Day 8 of “No Crucible” – Bizarre?

In their daily vodcast, Andy Goldstein, Neal Foulds, and Jimmy White explore “bizarre” snooker moments. 

With hindsight, it’s true that the whole 2020 Masters was a story of the unexpected, and, of course, Ronnie’s concession at the UK Championship in 2006 left everyone puzzled, and many worried. Signs that things weren’t right had been there in the previous months though.

But, there were a number of other strange moments, not included in their vodcast, and here are a few.

Dechawat Poomjaeng at the 2013 World Championship certainly should have been included …

It was both funny and disturbing. One of the funniest moments I was lucky to witness at the Crucible came in the media room after Stephen Maguire first-round defeat to Poomjaeng that year. Maguire came to the media room, obviously gutted and more than just slightly nonplussed. He literally let himself fall on the chair, sat there slumped for a few seconds, then declared “I have never seen anything like that”. Then leaned over the desk, half-covered his mouth with his hand, and with the look of a man about to disclose a dangerous secret, he whispered “Between us … he’s not the full shilling”. Now considering that there were about 5 mikes and 15 recorders on that desk, not even mentioning that the whole interview was filmed, that was quite surrealistically comical.

This incident at the Crucible in 2009 was quite strange as well and triggered endless discussions amongst fans

It’s obvious that, had Dotty not put his fist in the pocket, the white would have gone in-off. However, the white, in this case, was still on the bed of the table when Graeme touched it. Therefore, Alan Chamberlain calls a foul, as expected, but not because of the in-off, because Graeme has interfered with a ball in play. Also because there wasn’t an in-off, Alan leaves the white where it stopped, instead of cleaning it and putting it on the cushion. Mark Selby though doesn’t understand this. In his view, the white was going in-off and therefore, he believes that he has ball in hand and picks it. Alan Chamberlain immediately calls a foul … as it’s now Mark Selby who has been interfering with a ball in play. Eventually, Dott very sportingly refuses to take advantage. Strictly sticking by the rules Alan Chamberlain was right. But, under those circumstances, his call was a bit unfair on Mark Selby. I don’t think any player, except maybe Dominic Dale, or someone who is a referee as well as a player would have reacted differently than Mark did.

This one wasn’t bad either … Graeme Dott gets static shocks when touching the table at the Crucible in 2013 and asks for the carpet to be watered

Luca Brecel coming to his first-round match at the 2018 Masters, carrying two cues, was strange too, especially as, at no point, did it became clear what his intentions were. Having several cues is not unusual in pool, but the purpose is generally obvious: one cue to break, one to play, and, in some cases, another one to play jump shots. But in snooker? I can’t remember another occurrence of a player turning up with several cues.

“Crucible Gold” was looking at Stephen Hendry’s Crucible wins in 1990, 1992, 1994.

All three of those were wins over Jimmy White. In 1992, Hendry won 10 frames on the spin to win the match 18-14 from 14-8 down, in 1994, Jimmy twitched on a simple black off the spot, with the table at his mercy. Stephen was sitting in his chair, looking resigned, and admitted afterward that he didn’t expect to get another chance. Many fans are convinced that Jimmy White would surely have been a World Champion, if it wasn’t for Hendry. I love Jimmy, but I’m really not sure. He definitely should have won at least one of those two. Jimmy lost those two matches as much if not more than Stephen won them.

And finally, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie are going to do another Instagram chat on April 30, 2020. It should be interesting!

Hendry Instagram announcement

2 thoughts on “Day 8 of “No Crucible” – Bizarre?

  1. The vodcast was mainly about top players and ‘upsets’, not so much funny or bizarre moments, of which there have been many.

    A large part of Jimmy White’s failure in the 1990’s was because he was playing Stephen Hendry, who he knew was extremely dangerous and would fight to the last ball. In those years 1992-95 had he played anyone else he probably would have been able to win.

    Dechawat Poomjaeng’s performance in the 2017 Shoot-out was also very outlandish. But then he was suffering from kidney disease and expected it to be his last appearance on TV. Happily he has made a recovery, but unlikely to play professionally again.

    • I agree Lewis, it was because he was playing Stephen Hendry, and before him Steve Davis. He knew how dangerous they were, but wasn’t able to play the percentage game, and the pressure made him miss at critical moments. He was awesome to watch, and there are still glimpses of that nowadays, especially in exhibitions. But he wasn’t really solid under huge pressure and you need that to become a World Champion, certainly in the Crucible era.

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