John Higgins beat Jamie Cope in the final of the Hainan Classic last season, which opened the door for the World Open in Haikou.

Higgins was on a roll 11 months ago when he won the title but is yet to regain that focus. We keep saying it could come this week but it's yet to really happen.

Cope has been AWOL for a while, not helped by a condition that means he has tremors when he plays. It would be nice to see him restore some confidence and obviously a win over the world champion would go a long way towards doing that.

Conditions don't seem great at the World Open. Nothing can be done about the humidity but the table on which Neil Robertson played Stephen Hendry did not inspire confidence. It didn't seem level, probably the fault of the creaky floor. This didn't help the standard.

Judd Trump's match with Mark Allen should be entertaining as these two players are both great to watch when they hit their strides - as we saw in their wonderful UK Championship final earlier this season.

Allen is in the headlines again for his crass Twitter comments yesterday about, well, pretty much everything.

Allen - as he is constantly reminding everyone - has the right to hold whatever opinion he likes but his comments always seem to be tinged with an air of nastiness.

I don't think he is really like this but he is clearly frustrated by the life of a professional snooker player. However, it isn't snooker's - or China's - fault if he is unhappy.

It's entirely Allen's right if he wants to spend all his time holed up in his hotel room watching 24 on DVD but he won't discover what China has to offer unless he steps outside.

And the blunt truth is this: nobody is forcing him to play snooker. There would be plenty of others willing to take his place if he packed it in.

One thing I will credit him with: he's one of the few players getting snooker in the newspapers. Jason Ferguson, the WPBSA chairman, was unsurprisingly unimpressed, though, as he told today's Daily Mirror.


Ciulionis said...

The whole situation with tweets reminds me "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest". And Allen, Williams and Ronnie are some kind of McMurphy and more respectful than the WPBSA who are interested in Chinese (in this particular case) money and don't care.

Where else can we get true player's opinion and emotions apart from twitter?

Anonymous said...

Isn't it possible to express one's emotions on Twitter without swearing?

Anonymous said...

Well the last time he stirred up a shit storm he came close to winning the UK, maybe he can go one better this time...

Anonymous said...

He's already done better than the UK in beating Judd - would be funny if he lifts the trophy for his first ranking title to a chorus of boos from the people of the city has has slating.

That sad, if the story about Hendry and Robbo having to play on an uneven table is true then its maybe just as well Allen's comments are getting so much attention.

Anonymous said...

As usual Dave, you completely miss the point trying to stick to status quo. I am glad there are people around with the balls to say it how it is. i.e. not you.

Dave H said...

At least I put my name to what I think

Anonymous said...


I really don't think there was any malice with Mark's comments. A case of too much time on his hands perhaps?

Either way I am glad he Apologised.

Anonymous said...

Dave - who is your blog post going to lead on tomorrow (with Baird, Fu, Hendry and Cope you have a 100% jinx record in this tournament)

jamie brannon said...

This is the first time I've really seen Dave have a real go at a player, and it is relatively justified given what I've read.

I've actually tipped Allen to win this week, even more so that he has got past Judd Trump. I do wonder though if all his anger is going to put him under too much pressure, particularly if the major title wait goes on much longer.

Gerard said...

Allen is not aware of how lucky he is in being able to play snooker for a living and should stop complaining. He should try working in a factory or a coalmine. Nothing to do with opinions, nobody cares if he likes the food, people or locking himself in watching 24.

Great blog dave, congrats on the top 4. Keep up your valuable insights on important (and sometimes less important) snooker stuff.

Greg P said...

If I had the power to change one thing in snooker, I would make it so that Jamie Cope could have a return to his best form.

Today he got thrashed by Higgins. Remember once upon a time it was he who thrashed Higgins 9-3 in the UK Championship and ran him very close in the Worlds too...

Hope it turns around for him soon (although I feel like I've been saying that for a long time now).

Toestubber said...

"This place is horrendous"

What a great way to endear yourself to your Chinese hosts within 5 minutes of arriving!

I think Allen is a breath of fresh air!!

Mat Wilson

Dave H said...

"Dave - who is your blog post going to lead on tomorrow (with Baird, Fu, Hendry and Cope you have a 100% jinx record in this tournament)"

What can I say? It's a gift

147 said...

Whats all the hullabaloo about so what if Mark Allen gave his opinion on twitter what about it ,he did,nt declare war on anybody or invade a country or inflict harm upon a fellow human being, too much control been applied to people nowadays.I disagree with Allen on a lot of issues but i don,t claim the right to stage manage his life.While i find your comment on Allen a bit harsh your entitled to your opinion on allens opinion as i am on both your opinions.

Anonymous said...

I think it's been a while since Dave did a piece on Murphy.

Nothing to do with Dave's jinxing record I swear ;)

Anonymous said...

Regarding the comment on the uneven table levels, and creaking floors, who from World Snooker went out there and rubber-stamped the venue? It's shocking and they should be held to account!

Anonymous said...

If I were Jason Ferguson I would have put him on the first place home.

kildare cueman said...

I notice on at least a couple of occasions that Allen has stopped after making a century without potting the remaining balls.

I think this must be nipped in the bud immediately. It looks bad and the paying public are being robbed of the spectacle of a clearance.

Toestubber said...

If Allen thinks that place is bad just wait until the ECB (European Central Bank) have finished with his native land!!!!

Mat Wilson

kildare cueman said...

9.19, Matt, Allens native land is Northern Ireland which is part of the UK. You could still be right though. Its only a matter of time before the IMF are in Britain, who are currently the worlds largest leading holders of hypothecated debt. i.e a massive pyramid scam involving banks. Thats why Cameron wouldn't sign up to the EU fiscal treaty. He didnt want to be exposed. Better stop there. This is a snooker blog after all.

oliver said...

Er, Mat, he's from Northern Ireland, not the Republic.

Anonymous said...

kildare cueman said...
I notice on at least a couple of occasions that Allen has stopped after making a century without potting the remaining balls.

I think this must be nipped in the bud immediately. It looks bad and the paying public are being robbed of the spectacle of a clearance.

9:07 AM


runners slow down once a race is in the bag

racehorses slow down once the match is won.

tennis players once a break in serve is acheived play out the set, concentrating on holding their own serve from theron in

if a player doesnt want to pot balls he doesnt need to

just like mid frame he doesnt need to go for a pot and can play safe.

next time engage your brain

kildare cueman said...

Anon @ 2.20, your analogy is absurd. Im speaking as a customer and on behalf of other customers its nice to see a clearance, especially after a large break.

My brain was fully engaged when I made the comment. Stop trolling.
Horses. ha ha.

Anonymous said...

Williams used to stop potting or miss on purpose all the time, even before the century was made.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the anon, kildare, it is vaguely ridiculous to punish players for not clearing. At 70 the frame is usually safe, at 80 it is effectively over. Scoring another 30–40 points actually increases your workload by 50% which can cause fatigue to set in later in the tournament. Personally I would never go for a century unless the high break was on, and preserve my energy.

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly with Kildare. Snooker is an entertainment business, and if I am a paying customer, and a player is on a clearance, I wanna see him finish.

Why is Jimmy White loved, and still making loads of cash in exhibitions today?? Because he would make an effort to entertain at the end of a "won" frame.

If Allen doesn't feel the need to, then fine, but I would never pay to see him play.

Gerard said...

That's exactly why Allen needs to have such a mouth; he doesn't bother to do it in the snooker department. I used to find Williams stopping at 90+ really anoying as well.

Allen will never be as popular as White, for many reasons, but mainly because Jimmy is a respectfull top bloke on and off the table and Mark is not.

Anonymous said...

Anon is spot on.
Snooker is a professional sport.
It is nice to think of it as entertainment, but these players are doing there job AND THERE JOB IS TO WIN FRAMES, MATCHES and TOURNAMENTS.

I am fairly sure it doesnt say in the rules....

If a player thinks his opponent will not come back to the table he must try to pot all remaining balls, even if 30 snookers are required. (He must also put loads of spin on the cueball too).

Yes, I have just checked and it doesnt say that. Theres not even a clause in it to apease Kildare Cuemen.

kildare cueman said...

Well a player shouldnt leave the table while he is on a break. The non striker shouldnt concede when his opponent is on a break. Its unprofessional.Im not trying to suggest a player should burn himself out entertaing when the frame is safe, but in Allens case he was perfect on the blue on a break of 100plus. I dont think 3 more balls is going to sap much mental energy.

Anonymous said...

im not saying it would sap much mental energy.

i am saying they are not there to entertain.

snooker is a professional sport and as such becomes most of the players (main) income.

just because you (and some others) think they should carry on when a frame is more than safe doesnt mean anything.

that is your opinion.

mine differs.

fact is though that my opinion sides with hes not doing anything wrong.

your suggesting he is doing something "wrong" and should change it, to entertain you (and others)

fortunately they are not peanut performing monkeys and dont listen people like you.