To quote Don McLean, February made me shiver with every paper I'd deliver.
Never a truer word, Don. Apart from the bit about the papers.
(Thinking about it, did McLean foresee Mark Selby’s comeback against Ronnie O’Sullivan in last season’s Welsh final when he sang, ‘and while the king was looking down, the jester stole his thorny crown?’ No, because that would be ridiculous.)
Anyway, snow has come to the UK and that means the country has ground to a standstill. It makes you wonder why devious international terrorists spend so much effort trying to get their hands on ghastly weaponry when all they need to do is drop a few inches of the white stuff on London to paralyse the transport links and generally stop anyone doing anything.
The farcical state of affairs is best summed up by Boris Johnson, the buffoonish mayor of London, who said yesterday: ‘We have the right kind of snow but the wrong quantity.’
All of which makes me wonder whether the full field will make it to Prestatyn over the next few days for the Welsh Open qualifiers.
Failure to do so could be very costly for a number of players as the season gathers pace in the run-in to the World Championship.
Never believe any player who tells you they don’t look at the ranking list. Yes they do. All the time.
They know exactly where they are, who is around them and what they likely have to do to escape relegation from one part of the rankings or earn promotion to another.
Well, I’ve been studying them as well. It was either that or watch another over-excited TV reporter outside banging on about how cold and snowy it was (well come inside into the nice, warm studio, then.)
So, sticking my neck out time, I predict the following players will be relegated from the top 16 at the end of the season:
- Graeme Dott
- Mark King
- Peter Ebdon
And that they’ll be replaced by the following:
- Mark Williams
- Dave Harold
- Ricky Walden
The World Championship will, of course, determine much of this, but the Welsh and China Opens will also have a major bearing.
The action from Prestatyn starts right about now and you can follow it here or here (assuming it’s not the day the scoring died. Again.)