I’m sceptical about ‘burnout’ in snooker but one player who will never cite it as a reason for poor results is Stuart Bingham.

Why? Because he loves playing. He really, really loves playing.

Bingham is the sort of guy who can’t pass a snooker club without going in if there’s a competition in progress.

In the dark old days when there were hardly any tournaments and ‘burnout’ would have been welcome – four years ago, in fact – Bingham was plugging away in pro-ams below the radar to fill his time between the big events.

Now he’s winning the big events. He’s won the Australian Open. He’s won the Premier League. He’s won two Asian Players Tour Championship titles. He was also runner-up in the Wuxi Classic.

It looked like he may have missed the boat against Ding Junhui in the Welsh Open semi-finals yesterday but finished brilliantly to come through in a decider.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to love their job as much as Stuart. This is one of the reasons so many in the game are happy to see him doing so well. Every sport needs its superstars but just as important are the dedicated foot-soldiers who are dedicated to the game and genuinely grateful for the opportunities it has given them.

Stephen Maguire has never sought the limelight but is back in a big final after his 6-4 victory over Judd Trump.

Trump led 2-0 but looked flat for the next five frames and only started playing well when on the brink of defeat, which eventually arrived in the tenth frame.

Maguire is looking for his first full ranking title victory since the 2008 China Open, a long time for him considering he had won four in four years up to that point.

I tipped him for the recent German Masters, which hardly did him any favours, but he seemed to me to be playing some good stuff, certainly toughened up by the Championship League and, on the law of averages, had to win one eventually.

Perhaps it will be today. Bingham, of course, will have other ideas.


Ryan said...

Morning David;

Must admit I am really looking forward to this final, it's a final the event deserves after a great week.

There was a lot of reservations regarding the format but, again it proves whatever the format is the top boys reach the showacse match. We have two top ten ranked players in the final.

After enjoing the semi-finals, yesterday, I watched EuroSports double bill of cycling from Oman and the Algarve.

What a climax in Oman with Chris Froome? But I couldn't believe you took the credit for David Harmans commentary from Portugal!The EuroSport caption advised that YOU were commentating!!!

I thought Mike (Smith) was the cycling man!!!


Anonymous said...

Morning all

Looking at the current rankings, form, break building, state of mind of both players and a few other minor factors, I'd make Bingham 10/11 Magiuire 11/10.

The sponsors though go 5/4 Bingham and I'd recommend a 7% stake of one's betting bank at that price.

'Cue tip'

Anonymous said...

sound sync wingers - it is scheduled to be on BBC red button from 1pm.

Random thought on sound sync issue - are the boys commentating from home rather than a box in London - happens on radio but TV... ?

Dan said...

Thoroughly enjoyed the event so far, excellent mix of some of the lesser know players causing some upsets but ultimately the bigger names making the final stages.

More of the same please and here's hoping for a decent final.

Anonymous said...

I want bingham to win. hes a nice gy. I don't think he will ever be caught doing anything naughty...as hes not the type to do naughty things at all.

Anonymous said...

Dave - what happened to the old Regal Welsh trophy (the silver rose bowl?) The one they use now (which is basically a roof tile) is possibly the worst trophy in World Sport.

For that matter what happened to the old gold cup they used for the Masters? Did the cancer stick people keep them both to decorate their office reception?

Dave H said...

Don't know where the Regal one is. The old B&H trophy was given to Hendry. B&H kept the last one.

Anonymous said...

I cant take much more of mister mistakes, mike h.


Anonymous said...

cue-tip 12:01pm is the afternoon on here and in wales. not morning!

Anonymous said...

what one of the two commentators is it that's doing the heavy breathing?

ddrIII said...

If on the law of averages, why Jimmy White never won the Worlds?

Anonymous said...

From memory the old gold B&H Masters trophy was given to Hendry after he won the Masters 5 years in succession...Anyone remember the old World Matchplay trophy, it was enormous, similar to that of the football European Cup.

Anonymous said...

re the selection of camera shots mentioned several times this week, noted at end of bbc prog few minutes ago, a different co production company listed.

re heavy breathing on eurosport - perhaps commenttor was exercising whilst doing commentary - maybe toning up with weights?

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that the B & H Masters trophy prior to the one Hendry was given was given to Cliff Thorburn when he won 3 times in 4 years. Can you confirm that Dave?
John H

Anonymous said...

Apparently Barry Hearn uses the old Matchplay trophy to store his ego.

Anonymous said...

Different production would explain a lot. Assume cheaper. Horsemeat analogy applies perfectly. Perhaps World Snooker appointed a production who they believed to be 100% familiar with cue sports. The reality being something very different altogether. One might say, a different animal.
Said it before and will say it again, one full table view. All aspects of all shots.
Maybe the producer is a PS3 or XBox enthusiast. Would seem so.

wild said...

The original B+H Masters trophy was won by Steve Davis in 1988 then in 1989 they introduced a new trophy whitch was only won by Stephen Hendry http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1125000/images/_1126790_hendry150.jpg then in 1994 they got a new Benson and Hedges Masters Trophy http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1145000/images/_1146655_mcmanus300.jpg won by Alan Mcmanus for the First time and by Mark Williams for the Last time in 2003.

Anonymous said...

4:45 I agree with you.

Counted 4 different camera positions for one pot. Player's stance, addressing the cue ball, striking the cue ball then the obligatory shot of the ball falling into the pocket.
Maybe the producer worked in the Serengeti undergrowth with David Attenborough.

Anonymous said...

Maguire needs a warning for his petulant slamming if his cue on the ground. I don't buy the '100% effort' excuse.

Also agree about the ridiculous use of too many cameras. Simply smothers the coverage.

Anonymous said...

Well done Stephen. Too good of a player not to have won another tournament eventually.

Bet he hopes that he doesn't have to wait five years for the next one.

Anonymous said...

Maguire does his Glasgow gangster image no harm. Not a fan of those who fail to recognise their opponent during their acceptance speech sorry Stephen. Full marks to a very courteous runner up and gentleman Mr Bingham.


Hi David. So, to the final. What a final it was.

Bingham started poorly. Maguire lead, 2-0. Bingham made a 56 break. 2-1. Maguire lead 3-1, at the first mid-session interval. Bingham won three of the first session's remaining four frames, including, that last two. From 4-2 down, he levelled, at 4-4, going into tonight's final session,

In the final session, Bingham won three of the first four frames, to lead, 7-5, over-all, at this tournament's final mid-session interval. Bingham shouldhave won frame 13. He lost it, having fluked the blue, but missed an easy pink. 7-6, to Bingham, now. Maguire won the next two frames, to go one up, with two to play, at 8-7 infront. Bingham won frame 16. 8-8. Decider time. Both had chance. Maguire exploited his, to the full, to win, 9-8. Maguire's first full ranking title, since he won the 2008 China Open, where he beat Shaun Murphy, 10-9, in that final. Maguire wins the 2013 Welsh Open, beating Stuart Bingham, 9-8, in the final. A great match, in my view. Unlucky, but, wel played,Stuart Bingham. Well played, and well done, Stephen Maguire.