Firstly, a word on yesterday's Ronnie O'Sullivan debacle (if anyone wants to know Saturday's lottery numbers, drop me an email).

If I was able to provide a full psychological report on O'Sullivan I'd be earning a fortune in this field rather than getting up before the start of GMTV to write a snooker blog.

Only Ronnie knows what was going through his mind as he played that black but it did him and the sport no favours at all.

Mark Williams plays in today's second TV match against John Higgins.

When Williams was 12 his dad, a miner, took him down a South Wales coalmine for a shift to show him what life might be like if he didn't apply himself at snooker.

Young Mark was petrified by the experience and so you won't hear him complaining about having to fly around the world to earn big money potting balls. He knows what life might have been like.

Williams has won two China Opens and is back to the sort of form this season that suggests he could capture a third.

Higgins, of course, is as tough a second draw as is possible to get. They clashed at the same stage of the Shanghai Masters last September, shortly after Williams had broken his wrist. World champion Higgins won 5-1 but I'd expect it to be closer this time.

Ding Junhui faces Mark Selby, who beat him in the last 16 of this season's Wembley Masters.

The winner of this one may well go all the way to the final. Selby has a great reputation in the sport but has still only won one ranking title. It's about time he won another.


Anonymous said...

Anyone explain what Ronnie did?

Anonymous said...

I've seen the footage and it's quite simple - he put a bad one in. It was a fluff, it was mis-timed. Every player knows the feeling, we've all done it. There is no way on Earth he played to miss the black!

Anonymous said...

ronnie missed that black on purpose...that's a fact!

Betty Logan said...

Actually wasn't the 2006 China Open Williams' last wanking title? It's hard to believe it's four years since he won a tournament. He's got a pretty good overseas record, I remember him doing the Asian "double" back in 2002 and he made a great comeback against Anthony Hamilton. I would be shocked if he never won another ranker.

On another note do the Chinese public view Marco Fu as "one of their own" or do they regard him as a foreign player?

kimball said...

He played the black the way you
might "show off" when the frame is in the bag.
To softly hit, to bad and bye-bye.
He was cruising and giving a show,
everybody loved it, until he lost.

Also, as he has said himself,- it is just to hard to win tournaments back to back and there have been times when I havn't really tried so close to Sheffield!"
Was this on of the times?

David Caulfield said...


While it absolutely pains me to say it, I might agree with you.

Iv watched and loved Ronnie for 17 years but, even after all his erratic performances, I've never seen anything quite like yesterday's match. It wasn't just the last black, it was everything. The speed, the misses - particularly the red when he was on for a 147.

A major part of him wanted to lose that match...maybe all of him wanted it.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hello Dave
There is some volume of blog on Ronnie’s “Miss” in China. I think it is unfair on the victor. Ronnie remember folks, had still another frame to win, and the youngster had a chance to get in with a winning break.

For the record Dave on the “miss”! Ronnie was being extra careful on the shot, which is similar to a “Cuddle up” snooker often seen played on TV.
Being careful Dave creates a different cue action and Ronnie lost his address. Ronnie forgot to play with the “brake on”. A crisp address and © strike below “Middle”. Mr hey you.

Anonymous said...

My initial knee-jerk reaction was that Ronnie missed the final black on purpose but 24 hours on, with time to reflect on the matter and consider all options, I still believe he missed it on purpose.

Anonymous said...

i don't think it was a case of him not trying, it was just a pathetic performance. he misunderestimated his opponent badly and thought he just had to turn up to win, an attitude which has cost him the world no.1 ranking. he wanted to win that match i'm sure but that really was the worst i've ever seen him play.

Anonymous said...

Dave H - what do you make of Ebdon's comments today?

CHRISK5 said...

Neil Robertson timed his 147 perfectly - Considering non-Worlds maximums will be invalid for bonus payments - from next season.

Robbo is definetly the dark horse for the Crucible.

He has the potential to be the best left-hander of all time - His allround game is more accomplished than Mark Williams or Jimmy White's were in their pomp.

Anonymous said...

What will be interesting will be if World Snooker deem it appropriate to mete out punishment for a) non-trying and/or b) conceding a frame when he could still have won

Alternatively (and more likely), will they just look the other way again as they have done so often? These sponsors in China that O'Sullivan has must be a tad disappointed that he has behaved in such a way

jamie brannon said...

I have seen it now and it was stupid, but for people to imply he was fixing it is riduclous. Only he could know. Ithink it it is almost impossible to be certain of match fixing.

Kevin said...


"He has the potential to be the best left-hander of all time - His allround game is more accomplished than Mark Williams"

At 28 years of age it will be some going if Neil were to become the best leftie we have ever seen, potential or not.

Anonymous said...

Wins today for Ebdon and King - are their top 16 places safe now? Perry lost, is his place now in jeopardy?

Anonymous said...

"He has the potential to be the best left-hander of all time - His allround game is more accomplished than Mark Williams or Jimmy White's were in their pomp."

What absolute rot! I'm a fan of Neil Robertson but Mark J Williams is one of the best snooker players of all time and had accomplished much more than Robertson at the same age.

Anonymous said...

what were ebdons comments?

Anonymous said...

He's anti-Barry Hearn and wants Rodders brought back

The byline on the story tells you all you need to know about Ebdon

CHRISK5 said...

Kevin @ 4.16pm & Anon @ 5.38pm - Williams & White - Their main strength has always been incredible long potting.

But when Williams gets to an 80 or 90 break in a frame,he gets lacksadaisical about clearing them up - (to save energy for the next frame maybe ?)

Jimmy White - What can be said that hasn't been said already ?

I think Robertson is one of these players who will peak in his thirties & arguably,his best years are still ahead of him.

Maybe Robbo might not go on to clinch as many career titles as Williams or White -
but his allround game,temprement & shot selections are better or more orthodox than his 2 leftie predecessors.

Though Ronnie,John Higgins & Robertson had early exits from the China Open - They (along with Ding) will have the 'champion-elect' tag - heading into the 2010World Championships at the Crucible.

Anonymous said...


Robbo's max

Anonymous said...

"Wins today for Ebdon and King - are their top 16 places safe now? Perry lost, is his place now in jeopardy?"

NO but King is in a stronger position than Ebdon is.

Betty Logan said...

Can't agree about Robbo being better than Williams. Williams is the best single ball potter the game has ever seen after Alex Higgins, and is in a different league in terms of match play. Robbo is a great player and probably a more exciting one, but a 28 year old Robbo against a 28 year old Williams and I'd stake my life on Williams every time - in fact Williams did the BBC Grand Slam at that age and is the only player ever to do it; not even Davis or Hendry held all four titles simultaneously. Robbo will have to win the WC to ever a bear a serious comparison to Williams.

Anyway, the Ebdon story can be found here: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/166465/Ebdon-in-rage-over-takeover

John McBride said...

I don't know what goes through Ronnie's brain either. I sometimes wonder whether he knows, the genius that he is.

I watched 'that' frame, & his shot selection when playing the blue into the green pocket up for the pink mystified me. Playing the shot with running side against the natural angle???? Earth calling Mars, Hello????

More of a case of Ronnie not coping with the situation better in my opinion.

The guy is all about mindset. If he's tuned in, watch & admire.

Anonymous said...

I am not certain that the Hearn backers are as respected as they believe themselves to be.
I wouldn't be surprised if the vote failed in early May.

jamie brannon said...

Davis and Hendry did do the grand slam. Also it was only seven years since Williams did it.