4.10.10

MURPHY HITS THE HEIGHTS

Shaun Murphy is probably as confused as the rest of us as to why his form seems to be so inconsistent.

Three seasons ago, he was Mr. Reliable, a regular at the business end of tournaments.

That consistency helped Murphy bed himself into the top four and underlined his reputation as a big occasion player.

But Murphy then lost his opening match in the first four tournaments of the 2008/09 season – before then winning the UK Championship.

His form has similarly yo-yoed ever since. He played very well indeed against Ding Junhui in the Premier League a few weeks ago – pocketing £7,000 in a single evening – but was poor beyond belief against Matthew Stevens in Shanghai and outplayed by Dave Harold in the World Open.

Last night, Murphy won the second European Players Tour Championship title of the season in Bruges after a frenetic three days of snooker.

His record in such events outside the UK is good. He’s won two Paul Hunter Classics in Germany, the Malta Cup twice, the World Series grand finals in Portugal and a World Series title in Ireland.

John Parrott was a little like this and the link between the two is that Murphy, as Parrott was, is a great pro. He doesn’t treat foreign trips as holidays.

Murphy, like any top player, wants to win every tournament he enters. But I’m sure he would also like to rediscover his consistency and cut out the early exits.

The Bruges event marked the halfway point of the PTC and I’m told it attracted decent crowds.

Some players have a few issues with the new series. Snooker fans have a big one: they can’t watch it.

Hopefully that will soon change. Web streaming or even some TV coverage would draw an audience given the quality of the fields. All of this is apparently under discussion.

As for the top 24, it looks like 6,500-7,000 points will be enough to qualify for the grand finals, which appears likely to feature big names and lesser lights in equal measure.

The winners from the change to the ranking system were Jamie Cope and Peter Ebdon, who join the top 16, and Mike Dunn and Martin Gould, who advance to the top 32.

This makes it even more absurd that Ebdon, Dunn and Gould have signed an EGM requisition form to replace the WPBSA board supporting Barry Hearn's new regime with directors and an agenda already rejected by the membership.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not surprised that Ebdon and Dunn are in support of the EGM but Gould? That one really surprises me.

Anonymous said...

dave, do you know who else is on that form ?

Dave H said...

Nigel Bond, Adrian Gunnell, Ali Carter and Mark King.

Anonymous said...

Your last two paragraphs David say so much about the culture in snooker where players (and therefore members) are just cannon fodder, stoogies and frontmen for those who have no real say in snooker but so desperately want to have some control and power. I don't think you need to be a graduate to work out who we are talking about here.

Remember that while Barry Hearn has taken snooker on himself other would-be saviours of the game can only launch a challenge when supported by the financial clout of others. We know who we are talking about here.

That anyone ousted last year (and replaced by Barry Hearn) and then kicked into the long grass in Sheffield at the EGM could think about showing face let alone launch some kind of bid to re-gain control of professional snooker beggars belief.

Dunn and Ebdon were part of a regime that had a can't do mentality rather than can do or will try and do mentality.

Snooker is well rid of the cabal that existed under Sir Rodney Walker. At least he has had the good grace to vanish unlke others. But then unlike others snooker was not his only business.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of fools. I'm particularly sad to see Gould and Carter there. What fools!!

Anonymous said...

some of these just want a job on the board to nick 20 grand a year.One of these players just likes to be heard,sorry two of them. They know who they are.

Mark said...

Oh Ebdon, Ebdon, why are you so annoying? Why do you play in such a slow and dull manner and why do you continue to support the people who did you no favours whilst in power?

Please Ebdon, just retire. Like many former pros I'm sure your commentary will be far superior to watching you play.

Betty Logan said...

I don't think they should stream the PTC. As my mother says, if you give it away they won't marry you! Likewise, why would companies put £300k-£400k into sponsoring a tournament, and why would a broadcaster schedule airtime when World Snooker are showing the same players in a pro-am every week?

If you broadcast a cut-price tournament you devalue your main product. I support the PTC as a means for the players to earn income, but these are pro-ams offering pro-am money - the carrot obviously is the ranking points on offer. No ranking points and I bet you wouldn't get anyone from the top 16 entering. These PTCs have a place, but ultimately they're not very important and spectator snooker should be offered through properly funded events.

Anonymous said...

bl

they could stream one camera on 2 main tables for virtually nothing.

Dave H said...

There could be a ranking event in Bruges in a couple of years, but first the interest has to be nurtured by events such as this.

Also, it's some pro-am if it's paying £10k to the winner in this day and age.

Betty Logan said...

I'm not objecting to the event Dave. If these events generate interest on the continent, great, and if a local broadcaster is willing to air them then fantastic, I'm just questioning the logic of streaming all your top players on a weekly basis to anyone who wants to watch. What's the point in Sky putting on a tournament if you can just watch PTCs instead? I mean, Sky will probably gauge an event's success by how many subsribers it generates, rather than by how many current subscribers tune in to watch. If you stream it then bookies can take bets on it, and why should they get to make money off the game without putting in some of the funding? You also have to bear in mind market saturation - if casual viewers watch more snooker online they will probably watch less on TV. I think it's a dangerous move making snooker available on tap.

Dave H said...

There's saturation coverage every week of football, golf and tennis and they do OK

Betty Logan said...

Football and golf don't struggle for funding or airtime though. If people couldn't get enough of snooker then there wouldn't be a need for the PTC.

Dave H said...

Not true at all.

The problem hasn't been public interest, it's been historic mismanagement and the failure to open new markets.

The previous board didn't explore Europe at all, despite the obvious market created by Eurosport.

Snooker's TV figures around the world are very strong and streaming the PTC to those who wish to watch it isn't going to kill that. If anything it'll strengthen the majors because their prestige will become even more apparent.

Anonymous said...

bl are you a bit dim?

matches do not need to be streamed for bookies to take bets on them

!

snookerbacker.com said...

Betty, just to respond to your comments about bookies, yesterday one firm was even betting in-running on some matches in the EPTC on the strength of the World Snooker scoreboard. They priced up all the last 16 matches yesterday morning. So they are betting on it anyway.

Streaming would increase betting activity there is little doubt about that and at a time when the majority of the sponsors are in this sector that has to be an attractive proposition to take the sport forward.

I'm a bit confused by you saying they are not putting money into the game when at least some of the firms, notably the World Championship sponsors are doing just that.

Anonymous said...

ive already said that sb.

Betty Logan said...

What I was pointing out is that you risk removing the incentive for them to sponsor events worth hundreds of thousands by offering events that are only worth tens of thousands. If the top players play in them and attract the same betting interest, it doesn't make any difference to the bookies how much the players earn. If you get the same betting interest in a PTC, why sponsor the World Open? You're basically just giving them a free market and I question the logic of that.

Anonymous said...

that wasnt what you said earlier betty.

you basically said streaming would introduce betting on matches being played, which was 100% wrong, as it is already happening.

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not Ebdon and Dunn, those 2 well known imbecilic reprobates, are now joined by 5 more of that ilk. It really does bring a totally new meaning to defecating on your own doorstep! You really couldn't make it up.

kildare cueman said...

Betty, bookies don't sponsor events for the bets they will take on that particular event.

They would only recoup a tiny fraction of their outlay in profits if that were the case.

Its more about name penetration and brand awareness. The more the public see the bookies name, the more they are going to be seen as an established, respectable firm.

The bookies traditional target market in snooker would be what they call "C2 man".

This is the middle aged working class man who likes a pint, reads a tabloid, has a bet, plays pool, snooker and darts, and watches sport on tv.

This has now expanded to young people, with the arrival of online poker and betting.

The stakes, and potential rewards are so large that promoting their wares is extremely important, in what is a hugely competitive industry.

Thanks to Barry Hearns savvy, snooker is now a major beneficiary of this competition, as is pool and poker.

As the game develops globally, it will become a giant billboard for other industries, who will be queueing up to sponsor events.

For the time being though, as far as I'm concerned, the bookies are more than welcome.

Anonymous said...

Betty, I know nothing about the gambling/betting industry so excuse my ignorance, but do bookies even take bets on best of five and best of seven matches?

To be fair, right now snooker needs all the support it can get and I don't see the harm in broadcasting a Euro PTC event to markets, such as Germany that are really interested in snooker.

I do take your point on not streaming Sheffield PTC's even though there should be room made for spectators, and Dave, I think even Clive Everton has said over saturation (in the UK) was one of the reasons casual interest in snooker has dropped off.

NewsBrain said...

david,

would be interesting to read something on why these players are against hearn or would it be potentially libellous?

Anonymous said...

Dave

i just think theres this uncontrollable urge in snooker players to every now and again vote on something so they call a EGM.

they must be feeling some withdrawals.

if the current Board done something wrong i agree call a EGM but they haven't so it seems to me totally pointless.

Dave H said...

The EGM is to vote out the current WPBSA board, which is chaired by Jason Ferguson.

However, Ferguson and the other directors have to put themselves up for election in December anyway so the point of the EGM remains unclear.

Either way, Hearn stays where he is.

Betty Logan said...

@5.29 - What I said was that if you stream it the bookies can take bets and make money on the matches, which is 100% true! Whether they do it now or not is besides the point really, because if you offer live coverage it will increase the betting and therefore their profits considerably I imagine.

As for the WPBSA board, what actual power does it have now that Hearn holds 51% of the WSA? The WSA holds the "commercial assets" whatever they are, I'm guessing sponsorship and broadcasting rights/contracts, which leaves the WPBSA in control of what exactly? The dress code?

Anonymous said...

exactly dave

but what has the current board done wrong ?

what have they had the chance to do wrong ?

yes they were put there by Hearn but really so what they hardly had a chance to mess up their hair never mind nothing else.

what confuses me is the name Martin Gould he looks like someone that would go with the flow and just get on with it so why does he have a problem ?

Anonymous said...

6.41pm.

The answer to your question is simple.
The people who are against the board (in this case Hearn) are from 110 Sport who are now bolstered by their once arch enemy Del Hill who brings Nigel Bond along to add to the whole anti-establshment package.
In the meantime the up and coming player Martin Gould has been sucked into the whirlpool of snooker politics now that he adds the gravitas of a vote but would rather concentrate on his game.
There are a catalogue of such fine players who have been recruited by managerial positions due to their proxy forms.
This is nowt new in the game.

Leon MonĨiunskas said...

Bond is good player. I play Nijel in Riga - Latvia in 1996 and make 60 break and win.

Good play by moi

Richard Head said...

Veddy gud play Leon!

Anonymous said...

that is still not what you said the first time betty, but glad youre explaining what you meant to say, even if youre ignoring the fact you were wrong.

kildare cueman said...

Nigel Bond as chairman.

Despite Barry Hearn's judgement(whos Barry Hearn?), snooker, after donkeys years of inept chairmen, finally have the chance to elect a man who is extrovert, funny, has a constant captivating smile, bags of big business experience, and the charisma and charm to front the game.

And hats off to that other great stalwart Del Hill, who has sacrificed his personal interests and pro-Hearn loyalties, in the interests of the game, to round up such players as the hard core political animal, Martin Gould, cheery, affable Mike Dunn, the intelligent Mark King, and the excitable entertainer that is Peter Ebdon.

Along with the other handful of "activists", it is imperative that the players emerge en masse to elect this bright and progressive group to the board.

It is important that they also elect Hill so they can attempt to get the game back to where it was two years ago.

There are too many tournaments, sponsors and too much cash about now.
The players and fans are starting to think they are more important than the organisational club that was Ebbo Hill and Dunn.

Perhaps We could root out Tony Murphy or even Geoff Foulds. Anything would be better than this constant improvement and growth of the game.

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Why does it only take seven players to call an EGM. I guess you will say it is in the constitution, but they are just 10%of those allowed to vote.

Surely this needs changing.

Dave H said...

Apparently it has to be at least 10% of the voting membership, which is approximately 70.

kildare cueman said...

While the wind is in the sails of positive change, perhaps its time to propose a motion to end the inequitable proxy voting.

This could be achieved by giving an unaccomanied player a piece of paper with the relevant options and placing it in a sealed box which would remain sealed until the count.

The players name would not be on it, thereby ensuring anonymity.

At least the player would be voting and not his manager.

Anonymous said...

kildare cueman said...

Nigel Bond as chairman.

Despite Barry Hearn's judgement(whos Barry Hearn?), snooker, after donkeys years of inept chairmen, finally have the chance to elect a man who is extrovert, funny, has a constant captivating smile, bags of big business experience, and the charisma and charm to front the game.

And hats off to that other great stalwart Del Hill, who has sacrificed his personal interests and pro-Hearn loyalties, in the interests of the game, to round up such players as the hard core political animal, Martin Gould, cheery, affable Mike Dunn, the intelligent Mark King, and the excitable entertainer that is Peter Ebdon.

Along with the other handful of "activists", it is imperative that the players emerge en masse to elect this bright and progressive group to the board.

It is important that they also elect Hill so they can attempt to get the game back to where it was two years ago.

There are too many tournaments, sponsors and too much cash about now.
The players and fans are starting to think they are more important than the organisational club that was Ebbo Hill and Dunn.

Perhaps We could root out Tony Murphy or even Geoff Foulds. Anything would be better than this constant improvement and growth of the game.


One rarely gets chance to read such beautifully prepared sarcasm.... that reads equally as true.

Tony Banbury

Anonymous said...

Mike Dunn's Facebook profile states that he has been a proffessional (sic) snooker player since 1993 so during that time you'd expect him to know there is only one F in professional.
This a candidate for the WSA board of directors, you couldn't make it up/.

Anonymous said...

1141, get a life.

everyone makes mistakes, no matter whether they are a £100,000 a year director or a £25000 a year plumber.

not being able to spell, or making the odd mistake on a crappy website would not make me prejudge someones ability to do the job at hand.

youre a drama queen!

Anonymous said...

7.11-
You tell him Mike.