I saw nothing of the afternoon session, so I can’t comment on the action itself. Regarding the phone incident though, yes, it’s disturbing and, yes, it’s unacceptable. I would however like to report my own experience with phones going off in the arena. It was at the Crucible, during the Selby v Ding final. So, we are talking about the highest profile match of the season. I was sat on the thrird or fourth row, so rather close to the arena floor, in the middle of a group of Selby fans. I’m saying they were Selby fans because they were cheering on him whenever he was at the table. Several of them had their phones in their hands during the match and I could clearly see what was going on with the one closest to me. They were on betting sites, and busy betting in play. At least three times one of those phones went off, whilst Selby was at the table, immediately triggering assumptions that this came from Ding fans trying to put Selby off. Actually they were getting betting alerts… They weren’t thrown out. Now, nearly every snooker tournament nowadays is sponsored by the betting industry. I’m sure that Worlrdsnooker is nowhere near ready to take any serious measure that could impact their main sponsors profit. Therefore those things will go on.
Here are the reports by Worldsnooker:
Stuart Bingham was left furious by a mobile phone interruption at a crucial moment of his 6-4 defeat against John Higgins at the Betway UK Championship.
Higgins goes through to the quarter-finals in York while Mark Allen is also through to the last eight thanks to a nail-biting 6-5 win over Kurt Maflin.
“It’s just a sickener,” said world number 12 Bingham. “Some idiot left his phone on and I had a chance there to win the frame to go 5-4 up. I missed and that put me in a bad frame of mind. It’s just pathetic. I had the frame in my hands. If the guy had been any closer I would have knocked him out.”
Neil Robertson became the third player ranked among the world’s top four to be knocked out of the Betway UK Championship before the quarter-finals as he was hammered 6-1 by Yan Bingtao.
World number four Robertson followed Judd Trump (one) and Mark Williams (three) on the road out of York after being outplayed by China’s 19-year-old rising star Yan. The talented teenager, who won his first ranking title at the Riga Masters earlier this season, goes through to face John Higgins on Friday.
Yan was making his first appearance in the last 16 of a Triple Crown event but looked at ease from the start against two-time UK Champion Robertson. Breaks of 66, 74 and 56 helped give him a 5-0 lead.
Australia’s Robertson was in danger of being white-washed when he trailed by 49 points on the last red in frame six, but he got the snookers he needed and cleared the table to avoid that ignominy. But there would be no fight-back as the seventh frame came down to a battle on the final black and Yan’s long pot sealed the result.
“My game wasn’t perfect but my potting was good,” said Yan, who has acquired the nickname the Chinese Tiger this week. “Once I was 4-0 up I played a more strategic game and didn’t give Neil many chances.
“John Higgins is very good under pressure. I will have to score well or hope he has a bad day.”
Robertson said: “He’s in the mould of a giant-killer, he’s extremely dangerous. I saw him dismantle Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-1 in a match in China (at the 2017 International Championship).
“He played really well tonight. His safety was awesome and he kept getting in first, I stuck in there but didn’t take enough of my chances.
“It gives me a few extra days to prepare for the Scottish Open so hopefully I can do well there and finish the year on a high.”
Liang Wenbo’s remarkable progress in the tournament continued as he beat Li Hang 6-4 in a Chinese derby. Liang’s mother died at the age of 56 last Tuesday and he flew to China after his first round tie to attend the funeral. Since returning to York he has won three more matches.
Li made a 136 in taking a 2-1 lead tonight then Liang, who was runner-up to Robertson at this event in 2015, took four frames in a row with top breaks of 57, 69 and 104. Li pulled two back before Liang clinched victory in frame ten with an 83. He left the arena in tears, overcome with emotion.
Yan played extremely well, anshowed great maturity for someone so young. I’m very pleased to see how well he’s progressing. As for Liang Wenbo, he’s showing admirable courage.
Ronnie will play Ding Junhui today, a close friend, and should he win he would play Liang next, another close friend. It’s also Ronnie’s birthday; he’s turning 44. He doesn’t like birthday’s although he never fails to bring a cake to the press room…
So here are my wishes …
Happy everyday Ronnie, play well today, enjoy your match!