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26 Feb 19 22:37
Date Joined: 30 Aug 04
| Topic/replies: 833 | Blogger: gobelins's blog
The insanity that is the current snooker schedule continues unabated.

The baize boys have travelled half way around the world for the latest best-of-7 knock about in India, although most of the big boys have stayed away to prepare for the Players Championship which starts the day after this ends! One or two of them have made the long journey, including defending champion and tournament favourite J.Higgins - but in what is arguably the weakest field ever seen for a ranking event, there must be a good chance that J.Lisowski, D.Gilbert, or one of the young Chinese kids can lose their maiden tag.

It's a 5.30am start, but the tournament gets off to an absolute flyer with Ben Woollaston v Suryanarayanan Shrikrishna and Dominic Dale v Asutosh Padhy.
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Report wisewords February 27, 2019 1:21 AM GMT
Crazy I wonder if any of the usual lot will be following this
Report Latalomne February 27, 2019 7:14 AM GMT
I set the alarm only to discover that BF had decided to pull the site for maintenance at 0705 in the middle of two matches!  Cheers!
Report wondersobright February 27, 2019 7:58 AM GMT
morning all, live video working fine for me
Report wondersobright February 27, 2019 8:04 AM GMT
no respect from 2 point so far for this whopper
Report wondersobright February 27, 2019 8:13 AM GMT
too easy 1-0
Report wondersobright February 27, 2019 8:16 AM GMT
3 snookers needed on the yellow & carrying on this is bad
Report wondersobright February 27, 2019 9:12 AM GMT
4-0 Happy

back for afternoon session
Report Pandoras February 27, 2019 4:29 PM GMT
Murphy turned up again with his couldn't care less attitude. Perhaps he should have a year out and save himself the embarassment.
Report gobelins February 28, 2019 9:29 PM GMT
Well J.Lisowski and D.Gilbert won't be winning this week, after they both lost deciders - at least they'll get some time to prepare for the Players Championship next week.

Elsewhere, R.O'Sullivan has had a rant about ranking points, and a pop at the schedule (I think):

‘Preston next week 100000 ranking points to play for gotta get them ranking points, should have gone to India, could’ve of got 50000 ranking points there, gotta love a ranking point.’

He then added:

‘Morning I’d go anywhere for a ranking point, in fact I’ll be happy to buy some if anyone wants to sell em.’ ‘I ain’t going no where unless there are ranking points available, my only disappointment is that there ain’t enough ranking points to play for, we need a longer year, maybe a 75 week year to get some more ranking points available, but me ranking points for Xmas please.’
Report gjohn101 March 1, 2019 10:14 AM GMT
“Would you eat meat for a ranking point peter?”

Some rant in fairness. But did he give his true opinion when he was at the sh!tout last week?
Report gobelins March 1, 2019 11:26 AM GMT
Him and Ebbo seem to be on really good terms these days, but I suspect Ebbo would rather be shot than eat meat! I missed The Shootout on purpose, I just can't stomach it, especially given the schedule at this time of year. If R.O'Sullivan is there doing work for Eurosport, I'm not sure why he doesn't play. Unless, of course, it's one of his ways at trying to get back at Hearn.
Report gjohn101 March 1, 2019 11:42 AM GMT
Dunno what kind of deal he has with eurosport but wouldnt be surprised if part of it is just boredom. A couple of hours practice, an hour running, what else to fill his day? Unless you think he’s sitting at his desk 6 hours every day working on the next installment of his novel!

Is he imploding early this year or just cleverly getting all the sh!t out of his head before the worlds? Be interesting to see what kind of shape he’s in next week anyway.
Report gobelins March 1, 2019 12:46 PM GMT
You're not suggesting he doesn't write every single word, and then proofread it are you gj? I know almost everyone on here have dismissed his chances at Sheffield for the last few years, and I have myself, but there don't appear to be too many outstanding candidates this year. If he hasn't reached 1,000 centuries, by choice, by the time we reach The Crucible then I think it is safe to dismiss him. If he gets that out of the way beforehand then it tells you he has potentially bigger things on his mind when he gets there. Either way, it will be a fascinating watch, as always, in a format he constantly struggles with these days.
Report gjohn101 March 1, 2019 3:23 PM GMT
I know it’s not the old cliche but is ronnies biggest opponent himself as much as the guy in the other seat? I’ve tended to write him off too but caveat is we still know he’s by a clear distance the best player in it, so just a (not small) matter of getting his head around it. Centuries thing - help, hindrance or of no material consequence?

Have been steadily dismissing higgins since start of season but am coming around to his chances now. Signs are he’s slowing putting the pieces together the closer we get.
Report gjohn101 March 1, 2019 3:24 PM GMT
*its the old cliche ffs
Report gobelins March 1, 2019 7:52 PM GMT
I think the draw is vitally important for R.O'Sullivan. I know that sounds like an obvious thing to say, but of all the top contenders I think he needs a favourable draw more than most.

I'd be worried about his mindset if he deliberately gets to 998/999 centuries before The Crucible. If he does, then it will because he wants the biggest possible audience and all the adulation that will go with it by making the 1,000th at The Crucible, and that will be the focus of his preparation before the tournament starts and not winning the title. It will also be the only thing the press will be talking about beforehand.

It has been easy to dismiss J.Higgins' chances given how badly he's been playing, and listening to him talk about possibly retiring you couldn't see him as a realistic contender. But, any upturn in his form between now and Sheffield, including in this tournament, could be hugely significant given his proven track record there. I definitely couldn't rule him out given the lack of genuine contenders as we speak.
Report Latalomne March 2, 2019 11:41 AM GMT
Can;t believe how bad this deciding frame has been between Brecel and Donaldson.  Luca can't pot a ball and Donaldson hasn't got the balls to actually put it away.
Report Latalomne March 2, 2019 12:05 PM GMT

What a quarter-final line-up we have here!  Whoops
Report Latalomne March 2, 2019 5:59 PM GMT
What's going on in the Selt v Ning match?  I'd got the sound down quite low but then turned it up when I heard the ref talk of 'forfeit' and what sounded like "I can't hold you up".  Then asked if whichever of the players was struggling had a mobile phone to call someone to come and help?  Selt then asked for a couple of bottles of water and sat down, while Ning was out of shot....
Report Latalomne March 3, 2019 8:22 AM GMT
Selt reaches his first ranking final with a fairly dominant display against a pretty moderate Higgins....
Report gjohn101 March 3, 2019 8:39 AM GMT
Gobe, on ronnie draw when you look at last year, do you think he could get an easier draw than that? Maguire wasn’t best R1 draw but Carter/MJW/Hawk/Higgins would have looked a dream run for him i’m certain. Still let carter fck with his head and only just got past first base.

Higgins form is one thing, but he’s one of the few who know how to win long arduous matches at the crucible so at this stage i see myself putting him on the list. Looks at the very least to be out of the strange funk he was in so not all that bothered by him losing to the likes of selt.
Report gobelins March 3, 2019 9:42 AM GMT
gj - I think they are exactly the sort of players that R.O'Sullivan doesn't want to play these days - in longer matches. And, although you would have expected him to beat A.Carter (as would O'Sullivan) he knows the type of match that is likely to unfold if he doesn't establish an early lead, and he just doesn't fancy day-after-day, session-after-session, of it. He can't dictate the safety exchanges against tough match-players like Carter/MJW/Hawkins/Higgins, and the manner of his defeat to Carter last year is the biggest reason for opposing him this year.

As you say I think J.Higgins has to be on the 'possibles' list for Sheffield given his record in longer matches. And, despite his ability/form waning slowly, but surely, over the past few years - he has been within 5 frames of winning the last 2 World titles. Ordinarily, I'd dismiss, as irrelevant, a  best-of-seven defeat to M.Selt, but this was an excellent opportunity for Higgins to get back into the winner's enclosure, and restore a bit of self-belief with Sheffield just around the corner. I think he will feel this was a big opportunity missed.
Report Latalomne March 3, 2019 11:05 AM GMT
Selt will play Lyu Haotian in the final. 

A first time ranking tournament winner will be crowned. 

Re Higgins, he still looks as frustrated as ever with the game to me.
Report gjohn101 March 3, 2019 12:08 PM GMT
Fair response gobe, definitely a certain type of player can get inside ronnies head though bit funny that judd should have such a positive general record against him. Figure that anomaly is more revealing about judd, would love to see them square off in sheffield at some stage. Would be a great buzz around it i think.

I’m not sure higgins would have bothered with this tournament only he was defending champ and possibly felt obligated to travel. Not sure but i still suspect he’ll reach the crucible reenergised and invigorated which is all that really matters in his case i think.
Report Latalomne March 3, 2019 4:03 PM GMT
All things considered, this has been a decent standard so far.
Report Latalomne March 3, 2019 5:10 PM GMT
Not his biggest fan (think he usually comes across as a d1ck), but I've been impressed with his game this week. 

Well done, Matt Selt. 

(Shame the video/sound was pollocksed for the second half of the session)
Report gjohn101 March 3, 2019 5:12 PM GMT
Holy sh!t.....seen tony drago on the box earlier, or whats left of him rather! Six reds world championships, lost so much weight i couldnt figure out whether he looked seriously healthy or seriously ill! Definitely hasn't helped his snooker anyway!

Sorry for hijacking thread....but anything is better than posting about matt selt!
Report Latalomne March 3, 2019 5:14 PM GMT
Yeah, Grant posted a video link about him a few weeks back.  Unrecognisable!
Report gobelins March 4, 2019 12:34 PM GMT
gj - yes, it's odd that J.Trump has the edge over R.O'Sullivan, as he plays the type of game that you'd think O'Sullivan would like to play against all the time. I've always admired the way Trump approached matches with O'Sullivan, even when he was clear underdog. He always gave the impression that he thought he could beat him. And, as you say, it would be great if they met at The Crucible this year, especially if it was a SF or final, and they had the whole arena to themselves.
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