Jimmy White wins the WSS ROKiT Phones.com 2019 World Championship

White Wins at the Crucible

19th August 2019

Jimmy ‘Whirlwind’ White has defeated Darren Morgan 5-3 to win his second ROKiT Phones.com World Seniors Snooker Championship title at the iconic Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

View all tournament results

Held at the undisputed home of snooker for the first time, the four-day event saw both White and Morgan come through a field of 20 players comprised of former greats champions and amateur qualifiers from across the globe to contest the title match.

The final would prove to be a tightly contested affair during which the players were never separated by more than a single frame until the final ball was potted.

Former world number eight Morgan drew first blood with a clearance to the pink from the last red to take the opening frame, before White countered a break of 55 with a dish of his own to level the scores.

The following two frames were also shared as the pair headed to the interval locked at 2-2, before 10-time ranking event winner White hit the front for the first time with a break of 53.

It was Morgan’s turn to respond positively as he claimed the sixth frame for 3-3, before White hit a match-high break of 86 to move one away from finally breaking his Crucible duck, having famously lost in the final on six occasions at the professional World Championship.

As the tension grew, it appeared as though the final was destined to head for a deciding-frame as Morgan established a useful advantage with the remaining reds awkwardly placed.

White, however, had other ideas as he fought back to within five points with two reds remaining, before eventually earning what would prove to be a match-clinching chance to seal an emotional victory at the Crucible Theatre.

The success comes an incredible 38 years after White made his Crucible debut back in 1981 and earns him the top prize of £25,000. The success caps a fantastic season which has already seen the 57-year-old claim victories at the Irish Seniors Masters and the 6-Red World Seniors Championship tournaments.

“It sounds strange to be world champion at the Crucible,” said White. “I have been playing really well, I lost the form on Thursday coming here and today I managed to get my game together and I felt very strong. I am delighted to win because [Darren] Morgan plays all of the time, he is a top amateur, so he is very sharp. I knew I had a tough match, it looked like it was going to go 4-4 so it could have been anybody’s and sometimes you have got to take these opportunities.

“On Thursday I was playing fantastic stuff and I went to Barnsley [for the China Championship qualifiers] and lost 5-4 after I should have won and everything just went out of the window.

“Tony Knowles [former world number two] said to me that I wasn’t standing right and that my back leg needed to lock like years ago. I actually looked at a couple of videos last night and he was right, my back leg used to be straight. It gave me a lot of confidence today and I potted some real good long balls. A great example was the red to get in to win the match, you are even money to get them anyway but it was a great cueing shot.”

(source WPBSA)

Here are the final frame and the trophy ceremony

2019 World Seniors Championship: Jimmy White – Darren Morgan (final frame)

And the link to the Final’s day picture album

Congratulations Jimmy White! Long overdue!

 

WSS ROKiT Phones.com 2019 World Championship – Day 2

Here are the results from day 2 at the Crucible:

Session 1:
Aaron Canavan 3-1 Au Chi Wai
John Parrott 2-3 Darren Morgan

Session 2:
Leo Fernandez 3-0 Joris Maas
Stephen Hendry 3-1 Tony Drago

Session 3:
Dennis Taylor 0-3 Stuart Watson
Jimmy White 3-1 Rhydian Richards

The defending Champion, Aaron Canavan, is still in the mix and playing very well. Stephen Hendry played as well as I have seen him do for a very long time. His opponent, Tony Drago is back after very severe health issues, and we are all delighted to see him in good health again, and playing well too. Jimmy White was … Jimmy like, brilliant in patches, but inconsistent. He won all the same.

All pictures taken yesterday are on Facebook and available for all to browse through

WSS ROKiT Phones.com 2019 World Championship – Day 1

I’m at the Crucible this week to cover the WSS ROKiT Phones.com 2019 World Championship.

This is WPBSA report on yesterday’s action:

Wattana, Morgan Among Opening Day Winners in Sheffield

  • 15th August 2019

Snooker returned to Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre on Thursday with the start of the highly-anticipated ROKiT Phones.com World Seniors Snooker Championship.

Barely three months have past since Judd Trump’s memorable victory at the home of snooker back in May but this week sees a mix of former greats and top amateur qualifiers aged over-40 return to the baize for this season’s premier prize on the ROKiT Phones.com World Seniors Snooker Tour.

The day began with four preliminary round matches which saw the 20-player field whittled down to 16, before the first-round action began in earnest later in the day.

First to book his place in the quarter-finals was Thai legend James Wattana, who recorded whitewash victories against Egypt’s Mohamed Abdelkader and 1986 world champion Joe Johnson on day one. Still competing on the main tour having been awarded an invitational tour card, Wattana’s match sharpness showed as he hit breaks of 113, 58 and 57 during the day, allied to a key clearance from green to black to seal victory against Johnson in the evening.

The former world number three now awaits Chinese qualifier Chen Gang, who also came through two matches today with wins against Tony Knowles and former world champion Cliff Thorburn to reach the last eight.

Earlier in the day there were also victories in the preliminary round for Tony Drago and Darren Morgan, who came through against Dene O’Kane and Willie Thorne respectively to progress to the last 16 stage.

For Drago, who was competing at the Crucible for the first time since 2005, there was a hard-fought 3-2 win against New Zealander O’Kane in the opening session of the day with a top break of 71 to set up a mouthwatering clash with seven-time world professional champion Stephen Hendry on Friday afternoon.

Welshman Darren Morgan meanwhile, one of the most active amateur players competing in the tournament, enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 success against Willie Thorne with a high break of 74 in the final frame. Next up for the former world number eight will be a contest against 1991 world champion John Parrott, a repeat of their 1994 Crucible quarter-final, won 13-11 by Morgan.

The action continues on Friday as the quarter-final line-up will be decided in Sheffield.

All the pictures I took yesterday are available on Facebook here 

You don’t need to be on Facebook to see them!

Six Reds World Championship 2019 – Draw and Format

Worldsnooker has yesterday published the draw and format for the Six Reds World Championship 2019

The official opening press conference for the SangSom World 6 Red Championship 2019 took place today at the Centara Grand Hotel at Central Plaza Lardprao, in Bangkok, Thailand.

The draw for the group stage was made…

Click here for the draw

Kyren Wilson will be defending the title, with many other stars in the field including John Higgins, Mark Selby, Mark Williams, Ding Junhui, Stuart Bingham, Jimmy White and top women players Reanne Evans and Ng On Yee.

SIX Reds 2019

The event runs from September 2-7.

In other news, they also announced that Peter Ebdon has withdrawn from the World Open. He is replaced in the draw by Ross Bullman.

Shanghai Masters 2019 – Draw and Format

Worldsnooker has published the draw and format for the 2019 Shanghai Masters

The draw for the 2019 Shanghai Masters has been made.

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format

Ronnie O’Sullivan will be defending the title at the £751,000 invitation event which runs from September 9 to 15.

The field is the world’s top 16 players, plus the next four highest ranked Chinese players, plus four amateurs: two from the CBSA China Tour and two from China’s Amateur Masters series.

Unless something very unexprected happens, Ronnie, the defending champion, will face Ali Carter on September 10, in the evening. There are no easy matches in this one!

Good luck Ronnie!

Shanghai Masters 2019 Launch

Ronnie to play at the World Open 2019 in Yushan

Now there is a surprise … a good one!

Yesterday Worldsnooker published the following:

The draw for the 2019 Yushan World Open has been made.

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format

The qualifying round will run from October 2-5 at the Barnsley Metrodome, followed by the main event in Yushan, China from October 28 to November 3.

It’s a strong field for the £772,000 world ranking event with Judd Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Ding Junhui, Mark Selby, John Higgins and Neil Robertson among the top stars in the draw.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect to see Ronnie in any of the Chinese events other than the Shanghai Masters this season. But here he is…

Of course, there is the fact that he doesn’t need to play in the qualifiers, because, the defending champion, Mark Williams has not entered, and Judd Trump being both World Champion and World n°1, Ronnie, as n°2  has his first round match held-over. He will play Dominic Dale at the venue.

Also the trip is not too bad, especially if he choses to stop in Hong Kong for something.

If he can have a decent run there, it will also ease the pressure for the rest of the season. Last year he absolutely needed to get to the very latter stages at the UK Championship to qualify for the first of the Coral Cup events. It was a lot of pressure.

Regarding Mark Williams, it does comes as a surprise that he has not entered, although he tweeted this three days ago.

Mark Williams Semi Retires 10.08.2019

Maybe Ronnie knew that he didn’t intend to enter …

Rules Revision

Jan Verhaas has just been on twitter announcing that the new rule book is ready and will come in operation at the China Championship Qualifier on August 15, 2019. This is a project on which himself and other experienced referees,  have been working hard for three years. Here is the announcement.

New WPBSA Rulebook Published

  • 12th August 2019

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) is today pleased to announce the launch of a new version of the Official Rules of Snooker and English Billiards.

The new edition represents the most significant rules update in our sport in many years and will take effect on the World Snooker Tour from the start of the China Championship qualifiers on 15 August 2019.

Background

Overseen by the WPBSA Rules Committee chaired by Jan Verhaas, in consultation with experienced referees around the world, the update adds clarity and consistency of wording to the existing rules, as well as making a small number of key changes.

With snooker and billiards now played in more countries than ever before, the revised rules have also been written to be easier to translate into other languages.

Jan Verhaas, WPBSA Director and Senior Referee said: “Today is a proud day for everybody involved in this monumental project of revising the rules. Players and former players, professional and amateur referees from all over the world as well as referee examiners and tutors have worked relentlessly over the past two years to produce a revised Rulebook for the games of Snooker and English Billiards and we are confident that we have created a Rulebook to suit the need of our ever developing worldwide sport.”

Application

The first event on the World Snooker Tour to be played under the new rules will be the China Championship qualifiers on 15 August 2019.

This date has been selected out of respect for both the professional calendar and the international amateur calendar, as the first opportunity to introduce the new rules outside of the staging of ongoing amateur competitions or between the qualification and venue stages of a professional event.

Guidance

All referees who will be officiating at the China Championships qualifiers will be invited to participate in a full seminar by Jan Verhaas on 14 August, who will also be on site during the event for the sole purpose of answering any queries that players may have.

Learn more about the Rules Committee and access the full rules here.

I browsed through the explanatory document – quickly – and through section 4 of the rules. There is one change that I find interesting: deliberate slow play and time wasting are no more seen as “unsporting conduct”, it’s a separate issue and the way they are tackled is different. If I understood correctly, in case of unsporting conduct – including early concession – the rule stays the same as before. In case of repeated offence: first a warning, next awarding a frame to the offending player’s opponent, next, awarding the match. In case of time wasting though, the offending player will be warned first, then if they persist, their opponent will be awarded a frame, and if they still persist their opponent will be awarded another frame … etc. This without further warning.

I think it’s an interesting change because it may help referees to take the decision to indeed act in case they suspect time wasting. It’s a bit less “radical” than the previous situation where after “docking” the offending player a frame, the only options were either to just ignore the situation or to terminate the match, which of course is very harsh and definitive. Referees are always a bit uneasy with the “time wasting” issue as so many factors can come into play that can cause a player to slow down or even, in extreme situations, to find themselves unable at actually decide/play/deliver the shot.