Here is the draw for the first round of the 888.com World Championship:

Graeme Dott v Ian McCulloch
Anthony Hamilton v Marco Fu
Stephen Maguire v Joe Perry
Mark Williams v Joe Swail
John Higgins v Michael Holt
Barry Hawkins v Fergal O’Brien
Neil Robertson v Ryan Day
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Ding Junhui
Ken Doherty v Mark Allen
Matthew Stevens v Joe Delaney
Steve Davis v John Parrott
Shaun Murphy v Judd Trump
Peter Ebdon v Nigel Bond
Stephen Lee v Mark Selby
Ali Carter v Andy Hicks
Stephen Hendry v Dave Gilbert

The stand out tie is, of course, Ronnie O'Sullivan v Ding Junhui


Anonymous said...

Parrott vs Davis the one match I wanted!

Anonymous said...

I see your point, liftafinger....there's a certain predictability about both of those ties. This happens every year....two potential winners are paired in the first round, whilst 2 whose best days are behind them also meet.
Maguire drew O'Sullivan 2 years ago when they were both arguably 1 and 2 in the world. I remember a young Ken Doherty storming up the rankings only to face Hendry or Davis at the Crucible.
Isn't it time an element of current form was introduced into the draw to avoid such clashes? When UEFA or FIFA make a draw, they use a seeding "pot" system to balance it out. Here's a suggestion in it's simplest form:

- split the 32 players into 4 "pots"

- pot 1 would be the 8 seeds who are the highest in the one year ranking list

- pot 2 would be the 8 seeds who are lowest in the one year ranking list

- pot 3 would be the 8 qualifiers who are highest in the one year ranking list

- pot 4 would contain the remaining 8 qualifiers

The draw would then consist of randomly drawn players from pot 1 playing randomly drawn players from pot 4, and then the same process for pot 2 players v pot 3 players.
This would give the one year list a practical use, and give the draw a much better balance.
Anyone agree?

Anonymous said...

Ding had to draw someone!
Would there be conspiracy theories if he had drawn Hendry or Dott?
The standard is so high that there were bound to be a few mouth watering matches.
The CL/UEFA Cup draws are a joke because there is little mystery once the QFs are reached.
Sure the draw should have been live but if no one wants to show it live(in the UK)what are the WSA meant to do?

Dave H said...

I don't believe for a minute that the draw was fixed in any way

Equally, I don't believe for a minute the draw should ever be done in this way again - it should always be conducted live and out in the open