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Dark horse for the Worlds

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Replies: 62
By:
gobelins
When: 14 Aug 20 07:38
So, it's all change in the 2 SFs. That was a classy break from McGill in the last frame last night, given the day he'd had. In the other SF let's hope O'Sullivan has been in pain overnight after punching the table! I see there are still discussions about allowing spectators in for the final, but it sounds like a logistical nightmare, given that a majority of people who had one of the 300 or so tickets for the final have requested a refund. The tickets go on sale this morning for those who want to say "I was there". And, Hearn being Hearn - he will be desperate for people to be there, by way of justifying his ridiculous stance throughout on this. It's funny though, as I think we all expected there to be a massive reduction in the pressure levels out there, but it hasn't been the case. When it's all said and done, it's still the World Championship, and it's still The Crucible, and the nerves and pressure have been evident throughout - just as they always are here, and always will be.
By:
gjohn101
When: 14 Aug 20 08:55
Mentioned earlier about mcgill saying it felt like he was playing down the club. Dunno does he really feel that, higgins said last week he wouldn't have got the 147 if there was a crowd there. Who knows? Its got to help them anyway.

Yes, i agree there's pressure but mcgill is still in a good spot. He's got his 100k, all those ranking points. Would be nice to get more but he's well in bonus territory as it is. Dont think he's got anything to lose so still makes him dangerous. Of course, you can still play crap down the club so maybe his time is up and he's run out of gas.

Best thing for ronnie perhaps is he has got his bad session out of the way earlier than in 2014. Didnt mind that knuckle rap at all, we know it does mean a lot to him. He's had an overnight to figure it out, for peters to try work some cure on him. Thats the positive spin anyway!

One thing I'm enjoying: proper tight(ish) pockets. Certainly none of the 9 ball rubbish of balls bouncing 4 inches from the pocket and dropping. These pockets are less receptive and catching them out, particularly ronnie who's missing those corner pocket blacks and reds over and over because he aims, like always, for the far jaw and, unlike always, they dont always drop on these tables.

Hence, the much lower century count than anticipated. At least thats how I'd see it anyway.
By:
Latalomne
When: 14 Aug 20 09:45

Aug 13, 2020 -- 4:12AM, gjohn101 wrote:


Fair comment lats. Was probably judging it on the bits I've seen myself so definitely open to correction.Interesting comments there from mcgill on eurosport: "doesnt feel like a world championship...feels like playing down the club." Wonder if wilson or others feel the same. Must surely be a help for mcgill if he keeps that attitude to the end. I like his honesty anyway.


Sorry, John, forgot about this!

I get where McGill was coming from.  Has to be easier to not have all eyes on you, particularly when you've been away from the big time for a while.  Sure there would have (if no crowd had been permitted for the final) come a point in time where its significance would have come into greater focus regardless! Happy

By:
gobelins
When: 15 Aug 20 09:37
Where do you start with that yesterday? With a different roll of the balls at the death it's McGill v Selby. Probably like everyone on here, I went to bed last night and woke up this morning thinking about the 2 finishes. The event has lost nothing for having no-one in the arena, and that has probably been the biggest surprise overall. It makes no sense to me to have about 300 in for the final, but there you go.
I think Selby was out-of-order to criticise O'Sullivan the way he did after the match for smashing the cue ball to get out of snookers. Surely, it's up to O'Sullivan to choose his own shot. He also said that O'Sullivan was moving while he was down on the shot, but without knowing the specifics it's difficult to know whether it was just sour grapes immediately after defeat. But, in the longer term, there are good signs for Selby going forward, and a 4th World title looks very likely.
Onto the final, the big question for me is - does Wilson believe he can beat O'Sullivan over 4 sessions in a World Championship final? Obviously, how O'Sullivan approaches the match is hugely significant, but I've given up trying to work O'Sullivan out, and not for the 1st time I've done my money being against him.
By:
gjohn101
When: 15 Aug 20 10:10
Was just an astonishing day of snooker from first shot to last, wasnt it? What a sport and what a championship, sometimes i do ask myself why i bother with it and spend so much of my time watching coloured balls whizz around a tv screen and there's the answer, because there's just no other drama i know compares with that.

Such a contrast between both matches: the class and sportsmanship of Wilson and McGill and the edge and bitterness between the other pair. Yeah, bit cheeky and rich for Selby to be moaning about what other players are doing. At the same time, Ronnies explanations for those couldnt care less shots wasnt convincing. It's not far off conceding frames with enough piints on the table which is ungentlemanly conduct and could subject him to a decent fine. So i think it's worthy of highlight, just maybe selby wasnt the one who needed to be raising it at that momemt.

As for final no interest in a bet. Kyren has generally done ok v ronnie, bar one thumping, and should have beaten him in the champions final. But a bit of a leap to think that ronnie would blow the best and maybe last chance he'll get for the 6th. Think kyren can keep it close though, 18-13 or 14 perhaps.

Makes sense now doesnt it. The whole environment and circumstances probably favoured ronnie more than any other player, the total lack of the usual circus and media scrum around the tournament. I think selby from 3-4 years ago would have finished him off 3rd session when he had the chance, but the finish from ronnie defies superlatives really. Greatest ever? At this stage, probably yeah.
By:
gobelins
When: 17 Aug 20 19:32
I wondered if Wilson genuinely thought he could beat O'Sullivan over 4 sessions in a World Championship final, and we didn't have to wait too long to find out. The 2 'handshakes' or elbow touches on Day 1 told me that one player was there to win, and the other was happy just to be there. Despite Wilson's persistently poor cue ball control, I felt he was very weak mentally throughout the final, and he showed bits of naivety that did surprise me. O'Sullivan played well in patches, but he was generally just OK - and that shouldn't be enough to win 18-8 in a World Championship final.
I think Selby is undoubtedly back in the frame now for a 4th World title. He has just started working with Chris Henry, and maybe his lack of recent success was the reason he couldn't finish off O'Sullivan in the 3rd session of their SF. He needs to score a bit heavier, but there were promising signs for him. And, if he needed any further motivation, O'Sullivan's seemingly playful dig at M.Williams after winning the title, saying that you become a great if you win 4 World titles, like John Higgins - but he'd include Williams who has only won 3. This was aimed at Selby, not Williams, undoubtedly in response to Selby's comments after their SF. Their next match will be well worth following.
In the end, it was a fabulous tournament despite the one-sided final. There's been some talk of playing next year's championship in August - I hope not, as it's only 8 months before we all get our next Crucible fix!
By:
elisjohn
When: 17 Aug 20 19:49
oh no , its got to stay april, cant wait.
By:
gjohn101
When: 18 Aug 20 10:45
Agree most of that gobe, hope you eked some decent profit out of kyren, but i dont think he ever truly believed. Even if he'd got it 8-9 or even level, always looked like ronnie had a gear to go through at some stage. Kyrens a lovely lad, remember that time at the masters he pleaded with the ref not to have a guy thrown out, i thought that showed his class. But the ruthlessness and killer instinct you require to be a champion, just dont see he has that. But there's little enough to beat out there, barring judd and the ageing veterans, so his time will probably come.

Thought it was good tournament, easy to exaggerate on account of two epic sfs, but great just to have one at all. I liked that the pockets were tighter than normal but doubt that will be a long term thing.

And the usual failures - Robbo, Allen, Maguire, Ding, Murphy. A failed generation with the notable exception of Selby who will absolutely kick himself for not getting the 4th.

I wonder will we see much from the likes of Clarke or Maflin going forward? Wouldnt bet heavily on it anyway. Still not much coming through by the looks of things, ronnie is right about that much at least.
By:
gobelins
When: 18 Aug 20 20:03
I had Wilson to reach the final at 19/2, straight after Hamilton withdrew, so I did wellof that out of him, but it would have been nice to cop the lot. But, any hope of that disappeared with those early frames on day 2 where he was unable to produce 'counter clearances' as John Parrott irritatingly, and wrongly, refers to them. The pockets did play tighter than expected, but O'Sullivan potted a red early in the decider against Selby into the left-hand black pocket that would have struggled to go in on a pool table.
Maybe, our plan for next year should be to save up all year and then just lay the 5 you mention! I think there are likely to be big runs from Bingtao here once he gets another couple of years experience, particularly against the big boys in the bigger events.
I think I'd need more evidence regarding Maflin and Clarke. I definitely think Maflin benefited from no crowd - he looked very sweaty and red in the face towards the end of his matches, and you wonder whether he'd produce that level with a capacity crowd watching his every move. I'm hoping McGill takes the positives from this tournament, and starts moving back up the rankings, although with the staple best of 7s - he might find it quite difficult. Further down the list there isn't a lot coming through is there? Joe O'Connor looks potentially useful, but he didn't build on his good season in 2018/19 last year - but hopefully, he'll make some inroads next season. O'Sullivan was spot on regarding players lower down the list, and with players like Rory McLeod and Lee Walker getting through Q school, the likes of O'Sullivan probably could stay in the top 50 with one arm.
By:
gjohn101
When: 20 Aug 20 09:43
You're right there gobe, just mostly a few old familiar faces coming back through tour school. And of course, Jimmy is back again for another year at least!

I'm with hendry as regards to Yan, a bit perplexed as to what kind of player he is, but then he is top 16 so you've got to give him some credit. O'Connor may be one of the liklier ones, couple of the young chinese lads. Nobody I'd hang my hat on though.

Saw this piece from Nigel Bond after the ronnie interview and thought it was interesting. Word for word it pretty much reflects what many of us have been saying here for years. Just nice to see a seasoned pro confirm it.

https://www.skysports.com/more-sports/snooker/news/12243/12047158/nigel-bond-blames-structure-of-the-game-for-lack-of-talent-in-snooker

Speaking of bond, i see he is available at 4/9 to beat hendry in the seniors today. I cant recall hendry ever beating anyone decent in this event. I've had a go at bond outright at 4s. He'd have to beat Jimmy and Ken probably to win it. But i dont see anyone else there who beat Judd on tour last year so am happy to take it.
By:
gobelins
When: 23 Aug 20 10:33
It's depressing gj how so few young players are coming through. I think Bingtao is still in awe of some of the top players, and he may need to beat an O'Sullivan, Trump or Ding in a big Semi Final or Final, to get the self-belief he probably still needs. He does look to have the game to do well at Sheffield though, as he is good tactically, and it looks like he's willing to graft at length. His temperament seems sound enough, and it might be that he just needs more experience of playing the big players in big matches. I read that Bond interview you put up, and it's actually depressing (to me at least) that the seniors 'world championship' gets the coverage it does. It's no more than a glorified pro-am, for has-beens who are 15-20 years+ past their best - with ex-World champions, but essentially frail old pensioners, like Dennis Taylor and Joe Johnson included to generate some publicity. It seems Hendry has been working with the sight-right team, so maybe he's taking it more seriously. It would have been awful to see him play in the Champion of Champions event, getting hammered by a current 'champion' like Michael Holt - best leaving that to Jimmy, who has had 15 years of it now.
By:
gjohn101
When: 24 Aug 20 23:26
Gobe, i watched a lot of the european u/18 and u21 championships earlier this year. We've a very good irish kid here for first time in years, guy called Aaron Hill, who won both of them. But I'd be no more than hopeful for him going forward, not just that the standard was so low, it's just the whole snooker they play, no safety or tactical play and 2 or 3 chances to win every frame. Thats why i think bond is spot on when he talks about the lack of grounding these guys get. They're not adequately prepared for tour life and its a culture shock for them. A proper second tier would be a good innovation i think, not the third rate challenge tour is there at the moment.

In other news ken gets the 2 year card. Another nice cosy arrangement there.
By:
gobelins
When: 30 Aug 20 16:05
I've read bits about Aaron Hill. He looks a good prospect. He beat Sean Maddocks in the under 18 version, and Maddocks is being talked up in Liverpool as one to watch - although his parents and management team are looking to get some sponsorship for him now, as he is about to turn pro. That said, they are playing a lot of the early tournaments next season in glamorous Milton Keynes, so maybe his travel and accommodation costs will be reduced. But, even if either of these 2 do make it, it will be at least 6-7 years minimum you would think.
No surprise to see Ken get another 2 years - let's be honest, it might as well be a lifetime card - as he is going to keep playing if they keep allowing him to. I don't blame Ken, but it makes a mockery of Hearn's "level playing field" claim, when he brought in the flat 128 man draw.
By:
gjohn101
When: 01 Sep 20 14:09
Nail on head, gobe. You're talking 6-7 years for these kids and they have to stick with it, too easy to take a few bad beatings and get deflated. Remember neither Robbo or Kyren made it first time around, you got to be there for the long haul.

Just listening to jimmy telling his story about him and willie taking a 15 or 16 year old hendry for 4k in hong kong after playing him for a quid a point. Hendry had to slink away and ask Ian Doyle for the cash. Thats the kind of education you need i reckon!

I've always been a ken fan but can't support this. Wonder how other players feel about it. I know Michael White is "shyte" and all that, but he bust his gut and missed out on his card by 250 quid and now sees Ken getting his as a gift. It would boil my p!ss anyway, though doubt barry gives a fck one way or another what anyone thinks.
By:
gjohn101
When: 02 Sep 20 07:11
So Hendrys got in on the act now as well. Sure why not? Some people, who should know better, seem to think yhis is a great news story.

There's a book open on next wild card to be handed out:

1/1 Dennis Taylor 6/4 Steve Davis 5/1 Hazel Irvine 20/1 Tony Meo 50/1 John Virgo, Brian Wright

Special
5/2 Patsy Fagan to apply and be turned down
By:
gobelins
When: 02 Sep 20 07:12
Well some-one else will now miss out as Hendry has been granted a 2 year tour card. For someone who said his sole pleasure from snooker was winning not playing, this is a bit strange. Maybe his appetite has been whetted by Steve Feeney and the sight-right team, but surely he has no chance of winning a title. If he genuinely believes he can, then that says everything about what he thinks about current standards. Or, maybe he plans to use it as practice for the seniors tour.
By:
gjohn101
When: 02 Sep 20 07:51
On the bbc story it says:

"Jimmy White, Ken Doherty and James Wattana have also been awarded invitational tour cards."

Jimmy still had one year left on his last wild card, so does this mean they've given him an extra year. I suppose with wattana, they have to maintain the east-west balance a bit.

Thats 3 cards gone anyway. Think there was an extra 13th card through q school they've taken away so gonna try and see who the other two that are missing out.
By:
gjohn101
When: 02 Sep 20 08:04
Actually, just checked and there were 16 q school cards available and that will only be 12 this year so there's 4 handy cards freed up.

So Michael White, 250 quid away from retaining his card, would have qualified through q school as first on the order of merit only the criteria was changed this year. Guess he'll still get to play a few events as first alternate, but I'd be pretty p!ssed personally to be a makeweight for a few of the bosses mates.
By:
Latalomne
When: 02 Sep 20 09:20

Sep 2, 2020 -- 1:11AM, gjohn101 wrote:


So Hendrys got in on the act now as well. Sure why not? Some people, who should know better, seem to think yhis is a great news story.There's a book open on next wild card to be handed out:1/1 Dennis Taylor 6/4 Steve Davis 5/1 Hazel Irvine 20/1 Tony Meo 50/1 John Virgo, Brian WrightSpecial5/2 Patsy Fagan to apply and be turned down


I woke up at about 530 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep so picked up my phone and read this story.  Then went back to sleep and forgot all about it.  It just popped back into my head and I assumed I'd dreamed it!  LaughLaughLaugh

Seems Ronnie's comments have made a few wake up and realise there's some easy money to be had from the noddies.

A sad indictment of where we're at.

By:
gjohn101
When: 02 Sep 20 10:15
I dunno....jimmy made a whopping 13k on tour this season, 10k of it at the world qualifiers. That wouldn't even cover the gas for his Bentley! Maybe hendry thinks with the help of sightright and some serious practice hours, he can make a go of it. Still plenty of players there he can beat, but easy money? Be surprised if he cleared more than 30k gross.

Maybe he's thinking I'll be at a few of those events commentating anyway, so might as well play while I'm at it.
By:
Latalomne
When: 02 Sep 20 12:12
True, but hasn't Jimmy himself also only recently started working with someone?  (is it Chris Henry, in his case?)
By:
gjohn101
When: 02 Sep 20 15:10
I'd say jimmy works hard and still loves the buzz of performing tbf to him. Doubt its about the money and probably saves him from sitting around and betting on the nags all day!

There's a straight forward answer to all this - a proper seniors tour with wild cards for individual main tour events when possible.

Cant see why you couldnt market a decent over 50s tour around hendry, jimmy, ken, angles, sheriff, mark davis etc. I see decent interest in the legends when it comes over these parts, put some money into it and i think it could pay its way.

Hendry wanting to play on is no bad thing, but the way it's being done is the kind of thing I'd like to think he'd fume about in private. Thats whats disappointing about it.
By:
gobelins
When: 04 Sep 20 20:03
It's particularly disappointing that having been awarded the tour card, Hendry is only going to play in certain events, with the UK potentially being the first. And, while that's probably not a surprise, they could have given him a wild card into the UK and World Championship qualifiers and given the tour spot to someone else - Michael White possibly. Hendry said "The ultimate goal is to walk out at the Crucible again", so it seems like he is going to practice hard prior to the limited events he is going to enter, but surely he's kidding himself if he thinks he can reach The Crucible after an 8 year break...isn't he?
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