In the space of just a few weeks Sam Baird has experienced the highs and lows of the rollercoaster ride that is life as a professional snooker player.

Baird won four matches to qualify for the final stages of the Haikou World Open and plays Jin Long in the wildcard round tomorrow.

He then qualified for the Welsh Open where he needed blue and pink to defy a gap of more than 80 places in the world rankings and beat world no.1 Mark Selby 4-2 in Newport.

But he missed the blue, lost the frame and lost the match 4-3. Worse still, Selby came within three frames of winning the title.

This was one that got away but every snooker player has a similar tale to tell and Baird is just getting going.

I hope he has taken the positives with him on the long journey to Hainan. Maybe there was still residual disappointment in his mind when he played in the China Open qualifiers last week and lost in the opening round, 5-0 to Tian Pengfei.

It is a learning process. In sport you can feel on top of the world, super confident, one day and down in the pits of despair the next.

In most jobs, you know when you’ve had a good day or not but in the extremes of sport it’s either public acclaim or humiliation heading your way.

All players have setbacks early in their careers.

Stephen Hendry’s first match in the UK Championship ended in a 9-2 defeat to O. B Agrawal.

Terry Griffiths lost 9-8 from 8-2 up to Rex Williams in his first professional match.

More recently, Ding Junhui and Judd Trump experienced several frustrating reverses in the qualifiers before breaking through in style.

Baird is enjoying his first jaunt to foreign climes with the pro snooker circuit. I commentated on his final qualifying round win over Mark Davis, in which he recovered from 3-0 down to win 5-4.

At no point when he went behind and Davis dominated did Baird’s head drop, which was a good sign.

If he beats Jin Long tomorrow he will play Ding on home soil, which is sure to be a memorable occasion. Hopefully one of many to come for Sam Baird.


Anonymous said...

It will be a shame if he drops off the tour simply because he was assigned given the points of a player who hasn't even played on the tour this year.

Anonymous said...

I would hope Sam would get a wild card for next season whatever he does for the rest of the season.

Anonymous said...

Yeh. Totally agree. And if same happens next season the lowest ranked pro(Simon Bedford) has about 4000 points and hasn't even entered the last few tournaments. inc the World Championship. NOT FAIR. Needs to be sorted.


Anonymous said...


What matches are EuroSport covering tomorrow in it's coverage?



anon said...

Starter points system is and always will be a joke .
With twenty tournaments a season now snooker should adopt a one year rolling ranking points system.

Anonymous said...

is it not agarwal?

Witz78 said...

Yes Anon 9.39am that brings me onto another farce.

Currently we have Poomjaeng and Bedford who are 85th and 89th respectively on the provisional rankings. Both are due to survive on tour via the PTC route, so theyve chose to skip a lot of full ranking events.

Which begs the question why even become a pro if all your interested in doing is surviving only to then not do what a pro is meant to do and actually play pro events !?!

A major gaffe by WS by again favouring the PTC top 8 over the 1 year list top 8 for the non top 64 guys to survive on tour.

Dave H said...

No it isn't Agarwal

Anonymous said...

id like to bet you david.

Anonymous said...

who is it that is commentating with Mike 'my apologies' Hallet?

"the white just caught the bumper" wtf?

jeez dave, please dont ever have a session off from eurosport again.

they are dreadful beyone belief.

Anonymous said...

Very unlucky for Sam Baird to have to play the pick of the Wildcards. Hopefully he will have a good run at the Worlds and keep his place on the tour

Anonymous said...

Absolute first-class jinxing here.

Anonymous said...

Unlucky for Sam Baird to lose. I would like to share with everyone a few of my favourite people in snooker of all time:

1. Stephen Hendry
2. Steve Davis
3. James Wattana
4. Hazel Irvine
5. Alex Higgins
6. Great WT
7. John Virgo
8. Noppa Noppachorn
9. Jimmy White
10. Ronnie O'Sullivan