World Grand Prix 2018 – Preston Day 1

The world Grand Prix started yesterday evening in Preston, with seed n°1, Ronnie in action in the first match. Here are the results of this first session:

And the report on Worldsnooker:

Ronnie O’Sullivan took just 53 minutes to beat Robert Milkins 4-0 and reach the last 16 of the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix in Preston.

O’Sullivan, seeking his fourth ranking title of the season having won the English Open, Shanghai Masters and UK Championship, eased into the second round at the Guild Hall where he will face Yan Bingtao. That match will be on Wednesday evening and tickets are still available – click here for details.

Milkins had chances in the opening frame tonight but O’Sullivan eventually took it by clearing from blue to black, then he knocked in a break of 119 for 2-0. Milkins led 51-1 in frame three but couldn’t pull one back as his opponent fought back to win it by clearing from green to black. And world number two O’Sullivan sealed victory in the fourth with a run of 73.

China’s Yan scored an impressive 4-2 win over Martin Gould, in a match between the players ranked 16th and 17th on the one-year list. That result could prove vital in terms of the race to qualify for next month’s Ladbrokes Players Championship, with only the top 16 to go through to Llandudno.

Gould took two of the first three frames with breaks of 130 and 61 before up-and-coming Yan, who turned 18 last week, won the last three with top runs of 89 and 122.

Michael Georgiou carried the confidence he gained from winning last week’s Coral Shoot Out into his match with Luca Brecel and won 4-0. Runs of 53 and 71 helped Georgiou set up a last 16 match with Stephen Maguire or Li Hang.

“If someone had told me ten days ago where I would be now, I would have laughed,” said world number 59 Georgiou, who qualified for Preston by winning the Shoot Out. “I’m just going to continue doing what I’m doing and see where it goes.

“It has been business as usual this week in terms of my practice, I put in as many hours as I could. Winning the Shoot Out is massive for me mentally because I don’t have to worry about dropping off the tour any more. I’m really enjoying my snooker now and going for my shots without hesitating. The crowd was fantastic tonight, I loved every moment.”

Ronnie’s 4-0 win over Robert Milkins was a fairly routine affair. At the start of the match, Ronnie looked more concerned about the plaster on his chin than the match itself; maybe it was indeed in the way of his cue and causing some distraction or minor discomfort. Anyway, both players made mistakes in the opener, but Ronnie snatched it. The next frame was short and one-sided: a 119 from Ronnie, century n°924. The third frame was by far the most interesting of the match: a good safety from Robert forced a mistake from Ronnie who promptly found himself 49 points behind with most remaining reds awkward. the way he negotiated that frame showed that Ronnie may have looked a bit bored out there, he was determined to win with minimal fuss all the same. The last frame saw an early mistake from Robert punished with a good 73. It could have been century 925 probably, but a poor positional shot from Ronnie left him snookered on all remaining reds and that was that…

Ronnie will now face yan Bingtao on Wednesday night.

Michael Georgiou played really well in beating Luca Brecel, who, truth to be said, was rather terrible. There is no questioning Brecel’s talent, but it seems to me that each time he looks like he’s finally breaking through, his form dips severely in the following weeks/months. Why this happens is anyone’s guess. here is Michael’s interview:

World Grand Prix 2018 – Mini Preview

The World Grand Prix 2018 starts tonigth in Preston and here is the draw:WGP2018Draw

The rigging is almost done

Barry Hawkins is the defending Champion but he’s not qualified for the event.

Ronnie is seed n°1 as he leads the one year list. Mark Williams is n°2 … makes you wonder about the standard being allegedly higher than ever.

A few days ago Worldsnooker published this:

The Ladbrokes World Grand Prix runs from Monday to Sunday next week in Preston with the best 32 players from the season so far battling for the trophy and a £100,000 top prize.

Here are half a dozen players who could be challenging for the crown at the Guild Hall. Watch them live on ITV4 or there’s still time to buy tickets – for details click here.

Ronnie O’Sullivan
The Rocket played some of the best snooker of his career during a golden two-month spell from October to December. He blitzed Kyren Wilson 9-2 in the English Open final, beat Judd Trump 10-3 to win the Shanghai Masters, then won his sixth UK Championship crown with a 10-5 defeat of Shaun Murphy. That trio of victories took his carry tally to 31 ranking event wins and 18 Triple Crown titles. It has been a relatively quiet start to 2018 for O’Sullivan – he lost to Mark Allen in the quarter-finals of the Masters and didn’t play in the German Masters or Shoot Out. But if he’s anywhere near his pre-Christmas form in Preston he’ll take some beating. Inevitably the bookmaker’s favourite whenever he is in the line-up,
First round: Faces Robert Milkins on Monday evening.
Ladbrokes odds: 11/4

 

Mark Selby
Selby’s unbroken sequence as world number one now stretches over three years, a remarkable achievement in the most competitive era snooker has ever known. This season has been a patchy one for the Leicester cueman so far. He missed the first few events because of a broken toe, then hit top form at the International Championship in November and beat Mark Allen in the final, only to then suffer surprising early defeats at the UK Championship and the Masters.  Behind his laid-back facade is a fierce determination to succeed, so don’t be surprised to see Selby on the trophy trail soon as he looks to build momentum towards a possible third consecutive World Championship title in the Spring.
First round: Faces Jimmy Robertson on Wednesday afternoon
Ladbrokes odds: 9/2

 

Mark Williams
In October 2003, Williams won the LG Cup at the Guild Hall, beating John Higgins in the final. Having won all three Triple Crown events the previous season, he held the four biggest title in the sport as well as the world number one ranking. At that point, no one would have predicted that Williams would take another 15 years to win more than one ranking title within a single season. He has had spells where he has fallen out of love with the sport and seriously contemplated retirement. But the old Williams is back, playing his best snooker for a decade and a half. Victories at the Northern Ireland Open and German Masters took his career tally of ranking titles to 20, and the Welshman also won the Six Red world title and lies second on the one-year ranking list. If he gets through a tough opening fixture against Stuart Bingham he’ll be confident of another deep run.
First round: Faces Stuart Bingham on Wednesday afternoon
Ladbrokes odds: 9/1

 

Shaun Murphy
The Magician took the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix crown the first time it was a ranking event, in 2016 in Llandudno. This season has been one of the most consistent of his career so far as he has reached three ranking finals as well as the semis of the recent German Masters, not to mention winning the Champion of Champions in November with a tremendous victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan. Few players strike the ball more sweetly and when Murphy gets into full flow, he fears no one. His opening clash with Ricky Walden looks set to be one of the best matches of the first round.
First round: Faces Ricky Walden on Tuesday evening
Ladbrokes odds: 16/1

 

Mark Allen
Unquestionably the best moment of Allen’s career so far came three weeks ago at the Masters as he beat Kyren Wilson 10-7 in the final. The Northern Irishman previously had a poor record in the Triple Crown events – his only final coming at the 2011 UK Championship – but he proved he could produce his best on the big stage by knocking out Luca Brecel, Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins to reach the final before beating Wilson to the £200,000 top prize. But that bumper cheque didn’t count towards his ranking position so the Pistol still needs to fire in the next four ranking events (he hasn’t entered the Gibraltar Open) to make sure of a place at the World Championship – he currently sits precariously in 16th place in the race to the Crucible.
First round: Faces Xiao Guodong on Tuesday afternoon
Ladbrokes odds: 22/1

 

Yan Bingtao
The Chinese Year of the Dog starts today and it could be time for Yan to bare his teeth and fulfil his potential. Considered by most experts the best player in the world aged under 20, Yan has taken just 21 months on the pro tour to climb to 27th in the official rankings. Had he taken one more frame in November’s Northern Ireland Open final against Mark Williams, he would have beaten Ronnie O’Sullivan’s long-standing record as the youngest player ever to win a ranking event. Yan turns 18 today so that opportunity has gone, although at least now when he does capture his first title he can celebrate with a pint of ale at his local pub in Sheffield. Expect his rapid rise towards the top to continue apace.
First round: Faces Martin Gould on Monday evening
Ladbrokes odds: 28/1

So, the bookies make Ronnie favourite… hum? I don’t, and here is why: it’s a short format in the early rounds and Ronnie has an extremely difficult draw. I do expect him to beat Robert Milkins tonight, mainly because Robert’s extremely open and attacking game will almost certainly give Ronnie occasions and, usually, he doesn’t need too many invitations under such circumstances. However, in Ronnie’s half of the draw, you will find 5 of the only 7 players who have beaten him this season: Yan (possible round 2), Higgins and Allen (possible QF), Murphy and Brecel (possible SF). Also, Ronnie hasn’t played competitively since the Masters. He needs to be in better form to stand any chance, and hopefully fully fit again as well.

So, who do I fancy? Well, Stephen Maguire in the first place. “Mags” is currently battling it out to be in the top 16 come the Crucible. That’s a huge incentive for someone who has all the talent in the World. I think Stephen will have too much for Li Hang and is more than capable to beat Georgiou or Brecel. If he does, he’s in the QF already and I believe that he can beat ayone on his day anyway.

Then, Graeme Dott. Graeme doresn’t like short formats, but he’s in good form and, he too, will want to to well and, if possible, avoid the World Qualifiers. “Dotty” is as hard a match player as you can think of, he never gives up.

Finally, it will be interesting to see how Ding fares. I don’t expect much but …

 

Champion of Champions 2018 Criteria

Published by Worldsnooker yesterday

The qualification criteria has been set out for snooker’s Champion of Champions 2018, to be staged at Ricoh Arena, Coventry this November 5-11.

A total of 27 spots make up the 2018 Qualifying List, which is split into five sections. Tournaments within each of the five sections are listed chronologically. The first 16 different players on the list will form the line-up for the Champion of Champions.

Winners of events in the first two sections listed will be guaranteed an invite to Coventry. These are the defending champion Shaun Murphy along with the winners of the three ‘Triple Crown’ events – the World Championship, The Masters and The UK Championship. The second section comprises major events from the World Snooker Tour including the Championship League, which is also promoted by Matchroom Multi Sport.

Section three is the Home Nations tournaments. As Ronnie O’Sullivan (UK Championship and Shanghai Masters) and Mark Williams (German Masters and Northern Ireland Open) have both already won two events on the Qualifying List, Scottish Open winner Neil Robertson is now also assured entry to the Champion of Champions.

The fourth section is the remaining World Snooker ranking events, with the exception of the Snooker Shoot Out, which is the first tournament listed in section five, which also includes the Romanian Snooker Masters and the 6 Reds World Championship. The World Snooker Championship runner-up is listed in section four. Any further tournaments added to the World Snooker Tour to be staged before the Champion of Champions will be placed on the list in the appropriate section.

Tickets for the 2018 Champion of Champions are on sale now at http://www.championofchampionssnooker.co.uk/tickets/, priced from just £11. Premium and VIP packages are also available.

Champion of Champions 2018 Qualifying List

Champions of Champions 2017 – Shaun Murphy Nov-17
UK Championship 2017 – Ronnie O’Sullivan Dec-17
The Masters 2018 – Mark Allen Jan-18
World Championship 2018 May-18
Shanghai Masters 2017 – Ronnie O’Sullivan Nov-17
German Masters 2018 – Mark Williams Feb-18
World Grand Prix 2018 Feb-18
Players Championship 2018 Mar-18
Championship League 2018 Mar-18
China Open 2018 Apr-18
World Open 2018 Jul-18
Shanghai Masters 2018 Sep-18
Indian Open 2018 Sep-18
China Championship 2018 Sep-18
European Masters 2018 Oct-18
International Championship 2018 Nov-18
Northern Ireland Open 2017 – Mark Williams Nov-17
Scottish Open 2017 – Neil Robertson Dec-17
Welsh Open 2018 Mar-18
English Open 2018 Oct-18
Gibraltar Open 2018 Mar-18
World Championship Runner-up 2018 May-18
Riga Masters 2018 Jul-18
Paul Hunter Classic 2018 Aug-18
Shoot Out 2018 – Michael Georgiou Feb-18
Romanian Snooker Masters Mar-18
6 Reds World Championships 2017 Sep-18

 

Sit down … here’s a little story

Lincoln10.02.2018-1039

Wondering about this? Here is the little story behind it, thanks to Nigel Coton for sharing it!

Nigel Coton used to watch Snooker on TV with his ole man Tom Coton who loved his snooker and introduced him to it. He used to love listening to JV and said JV is NOT a potato head, he is NOT a cheap potato in fact he is like a King Edward, the King of the Crop and so much more than a just a “common-tater !”

I must admit that i didn’t get it at first… Belgium, my country, is rather famous for its potatoes: we have countless varieties for all tastes and dishes: Bintjes, Rosa, Nicola, Aurora, Francine, Doré, Cornes de Gate, Charlotte, Bildstar … We have yellow ones, brown ones, red ones… even blue ones. But I had never heard about King Edward. Now I have to try and taste those!

China Open 2018 – updated draw and format

This was published by Worldsnooker today

Here’s the updated China Open draw and format following the completion of the qualifying round.

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format

So, Ronnie’s first round match (held over) against Ross Muir will take place on the first day afternoon (local time) which will be early morning in UK and Europe.

Welsh Open 2018 – Draw and Format

The draw and format for the Welsh Open 2018 have been published

The draw and format for the 2018 Welsh Open is now available.

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format

The world ranking event, the last of the season’s Home Nations series, runs from February 26 to March 4 at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. The Ray Reardon Trophy and a top prize of £70,000 are up for grabs.

Welsh favourite Mark Williams, who has won two ranking titles within the past three months, faces a tough opening tie against Mark King, who won the Northern Ireland Open last season.

Ronnie O’Sullivan begins his bid to win a fifth Welsh Open title against Robin Hull while John Higgins, who has also won the event four times, will take on Matthew Selt.

Last year’s runner-up Judd Trump will be up against Welsh potter Duane Jones while crowd favourite Jimmy White faces Northern Ireland Open finalist Yan Bingtao. World Champion Mark Selby will play Christopher Keogan.

Defending champion Stuart Bingham will face Chen Zhe while Carmarthen’s Matthew Stevens will be up against former World Champion Ken Doherty.

High demand from fans meant the final sold out weeks in advance, so new seats have now been released in the balcony area. These are expected to sell rapidly so fans must book fast. Tickets for all other sessions are still available.

A SPECIAL OFFER is currently running which means session tickets start at just £9 and all-day tickets at £18. But fans must get in fast to take advantage.

For details call 02920 22 44 88 or CLICK HERE

Robin Hull is no mug and he’s a tough opponent for Ronnie in the first round; they play on the tuesday evening. And the winner is likely to face Graeme Dott next… easy!

World Grand Prix 2018 – Draw and Format

This was published by Worldsnooker yesterday

Ronnie O’Sullivan will face Robert Milkins in the first round of the  Ladbrokes World Grand Prix in Preston next Monday.

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format

The world ranking event runs from February 19 to 25 at the Guild Hall with snooker’s biggest stars battling for a top prize of £100,000. The top 32 players on the one-year ranking list have qualified for the tournament.

Five-time World Champion O’Sullivan tops that list and he will face Milkins on the opening evening of the tournament. In the same session, Luca Brecel faces a match against Michael Georgiou, who earned a place with a dramatic victory in the final counting event, the Coral Shoot Out.

Other first round clashes to look out for include John Higgins against Ali Carter (Tuesday afternoon), Judd Trump taking on Michael White (Tuesday evening) and Mark Selby against Jimmy Robertson (Wednesday afternoon).

The full draw is:

Ronnie O’Sullivan v Robert Milkins
Martin Gould v Yan Bingtao
Mark Allen v Xiao Guodong
John Higgins v Ali Carter
Shaun Murphy v Ricky Walden
Ryan Day v Jack Lisowski
Stephen Maguire v Li Hang
Luca Brecel v Michael Georgiou
Judd Trump v Michael White
Graeme Dott v Joe Perry
Neil Robertson v David Gilbert
Mark Selby v Jimmy Robertson
Ding Junhui v Mark King
Kyren Wilson v Mark Joyce
Anthony McGill v Cao Yupeng
Mark Williams v Stuart Bingham

Tickets for the tournament are ON SALE NOW and with a special Winter Offer currently running, they start from as little as £13.05.

For ticket details call 01772 80 4444 or CLICK HERE