When Mike Dunn made his maximum break in the German Masters qualifiers a few weeks ago I wrote of how relatively rare this feat still is.

Dunn's was the 79th 147 on the official list. Yesterday Ding Junhui made the 84th.

It was his second in just three days and last night against Stephen Hendry he seemed determined to make another.

This was a risky strategy but it ultimately made no difference as Ding won 4-2. Perhaps he had just got the bug but he could only have split the £500 with himself.

There will be more maximums very soon, of that I have no doubt. The players are playing more often and are thus sharper. In the PTCs they tend to play a more open game.

But what is rarely said is how good the conditions are. These superfine cloths are conducive to heavy scoring.

With the old heavier balls and thicker cloths such feats of break-building would be more difficult, but the game has changed and is more attacking.

Standards rise in all sports. They have in snooker in that more players are now producing high quality stuff.

There have now been 42 maximums on television. This is still not all that many but, obviously, can only increase.


Emre said...

in these PTCs against amateur or junior players, those who are higher up in the rankings in the main tour, the experienced ones tend to play with considerably less pressure, say comparing to a major ranking event. We all know pro. players constantly making 147s in the practice and no disrespect to any player but in the first couple of rounds in PTCs, it's quite like a practice session. A 147 is a 147 nevertheless, it's an incredible feat no matter what the conditions are, but it's like, there has always been a distinction between making a max. in the Crucible and a normal ranking evet. Cuz the tension is sky high in the Worlds and there are only 9 maximums so far, despite the huge prize money and longer matches.

At the end, it's always great to see a huge break, even better if it's a max. obviously but if anything, i guess there might be a slight danger that one of the most coveted feats in the game would lose certain amount of charm along the way since people are getting used to seeing it week in week out.

Anonymous said...

as i mentioned on here on another post....

147s are much more common now the ptc's are here

theres far less pressure on the players, esp the top ones who often play "no names".

add that to 147s not being worth too much £ compared to 10-15 years ago its no wonder

i dont agree about the cushions etc

theyve been playing with light balls on superfast cloths for 20 years

the fact that in the last 20 years with the exception of the last 18 months 147s were worth a lot lot mor £ and more often than not an opponent would have been a top player

the 147s in the last couple of years have been mainly made in these type events

go back to the big money 147s a couple of years ago and see the graph grow very steeply

and its not cos theyre playing all the time either

the pressure is much much less

Ray said...

I don't believe for a minute that the plethora of 147s we've had over the last week hasn't got anything to do with the cut on the pocket. It was the same with the UK Championship. On many occasions the commentator said "Oh he's missed it" and I agreed - only to see the ball rolling in and it wasn't even a slow shot.
They keep telling us the pockets are hard for pros and if it had been played any harder it would have gone in. This is a euphemism for liberty takers' pockets.
Many years ago John Spencer was denied a 147 because the pockets didn't match the template. The most ridiculous thing in snooker is that all pockets are templated to exactitude and yet the way the pocket entrance is cut can determine the degree of difficulty and player's shot choice.
It's about time the commentators stopped mentioning the degree of difficulty of the pockets. This argument would be redundant if all pocket entrances were cut the same - fairly tight for pro play.
After all this is not pool it's snooker. We know it's a very hard game but don't make it too easy for pros.

kildare cueman said...

6.04, Theres no one doubting the pressure is less. The reason the big money prizes were done away with is that some players, particularly O'Sullivan were making fortunes, and that an entire tournament could be financed with what they were paying in maximum prizes.

Anonymous said...

dont disagree kc

dont see what your point is

im not saying up the prize

im saying no wonder theres more when theres less pressur as less £ on offer and more likely to take risks if playing lesser opponents

jamie brannon said...

I'm pleased that Ronnie has stayed in the top 16 for now. Mainly because it means he will be at the events for certain, but also so that players on Twitter who clearly don't like him (Michael Holt, Mark Williams and Mark King to name three) don't get the satisfaction of seeing him at the qualifiers.

Anonymous said...

jamie brannon said...
I'm pleased that Ronnie has stayed in the top 16 for now. Mainly because it means he will be at the events for certain, but also so that players on Twitter who clearly don't like him (Michael Holt, Mark Williams and Mark King to name three) don't get the satisfaction of seeing him at the qualifiers.

3:25 PM

it wont be for certain if walden wins in germany
it wont be for certain if his 1326th threat to quit comes true.

the thing with players or anyone not liking ronnie

most normal people can see past that he is a very talented snooker player. one of the best theres been, BUT HES ALSO A COMPLETE idiot of a person a lot of the time.....esp when asking for oral sex at press conferences.

perhaps these players are just voicing what a lot of us who see past his snooker ability see and voice on the web.

Ray said...

I note Joe Johnson in commentary has also just agreed that the pockets are easier this week. Coming from an ex World Champ that'll do for me.

You can fool some of the people all of the time, you can fool all of the people some of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time!

JIMO96 said...

I have to say I think Eurosports coverage is awful! They cover one table only, which means they have to repeat earlier games during "gaps" in the play. Dings maximum must have been shown 8 times this weekend(!)

Don't get me started on the commentators....they spoke about Tom Ford like he was an up and coming amateur in his match with Dott, and it sounded like Joe Johnson was hastily handed a piece of paper with Fords career achievements on it, which he read out in the most patronising manner.....does their knowledge begin and end with the top 20 players?

And who cares if Ronnie is "in or out"....he will be out soon anyway, and the quicker the better, to put an end to this non-story.

Other gripes, not necessarily about Eurosport:
- why is there always a full seconds gap between a shot on Eurosport and the commentators reaction?
- their coverage of the final starts at 7pm, but the Gould-Hamilton SF has just finished...does this mean another look at the Ding max?
- speaking of Hamilton, it is always him, McCulloch, Harold or McLeod who hold up events with their slow (or negative) play. Any statisticians of the game who compile rankings must have noticed this. Time for a rule change, I think.

Apart from all that, snooker is great and Hearn is a saviour.

Anonymous said...

i dont think the pockets are easier
i dont think joe has measured them

judging by the quality OR LACK OF by the eurosport commentators id take everything they say with a pinch of salt

that is except neal foulds or davey hendon

hallet doesnt even know what a cross double is

he and joe are always guessing wrong

about time they learned to comment and not try to be mystic and end up with 72 eggs on their face per match

great players, nice guys. YES

good commentators? NO

Anonymous said...

Where are the PTC fINALS taking place this year??

Anonymous said...

I would say the tables in the UK and that on the tv table in PTC11 were definitely not as tight as the tables preceeding.

Dave H said...

Jim: to introduce some facts, Eurosport don't cover the PTCs, they take the coverage provided by IMG, the producrs, who provide coverage of one table.

You are correct that there are long gaps but this is because of the scheduling of World Snooker.

Who cares whether Ronnie is in or out? Obviously not you but many others do. To not mention it would have been ridiculous.

As for your opinion on our commentary: I dare say many would agree and many would disagree. We do our best.

witz78 said...

I have to say of all the commentators ive heard in 2011, other than my good mate Thorne, id have to single out Angles McManus for praise. He was a revelation on the mic and talked total sense, didnt waffle on needlessly and also consistently called the right shots to play. Also his voice itself is ideal for tv so i hope to hear more from him again.

Anonymous said...

good post dave (im not jim)

though your best, in fact your average, is much better than the rest of them.

the actually spoil it for me.

i like listening to you, but cant have you only.

i dont like watching with no commentary at all, but its the lesser of two evils if you aint on.

surely they must rewatch recordings of themselves and realise the amount of errors and nonsense they speak?

lastly, i know theyre your friends and co commentators. nobody is asking you to slag them, or in fact support slagging them, but they are hopeless.

youre an intelligent guy and a snooker fan. you must cringe and bite your tongue soooooooo often in that commentary office?