So we're down to the last eight of the williamhill.com UK Championship at the Barbican Centre in York and the race for the title is still wide open.

Judd Trump, still standing despite a couple of scares, faces Stephen Maguire, who has at times looked superb.

Neil Robertson and Ding Junhui, the game's two outstanding non-British players, clash cues in what could be a terrific battle.

Ricky Walden is through to only his third major quarter-final since he won the 2008 Shanghai Masters and tackles Shaun Murphy, much relieved to beat Martin Gould 6-4 from 5-0 yesterday.

Mark Allen played very well to see off Ali Carter and Marco Fu finished strongly against Mark Selby, who must have been disappointed by his performance.

Carter didn't take the defeat well. He announced his retirement on twitter, effective from the end of the season.

I've heard too many players say they will retire over the years to take this deadly seriously as the vast majority never do.

Most probably want to but what else will they do? In Carter's case, of course, he could fly planes but I suspect when the disappointment subsides he will have a rethink.

The huge numbers of people who have been watching at the Barbican are interested in the snooker but nothing gets a sport wider media coverage like a good old fashioned ruck.

The Allen-Barry Hearn rumpus is rumbling on in frankly hilarious fashion. Hearn calling the Northern Irishman a 'silly little boy' and Allen responding by wearing a gag to his post match press conference last night.

This is all essentially flim-flam but you'll have noticed the newspapers are full of this every day.

Speaking of which, Mark Williams was tweeting between frames yesterday, a practice which will no doubt be banned on the basis that it runs the risk of people enjoying themselves.

Mark's tweets were pretty ripe but they made me laugh because I could imagine him saying them out loud.

We should accept the players for the people they are, rather than trying to mould them into a series of dull clones.

Yes, the corporate image of snooker is important but if we cry out for 'personalities' we shouldn't deride the players for showing some.


Betty Logan said...

Paddy Power's decision to dismiss O'Sullivan and Selby as serious contenders was justified in the end. O'Sullivan just doesn't have the consistency anymore—brilliant in patches—but you do wonder whether his game will hold together long enough to win a title again. Selby, for all the hype just isn't a natural winner. He lost last night because he kept turning down his chances; not so much a disappointing performance as an extremely negative one. PP will rake it in now they don't have to give the money back.

I don't believe this is a wide open tournament, Neil Robertson is playing at a level above everyone else. That said, it is an event that favours repeat winners so you can't rule out Ding, Maguire and Murphy once they get through to the two session stage, but I think the way is clear for Robbo to go on and win this now.

odds-n-sods.com said...

I don't want to sound boring Dave but I think tweeting between frames does actually undermine the sport a bit so will hopefully be stopped. If a player is totally focused on a match then tweeting wouldn't even be considered. Williams is obviously pretty laid back and does this sort of thing but at the end of the day he lost the match so how focused was he?

The Blog said...

Ali Carter has said he'll quit at the end of the season. Posted it on his Twitter account.

If Shakespeare were alive today it wouldn't be

"To be or not to be, that is the question."

It would be...

"To quit or not to quit, that is the question."


Betty Logan said...

Do you think Mark Allen had a quick word with Carter at the interval?

Anonymous said...

nice to see you admitting being wrong betsy.

Betty Logan said...


Anonymous said...

King, O'Sullivan, Carter. Essex must be a great place for retirement.

Annette Kjaer (@netteinwinter on twitter) said...

I enjoyed Mark Williams twitter stuff yesterday, it was great fun and I think that it should be allowed. How could that possibly harm anyone, if anything it makes us aware that the players are human beings, just like you & me.

Looking forward to Allen tonight, my favourite player withouth any doubt.

Andy said...

It's often said about sportsmen that the pain of losing is far more intense than the joy of winning. So it doesn't surprise me to see a bit of Carter's hilarious flouncing. If twitter has done anything, it's provided us with a small window into the mind of the sportsman. Very fascinating and I hope the authorities don't try to stifle them too much.

I just hope Carter doesn't do a Ronnie and threaten to quit every time the month has a 'Y' in it, because that has become very tedious.

Anonymous said...


i think its more like when a month has a vowel in it.

what did carter say?

Colin M said...

@ Annette..yes I agree. I enjoy the Twitter banter. They are human beings like you and me..only with a MUCH straighter cue action :-)

Anonymous said...

Mark Williams tweeting between frames is utterly wrong.
Should his opponent merely wait in his chair while MJW takes a break from the arena to toss around with his phone?
Has the world become such a trivial place?

jamie brannon said...

The amazing thing is that Supreme Snooker.com have reported Carter's retirement as official news!

He's clarified today that it was heat of the moment.

Anonymous said...

The audience are constantly being told to switch their phones off, so how can the players be allowed to have their phones on to twitter?

jamie brannon said...

The idea that the BBC should drop out of snooker is nonsense.

ITV have shown no interest in showing proper snooker. Does anyone seriously think ITV1 would put on four hour transmissions during the afternoon? Of course they wouldn't, and they would leave just as the BBC do. It is annoying at times, but it's all on the red button, which is widely available.

However, you hear patronising waffle that people can't locate the red button, when in reality it takes three seconds to change channels.

I remember ITV1 once leaving a final because coverage was overrunning, something which has also happened on EuroSport.

Aside from no adverts the BBC coverage is very good. The team has a good balance and chemistry.

Although it would be good to hear Hendry. Why is he not commentating?

jamie brannon said...

As for Allen, I just can't see where he is coming from.

Can understand gripes with PTC events, but to call for Hearn to resign seemed absurd.

However, don't agree he should be told to pipe down as he is by some for exactly the reasons Dave mentions in the last two paragraphs.

I was amused by Mark Williams getting annoyed about players retiring. He has done it himself!

The Blog said...

It's often said about sportsmen that the pain of losing is far more intense than the joy of winning."

Be a bit boring if you won all the time.

"Oh, I so depressed I win all the time!"


Anonymous said...

Mark Allen, Quotes
"It's time to let someone else have a go."
He claimed Hearn, who took over as chairman in June 2010 after being voted in by a majority of the world's top 64 players, had pledged not to make changes to major tournaments.
- The only reason it was a majority vote was because the Board members voted for the change - thus making it a majority.

When Barry came in, one of the first things he said was that the World Championship, UK and Masters wouldn't be touched. Only 18 months later, the UK format has changed,"
- The BBC are being blamed for the changes – has anyone seen the correspondence from the BBC requesting that frames be reduced?

"I don't think he's pleasing too many players, but anyone who voted for him has only got themselves to blame. I wasn't one of them.
- It’s common knowledge that players are very unhappy with the current set up, even the players who voted for change are complaining, unfortunately they won’t speak out because they fear reprisals

"I've got no doubt he'll tweak the World Championship. The whole tradition of the game is going to pot.
- Snooker used to be the pinnacle of cue sports, a class apart from all the others, now it is played in conditions that weren't acceptable to the professional players of twenty years ago, how can that be considered taking the sport forward by todays payers? Quite simply it can’t

"It's not all about bringing people in to watch and have a good time, shouting and having a drink. He [Hearn] needs to get away from the darts factor. It's getting close to that."
- Hear Hear, the sport could do worse than getting back what made it such a popular TV spectator sport, Its time for some class and finesse, not beer and lager louts

Ronnie O'Sullivan Quotes
"I feel blackmailed.
"They put these ranking events on and ranking points at these tournaments and it just feels like the winner's prize is not great.
- He’ not alone in thinking this, many players feel the same - in fact the majority of players have said so recently
Continue reading the main story
"Most players are going there and losing money, but they're putting ranking points on so it's forcing the players to play in it, which is not great, but what do you do? You have to go."
- The Chairman of the WPBSA should be protecting the players interests - clearly he is not. The best option for the players is to vote in a chairman who will fight their corner, then they may have a chance of being heard.
“there are players lower down the ladder who are losing money by taking part in the tournaments”.
"The lower-ranked players can't afford it and the top-ranked players don't really get rewarded for what they do, so no-one is a winner”.
- Most of the players feel its to late to do something about the “minimum wage tour” its not.
The first thing the players need to do is find a Chairman who will go into battle for them and not swan around tournaments telling you what he thinks they want to hear.

Anonymous said...

I don't see any louts in York just huge and respectful crowds watching some very selfish deluded people playing.

Betty Logan said...

With Allen it's easy to see where he is coming from, I just don't see where he is going with it. It's not as though Hearn is going to resign, and even if he did Snooker wouldn't be in any better shape under the old regime. There would still only be 7/8 big tournaments a year; Allen doesn't have to play the PTC if he doesn't want to, and so long as he does ok in the big events it won't cost him his top 16 place. This decade is going to be a period of re-building for the game, and he's correct that his generation is going to shoulder the financial burden of that, but sometimes that's the way it is; the current generation has to pay for the mistakes of the preceding generation.

Betty Logan said...

Why don't the players just agree to have a re-rack when it goes to a re-spotted black? I think most players would prefer that, but no-one ever asks for one.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 8:27 completely

Anonymous said...


mark was that way as a certain player says it "all the time"

if hes said it once or twice its about as rare as a player asking for oral sex at a press conference.

its not in any way similar to saying youll retire about 20 times!

Anonymous said...

Most of the people who report and commentate on snooker know that the game is in bad shape at the moment with Micky Mouse ranking tournaments that cost the majority of players more money in entry fees and expenses than they can win in prize money.

The reason they don't criticise the state snooker at the moment is because they are the ones making the money, commentating and reporting on all these Mick Mouse tournaments - the more the merrier as far as they are concerned.

They couldn't care less about the cost to players or the conditions, they also couldn’t care less about the poor standard of play that the inadequate tables and shorter frames produce, if they did they would be supporting the players and calling for the WPBSA Chairman to do something about it, as they have always done in the past.

Is there a fear factor with this group of individuals as there is with some of the players?

Gerard said...

Though I don't agree with many of the things BH says, especially the 'I am a god and everybody should shut up and bow to me' type of things, I hope some players will stop acting silly (not just Allen). What if some lunatic tries to set up a new 'wsa' .. hooray for the darts factor then!

Another important point for me (as a Dutch viewer) .. if BH wants this sport to go global he should make better deals with more/other/international broadcasters. It's been a UK only sport for too long.

Anonymous said...

Betty, 9.08, who'd prefer or suggest that?
The player that should've long ago finished the frame, having been 60+ in front?
Or the player who worked so hard to clear upto and including all the colors?

It would be interesting if it actually happened :D

Sorry for the smiley btw, I won't add some lame strange joke to it {;~P

Anonymous said...

I'd love to live in Betty's world, she's on some good crack...

"Why don't the players just agree to have a re-rack when it goes to a re-spotted black? I think most players would prefer that, but no-one ever asks for one"

Next frame ends tied.... OOOO go on then lets have another!!

Anonymous said...

1109 said: It's been a UK only sport for too long.

Still is!

Anonymous said...

its not a UK only sport.

actually, i hate seeing folk put this particular word at the end of a sentence, but im going to...

its not a UK only sport FACT

Anonymous said...

More should be done to make it more global .. THOUGHT!

Anonymous said...

i agree 734

doesnt stop the FACT that its not currently a UK only sport, as was wrongly stated

Anonymous said...

7.58 if you want anyone to read your posts you need to keep them shorter. Noone reads that length of post.

Betty Logan said...

305 must be Barry Hearn!