16.11.08

AND THE WILDCARD GOES TO...

The wildcard for the Wembley Masters will be announced at some point between the qualifiers later this month and the UK Championship.

Therefore, Ricky Walden has to be considered the outstanding favourite to receive an invite.

He did, after all, win the Shanghai Masters with victories over Stephen Hendry, Neil Robertson, Steve Davis, Mark Selby and Ronnie O’Sullivan.

I’d be surprised if Ricky is overlooked but it is not impossible. There are a number of other leading contenders as well.

Judd Trump impressed in a BBC tournament (which of course the Masters is as well) by beating O’Sullivan before losing to John Higgins in the Grand Prix semi-finals.

Liang Wenbo brought his exciting, ultra attacking style of play to the World Championship and got all the way to the quarter-finals.

Former top 16 stars Dave Harold and Matthew Stevens have appeared in ranking tournament finals while veteran Steve Davis has found a bit of form.

But surely Walden is the leading contender for a Wembley place.

And he’s just the sort of player who could do some damage there come January.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

go walden!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see Wenbo after all he's got to be a crowd puller after his recent exploits whereas Walden will leave empty seats.

And what the hell is this about veteran Steve Davis finding a bit of form? Dave have you actually watched any Premier League action recently? Davis is playing by far the worst snooker of his career this season!

kimball said...

BBC should reconsider themselves,
there are so many old "household" names among 17-32 and so many raising stars, so there will always be top snooker guaranteed.

Make Masters a rankingtournament
or free the calender from a hopeless qualification tournament.

Scott said...

Is there a sponsor for the Masters yet?

Maybe Saga could be tempted back if they can give a wildcard to Steve Davis.

Matt@PSB said...

"And what the hell is this about veteran Steve Davis finding a bit of form? Dave have you actually watched any Premier League action recently? Davis is playing by far the worst snooker of his career this season!"


But on the flip side he has reached the quarter-finals of two ranking events and has beaten players like Dominic Dale, Neil Robertson and Dave Harold along the way.

Yes he has been very poor in the Premier League when he has had to cope with the 25 second shot clock, but he has also done much better in the ranking events and is playing some good stuff in the qualifiers.

Rich P said...

Davis may have reached two quarter-finals but his performances in these events has hardly been world beating. I think he won one match in the Grand Prix with his best break in the forties.

One of the reasons snooker is struggling at the moment is because the standard has dropped. I've watched a lot of matches recently where the standard is unbelievebly poor. We don't seem to have the same thrust of young players coming through as we did in the 90's - Judd Trump is one, followed by a few chinese stars but i'm struggling to name anymore.

The demise of the game at the top is affecting the influx of new stars coming through.

Matt@PSB said...

I completely agree in fairness, I guess it's more the fact that anonymous was judging Davis on his PL form which is harsh really.

While he hasn't exactly hit big breaks and played to a particularly high standard to make the quarter-finals, he has at least made them which is more than a lot of players around him in the rankings have done this season.

I don't think that he should get the wildcard by any means, but he's beating some decent players.

Anonymous said...

>The demise of the game at the top is affecting the influx of new stars coming through.

Surely it would be easier for "new stars" to come through if the standard at the top is as poor as you think it is?

Rich P said...

What I mean anonymous is that new stars aren't motivated to play because they see the whole game crumbling at the top. No dominant forces to uncrown anymore, no decent prize money..golf is the game to play these days.

Anonymous said...

Trump for me. Walden is almost there by himself. make it "wild".

Matt@PSB said...

Walden is still the world number 35 officially don't forget.

Matthew Custer said...

Yeah, Trump is much more possible than Walden.

Anonymous said...

it's gotta be Wenbo if the idea is to get the crowds in.

Anonymous said...

the last comment i fully DISAGREE with.

id say walden is more well known to folk who attend snooker venues for tournaments. id say the average attendee (sp?) doesnt even know wenbo (yet) ....not that keen snooker followers dont know him, but those average folk who go to a snooker tourament cause its near them wont (generally)

Anonymous said...

Dave,

I noticed you said that the anouncement will be made between the qualifiers and the UK. Surely this will create a problem as it is probable that the wildcard will be given to a a player who has already entered the tournament and been knocked out. Surely a player will not be allowed re-entry to a tournament that he has already lost in.

Saying that, one player who has not entered the Qualifiers is Davis,does he know something already????

Dave H said...

You can play in the qualifiers and still get the wildcard

In fact, it used to be a stipulation for anyone who was considered for the wildcard