Congratulations to Kyren Wilson , the 2018 6-reds World Champion!
Kyren Wilson beat Ding Junhui 8-4 in the final to win the SangSom Six Red World Championship in Bangkok.
World number eight Wilson dominated the final in the Thai capital to win the title for the first time and take the top prize of 3.5 million Baht (around £82,000).
That made it back to back titles for Kettering’s 26-year-old Wilson as he also won the Paul Hunter Classic in Germany two weeks ago.
China’s Ding missed out on his second Six Red title having won the event in 2016. Victory would also have earned him a place at the Champion of Champions in November.
Both players now head to China for the Shanghai Masters, which starts on Monday.
… and a few personal thoughts …
- Kyren earned over four times more prize money to win this invitational event than he did for winning the Paul Hunter Classic, his second ranking title. Is this right? Barry Hearn will tell you that it’s down to the sponsors to make sure that their event is attractive enough by offering the right prize money. Now, what are sponsors looking for when they decide to back an event? I’d say, it’s exposure, image, prestige. Exposure largely depends on how many channels, and which ones broadcast the event, it also depends on how easy and attractive it is for the fans to attend the event live. The latter may not be that important in a huge country like China though, as distances mean that the number of television viewers will always be much, much higher than on site viewers. But it certainly is in Europe. Image and prestige are driven by many factors, not just by the prize money on offer: the setup, the hospitality, the line-up and the cultural context all play a role. In Asian events, a real effort is put into those aspects: red carpet walk, launch dinner, opening and trophy ceremonies are all part of the hospitality feeling, and contribute to give the players the feeling that they are both welcome and important. This is something that Jason Francis has very successfully implemented in his Legends events, and now in the World Seniors Tour as well. Feeling welcome and valued certainly contributes to players motivation too. As does a proper setup. Goffs is seen by most players who competed in it as one of the best arenas in snooker history, probably second only to the Crucible one table setup. Why? It’s a round arena, it’s a bear pit that favours a gladiatorial atmosphere. The top players love that and thrive in it. The fact that there are spectators all around the table is essential: those who have been in York at the UK Championship will know how much the atmosphere changes when the setup goes from 4 tables in a line, to two tables with viewers on three sides. And it can be felt even on television. Finally there is the cultural context… I have said this already, the close association of snooker and betting industry is not helping in most countries in mainland Europe. For those in UK who don’t get it, ask yourself what the perception would be if a snooker was mainly sponsored by companies selling horse meat…
- There were again speculations about some players not giving it their best, and again, targeting mainly the Asian players, the Thai players in particular. Some suggested that James Wattana was not trying. There are many possible reasons why a player misses shots, pressure being one. James is almost a god in his country and, despite being well past his best, still has a very high expectations to cope with. Not easy that. All Thai players had them expectations to some extend BTW. Noppon Saengkham was criticised for some of his shot selections, notably for not moving a certain green off the rail during the final phase of a frame. Shot selection depends on how clearly you think, and it also depends on what you know about the conditions. The tournament was played on Shender tables, with pockets that are apparently much more welcoming than the Star tables ones, especially when shots are played along the rail. On the other hand nobody suggested that Mark Williams might not be trying when he lost to Mohammed Shehab, a seniors amateur. I’m not suggesting that Willo did anything wrong, nor am I underestimating Mohammed Shebab who I saw playing in Malta last spring and is very capable. What annoys me is what I perceive as a bias based on player’s nationality.
… end of rant.