2019/2020 – The Awards

WST has today shared its “Awards”

Judd Trump has been named snooker’s Player of the Year after a record breaking performance across the 2019/20 season.

Trump became the first player to win six ranking titles in a single season, lifting the trophy at the World Open, International Championship, Northern Ireland Open, German Masters, Players Championship and Gibraltar Open.

The 31-year-old also built a huge lead at the top of the world rankings and became the second player to make 100 century breaks in a season.

He receives the main Player of the Year award, voted by a panel of experts, for a second consecutive year.

Trump was also voted Snooker Journalists’ Player of the Year by media around the world who cover snooker. And he won the Fans’ Player of the Year, voted by fans on the WST App and on social media platforms in China.

Ronnie O’Sullivan took the Performance of the Year award for winning the World Championship for the sixth time. The Rocket beat Kyren Wilson 18-8 in last weekend’s final at the Crucible.

Magic Moment of the Year went to John Higgins for his 147 during the second round of the World Championship, becoming the first player to make a maximum at the Crucible since 2012.

Leicester’s Louis Heathcote won Rookie of the Year following an excellent debut season which was highlighted by a run to the final qualifying round of the World Championship and a jump to 82nd in the rankings.

WST Awards: 2019/20 winners
Player of the Year – Judd Trump
Fans’ Player of the Year – Judd Trump
Snooker Journalists’ Player of the Year – Judd Trump
Performance of the Year – Ronnie O’Sullivan
Rookie of the Year – Louis Heathcote
Magic Moment of the Year – John Higgins

Player of the Year – former winners
2011: John Higgins
2012: Ronnie O’Sullivan
2013: Mark Selby
2014: Ronnie O’Sullivan
2015: Stuart Bingham
2016: John Higgins
2017: Mark Selby
2018: Ronnie O’Sullivan
2019: Judd Trump
2020: Judd Trump

and the video going with it:

Judd Trump, having won a record six ranking titles this season, whilst being the reigning World Champion, was always going to be “Player of the Year” . It should be “Player of the Season” really, as the year isn’t over yet. Those awards are a recognition of players perfornmance over a the season.
The only “bemol” one can put on Judd’s season is that he hasn’t performed in any of the “Majors”. He lost by 6-3 to 54 years old Nigel Bond in the UK Championship, he lost by the same score to Shaun Murphy in the Masters first round, and never really impressed at the Crucible where he lost at the QF stage. But then, both the UK Championship 2019 (Ding Junhui) and the Masters 2020 (Stuart Bingham) have been won by players who did pretty nothing before or after this season. It was all a bit bizarre.

There can be no arguing with Ronnie’s “Performance of the Year” (aka Season). Winning a 6th World Title, a record 37th ranking title, at 44,  definitely deserved the recognition. He beat a ranking event winner is every round, including two former multiple World Champions, and a former World runner-up. He beat his nemesis, Mark Selby, over best of 33 in the semi finals, and with this, hopefully the 2014 demons will be gone too.
In this category though, I think one player, who wasn’t a “winner” should have been nominated: Jamie Clarke. After two seasons of struggling badly, winning three matches at the World qualifiers and then beating Mark Allen at the Crucible before narrowly losing to Anthony McGill, should, in my oponion, get him some recognition. Another one who deserved a nomination was Yan Bingtao: in Riga, he became the first teenager since Ding in 2006 to win a ranking event, and went on to become a member of the top 16 elite.

No argument with Louis Heathcote being awarded “Rookie of the year”.

Magic moment of the year? John Higgins 147 ? … maybe. I can’t really think of one particular “Wow!” moment this season other than Ronnie lifting that World Trophy again after 7 years of Crucible struggles.

But I would like to add some more “awards” …

The “Best day of the Season” goes, without a doubt, to Friday 14th of August. The two semi finals at the Crucible, going to a decider and producing incredible drama. The last frame of the Kyren Wilson v Anthony McGill was the craziest frame I’ve ever seen and very few will disagree with that assesment. Ronnie beating his demons, and Mark Selby, in a decider only hours after made the day very, very special!

Also, both WPBSA and WST deserve huge credit for bringing snooker back, and getting players to play in the context of this pandemic. I still disagree with having a crowd at the Crucible. The nature of the place made that a huge risk and I sincerely hope that nobody got infected. But, the efforts put into getting the CLS up, then running both the World qualifiers and the World Championship were exceptional Thank you WST and WPBSA.

Those who read this blog for some time know that I also have “Golden Turkey” awards

Golden Turkey

A permanent feature in this category is the “ranking” status of the Shoot-out. It gets a Golden Turkey once again.

What else this season?

The Paul Hunter Classic once the best, biggest and most vibrant Pro-Am in the snooker calendar, has been slowly but effectively destroyed, by being made a ranking event, and this season being just reduced to a 16  players “sanctioned” event. It leaves a very bitter taste in my mouth and, I’m sure, I’m not the only one. Anyone who went to Fürth in the glory days of the Pro-Am will feel the same.

Also the “yellow” incident during the John Higgins v Ali Carter QF at the Masters 2020. You can read about it, and watch the video again, in this piece by David Caulfield.
The white never touched the yellow, That’s plain for all to see. Desi had made the right call. Yet Carter’s aggressive reaction – I’m even tempted to use the word “bully” here – prompted her to change her call. So many things went wrong here. Surely, Desi and the marker should have reviewed the replay and she should have stood her ground. Carter claimed to be flabbergasted. Did he not look at the white whist it traveled and missed its aim? How could he honestly think he had hit the yellow if he did? Why not calmly ask for a video review if he honestly thought he had hit it instead of being plainly aggressive? Answers/opinions on a postcard…

8 thoughts on “2019/2020 – The Awards

  1. Consecutive seasons to win at least one TC trophy:
    S.Davis, S.Hendry, R.O’Sullivan all together ×9 times.
    I think if Ronnie win a TC trophy in the next season, that would be the performance of the modern era…
    a good while.
    (I am keeping my fingers crossed for… : ))

  2. Oh Ivan, agree, the magic moment happened in that semifinal, doubtless. Although I could say the magic moment for me was discovering that Trump was the fans’ choice too – so he has fans? 🙂

    And in total agreement about the grievance that the Shootout is a ranking tournament and the low point of the season was Ronnie entering, because he wanted to get points for the Tour-series. Still a terrible memory that he couldn’t play in the two tournaments where he was defending champion, but of course this Worlds-victory makes up for a lot of things.

    • The fans’ vote was cast before the World Championship, it always is and that explains why Ronnie isn’t even nominated for that one. Fans are supposed to vote on who had the best season, not on who they prefer to watch. That said, yes Judd Trump has fans. He is spectacular to watch when on form.

    • Csilla, yes, strange, I was always under impression that the only fan Trump ever had was my mate John from Bristol, beacuse he is from Bristol. At least Trumpie would never have said the bollox Slowby said. He said a lot of crap in his time but even he would never have fallen that low. And that is only because he thinks he is the master of universe and always takes it to be his fault he didn’t win and not bc the opponent possibly may be a better player than him, at least on the day, even if named ROS. Same goes for Murphy. Murphy is known when lose to whine about not playing to his best. What, he is assured that his A game is better than anyone elses A game. Pathetic. Anyway, it is great to love Ronnie, everyday I am watching details from the route to the last title, and also watching bits of older matches. These are the best days of my life, sort of, lol.

      • Ivan, I’m asking you to stop slating those players I’m sure you have never met and don’t know as persons. Not liking Mark Selby’s style of snooker is one thing, crucifying him because he had a rare go at an opponent after a very painful defeat is another. Mark is a lovely person, and most of the time very gracious in defeat. We all say things we come to regret sometimes. The only thing I read in Mark’s comments is how much that defeat hurt. The same goes for Shaun Murphy, who, in the past, was sometimes guilty of having to voice an opinion on anything, everything and nothing, but who has matured as a person and he is a gentleman. Loving Ronnie does not imply hating his opponents, even when they beat him. As for Judd Trump, I’m not a fan, but there is no doubt about his talent and dedication, and he has fans who like his outlandish approach.

      • Yes, I know already, you know all them players and shrinks. Who said anything about hate? It’s called passion. If you were any more sterile you would be dead, and not from Covid21-2.

      • You don’t know me any more than you know the players. If I had no passion, I wouldn’t write this blog, nearly every day for five years, nor would I travel the world to take those pictures. On my own expenses BTW. Your notion of ‘passion” is as misguided as your comment is insulting.

  3. The magic moment of the year award was bollox. It’s the last three frames, i.e. the last minisession of the Ron’s semi final comeback and the snooker he played there. It will be remembered forever. Nothing comes even close to it, certainly not a run-of-the-mill 147 by a player who even lost the match in question. And the player of the year award is overshadowed by him not producing anything at the majors, but oh well…

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