25 November 2022 – Sofia
Ronnie and Jimmy entertained a huge crowd yesterday evening in Sofia. Today they will do another one in Plovdiv. Those events are organised by Oleg Velinov and he does a sterling job. Everything ran smoothly yesterday.
It started with the players signing goods and programs in the arena itself.
The match itself was a best-of-9 with a twits or two…
The first frame was in fact played as a “Scotch Doubles”. Each of the pros was paired with a local amateur. Sorry, I don’t know their name. Jimmy’s yesterday’s partner is a really good player. Ronnie played with a young lad, who, maybe, was a bit overawed by the occasion. Anyway, “Team Jimmy” won that frame convincingly. and it counted as 1-0 to Jimmy in the match…
The rest of the match was a rather close and very entertaining affair, Ronnie emerging a 5-4 winner. Both players scored one century. They didn’t refuse many shots as you might imagine 😉
Two of the frames Jimmy won involved very unorthodox shots. In both occasions the white had come to rest touching, or nearly touching, the colour he intended to play. There was not way he could play it without playing a push shot. What to do? Jimmy’s “solution” was to put his cue down, “cut the white” with his hand … and send the colour in a pocket as a result. Under the Bulgarian Exhibition circumstances, this was deemed a legal shot much to the delight of the crowd.
The first part of the match was refereed by Proletina Velichkova, the second part by a young lady whose name I couldn’t get (my hearing is not the best and it was a bit noisy out there before the match!). Both did a great job.
There was a crew filming the match, but I’m not sure if it was for television, probably not given how the players contract works, but there was a big screen in the arena itself and the images have to come from somewhere…
It was a really good night.
Those exhibitions are doing a lot for snooker. Maxime Cassis, the president of the EBSA attended the event and he had brought the president of the Serbian billiards and snooker federation with him. This is how to grow the sport at amateur levels.
Here is a short video shared by Jason
Here are the pictures I took on the night:
26 November 2022 – Plovdiv
Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for the Plovdiv exhibition.
Ronnie won again, this time by 5-3.