Ronnie has arrived in China

ChinaOpen2018Poster

The China Open 2018 starts on Monday, with Ronnie, Mark Selby, Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo all in action, playing their last 128 match, held over to the venue.

WSS Services have been hard at work to get the venue ready

Ronnie is already in China, and did an exhibition in Zhangjiagang city. This was reported on weibo, and, if I understand the post correctly he was in high scoring mood but didn’t make a 147; 140 was the HB on the day!

Photos shared on weibo

Lincoln – 11.02.2018

The second night of exhibition in Lincoln, on Sunday, was similar in its organisation to the first one: a welcome reception for the VIPs, followed by John Virgo’s trick shots, then Ronnie playing eight frames against local players, with a break after four frames. Ronnie won all matches easily, had 3 tons in the first four frames, but no 147 this time. Ronnie was  clearly impressed by WDBS player Joe Hardstaff, his last opponent.

There was something special to conclude the week-end though: Jason Francis was to conduct a Q&A session with John Virgo and Ronnie, after the matches finished, and VIPs were invited to write down their questions for both John and Ronnie whilst enjoying the VIP buffet. They could ask absolutely anything and, as you would expect, there were so many questions that Jason had to go through a very “harsh” selection process and eventually was only able to keep about one in 5! The very first question that was asked to Ronnie, and was answered,  was “Will you play in the World Championship?”. That question was always going to come out … and the answer it got was “Yes”. Which prompted a big cheer from the crowd.

Here are the images of the night:

A very big thank you and well done to Nigel and Ali Coton for this fantastic week-end: it was awesome, and you were awesome! 

Lincoln – 10.02.2018

It was another great event yesterday at the Drill Hall in Lincoln. Organised by Nigel and Ali Coton in collaboration with Snooker Legends, the exhibition aimed at gathering some money for two good causes as well as to provide a great night of entertainment. It was a success on both accounts.

Ahead of the action proper, there was un buffet for players and VIPs, with Nigel taking the opportunity to explain the evening program, as well as the nature and goals of the causes that were to benefit from the success of this exhibition

It was a packed house at the Drill Hall

With two lucky bastards being treated with very special reserved seats! Thanks Nigel!

The evening started with a few trick shots by John Virgo

The action proper came next with Ronnie taking 9 local players over one frame. Ronnie won all nine frames, quite comfortably, scoring three centuries: a 110, a 140 and a 147. The previous time Ronnie was in Lincoln, he had 7 centuries, including a 147. It was always going to be difficult to better that, but Ali Coton had been quite clear that she hoped for another 147. Ronnie obliged … and it was Nigel Coton on the receiving end!

Here are the action pictures. Yes, it’s mainly Ronnie, he didn’t give the opposition too many opportunities nor too much table time. The highest break against him was … 7!

There was an interval after the first four frames, during which

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Chris Kirkwood from the Drill Hall was presented with a cheque of £500

Learn more about the Drill Hall Charity

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Simon Berisford from WDBS and Matt Huart from WPBSA were presented with a cheque of £3000

And tonight we go again!

Some Ronnie news …

Ronnie is in China already, with his good friend Liang Wenbo, and yesterday they did an exhibition in a place called Lian Yun Gang and Ronnie hit a 147 to finish their match, which he won by 5-2. Wenbo celebrated wildly whilst Ronnie stayed very cool …

You can watch most of this break here

Or better, the full break here thanks to Silvry again!

and some photos shared by Ronnie on twitter and by fans on weibo

Ronnie also shared the final 20 seconds of that break …

And now Silvry – thanks again! – has found it on youtube

He’s also apparently suffering from a serious bout of jet-lag as he is chatting, and being mischievous,  on twitter at truly ungodly hours China time! Hope he gets over it or he might not be able to perform in the coming tournament…

Other than that, Worldsnooker has conformed that Ronnie will play in the Noerthern Ireland Open

Ronnie O’Sullivan will continue his chase for an unprecedented £1 million bonus when he plays in the Northern Ireland Open in Belfast next month.

O’Sullivan is a quarter of the way to the winning the bonus having landed the English Open title in Barnsley last Sunday by beating Kyren Wilson 9-2 In the final.

That was the first of the season’s four Home Nations events and any player capturing all four trophies would receive the £1 million bonus, which would be the biggest prize in snooker history.

O’Sullivan resumes the quest at the Northern Ireland Open which runs from November 20 to 26 at the Waterfront Centre. Once again there will be 128 players battling for the title, with Shaun Murphy John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Jimmy White and home favourites Mark Allen and Joe Swail among the other star names who have already committed to the event. The entry deadline is November 1st, after which the full line up will be announced.

Victory for O’Sullivan gave him his 29th career ranking title, putting him level with John Higgins on the all-time list, but still well behind Stephen Hendry’s record of 36.

Asked about the £1 million bonus, he said: “I’d need to win another 21 matches and it is do-able. Anything is possible but over these short matches that are best-of-seven frames, it will be very tough.”

Tickets for the Northern Ireland Open are on sale now and start at just £10. With all 128 players in action over the first two days, it’s an incredible chance to see top class live sport.

For details CLICK HERE or call 028 9033 4455.

 

 

Exhibition Stuff

Jimmy and Ronnie were yesterday in London, at an event organised by Discovery/Eurosport UK promoting the Home Nations Series that starts next week with the English Open 2017. They played a few frames against each other, just exhibition stuff but clearly enjoyed by the audience, Andy Goldstein, the MC on the day, and the players.

Here are a few pictures, and the video that was shared by Eurosport UK, live, on Facebook. Enjoy!

Ronnie returns to Lincoln next February

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And once again, he will support WDBS, World Disability Billiard and Snooker as you can read in the local press.

Ronnie O’Sullivan to return to Lincoln – how you can see the ‘The Rocket’ in action

The five-time world champion hit a 147 during his previous appearance in the city

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Nigel Coton is a – very good  disabled player himself and a regular at WDBS events.

Circumstances permitting, I will be there taking pictures both days.

A week-end of speaches & exhibitions

Last week-end Ronnie was in the Sheffield area for a series of 3 events, where he spoke about his life as a sportsperson. On Sunday he also did an exhibition where he played, and beat, 8 amateurs. He had two consecutive centuries and one maximum attempt. Going by the comments on twitter all events were highly appreciated.

Here are a few images:

Ronnie loves Sheffield: he feels that he belongs there as an “adopted Northerner” and has many friends in the city. One of them has a barge on Victoria Quays and, apparently, Ronnie tried to convert him to his new diet, cooking salmon and sweet potatoes in the oven for him.

That’s only a small item in the flow of tweets he shared over the week-end. He took a lot of time interacting with the fans, very nicely, touching all sorts of subjects. Maybe the most interesting part was what he said about his stance about snooker. He definitely wants to play, but isn’t that happy with the players contract. Rings a bell? 2012/13? Basically, Ronnie’s opinion, and his agent (*) position, are that if players are asked to do things outside playing, that brings value to Worldsnooker, they should get something for it, and, of course, that top players shouldn’t need to qualify. No problem with starting at last 128, but at the venue.

(*) asked if his agent is Jason Francis, Ronnie’s answer was no. Jason does manage him, whenever someone asks how they can possibly organise an exhibition or get some support for a charity, Ronnie always points them to Jason. But there is someone else in charge of contractual matters obviously.