Perhaps the most improved player on the circuit these last couple of seasons is Martin Gould, a deceptively talented cueist who is now heading towards the top 16.

Gould is placed 22nd in the latest ranking list and has qualified for the final stages of the 12bet.com UK Championship.

He beat James Wattana 9-8 last night after a match in which there was never more than a frame in it.

It’s been a memorable year for Gould. Earlier this season he reached his first ranking event quarter-final at the World Open, where his attacking style paid dividends.

He was, of course, very close to a last eight berth at the Crucible but saw his 11-5 lead over Neil Robertson turn into a dispiriting 13-12 defeat.

For this to happen at the World Championship, as high profile as snooker gets, was embarrassing more than anything. By his own admission, Martin panicked: he knew Steve Davis had beaten John Higgins and that he thus had a very good chance to reach the semi-finals.

It was a lack of experience that caused this anxiety but he’s learned the hard way and pressed on this season. He will be in the PTC grand finals next March.

Gone are the days when he worked as a croupier in a casino. Snooker is becoming a full time job and the more players play, the sharper they are.

The standard at Telford is likely to be extremely high because the field will have had so much recent competitive snooker under their belts.

Gould faces Graeme Dott, a touch match but I’m sure the former world champion would agree that the Pinner potter isn’t someone you’d want to play in the first round.

There is one mystery that remains, though: how exactly does he play in those glasses?


Anonymous said...

Gould fascinates me. His performance in April was marvellous. He pulled off some insane shots and looked calm and relaxed. Too bad it had to end the way it did.

However, the biggest surprise was his recent involvement in the coup that never was. I still can't understand why as he is one of the players who thrives the most under Barry Hearn's leadership.

Oh well... Good luck Martin.

Anonymous said...

Martin is a good lad and I too was surprised he got involved in the shambolic coup that fizzled out into nothing.
His involvement reminds me of the old days of snooker where a player would be tempted by the "bright lights" of Stirling and would sign any documentation or dotted lines to be a part of such an organisation.
Certain players who held a vote were targeted in this way, despite having little or no marketing potential whatsoever.
In Gould's case though he has something to offer the sport, over and above attempting to throw out a board of directors which suits his upwardly moving profile.

David Caulfield said...

with regard the glasses, I used to play in a similar way. I have heard some commentators marvel at why he wears them when he obviously doesnt see through them while down on the shot.

My reason for this would be that he prepares for the shot with his glasses on. if prepared properly - ie. sets up the shot and makes note of exactly where he will hit the ball - once actually down on the shot you dont necessarily need good vision, just perfect technique.

That said, I play with contact lenses now and don't understand why he doesn't do the same. Fair play to him though.

Oh and Joe Johnson's notion that when Gould's down on the shot he thinks the balls look smaller and the pockets bigger is simply ridiculous. Sorry Joe haha

Executor said...

2:51 PM And he was even more fascinating at the World Open. I would have never believed - even after his Sheffield run - that he could be so dangerous, calm and deadly as he was in Glasgow. He looked like Top 10 player out there. Too bad Ebdon's experience proved too much to handle.

On the other side, despite of all his achievements of late he still, from time to time, or maybe even more often than not, seems like he is not going to make it in the latter stages where it's really starting to matter. But he is on the rise only for couple of months and there is still room & time to learn, and I hope he will.

He certailny can be one of the most entertaining permormers in years to come.

Good luck Martin.

Betty Logan said...

Does anyone else think he looks like Jimmy Palmer off NCIS?

MaximumSnooker said...

If Ebdon hadn't potted that marvelous respotted black tight off the cushion in the World Open, Gould would of probably won that match and even possibly the whole title. He is looking like a serious contender at the moment and is definately in the top 8-10 players in terms of form and results currently (PTC final and 2 quarters also). Dott has a lot on his plate on the weekend.

Urindragon said...

it's a shame Martin didn't beat Neil in April. Could have gone on towin the title he was playing extraordinary snooker

Matt said...

I do think that Gould will do well in the UK Championship. Any news on extra snooker coverage on terrestival channels or Freeview??

Anonymous said...

Jimmy Palmer? More like (and I apologise in advance) Harry Potter!

I did say sorry!!!

Anonymous said...

the big secret about his glasses isnt that big a secret. think focus between object and cueball while addressing the shot and short and long sightedness. :)

Anonymous said...

Today's (after Round 4 of the Qualifiers) One Year Ranking 2010/11:

1 Mark Selby 16805

So he is in perfect position to make it evfen more up the rankings...

John McBride said...

Dave, Lovely fella. What I like about the man is that he still represents the HDL (Harrow & District League) so well.

What we sometimes forget, is that these fella's have to had started off on a Snooker table somewhere sometime. And I embrace when these fella's go back & still represent their local clubs when they play for the WPBSA at the same time. Quality it is. And Martin Gould has got it.

Feet on floor the lot.