And so to the second round of the Betfred.com World Championship, which looks likely to feature 12 of the world's top 16 ranked players.

There are some terrific clashes ahead: Ronnie O'Sullivan v Mark Williams, Mark Selby v Stephen Hendry and Ding Junhui against, it would appear, Shaun Murphy.

Tonight John Higgins continues his title defence against Steve Davis. Few will give Davis much of a chance, just as they didn't when they met at the same stage ten years ago.

On that occasion, Davis made a superb late rally but was beaten 13-11.

Mark Allen, a semi-finalist last year, has the scoring power to get past Mark Davis, who yesterday secured only his second Crucible victory -15 years after his first - in beating Ryan Day 10-8.

Allen is a live contender for the title. His would be a fitting victory 25 years after another Northern Irishman, Dennis Taylor, captured the title.

It's a bit early, though, to start thinking of that. It's only day six of 17, after all.


Greg P said...

"It's a bit early, though, to start thinking of that. It's only day six of 17, after all."

And also, Mark barely looks any older than 17...

I'm not going to be silly and say Steve will beat Higgins but he is looking sharper than he has in many years. It's really great to see him playing like that. If you want to talk about shocks, I think the fact that Steve Davis and Mark King had a more entertaining 1st round match than Ronnie O'Sullivan is the biggest shock since Joe Johnson in 1986!

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see Dott get back in the top16, but am sorry to see Ebdon drop out. Who else is looking good for getting in or dropping out?

Dave H said...

Liang Wenbo and Jamie Cope look like getting in, although Cope could miss out depending on Dott

Greg P said...

Anon 3:04 (and anyone else who wants to know), by my calculation Dott has to get to the semis to take Cope's top 16 place. I think Perry only has to beat Carter to do it. (I'm not really 100% sure though, looking at the lists is making my head spin).

I guess if they both went far Liang could also lose out too.

Anonymous said...

Trying to work out rankings does my head in! How is Hearn going to change the system?

CHRISK5 said...

I agree with Greg P & Anon -

The current ranking system is like a spaghetti junction.

Would be better to have a one year list with a much more simplified points system.

Also,I think a revised ranking system should offer a small proportion of bonus points for
maximum breaks & also,the highest break of each event - also offer bonus pts for match whitewashes.

In the earlier rounds of events - There will be many more best of 5 frame matches next season - so it would be more appropriate.

Afew ideas here which would freshen up the ranking system while making it simpler than it is at present.

CHRISK5 said...

Steve Davis - 95% pot success in the first session!?!?!

I doubt if the wily old fox was doing such a remarkable percentage
....even in his supposed 1980s prime!!

It no longer matters whether Higgins comesback & beats him.

Steve Davis is gotta be certified for a knighthood anyway!

I think the Nugget wants to carry on playing for as long as possible in this event - To spare himself from promoting Barry Hearn's flawed agenda!! (quite frankly,who
can blame him!)

Anonymous said...

I can't believe what I just witnessed: Davis potting 95%. That was the most surprising and wonderful session I have ever seen.

CHRISK5 said...

Steve Davis is overriding the DNA circuitry.

Having played arguably his best ever session of snooker in..2010!!

Where did the real Steve Davis go to the last 20 years ? (only joking)

Even though the Nugget made the World Quarters in 2005 - That was more down to his opponents failings than anything else.

His shot selections in the Worlds 2010 have been more positive & executed superbly too.

In technique alterations - He is using a western style grip on the cue & staying down on the shot for longer.

The big question is - how long can he sustain such an improved standard ?

Having watched that 1st session with John Higgins,the phrase....
A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM is very very appropriate!!

Betty Logan said...

If Perry wins he moves above Wenbo and Cope. If Dott makes it through to the semis he will go above King, Wenbo and Cope. Dott has a great chance of doing that in his section of the draw - and I actualy fancy him for the job - because he has a good record at the Crucible and Maguire looks very beatable these days. If he wins against Maguire I doubt he would encounter much resistance from either Allen or Mark Davis, neither of which are up to doing the job at the Crucible in my view. Dott could well sneak into another final if Ronnie goes out before the semis.

Anonymous said...

I asked a top snooker pundit which top sixteen player or players would fail to get through the first round. I was a little surprised that he only came up with one name and was a little shocked at his language.

He now tells me that he correctly predicted three first round fallers. My hearing must be going. Apparently, what he said was Fu, King, Ebdon.