GOAT?

Always thought Monty was the luckiest golfer in regards to the time of birth as he missed the 1957/58 group of great golfers and fitted into a weaker space in time. bit like the O'sullivan, Higgins and Williams all being born same year.

9 World titles in the crucible era would confer instant and undisputed GOAT status. Absolutely I'd say.

Poor Monty, always getting it in the neck. Born 1963, a mere 5 years after the great generation you refer to trebor. Half a decade surely isn't that significant in golfing terms?
Report ZenMaster February 7, 2017 1:08 PM GMT
Steve Davis had no excuses barring 1994 when he met Hendry in the semi final
So perhaps Davis would have got one more v bottle job Jimmy in that final.
Report moondan February 7, 2017 3:03 PM GMT

7 wins and 9 finals in the crucible era commands the goat tag and it's a safe bet it will never be equalled.
Clive Everton said,     achievement outweighs opinion all day long.
Terry Griffiths said,   in the old days it was the guy who won the most was the best it seems things have changed.

I will have a little bet with you that not a penny of your money would be risked backing Ronnie to win another three world titles.Grin
Report gentlemanjohn February 7, 2017 3:39 PM GMT
Moondan, i'm on record as saying i dont think ronnie will win even one more world title but i think i could make that a very attractive betting proposition for myself Wink

7 titles will be hard to equal, though the game is crying out for a prodigy to come sweeping through and take the thing over. In an era when there seems to be only a handful (5 at most i'd say) of credible contenders for the title, I don't see why a talent couldn't emerge in a few years and proceed to dominate the major events. Dont see anyone around who fits that bill yet, but dont see any reason it couldnt happen either.

If you put a gun to my head, I'd probably take hendry over ronnie by a nose, but i've no real conviction about it. Its pure achievement and ruthlessness vs talent and longetivity (plus that superior record in finals alluded to above). Compelling cases either way.
Report moondan February 7, 2017 5:05 PM GMT

I think we are in for a very long wait to find the class of player we have had the privilege to watch this past 40 years or so.
I think the best way to describe these conditions is slick and whether its possible to impose a game that has the time to be superior is a good question. Even the tournaments have a slick feel to them.

I have lost count of the money I have lost on Trump, yet in full flow he looks better than Ronnie and it would be a brave man to stake much on whether he will win a world title but 5 seasons ago you would have put your life on it,or rather I would have.

I think its difficult to come to the conclusion that the game is in rude health. I am a great believer in the conditions produce the player.
By the way only about 14 weeks to 17 days of heaven.  If I can get 25s on Ding I have just got to give him another chanceCryCryCryCryCryCryCry
Report trebor February 7, 2017 8:34 PM GMT
GJ..... Monty may only have been 5/6 years younger than Seve, Faldo, Norman, Lyle, Woosnam and Langer, but he turned pro 10 /11 years after them, by which time they had started winning their majors and competing more in the USA.

He never won a Major or US event when he had stronger opposition to compete against, admittedly he came 2nd in 5 majors, but a bit like his play off record I guess which was 8 play offs and no wins.
Report BornToWin February 7, 2017 9:59 PM GMT
Judd's time is drawing ever nearer, I think maybe this year!

The most sensational potter ever simply cannot go without the top prize.

Boredom is killing the game. The players are bored, the saturation of event after event is killing the quality as players simply lose focus. A less heavy workload would benefit all.

As Ronnie proved in taking a year off, he walked off with the big one, fresh and not bored.

Judd and all the top guys should be making sure to avoid the dreaded boredom.
Report gentlemanjohn February 7, 2017 10:23 PM GMT
Ding and Moondan in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g Love
I hope you manage to get on moondan, would not feel like a proper World Champs if you werent balls deep in ding, absolutely no pun intended Mischief

I guess we wont see anyone of the class of a higgins or a williams, let alone a hendry, coming along anytime soon, but then again, with the standard the way it is, would you really need to be of that calibre to dominate? All you'd need is a kid with a bit of class and the requisite gonads when the going gets tough. Someone with the potting ability of trump and the nerve of selby. How many titles would that composite player win? A fair few I'd bet, though it's hard to get a player with just the right blend.

Thought trump would be the guy when he made the breakthrough in 2011. But he learned so little from being in that final, in a way i think that year might have been the undoing of him, reckoned it was all going to come so easy to him that he stopped working hard and developed too many nasty habits. Not convinced he'll ever shake those habits off, hope i'm wrong cos i actually like the guy, like watching him play and would love to see him have a few more battles with Ronnie, while he's still around, and Selby. Would be great for the game to see him swagger his way to a world title, here's hoping anyway.
Report gentlemanjohn February 7, 2017 10:32 PM GMT
Fair enough post trebor. Only thing i'd say in monty's favour is that he was dominating europe when that still meant something, the likes of Woosie, Bjorn, Clarke, Rocca, Westwood were all tour regulars back then so there was always stiff competition.

Not that i'm a fan of his or anything, but think he was a bit unlucky not to get that elusive major. Might have sneaked one in his twilight years, like Clarke did, at the 2005 Open only that Tiger was a man on a mission that year, after a poor 2004, and played a different course to the rest of the field!
Report trebor February 8, 2017 12:14 AM GMT
Players need to have periods of rest and practice for sure, they need to miss some tournaments, but the tour has to have a good schedule to be able to do that without missing bigger events, the idea of prize money deciding the rankings helps, should mean better players can afford to miss some.

A good blend would be Trumps ability and Trumps safety game he used to play when in his teens, he had a lot of patience in winning the English under 13 and under 15 playing against older players, as he did in reaching the World under 21 semi's at just 14.
At that time he used to practice with another lad 5 or 6 years older than him called Andy Norman who also turned pro, Andy played a solid game and he was no doubt the last player at the club that could give Judd a tough game, some solid match practice.

Imo it does not help that Judd's practice partners are out and out potters, his game style certainly changed when he moved to London.
Report gentlemanjohn February 8, 2017 10:59 AM GMT
Didn't he move to London to be able to practice with Ronnie (among other reasons)? Can see why Ronnie wouldn't be the ideal practice partner for him. Always wondered what Judd's support team is like, as in coaches, psychologists etc. As far as I'm aware he's been pretty much self-coached a lot of the time, maybe that's not so unusual but cant help thinking he hasnt gone about things the best way.
Report gentlemanjohn February 8, 2017 12:00 PM GMT
BornToWin 07 Feb 17 21:59 

Boredom is killing the game. The players are bored, the saturation of event after event is killing the quality as players simply lose focus. A less heavy workload would benefit all.

As Ronnie proved in taking a year off, he walked off with the big one, fresh and not bored.

Judd and all the top guys should be making sure to avoid the dreaded boredom.

I'd be inclined to agree with this. Snookers always been a hard sport to be at the top of your game over a protracted period of time but its even harder now. Its just too easy to jack it in now, knowing there'll be another tournament along next week...or the week after that etc.

Dont think they've quite figured out yet how to pace themselves, or plan a yearly schedule that would suit. The default mode is to play every event because, well, that just seems like the thing to do.

I did think a few of the top players would be giving this week and next week a skip to be in top shape for the really BIG one in two weeks time!
Report trebor February 8, 2017 4:06 PM GMT
Yes Judd did practice with Ronnie when first in London I believe, and agree that should be good for anyone's game, and his game did change, but not for the better imo. His game became 'Flash'? Judd was obviously always a brilliant potter, he would seem to be in real trouble and as a last resort he would pull out an amazing pot, now it seems now that the brilliant pot is more the go to shot when the risk need not be taken.

Jack Lisowski and Wenbo are the two I believe he practices with most now, and Jack's practice routine was always open the pack and make a break, if you miss and there was not a 100 points left on the table, start a new frame.

Judd's coach was Mark Curnow, son of the owner of the club Judd played at in Keynsham, probably only in his early 20's when coaching Judd. although he learnt a fair bit of the tactical game from Andy Norman.
Report moondan February 9, 2017 6:01 AM GMT
I think tactics for any pro should be easy, its not rocket Science and how many times do you need to be told?  the devil is always in the execution.
Ronnie rarely makes a mistake because he is so natural with any shot. Hendry hated safety and because of that his execution was poor.
Davis's safety was extra sound because he played no chance taken snooker. Jimmy did not like safety and was always in 2 minds.
Alex had all the shots but a bit like Hendry was very brave bordering on foolish at times.

Trump. Wenbow, and Lisowski are definitely the best to watch but belong to the same youth club. Their career's are aging faster than them.
More considered snooker by all 3 would see my pocket more healthy not to mention my enjoyment. Lisowsky in particular has been very expensive to follow and perhaps the biggest disappointment this past 3-4 seasons.
Report thegiggilo February 9, 2017 10:06 AM GMT
Jimmy did the same as trump took him 10 years to stop doing it,then we saw the best of him and because he had such lovely touch and he benefitted from the results in the main he tightened his game up.Cannot understand how someone that's been a pro like trump for 10 years has such a poor safety game,it's like a comfort blanket when you're out of touch or not playing well then can play yourself into the match.The standard of safety in general and lack of it is so poor,it just seems that no one wants to play tight insane stuff,i used to get hasrder matchplay on a sunday afternoon playing in pro ams against dave Harold/nigel bond etc 25 years ago..
Report gentlemanjohn February 9, 2017 12:31 PM GMT
Is Lisowski meant to be any good? Has looked rank average anytime I've seen him anyway.

Interesting that O'Sullivan is coaching the young Chinese whizzkids. If thats a permanent arrangement could be a good move, actually think O'S with his snooker brain and intelligence could be a very good coach. Reckons Yan will go on and win 6 world titles, but then this is the same guy who predicted Stephen Maguire would be a future world No.1 so not sure how much we should read into that.
Report gobelins February 9, 2017 6:24 PM GMT
In fairness to R.O'Sullivan, I think most people, myself included, expected S.Maguire to become world number 1 and a future World Champion after he won the UK so impressively in 2004. His 10-9 defeat by O'Sullivan at Sheffield in 2005, and his SF defeat to J.Higgins a few years later left him so mentally scarred he's never recovered. He is one of the most talented players I've ever seen, but whereas he looked mentally very strong in 2004/5 he turned out to be anything but. Maguire must be looking at the game now and be thinking if only...
Report moondan February 9, 2017 7:21 PM GMT
I was quite impressed with Lisowski when he first made a small breakthrough and thought the only way was up but a few quid later at big prices has only proved your point.

Regarding Ronnie, if I had a couple of quality kids under my wing there is no way in the world would I allow them to practise with Ronnie, show them the video's by all means but I would let Ronnie worry about how good they were.
Trump in my opinion made a huge mistake by spending time with him, it was dong Ronnie more good than him. I say that because if you have a relaxed Ronnie you may as well stay at home.
Ronnie's only weakness is in his head and I have little doubt that Ronnie has and did have huge respect for Trumps game and spending time with it could only ease any pressure Ronnie might have felt.
You could argue that Maguire did himself no favors by allowing Hendry to acclimatise himself with his game that was something to fear.
I remember when Hendry played Davis in arranged matches the money was down and friends they were not but Stephen learned some valuable lessons that helped him become the player he was.
Report gentlemanjohn February 9, 2017 10:45 PM GMT
That's a fair post gobe. If i recall correctly he lost the last 4 or 5 frames to lose that s/f against higgins, that had to hurt. Would have had to beat selby in the final but selby wasn't the same animal in those days. What might have been and all that. Shame cos he does seem to be a nice guy, but think he developed a suspect temperament along the way. Head dropping at the first sign of crisis. On a horror run this season too, gonna have to quality for the crucible way things are looking.
Report jed.davison February 10, 2017 11:53 AM GMT
Trump hasn't got a poor safety game at all. he's just got very poor, almost criminally poor, application and mentality. He is frankly, a disgrace to his talent.
Report gobelins February 10, 2017 8:00 PM GMT
gj - given that S.Maguire's temperament is his major weakness, and everyone is aware of it, it's amazing that he hasn't looked to a T.Griffiths type to help him. Look what's happened to M.Holt (whose talent isn't a fraction of Maguire's) since he started working on his mental approach - he's beaten R.O'Sullivan 3 times and N.Robertson at The Crucible. I honestly think Maguire could have been a really, really, top player but it's been clear for a long time that his chance has come and gone. That said, despite a truly awful recent Crucible record, he'll be a horrendous draw for a top seed in R1 should he have to qualify and do so.
Report moondan February 11, 2017 11:41 AM GMT
Maguire went off the rails a good few years ago and became a bit of a goodtime charley.
I remember him getting to the final of the Masters and bussing his entire family down, including his grandfather who he was very close to.
His grandfather lived next door to him and they knocked a section of the wall down between the two houses and a full size table was put in allowing Steven to practise and become the player he was.
What should have been a final and a day to remember with his grandad present became a nightmare and he hardly potted a ball. In my opinion, that day did huge harm to his confidence and was the start of a decline.
I think I am right in saying his grandfather died quite soon after and perhaps there in lies what came after.
My memory is not what it should be so don't take this as the gospel but its pretty accurate but what is not in dispute was his relationship with his grandad in life and after his grandad's death.

I think Steven played in the golden age of snooker when players were proper players and men to boot and the game was made of sterner stuff 88-2010 so wins were hard to come by.
I have read somewhere that he is back in a proper frame of mind and his wild days are behind him so if he makes the crucible his price will be far more generous than what his real chance is.
Report gentlemanjohn February 13, 2017 10:55 AM GMT
That stuff about his grandfather rings a bell alright. I vaguely recall mags playing a tournament after his death and coming over all very emotional.
And you're right about him playing in a very tough era, lot of pressure on a guy who many are saying is going to dominate the game when there are still so many great players about. Dont think he handled that pressure very well, though neither would a lot of people in that situation.
Still only 35ish so maybe not too late yet, if his later years mature him and he finds a bit of zen calm at the table. Over 100s for the world champs, would definitely consider him as a back at that price, just on pure talent alone.
Report BornToWin February 4, 2018 7:41 PM GMT
Now a year and a bit on and how many events are going to the 40+ grandads?

This year could see the first grandad since Dracula to take the big one.
Report gobelins February 5, 2018 9:28 PM GMT
A fabulous thread, just wondering where gentlemanjohn is - I don't remember seeing a post from him since Sheffield.
Report BornToWin May 10, 2020 12:54 AM BST
Some excellent post on here, beeen having big discussions with a fellow baize boozer via the great invention whatsapp.

Had to dig this thread out to really impress him Laugh
Report elisjohn May 10, 2020 6:50 AM BST
i hadnt seen this thread before, and i agree with OP, especially his  comment re ronnie,   
41 - Ronnie O' no not another outburst, a shadow of the guy who could hardly win a world title until the way was cleared.
Report gobelins May 12, 2020 7:16 AM BST
I've just read this thread back - absolutely superb. I remember the good old days when threads like this were commonplace.
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