30.4.13

TABLE FOR EIGHT

Ronnie O’Sullivan has won 23 of the 71 frames he needs to capture a fifth world title so still has a long way to go but the manner in which he clinched victory over Ali Carter last night makes him the man to beat.

The old O’Sullivan swagger returned and he put on a show. This is the sprinkling of stardust the circuit has been missing.

The season may yet end rather like that infamous series of Dallas when Bobby Ewing, who had been killed off the previous year, returned in the shower, thus rendering the previous 12 months irrelevant.

The truth is, nobody stepped up and grasped the mantle when O’Sullivan was gone. All the ranking titles were shared around equally between a group of top players but the Rocket’s shadow had never gone away.

He has to beat Stuart Bingham to reach the semi-finals. Bingham is not a tortured soul when it comes to snooker. Far from it: he loves it more than is possibly healthy.

He beat O’Sullivan in the 2010 UK Championship but has lost their four other meetings. I was impressed by how Bingham attacked in the final session against Mark Davis and tried to win the match rather than trying not to lose it.

Judd Trump v Shaun Murphy should make many a mouth water. These are two players who attack the balls and neither lacks in confidence or would fear playing O’Sullivan.

I expect this match to feature either player dominating for spells, winning a run of frames before the momentum shifts. Trump looks to be playing as well as he has since he won the International Championship last November. Murphy has kept his powder dry all campaign but maybe this is the one for him. It will surely be close.

Michael White is the only qualifier to reach the quarter-finals. But it’s not true to say he has nothing to lose. He does: the match.

White, 21, has come this far and is not just ‘in it for the experience.’ He wants to win the title. Ricky Walden stands in his way.

Walden came through a nervy one last night against Robert Milkins and there is pressure on him as favourite, although the fact he has won two ranking titles points to his ability in big matches.

Ding Junhui toughed his way through against Mark King and will surely have a more free flowing match with Barry Hawkins, who remains a dangerman and one not to be under rated.

72 comments:

Anonymous said...

Like or dislike, love or hate, enjoy the fact, or at the very least acknowledge that you were around at the time to see Ronnie O'Sullivan play first hand.
'Will he be prepared after a lengthy break away from the game ?", well it would seem he is better prepared than the rest of the field who will have engineered their schedules to peak at this championship.
As predicted, like a true champion he is improving as the tournament progresses. A bleak prospect for whoever crosses his path from here on in.
He is in a class of his own and he will be World Champion for a fifth time come Monday night.
I'll give Hendry's magnificent 7 another 36 months.

Daniel said...

'Ronnie O’Sullivan has won 23 of the 71 frames he needs'

What a brilliant yet simple way of putting it.

It already seems like the tournament has gone on forever, but for the boys left they they are only a third of the way through.

Anonymous said...

I suggest this to be the worst world championships in living memory.
The pockets are too big and there are no personalities in the game any more.
It's all about the money now, no charm or joy.

Anonymous said...

im not a Ronnie fan, but I think he played well enough to beat carter.

he did get more run of the ball, and ali a fair bit of bad luck, but unlike some fans I don't blame that entirely.

I don't think Ronnie played well at all. well enough to win, but compared to his great heights of old, he wasn't even 80% the old him.

judd for me

Anonymous said...

834, hell need 48 months to outdo Hendry.

nice grey hair Ronnie is sporting though

Anonymous said...

Agree with the size of the pockets.
They may be tight when potting along the cushion but when potting from open play, it is incredible how some of the balls go in, even after having hit the outside of the knuckle, they still wriggle in.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever sawn one of these balls in half? I am wondering if there is a small magnet at the centre and the pockets have an electromagnetic field going through them. It would explain why these balls seem to get sucked into the pocket when they have clearly missed, and it would explain all the kicks too.

The Blog said...

"I suggest this to be the worst world championships in living memory.
The pockets are too big and there are no personalities in the game any more.
It's all about the money now, no charm or joy."

Oh boy! (rolling my eyes)

Anonymous said...

Absolutely, the worlds top 10 of today would lose to the top 10 of 20 & 30 years ago, standards are going down in every dept, how many ledgens in the making are in the qtr finals ?

Keith said...

Will they ever do a proper interval feature on pocket sizes/templates? Actually measure some in a club, show us how it was in the 80s, they have all the hawkeye technology.

Anonymous said...

Judd losing 6-2 to murphy no way back for him now and I'm glad cant stand trumpet face.

Anonymous said...

Not if he wins this year, 36 months

Anonymous said...

I hope the people who keep telling us that the standard today is so much higher than years gone by are watching this championship. It's poor stuff and lets face it - it comes to something when Dechawat Poomjaeng is the highlight of the tournament. As always it's quantity not quality that matters to Hearn, and as a result the standard at the top will steadily fall not rise.

Anonymous said...

Ronnie waltzes in after an almost 12 month sabbatical and looks in better shape than everyone else.
An indication of how good he really is or how mediocre his fellow competitors are.
Both probably.

Anonymous said...

all that stuff about pockets and balls is getting old.

just enjoy the world championship.

Anonymous said...

Dave, please you have to give me your opinion.

I can sense a collective virtual yawn every time I bring up the subject of camera switching by the director.

Ronnie knocked in a sublime 111 in frame 3.
The final pink included a superb positional shot, the white spinning round the angles with screw and left hand side finishing perfectly on the black.
If you have it recorded, have a look.
The director was more interested, as usual, with the floor camera view behind the pocket in which the pink was potted, then a shot of Ronnie. All we saw was the white coming to rest in position for the black.
The angle he had on the pink suggested that he had to play that type of shot. If it is obvious to everyone watching, why is it not obvious to the director ?

Anonymous said...

Well, there's good and there's artistry.

Ballesteros,
Federer,
Best,
O'Sullivan.

Anonymous said...

So in the space of a single session we have gone from a tournament that looked like no-one could win to it effectively being all but over.

Crystal Gayle said...

@10.46 "I suggest this to be the worst world championships in living memory.
The pockets are too big and there are no personalities in the game any more.
It's all about the money now, no charm or joy."

Advice: Dont watch then. Simple. Maybe you had sat through too many Peter Ebdon or Mark Selby watches.

Anonymous said...

O'sullivan was awesome today, unbeatable at his best.

Crystal Gayle said...

@10:46 am "The pockets are too big and there are no personalities in the game any more."

You were expecting the players to do a rap while trying to make a 147 bind-folded and one-handed to whip up the crowd and bring you amusement just to prove they have "personalities"? Or do a couple of cartwheels and somersaults in their entrances and break out into a Macarena song dance now and then during a nervy frame? And pray tell if people like Judd Trump, Mark Allen etc aren't personalities to you, then maybe no one else is.

Cant comment about the pocket size as i haven noticed anything amiss but did anyone notice the players having problems with the unpredictable speed of the cue ball after bouncing off the cushions? The organizers should really fix it by now if they haven't.

Anonymous said...

I also subscribe to the opinion that this is the worst WC i can ever remember. bingham a three time tournament winner this season trounced 7-1 by osullivan who's not exactly firing on all cylinders, what a joke, hendry must be thinking he should have entered this if nothing else, will someone please give osullivan a game before he gets bored.

Anonymous said...

Latest score trumpet face 7-8 murphy, ref the previous post i gather this is your first time watching snooker as 4 frames at this level over this distance is easily overturned.

JAMIE O'REILLY said...

Hi David. A great morning sessioin, in my view. Trump .V. Murphy - Session one - A good session. Trump, below-parr. Murphy capitalised, to carry a 6-2 lead, into tonight;s second session.

Ding .V. Hawkins - session one - Hawkins did well, to go 2-0 up. Ding did well, to lead, 3-2. Hawkins did well, to lead, 5-3, going into tonight's second session.

A Great afternoon session, in my view. Bingham .V. O'Sullivan - session one - A great O'Sullian performance. Two century breaks,and, other big breaks, gave him a 7-0 lead. Bingham did well, to win frame tight. 7-1, to O'Sullivan, over-night.

Walden .v. White - session one - Walden did well, to lead, 4-0. White did well, to make it 4-2. He missed a yellow, for 4-3. Walden made it 5-2, and, won the next frame, to lead, 6-2, over-night.

A great evening session, in my view. Trump .V. Murphy - session two - Murphy, with good breaks, led 7-2, and 8-3. Trump, with great play, fon four frames in a row. 8-7. misses on both sides, in the next. Trump levels. 8-8, over-night. A century break, included, in the Trump recovery. Great stuff.

Ding .V.Hawkins - session two - Hawkins played great, to lead, 8-4. Ding responded. 8-5. 8-6. Hakins, with a 75 break,makes it 9-6. Ding, in the last frame of the session, made a 72 break. Hawkins, is 9-7 up, over-night.

I can not wait for more, tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

What an un-greatful bunch these snooker players are, just watched trump & murphy walk out the arena with not a single justure to the crowd, no autographs, no waves of thanks.....ray reardon among others loved the limelight, the chance to sell himself & build a relationship with the fans, not this lot, even hugely wealthy tennis players & football playing thugs have more respect for the paying crowd. shame on the lot of em.

Anonymous said...

245, what ar eyou on about?

ronnies only been off for 6 months!!

Anonymous said...

437, only seve roger and George should be on your list.

unless asking for a blow job is arty?

Anonymous said...

Was Ronnie has, is the ability to play as though it means very little when of course, it means everything.
His demeanour regardless having knocked in a century, a winning clearance, having played a poor positional shot, missed a pot, is exactly the same. Almost no discernible emotion either way. This allows him to play his best snooker at his most relaxed. Demonstrated perfectly in during his breathtaking first session yesterday.
Others are more than capable of inflicting a similar score line but no one is capable of doing it with the same sublime quality.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of the amount of time Ronnie had away from the game, to take even a six month break and produce snooker a level above the rest of the field is both impressive and worrying. Worrying in the respect that nobody has taken the opportunity to raise their game in his absence.

PM said...

Trump, Murphy and Ding have all beaten Ronnie before but it's hard to see them beating him in a shoot-out, which one imagines is what any match against them will become. It's a shame Ronnie won't play the better match-players, Higgins, Selby and Robertson, who have tended to trouble him most. But, as much as ever, the player best placed to stop him is Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Anonymous said...

Ah the jealousy of the Ronnie haters is palpable. Blow jobs?
Talk about clutching at straws. Lol

Anonymous said...

Jason Mohammed tells us Ronnie's 133 is the tournaments highest so far ??

The Blog said...

I dislike all the pro-Ronnie bias always shown on the BBC by all the commentators (this is nothing new, been going on for years). There's no doubt Ronnie is one of the all-time greats - his fastest ever 147 proves it - but he's never dominated the sport the way Hendry did in the 90s and Steve Davis did in the 80s. The way everyone goes on about him you'd think he'd won every snooker event since 2000!

I'm not wishing to detract from his ability but people like John Parrott always go on about "there's other good players but no-one can touch Ronnie." Well, John Higgins has won as many WC as Ronnie and Stephen Hendry has won more events, more WCs. People are entitled to think O'Sullivan is the 'best' - perhaps his natural ability is good evidence to support that claim - but there are other great players too, y'know! I dunno if John Parrott knows Stephen Hendry won seven WC titles during the period when Ronnie claimed he was playing better snooker than he is now.

Anonymous said...

I've been watching snooker for 20 years actually idiot !!! I have to say this is why murphy doesn't win a lot because he got no bottle anymore, he's just gifting chances to trump and always makes mistake when he's in the balls. If judd plays like that in the semi ronnie will kill him.

Anonymous said...

10.23...

Perhaps how good Ronnie really is, is only apparent to those who play snooker at a high level.
He is quite simply the best in terms of ability.
Hendry mentioned it several times during his commentary yesterday.
I'm afraid I cannot factor John Higgins in any comparisons. That guy had an agenda that should have resulted in permanent removal from the professional game.

Anonymous said...

Get ready for a mouthwatering semi-final clash between Barry Hawkins and Ricky Walden...

Anonymous said...

Ronnie is a genius !!!!! Smoke that

Anonymous said...

1008 the only player im remotely jealous of is the best player to ever live, Stephen Hendry MBE

Anonymous said...

when I say Hendry is the best on here I get ron fans saying ron is better because hes faster at 147s or because hes naturally talented?? (yeah right he is...how long before he started plaing did it take him to win the worlds compared to hendrys 1st play to wc win?)

its amazing how ron fans cant just allow others to have a fav and someone who is PROVEN by wins as the best.

sad really...and yeah, were not allowed to remember the bad things hes done or were clutching at straws

were all meant to forget that so the ron fans are happy

Anonymous said...

2.28....

To use your analogy, Joe Davis would be twice as good as Hendry then ?

Anonymous said...

I wish the BBC would keep Parrott and Davis teamed with Hazel. Putting Hendry and Doherty with her makes her look like a teacher on a school trip.

Anonymous said...

So was alex higgins & jimmy white but not the best in terms of results

Anonymous said...

Well we'll see shall we, seeing as trumps just won it wont be murphy playing osullivan in the semi, not bad for some one 4 frames adrift with no hope !

Anonymous said...

Mercifully I have a remote control because today's otherwise thrilling semi final was marred by Dennis Taylor's unrelenting commentary whereby he speaks as if his audience are cabbages

Anonymous said...

Ronnie made mistakes in the past but he has more than made up for them by the sheer entertainment from his genius.

No other player comes close to creating the interest that Ron does. The likes of Higgins and Hendry should be greatful to him for pulling in the numbers that allowed them to make their vast fortunes.

As for selby and robbo.... They are not even in the same ballpark as him. The greatest ever. Had he wanted, he would have won 10 world titles by now. Anyone who thinks diferent simply does not understand snooker. Fact.

Anonymous said...

I for one am pleased dings out, as a top player he's over rated in my view & rarely puts a tournament run together beating top opposition to win an event, i"m not saying he's not capable, he's a good player just not a great one.
so osullivan v trump, with all due respect to the other players it will take a shock as big as johnson beating davis if the winner of this match not lifting the silverware

Anonymous said...

Hendrys long potting, mental & tactical game is better the ronnies, he also scored heavier than davis that is why i rate hendry best of all time. top 5 hendry, davis, osullivan, j.higgins, williams just ahead of j.white who wss unlucky in his prime to face 2 players as davis then hendry of at their best. winning x amount of world titles not the be all end all, standard of opposition over a career can as white found put the kbosh on much.

Anonymous said...

Gawd to we have to have the who s best debate...both Ronnie and Stephen are/were,great players.

Enjoy both! And I say,make the most of Ronnie,he wont be around for ever.Great,great talent.

Anonymous said...

Ref ron beating hendrys 7, cant see it, could take 5 yrs, will he stay hungry for that long, time catches up with everyone & i think rons wasted too many opportunities now to do it.

Anonymous said...

Blimey if ROS is short of cash,as he said during his interview,what hope the rest of us! How can a man with career earnings in the millions be skint....the mind fair boggles!

Anonymous said...

See my 8.41 reply above on this, of over 30 yrs of watching live & televised snooker i'd like to think i've seen pretty much the best of all who have been around & i'm 100 % convinced over a 10 match series as brilliant as ron is he would have have lost to hendry. the break building, long potting, desire & mental strength even when things not going to plan will never be equalled. Davis raised the bar & hendry raised it again, ron hasn't done that, ron is mentally flawed thats why i rank him 3rd behind davis also.

Ron said...

mental note: show Trump his place by demolishing him. Afterwards kindly say some crap about him being a future world champion.

Anonymous said...

Could we be heading for one of the most one sided finals ever ?

Anonymous said...

Stats are meaningless if you don't put them in context. Two other multi-world champions were born in the same year as O'Sullivan that went on to be prolific winners, and they've had to share the spoils in a way Hendry never did.

Here are a list of ranking tournaments where Ron lost to Higgins or Williams that they went on to win (excluding PTCs):
1994 Grand Prix (Higgins)
1995 British Open (Higgins)
1997 German Open (Higgins)
1998 British Open (Williams bt R, Higgins bt Williams)
1998 WC (Higgins)
1998 UK (Higgins)
1999 Grand Prix (Higgins)
1999 UK (Williams)
2000 Grand Prix (Williams)
2000 UK (Williams bt R, Higgins bt Williams)
2002 Thai Masters (Williams)
2005 Grand Prix (Higgins)
2007 WC (Higgins)
2010 Welsh (Higgins)
2011 WC (Higgins)

That is 15 titles that were potentially Ronnie's had the other man not been born, which if you factor in puts him on 39 ranking titles and 7 world titles. Not a bad record overall, and certainly puts him in the same league as Hendry. Comparing Ronnie on straight stats to Hendry is as absurd as comparing Hendry to Joe Davis (who to all intents and purposes only had one professional level rival prior to the war in Horace Lindrum). Think about what the stats are actually telling you.

jamie brannon said...

Firstly, O'Sullivan is a better tactical player than Hendry.

Hendry himself reckons that O'Sullivan is the best there is when everyone is at their peak, but that is totally different from who is the greatest. You've got to use titles as the biggest yardstick here, taking into account the strength of the competition faced when the titles were won.

Anonymous said...

Rons gone and let the chimp out again.

Anonymous said...

Ronnie came along about 6 years or so after Hendry.

HARDLY DIFFERENT ERAS

Hendry won his 1st WT much faster after taking the game up than Ronnie did, yet he is more NATURALLY?? talented. Really?

MORE LIKE HE HAS PLAYED MORE FOR LONGER AND BECAUSE HE IS LOOSER WHEN IN STROKE PEOPLE SAY ITS "NATURAL"

99% of ron fans are less intelligent than he comes across as n interviews.

AND THATS NOT A COMPLIMENT.

Anonymous said...

HARDLY DIFFERENT ERAS

Completely different eras. Hendry had won half his total number of ranking titles before either of O'Sullivan, Higgins and Williams had won one. O'Sullivan on the other hand had won just two before the other two started winning. Hendry also had won six world titles before either of Higgins, O'Sullivan and Williams had even reached a world final; in the case of those three their eras completely overlapped since all three had won a world title before any of them won a second.

The stats lead to interesting observations, but let's not delude ourselves into believing that Hendry faced the same level of opposition in terms of his achievements.

Anonymous said...

yeah, 6 years is an era.

when it suits your very very weak pov

Anonymous said...

also, I notice you ignore the other stuff, so

you talk rubbish in your reply and say 6 years isn't an era...

also, almost all hendrys wins came when ros was a pro, and ros has said he was better back then than he ever was

hmmm

think you've got ros syndrome and only open your mouth to change feet too.

Anonymous said...

Ok, how many multi-world champions where born in the same year as Hendry? It is pretty obvious to anyone who follows the game that if Higgins or Williams wins a tournament then that's one less for O'Sullivan. If you remove the Higgins/Williams defeats from Hendry's world title tally, that only adds one extra title in 2003. You have been provided with statistical evidence—hardly a point of view—whereas you just keep reiterating an opinion which is not backed up with any evidence at all.

Anonymous said...

Ronnie has his followers, Stephen his.
For breathtaking consistency and results, Hendry's your man.
For breathtaking snooker literally without equal, then it's O'Sullivan, by a mile. Every time.

Anonymous said...

Probably the most sensable comment yet.
In the end stats will only tell you so much, j.white never won WC even though his record is brilliant but does this mean Joe Johnson was better coz he had just two un-believable WC winning & losing 1 each.......
er no. Hendry had 5 or 6 truely world class opponents in his prime which is all that we have today or at any time. i'm a jimmy white fan & i so hated hendry at the time but on reflection you have to admit at his the guy could clear the table time after time after time like no one i've ever seen in, not even ron.

Anonymous said...

Correct 7.06 !

White was the man. I used to change channel when he missed and let Davis in during the 80's. Same with Hendry in the 90's. Just couldn't watch White getting beat.
Can't deny their dominance that's for sure.
But, someone once said, 'you pay your money for a seat to watch White or O'Sullivan, then sit on the edge of it !'.
Maybe that's the difference.

Anonymous said...

I don't think whites in the top 8 of all tme players

Hendry
Davis
Higgins J
O'Sullivan
Higgins A
Trump
Williams

are defo my top 7 of the last 35 years or so abd I don't think id put white next, meaning hes not in my top 8

Anonymous said...

Remove Trump from that list, add White and Reardon. That's thé top 8 of greatest snooker players in the modern era.

Anonymous said...

If it weren't for Hendry, Davis would have kept dominating during the early nineties. So by that logic he would have had at least 10 World titles?

Time doesn't work that way. Never compare players from different eras.

Anonymous said...

Whites got to be in top 8 were it not for davis & hendry white would prob have 8 or 9 WC wins as it took one of them to beat him most years some where en route. Huge A.Higgins fan but would not make top 10 as standards have moved on since his prime, cant put trump in this group yet also as still has much to prove long term. the further down the list you go it gets tougher to choose but think reardon deff & parrot & thorburn deserve a mention.

Anonymous said...

Yes, lets not forget parrot & thorburn, both former world no'1s at a time when being so was more difficult than the revolving door ranking system than today & yes white would & should diff be in top 8, he won everythin but the WC only because of you know who, spent longer ranked in top 4 than most but the prob hendry & davis, reached provisional no 1 but hendry pipped him by beating him in the 1993 world final.

Anonymous said...

Higgins (J) - remove from list (and game in general)
White - insert.

Anonymous said...

Parrott was never number 1. Davis from 83 to 90, Hendry from 90 to 98.

Anonymous said...

726, Ronnie became a pro about 6 and a half years after Hendry.

if that is a generations difference then people are trying to make excuses for ron not achieving.

a generation is approximately 20 years in most peoples book, but because Hendry was better than ron, people say they were from different generations.

the first 25% of hendrys careers ron wasn't about. the rest he was.

different generation? aye right!