Nostalgia in Coventry

Ronnie played a club night yesterday in the Arches Coventry. It was packed and everyone had a great time – Ronnie wants to come back!

Ronnie had a 104 and a 112, the latter being a missed maximum … the last red failed him.

There was a bit of nostalgia as well as he played Mick Price, the man who was at the receiving end of Ronnies first 147… you know the one in 5’20” at the Crucible in 1997.


Ronnie and John Parrott beaten in Watford Semi Final

This afternoon, in Watford Colosseum, Ronnie and John Parrot were beaten on the blackball shootout by Cliff Thorburn – who played awesome – and Tony Drago. Cliff and Tony took a 2-0 lead, before Ronnie and John forced the deciding blackball shootout, largely aided by two good breaks from Ronnie.

Ronnie had a half chance to pot the final black but he was tight on the rail with a difficult angle and missed it. He had some safety in mind though as he put the white tight on the cushion as far away from the black as he possibly could. Cliff though took the pot – a seriously thin cut – and got it …

Well done Cliff Thorburn and Tony Drago. They are in the Final tonight where they will face Jimmy White and Tony Knowles.

It was all played in good spirit with smiles all round though.

Enjoy some images of the match here ( pictures by Monique Limbos)


Table for two …

Yesterday, Ronnie was at Spencer’s Pool Bar in Yarmouth and I’ll leave it to Jason Francis on twitter to do the reporting:

5am get in today in Watford!!! Great night at Spencer’s in Yarmouth. 8 frames… 6 centuries, a 97 and one where he was crap! #notgoodenough

The highlight was a 120 in frame 7.

Today we have this:


Let’s hope Ronnie will be wide awake because it’s been a short night last night, traveling back from Yarmouth to London…

And he has more on his plate: indeed Eurosport is doing some filming with Ronnie and Joe Johnson. It’s been 30 years since Joe won the World Championship, a 150-1 outsider who had never won a match at the Crucible until that year.

Breaking News! Ronnie will be able to play in the Grand Prix

Jason Francis just tweeted

crazy 24 hours but glad we got Ronnie freed up to play in the grand prix. here is the new date for morocco.


And Ronnie posted on Facebook

Big thanks to the Sheffield Academy in Morocco who have worked with Jason at legends and World Snooker to move the show from March 12th to the 9th April. This means I can play in the Grand Prix in Llandudno. Sorry to the Moroccan fans but we will have a great show in April with Jimmy. Tickets can be bought from the Academy or the Megarama or by calling 00212670929292 Lets get it packed out as we launch snooker in North Africa.

Not bothered about the World Championship?

After Ronnie’s win in Cardiff BBC reported this (excerpt):

Ronnie O’Sullivan says he is “not really bothered” about the World Championship at the Crucible and will “treat it like a vacation”.

O’Sullivan won seven straight frames to beat Neil Robertson 9-5 and win a fourth Welsh Open title on Sunday.

Victory took him to joint second in the list for most ranking titles with 28 alongside John Higgins and Steve Davis – eight behind leader Stephen Hendry.

“The most important thing for me is to get my sleep sorted,” said O’Sullivan.

Five-time world champion O’Sullivan has previously spoken about the lack of sleep he gets during a night and feels it will be the contributing factor in whether he wins a sixth world crown in Sheffield or not.

“My body is just gone and I feel like I am overtired,” he said. “I need a nice easy month now without any competitions and relax by filling the tank up.

“If I get my sleep right then I have got half a chance. If I don’t get it right then playing two sessions in one day will be too much for me.

“The most important thing is to get that right then everything else will fall into place.

“You just have to accept it will be a long haul and you could get beaten in the first or second round and then you don’t have a problem.

“I’m not really bothered about Sheffield, I am not bothered about any tournament. I just treat it like a vacation and enjoy the time that I am away.”

Having followed Ronnie for a number of years now, I’m taking this with a big pinch of salt. He’s a VERY competitive person and hates to lose. But he’s also of an anxious nature and has huge expectations from everybody on his shoulders, not least his own. So I’m not surprised that he wants to ease that pressure a bit.

The sleeping issues have been going on for years and it’s a crucial to get enough rest during the marathon that is the World Championship.

Speaking to Hector Nunns, Ronnie explained he is looking for new solutions:

“The 17 days at the Crucible? The sleep is vital, I can take medication but I don’t like to do that.

“I’ll have to start meditating for Sheffield.” (source Sunday and Daily Express)

And, finally, today midday is the closing time for entries in the World Grand Prix. Ronnie has qualified for it by winning the Welsh Open last week but he also has an exhibition scheduled in Morocco that clashes with the tournament (clearly he wasn’t expecting to do that well in Cardiff).
Wether that can be re-arranged – or indeed if he wants to play in Llandudno – is to be seen but we should know soon.

Provisional 2016/17 Calendar announced

Yesterday Worldsnooker announced the provisional calendar for the first half of the 2016/17 season and clarified how the seeding will be made for each event.

Tuesday 23 Feb 2016 10:58AM

The provisional calendar up until December, showing the first half of the 2016/17 season, is now available.

Click here for the calendar.

Below is the seeding structure for tournaments in 2016/17.

World Championship

Top 16 seeded at the final venue. Remaining 128 players compete in qualifying, flat draw with top 64 seeded, as is the case for this season.

UK Championship

Flat draw with 128 players. Number 1 plays number 128, 2 v 127, 3 v 126 and so on as was the case this season.

International Championship, China Open, Indian Open and potential new tournament in China

Flat draw with 128 players. The first round will see seeds 65-128 drawn at random against seeds 1-64. The top 64 will be placed in the draw so that Number one is seeded to play number 64 in second round, 2 v 63, 3 v 62 and so on.

The Home Nations series (Welsh Open and new English Open, Scottish Open and Irish Open)
Flat draw with 128 players. Top 16 seeds placed into the draw, as they were for this season’s Welsh Open. Remaining 112 players drawn at random.

German Masters and new European Championship

Flat draw with 128 players. Top 32 seeds placed in the draw. Remaining 96 players drawn at random.

Shanghai Masters

Top 16 seeded at the final venue. Seeds 17-32 in fourth qualifying round. Seeds 33-64 in second qualifying round. Seeds 65-128 in first qualifying round as was the case this season.

Paul Hunter Classic, Riga Open and Gibraltar Open.

Completely open first round draw with no seeding.

A few observations about this calendar:

The Australian Open isn’t scheduled during the first half of the season; yesterday Barry Hearn on twitter wrote that the event was “doubtful”. What transpired is that the sponsors want the top 16 seeded at the venue whilst Barry Hearn insists for a flat draw. This tournament is not a great hit with the players: the travel to Bendigo is extremely tiring and long and the prize money is very low, with high tax rates to make it worse. The sponsors obviously want to be 100% certain that Neil Robertson will be there otherwise it may be a complete flop.

There were doubts about the fact that the three “ex-PTC” events – Riga Open, Gibraltar Open and Paul Hunter Classic – would still be open to amateurs. Looking at the calendar, they are still played over 5 days, with qualifying days – so it seems that they will remain pro-ams. Wether they open any spots to the pro circuit for those doing well is still unclear to me.

The Home Series offers a £1000000 bonus for anyone able to win all four. That’s a big, big ask. And for such big “carrot” to be put into place, I suspect that the prize money proper will not be very attractive. Time will tell.