I was in Shanghai for the first ranking event staged there, the 1999 China International.

It’s a fascinating place mixing western commercialism with glimpses of the old China.

A colleague and myself once took a trip around the city, taking in various sites of cultural interest. We went to the top of what was, at the time, the tallest hotel in the world. We called into the hotel where Noel Coward wrote Private Lives. We went to the KFC.

The Roewe Shanghai Masters is a classy tournament, promoted and supported with great energy by the Chinese.

It has proved a difficult tournament to call in terms of who is going to win. I remember Neal Foulds suggesting Dominic Dale could win the 2007 title as it was the first of the season and he could be guaranteed to have been practising.

I smiled politely at Neal and didn’t give it much more of a thought until Dale ended up beating Ryan Day 10-6 in the final.

A year later, Ricky Walden knocked down a succession of big names – Stephen Hendry, Neil Robertson, Steve Davis, Mark Selby and Ronnie O’Sullivan – to capture his first ranking title.

Many punters are wary of supporting O’Sullivan in China but, as ever confounding expectations, he produced the goods last year and beat Liang Wenbo 10-5 to win his only title of the season.

What is different in 2010 is the fact there has already been so much competitive snooker played. Some have played more than others and will feel sharp and raring to go.

Ding Junhui has played only once since the Wuxi Classic in June and looked badly out of sorts against Shaun Murphy in the Premier League last week.

Robertson has so far failed to make much progress in the Players Tour Championship but, on the other side of that coin, Selby has already won a PTC title and the Six Reds World Championship in Thailand.

The PTC has got everyone playing but it is televised ranking events that really get the juices flowing and, with the added pressure of crowds, ranking points and financial reward, will, as ever, sort the men out from the boys.


kildare cueman said...

I remember Neal making that prediction and I shook my head in disbelief at the apparent absurdity of the selection.

What a knowledgeable man Foulds is, in punditry and comment.

Hard one to call this year. With Higgins and O'Sullivan out, anyone could win it.

Murphy was impressive the other night but had no pressure to deal with.

I didn't see the betting but I'd imagine Selby and Williams would be favourites. Both have class and current form on their side, but its wide open. You couldn't rule anyone out could you?

Might have a few bob each way on an outsider.

Anonymous said...

Do you know what the first live TV game is?

Dave H said...

The first day is the wildcard round and the first match is Jamie Burnett v Tian Pengfei

Anonymous said...

The Question is with 4 tables in action will World Snooker have Live Scoring to keep a breast of other non televised tables ?

they have sent me a e mail saying yes but that was a few weeks back as of yet nothing changed on WS Site.

Anonymous said...

Dave, I suppose with Ronnie not participating we will have Williams vs Walden on TV for the first round match, no?

Dave H said...

Yes, Williams v Walden will be on the telly, which is good news.

Hopefully live scoring will be up and running. They've had long enough to sort it out.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

I don't just want a new live scoring graphic - I want a brand new website! Come on World Snooker!

At least they've made a start by covering Premier League fixtures now. It was never covered until Hearn took over (which is shocking,) but understandable why.

Thanks, Joe

Anonymous said...

good luck to all those players who could be bothered going.

Williams to win

Anonymous said...

"Yes, Williams v Walden will be on the telly, which is good news."
that is a great match and close to call.

Anonymous said...

"Hopefully live scoring will be up and running. They've had long enough to sort it out."

had a e mail this morning from thoes useless walleys at Worldsnooker.com

Live Scoring will not be in operation for the Shanghai masters.

How much time does these idiots want ?

Anonymous said...

if they get it right when they do it, ill be thankful. i dont pay them (directly)

Anonymous said...

I'll deliver the tip for the tournament:

Stephen Hendry

It's about time he shocked the world. Didn't Davis qualify? If so I'll make him my dark horse

Anonymous said...

Its getting a bit farcical. Who is in charge of that aspect of world snooker and is Hearn aware of the despair being caused by this ineptitude.
It would be fair to assume that snooker is well down his list of priorities, despite all the promises and razzmatazz.
Eaten bread is soon forgotten.

John McBride said...

Great that we have a ranking tournament back on our TV screens. I've backed Mark Selby though that was before Ronnie O'Sullivan pulled out. Rule 4 will probably apply.

As for live scoring, as much as it is disappointing that we won't have the opportunity to follow the scores, with a bit of luck when it does get back up & running, we'll have forgot all about this period of being without it. Glass half full, that type of style.

Let battle commence.

Anonymous said...

Hearn's put his own money into World Snooker Ltd so the comments about him not caring about the sport are the usual ignorance

Anonymous said...

i agree, 202

some folk just type things to say "look at me and my opinion", without actually thinking...

Anonymous said...

Barry Hearn is the top man but there are people below him everywhere that are inept idiots that should get the boot.

Anonymous said...

You snipers make me laugh.

Hearn & Co have done a far more productive job than the previous administration.

Its pure ignorance. Get a grip guys.

Anonymous said...

Anons at 2.02 and 3.49.
Its a very valid opinion. Putting your money in doesn't excuse ineptitude.
In 2010, a global sport where supporters cannot find out the results of their matches is inexcusable.
Either Hearn doesn't care or he doesn't realise the incompetents who can't provide results or update their own provisional rankings.
Either way the buck stops with Hearn, and you, 2.02 and 3.49, are the ignorant.

Anonymous said...


i think there has been a lot of other developments since BH took over and he has prioritised his "jobs" very well.

not all snooker fans have access and idle time to sit refreshing a snooker page to find scoring....and id hazard a guess that most events are on tv or live on the internet via streaming, so the majority of matches except qualifiers are available to actually view

moaning for the sake of moaning id say (even though i agree it should have been sorted long ago, but im prepared to wait a bit longer)