Trifling matters such as work, family and the real world should not be any impediment to enjoying the Betfred.com World Championship.

For those of you not lucky enough to have tickets for the Crucible there are many ways to follow the action.

The BBC is host broadcaster, as it has been for every Sheffield marathon. Hazel Irvine and Rishi Persad once again present its coverage with Steve Davis and John Parrott offering punditry and commentary from Willie Thorne, Dennis Taylor, John Virgo, Ken Doherty, Neal Foulds, Terry Griffiths and (for the first three days) Clive Everton.

There is daily coverage on BBC2 and it’s all live on the red button, although only one table is available on Freeview.

The matches are also live on the BBC website for those of you who live in the UK and this site will have news and features throughout the event.

Eurosport offers live coverage of both tables on both channels for much of the championship.

Joining the usual commentary team will be Alan ‘Angles’ McManus and Phil ‘Statto’ Yates.

All the matches can be watched live on the Eurosport Player and the Eurosport website will have plenty of news coverage and reaction.

The World Championship will also be screened live in China and various other outposts.

The internet has done much to add to the experience. Worldsnooker.com is the place to go for the official view, with match reports and player quotes, while Sporting Life will carry Press Association coverage.

I can highly recommend WWW Snooker for its wealth of information and there is also Global Snooker for news, results and comment.

I don’t have huge amounts of time for blogging during the tournament, although will post my thoughts each day, but there are, thankfully, a number of other blogs now offering news, opinion and general merriment.

Pro Snooker Blog goes from strength to strength and will be particularly useful when it comes to following the twists and turns of the rankings.

The best addition to the snooker blogosphere in the last year is Snooker Backer’s site, which offers betting tips but also irreverence and good natured discussion.

A word too for On Cue, another newish blog, and Snooker My Love, whose genuine passion for the game is a nice antidote to weary cynicism and sniping.

Forums such as The Snooker Forum and Snooker Island offer a place for discussion.

I’m sure I have forgotten various other sites, so apologies for that.

The great pity remains the paucity of player websites. There are some but I suspect fans would like rather more behind the scenes stuff from their favourite players.

The good news though is that several players are now signed up to Twitter, where there is a good snooker community also featuring commentators, officials and fans.

Among the players to follow are Shaun Murphy, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, Mark Allen, Mark King, Stuart Bingham, Judd Trump and, yes, Ronnie O'Sullivan.

I will be posting a few fascinating facts myself. Apparently Stephen Fry is already worried his follower count will be overtaken.

Wherever you are and however you plan to follow the World Championship, I trust you will enjoy the greatest snooker show on earth.


Anonymous said...

twitter ye not
do it on the blog


Anonymous said...

Dave your reference too ronnie been on twitter has an air of mocking

Dave H said...

Only if that's what you want to read into it

Anonymous said...

Not a ball hit yet and already we have one of those tediously predictable pieces about the way it used to be, provided by Matthew Norman in the Daily Telegraph.

Let's set aside his pretentious opening of the piece with a quote from the stunningly over-rated playwright Alan Bennett.

Let's even gloss over him calling the 2005 world champion Stuart Murphy.

And let's even forgive the predictable references to the 1985 final, as it seems to be an NUJ rule that non-snooker journalists writing a piece about snooker have to include at least one mention of that.

Let's focus instead on his lazy use of that hackneyed old line about there being no characters in the game. When are people going to get over this? That myth has been around so long, that some of the "characters" being harked back to, were being derided as examples of the lack of characters, when such pieces first emerged.

Let's also point to his simply untrue claim of "no death since Pol Pot’s being as unadorned by kind words as Alex Higgins’", when in fact the people he spent his life tormenting were queueing up last year to pay tribute to him.

Let's also wonder who exactly means by "the game" when he asserts that "the game will pray" for O'Sullivan to return to form. "The game" hasn't even seen much of O'Sullivan this season, yet "the game" has haad its best season for a long time.

But let's not get in to his critiques of Selby, Robertson and Trump, because the championship would probably be half-over by the time we'd dealt with that.

And finally, let's reflect that after snooker being criticised for being too dominated by Davis in the 80s and Hendry in the 90s, Mr Norman now wants to sell us the line that the open nature of the championship these days, is somehow a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

How much free grub are jumbos given you hahaha think I,LL pop in monday during ros v dale match

Colin M said...

As ever, I'm looking forward to a snooker extravaganza. My main hope is for the action to be purely table-based this year, with no scandals in the tabloids.

Glad to hear Clive has got some air-time too, wish it were more.

"Real-life" has dictated a 5am start for me in the morning....

See you on the M1!

snookerbacker said...

Many thanks for the reference Dave, looking forward to a fantastic 17 days. All the Best.

wild said...


whats this with Clive only there for first 3 Days.

this is disgracefull on the part of the BBC and if i was Clive id tell the BBC to stick their 3 days where the sun dont shine.

jamie brannon said...

Dave, is the profile genuine?

As I followed him before and he tweeted nothing.

Must admit that was a shocking article in the Daily Telegraph.

I just hope you don't think that I am in that bracket of person who believes there are no characters in the game other than O'Sullivan.

There are a good number, particularly Mark King, Michael Holt, Tony Drago, Graeme Dott and plenty of others.

However, because I have said that O'Sullivan is the most interesting, which I standby, that people will lump me in with these jokers who denigrate this great sport.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait!

jamie brannon said...

No worries Dave, read what you said about it being validated by the people from his practice base.

I understand you will be busy during this period, you don't see daylight in Sheffield, do you?! However, it would be good if you keep posting links when possible to newspaper articles, as it's the only time of the year when we have some snooker press.

Hopefully Matthew Syed and Simon Barnes will provide some good stuff, they tend not to sneer at the game.

Started reading the Independent a lot this year, but not familiar with how they cover a World Championship.

Also, thought I'd mention you can go in all good bookmakers and read a comprehensive preview to this years event. From what I hear on Twitter the principal selections have been Ding Junhui (my tip) and Stephen Maguire, who I have tired o tipping as he doesn't seem to finish the job anymore.

Enter the Dragon!!

Dave H said...

The Matthew Norman piece was like a spoof article journos may cook up to take the mickey out of the hackneyed way snooker is often treated in the press.

Disagree about Alan Bennett, though. A great writer.

Anonymous said...

Bit concerned that there are still so many tickets unsold - they are doing 2 for 1 now.

Anonymous said...

Okay,it's time! Let's get ready for Hendryyyyyyyyyy!!! And some other blokes as well, I suppose.

Have a great tournament everyone.

And weren't ticket sales through the roof (regarding 5:38)? A few empty seats in the first round matches have to be expected. Hypothetically, I myself wouldn't buy a ticket for a McLeod/Gunnell match to be honest. Oh well...

Anonymous said...

spoke to alan m the other day and heard about the eurosport commentary. great news for us...and alan. :)

wild, id rather not listen to clive at all, for any days, so just becuase you like his style doesnt make it an injustice that hes not here as many people think hes a bore (even if its a smaller % than half)

remember your opinion is opinion and isnt shared by everyone.

thanks again for the great blogs dave. still the best!

Anonymous said...

FYI Matthew Stevens has twitter as well:

Anonymous said...

No characters in todays game?
Clearly they haven't seen Nigel Bond in action.

Matt said...

Cheers for the plug as ever.

Will try not to tweet myself to death this time.

Ryan said...

I will be doing a full tournament diary on ryan147.com :)

Snooker Loopy said...

Thanks for mentioning my blog Dave and have a wonderful World Championship! :-)) See you on good old fashioned Twitter :-P

Matt said...

Another thought actually, it's amazing how much the snooker landscape has changed when it comes to the internet even since I started my blog back in 2008.

Back then beyond Global and this blog there were very few places that I would go for snooker news but now there are all sorts of sites, each covering different angles and complimenting each other quite well. Even the World Snooker website is improving.

It will be interesting to see where we are in another three years.

jamie brannon said...

I was referring to the Racing Post preview. Adrian Humphries their principal snooker writer went for Ding but actually supported that recommendation with John Higgins and a each-way saver on Matthew Stevens.

As you know, my selection is for Ding but also had to have a little bit on Ronnie, as I like to provide bookies with cash!!

Two bets I also took were in the high breakmaker market, where had 33-1 on both Marco Fu and Stephen Hendry.

One Racing Post writer Mark Langdon asked me whether I knew any good frame by frame tweeters, so I suggested yourself.

I told him you didn't do every frame as you commentate but he does update pretty often and offers tips on matches. So it won't just be that barman looking for you after the event finishes!!

Langdon has backed Trump and Allen for overall glory.

Can't wait for 2.30 p.m and the start of network coverage. What a day of sport.