Judd Trump said before the start of tonight’s Premier League final that Stuart Bingham had been the best player in the competition. He was right and Bingham duly beat him 7-2 to win the title.
This will mean a lot to him, perhaps more even than winning the Australian Open last year.
Some players pay no attention to snooker if they aren’t in the tournament ongoing but Bingham is different. He genuinely loves the game and he’s always watched the Premier League. This year he made his debut in it.
It is the fourth longest running tournament on the circuit and he has joined some great names – O’Sullivan, Hendry, Davis, Higgins and White included – in winning it.
The key moment came a few weeks ago when Bingham beat both Mark Selby and Neil Robertson 6-0. He played superbly in both matches, marching round the table as if he owned the place.
After that, with confidence understandably high, he was always going to be a handful in the play-offs.
Bingham has adjusted better than most to the new era. He doesn’t mind playing every week because that is what he was doing anyway: seeking out pro-ams to keep himself sharp.
But you can’t beat doing it on the big stage. Last season he beat Mark Williams 9-8 to win the Australian title. He is firmly bedded into the elite top 16 and is tonight £78,000 better off for his Premier League exploits.
He won’t go mad in celebrating. He can’t. He’s playing again tomorrow afternoon in the qualifiers for the Munich Open.
Another day, another match, another chance to play snooker. And Stuart Bingham wouldn’t have it any other way.