There will be two Crucible debutants this year, taking the number of players to have competed at the famous Sheffield theatre since the World Championship moved there in 1977 to 179.

Andrew Pagett won four matches to qualify, beating Andrew Higginson 10-6 in the final round.

Pagett practises with - and is relentlessly teased by - Mark Williams. He will become the 16th Welshman to play at the Crucible.

Jimmy Robertson, a former English amateur champion, won all seven frames in the evening session to beat 1997 Crucible winner Ken Doherty 10-6.

Robertson's story is an interesting one. He was a supremely talented junior who originally qualified for the professional circuit at the age of just 16.

But he was too young to know what he was doing and won only one match before being relegated.

His career went backwards and he took on part time jobs, such as stacking shelves in a supermarket, to provide the money to continue practising.

But there were greater problems than merely financial. Robertson came to realise he was shaking while on the shot and that it was not just nerves.

His condition was believed to be dystonia, a disorder which causes involuntary muscle spasms.

He consulted a specialist and, thankfully, the condition improved.

Professional snooker is a precarious way to make a living. Its cut-throat nature means that most of the tour don't earn fortunes. Some hardly earn a penny.

With this in mind, Robertson as become the owner of a snooker club in Bexhill which his parents help to run.

He is a member of Paul Mount's 'pink ribbon' brigade and, at last, has made a big and meaningful breakthrough.

I'm disappointed for Ken because he's a good guy and popular player but he has won the world title and tonight's defeat doesn't take any of the shine off that.

But what a night for Robertson and what a month in prospect as he and Pagett get ready for the greatest snooker show on earth.

Having spent years watching it on TV, they are going to be part of it.

For a snooker player, it doesn't get any more exciting than that.


MaximumSnooker said...

Saw a bit of Jimmy in the Shoot-out. Looked quite a confident player and did win quite a few matches in the PTC's also. Will be interesting to see who he plays against, hope it is Neil to confuse people!

Anonymous said...

I hope Jimmy Robertson drawn with Neil Robertson.

Anonymous said...

i think ken deteriorated quite rapidly in the years following that missed 147 black :(

Anonymous said...

The fact that Doherty has won the world title is not going to overcome the disappointment of yesterday's defeat. Actually no any relation between them.

Dave H said...

I didn't say it would or that there was

I said that he remains a world champion

Anonymous said...

no, you said this defeat wouldnt take the shine of that

which is different

stop being so defensive

213 didnt say you said it would or that you said there was!

(i am not 213)

jamie brannon said...

Is Stephen Hendry going to be the oldest player on show this year?

Have not quite checked all sixteen qualifying results (about too) but he seems to be with the my knowledge of the players who have exited.

jamie brannon said...

I would love a player to stroll out to Manic Street Preachers tune, but it would be particularly apt if Pagett sauntered on to say, Motorcycle Emptiness, with him hailing from the same birthplace, Blackwood.

Joe Calzaghe is also a native of the place.

Dave H said...

Dave Harold is older than Hendry

The problem with walk-on music at the Crucible is that it only takes about 10 seconds to walk out so it seems a little superfluous

jamie brannon said...

I like Dominic Dale, but disappointed to see Michael Holt didn't qualify.

Holt is a compelling character who is hasn't done justice to his talent due to too much self-criticism when in the heat of battle.

Have spoken to his brother Matthew a few times and he said what an experience it is to attend the Crucible, sadly he won't be there this year.

The most dangerous floaters in the first-round draw are: Stephen Lee, Matthew Stevens, Judd Trump and Ryan Day.

Although certain players won't be too keen on facing hardened match-players like Dave Harold (possibly older than Hendry?) Mark King, Marcus Campbell or Rory McLeod.

jamie brannon said...

I wrote the bit about Harold after you said that Dave, but thanks.

I know what you are saying, but I would still keep it but for once I can't come up with a reason for supporting one of my claims!!

However, maybe extend the walk, probably not practical, though.

Harold seems a nice guy but when it comes to aesthetic appeal he resembles his football team Stoke City, but like them he is tough to beat.

Janie Watkins said...

Add Joe Perry to very dangerous first round floater and Dominic.

MaximumSnooker said...

Don't forget about Bingham Jamie! Strong season and beat Angles 10-2 to qualify.

Anonymous said...

Id take Joe and Dom away from the very dangerous list

maybe dangerous at a push, but not VERY dangerous

Anonymous said...

Anyone know when the draw takes place please?