Ronnie O'Sullivan enters the German Masters fray in something of a hole: 18th in the provisional rankings and thus not guaranteed a top 16 seeding for the World Championship.

He needs points in Berlin and at the Welsh Open to stave off this relegation but it will also of course depend on the fortunes of those players around him in the rankings.

There was good and bad news for Ronnie yesterday. Mark Davis (17th) lost but Stuart Bingham (15th) and Ricky Walden (16th) both won.

O'Sullivan's plight has been largely put down to missing tournaments. This certainly hasn't helped but neither has been a disappointing run of results.

Since reaching the World Open final in September 2010 he has appeared in just one ranking event quarter-final.

But throughout his career he has responded well when his back has been firmly to the wall. He has often won tournaments after moments of controversy. Expect him to come out fighting against Andrew Higginson today.

Having to qualify for the World Championship would be an annoyance for O'Sullivan, maybe even an embarrassment, but how many players ranked 33 down would you back to beat him over 19 frames in a match of great importance?

I think we'll see him at the Crucible.

It's an embarrassment of riches in the morning session with Ding Junhui, Neil Robertson, Judd Trump, Mark Allen and Graeme Dott all in action.

It would be nice to think that at some point a webcam could be put on some of these outside tables because TV viewers don't get to pick the matches they watch: they get what they're given, and as everyone has their favourites it obviously follows that some will be disappointed by the choices (in this case Ding v Yu Delu).

Craig Steadman was the only wildcard winner yesterday when he beat Mike Dunn, highlighting the essential unfairness of the wildcard system.

Steadman is a very good player, not some kid gaining experience. Dunn qualified fair and square so could count himself unlucky to be playing someone clearly much better than the other wildcards.

Such is the pace of this event that the second round starts tonight. There's an all Scottish clash featuring John Higgins and Stephen Maguire while Walden faces Shaun Murphy, who was close to elimination yesterday before producing a classy finish to see off Barry Hawkins.


Anonymous said...

ive been championing use of a singular webcam on spare tables at tournaments for at least 7 years. my cousins 9 ball league has been doing it regulalry since then.

well done you for putting it in a blog dave. youll be listened to!

as to ronnies ranking. he contradicts himself so often its no wonder his fans dont know what to use as their opinion.

one minute he doesnt care about his ranking or tournament wins etc..

the next hes implying hed not like to lose his ranking and play qualifiers etc..

the next hes...

having said that, if he has to play a qualifiers id say hes 9/10 times going to get through and even though i am not a fan of his, id like to see him there.

some would find it bittersweet that not attending some mickey mouse events cos hes too busy MAY end up in him having to travel to a qualifier.

Anonymous said...

By "essential unfairness" do you mean by that there is no way for a German player to qualify for a German tournament in his own country?

I know that Holt and Williams would like to see O'Sullivan out of the top 16, but I wonder how many other players really would prefer that to having him in the top 16? Holt would soon change his tune if he had to play that in the qualifiers, and would Williams really relish the prospect of drawing O'Sullivan in the first round?

Witz78 said...

Very minimum he needs now is a quarter and 2nd rnd in the 2 events remaining but thats on the basis Walden doesnt win again here or his Welsh qualifier. Realistically IMO hes gonna need a SF and a QF to be in the top 16 mix, but even that may prove to not be enough, given the deficeit he has to overhaul plus the fact that these rankers offer low points tariffs.
Electing not to play PTC 11 and 12 definetly looking like its backfired now.
Dropping into qualifiers would be a weight off Ronnies shoulders i feel though, i reckon hed then just focus on a few big rankers per season and not enter the rest. Lets face it, at the moment, he cant be bothered playing in a lot of events, so why on earth would he then be interested in also having to play qualifiers, just to reach these very tournaments he aint fussed about?

Anonymous said...

855, i dont think mjw would care to be honest.

ronnies results in ranking events the last 3 years are terrible, considering his ability.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Ronnie really cares too much about this particular cut-off. It's just one tournament and the effect on his chances of winning the Worlds is quite small given a reasonable draw. I think Ronnie would be somewhat bemused by all this discussion. Ronnie thinks about winning tournaments not really top 16 positions.

Anonymous said...


if youd listen to what ronnie has already said

youd know he did care

Anonymous said...

How the hell did English players get wildcards anyway? I can sort of understand it with the other players who have limited chances to qualify for the tour, but Steadman and Norbury clearly weren't able to qualify via the qualifier school, NGB, and PTC, so why are they being given wildcards? Why not some of the talented European players that entered the EPTCs?

jamie brannon said...

One reason I think an event like the German Masters should be seven days is more matches are not being seen by television viewers.

This cannot be a good thing.

Ray said...

Sorry to hijack this forum but this needs to be said ........
On reading this month's Snooker Scene I was really disappointed and angry at the way Clive Everton has been forced out of snooker commentating.He has done a lot for the sport he so patently loves but because he doesn't hide away from the truth he has been made to pay a very high price.
I'm sorry but just because you have played the sport doesn't mean you are able to commentate on it - some of the new order are boring and banal and and don't bring anything to the commentary. That could never be said about Clive Everton - he had a dry wit, was also very informative but most importantly he was scrupulously impartial.
What is going on when someone of his calibre is omitted? I thought age was just a number!

kimball said...

Right 1.08

Why choose Steadman?? Matthew Stevens might not be to pleased either.
Wildcardmatches seem to be a "fill out" to get action on all tables.
But frankly, how long can the Krauts stomack the lousy quality
of their own players.
Angela Merkel is an avid snookerfan,
Heads will have to roll!

Anonymous said...

I can understand you wanting to have more 1st and 2nd round TV matches on TV Jamie, since Ronnie doesn't get to the latter stages anymore, but seven days takes out two weekends once you factor in travelling to a foreign country. That's fine if the calendar is sparse, but I think most people would rather have two tournaments than more 1st and 2nd round matches. If you think about it, you actually end up with more televised snooker that way.

Anonymous said...


there is a massive delay between your comments and the pictures already received

normally its almost as good as live

today the commentators are easily 2 or 3 seconds behind play

Anonymous said...

jamie, thats like saying the qualifiers should all be televised too

there has to be a line drawn

you care, but for every one of you theres another hundred who dont care if they dont see yoodle oo or pol davison at the german masters

theyll be of the opinion that these players will get their chance if they improve

Anonymous said...

Dave - is there any chance of putting the exact timings of coverage on British Eurosport. If you could do it daily on the blog it would be a great help because looking in the papers is a waste of time.

Dave H said...

I would do but the times often change due to other sport over or under running

They are available on http://www.worldsnooker.com/page/GermanMastersArticle/0,,13165~2594158,00.html

Anonymous said...


my opinion of Clive is the complete opposite of yours.

and thats all yours is. opinion.

i cant listen to him...and i think there are many better.

you may think different. thats fair enough.

its up to the bbc who they want to commentate. not you!

if they dont want him, thats their call.

Anonymous said...


is there any chance you could put the commentators for matches on here?

If youre on the team of a broadcast i might stay in and watch it. if not....ill go do some painting.

cant be having watching silent snooker and the rest make more mistakes than they get right

Anonymous said...

Might be a red herring but in this interview (also covered in the Express) the line about wanting to win a ranking event at either the German Masters or Welsh Open suggests that he's not going to the World Open or China Open:


I know the welsh is the last one that counts before the Crucible, but it suggests he really isn't bothered about falling out of the top 16

Anonymous said...

741 he changes his mind more times than worzel changes his head.

Anonymous said...

O'Sullivan did change his mind about losing to Higginson .. Nice one Ronnie!

Anonymous said...

My opinion is actually based on what Ronnie has said in his tweets. He has specifically said that he is interested in winning tournaments rather than a top 16 status.

Anonymous said...

He specifically said he was going to retire as well, and here we are...

Anonymous said...

my opinion is based on what ive actually heard him say

jamie brannon said...

It is nothing to do with Ronnie who nearly always makes it on to TV.

Eurosport don't seem to be covering much snooker at all this weekend, aside from online.

I think most people want to see more of the matches, as otherwise you are not going to see even some of the big names with a five day format.

Witz78 said...


heres my proposal

Assuming the 5 days length of tournament is set in stone.

Firstly, no need at all for a wildcard round. Considering only 1 of the guys was German anyway, that made it even more farcial than usual. The interest in the top players is there anyway in the likes of Europe and China, so no need to think that wildcard rounds are required to increase local interest.

Wednesday -
morning session. Round 1, games 1-5
afternoon session. Round 1, games 6-10
evening session. Round 1, games 11-15

Thursday -
morning session. Round 1 game 16, plus Round 2 games 1-2
afternoon session. Round 2 games 3-5
evening session. Round 2 games 6-8

Friday -
morning session. Quarter Final game 1
afternoon session. Quarter Final game 2
evening session. Quarter Finals game 3-4

Saturday -
afternoon session. Semi Final 1
evening session. Semi Final 2

Sunday -
afternoon session. Final
evening session. Final

The advantages from this are numerous :-

1) Bar one R1 game on the Thursday, the rest of the rounds are played over a day so players only play 1 match per day
2) Once we get round 1 out of the way, only 3 tables are in operation meaning fans can focus on a particular game better
3) TV Viewers get to see 3 last 16 games instead of 2.
4) TV Viewers get to see 3 quarter finals instead of 1.
5) The semi final and final schedules are unaffected by these changes i propose.
6) The tournament starts to become more serious from Round 2, whereas with the current schedule its almost like a PTC set-up until the semi finals starts.

Something like this would be far more beneficial to fans at the arena, tv viewers and the players too.

Anonymous said...

my proposal is 3 tables, in an arc, played over 7 days


jamie brannon said...

Just have a seven day ranking event, the Welsh Open is the template, although go back to best of nines.

Anonymous said...

stop and think, jamie

maybe they dont want a 7 day event.

maybe the calendar is too full

maybe the venue is too costly.

maybe eurosport wont show it all week.

maybe the WS staff costs are too much for 7 days (+ staff either side)

maybe some of the above are reasons.

if every event follwed the same amount of days and table set up, its be like walking through different forrests in different seasons.

jamie brannon said...

I've said the World Championship, UK Championship and The Masters should be longer.

In addition, the Premier League, PTC events and most invitation events should not last seven days.

Anonymous said...

i was commenting on the ONE comment you made on that post.

why you replied to it saying you said something else elsewhere at a different time is beyond me.

for all i know you could have wrote it on the works toilet wall.

i seen your comment and posted a reply regarding it

and it only