A week-end of snooker

The week-end started for Ronnie with two club nights at Towers, Mansfield, on Friday, with Dennis Taylor and Michaela Tabb, and on Saturday, with Brendan Moore and Willie Thorne. Not much transpired about it – Jason Francis was quiet on twitter – except that both nights were sold out, packed and that Ronnie won 16 frames out of 16 …

MansfieldTowers18.03.2016.1
Great night in Tower, Mansfield on March 18, 2016

Between those two exhibitions, Ronnie was in Sheffield at the Star Snooker Academy, doing some filming and interviews for his next Eurosport Show. According to Rolf Kalb on twitter, this show should be on our screens on March 29, 2016.

RonnieESShowFilming19.03.2016

Finally, on Sunday night, Ronnie was in Leicester, in Breakers, Ben Woollaston mother’s club, for another Club Night.

Ronnie made a 147 and two other centuries (101 and 131); the 147 was refereed by a very happy Tatiana Woollaston … it was her first maximum.

You can watch it here, thanks to Ronnie’s “victim” who had it recorded and posted it on youtube:

 

Tatiana147withRonnie

My 147 selfie with the maximum man Ronnie O’ Sullivan #‎happyref #‎happyplayer

Just refereed my first 147 break! Thanks to Ronnie O’sullivan for making this evening at Breakers Snooker club so special!

(Tatiana Woollaston on Facebook)

And this was Ronnie on twitter, after the show

Great night at @ben_Woollaston mums snooker club, thanks for a great evening. Good luck at the PTC in Manni

Of course he was rewarded properly for his efforts, as we got to know thanks to Jason Francis on twitter:

…can confirm the prize for the maxi was a pecan Danish at Northampton. Services.

————————————————————-
————————————————————-

As for me, I didn’t see any of it … because I was at the WDBS (World Disability Billiard and Snooker) Manchester Classic in the Q’s Sport Bar  in … Manchester.

It was an absolutely amazing event: those men and women love their sport. They have to overcome immense difficulties, physical, emotional and material,  and their inventiveness in doing that is remarkable, as are their courage and resilience. There is no prize money and most of them are on meagre disability benefits and, yet, here they are, playing and competing with a smile on their faces. Hats off!

Please check the WDBS facebook page for infos, pictures and results.

Here are a few images (taken by me) among many more …

 

Midweek Matchzone n° 33 now up

You can listen again to Midweek Matchzone n° 33 on PhoenixFM here .

MidweekMZ33

Chris, Alan and Ronnie talk World Grand Prix snooker, Chelsea, Stan Kroenke, Charlton, PDC Premier League darts and more.

They also get involved in a very interesting discussion about coaching and techniques and how it can both help you or limit you depending how it’s done and how it’s perceived. They also stress the importance on the mindset, in any sport … and I would add in any activity in fact.

Ronnie shares his views with Desmond Kane about the World Championship

In his latest Eurosport blog Ronnie tells Desmond Kane about who impresses him before the World Championship, why he’s now a big fan of Mark Selby, how he welcomes the home series and more …

Ronnie O’Sullivan explains to Eurosport’s Desmond Kane why he is a fan of Mark Selby after once dubbing him ‘The Torturer’ in his autobiography. As he continues preparations for the start of the World Championship on April 22, the five-times world champion discusses what he believes will be the widest open tournament in years, naming 13 possible winners.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LAW OF AVERAGES

It’s coming to that time of year again for snooker fans: the World Championship and the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

It is every player’s dream to win the world title, and every year it becomes more and more wide open.

Never have I seen so many players playing well enough, or capable of winning the World Championship than this season. And all for very different reasons.

I’m a great believer in the law of averages and biorhythms.

The law of averages says no player can keep winning, and the law of averages says that someone good enough is bound to have a decent run at some point.

Biorhythms mean people go up and down, and someone who has been on a good run will feel their game is on the up, but others may feel good about their game before the Crucible. By the time Sheffield comes round, they will feel they have a real chance of winning.

You don’t want to be flying at peak levels from the get-go, you want to feel like your game is in good shape, but you are cruising if that makes sense. Over 17 days it is a slow burn in Sheffield, and you hope you have enough in the tank to be building towards your best at the end.

ALMOST HALF THE FIELD COULD WIN WORLD CHAMPS

I’ve been really impressed by Mark Williams (world champion in 2000 and 2003). He was the best player in my book at the Championship League at Crondon Park this year. He has the mindset and the bottle to win big, and always will. Those are huge bullets to have in your locker.

Mark Selby (2014 world champion) is another player in that category who looks to be playing okay. I like Selby’s game now, I’ve enjoyed watching and learning from him, he has so much going for him that makes him the fierce competitor he is.”

You would have to put John Higgins (winner in 1998, 2007, 2009 and 2011) in that bracket along with myself.

Other than that, you have your usual suspects who are bound to win the World Championship – Neil Robertson (2010 world champion) and Shaun Murphy (2005 winner) surely won’t end their careers with just one world title while there is Judd Trump and Ding Junhui, who will surely lift the world title at some point, but then again there seems to be an endless list of players who are good enough to win it.

You have players who have proven they can win when the mood takes them, and are more than capable of winning any event they play in. I’m thinking of guys like defending champion Stuart Bingham, Martin Gould, Joe Perry, Barry Hawkins, Stephen Maguire, Ali Carter..I mean where do I stop? I’m gonna stop now!

They are all amazing players of this beautiful game.

CRUCIBLE ‘MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY DRAINING’

Whoever wins this year’s World Championship will know they have been through the mill.

It’s that type of event. It is grueling in so many ways, mentally and emotionally, that’s why I think the event is a little too long, but many will beg to differ.

Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis never seemed to have that problem, but maybe this type of event suited there relentlessness style of play and attitude?

RETURN TO SCOTLAND AND IRELAND GREAT NEWS

The snooker circuit has really come a long way since Barry Hearn took over. The game has gone from strength to strength, so many more playing opportunities, and the standard has gone ballistic.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LAW OF AVERAGES

It’s coming to that time of year again for snooker fans: the World Championship and the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

It is every player’s dream to win the world title, and every year it becomes more and more wide open.

Never have I seen so many players playing well enough, or capable of winning the World Championship than this season. And all for very different reasons.

I’m a great believer in the law of averages and biorhythms.

The law of averages says no player can keep winning, and the law of averages says that someone good enough is bound to have a decent run at some point.

Biorhythms mean people go up and down, and someone who has been on a good run will feel their game is on the up, but others may feel good about their game before the Crucible. By the time Sheffield comes round, they will feel they have a real chance of winning.

You don’t want to be flying at peak levels from the get-go, you want to feel like your game is in good shape, but you are cruising if that makes sense. Over 17 days it is a slow burn in Sheffield, and you hope you have enough in the tank to be building towards your best at the end.

ALMOST HALF THE FIELD COULD WIN WORLD CHAMPS

I’ve been really impressed by Mark Williams (world champion in 2000 and 2003).

Ronnie was a 6-5 winner over Mark Williams on his way to winning the Masters. – Eurosport

He was the best player in my book at the Championship League at Crondon Park this year. He has the mindset and the bottle to win big, and always will. Those are huge bullets to have in your locker.

“Mark Selby (2014 world champion) is another player in that category who looks to be playing okay. I like Selby’s game now, I’ve enjoyed watching and learning from him, he has so much going for him that makes him the fierce competitor he is.”

You would have to put John Higgins (winner in 1998, 2007, 2009 and 2011) in that bracket along with myself.

Other than that, you have your usual suspects who are bound to win the World Championship – Neil Robertson (2010 world champion) and Shaun Murphy (2005 winner) surely won’t end their careers with just one world title while there is Judd Trump and Ding Junhui, who will surely lift the world title at some point, but then again there seems to be an endless list of players who are good enough to win it.

You have players who have proven they can win when the mood takes them, and are more than capable of winning any event they play in. I’m thinking of guys like defending champion Stuart Bingham, Martin Gould, Joe Perry, Barry Hawkins, Stephen Maguire, Ali Carter..I mean where do I stop? I’m gonna stop now!

They are all amazing players of this beautiful game.

CRUCIBLE ‘MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY DRAINING’

Whoever wins this year’s World Championship will know they have been through the mill.

It’s that type of event. It is grueling in so many ways, mentally and emotionally, that’s why I think the event is a little too long, but many will beg to differ.

Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis never seemed to have that problem, but maybe this type of event suited there relentlessness style of play and attitude?

RETURN TO SCOTLAND AND IRELAND GREAT NEWS

The snooker circuit has really come a long way since Barry Hearn took over. The game has gone from strength to strength, so many more playing opportunities, and the standard has gone ballistic.

Barry Hearn – AFP

It’s gone nuts in a good way, and it’s so exciting next year that there will be the ‘Home Nations’ events, which will be great going back to Scotland and Ireland for top class snooker.

Scotland and Ireland have always supported snooker so well, they are the perfect places to be going back to play snooker. I love going there. The crowds have always been fantastic, and they have great cities to visit such as Glasgow.

There’s a bit of everything in snooker now, but we should always been making room in the calendar for Scotland and Ireland.

CARDIFF THE RIGHT VENUE FOR WELSH OPEN

I haven’t got much to say on the Welsh Open other than saying I thoroughly enjoyed the whole event, which is a massive turn around on how I felt about last year’s event, I think this year I knew what to expect, it was hard going from one of my favourite venues in Newport to Cardiff.

I really did struggle with it, and I really hope one day we go back to Newport, just because the venue is so good. And the crowds are fantastic.

But I have to say the Cardiff people came out and supported the event so well, the crowds were good all week, and they really were treated to some top snooker, the standard from most of the guys was top draw.

I was a little bit gutted for Michael White as I know he played some fantastic snooker along the way, and wanted to do so well in the event, but he a had a nightmare against Mark Allen, nothing went for him, but I’m sure he will come good again, he’s a great talent.

HEAVIER CLOTHS COULD GIVE DAVIS CHANCE OF A COMEBACK

As for the kicks, there were lots that week, I didn’t get loads myself, but what I did watch, there seem to be lots of them.

It is really annoying when they come along, they always seem to happen on important shots too.

I think they need to use thicker cloths, and slightly heavier balls.

I think by doing that, it will be a tougher test for the players, and that is no bad thing.

Golfers love a tougher test, why not make it tougher for the snooker players?

It could help players like Steve Davis to have a chance of competing again.

It will make players start to use their brains a bit more, which will help the more intelligent players like Steve. It won’t be so crash, bang, wallop.

LEICESTER TITLE WOULD BE GREAT FOR SPORT

Who’s gonna win the Premier League? I’m not a football fan, but I can’t help but notice that there are two teams fighting for the Premiership, Leicester and Spurs. I have to say I fancy Spurs, but wouldn’t it be great if the Foxes can do it. You can’t help but wanting to will them to victory.

Llandudno Final Roundup

Shaun Murphy beat Stuart Bingham by 10-9, yesterday evening to claim the World Grand Prix 2016 trophy. Congratulations to him ! 

SmurphWGP2016Win
Picture put on twitter by Jan Verhaas

It wasn’t the highest standard at times but there was drama a plenty as each player looked to dominated the match in spells. Despite losing Stuart will take home a lot of confidence after his excellent run this week. Shaun had been playing well for some time without getting the results and this is the reward for sticking to his positive approach to the game through and through.

Shaun’s win also means that he’s now overtaken Ronnie in the rankings: he’s up to n°4, with Ronnie n°5.

Matt Huart , as always,  gives us a detailed analysis of the run to the Crucible. Read it here, on his blog. This is only an excerpt:

With the final cut-off prior to the Betfred World Championship due fall after the China Open on 4th April 2016, if the draw were to be made today under the latest in-running race to the Crucible, this is how it would look:

Provisional 2016 World Championship Draw

Stuart Bingham (1) / Qualifier

Liang Wenbo (16) / Qualifier

Mark Allen (9) / Qualifier

Joe Perry (8) / Qualifier

————————————

Ronnie O’Sullivan (5) / Qualifier

Martin Gould (12) / Qualifier

Mark Williams (13) / Qualifier

Shaun Murphy (4) / Qualifier

————————————

Neil Robertson (3) / Qualifier

Marco Fu (14) / Qualifier

Barry Hawkins (11) / Qualifier

Judd Trump (6) / Qualifier

————————————

John Higgins (7) / Qualifier

Ricky Walden (10) / Qualifier

Michael White (15) / Qualifier

Mark Selby (2) / Qualifier

What can change?

With Ronnie O’Sullivan now having completed his schedule prior to Sheffield, not participating in either Manchester or Beijing, his final seeding will now depend upon the progress of those around him in both of those events. Standing fifth at the time of writing, Judd Trump and John Higgins are the two best to nudge him further down the list if they can put a run together between now and the final balls being potted in China.

You can find all the detailed results on cuetracker, thanks to Ron Florax.

Landudno Round 4 (SF) Roundup

Yesterday’s semi finals yielded a rematch of the last World Championship Final. Indeed it’s Shaun Murphy v Stuart Bingham again.

Stuart once again showed why he’s a World Champion. He was 3-0 down against Joe Perry yesterday afternoon and had been missing all sorts, but he stuck in there and managed to win 6-5. Resilience was the key as well as the longer format. Indeed Perry lead 4-3 at a point.

Shaun Murphy beat Ding Junhui by 6-3, from 3-2 behind. Both players were in pretty attacking mood  but Shaun became stronger as the match progressed whilst Ding looked a bit nervous at times. Not surprisingly: he’s still out of the provisional top 16 and could be forced to play three matches to qualify for the Crucible. That’s a lot at stake.

Today’s match is hard to call, but I’d favour Shaun slightly.

You can find all the detailed results on cuetracker, thanks to Ron Florax.

Llandudno Round 3 (QF) Roundup

Shaun Murphy and Joe Perry booked their spot in the semi finals with quite comprehensive victories, just as I expected. Shaun played free flowing and attacking snooker, Joe was more cautious and methodical but both look very solid as I mentioned before.

Ding Junhui saw off of Thepchayah Un-Nooh in a very entertaining match that went to a decider and had a 50+ break in every frame. Both went for their shots and played at a good pace. This was a treat. Stuart Bingham the World Champion, is also through, with a 4-2 win over Ryan Day. This match also had some good breaks but overall there were a lot of errors as well on both sides.

Today we will have Stuart Bingham v Joe Perry and Stuart will have to cut down the basic errors if he is to reach the final. The other semi-final sees Shaun Murphy taking on Ding Junhui and this is hard to call but it should be a great match.

You can find all the detailed results on cuetracker, thanks to Ron Florax.