2017 Awards and a Golden Turkey

It’s that time of the year again … so here we go! Those are of course my picks, personal choices. Fell welcome to come up with yours !

2017 Awards


Player of the year

Clearly there were two obvious candidates in Ronnie and Mark Selby for the reasons exposed here.

Mark won three ranking events: the World Championship, the International Championship and the China Open. He also made the final of the Championship League Snooker. You can have a look at Mark’s 2017 achievements on Cuetracker.

Ronnie also won three ranking events: the UK Championship, the Shanghai Masters and the English Open. In addition he won the Masters and made it to two other finals: the champion of Champions and the Hong Kong Masters. You can have a look at Ronnie’s 2017 achievements on Cuetracker. Ronnie also equalled or broke several records during the year: he passed the 900 centuries mark, he now holds the record of most Masters won with 7, equalled Steve Davis record of 6 UK Championships and equalled Stephen Hendry’s record of 18 Triple Crowns.

So, all things considered Ronnie is my player of the year.

Young player of the year

That’s an easy one: Yan Bingtao is my young player of the year. Look at Yan’s 2017 achievements on Cuetracker. Yan has only been a pro for one season and a half. He’s climbed as high as 26th in the rankings, he’s reached a ranking event final. He took some serious scalps during short career including Mark Selby and Ronnie. And I like his gusto, he’s a showman, he relates to the crowds. I even have a soft spot for his terrible sense of fashion!

Entrepreneur of the year

Jason Francis is my entrepreneur of the year for singlehandedly building the Seniors Tours, now supported by WPBSA. This is a fantastic achievement in a very short time span. It’s about giving opportunities to all those players who have entertained and thrilled us in their prime, who still love the game but dropped off the tour, as well as to all the amateurs over 40, who dare to dream to play a legend, in a legendary venue. Jason’s events offer the right balance between good snooker, competitiveness, fun, glamour and nostalgia.

Snooker coverage of the year

The Eurosport UK coverage of the Home Nation Series and the UK Championship. They are my pick, providing the right mix of knowledge, intelligent punditry and commentary and lighthearted fun. There is a complicity in that team that I never found elsewhere. Special mentions for Ronnie, Jimmy White, Neal Foulds and David Hendon.

Coup de coeur of the year

It has to go to this, especially the twin interview with Ronnie and Sunny Akani after their UK match. And Sunny himself. I’m a fan!


2017 Golden Turkey


Golden Turkey

That one goes to Barry Hearn for making the Shootout a ranking event.

Here we have an event that isn’t even played under the rules of snooker, with a ridiculously “short” shot-clock, over just one frame, in a drunken atmosphere. It was marred by refereeing mistakes that robbed players of earning opportunities or worse and I don’t blame the refs really because it’s humanely impossible to keep the required level of concentration and to spot everything in that circus. And it had a definite impact on who was finally at the Crucible by right.

In my eyes this event is an insult to the players skills. and hard work. It’s not even funny anymore with what is at stake. It’s just tailor-made for the bookies, as close as it can be to prostitution to the betting industry. We were told that making it a ranking event was required by the television broadcasters, probably in an attempt to get the big names on board. It didn’t really work.

And the way Hearn reacted to the flood of criticism, by organising a vote that excluded the option everyone wanted, was one of the worst pretence of “democracy” I’ve seen in this sport.

End of rant!





2 thoughts on “2017 Awards and a Golden Turkey

  1. Cannot believe that the 2017 is almost over.
    I well remembered how I wanted to see Ronnie’s first match of the year against Liang Wenbo.
    2017 had some ups and downs.
    To beat Higgins 4 times in a row is a massive result in this year to beat Judd Trump at first by 6:5 having
    needed a snooker (remembered that we suffered to find any useful stream) than trashed him by 10:3…

    Truly remarkable that he has had 98% pot success against Kyren Wilson (English Open) 97% pot success against Shaun Murphy (UK Championship) and about 93-95% pot success against Judd Trump (Shanghai Masters).
    3 ranking event finals from at his very best.

    From Masters to World Championship that 3 months was a big big upset for us. We know the story I don’t want to write it to here.

    I rewatched some of his matches between 2012 German Masters to 2016 Masters and I can tell you that Ronnie now has the best attitude for the game with a very good mental power.

    So just Ronnie, my awards:
    – Performance of the year: the English Open final against Kyren Wilson
    – Battle of the year: UK Championship, against Sunny Akani.
    – Shot of the year: https://youtu.be/Lv8e61QFFk8?t=1h57m30s
    – Comeback of the year: Masters final against Joe Perry: from 1:4 to 10:7 with the cue tip problems.
    – Break of the year: that 146 against Ding from the Crucible
    – Most important match for him in 2017 I think was the English Open 4:3 against John Higgins.
    (For me 3 disappointments: losing from 4:1 to 4:5 against Luca Brecel in August + the 2nd session against Ding from the Crucible and the CoC final against Murphy.)
    Happy New Year for us! 🙂

  2. Definitely a fantastic year (on the baize) for Ronnie and his fans. A few thoughts:

    1. While it’s easy to think that Ronnie “should have” won more tournaments throughout his career than he has, his wins at the Masters and UK in 2017 arguably “make up” for some of his past losses in the sense that he “should have” lost in the Masters to Liang Wenbo and in the UK to Sunny Akani. In other words, winning a few that he should have lost might help to make up for losing a few that he should have won.

    2. It’s noteworthy that Ronnie went all of 2017 without playing even a single match against Mark Selby. He played some of the other top players multiple times, but hasn’t played Selby since the 2016 UK final. Put another way, Ronnie was able to win his 4 events in 2017 without having to get past Selby on the way. I’ll be interested to see how well Ronnie’s new attitude and mental powers hold up against what would be the ultimate test (i.e. a battle against the Torturer…)

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