Ronnie was on the radio yesterday

… speaking snooker and promoting his new book.

This is him on Soho Radio. Thanks to Silvry for bringing this one up

Very nice. I had some issues getting it to play and it did in the end but I’m not quite sure what was the problem. So if you get same issues and find out how to solve them, please comment.

So Ronnie must be already in China by the time of writing, and plays an exhibition in Shanghai tonight, before heading to Daqing. The International Championship starts on Sunday, so I suppose the red carpet thing and the launch dinner with the sponsors will be on Saturday.




English Open 2017 – Ronnie is your champion!

Congratulations Ronnie!


Ronnie beat Kyren Wilson by 9-2 in a masterclass in breakbuilding to win the Dafabet English Open 2017, taking the Steve Davis Trophy. This is his 29th ranking title,  bringing him second only to Stephen Hendry (36), alongside John Higgins,  now ahead of Steve Davis (28). Ronnie’s pot success in the final was 98% and he made 12 centuries during the tournament, 4 of them in the final.


Here is the report on WPBSA

O’Sullivan Lands English Open Crown

22nd October 2017

Ronnie O’Sullivan won the 29th ranking title of his career, matching the total of John Higgins, by beating Kyren Wilson 9-2 in the final of the Dafabet English Open in Barnsley.

O’Sullivan was in superb break building form as he made four centuries and five more contributions over 50 in a one-sided final. His pot success rate was 98% over the contest and he won the last six frames in just 70 minutes before receiving the Steve Davis Trophy and a cheque for £70,000.

This was the first of the season’s Home Nations events and O’Sullivan is now a quarter of the way to winning a £1 million bonus. If he goes on to win the remaining three events in Belfast, Glasgow and Cardiff then he would bank that unprecedented prize. He heads to the Northern Ireland Open next month to continue the quest.

It’s O’Sullivan’s first ranking title since he won the 2016 Welsh Open, 20 months ago. The 41-year-old from Chigwell has now overtaken Steve Davis on the all-time list of ranking event winners and drawn level with Higgins on 29 crowns, though he’s still well short of Stephen Hendry’s record of 36.

An ankle injury suffered while running almost forced O’Sullivan to pull out before the event started, but he overcame that discomfort and ended the week by proving that, when in-form and focused, he remains a devastating force on the baize. The presence of psychiatrist Steve Peters in his corner for much of this week’s tournament was surely a factor in O’Sullivan’s success.

He moves up from 12th to 9th in the world rankings ahead of a busy schedule which could see him play in seven more tournaments before Christmas.

Kettering’s 25-year-old Wilson missed the chance to win his second ranking title having earned his first at the 2015 Shanghai Masters. He has now lost his last three ranking finals, against tough opponents in Anthony McGill, Ding Junhui and now O’Sullivan. The £30,000 runner-up prize sees the Warrior up from 15th to 12th in the rankings.

O’Sullivan carved out a 6-2 lead in the first session with top breaks of 115, 54, 131, 77, 87 and 96. Wilson had chances to close the gap in the first frame of the evening session but couldn’t take them and a run of 50 from O’Sullivan made it 7-2.

By now unstoppable, O’Sullivan compiled brilliant runs of 127 and 132, his 11th and 12th centuries of the tournament, to finish the match in style.

It is great to win another ranking title. I am my own worst critic at times but it was very, very good today,said the Rocket. “I made a lot of good and important breaks, and felt good among the balls. I will keep driving myself on to reach a higher level.

“I am enjoying the challenge of hanging in there against these young players, but you play well if you have to – and I know what a good player Kyren is. The foot is ok, I suppose I have to give some credit to the trainers I have been wearing all week!

Asked about the £1 million bonus, O’Sullivan added: “Listen, it is another 21 matches and it is do-able. Anything is possible but over these short matches that are best-of-seven frames, it will be very tough.”

Wilson said:I feel like I made it too comfortable for Ronnie at times. He obviously put me right under pressure, he played out of his skin today. To hold that level of concentration throughout the whole day was very impressive.

“I didn’t feel like I was completely out of the match after the first session. I wasn’t making elementary mistakes, but I was catching the odd safety thick. I felt like when I got in to score, I was alright. I knew I had to try and get off to a good start.

“I’ve lost to Ding and Ronnie in finals this season. They both played out of their skin. They both said it was one of their best performances in finals. It’s nice to know that they feel they have to play like that to beat me. But I wouldn’t mind doing it to somebody else!

“Ronnie was a hero of mine growing up. So it is nice to have him say good things about me. I just have to focus on my own game and try not to get too carried away with myself.

Victory for O’Sullivan means that Liang Wenbo is now sure of a place in next month’s Champion of Champions.


Some pictures thanks to Tai Chengzhe, much appreciated.

Videos of interest:

The Final preview

The Final Session 1 mid-session

The Final – Session 1 review

The Final – Session 2 preview

The Final review

The match and trophy ceremony :

Ronnie’s post-match with Worldsnooker:

All detailed tournament results are on Cuetracker


English Open 2017 – It’s Ronnie v Kyren in the Final

Ronnie and Kyren Wilson came out the winners of two very different semi-finals.

You can read the reports by Worldsnooker here:

Kyren Wilson 6-3 Alexander Ursenbacker

Kyren Wilson has reached his first ranking final on UK soil after defeating Swizerland’s Alexander Ursenbacher 6-3 at the Dafabet English Open in Barnsley.

The 2015 Shanghai Masters Champion will be hoping to capture a second ranking title, after falling short in his previous two appearances in a final. He lost out in the showpiece match at the Yushan World Open earlier this season to Ding Junhui, who ran out a 10-3 winner.

Switzerland’s only professional Ursenbacher couldn’t quite clinch his spot in the final, but it has been an excellent week for the world number 91. He only regained his spot on the tour at in March, after winning the European Under-21 title. This was comfortably Ursenbacher’s best professional showing, having never previously gone beyond the last 32 stage.

21-year-old Ursenbacher showed no signs of nerves today, as he immediately stamped his authority on the tie, making breaks of 64 and 84 to move 2-0 ahead. Wilson clawed one back with a run of 77 in the third frame.

There was then a key turning point prior to the interval. Ursenbacher had a prime opportunity to restore his two frame advantage, but left himself a tough pot on the final brown which he missed and allowed Wilson to level.

They traded the first two frames after the interval, but from that point Kettering’s Wilson burst into life. Breaks of 124, 75, 56 and 90 saw him storm to the line and come out a 6-3 victor.

“It was a good win. Very different to yesterday’s match, it seemed to flow and we both went for our shots. I think that was why we saw quite a lot of big breaks. I’m very impressed with Alex, I think he has a great future ahead of him if he carries on in that way.

“I’m in it to win it. I’ve lost my last two finals and it would be great to lift the trophy tomorrow.”

Wilson also explained why he was using a lighter on his tip in the arena (watch here) saying: “It’s a little technique. Using sandpaper can tear the tip apart. You can see little bits fraying on the side. Using a lighter just burnishes it.”

Ursenbacher was disappointed to fall short, but also pleased with what has been a very successful week.

“I didn’t expect to reach the semis when I entered,” said Ursenbacher. “Beating Shaun Murphy was a cracker for me. I didn’t really expect it. I thought he was going to bash me up! I just kept digging and it went well for me.

“I started off quite well today. But then I made some mistakes. From then on he played really well so fair play to him.”

Ronnie O’ Sullivan 6-4 Anthony McGill

Ronnie O’Sullivan secured his place in the final of the Dafabet English Open with an absorbing 6-4 defeat of Anthony McGill in Barnsley.

Tomorrow’s showpiece clash with Kyren Wilson will be the Rocket’s 43rdappearance in a ranking final. He hasn’t lifted ranking silverware for the past 20 months, having lost two finals last season. Although he did win a record seventh Masters title in January.

O’Sullivan established an early lead today and would have been forgiven for thinking it could be a brief night’s work. He holds a 100% record against McGill and had won all five of their meetings prior to this evening’s clash.

The Scot will have to wait for his first ranking title on UK soil. However, he can take solace in the fact that he is enjoying his most consistent run as a professional, having reached a final, a semi-final and three quarter-finals this campaign.

It was a rapid opening from the five-time World Champion this evening. He burst to a 3-0 advantage with runs of 62, 52 and 77. However, a gutsy contribution of 57 from McGill kept him within touch at the interval with the score at 3-1.

O’Sullivan re-asserted his authority when they returned, firing in a sublime break of 139 to lead 4-1. However, that wasn’t the killer blow as the resolute Scot refused to wilt under the pressure. Back-to-back frames pulled him within one at 4-3, before a hugely dramatic eighth frame.

McGill had trailed 42-1, before compiling a tremendous run of 62. The frame looked at his mercy after developing the final brown. However, he jawed it and left O’Sullivan to dramatically clinch the frame on the black and move 5-3 ahead. (watch here)

The Scot continued to apply pressure and made it 5-4 thanks to a break of 71. However, the Rocket wasn’t to be denied. He deposited a fine long red from the break and went on to clear with 133 to finish off a thriller.

When asked about trying to match John Higgins’ tally of 29 ranking titles O’Sullivan said: “I’d be silly to say I don’t want to break all of the records. Who wouldn’t? But for me it is all about the competition and enjoying it. Ranking titles and championships should happen organically. Tonight it was a great atmosphere and I think we created that.

“Kyren is solid and has a great technique. He’s already won a ranking title. There are six or seven good young players who are hungry. Guys like John Higgins and I now need to put the work in. We probably need to do it in spurts. If I am going to win tomorrow, I’ll need two or three of them.”

Afterwards McGill admitted that his miss in the eighth frame could have been an important moment.

“In hindsight I probably should have just screwed back on the brown. I didn’t need the blue, but I should have played the ball the way I normally would,” said the 2016 Indian Open Champion. “I had a chance to win the match, but my break-off cost me two frames. I just tried to take him into the war zone because I am not going to walk over the top of him. My best chance was to try and make it tight.”

Thanks to Tai Chengzhe for the pictures.

Videos of interest: 

Ronnie v McGill match preview

Ronnie v McGill the match:

you can watch the mid-session here

Ronnie v McGill match review

Ronnie’s interview with Worldsnooker after the match:

Some personal thoughts:

I found the Eurosport match review with Ronnie particularly interesting because it gave a great insight into the psychology of the match and what’s going through the player’s mind as twists and turns happen.

Here is how I lived through the match:

There were two major turning points. The first one came in frame 6. Ronnie looked set to got 5-1 up, but, as I watched, I wasn’t confident. Indeed he was playing faster and faster, and I remember thinking ” slow down Ronnie, take a deep breath”, and a couple of shots later he missed a relatively easy black and was clearly annoyed with himself. Anthony couldn’t take advantage and within minutes Ronnie was back at the table, only to miss an absolute routine ball, and, this time, you could see the doubts and anguish creep in his looks. As he was sat in his chair, watching Anthony make it 4-2, I thought “here we go again”, the confidence is gone and he’ll lose the match from here despite the score. And then, when it looked for whole the world that it would go 4-4, Anthony missed the frame ball brown in frame 8. It wasn’t a difficult ball under normal circumstances, especially as he didn’t need position on the blue. But there was psychological pressure, the distinctive possibility for Anthony to beat a man he had never beaten before and to book his place in the final. Anthony must have known that Ronnie was on the ropes. But he missed it … and Ronnie came to the table and cleared, starting with a far from easy brown at power. I could see immediately by the look in Ronnie’s eyes that the confidence was back, at least in part, and that he believed again that he could win, despite Anthony taking the next frame. The last frame, with that wonderful 133, was a statement.

Ronnie’s interview confirmed those perceptions and reaffirmed his belief that you don’t win prolifically by being defensive, you need to take the initiatives, even when deep down you don’t feel really confident. He’s right, not in any modern individual sport do you win regularly nowadays by defending all the time. If you do, your opponent will take the game out of your hands.

English Open 2017 – Day 5 – Ronnie is the old man standing.

It will be an unusually youthful line-up today in Barnsley as we reach the semi-finals: it features players aged 21, 25, 26 … and 41. Ronnie is literally the old guy in there.

Read the reports on Worldsnooker here:

Afternoon session:

Anthony McGill defeated Neil Robertson for the first time in ranking competition to reach the Dafabet English Open semi-finals by a 5-3 scoreline.

The Scot has enjoyed his most consistent run as a professional over the last few months, having reached a final and three quarter-finals already this campaign.

Today’s victory for McGill was a significant one, with him and Robertson in direct competition for a place at the Dafabet Masters in January. In the race to Alexandra Palace, the 26-year-old occupies the 14th spot, with Robertson is currently projected to miss out in 17th.

The start of the match was characterised by big breaks. Robertson came fastest out of the blocks with a run of 85, before McGill restored parity with a contribution of 65. There were further breaks of 79 and 72 for Robertson and 82 and 69 for McGill as they entered the latter stages of the match level at 3-3.

For all of the break building prowess, the key to the tie was a marathon 60 minute tactical battle in the seventh frame. With the balls positioned awkwardly, McGill chipped away with several small contributions to gain the edge and eventually found himself 4-3 ahead. The two-time ranking event winner got himself over the line with a fine run of 86 in the next. He faces either Ronnie O’Sullivan or Jack Lisowski in the last four.

“The tournaments I’ve won have been in shorter formats,” said McGill. “The next stage would be to win an event like this. It would be another hurdle for me.”

Kyren Wilson emerged the 5-3 victor in a tense battle with Iran’s Hossein Vafaei.

It will be Wilson’s second semi-final appearance this season, after a fine run at the Yushan World Open which saw him finish runner-up. Vafaei’s second appearance in a Home Nations quarter-final ends in defeat.

The Warrior will face the winner of this evening’s clash between Alexander Ursenbacher and Michael White.

Evening session:

Ronnie O’Sullivan defeated Jack Lisowski 5-2 to reach the last four of the Dafabet English Open in Barnsley.

The win sees the Rocket reach a remarkable 65thranking semi-final, where he will face world number 14 Anthony McGill. The Scot has never lost a last four tie, but will have his work cut out maintaining that record when he faces O’Sullivan, who hasn’t lost a semi-final for five years.

Lisowski will reflect on a tremendous run which included memorable wins over two-time World Champion Mark Williams and 2011 UK Champion Judd Trump.

The 26-year-old made an immediate impact with a tremendous break of 128. He had the first chances in the next three frames, but didn’t seize the opportunity to build a lead. The five-time World Champion claimed three on the bounce, making breaks of 64 and 125, as he charged to a 3-1 advantage at the interval.

When they came out for the second session it was a deficit which Lisowski couldn’t overturn, as O’Sullivan ran out a 5-2 victor. The 28-time ranking winner remains on course to level John Higgins’ tally which is at 29 after the Scot won the Indian Open earlier this campaign.

O’Sullivan said: “I haven’t been winning as much these past two years, and so I am excited getting to this stage of the tournament. I want to win it now.”

“I am over the moon to be into the semi-finals. Jack is a talented player, and plays like he is practising and scores quickly. He is a lovely guy, I want him to do well.

Alexander Ursenbacher continued his phenomenal run, with a 5-0 demolition of Paul Hunter Classic winner Michael White.

The Swiss potter, who regained his place on tour by winning the European Under-21 title in March, hadn’t made it beyond the last 32 stage of an event coming into this week. However, wins over Stuart Carrington and 2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy yesterday secured his place in today’s last eight tie.

This evening the world number 91 simply cast his opponent aside in a rapid one hour and ten minutes. He trailed 41-4 in the first frame, but hit back with a run of 55 to take the opener and lead 1-0. Further breaks of 84, 51 and 93 saw him establish a 4-0 advantage at the interval and when they returned he won the fifth to seal the biggest win of his career.

Ursenbacher said: “I was so nervous when I walked in at the beginning of the match. I had a good start and I was surprised at that because of the nerves. I got the first two frames on the board and I felt alright. I just thought I had to keep concentrated and focused and thought it could go my way.

“I hope people will notice this. Not only am I the only Swiss professional, but now I have made the run to a semi-final in a world ranking event. If that doesn’t open some eyes I don’t know what will. I hope that it will convince people to want to play snooker in Switzerland.”

Videos of interest:

Ronnie’s match preview

Ronnie v Jack Lisowski QF:

You can watch the mid-session here

Review and Ronnie’s postmatch

Ronnie’s performance wasn’t the highest standard, but he did the job. No player can play at their best in every match. He seems to be in the right frame of mind though and hungry again.

Some more pictures, courtesy of Tai Chenghez, thanks Tai!

English Open 2017 – Day 4

Day 4 in Barnsley was even more eventful than the previous ones. We had some very surprising results indeed.

Last 32:

Yan Bingtao beat Liang Wenbo, the defending champion by 4-0. The match was actually very close judging by the frames scores but for Liang who yesterday hit a 147, not to win a single frame was a bit unexpected. Unless of course he celebrated the 147, and the £40000 coming with it a bit too much … (just joking here).

Mark Williams was outplayed by Jack Lisowski, who had 4 breaks over 50 in beating Mark by 4-2. Didn’t see that coming the way “Willo” was playing recently. Mark was full of praise for Jack afterwards.

Michael White beat Ben Wollaston by 4-0 with four breaks over 50. Again it’s more the manner than the result itself that’s surprising here!

James Wattana and Alexander Ursenbacker both progressed: those two are at opposite “ends” of their career. There is still some strenghts in the Thaiphoon!

Hossein Vafaei beat Stuart Bingham on the last black in a decider. Hossein had been 3-0 up only for Stuart to peg him back to 3-3. Hossein probably thought he had blown it and his roar of delight when potting the winning black told how much it mattered to him.

Xiao Guodong beat Mark Selby by 4-1, a comprehensive score. Selby’s form hasn’t really be there this season (yet), and they were on an outside table, but still a surprising scoreline.

Last 16:

Jack Lisowski, Hossein Vafaei, Alexander Ursenbacker and Michael White all confirmed their good form by progressing the QF. In the process Alexander beat Shaun Murphy very comprehensively, by 4-1. Jack beat his good mate Judd Trump, in a deciding frame. Jack in fact leads Judd in the head-to-head.

With Kyren Wilson and Anthony McGill also progressing, that’s 6 players born in the 90th in the QF. Good to see!

All detailed results are on Cuetracker

Interviews with Jack Lisowki, Hossein Vafaei, Michael White and more can be found on this youtube channel

About Ronnie’s wins and the floor invasion incident, read here.


English Open 2017 – Ronnie into the QF

Ronnie won two very different matches yesterday, to book a quarter-final spot in the English Open 2017.

In the last 32, he faced Zhang Yong, a 22 years old Chinese player, and despite Zhang winning one frame, it was rather an onslaught. Ronnie won in less than an hour, with three centuries. The match ended in a bizarre fashion when a young lady invaded the floor, started running around the table, and Ronnie offered her to pot the last black, which she missed twice. The whole thing in good spirit. Even Zhang Yong was all smiles.

The last 16 was an entirely different affair. It was the clash of the round as old rivals Ronnie and John Higgins were set to face each other for the 62nd time, with Ronnie having won 30 for 27 to Higgins and 3 draws. They also had played 12 deciders, winning 6 each. Ronnie has the uttermost respect for Higgins’ game, he’s often said that Higgins is the toughest player he’s ever played, with Hendry, and the best all-rounder the game ever had. So it was a tense affair and Ronnie admitted in the post-match that he was nervous. The match didn’t disappoint. It was very high quality from both. Ronne was never in front, and it’s Higgins who scored the only century, a 138 TC in the first frame. But it was Ronnie who came on top in the deciding frame, with a fantastic 91 break, starting with a great long red and treating the fans to a break building masterclass.

Here are the match stats:


The report on Worldsnooker (excerpt)

Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins met in yet another classic encounter, with the O’Sullivan coming out on top 4-3.

It was the 62nd clash between the pair and it certainly lived up to the billing, with a run of over 50 in every frame.

The Wizard of Wishaw was the first to impose himself on proceedings with a brilliant break of 138, after a misjudged safety from O’Sullivan. The Rocket responded immediately with a break of 88 as they went blow for blow with big contributions.

There were further runs of 73 and 78 for Higgins and 84 and 60 for O’Sullivan as the match went down to a decider at 3-3. The five-time World Champion made a superb long red from Higgins’ break and compiled a break of 91 to claim a tremendous win.

O’Sullivan said: “We are pretty even in our record. That is a compliment, I’ll take that all day. If somebody said to me you will have an even career with John Higgins I’d take that. I’m happy to be compared alongside him.

“Nothing gets you focused like playing a top player. I think I got more out of that match than my last six or seven games.”

A few pictures taken on the day by Tai Chengzhe, thanks Tai! 

Videos of interest:

Last 32

Ronnie v Zhang Yong – preview

Ronnie v Zhang Yong – match

Ronnie v Zhang Yong – review


Last 16

Ronnie v John Higgins – preview

Ronnie v John Higgins – match

Ronnie – John Higgins – review


Again very good, very positive interviews from Ronnie. It’s obvious that he feels at ease with the ES gang, with no fear to be baited or misquoted afterward.

Ronnie will now play Jack Lisowski, who beat Judd Trump last night, in the first match of this evening session. It’s now best of 9.

English Open 2017 – Day 3

Day 3 in Barnsley was an eventful one. The highlight was provided by the defending champion himself, Liang Wenbo, who hit a 147 in frame 5 of his last 64 match and offered the crowd a trademark celebration to match the feat!

Other than that there were a few upsets as well, so much so that only eight of the top 16 remain on course as we reach the last 32 stage.

Luca Brecel’s defeat to Mark Williams can’t be seen a shock of course: both are top players and the experienced and cunning Welsh potting machine is certainly no “has-been” just yet. He prevailed 4-1.

More surprising were the defeats of Mark Allen, Barry Hawkins, Ali Carter, Ding Junhui and David Gilbert. Ricky Walden as well lost yesterday, and alas this has become only too frequent as he seems to be unable to regain his form. It’s unclear how much he still suffer from his back injury but those injuries tend to be very persistent.

Gilbert fell to Matthew Stevens who seems to rediscover some form after years in the doldrums, which is good to see. Allen and Hawkins had just a below average day, it happens to them all.

Ding lost to Michael White and for the first three frames looked as if he was needing all his strenght just to stay awake. Ding in the past has been guilty of coming back from China to the UK last-minute when he was due to play there and maybe it was the case this time again. This is his first tournament in the UK this season and he certainly looked badly jet-lagged.

The most surprising result was certainly James Wattana 4-3 win over Ali Carter. I didn’t see that coming and I don’t think many would have predicted it. The veteran trailed 3-2, won the last two and had a century as well. As the match wasn’t televised, at least in Europe, it’s hard to know what really happened there.

Both Liang Wenbo and Neil Robertson, who are fighting to regain their top 16 place before the Masters, were pushed to a decider. The Neil Robertson v Li Hang match was scheduled to be streamed, but eventually was played on table 7 as the match in progress on table 2 was running late. It’s a shame because, judging by the scores, and Neil’s reaction on twitter it was a terrific match with a break over 60 in every frame.

Looking at the young guns we had wins for Yan Bingtao, Chen Zifan, Yuan Sijun, Zhang Yong Hossein Vafaei, Jack Lisowski and Sunny Akani. The Asian tide is well and truly on!

About Ronnie’s win over Mark Davis and the trainersgate read here