Jamie Jones is 10-6 up in the second round of the Betfred.com World Championship.

His only problem is that he is 10-6 up in the second round of the Betfred.com World Championship.

I really hope for Jamie’s sake that he switches off his phone and stays away from his well meaning family and friends. I’ve seen this before: he’ll have people asking him for tickets for a quarter-final he isn’t yet in. He’ll have all manner of noise in his head.

Martin Gould put it best when asked about his collapse against Neil Robertson in the last 16 two years ago: “I’d never been 11-5 up in the World Championship before and I didn’t know how to handle it.”

Here’s what Robertson said about that match and the tournament’s unique pressures in general when I interviewed him 18 months ago: “It’s the true test of snooker on the table and psychology as well, which is what sport is all about.

“It has to be a test of mental strength and the ability to play under pressure. You have to do that consistently well. There’ll be times when you’re behind and have to make big clearances under pressure. You can either do it or you can’t.

“There’s no other tournament like it. Between sessions is what the public don’t see, where you’re sat thinking you should be further ahead or that you’re lucky you’re not further behind.

“It’s all about convincing yourself that you’ve got a good result at the end of the session. Even when I was 11-5 down to Martin Gould I thought, well, I could be out of the match. I was doing everything possible to convince myself that I still had a chance to win.”

In other words, how you spend your time between sessions is almost as important as how you actually play.

Jones looked set to go 5-2 down to Andrew Higginson but Higginson missed a black in frame seven which would have left Jones requiring three snookers. Requiring only one, the 24 year-old Welshman duly got it, won the frame and then the next four.

Leading 9-6, he spectacularly doubled the final black to carry a four frame lead into tonight.

You would rather be 10-6 up than 10-6 down but this evening’s final session will be the biggest of Jones’s career. Three frames doesn’t sound much but it could still be a very nervy night.

I thought Ronnie O’Sullivan was at times unplayable in claiming an 11-3 lead over Mark Williams yesterday. To his credit, Williams reduced this to 11-5 but a comeback seems unlikely.

Far closer are the matches between Judd Trump and Ali Carter, in which Trump leads 9-7, and Matthew Stevens v Barry Hawkins, which is poised at 8-8.

Carter felt Trump was unduly lucky. I tend to agree with him, but nobody wins a 25 frame match solely because of luck.

Stevens did well to win the last two frames against Hawkins and remain in touch. It’s going to be another dramatic day.


kildare cueman said...

Trump got a good run all right but if you play the type of game he does, taking on long pots at speed, you will get more luck, both good and bad, than a more controlled player.
When you crash into reds from a missed pot and leave something, you just see a bad shot and the opponent is entitled to the easy pickings that await him. Nobody says it was bad luck. If the balls run safe however, you hear the cries of rubs, luck etc.

Ray said...

Jamie Jones and the rest of the Welsh players would do well to watch the half hour documentary "Ray Reardon at 80", which was shown yesterday on BBC Wales. A truly remarkable story which should encourage and inspire them on to greater heights.

Dzierzgul said...

How things change: this time around Ronnie will have to get to the semi-final until everyone starts considering him favourite for the title. Still, I hope that Williams will give him a good run for his money. If he starts playing as if he has nothing to lose, he might pull back a few frames and then it may get tense...

Also, is there any way for a non-UK resident to watch the Reardon documentary?

Anonymous said...

best post youve ever made on here KC

Anonymous said...

That Trump/Carter decider must rank as one of the best, if not THE best deciding frame ever. It wasn't quite on par with the 85 black ball frame in terms of tension (purely down to that being the world final), but some of those snookers Trump played were up there with Reardon's best, I bet Carter won't be calling him simple minded again. I've never seen a player look so dejected either, Trump looked more gutted than he did when he lost the world final. I think he believed his own hype to an extent, and honestly thought another final was in the offing. The top half of the draw has been blown wide open now: Maguire is the best player left, Carter knocked out the favourite, and Hendry is playing the best snooker, so that means that either Higginson or Jamie Jones will reach the final!


Hi David. Another great day's play, in my view.

Williams .V.O'Sullivan - Session 3 - From 11-5 up, OSullivan wasted little time, in winning, 13-6.

Trump .V. Carter = Session 3 - 9-7, to Trump, Over-night, 11-9, Carter won four of the last five frames, to win,13-12.

Stevens .V. Hawkins - Session 3 - From 8-all, Stevens was great, in winning, 13-11, playing-wise, of course.

Higginson .V. Jones - Session 3 - From 10-6 down, Higginson was superb, playing-wise, to level, at 10-all. Jones played three great frames, one Jones century break included, for Jones to win, 13-19.

The quarter-finals start tomorrow. I can't wait.

Stat Of The Day -

Today, is 30-4 2012. This is the 17th anniversary, to the day, that Stephen Hendry, beat Nigel Bond, 18-9, to claim his fourth world professional title, in the 1995 world final.

This, having happend. on. 30-4-1995.


Hi David.
Trump .V. Carter - Carter was, also, 12-9 down, so won the last four frames, to win , 13-12.

Mal said...

Stat Of The Day -

Today, is 30-4 2012. This is the 17th anniversary, to the day, that Stephen Hendry, beat Nigel Bond, 18-9, to claim his fourth world professional title, in the 1995 world final.

I'm sure this is right...but...why did the championship start on a Friday in 1995 and finish on a Sunday rather than the bank holiday monday? (1994 was starting on Saturday and finishing bank holiday monday as was 1996)

Dave H said...

I think it started on Good Friday that year

Mal said...

Great session of snooker yesterday.

I thought the Stevens Hawkins game was very good and stevens was impressive until it went 12-10 and he started to miss a few, but was glad to get over the line.

But the Trump Carter match really was good - I thought Ali Carter played excellent and deserved the win due to greater match play and to be fair Trump did have a lot of run, but as mentioned due to his style of play he will have a bit of luck at times, but it did seem to be more good luck than 'bad'

And the Higginson - Jones match perhaps changed at the interval with Higginson in the ascendancy but came back and Jones played very well including a total clearance.

QFs for me - Maguire, Carter (just), Robertson (just) and Day

Mal said...

Cheers Dave - Good Friday was very Good Friday for snooker fans then!

kildare cueman said...

9,48, Not in Ireland it wasn't, - you cant get a pint anywhere on good friday.

Anonymous said...

can if youre a pub landlord