Jump to content
shaun.lawson

2019 World Snooker Championship

Recommended Posts

shaun.lawson
Posted (edited)

Starts tomorrow (UK time, I mean), and no matter how much the game's changing (or given the continued eminence of Messrs O'Sullivan, Higgins and Williams, isn't changing at all), I still always get a buzz ahead of this tournament. Takes me back to my childhood when I used to watch wall-to-wall coverage every year, I guess.

 

The truth about the World Championship nowadays is it's essentially impossible to predict. Almost anyone can beat almost anyone on their day: especially, if the draw goes more or less to plan, from the last 8 onwards. Not many tipped Mark Williams to go all the way last year; scarcely anyone at all tipped any of Stuart Bingham in 2015, Graeme Dott in 2006, Shaun Murphy in 2005, or Peter Ebdon in 2002. So all things are possible - and the only thing you can be sure of is my predictions below will be wrong. I only hope: not embarrassingly so. 

 

Round 1 (19 frames)

 

Mark Williams (1) v Martin Gould

David Gilbert (16) v Joe Perry 

Barry Hawkins (9) v Li Hang 

Kyren Wilson (8) v Scott Donaldson

John Higgins (5) v Mark Davis

Stuart Bingham (12) v Graeme Dott 

Shaun Murphy (13) v Luo Honghao 

Neil Robertson (4) v Michael Georgiou 

Mark Selby (3) v Zhao Xintong 

Luca Brecel (14) v Gary Wilson 

Jack Lisowski (11) v Ali Carter 

Mark Allen (6) v Zhao Yuelong 

Judd Trump (7) v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh

Ding Junhui (10) v Anthony McGill 

Stephen Maguire (15) v Tian Pengfei 

Ronnie O'Sullivan (2) v James Cahill 

 

Round 2 (25 frames)

 

Williams v Perry 

Hawkins v Wilson 

Higgins v Dott

Murphy v Robertson

Selby v Wilson 

Carter v Allen 

Trump v Ding*

Maguire v O'Sullivan  

 

Quarter-Finals (25 frames)

 

Williams v Wilson 

Higgins v Robertson 

Selby v Allen**

Trump v O'Sullivan 

 

Semi-Finals (33 frames)

 

Wilson v Robertson 

Selby v O'Sullivan

 

Final (35 frames)

 

Neil Robertson (Australia) (4) 14-18 Ronnie O'Sullivan (England) (2)

 

World Champion

 

Ronnie O'Sullivan

 

* I defy anyone to predict this match. Assuming it happens, it's got 13-12 to one of them written all over it. Total coinflip. Whoever wins might well take Ronnie to the wire too.

 

** This is the other prediction I'm most uneasy about. Definitely a potential upset - it's just that Allen is so temperamental, and beats himself half the time.

 

The bottom half looks considerably stronger, which could maybe play a part overall. Finally, who do I least want to win it? Trump. Who do I most want to win it? Ding. Hopefully I've done my bit here and my traditional reverse Midas touch will do the rest. 

 

Enjoy the tournament, everyone! 

 

:toasting: 

Edited by shaun.lawson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ri Alban

O'Sullivan is a knob. And Trump will win the Championship. Two facts.

 

 

Enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maroon Sailor

The Lawson school of kiss of death predictions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JWL

Perrie Mans for me this year, long overdue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mikey1874

O'Sullivan is in great form. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cruyff Turn

Ronnie O’Sullivan for me. If he’s feeling in the mood he’ll win it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gorgiewave

Gould could beat Williams.

 

The Coventry fan in position, I see. All is well with the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marvin

Judd Trump for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AlimOzturk

Ronnie O'Sullivan to continue his domination over snooker. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shaun.lawson
22 hours ago, JWL said:

Perrie Mans for me this year, long overdue.

 

7 hours ago, Gorgiewave said:

All is well with the world.

 

:Agree: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gorgiewave
25 minutes ago, shaun.lawson said:

 

 

:Agree: 

Steve James, Mike Hallett and Tony Drago not among the runners. This is not a Good Thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shaun.lawson
Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, Gorgiewave said:

Steve James, Mike Hallett and Tony Drago not among the runners. This is not a Good Thing.

 

Seconded. :( 

 

Neither is

 

 apr-1998-alain-robidoux-of-canada-breaks

 

:10800:

 

I know I'm getting old when there's no-one left in the World Championship from when I was watching it as a kid. 1988 was the first one I watched all the way through - different planet compared to now.

 

There's a serious point here too. When O'Sullivan either retires or is no longer a serious threat for honours, does the British public just lose all interest in snooker? It's obvious where its future lies: China and the Far East. But with Ding of course excepted, there's so many players in this year's draw who are just "yon Chinese bloke" to me. Completely unfair on them, of course, but still...

 

PS. I loved Steve James! Him beating Hendry in 1991 was awesome. 

Edited by shaun.lawson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mikey1874

Graham Dott qualifying all these times is pretty impressive.

 

Maybe he should get a bye in future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shaun.lawson
2 minutes ago, Mikey1874 said:

Graham Dott qualifying all these times is pretty impressive.

 

Maybe he should get a bye in future.

 

Still the most unlikely World Champion of my snooker-watching life. Still the least heralded; still the World Champion whose title made least difference to his life in either finance or fame. And yet he's made three world finals in total! An awesome competitor and sportsman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gorgiewave
15 minutes ago, shaun.lawson said:

 

Seconded. :( 

 

Neither is

 

 apr-1998-alain-robidoux-of-canada-breaks

 

:10800:

 

I know I'm getting old when there's no-one left in the World Championship from when I was watching it as a kid. 1988 was the first one I watched all the way through - different planet compared to now.

 

There's a serious point here too. When O'Sullivan either retires or is no longer a serious threat for honours, does the British public just lose all interest in snooker? It's obvious where its future lies: China and the Far East. But with Ding of course excepted, there's so many players in this year's draw who are just "yon Chinese bloke" to me. Completely unfair on them, of course, but still...

 

PS. I loved Steve James! Him beating Hendry in 1991 was awesome. 

 

 

I'll still be interested. I don't really support anybody since Hendry retired (unless Jimmy White revived). I don't like O'Sullivan and I never have. Higgins off-putting because of the air of shenanigans and Celtic.

 

But the noise, the colours and the angle have had me hooked since I was about 7.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gorgiewave

No Clive Everton either, which is a major FFS even at his age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shaun.lawson
2 minutes ago, Gorgiewave said:

 

I'll still be interested. I don't really support anybody since Hendry retired (unless Jimmy White revived). I don't like O'Sullivan and I never have. Higgins off-putting because of the air of shenanigans and Celtic.

 

But the noise, the colours and the angle have had me hooked since I was about 7.

 

I supported Taylor when I started out. Then White. Then Ebdon. And much like my ABU period of 1993 onwards, was definitely ABH in snooker for a while... purely because he was so insanely dominant.

 

Since then, it's been a question of wanting players who clearly should've won the title (or in the case of a few greats, a few titles) to do it. So that was Higgins when he was stuck on one title for years; or Williams last year; or Selby until he finally did it; or Ding now. And of course, I was thrilled when Bingham somehow won it. That was incredible!

 

I felt sorry for Stevens for a time but kinda gave up on him, he was so soft. And I know my profound dislike of Trump is irrational... but I can't help it! He just really bugs me for some reason.

 

And Ronnie? He's been a twat at times, he's been a marvel at others. But I have never been more in awe of a snooker player in my life than by him in 2004. What he did to Hendry that year was ridiculous. He won 17-4 and looked like some impossible to beat speeded up version of Ray Reardon at his best. More generally: he's a law unto himself because he can be. He practically kept the whole sport going singlehandedly until Hearn took over; he talks the talk, but walks the walk too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shaun.lawson
6 minutes ago, Gorgiewave said:

No Clive Everton either, which is a major FFS even at his age.

 

100% this. With Richie Benaud and Barry Davies, he's one of my three favourite sporting commentators of all time. If you've not read his book, do so. His treatment by both the snooker authorities and the BBC was disgusting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gorgiewave
Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, shaun.lawson said:

 

I supported Taylor when I started out. Then White. Then Ebdon. And much like my ABU period of 1993 onwards, was definitely ABH in snooker for a while... purely because he was so insanely dominant.

 

Since then, it's been a question of wanting players who clearly should've won the title (or in the case of a few greats, a few titles) to do it. So that was Higgins when he was stuck on one title for years; or Williams last year; or Selby until he finally did it; or Ding now. And of course, I was thrilled when Bingham somehow won it. That was incredible!

 

I felt sorry for Stevens for a time but kinda gave up on him, he was so soft. And I know my profound dislike of Trump is irrational... but I can't help it! He just really bugs me for some reason.

 

And Ronnie? He's been a twat at times, he's been a marvel at others. But I have never been more in awe of a snooker player in my life than by him in 2004. What he did to Hendry that year was ridiculous. He won 17-4 and looked like some impossible to beat speeded up version of Ray Reardon at his best. More generally: he's a law unto himself because he can be. He practically kept the whole sport going singlehandedly until Hearn took over; he talks the talk, but walks the walk too.

 

United or Undertaker?

 

The Spurs result on Wednesday was the most I've enjoyed a non-Hearts result in ages.

Edited by Gorgiewave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gorgiewave
Just now, shaun.lawson said:

 

100% this. With Richie Benaud and Barry Davies, he's one of my three favourite sporting commentators of all time. If you've not read his book, do so. His treatment by both the snooker authorities and the BBC was disgusting.

 

I have his book, about a quarter through.

 

There's a species of person I at least don't see any longer: the sports reporter or analyst with whom command of the English language is a major attraction. Everton, Crampsey, McIlvanney, etc. Football reports are rather literary in Spain. Are they like that in Uruguay?

 

I suspect Shaun Murphy could be an excellent pundit one day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shaun.lawson
3 minutes ago, Gorgiewave said:

 

United or Undertaker.

 

The Spurs result on Wednesday was the most I've enjoyed a non-Hearts result in ages.

 

Same here. I think it was the most I've actively enjoyed any game and outcome not involving a side I actively support since, I dunno, Germany v Italy 2006 probably.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gorgiewave
3 minutes ago, shaun.lawson said:

 

Same here. I think it was the most I've actively enjoyed any game and outcome not involving a side I actively support since, I dunno, Germany v Italy 2006 probably.

 

And a good reminder: football on the radio can be better than football on the TV.

 

Joshua vs Klitschko on the radio was also an intense experience. Well worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shaun.lawson
1 minute ago, Gorgiewave said:

 

I have his book, about a quarter through.

 

There's a species of person I at least don't see any longer: the sports reporter or analyst with whom command of the English language is a major attraction. Everton, Crampsey, McIlvanney, etc. Football reports are rather literary in Spain. Are they like that in Uruguay?

 

I suspect Shaun Murphy could be an excellent pundit one day.

 

Not really. Mostly because one man controls the sports media here, with an iron fist.

 

A lot of writing here is more literary, complex, detailed. But not football writing, sadly. I agree with you completely about the grotesque dumbing down of sporting commentary. It used to be that it was viewed as an expert field, with skills which didn't necessarily come from having played the sport at all. Not any more. 

 

In snooker now, Taylor and his incessant references either to golf or "Mark Selby's lovely wife Vikki" should be pensioned off ASAP. Virgo should've had the Willie Thorne treatment years ago, as should Parrott. But across the two channels covering it, Foulds, Griffiths, Johnson, Hendry and above all, McManus, are all very good. As is Davis in the studio.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gorgiewave
1 minute ago, shaun.lawson said:

 

Not really. Mostly because one man controls the sports media here, with an iron fist.

 

A lot of writing here is more literary, complex, detailed. But not football writing, sadly. I agree with you completely about the grotesque dumbing down of sporting commentary. It used to be that it was viewed as an expert field, with skills which didn't necessarily come from having played the sport at all. Not any more. 

 

In snooker now, Taylor and his incessant references either to golf or "Mark Selby's lovely wife Vikki" should be pensioned off ASAP. Virgo should've had the Willie Thorne treatment years ago, as should Parrott. But across the two channels covering it, Foulds, Griffiths, Johnson, Hendry and above all, McManus, are all very good. As is Davis in the studio.

 

What was expected of a non-player? I know Everton played to a decent standard but his main contribution is historical and statistical knowledge, and general knowledge of the game. Sometimes the ex-players just see angles or know a player's intention. I don't know whether or not a non-player always sees that.

 

The best example I've seen of a football summariser was Revie was England vs Brazil in 1970. He only spoke about three times, but it was an insightful analysis who could see more (literally) than the TV audience could and who had a deeper insight into tactics than most people, including me. Value-added that would be worth taxing, had VAT existed in 1970.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gorgiewave
5 minutes ago, shaun.lawson said:

 

Not really. Mostly because one man controls the sports media here, with an iron fist.

 

A lot of writing here is more literary, complex, detailed. But not football writing, sadly. I agree with you completely about the grotesque dumbing down of sporting commentary. It used to be that it was viewed as an expert field, with skills which didn't necessarily come from having played the sport at all. Not any more. 

 

In snooker now, Taylor and his incessant references either to golf or "Mark Selby's lovely wife Vikki" should be pensioned off ASAP. Virgo should've had the Willie Thorne treatment years ago, as should Parrott. But across the two channels covering it, Foulds, Griffiths, Johnson, Hendry and above all, McManus, are all very good. As is Davis in the studio.

 

Did anything in particular happen to Thorne, or just snubbed? I agree that Virgo isn't great. I find Taylor a pleasant chap to listen to.

 

McManus the best of those I've heard recently but I've barely seen any Eurosport coverage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shaun.lawson
5 minutes ago, Gorgiewave said:

 

What was expected of a non-player? I know Everton played to a decent standard but his main contribution is historical and statistical knowledge, and general knowledge of the game. Sometimes the ex-players just see angles or know a player's intention. I don't know whether or not a non-player always sees that.

 

The best example I've seen of a football summariser was Revie was England vs Brazil in 1970. He only spoke about three times, but it was an insightful analysis who could see more (literally) than the TV audience could and who had a deeper insight into tactics than most people, including me. Value-added that would be worth taxing, had VAT existed in 1970.

 

That's interesting about Revie. Surprises me actually. But sometimes, good commentators do surprise me. At the World Cup, Ally McCoist was a breath of fresh air; Clarence Seedorf was awful. Many would've probably expected the opposite beforehand.

 

A pundit who was awful but most people would've assumed would be excellent was Brian Clough. A troll before the concept even existed (a bit like Eamon Dunphy in that sense), Cloughie was invariably completely wrong about absolutely everything. And very tabloid in his approach to it all. Or how about Ruud Gullit? Bloody brilliant for the BBC at Euro 96. Bloody terrible after he sold out and took the ITV shilling at France 98.

 

Everton excelled more than anything else in psychology. He'd know what a player would be going through; internal scars opening up as they lost a big lead. While his summariser would be acting like nothing was out of the ordinary, and failing to empathise with the player as a result. I always found it especially odd how Virgo and Thorne, two of the worst bottlers in the sport's history, would slag off someone's choice of shot so damn much. Whereas Taylor, because he's been there and done it, doesn't do that.

 

Thorne was axed by the Beeb in late 2017. A :pleasing: development, to put it mildly. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gorgiewave
7 minutes ago, shaun.lawson said:

 

That's interesting about Revie. Surprises me actually. But sometimes, good commentators do surprise me. At the World Cup, Ally McCoist was a breath of fresh air; Clarence Seedorf was awful. Many would've probably expected the opposite beforehand.

 

A pundit who was awful but most people would've assumed would be excellent was Brian Clough. A troll before the concept even existed (a bit like Eamon Dunphy in that sense), Cloughie was invariably completely wrong about absolutely everything. And very tabloid in his approach to it all. Or how about Ruud Gullit? Bloody brilliant for the BBC at Euro 96. Bloody terrible after he sold out and took the ITV shilling at France 98.

 

Everton excelled more than anything else in psychology. He'd know what a player would be going through; internal scars opening up as they lost a big lead. While his summariser would be acting like nothing was out of the ordinary, and failing to empathise with the player as a result. I always found it especially odd how Virgo and Thorne, two of the worst bottlers in the sport's history, would slag off someone's choice of shot so damn much. Whereas Taylor, because he's been there and done it, doesn't do that.

 

Thorne was axed by the Beeb in late 2017. A :pleasing: development, to put it mildly. 

 

Another person who got it wrong in commentary was Alex Higgins.

 

A shame about Clough. He had a better brain than resort to tabloid guff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neilnunb
4 hours ago, shaun.lawson said:

 

Still the most unlikely World Champion of my snooker-watching life. Still the least heralded; still the World Champion whose title made least difference to his life in either finance or fame. And yet he's made three world finals in total! An awesome competitor and sportsman.

 

Surely Joe Johnson?

 

I can't stand Ronnie but the rest seem so inconsistent these days, whilst he has been in good form, so it's hard to see him not winning.

 

Personally think the standard is shite just now. ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shaun.lawson
25 minutes ago, neilnunb said:

 

Surely Joe Johnson?

 

Good shout to be fair. I dunno which was more unlikely: Dott beating O'Sullivan over 33 frames (winning the third session 8-0!) or Johnson beating Davis over 35. Maybe the former, purely because Davis' aura of invincibility had gone thanks to what happened the previous year.

 

It did at least change Johnson's life though, given how boomtime snooker was back then. In Dott's case, most casual observers just moaned incessantly about what a bore the final had been! Poor Graeme.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Placid Casual
Posted (edited)

Peak Hendry v Peak O’Sullivan, who do you think?

 

I could not see past Stephen Hendry. He was relentless. O’Sullivan would blink first, imho.

 

I recognise of course, Ronnie O’Sullivan’s extreme natural talent, but Hendry’s mentality—in addition to his monumental talent—was so strong.

Edited by Placid Casual

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Samuel Camazzola
11 hours ago, Mikey1874 said:

Graham Dott qualifying all these times is pretty impressive.

 

Maybe he should get a bye in future.

I recall him parading the trophy at Ibrox on the last day of the 05/06 season (the match where we had already secured 2nd and everyone had newspapers to read at kick-off ?). I think it was Andy Cameron who was interviewing him on the pitch but the whole affair was drowned out by the section of Hearts fans singing "One Stephen Hendry" throughout. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ri Alban
6 hours ago, Placid Casual said:

Peak Hendry v Peak O’Sullivan, who do you think?

 

I could not see past Stephen Hendry. He was relentless. O’Sullivan would blink first, imho.

 

I recognise of course, Ronnie O’Sullivan’s extreme natural talent, but Hendry’s mentality—in addition to his monumental talent—was so strong.

Hendry would take your soul in his peak. No Mercy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maroon Sailor
8 hours ago, ri Alban said:

Hendry would take your soul in his peak. No Mercy.

 

Certanly took Jimmy White's soul.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ri Alban
58 minutes ago, Maroon Sailor said:

 

Certanly took Jimmy White's soul.

I always wanted Jimmy to win it once, but not against Stephen.  14-7 and blew it, that's the game Stephen removed his soul.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Irufushi

This brecel v Wilson match ?. Some outrageous safety recoveries from both players, now the longest frame in crucible history. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shaun.lawson
On 18/04/2019 at 22:59, shaun.lawson said:

Luca Brecel (14) v Gary Wilson 

 

 

Never in doubt. :laugh:

 

I loved that final frame. Was completely engrossed in it. And the right man won it, just about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shaun.lawson
Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Placid Casual said:

Peak Hendry v Peak O’Sullivan, who do you think?

 

I could not see past Stephen Hendry. He was relentless. O’Sullivan would blink first, imho.

 

I recognise of course, Ronnie O’Sullivan’s extreme natural talent, but Hendry’s mentality—in addition to his monumental talent—was so strong.

 

Hendry. They met in the 1999 semis when he was at his best and Ronnie was almost at his. After probably the highest quality match there's ever been, Hendry won 17-13.

 

They met in the 2002 semis when Ronnie was very near his best but embarrassed himself in the pre-match press conference. Hendry produced his only display of the very highest quality of the entire decade, and again won 17-13.

 

And they met in the 1997 Charity Challenge final - when Hendry lost an 8-2 lead in about an hour. After being six up with seven to play and pegged back, any other player (eg. Mike Hallett v Hendry in 1991) would have collapsed. What did Hendry do? He only went and made a 147, for heaven's sake.

 

In their other Crucible meetings - 2004 and 2008 - Hendry was well past it, Ronnie was motoring, so he won 17-4 and 17-6. No-one else has ever made Hendry look so helpless. But there's always been this slight fragility about O'Sullivan: note what both Ebdon and Dott did to him at the Crucible, and he's lost too many close matches by losing patience and beating himself. By contrast, Hendry had this aura about him which meant no lead was safe. Not just for Hallett at the Masters; but White in 1992 (14-8 up, lost 18-14), Ebdon in 2002 (led 11-6, found himself 12-14 down before rallying to win in a decider) or Doherty in 1997 (15-7 up, walking away with it - before it was suddenly 15-12, with Ken in a blind panic before he got a grip of himself in the nick of time).

 

There's never been a braver potter than Stephen Hendry. He had balls the size of watermelons. There's never been a harder to beat player than Stephen Hendry. But after his seventh world title, he was almost never the same again.

Edited by shaun.lawson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shaun.lawson
6 hours ago, ri Alban said:

I always wanted Jimmy to win it once, but not against Stephen.  14-7 and blew it, that's the game Stephen removed his soul.

 

Specifically, with this shot. The difference between being 15-9 and 14-10 down heading into the final session. Still one of the best two or three shots I've ever seen under pressure. In between sessions, I bet White couldn't get it out of his head. 

 

6:33:54 here:

 

 

Incidentally, these two met in the Matchroom League Final about a week or so later. Hendry won 9-0. That is to say: he won 19 frames in succession against one of the all-time greats of the game, at his peak. And then he beat him 18-5 the following year as well!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sadj
2 hours ago, shaun.lawson said:

 

Specifically, with this shot. The difference between being 15-9 and 14-10 down heading into the final session. Still one of the best two or three shots I've ever seen under pressure. In between sessions, I bet White couldn't get it out of his head. 

 

6:33:54 here:

 

 

Incidentally, these two met in the Matchroom League Final about a week or so later. Hendry won 9-0. That is to say: he won 19 frames in succession against one of the all-time greats of the game, at his peak. And then he beat him 18-5 the following year as well!

Enjoyed watching that. That game and the one where he beats him in a final frame are I think my two favourite Hendry over White matches

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ri Alban
4 hours ago, shaun.lawson said:

 

Specifically, with this shot. The difference between being 15-9 and 14-10 down heading into the final session. Still one of the best two or three shots I've ever seen under pressure. In between sessions, I bet White couldn't get it out of his head. 

 

6:33:54 here:

 

 

Incidentally, these two met in the Matchroom League Final about a week or so later. Hendry won 9-0. That is to say: he won 19 frames in succession against one of the all-time greats of the game, at his peak. And then he beat him 18-5 the following year as well!

Thanks Shaun.

 

What year was the broken arm?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shaun.lawson
5 minutes ago, ri Alban said:

Thanks Shaun.

 

What year was the broken arm?

 

'94. He won the world title with a fractured elbow FFS! 

 

A couple of sidelights on that. First, when the news broke, most people's assumption was he'd have no chance - and that White and Alan McManus were most likely to benefit. McManus promptly lost his 2nd round match and was never the same again. And White? I thought it was his year. And I kept thinking it and kept thinking it and kept thinking it until, well, y'know... :sob:

 

The 1994 World Final was the worst I've felt after a sporting event involving anyone other than Hearts, Norwich or England. The cruelty of it... man oh man. Even Hendry thought he'd lost when Jimmy was in. And whereas Taylor in '85 or Ebdon in '02 or others too (like Thorburn in '80) got away with all sorts of terrible blunders late on, White made one mistake. And that was that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ri Alban

Jimmy was always gracious in defeat as well as victory. Class!

"He's beginning to get on my nerves" A favourite of mine.?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shaun.lawson
Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, ri Alban said:

Jimmy was always gracious in defeat as well as victory. Class!

"He's beginning to get on my nerves" A favourite of mine.?

 

Yes. He was much too good a loser for his own good. 

 

But well - we now know why he never won the thing. Simply put, because he just wasn't looking after himself at all. After the '92 final, he spent the entire summer on a massive bender, trying to get over what had happened. He was drinking constantly throughout the '93 event... when he reached the final but played dreadfully for most of the Championship. And as he treated his body so badly, he was already in decline even when the '94 final arrived: his record at other events was atrocious. 

 

Not only that - but between 1984 and 1990, he didn't reach a single world final. A quite incredible waste of his 20s... and snooker was rapidly becoming a young man's game (not that it is now, mind you!). The question is whether his spiritual heir, Judd Trump, is headed in the same always the bridesmaid direction. 

Edited by shaun.lawson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ri Alban
1 minute ago, shaun.lawson said:

 

Yes. He was much too good a loser for his own good. 

 

But well - we now know why he never won the thing. Simply put, because he just wasn't looking after himself at all. After the 92 final, he spent the entire summer on a massive bender, trying to get over what had happened. He was drinking constantly throughout the '93 event... when he reached the final but played dreadfully for most of it. And as he treated his body so badly, he was already in decline even when the '94 final arrived: his record at other events was atrocious. 

 

Not only that - but between 1984 and 1990, he didn't reach a single world final. A quite incredible waste of his 20s... and snooker was rapidly becoming a young man's game (not that it is now, mind you!). The question is whether his spiritual heir, Judd Trump, is headed in the same always the bridesmaid direction. 

The Hurricane was at his manipulative best with JW then. Imo

 

Your life depends on it, who you gonna call.

Reardon, Davis and Hendry or Higgins, White and O'Sullivan? I know I'm going for the former in a heartbeat.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ri Alban
Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, shaun.lawson said:

 

Yes. He was much too good a loser for his own good.  

This is why Jimmy is the real 'people's champ'. He fouled, he called it on himself. Class!

 

But well - we now know why he never won the thing. Simply put, because he just wasn't looking after himself at all. After the 92 final, he spent the entire summer on a massive bender, trying to get over what had happened. He was drinking constantly throughout the '93 event... when he reached the final but played dreadfully for most of it. And as he treated his body so badly, he was already in decline even when the '94 final arrived: his record at other events was atrocious. 

 

Not only that - but between 1984 and 1990, he didn't reach a single world final. A quite incredible waste of his 20s... and snooker was rapidly becoming a young man's game (not that it is now, mind you!). The question is whether his spiritual heir, Judd Trump, is headed in the same always the bridesmaid direction. 

I'm still hoping for a miracle for JW to win this. 

Edited by ri Alban

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shaun.lawson
Just now, ri Alban said:

The Hurricane was at his manipulative best with JW then. Imo

 

Your life depends on it, who you gonna call.

Reardon, Davis and Hendry or Higgins, White and O'Sullivan? I know I'm going for the former in a heartbeat.

 

 

 

Oh, indeed. Dominant Champions have a mindset and coldness which, well, most people just don't have. And it's not just the Hurricane I blame. White had all sorts of pals and hangers on (I'm looking at you, Ronnie Wood) who'd plead with him to come out with them and booze the night away. They should've been the first to do right by him and demand he practice hard, focus and look after himself.

 

More than that, White was such a ridiculously nice guy that at times, I think that deep down, he felt he didn't deserve to win it... because he knew how hard Davis or Hendry worked. Then, with O'Sullivan doing 10K runs or Ebdon swimming a mile a day, naturally, White was left far behind. 

 

When he reached the final in 1996, Ebdon lost a stone and a half in 17 days. This Championship takes the most extraordinary amounts out of people. McManus used to say that you have to sweat blood to win at the Crucible... and in that sense, White just never wanted it enough. Never made the sacrifices required. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shaun.lawson
Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, ri Alban said:

I'm still hoping for a miracle for JW to win this. 

 

Lost in the qualifiers last week. Hasn't even appeared at the Crucible since 2006. And while he did have that amazing win over Hendry in the 1998 first round (White actually beat Hendry twice at the Crucible, just not when it most mattered), that's, well, more than two decades ago now.

 

White's hopes didn't finally expire in 1994, but in 1995. When there was only Nigel Bond waiting in the final. Nigel Bond, who wasn't even a household name in his own household, in the final - imagine that! 

 

White did amazingly well to run Hendry, who was playing as well as he ever did in his career, as close as 12-16... and at 7-8 down, Stephen distracted by his ridiculously brilliant 147, there was a glimmer of a chance. But Hendry refocused, won the crunch frames, and that was it, sadly.

Edited by shaun.lawson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ri Alban
Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, shaun.lawson said:

 

Oh, indeed. Dominant Champions have a mindset and coldness which, well, most people just don't have. And it's not just the Hurricane I blame. White had all sorts of pals and hangers on (I'm looking at you, Ronnie Wood) who'd plead with him to come out with them and booze the night away. They should've been the first to do right by him and demand he practice hard, focus and look after himself.

 

More than that, White was such a ridiculously nice guy that at times, I think that deep down, he felt he didn't deserve to win it... because he knew how hard Davis or Hendry worked. Then, with O'Sullivan doing 10K runs or Ebdon swimming a mile a day, naturally, White was left far behind. 

 

When he reached the final in 1996, Ebdon lost a stone and a half in 17 days. This Championship takes the most extraordinary amounts out of people. McManus used to say that you have to sweat blood to win at the Crucible... and in that sense, White just never wanted it enough. Never made the sacrifices required. 

I think you're a bit harsh. He sweated blood alright, it was just that Stephen gave him several transfusions in the finals. ?

Edited by ri Alban

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ri Alban

It's just not the same anymore, for me. I used to be glued to screen from when I remember. Steve Davis and then Stephen Hendry were my favourite players. But I'd also watch the other great players. From Alex Higgins to John Higgins. I lost interest when Hearns ruined it. And for that, I don't want him near Scottish football. Darts is now guff, the fans have ruined it, with the help of Barry H. Imo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shaun.lawson
Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, ri Alban said:

It's just not the same anymore, for me. I used to be glued to screen from when I remember. Steve Davis and then Stephen Hendry were my favourite players. But I'd also watch the other great players. From Alex Higgins to John Higgins. I lost interest when Hearns ruined it. And for that, I don't want him near Scottish football. Darts is now guff, the fans have ruined it, with the help of Barry H. Imo

 

The game was finished before Hearn took over. Dead. It died throughout the 2000s. 

 

But what you say about it just not being the same any more must be shared by many millions of Brits. For whom the big characters - Higgins, White, Taylor, Thorne, Griffiths, Davis, Thorburn, Knowles, Johnson, Mountjoy, Reardon, Stevens, Werbeniuk, Charlton, etc etc - were what made the sport so unmissable throughout the eighties.

 

Back then, when he was the manager of Davis and others, Barry Hearn referred to snooker as "Coronation Street with balls". The only sport which people would tune in in their droves to watch and even hope for mistakes. Lots of them. In that sense, Hendry taking things to a whole new level - suddenly, nothing on the table was safe any longer - was actually the beginning of the end.

 

As others have said though, the sport's future is in Asia. Snooker clubs across the UK have closed down since the smoking ban came in; and it's probably only a matter of time until the circuit is based over there. That's where the big money and interest is now. And if Ding ever wins this tournament, I'd guess that's when the sea change would truly happen.

Edited by shaun.lawson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...