• Hi Guest, The forum will be moving hosts on 26 July and as such will be closed from Midday until the move has completed.
    As we will be with new hosts it may take a while before DNS get updated so it could take while before you can get back on the forum.
    I think it will take at least 4 hours but could easily be 48!
    Ark Royal
  • There seems to be a problem with some alerts not being emailed to members. I have told the hosts and they are investigating.
  • Hi Guest Just in case you were not aware I wanted to highlight that you can now get a 20% discount on Inform Racing.
    Simply enter the coupon code ukbettingform when subscribing here.
    We have a lot of members who are existing users of Inform Racing so help is always available if needed.
    Best Wishes
    AR
  • Sorry for the ongoing issues that you may have been experiencing whilst using the forum lately

    It really is frustrating when the forum slows down or Server Error 500 pops up.

    Apparently the hosts acknowledge there is a problem.
    Thank you for using our services and sorry for the experienced delay!
    Unfortunately, these errors are due to a higher server load. Our senior department knows about the issue and they are working towards a permanent resolution of the issue, however, I'd advise you to consider using our new cPanel cloud solutions: https://www.tsohost.com/web-hosting


    I will have to investigate what the differences are with what We have know compared to the alternative service they want us to migrate to.
    Keep safe.
    AR

Snooker

Delboy99

Mare
Data gathered at the recent World Snooker Championships suggests theatres pose almost no risk in spreading COVID, with just four infectious cases detected among 11,000 visitors to The Crucible venue last month.


The Telegraph, citing Whitehall sources, said unreleased Events Research Programme documents show a minute risk of infection from indoor gatherings in what could be a boost for the case for reopening as planned on June 21.


The snooker tournament took place over 17 days from April to May, with crowds initially at 33-per-cent capacity and rising to 100-per-cent for the two-day final. It is unclear how many of those positive tests were returned when the Crucible was allowed to operate at full capacity and without social distancing.


A Whitehall source, cited by The Telegraph, said: “The numbers are very low. The Government is sitting on very good evidence about where the risks lie when removing social distancing – and the evidence from the pilot study in Sheffield shows the risks for theatres are very low.” ;)


The Telegraph report comes after theatre impresario Lord Lloyd Webber earlier this week said he would open his West End venues on June 21 regardless of whether the Government chooses to delay its long-held reopening target date.


He said: “I’ve seen the science from the tests, don’t ask me how. They all prove that theatres are completely safe, the virus is not carried there. If the Government ignore their own science, we have the mother of all legal cases against them. If Cinderella couldn’t open, we’d go, ‘Look, either we go to law about it or you’ll have to compensate us’.”


LW Theatres owner Lloyd Webber and the Night Time Industries Association have each suggested they will instigate legal challenges should the Government seek to delay the end of social distancing on June 21.


The Government is expected to announce on Monday (June 14) whether it will maintain the planned date of June 21 for Step 4 of its roadmap out of COVID restrictions, first announced in February. Some scientists have suggested that there should be a delay due to the risk of rising cases believed to be linked to the Delta COVID variant so that more people can be vaccinated in the coming weeks.
 

Delboy99

Mare
The 2021/22 snooker season is starting to take shape with the British Open to be hosted by Leicester's Morningside Arena in August as it returns to the calendar after a 17-year absence.
John Higgins enjoyed a 9-6 win over fellow Scot Stephen Maguire to claim the last British Open in Brighton in 2004.

The season begins on Sunday 4 July with the Championship League also held at the Morningside Arena giving world champion Mark Selby the chance to begin his campaign in his home city.
On the provisional calendar, there will be 17 ranking events staged between July 2021 and May 2022 plus the non-ranking Champion of Champions and Masters increasing the total to 19 over 11 months.
There are also possible dates for three more ranking events with two possible dates in October and another one in early March to be confirmed.
Eurosport is due to broadcast LIVE coverage of the Northern Ireland Open, English Open, UK Championship, Scottish Open, Masters, Shoot Out, German Masters, European Masters, Welsh Open, China Open, Gibraltar Open and the season-ending World Championship in another action-packed campaign.

Updated provisional 2021/22 World Snooker Tour calendar​

July/August
  • Championship League (world ranking)
  • Defending champion: Kyren Wilson (Eng)
  • Venue: Morningside Arena, Leicester
  • 4 July-13 August
August
  • British Open (world ranking)
  • Defending champion: John Higgins (Sco)
  • Venue: Morningside Arena, Leicester
  • 16-22 August
  • Turkish Masters qualifying (world ranking)
  • Defending champion: Inaugural tournament
  • Morningside Arena, Leicester
  • 23-26 August
September/October
  • Northern Ireland Open/English Open qualifying (world ranking)
  • Metrodome, Barnsley
  • 16-24 September
  • Turkish Masters (world ranking)
  • Defending champion: Inaugural tournament
  • Venue: Antalya
  • 27 September-3 October
October
  • Northern Ireland Open LIVE on Eurosport (world ranking)
  • Defending champion: Judd Trump (Eng)
  • Waterfront Hall, Belfast
  • 10-17 October
November/December
  • English Open LIVE on Eurosport (world ranking)
  • Defending champion: Judd Trump (Eng)
  • Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
  • 1-7 November
  • Scottish Open/German Masters qualifying (world ranking)
  • Morningside Arena, Leicester,
  • 8-14 November ;)
 

The Hare

Filly
So the last Q School reaches the weekend deciders. The Last 64 started today then completes with L32 tomorrow and the last 2 rounds Sunday.

Tony Knowles continues to impress and is down to the last 8 in his section which looks the weakest.

At time of writing these the 4 sections in draw order - 1 from each qualify.

Michael White plays Ben Fortey for the 3rd time, in each of the Q Schools, has to be a first!

1623438115655.png

These the top rated for the 2 top loser slots, all still left in so likely to be 2 of these.

1623438292992.png
 

Delboy99

Mare
So the last Q School reaches the weekend deciders. The Last 64 started today then completes with L32 tomorrow and the last 2 rounds Sunday.

Tony Knowles continues to impress and is down to the last 8 in his section which looks the weakest.

At time of writing these the 4 sections in draw order - 1 from each qualify.

Michael White plays Ben Fortey for the 3rd time, in each of the Q Schools, has to be a first!

View attachment 101872

These the top rated for the 2 top loser slots, all still left in so likely to be 2 of these.

View attachment 101873
...... will be interested when it reaches its final conclusion. I still would not know at this stage who has a chance and who has blown it as I know very little on just how this works. ;)
 

The Hare

Filly
The list is in draw order. So the winner of each section qualifies. The first section a round ahead except for the one very slow game.

The ratings are just the number of frames won - first to 4 in each round. There are 3 rounds plus the current to complete.

Will update when down to last 16 tomorrow night, should be clearer then.

Realisitcally the winner of Burns/ Vahedi will be a strong favourite
Peifan, Cahill, Lilley and Sharav most likely in the second
Baird, Astley, Johal, Laining and Honghao in the 3rd
Georgiou, Jones, White, Miah or Si Jiahui in the fourth.
 

Delboy99

Mare
Michael Judge regained a place on the World Snooker Tour after a ten year absence by beating Kuldesh Johal 4-0 in the final round of Q School event two.



Judge, Alfie Burden, Barry Pinches and Craig Steadman all secured tour cards for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons.


Irishman Judge was a familiar face on the circuit for almost two decades from 1992 to 2011, notably reaching the semi-finals of the Grand Prix in 2004 and the last 16 at the Crucible in 2001, and spending several seasons ranked among the top 32. He enjoyed one subsequent moment in the limelight in 2019 when he won the UK Seniors Championship, beating Jimmy White in the final.


He was not at his best against Johal but breaks of 45 and 43 helped him to a comfortable win. “It feels great,” said the 45-year-old Dubliner. “After I fell off the tour ten years ago, I put the cue.
away and sorted out my life. I was doing a bit of work at the Q Club in Wicklow. I played on the amateur scene just for the enjoyment, and after five or six years I decided to give it another go. Then my wife had a baby boy so I put snooker on hold for a couple of years.


“During lockdown I was thinking I wouldn’t mind giving it a go, and a friend said he would back me. I started practising hard and things have fallen into place. Here I am, back on tour for more torture! I always felt I was good enough to get back on if I gave it a proper go. Whether I can hold my own, we’ll soon find out. I’m just looking forward to seeing what it brings me.


“Winning the UK seniors final against one of the all-time greats in Jimmy White in a packed arena really inspired me. That has given me the confidence that I can do it on any stage. I know I can beat anyone on my day once I get sharp. The tour will suit me because there are so many tournaments you don’t need to practice that much.”
Alfie Burden also regained his tour card, after a much shorter hiatus of 11 months. The 44-year-old Londoner recovered from the loss of the first frame to beat Michael Collumb 4-1 with a top break of 70.


Former World Amateur Champion Burden has 24 seasons as a pro behind him and has reached the quarter-finals of four ranking events. After relegation in 2020, he missed out on a return via Q School, then took time away from snooker. He admitted in this recent interview that he had missed the thrill of competition and camaraderie on the circuit so decided to give the qualifying minefield another try, this time successfully.


“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Burden. “I only had three weeks preparation for this so I didn’t have much expectation. I didn’t know how I would deal with the pressure. In this school my experience goes a long way. I have enjoyed being back out there. I didn’t play great, but dug in.


“During the pandemic I got very bored and missed the game, so I decided there was no harm in giving Q School another try and rolling the dice. I’m looking forward to two more years on the tour. They thought the hell-raiser was gone, but he’s back! I don’t fear anyone, I’ll just enjoy it.


“I have always been fiercely competitive, I never give up. I have always believed in my ability. I have probably under-achieved but that’s my own fault because I didn’t live in the right manner. Hopefully my son can look at me and think ‘the old man doesn’t give in, he comes back for more.’ If he carries that into his career (footballer son Lene has just signed for Bristol Rovers) when times are hard then that will be a good example for him. I’ll be doing a lot of miles to Bristol to watch him play.


“I’d like to thank my coach Alan Bell, Whetstone Snooker Club and everyone there for their support, and finally my daughter Bow who is like an angel on my shoulder, I am so lucky to be her dad.”
Craig Steadman survived some nervous moments to beat Hammad Miah 4-3. From 3-0 up, Farnworth’s Steadman lost the next three frames then trailed 34-0 in the decider. But breaks of 48 and 28 gave him victory and a place on the circuit which he had previously held from 2012 to 2020.


“I should have won 4-1, then it all went wrong,” admitted 38-year-old Steadman, who reached the semi-finals of the Shoot Out last season while competing as an amateur. “I felt very nervous at 3-1 but then in the last frame I felt quite calm. I had an unbelievable fluke in the decider so I feel for Hammad because he stuck in well from 3-0. The relief is massive, I’m stunned. There’s a lot on the line, no one wants to come back tomorrow and start it all again.


“It was nice to have a run at the Shoot Out, and that gave me the motivation to start playing again. I practised really hard for this, but as soon as I got here I felt as if I had not played a proper match for ten years. It felt really tough.


“My personal life has been fantastic over the past year as my wife had a baby and I spent four or five months helping renovate the house. So that took my mind off not playing snooker. But then I started missing it, so I’m happy now that I’ll be back playing.” ;)
 

The Hare

Filly
Well the last day of Q School - the draw below, 1 from each 4 qualify. The last section is very tough. My ratings where available included.

1623565524705.png

Then the top 2 non qualifiers also make the Tour. These are the leaders, the ones in brown already out.

1623565669076.png
 

The Hare

Filly
So the final day Qualifiers
Ian Burns returns at 36, missed Automatic qualification by 1 place on last years rankings, finishing 65th so well worthy of his place. After 10 years of trying only once missed QSchool at 62nd. Consistent but hopefully after a poor season perhaps due to Covid restrictions, will finally make Top 64.
Lei Peifan an 18 year old Chinese returns to the Tour and the experience will help improve him.Finished 101st last season.
Duane Jones returns at 28 years old. After reaching German Semi Final in 2019 has not progressed. Finished 87th last season and has a highest of 76. Surely capable of better with a little confidence.
Dean Young is the only newcomer to the Tour at 19 years old. Great to see a new player, quite quick as well so be good to see him progress. From Scotland

Then the 2 Top Ranked non qualifiers are both English ex pros
Hammad Miah returns after a season off the Tour In 6 previous seasons 78 is as high as he has reached, 28 last week so still some improvement possible.
Mitchell Mann scrapes the last spot finishing 83rd last season and in 6 previous seasons 70 is the highest he has reached. Another that hasn;t developed as well as expected and now 29.

Plenty of top casualties, James Cahill disappointed after beating O'Sullivan at the Crucible, Michael White who needs to rekindle his enthusiasm for the game, Si Jiahui and Bai Langning promising Chinese youngsters.

There are still a few places left on Tour - nominations I suppose as not the Continental Amateur tournaments this season - 2 European, 1 African, 1 American and 1 Asian so some of this weeks losers could still return. I have 122 players so far so be interesting to see who the last 6 are.

No tournaments until middle of July now.
 

Delboy99

Mare
...... don't understand a lot of the workings and where all qualifiers came from. I don't go to deep into the game to include qualifiers, my efforts seem to stop at the tried and trusted tournaments. But great to follow some of your workings as you apparently know what is happening and when. Thanks for your efforts on this. ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare
Monday 7 Jun 2021 01:30PM

These are the eight players through to the quarter-finals of Q School event two in Sheffield. The four winners will earn a World Snooker Tour card for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons.
Click here for live scores for the quarter-finals on Monday afternoon.
Barry Pinches. Age 50 from Norwich. Played on the pro tour from 1989-97, 1998-2016 and 2019 onwards. Relegated from the tour at the end of last season. Former world number 18. Won a PTC event in 2010, beating Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final. Reached the quarter-finals of the 2003 UK Championship and the last 16 at the World Championship in 2004.
versus
Sanderson Lam. Age 27 from Leeds. Played on the pro tour from 2015 to 2019. Reached the last 16 of the Gibraltar Open in 2017.

Hammad Miah. Age 27 from Hertford. Played on the pro tour from 2013 to 15 and 2016 to 20. Reached the last 16 of the 2018 Paul Hunter Classic.
versus
Craig Steadman. Age 38 from Farnworth. Played on the pro tour from 2009-10 and 2012-20. Reached the semi-finals of the Shoot Out last season while competing as an amateur. Played Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Crucible in 2015.

Michael Judge. Age 45 from Dublin. Played on the tour from 1992 to 2011. Reached the semi-finals of the Grand Prix in 2004, and the last 16 at the Crucible in 2001. Former world number 24. Runner-up in the 2011 Nations Cup for Ireland, alongside Ken Doherty and Fergal O’Brien. Won the UK Seniors Championship in 2019.
versus
Kuldesh Johal. Age 40 from Huddersfield. Played on the pro tour in 2008-09 and 2010-11. Won three events on the old Pontins International Open Series.

Alfie Burden. Age 44 from London. Played on the pro tour from 1994 to 2008 and 2010 to 2020. World Amateur Champion in 2009. Made a 147 at the 2016 English Open. Quarter-finalist at four ranking events. Played at the Crucible in 1998.
versus
Michael Collumb. Age 32 from Motherwell. The only potential rookie left in the field. Played as a wild card in the Scottish Open last season, losing 4-3 to Thepchaiya Un-Nooh. Won the Scottish National Championship for the first time in 2019. ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare

Q School Ends with Six More Earning Professional Cards​


by David Caulfield on June 14, 2021

  • 2344b22d4b7bc4065498425d60c7c34c
    David Caulfield Author


Q School Event 2 to Determine Second Group of Qualifiers June 7, 2021​



A total of 14 players have been awarded Main Tour spots.


Q School wrapped up its 2021 edition on Sunday with the remaining professional cards successfully earned at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield.
Ian Burns, Duane Jones, and Lei Peifan all managed to ensure their immediate return to the Main Tour after being among the last four standing in Event 3.
Jones and Lei would have been safe regardless of their outcome in the final round thanks to their high standing on the separate Order of Merit list, but they made doubly sure with respective victories against Si Jiahui and Billy Castle.
Burns ensured that his stint as a professional player also continues with a 4-1 last-round triumph against Mark Lloyd, guaranteeing that his current run on the Main Tour will extend beyond a decade.
Meanwhile, Scottish teenager Dean Young was the fourth player from Q School Event 3 to safeguard a professional card, beating Haydon Pinhey 4-1 in his last encounter.
The quartet of qualifiers join the competitors from the first two Q School tournaments who emerged as 2021 graduates.
Peter Lines, Fraser Patrick, Jackson Page, and Yuan Sijun progressed from Event 1 while Barry Pinches, Michael Judge, Alfie Burden, and Craig Steadman were the winners from Event 2.
The Order of Merit table rewarded the consistency from the players who performed well throughout the 18 days of action but ultimately fell short of an automatic pick.
Jones and Lei topped the standings, meaning the two available qualification places will be granted to English duo Hammad Miah and Mitchell Mann.
All 14 players will receive fresh two-year tour cards for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons, starting in the rankings from the bottom and with zero points.
The likes of Sanderson Lam, Michael Georgiou, and Michael White missed out on the Order of Merit by only a few points, but they will have the likely bonus of being among the first top-ups for ranking events throughout the 2021/22 campaign.
The first tournament of the new term is scheduled for July with the return of the Championship League in Leicester. ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare
Zhou Yuelong is one of the brightest young talents in snooker but admits he must change his mentality against the very top players as he still doesn’t fancy his chances against the likes of Judd Trump and Ronnie O’Sullivan.
The 23-year-old is at a career-high of number 17 in the world rankings, narrowly missing out on a seeded top 16 place at the World Championships this year.
He is still pushing for his first ranking title after reaching two finals and an impressive run to the semis of the UK Championship last season.
If his progress continues as it has been then he looks a certainty to claim multiple ranking crowns, but he admits that his mindset must change against the greats of the game.
While Zhou feels comfortable against some legendary names, he does not against others and knows this will have to alter if he is to really fulfil his immense potential.
On winning a first ranking title this season, Zhou told WST: ‘Hopefully it will be a big one, like UK Championship. I prepared so well last season and made into semis of that event, but Neil Robertson was such a tough opponent.
‘You need some luck at key stages of any tournament. I think I have a better chance against players like John Higgins or Mark Williams. I beat Higgins in my last 16 match at the UK Championship.
‘I don’t like my chances playing against the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan or Judd Trump. I need to change my mentality though. Trump wouldn’t be thinking that way.’
The former World Cup winner looked destined for the top 16 ahead of the Crucible, narrowly missing out and then suffering a shock defeat in qualifying for the World Championship to Liam Highfield.
He says that rankings are not on his mind ahead of the new campaign, with silverware in his sights, which will see him shoot up the rankings anyway.
‘I put myself under too much pressure in latter stages of the season,’ he said. ‘I haven’t experienced anything like that before and there’s no one to guide me through.
‘Missing out was very tough to take and it had a bad impact on me, but it is all water under the bridge now. I’ll have my opportunity to get into top 16. I’m not thinking about that now though as my target is to win a title. If I do that, then the ranking will take care of itself.’ ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare
Ronnie O’Sullivan may be the greatest snooker player of all time, but doesn’t hold the aura that great players of the past did, says Peter Lines, who says he was ‘in awe’ of Steve Davis on the table.
Lines regained his place on the main tour this summer as he came through Q School in the first event, returning to professional status at the age of 51.
Having turned professional way back in 1991, the Yorkshireman has taken on many of the greatest players in history and has seen the tour change significantly over the years.
With so many tournaments in the modern game, and with flat draws throwing the top players into the first round of many of them, Lines feels the elite players do not have the aura they once did, despite being as good or better than their predecessors, a presence that Davis held in abundance during his pomp in the 1980s and even past his peak into the 90s.
‘I don’t think the aura that those sort of players had…Steve Davis etc. I don’t think it’s around anymore because you see these players all the time, you’re around them, they’re on the TV, you’re on the TV,’ Lines told the Talking Snooker podcast.
‘Basically it seems that everyone gets on the TV these days, whereas you used to have to win so many matches just to get there and then you were so in awe when you got there you just folded.
‘For me, Steve Davis [had the greatest aura], because I grew up watching Steve Davis and I just love him.
‘They say you shouldn’t meet your heroes but I’ve met Steve a few times and he is a great bloke. Best exhibition I’ve ever seen, the nicest bloke you’ve met, fantastic.’
Despite Lines being in awe of his hero Davis, it is O’Sullivan he sees as the finest ever player, despite holding an impressive 2-1 head-to-head record against the Rocket.
‘The best player I’ve ever played is the Rocket because I think he’s the best player the game’s ever seen,’ he said.
‘To still be producing the level he’s producing at 45 is absolutely frightening, absolutely frightening how good he is and how good he’s always been.’
Lines wanted to give a nod to a fellow Yorkshireman in the greatest of all time debate, recognising the late great Paul Hunter as one of the top three most talented players he has seen, before his tragic death at just 27.
‘I watched Paul Hunter, he was a phenomenal talent and it’s a shame obviously that no one ever got to see him lift the world title,’ said Peter.
‘He was one of the best two or three players I’ve ever seen talent-wise, as a youngster.’
Lines will return to action at the Championship League in July in Leicester, with O’Sullivan also potentially in action at the Morningside Arena. ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare
Football legend Pelé believes that snooker should be included in the Olympic Games and that Brazil would win gold medals.
Snooker has vast popularity throughout Brazil, albeit played on a smaller table. The country’s top player Igor Figueiredo plays on the pro tour and is ranked 75th in the world.
Pelé, who won football’s World Cup three times with his country, wrote on Instagram: “Who agrees that snooker should be in the Olympic Games? I’m sure we have great players all over Brazil. We’ll win gold medals when that happens.”
Snooker is watched by 500 million people worldwide and is played in over 100 countries. Cue Sports made bids to be part of the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games but is yet to be included. ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare

Cazoo to Sponsor UK Championship and Masters​

It takes the online car retailer’s sponsorship portfolio to six snooker tournaments.
Cazoo will be the title sponsor of next season’s UK Championship in addition to the prestigious Masters, it has been announced on Thursday.
Matchroom’s Champion of Champions invitational will also be backed by the car retailer, which is expanding its partnership with snooker after establishing the Cazoo Series earlier this year.
It means that there will be six events in total during the upcoming 2021/22 term that will carry the Cazoo logo, adding to the World Grand Prix, Players Championship and Tour Championship.
The new agreement means that the UK Championship will end its six-year partnership with Betway, and it’ll mark the first time since 2009 that the game’s second oldest ranking event will boast a sponsor outside the gambling industry.
It’s a similar story for the Masters, which had a long association with Dafabet before Betfred took over as the title sponsor for January’s edition, while the Champion of Champions has always been linked with a betting firm since its first staging at the Ricoh Arena in 2013.
Many will applaud the decision by the snooker powers to move away from an industry that will likely find it more and more difficult to associate itself with major sporting events in the long-term.
It would probably be better if the sponsorship rights were more evenly distributed between a number of companies, a feature that would help add to a tournament’s unique identity, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
Cazoo has shown a huge interest in sports sponsorship in the last few years following previous deals to sponsor clubs and tournaments in football, cricket, rugby, and darts.
“It’s fantastic to have a brand like Cazoo involved with us in both snooker and darts,” Matchroom President Barry Hearn said.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Alex (Chesterman, Cazoo CEO) and his team, who have proven to be creative and innovative partners”
“We are now partnering with Cazoo on nine of the most prestigious tournaments and eagerly-awaited events on the snooker and darts calendars as well as for FishOMania.
“We look forward to introducing the Cazoo brand to our loyal fanbase and to a long and productive relationship.” ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare

Bankrupt snooker star Allen quits second firm​


Mark makes another break as cash woes pile up despite £3.3m career winnings.
Snooker star Mark Allen has resigned as a director of a sports equipment business after recently declaring himself bankrupt.
Sunday Life revealed five-time major tournament winner Allen, known as ‘The Pistol’, had gone bankrupt last month after an illustrious career in which he has netted £3.3million in prize money.
We also revealed the 35-year-old had resigned from his firm Mark Allen (NI) Ltd amid his ongoing financial turmoil. ;)
 

The Hare

Filly
Had never heard of Cazoo until they started sponsoring. Read about them and they have come from nowhere to be the death knell for Car garages it seems.

A saviour for Hearn as the Government started with Tobacco and now wants to ban Gambling sponsorship, so if there was any betting the next would be a ban on car salesmen and their doubtful practices!
 

Delboy99

Mare
Memorabilia belonging to the late snooker legend Willie Thorne is to be sold off at a charity auction marking the first anniversary of his death.
The Leicester cueman was a popular figure in the sport, where he made his name by becoming one of the first players to compile 100 century breaks.
He owned a string of snooker clubs in the city and county in the eighties and nineties, but is probably best remembered as a TV personality, sports commentator, BBC pundit and Strictly Come Dancing contestant.
READ MORE - Racing veteran Guy Martin visits Hinckley ahead of motorcycle land speed record attempt
His widow, Jill Saxby, is looking to raise money for 20-20 Voice Cancer, one of his favourite causes.
Willie, who grew up in Anstey and lived in Broughton Astley before moving to Spain, died from sepsis in Torrevieja hospital, near his home on the Costa Blanca, on June 17 last year.
His death, aged 66, came just months after he had been diagnosed with leukaemia.
He was a patron of the Leicester-based charity, which helps people suffering with head and neck cancer, a role his second wife Jill, has has since taken on.
The 60-year-old speech and language therapist, who was crowned Miss Great Britain in 1985 and was his second wife, met Willie while working in the players' lounge at the World Snooker Championships, in Sheffield, in 1992.
Willie's struggles with gambling and depression were well documented, but he died an icon of the sport.
Now living in Stoke Golding, near Hinckley, Jill is auctioning a trophy won by her late husband.
"It's the very first World Seniors Snooker Tournament that Willie won in 2000," she said. "June 17 is the first anniversary of his death."
"This beautiful gold on solid silver personal trophy is now for auction to help his charity of choice, 20-20 Voice Cancer, of which Willie was a proud patron."
The couple had separated by the time of his death, however, Jill said that she was proud to be helping a cause he believed so much in.
"I now have the honour of continuing his support of head, neck and throat cancer early detection and treatment," she said.
Jill organised a tournament at the Dunstable Snooker Club - the Willie Thorne Memorial Trophy - with proceeds going to 20-20 Voice Cancer.
In March, this year, the cue he had used since his teenage years and throughout his snooker career was sold at a similar auction in aid of the charity.
It went for an undisclosed sum following an opening bid of £2,000.
Following Willie's death, former Leicester City and England footballer and fellow BBC sports pundit Gary Lineker was among those who paid tribute.
A memorial service was held in Orihuela Costa, Spain, on June 24, last year, attended by his three children - daughter Tahli and twin sons Tristan and Kieran.
Flowers adorned the altar and beside his coffin was the message ‘Farewell King of the Max the great WT’. ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare

Shaun Murphy on the perils of playing Mark Selby: ‘The boa constrictor comes in and that’s you finished’

Shaun Murphy regrets being sucked into the world of ‘boa constrictor’ Mark Selby in this year’s World Snooker Championship final, but describes the reigning world champion as ‘potentially the best all round player we’ve ever seen.’
Selby claimed his fourth world title by beating Murphy 18-15 at the Crucible in May, ending a superb and unexpected run from the Magician in Sheffield.
After a season to forget, Murphy arrived in South Yorkshire with little fanfare and not as one of the favourites to lift the title, but he produced a superb string of results to make the showpiece, including beating world number one Judd Trump in the quarter-finals.
He ran into the master match-player in the final, though, and the Jester from Leicester ground him down to get his hands on the trophy once again.
Playing the Jester is far from a laughing matter for Murphy, or anyone else on tour, with Magician comparing Selby to a much more threatening presence on the table.
‘He’s a bit like a python, a boa constrictor, and the funny thing is with Mark that you don’t see it coming,’ Murphy told the Talking Snooker podcast. ‘When we’re sat in our chair we can see a scoreboard that you guys can’t see and it says at the bottom how many shots it’s been since a ball’s been potted.
‘It’s only when you realise you’ve been playing safe for 15 or 18 minutes and you think, “Wow we’ve been at this for some time.”
‘Then you pot a great long red and there are no colours to go at because they’re all on cushions.
‘Going into the next games with Mark I’ll have to be more aware of trying to lead from the front and trying to get him to play my style of game rather than being sucked into his world, in which he is the best.’
Selby’s famously granite match-play was particularly on display in his semi-final win over Stuart Bingham and in the final against Murphy.
He knocked in 12 centuries over the tournament, showing his fine scoring power, but also dug in when he had to and slugged it out in lengthy safety battles en route to the title.
Concentration, patience and obviously immense skill in the safety department are huge strengths of Selby, so much so that it can get into an opponent’s head and stop them playing to their own abilities.
It is easier said than done, but the Magician wishes he took on a few more aggressive shots in the Crucible showpiece rather than being bogged down in a safety swamp with Selby.
‘Most matches you just go out and play the balls, it’s hard to go out with a game plan of any kind,’ said Murphy. ‘Because in general, everyone’s as good as each other.
‘But I think when you play someone who’s on the extremes of the spectrum…when you get somebody who excels in one area, like Judd [Trump] excels in potting and Mark excels in defensive strategy you do have to take that into account.
‘If I could have the World final back I’d probably have been a little bit more aggressive, as mad as that sounds, there were quite a few frames I could have and should have won, that would have seen me over the line. But I got a bit embroiled, a bit over-involved in trying to outwit the strategy side of the game, trying to outmanoeuvre him, when I really should have thrown a grenade into the game and play the game on my terms.
‘If he had gone on and won the frame like that, that’s fine, but it would have picked the pace of the match up, we wouldn’t have had frames going into 30, 40, 50 minutes that then have an effect on the mental side, the tiredness, it is tiring playing someone over a long match like that.
‘If I could have another crack at the match, perhaps not more aggressive, but there were some safety battles where I probably tried one shot too many in trying to perfectly outmanoeuvre him. I perhaps should have used a blunt instrument and said, “I’m not playing this game, I want to play mine.”’
Being dragged into a game suited to Selby is a pitfall known to players, one that Neil Robertson referenced at last year’s World Championship when he lost to the Jester in the quarter-finals.
While players know it is something to avoid, Murphy admits that there is something within that wants to prove they can handle the tactical genius of Selby, even though that is not the right path to follow.
‘It’s probably an ego thing,’ he said. ‘If you get to the World final then you can play every shot in the book. There are no shots on the table that Mark Selby can play and I can’t, and vice-versa.
‘In the World final you’re full of confidence, playing well, it’s very hard to step back from a challenge like that, you’re thinking, “I can match you shot for shot.” But if you’re like me you eventually throw a bad one in and the boa constrictor comes in and that’s you finished.
‘If I could get in my time machine I might just, as the frame descends into a safety fight, I might have just thrown one in. If he clears the balls then great, but at least we’re playing on my terms, not his.’
Murphy has long been aware of what it means to take on Selby on the snooker table, having faced each other for the best part of 30 years since junior events.
Even at a young age the world champion was taking the pragmatic route and Murphy believes he is the closest thing we have now to some of the famously stubborn players of the past.
I can only imagine it’s what it must have been like playing a [Steve] Davis or a [Cliff] Thorburn in their absolute peak, because Mark, he just doesn’t give you anything,’ said Shaun.
‘He doesn’t play that shot that pretty much every other player on tour plays, where they just throw one in, he’s never done it. We’ve been playing each other since we were children and he was never like it.
‘When we were 11, 12, 13 years old, knocking balls in all over the place, Mark would be playing the thin edge safety shot and putting you in trouble. He always had that knack of putting you in the most awkward position on the table.
‘It’s very hard to argue with, he plays snooker in the purest way possible, gives 100 per cent effort in every single shot and tries to make the best of every single situation, maximise whatever opportunities are there to get you in trouble and ultimately that’s the game.’
Selby’s style may not be the most popular among all snooker fans, but Murphy has the ultimate respect for it and classes the Jester as one of, if not the very best ever as an all round player.
‘I know we all like and prefer to watch somebody playing flamboyant snooker, I’d rather watch a montage of Alex Higgins’ greatest shots than Cliff Thorburn’s safety shots,’ said Murphy, ‘But the truth is it’s a massive part of the game and it’s one that he’s the best in the world at and he’s possibly the best ever.
‘In terms of an all round player, he’s potentially the best we’ve ever seen.’
Certainly Murphy has no time for any criticism that comes Selby’s way due to his style of play, nor does he think that the four-time world champion cares one jot about any naysayers.
‘People out there, everyone has an opinion,’ he said. ‘I don’t hear much criticism of him from anyone who knows what they’re talking about and certainly not anyone who’s walked out and played him or anyone close to the game.
‘I’m not sure he’s that bothered, he’s sat at home polishing his four world titles, I’m not sure he’s bothered what anyone thinks about him.’ ;)
 

Delboy99

Mare

Snooker Fan Releases Masters Almanac.

It hosts an enormous collection of stats and figures from the famous tournament.

Snooker statisticians will be in dream land as there’s another magnificent library of records to avail of after the new Masters Almanac was published last weekend.
Chris Downer is famed for his incredible and highly sought-after book of statistical treasures known as the Crucible Almanac each season.
And influenced by Downer, fellow avid snooker supporter Matt Tresco has now gone to equally remarkable lengths to accumulate a wide range of interesting tidbits from the sport’s second oldest professional tournament.
From routine information like the number of century breaks compiled and the nationalities represented, the Masters Almanac also delves much deeper into the dark stats of the event, including the frequency of match scores, the deciding frame records, attendances, and various other miscellaneous gems.
For example, did you know that in the 1996 first-round tie between Tony Drago and John Parrott, the former was penalised on his break-off shot for failing to place the cue ball inside the D-shaped area?
Better still, Mark Wildman’s first four shots on his debut appearance in 1983 were all foul strokes, while Fred Davis was the oldest competitor in the history of the competition when he last participated in 1981 at the tender age of 67.
At more than 100 pages in length these only scratch at the surface, and the Masters Almanac is sure to be a useful resource come the upcoming edition of the prestigious invitational next January in London.
Yan Bingtao became the third youngest winner of the Masters when he triumphed behind closed doors earlier this year, so the Chinese cueist will be eager to successfully defend his crown in front of a crowd at the Alexandra Palace this time around.
The likes of world number one Judd Trump, world champion Mark Selby, and record seven-time Masters winner Ronnie O’Sullivan are also likely to be among those competing for the top prize.
With a few weeks still to go before we see any more live snooker action, having a browse of the Masters Almanac might be a good way to kill time ahead of the start of the new 2021/22 campaign.
More information on how to download the Masters Almanac for free can be found by clicking here. ;)
 
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