Ronnie at the races & Willo’s views

Last week-end Ronnie went to support the Venturi at the races in London.


He, and Nicolas Hamilton, were there as a ROKIT embassadors. Ronnie even had the honor/pleasure to take Toto Wolf’s seat in the safety car for the hot lap.

By all accounts, he totally enjoyed the experience.

He shared some images on his social media

And a short video of the hot lap

During the same week-end Mark Williams reacted to WST announcement that Ronnie has withdrawn from the 2021 British Open with this:

WilloreactionRosBritishOpen Withdrawal

It says it all about how the top players who started in the 90th, and are still at the top, feel about the current trends in snooker. It’s increasingly about shortening formats and being lucky. Making the sport more random will suit the bookies and excite the gamblers but not the true snooker fans. It will not help the sport in the long term, quite the opposite.

Even the young players with a brain see it: the excellent Davild Caulfield has been talking to Peter Devlin. Please do read the full interwiew, it’s very interesting.

This is only a very short excerpt with Peter’s quotes relevant to the above:

“I’ve seen the rankings and learned a lot about how it works this year in the rankings – consistency is not rewarded,” says the world number 114.

“The only reward is for deep runs in tournaments, and not all tournaments that you have deep runs in give you any reward. My goal is just to be lucky.”

“I know I’m good enough to have deep runs, but it just has to be the right tournament. Stuart Carrington got to the semi-final of Gibraltar, beating five top players on the way, and he won £6,000 for that.

“Then another player drew Anthony Hamilton in the UK Championship – Anthony had COVID – so the other guy got a walkover and got £6,500. What does that say?


5 thoughts on “Ronnie at the races & Willo’s views

  1. I thought the 4-table plans are bc of social distancing, not bc of Ronnie’s criticism. In any case, while it is still snooker and fun ti watch, it is just impossible to take such titles like the British Open seriously.

  2. Unfortunately Ronnie has contributed to this issue, with his distaste of tournaments ‘full of numpties’ and criticism of 8-table venues. With the new 4-table plan, the only way to schedule tournaments is to have shorter matches (British Open), or qualifying rounds (Home Nations). Will players such as Mark Williams or Ding Junhui want to play in those tournaments if they aren’t in the top-16? Or will it force them into retirement?

    It’s also for that reason that I have no plans to attend any tournaments this season – it just isn’t worth my while when I can’t get to see the players I want to watch.

    • Nobody is “forced” into retirement Lewis, unless they drop off the tour. Willo may chose not to play if he feels he can’t play at the level and in the conditions he wants, but somehow I doubt it, at least if if it’s only about the conditions. He has been there before and has come back. He might choose not to play in a “lottery” tour though and I won’t blame him if he does. Ding is another case entirely. Ding is only 34. There is no age related reason why he could not play at the highest level and win titles for many more years. Why isn’t he doing it anymore? Probably because he made choices, putting his own lifestyle, his family and his wellbeing ahead of winning titles, ultimately proving Ronnie right in the assessment that, unless you find the balance that suits you, snooker – as most elite sports actually – can be a waste of your life. Where Ronnie is wrong is that what suits a person is … personal. I have long stopped taking note of those who call for Jimmy White to retire because he’s no more able to play anywhere near his best, but HE still loves to play and that’s enough for him. He will play for as long as he loves it and is allowed to, no matter the format, no matter the venue. As for the schedule, instead of having qualifiers, WST could let go of the “one week” time constraint. They could and should have ALL tournaments played at or near the final venue in one go. And don’t anyone come up with “there is no room for that in calendar”. there is if they rationalise the calendar to minimise travel and drop the traditional Championship League Smooker, a tournament only for those invited, with a format that makes losing more profitable than winning at times and is essntially a cashcow for the bookies.

      • Yes, they may indeed drop off the tour if they aren’t prepared to play qualifying rounds in Barnsley. Of course, they may be awarded wildcards by WST, but there must be a limit how many of these wildcards can be issued. It’s not an attractive tour for a player ranked 20 who is used to playing in front of big crowds. Better just to play exhibitions.

  3. Peter Devlin seems like a smart man, it will probably help him to stay on tour if he can exploit the rankings to his benefit. To be fair, the ranking is not that complicated, and he would still have to win matches.

    Between 1993 and 1995, Norway’s national football team was ranked second in the world on the FIFA ranking. How? Because the manager exploited the ranking formula by choosing the most beneficial friendly matches. Why? Higher seeding in draws.

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