17.12.09

JUNGLE JIMMY GETS WEMBLEY WILDCARD

Jimmy White will today be unveiled as the remaining wildcard for next month's Wembley Masters.

White, the 1984 champion, has recently had his popularity boosted through an appearance on ITV's 'I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here.'

He will play Mark King on the opening day, January 10.

This will be a disappointment for Liang Wenbo, the outstanding favourite for the wildcard having reached the Shanghai Masters final earlier this season.

Nobody can argue with White's popular appeal, especially in London.

However, he is currently 62nd in the provisional rankings so many will question whether he really deserves this call up.

55 comments:

Internet growth said...

I was hoping Judd would get it. We need to expose new players to the corwd's, Jimmy will do nothning to help snooker in the long run.

Anonymous said...

This is out of order - regardless of whether Jimmy is popular in London - the Masters is a prestige event with the top 16 (and they have proven by results that they are class players) plus a player having come through qualifiers - again showing good form and number 62 in the World who struggles to get through qualifiers. Liang gets to the final of a ranking event this Season, and the quarters of the UK, the second most important event on the calendar. It stinks and the people who decided this should hang their heads in shame. Is this the Barry Hearn influence coming through already? Well, the player voted for him didn't they!

Monique said...

This is indeed ridiculous but I doubt BH has anything to do with it. Remember before Jimmy went to the jungle, that is before the vote, he already said losing weight in the jungle would help him to fit in his suit for the Masters. So he knew already.
Whatever it's a shame.

Matt said...

Not impressed with that at all, very disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Pathetic decision.

missing a major tournament in favor of Playing Tarzan and he earns a wild card for a snooker tournament ?

cant believe the WSA are carrying on like idiots.

RichP said...

Nothing to do with Hearn, the decision was made as soon as they heard he was in I'm a celeb. Can anyone confirm whether Ronnie is going to do Celeb Big Brother - sounds like he is as he's a big fan apparently?

Ron said...

I'm fine with it, one last major appearance by the Whirlwind of London Town!

Vedran said...

That's unbelievably stupid decision!!! If anyone deserved that last wildcard, it's Liang ''the fearless'' Wenbo! He had such great performances lately and he's improving fast as hell and now this... Jimmy White get's it... shame shame shame on world snooker organisation!!

jamie brannon said...

I think you were being diplomatic there Dave saying whether people will question whether he deserves it! Secretly though I am quite happy as the atmosphere should be rocking. It could be his last season on the main tour so perhaps we could allow him one final fling. He may edge Mark King as well. Harsh on Liang, personally it should just be top 16 anyway.

Anonymous said...

pathetic !!!! is this what the future holds going backwards in my opinion

Anonymous said...

No wonder Jimmy had no qualms about dropping off the UK qualifiers - he did probably get the nod that he'd get the wild card - scandalous. By allowing this, any idea that Jimmy would be disciplined for it is now null and void. I'm not sure whether Hearn had an input - I think he most probably did cue to their history. I feel for Liang - World Snooker - SHAME on you.

jamie brannon said...

Still no value in dropping out of UK qualifiers as this event carries no ranking points. Be funny if he won it and then dropped off the main tour. Funnily enough a run to final could help him get a discretionary wildcard for the tour next season if he so needs.

Anonymous said...

What a disgrace. We all love Jimmy but no-one can really argue that he is deserving of this. Wenbo or Trump have far better claims.

Anonymous said...

On World Snooker's website Hearn endorses the decision, this is a worry. Aren't we looking to promote young, up and coming players? Looks like Hearn is being too nostalgic.

Anonymous said...

Snooker The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted is not shared
Hi Dave
How are you! I think the "thinkers" should have waited for for your tournament in Ireland to finish Dave. There may be a wee gem uncovered there? Mr hey you.

John H said...

Well done to World Snooker for remembering why wild cards were created- to give star names a place and fill arenas -the arena will be a sell out and the tv figures massive. If Ronnie pulls out to be in celebrity big brother I am sure Wenbo will be in.
Of course Jimmy doesnt deserve his place on merit- no one outside the top 16 does! The way to get in on merit is to get into the top 16.
The wild cards were created when Alex Higgins slipped out of the top 16. Well done world snooker for giving Jimmy a swansong at Wembley - no doubt a controversial decision which will also get a few inches in the papers - more publicity cant be bad!

Anonymous said...

Reading the World Snooker site and the quote from Hearn, it is now obvious that it was the new Chairmans decision. A great starting decision by the new board? - NOT!!! I must say that this decision so early in the life of this new regime does NOT bode well for the future. The players must be thinking to themselves - what must I do to get treated equally with Jimmy to get the chairmans attention??? Nice one Barry!!!

hegeland from TSF said...

Along with staging the Bahrain Masters this has to be one of the most incomprehensible decisions made by WSA in recent times.

If pulling out old Jimmy White from his retirement home time and time again - yes he did get a wildcard purely on old merits three years ago - does put bums on seats, it's only because the game has for many years refused to look for the future and produce new TV stars. Just look at the BBC coverage and how they consistently dwell on past times.

It's a pathetic move and a truly horrific start from the new chairman Barry Hearn.

RichP said...

As Dave points out on his twitter page Liang Wenbo didn't even enter the masters qualifiers so surely that excludes him? Not saying it excludes others though. I think Jimmy is a good choice because at the end of the day it's all about bums on seats and that's something only Jimmy will do.

Greg said...

Do you think we could all hold the tears for a second?

I'm sure Liang will be at the masters next year. And the year after that, and the year after that. The way he's going he could be in the crucible final next May. He doesn't need the sympathy.

Betty Logan said...

It's a dscretionary wildcard - if they were going to give it to the most deserving then that would be the player ranked 17th, not Liang Wenbo. Besides, Jimmy's been playing well and won a couple of events so he might shine once he's back in front of a crowd.

As for the inane comment above that Jimmy doesn't do anything for snooker then I'd say you'd have more chance of attracting sponsorship with a packed out arena than another half empty one. In fact, if they had any sense they would photoshop Jimmy's crowd into all the other matches!

David Caulfield said...

The sport needs money and, at the moment, are failing to consistently put bums on seats at the venues. Regardless of rankings, who would attract more ticket sales? Wenbo - likable guy for sure - or Jimmy White, in the top 3 most popular players of all time!

Point made...

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

I agree with Rich P and John.

Am sure Wenbo had other arrangements otherwise if he didn't it was sheer arrogance to presume he was going to be given the wildcard for the Masters. He really would've got more credit, regardless of whether he won the the qualifying tournament or not, by turning up and playing, which incidentally, White had.

But WHO actually gave White the nomination? After White won a World Series tournament he alluded to the fact - post interview - that he should be given a Masters wildcard. Hmm....

O'Sullivan isn't one of the contestants on the final Big Brother celebrity edition. He is included for a possible later inclusion, unless he decides a tournament a few miles down the road isn't worth it.

Thanks, Joe

Anonymous said...

jimmy will only sell seats for 1 round because he wont win a match ! point made half wit !

Anonymous said...

Jimmy White in Masters - stiupid idea. Should play a young star in The Masters. Snooker don't need a old clowns.

Greg said...

White beat Graeme Dott and John Higgins in the World Series of Snooker event in Prague. If he can summon some form, who's to say he won't beat against Mark King? I'm not disrespecting Mark King, he's a formidable player on his day. But I think writing off Jimmy already is unfair.

Dave H said...

One point to make about the Wembley wildcard: it was introduced in 1990 for one reason only - to get Alex Higgins in the event

David Caulfield said...

Jimmy consistently performs better at Masters than he does at any other venue so it wouldn't surprise me if he wins a match or two. Mark King isn't exactly a consistent world beater now is he!

I don't agree with his choice to go on Im a Celeb, but I'm still glad he got the wildcard! Shame his match is the 7pm one on Sunday though because BBC don't usually show it live then. bit of a waste really isn't it!

Anonymous said...

Joe "O'Sullivan isn't one of the contestants on the final Big Brother celebrity edition. He is included for a possible later inclusion, unless he decides a tournament a few miles down the road isn't worth it"

Celebrity big brother start's on the 3rd January and last's for 3 week's, doesn't leave much time for a later inclusion.
If Ronnie lost his first round match ther's only just over a week and a half left in the big bro house. I can't see bosses at channel 4 allowing this to happen.

Anonymous said...

@9.13pm.

This is Big Brother at the end of the day.

Also, remember, O'Sullivan is taking part in Premier League qualification.

Am sure he is talking the variables with his management company (is it 110sport or did he move...again?) over as we speak.

Thanks, Joe

Anonymous said...

One word-disgraceful

Anonymous said...

I love jimmy and have seen him many times before in london but he does not deserve the wild card

china is a future powerhouse in snooker and wenbo has been on fire this season and deserves the wild card over a man ranked number 62

disapointing

Anonymous said...

Joe, O'Sullivan will be in next year's Premier League, whether he enter's qualification or not.

Anonymous said...

@10.45pm

I fully agree. He will be.

The point I was making was, that even if he was to be parachuted into the BB house at a later stage, not only would playing at the Masters be in the diary, but the Premier League qualification would also have to be considered.

Maybe he could have the best of both world's, as am sure he will be tempted by the house, being the last ever series.

Thanks, Joe

Anonymous said...

I am for the decision. Snooker needs less empty seats shown on TV.

white puts more bums on seats.

having said that, i see wenbo as an asset to the game - his attacking style is entertaining.

but jimmy doesn't have too many good snooker years left - give him and the crowds a break !

Ruthie said...

I don't think Jimmy is the best choice - but he's not the worst either. After all, he took the decision to enter the Masters qualifiers when a lot of players didn't bother, and he won a couple of matches there. If they sell out the arena it will look like a canny move. Problem is, Jimmy struggles on the table these days so it could be a damp squib. I love to watch Liang play because he's the exciting player of the new generation, but I can understand people wanting one last hurrah for Jimmy. I just wish it could have been done in a more fair and transparent way

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the snooker association in China will think, the overseas market would have attracted more media if Wenbo had been picked thus spreading the sport to a wider audience rather than putting a few etxra bums on seats in London.

Eric said...

@ Joe 6:26 PM
"Am sure Wenbo had other arrangements otherwise if he didn't it was sheer arrogance to presume he was going to be given the wildcard for the Masters."

Has nothing to do with sheer arrogance as Wenbo did play in the 3rd Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam at the same time where the Masters qualifiers in Wales took place.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't there room at Wembley for JW AND Liang in a slightly expanded Masters?
Golf manages to invite old favourites back to big tournaments while not undermining younger players' chances.

shaun said...

get in jimbo bums on seats and some entertaining snooker can people stop moaning jimmy has done wonders for snooker over the years can we not have another wildcard for alex higgins please

David Caulfield said...

11:40 AM,

Good point, they did that in 2007 for the sole purpose of having Jimmy and Ding. They probably should have done the same again...like it's not going to turn the tournament into a shambles with one extra player and it is invitational after all.

Dave H said...

Former world champion here suggested they scrap the qualifying event, pick one wildcard and give the other place to whoever has earned most ranking points since last season's Masters

NewsBrain said...

a lot of this anger is coming from hardcore snooker fans. yes it is unfair but snooker is in dire straits and stupendously reems of terrrestrial airtime has not generated a sponsor for the masters. It's not great for the game lnog term but it is by no means terrible. ile certainly go and watch Jimmy.

David said...

Having bought tickets to the opening day ages ago, I need to admit that I'm bloody chuffed to bits.

I feel that the Wildcard shouldn't go towards a player who the fans feel "deserves" to be there. That's what the qualifying spot is for. The Whildcard spot is and should be just that: wild. Giving it to a legend in the game, a man who has paid his dues is what I favour. Regardless of Jungle's influence in this decision, you cannot question White's contributions to the game.

At its worst, a decision like this gives newer fans of the game a chance to see a legend in the flesh. Coming from Canada I had a really hard time watching snooker on TV let alone in person. I for one cannot wait to see Jimmy at the table.

JAMIE O'REILLY said...

Anything that boost our game positivly is Great. This is the one that will. All credit to people who made the decision for White to receive the wldcard. It was the correct choice in my opinion, from a popularity point of view. Good luck Jimmy White. On the subject of White and Wembley, David, for my own stats, I wonder if you could answer me this question, White's last appearance there as a player was in 2007 when he lost to Matthew Stevens 6-1. Was this the last match he played to date on British T.V.? All the best to white and many thanks David.

Anonymous said...

Seen the Ronnie interview on World Snooker's website? It explains why so many people don't like him. Not arrogant at all.......

Anonymous said...

@Eric 11.23

He had other arrangment's then? Non? Confused.

Dave,

That is interesting concept, but I like the qualifying tournament. It is the only competition without the top 16. Also the draw means a 4th qualifying player could end up with Steve Davis in the first round. Which, obviously, you wouldn't get on Monday morning at Prestatyn.

Also, the player's seem to be playing the 6 red tournament this week, quicker. There is no shot clock, so why the hurry?

Thanks, Joe

Anonymous said...

have to agree 5.26

just another in the long line of idiotic way he says things.

Anonymous said...

Joe did you see what Eric had quoted???????????

Anonymous said...

A great decision. Finally someone that the public want to see. Guys like Trump and Wenbo need to prove themselves by winning a big tournament first before they can be awareded this. The wildcard doesn't need to be awarded on merit to the next player waiting in rankings or the form man - like the Ryder Cup it can be chosen for someone who can rise to the big occasion or bring in the crowds, like Jimmy.

Dana said...

you are pretty funny, just several days ago you celebrated new boss and now he is the stupidest in the world, you're really pretty funny. I think it's good decision as Jimmy will draw audience much more then Liang and audience is the most important for all sports,especially for poor snooker with empty arenas

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hello Dave
How are you! There seems to be a lot of daft talk about Mr Wembo getting or missing out on the Masters wild card. The lad has only hit a bit of good form Dave which we all know is unreliable.

FORM Dave is an impostor and always has been! It (form) is like Lady Luck, it comes and goes, can’t ever be controlled or practiced. When playing well, players say they are in Good Form, a meaningless expression without any detail.

Snooker of the future Dave will be played only on “A technique”! The game will consist of many branches of technique. Snooker is really in its infancy Dave and still taught and coached by the: “Watch Me” and I’ll show you again method, plus "Keep your head still"; the games oldest coaching method. Mr hey you

Anonymous said...

It's wrong to say that anyone has the right to be awarded the wildcard - it's exactly that, a wildcard that can be awarded to someone historic, some legend from the past, it doesn't need to be handed to the next person in the rankings or the person in form at the moment.

Dave, for example, if Dave Harold was the form man at the moment and the next highest ranked player, do you think he would be the right choice instead of Jimmy White? The answer would only be yes if you want a turn-off.

Dave H said...

I didn't actually say I disagreed with Jimmy's inclusion.

If I were the promoter looking to draw a crowd I'd pick him too.

Anonymous said...

Come on, Jimmy!