Ali Carter’s consistency over the last two years has been the key in him rising to second in the world rankings but, like any top player, what he wants is titles.

He won his second ranking event with a hard fought 10-7 victory over Jamie Burnett in the Shanghai Masters.

Neither player was at their best. Burnett played some good safety but couldn’t score.

Carter made a hatful of mistakes and must have been frustrated by his inability to hit the heights but, crucially, he kept these frustrations in check, got his head down and worked hard to scrap to victory.

This ability to graft out results when a player’s A game is not firing is the mark of a champion.

In my profile of him two months ago, I wrote: “I’d be surprised if there weren’t more titles for Carter. After a few false starts he has managed to ally his self confidence to his game and find the winning formula.”

This still very much applies. Winning breeds winning and as long as Carter continues to look forward rather than dwelling on his latest success he has an excellent chance to take over as world no.1, although this now changes by tournament as in tennis and there’s no more prestige in being world no.1 after the World Championship than there is in being there after the Welsh Open.

The Shanghai Masters wasn’t a vintage event by any means and surely ticket prices have to be lowered to allow more ordinary Chinese a chance to watch.

I’ve seen first hand the enthusiasm of Chinese snooker fans but if they are priced out of watching the top stars they could well drift away from the game.

There is currently a huge gulf between the genuine fanaticism legions of Chinese have for snooker and the number of people who show up at tournaments. It creates a false impression that the China snooker boom is a myth.

Finally, a word for Jamie Burnett. Whatever the future holds for him he should be proud of his run to the final, which was 18 years in the making.

It proves that though snooker’s leading men are always going to be there or thereabouts, the supporting cast runs deep with talent and virtually anyone can, under the right conditions, burst out of the pack and grab the limelight.


CHRISK5 said...

Ali Carter is a 'flagbearer' for
hardwork & consistency.

Looks like World Snooker have at last altered their rankings,to what
should be the legit,confirmed list.

IF Ali becomes World Number 1 for the first time in afew weeks (at 31) - he would be the oldest player to achieve that milestone for the first time in his career
since Cliff Thorburn in 1982/83
who was 33.

It's great having 15-20 year olds who burst on the scene & win titles
but equally as good when the
late developers realise their
long standing potential,like
Ali Carter is doing.

The crucial match at Shanghai was his QF 5-4 comeback win over notorious close match loser Matthew Stevens - About 4-6 years ago,it would have been Carter losing that type of match - not now

It would seem strange to some having a World Number one who has
only won 4 Career Titles & 2 Ranking Titles - But I am sure Ali C will continue to add to his tally

He always had the technique,now
he has the vital ingredient of
confidence that winning breeds,
from now on,Ali C should be a match
for anybody in the future.

Anonymous said...

Frame 11 for me was the reason I like snooker. Tremendous tactical play from both players, swings of momentum and intrigue. 7-4 Burnett would have been all but done, but 6-5 was a massive boost for him. A great frame and, despite the sporadic Eurosport coverage, a good tournament.

Anonymous said...

" the supporting cast runs deep with talent and virtually anyone can, under the right conditions, burst out of the pack and grab the limelight."


there's this thought going about that standards today is higher, however you got jamie Burnett in a final after 18 years a pro if standards are higher today than it was in the early 90s how come Burnett never threatened finals back then ?.

i do not think standards at the last 32 stage is better id say it could be worst than even 1990 but below that at last 64 stage and further to the amateur game is stronger.

CHRISK5 said...

Correction - Cliff Thorburn became World No 1 for first time in
1981/1982 at the age of 32.

Ruthie said...

The rows of empty seats at the end of the final looked really bad. Whatever about ticket prices, shouldn't the sponsor and local organizing committee have filled them?

Anonymous said...

Well well well. So chrisk5, i notice you never mentioned the fact that everyone else was right about the rankings and you were wrong all along.
At least have the decency to eat humble pie.

Anonymous said...

Why are you so certain that snooker is as big as we keep hearing? I've seen all the televised event and they ALWAYS play in empty arenas. If we have a 100 million fans surely the place would be packed. Shanghai is one of the richest cities in the world, correct?

And the 20 people there cause so much trouble the ref has to warn them ("next time you're out") again and again. I wouldn't feel sorry if China's fling with snooker came to an end. Sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

I'm beginning to think Hearn has got the rolling rankings idea completely wrong, there are two separate lists going around on the World Snooker website and Matt's website (which is really good), and i've no idea who is correct or how they worked out each player's positions.
If the rankings are going to change tournament by tournament there should be some sort of bonus for finishing the season World no.1.
Congrats to Carter, he was the best player of the week and deserved his victory.

CHRISK5 said...

Anon 2.09 PM - EVERYBODY should be eating humble pie (whatever that tastes like)

Even now,Global,WS & Pro Snooker
have differing points tallies.

Global have the highest values,
W.Snooker have the medium values &
Pro Snooker have the lowest totals

I believe World Snooker have now
made the correct adjustments with
their list.

I agree with the rankings becoming more fluid like Tennis - With many more events on the calendar,it's
the best time to do it.

Dave H said...

I know because I'#ve seen it first hand.

The way I see the rankings, there are now effectively threee lists:

1) The list used to determine seedings

2) The official rolling rankings

3) Matt's provisional list which gives players an accurate picture of where they are with points taken off

I'm thinking of starting a fourth list based on alphabetical order, which could be bad news for Mark Williams

Betty Logan said...

The so called "official" rankings are pointless though. What's the point of being number 1 on it if you're still seeded outside of the top 16? As a guide to the next lot of official seedings it is misleading because the Grand Prix points still need to be dropped. It serves no purpose!

Keep up the good work Matt because if it weren't for you no-one would know what the next lot of "seedings" would look like!

CHRISK5 said...

Dave - I know what you mean,
A-HA always tops my lists !
(subliminal pun intended)

I heard Jimmy White was open to suggestions about his World Open
walkon music - anything by the
Clash or Adam Ant would suit him
perfectly !

jamie brannon said...

Personally, I find the new list more confusing and maybe, less interesting.

Burnett, benefited from a kind draw, if the top players are on top of their game and by all accounts they were not then this type of thing doesn't happen in the big events anyway.

5 days to go until snooker is back on the Beeb!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

When does the Provisional ranking actually GO?! I mean, surely the sooner it disappears the easier it'll be. Things will be clearer in a fortnight I suppose.

Carter deserved his reward yesterday. He is consistant since his world championship final in 08, but chances are he'll disappear early next week. Shame. It really would be lovely to see somebody who has poked about in the top 16 without much reward (trophies obv, not money!) to win or hit a second final in a row.

As for the crowds, it has been poor. If China think that is the way forward - by pouring money into tournaments, charging fans a high price (look how cheap it is in Glasgow next week) - and then making it come across like every day is a sell out, or market or pr it that way to the public/media, they've got problems. Why can't they move to a smaller venue?

Finally, well done Jamie Burnett. So good to see another journeyman succeed this season. The game isn't about well know faces or young faces coming in, it's also about the guys that have been slogging the circuit for years with no rewards.

Thanks, Joe

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with 11.29AM. We are continually told that today's standard is far superior to anything that went before it. Yet high ranked players like Maguire and Ding will never get near winning a World title, while ROS, Higgins and Williams are all in the top 8 (probably higher) players in the world and they've all been at the top of their game for well over 10 years.

kildare cueman said...

The ranking lists on WS and Global are inaccurate and misleading.

The REAL rankings (ie the ones that determine a players seeding) will be the total at the cut off point, with the first 3 tournaments of 2008 removed.

Globals list have not removed any of these events and WS have removed two.

Pro snooker blog and Eurosport's lists have removed all these tournaments and therefore present a more realistic view of the projected seedings towards the next cut off point.

I presume Global intend to drop the first 3 tournaments of 2008,and WS the grand prix after EPTC2, when the next cut off will occur.

At this stage the 3 lists will become one, and the lists that Global and WS have been displaying between events, will, like their live scoring, disappear from our monitors.

These two sleeping giants, can argue that their lists are valid, pending ones POV, but in effect will never have any practical use, bar to stimulate the deluded.

It is envisaged, that following EPTC2, the proper provisional lists(pro snooker and Eurosport) will be adopted by all, and all the unnecessary confusion can be avoided.

Matt said...

I would say that in tennis it is considered slightly more prestigious to be the year-end number one (I mean they get a little glass trophy of a number one, classy or what?), although that doesn't take anything away from a player who doesn't manage that. Whether that would apply to snooker is pretty subjective I guess.

Anyway, re: the rankings I concur largely with what has been said, it's a bit of a mess but I'll carry on doing what I am doing and look ahead to the next seedings change. No point in duplicating the official list.

For those wondering who will lose out at the second revision by the way, I have put a little table together here:


Leon Mončiunskas said...

Well done great to Carter. No champion true champion with no Higgin or Sullivans in matchplay.

Anonymous said...

I assume from that you mean a suspended player should attend or someone who would rather be residing on a house boat on the Thames?
Get over Higgins and O'Sullivan, they are so passe.

Anonymous said...

and don't forget global rankings.


World snooker got Ronnie at 6th

Global Snooker got Ronnie at 3rd

and Matt at pro Snooker got Ronnie at 8


Anonymous said...

Dave, you may tell Eurosport that there provisional list is wrong according to chrisk5. You must be wrong too matt.

Chrisk feels that ws are right to include the 2008 grand prix on the list even tho it will never again be used for seeding.
What a plonker. ha ha.

Anonymous said...

can anyone talk about the subject instead of bloody rankings?

next we can talk about the colour of the carpet when dave talks the world open blog.

well done AC. good dogged effort!

well done to Jamie B too

CHRISK5 said...

Technically,The Grand Prix in 2008
took place in October...so with
a 2 year rolling list & the fact
we are still in Sep 2010...you
do the maths.

That's WHY the Grand Prix 2008 is
still included in the current &
official rankings.

I agree the Pro Snooker list has a
useful purpose,provisionally
for seedings.

However,the WS list is the upto
date 2 year rolling list & the
actual,official rankings at this

CHRISK5 said...

While the seeding list may be important for event entry status,
it is much less relevant than it used to be.

Of the 20 counting tournaments,
you have 13 PTC/EPTC events PLUS
the World Open (14 events) where
the seeding positions matter
for little if nothing.

For only 6 of the 20 events will
the seedings be a difference maker.

From that perspective,the
2 year rolling rankings list
takes priority & is more fluid &

Matt said...

Dave hit the nail on the head really, the official list does currently include the GP 08 points, so Ali Carter is now officially number two behind John Higgins.

But as has been correctly said, that list will never actually be used for seedings so I struggle to get all that excited about it really.

Anonymous said...


what are you on about what else is the rankings used for only seeding it has no other purpose.

ranking list is the seeding list at cut off points all they doing is changing it by tournaments and there might come a time when everyone understands rolling rankings that maybe they can get it working where seeds change every tournament.

and BTW The rankings/seeding was used for the World Open.

the top 32 was seeded through to the last 64.

Anonymous said...

chrisk we are talking about the provisional rankings, ie the ones that are going to be used for the seedings at the next break off point.
The 08 grand prix cant be included or else there will be 3 seasons in the list. Geddit? Doh.

CHRISK5 said...

The seedings will change every
3 months on average - as said,
it's relevance in the new tour
structure is diminished with the
PTC/EPTC series & to some degree
with the World Open.

The 2 year rolling list will change
rapidly every 2 weeks on average,
I find that formula (similar to
Tennis) much more appealing.

In Tennis,the ever changing rankings is always more important
than seedings for the majors.

In Tennis,people are rarely focused
by what the Top 16 or Top 32 is,
but the interchanging of
Federer & Nadal at the top spot.

The close competitiveness in Snooker right now,the potential to
have 5 to 10 players all becoming
World Number 1 in a single season
is very real - which highlights the
positives of the 2 year rolling system.

If Ali Carter & Neil Robertson kept swapping turns at the top of the rankings on a fortnightly
(every 2 week) basis,
hypothetical though that is,
it's a great prospect the
rolling system could offer.

CHRISK5 said...

In early October,at the revision stage,BOTH lists will be identical.

However,Matt (PS) will then remove
Bahrain 2008 straightaway,
which is understandable,as it
doesn't count towards the following
seeding revision in December.

Now,for WS & the 2 year rolling list,Bahrain 2008 was in mid
November - so,in theory,the
points tallies from Bahrain 2008
should still count towards the
official rolling rankings until....
mid-November 2010 ! = 2 years.

We can all agree the WS/PS lists
will be the same at revision stages
but will always differ slightly
in each interim cycle between
the revisions. (which we are in right now)

Both lists have a purpose,
it's just that we should get
used to having World Number 1's
for weeks or months....not seasons
or years as was before !

Though,the Pro Snooker list would
make good reading when Masters spots & automatic Crucible qualification are on the radar.

Matt said...

the world open will be exciting hopefully, a Brazilian playing snooker it can happen, bring it on. Also the random draw will be good as well.

Anonymous said...

Chrisk, what purpose does ws list have?
If you are 17 at the cut off then rise to 16, then be back at 17 at the next cut off, the fact that you were in the top 16 for 2 months is totally meaningless.
It is ONLY the points you have at the cut off that matter, and the pro snooker list is the most, (sorry, the only)list that accurately reflects the direction a player is going, as he approaches the cut off.
It matters not one iota whether carter or Robertson is no.1 outside those cut offs.