• 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
  • Hi Guest Just in case you were not aware I wanted to highlight that you can now get a free 7 day trial of Horseracebase here.
    We have a lot of members who are existing users of Horseracebase so help is always available if needed, as well as dedicated section of the fourm here.
    Best Wishes
    AR

Snooker

I was listening to Neal Foulds on Racing Post Greyhounds and he said you never knew what you would get with Ronnie. Some days his hilarious quips and many days very down and depressed. He is clearly very intelligent but that is a side affect of genius sadly.

So today against Robertson, Neil is playing very well but at the odds around 1.72 on Betfair seems a little short for this game. On recent easier time would favour Robertson though. Hopefully a good game.

View attachment 109745
..... on current form I would take Robertson to win this match, but with Ronnie, nothing is ever certain, particularly if he come out of his corner with all guns blazing. Robertson has certainly looked cool, calm and collected and pretty impressive. On paper he has the edge with your rtaings and that might be just the way it finishes.;)
 

World Grand Prix: Ronnie O'Sullivan stages comeback to beat Neil Robertson to title.

Ronnie O'Sullivan came from 7-5 down to beat Neil Robertson 10-8 in the final of the World Grand Prix in Coventry.

It is a 38th ranking event title for O'Sullivan and his first since last year's World Championship.
The players were level at 4-4 after the first session before Robertson gained the early advantage in the evening session.

But O'Sullivan played some superb snooker to get back into the match and win his second World Grand Prix title.

Robertson had leads of 2-0 and 4-2 but each time was hauled back by his opponent, and the first session finished with a dramatic twist as O'Sullivan grabbed the last frame despite having needed two snookers on the last red.

The Australian produced a break of 128 on his way to going 7-5 up, but O'Sullivan came to life with breaks of 90 and two of 77 in the next four frames turning the match his way.

Robertson gave himself hope with a break of 78 to cut the gap to one but he miscued in the next to let O'Sullivan in and the six-time world champion put in a break of 77 for the win.

"Neil should have been ahead in the afternoon by a long way but he gave me a chance," said O'Sullivan. "Then I just found something for four frames, which I've done pretty much most of the tournament.

"I've won so much that I've got to start to enjoy the occasion and if I don't give 100% all the time I've earned that right. OK, I've won tonight but losses aren't that bad either. I just want to enjoy life.";)

Footnote - Hurrah for Ronnie, he has actually got another one!;)
 

The Hare

Colt
..... on current form I would take Robertson to win this match, but with Ronnie, nothing is ever certain, particularly if he come out of his corner with all guns blazing. Robertson has certainly looked cool, calm and collected and pretty impressive. On paper he has the edge with your rtaings and that might be just the way it finishes.;)
Robertson must be fuming, how did he lose that? Still Ronnie stuck with it and that little run to 8 frames was back to his very best.
 

Rankings Update: O’Sullivan Up To Third.

Ronnie O’Sullivan is up to third place on the one-year ranking list following his victory at the Cazoo World Grand Prix on Sunday.
O’Sullivan beat Neil Robertson 10-8 in the final in Coventry to capture the £100,000 top prize and climb from seventh place to third, behind only Zhao Xintong and Luca Brecel. The Rocket now looks well placed to qualify for the two remaining events in the Cazoo Series.
Robertson banks £40,000 as runner-up and jumps from eighth to sixth. Stuart Bingham reached the semi-finals and he’s up from 22nd to 18th. Mark Selby was the other losing semi-finalist and he jumps from 21st to 17th.
There are only two counting events to go until the field is confirmed for the second event in the series, the Cazoo Players Championship, as only the top 16 on the one-year list will make it to Wolverhampton (February 7-13).
Those events are the BetVictor Shoot Out (January 20 to 23) and the BetVictor German Masters (January 26 to 30). The qualifying rounds of the latter event have already taken place (click here for the last 32 draw), so certain players such as Bingham only have the BetVictor Shoot Out to try to climb into the top 16.
Four players who are outside the top 16 of the official two-year list are currently inside the top 16 of the one-year list: David Gilbert, Gary Wilson, Jimmy Robertson and Ricky Walden. Anthony McGill is currently on the bubble in 16th place with £53,500.
Only the top eight will contest the final event of the 2021/22 Cazoo Series, the Cazoo Tour Championship (March 28 to April 3, Llandudno).
On the official two-year rankings, Robertson remains in fourth place while O’Sullivan remains third.
Tickets for all of these events are on sale now – for details click here.;)


 
.... The shoot out draw was made today but looks like there is no Ronnie and no Judd taking part. Perhaps it is a wise move and although the shoot out is a different form, it is still a bit of a lottery as far as the playmakers go. All good clean fun for the spectators but a bit of a wild do all round. Ronnie is even talking about playing on and not retiring, so his win must have given him renewed hope and energy to continue.;)
 

‘Me and Alex Higgins are a bit unpredictable’ – How snooker GOAT Ronnie O’Sullivan regained his golden touch.

Ronnie O'Sullivan ended a 16-month wait for a title triumph as he recovered in glorious style from 7-5 behind to complete a 10-8 victory over Neil Robertson in the World Grand Prix final in Coventry. It gave the snooker GOAT a record 38th ranking title, but also reminded his rivals and the wider world that he still possesses the talent and work ethic to claim the sport's biggest prizes.

From stinking the room out on Saturday to the sweet smell of success a day later, the incomparable Ronnie O’Sullivan continues to be an intrepid theatrical explorer as much as a genuine sporting icon on the cusp of an aromatic 30th year potting balls for a living.
The astonishing heights he continues to scale after a career of outrageous longevity is perhaps only matched in his own sport by his old foes John Higgins and Mark Williams, who also turned professional in 1992 armed with a cue and similar aspirations on the old green baize. Time will not wither them.
  • 'It’s a bit like 10 Downing Street here' - O'Sullivan revels in party atmosphere
  • 'Trophies mean nothing to me' says O'Sullivan ahead of World Grand Prix semis.
  • The audacious and daring nature of O’Sullivan’s 10-8 win over an in-form Australian Neil Robertson in the final of the World Grand Prix in Coventry on Sunday had to be seen to be believed, but then again should not come as a major surprise when you are the game’s undisputed greatest performer, a figure who transcends snooker for the quick-thinking manner in which he dissects a table.
    The golden touch of O'Sullivan's genius continues to glitter under the intense scrutiny and bedlam of a major final. He remains a fabulous pressure player under the weight of his own expectations.
  • “The difference when I’m not playing well and the atmosphere and when I am playing well and the atmosphere..it is like a different energy so it is nice to bring that energy to a venue, to people and a game," said O'Sullivan.
  • I suppose only certain sports people have that like Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Lionel Messi..they bring something to the table and when you watch them it keeps you intrigued.
    “I suppose that is why when I play, and get going and do stuff, that is why people gravitate towards watching me play."
  • A record 38th ranking title was carried off in a style suitable to his grand standing as he fought his way back into the light when all looked lost. Having being consigned to second spot in five finals since lifting his sixth world crown in August 2020, the meaning of the occasion was not lost on a magnanimous Robertson.

    I know Ronnie lost a few finals last season, so as a fan of the game and a fan of him, it was fantastic to see him play so well tonight.
    It would not be an O’Sullivan match without a touch of glorious festive farce to adorn the goings on.
    Having found his Sunday best – and arguably some of the best form of his gilded 29-year professional career – to bamboozle a slightly stunned Robertson from 7-5 behind and seemingly doomed, O’Sullivan found time to make his own personal plea to the powers that be.
    With snooker marooned behind closed doors in Milton Keynes for large swathes of last season due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, O’Sullivan is keen to keep potting in the pandemic before exuberant crowds.
    “The fans have been amazing all week, even though there is Covid going on,” said O’Sullivan. “It’s a bit like 10 Downing Street here tonight, rules have gone out the window. Mass spreading.
    “We played in front of no crowds last year and it was horrible. First when the crowds came back it was a bit nerve-wracking, but it is good to have them here.
    “Please no more lockdowns, let’s just get on with it.”
    O’Sullivan might not be in favour of any lockdowns in society, but he does not mind them on the snooker table with Robertson – who returned to the frame after recent health problems with pulsative tinnitus which disturbed both his balance and hearing – left self-isolating in his chair after appearing seemingly destined for a second World Grand Prix success and a £100,000 winner’s cheque.;)

 

The Hare

Colt
.... The shoot out draw was made today but looks like there is no Ronnie and no Judd taking part. Perhaps it is a wise move and although the shoot out is a different form, it is still a bit of a lottery as far as the playmakers go. All good clean fun for the spectators but a bit of a wild do all round. Ronnie is even talking about playing on and not retiring, so his win must have given him renewed hope and energy to continue.;)
Yes no Trump, O'Sullivan, Robertson and the Scots in Top 16. Good to see they are avoiding this comedy. Fine for a bit of fun but a ranking event is just ridiculous. Maybe even a Woman will win a Ranking match.

Haven't put the ratings up for Champions League, but good to see Liang Wenbo win the First and the Second finish tonight. Hard to know who is taking it serious. Gary Wilson looks like he would rather be back with the Missus for Christmas and having stupidly survived Round 1 on the last game he has managed to get out this time. Hopefully he can get himself together over Christmas and get his focus back.
 

Impressive Liang Wenbo beats inconsistent Jack Lisowski to win Championship League Group final.

China's Liang Wenbo started well in this season's Championship League as he won Group 1's final on Tuesday night. He took the victory with a 3-1 win over English opponent Jack Lisowski, who had been an inconsistent performer for much of the past two days, but had reached the final by beating Graeme Dott.

Liang Wenbo beat Jack Lisowski 3-1 on Tuesday night to win the final of Group 1 in their Championship League tie.
Liang hit top form in the evening clash against Lisowski, who had endured an inconsistent couple of days despite reaching the final.
Lisowski fell behind in the first frame when his opponent hit a break of 91, and followed it up in the second frame with another effort of 90.
The Englishman gave himself a chance with a break of 73 helping him to a 100-0 third frame win, before Liang hit 136 - the top score of the final - to secure the win.
Liang made his way through to the semi-finals where he met Ryan Day. It was the Welshman who took the lead when he won the first frame 80-42, before the Chinese player hit a century break of 101 to win 119-0 and level at 1-1.
Liang then went 2-1 up before Day hit his own century - making him the 14th player to record at least 400 professional centuries - to get level once again, only for a break of 54 to give Liang a 55-13 decider.
Lisowski’s own semi-final against Graeme Dott was a little easier but finished the later of the pair. Lisowski went two up before a break of 65 halved the deficit for the Scot but needing just a frame more for victory, Lisowski took the fourth 59-15.;)
 
Graeme Dott won Group Two of the 2022 BetVictor Championship League Snooker Invitational at the Morningside Arena in Leicester, beating Lu Ning in the Group Final.


Group Two Standings and Scores


Dott suffered heartache on Tuesday evening after winning all six group games only to miss out in the Group One semi-final but there was no such pain for the Scot, who racked up three wins in the group stage against Jack Lisowski, Gary Wilson, and Lu to set up a playoff tie with the heavy scoring Ryan Day.


The group was tight throughout, with nobody breaking away from the pack with Xiao Guodong threatening to take fourth place but just missing out as Dott, Lu, Day and Joe Perry took up the playoff spots. Xiao is set to return in Group Three. Lisowski and Wilson bowed out after finishing 6th and 7th respectively.


When it came to the semi-final, Dott defeated Day 3-2, clinching it in the decider with a break of 49 helping the 2006 World Champion across the line to face Lu in the final.


Dott took the opening two frames before Lu made the third to close the gap, but it was Dott who delivered the break of the match for 97 to win it 3-1 and take the Group Two title


Dott said: “I would’ve taken fifth, to be honest the way it was. I struggled yesterday but played well today. It was great in Group One. It was the first time in a long time I felt like a snooker player. I felt good. I didn’t play great until the second day here but the snooker I played yesterday was really bad. I was just happy to win a match. It was a close match (against Day) – you must win some of those games though, it could go 3-2 either way. I played okay. He is very hard to play. He is a good player and he is very methodical and slow, and it can be quite off putting at times. I managed to get the frames open. I didn’t want it to get too scrappy. I dealt with it okay.”


The 2022 BetVictor Championship League Snooker Invitational returns on Monday 3, January with Group 3 seeing Mark Selby, Mark Williams and Stuart Bingham enter the fold alongside Xiao, Perry, Day, and Lu.;)


Where to Watch
 

Mark Selby Ends 2021 as Snooker’s World Number One.

Mark Selby will end 2021 as snooker’s world number one in the official rankings ahead of Judd Trump and Ronnie O’Sullivan.





Selby and Trump had a tussle for the top spot earlier this season, with the Leicester man holding onto the coveted position despite an indifferent run of form of late.


The £500,000 Selby earned for his fourth World Championship success at the Crucible Theatre means the 38 year-old concludes the year as the only player boasting more than £1 million on the two-year rolling list.
Mark Selby will end 2021 as snooker’s world number one in the official rankings ahead of Judd Trump and Ronnie O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan’s World Grand Prix triumph on Sunday ensures that the Rocket closes the gap on Trump in second place to less than £25,000.


With less than £100,000 separating the top three, there’s bound to be an intriguing battle for snooker’s world number one spot in the remaining months of the 2021/22 term.


Neil Robertson and Kyren Wilson round off the top five, with John Higgins, Shaun Murphy, Mark Williams, Zhao Xintong, and Barry Hawkins completing the top ten.


Belgium’s Luca Brecel, the winner of the Scottish Open earlier in December, ends the calendar year inside the top 16 but will fail to qualify for the upcoming Masters as he didn’t break into the elite bracket in time.


Meanwhile, UK champion Zhao and Brecel remain in first and second place respectively on the one-year rankings list that determines qualification for the Cazoo Series events.


O’Sullivan rises to third and will definitely feature in the next tournament on the series, the 16-strong Players Championship in Wolverhampton.


The top eight will subsequently qualify for the lucrative and prestigious Tour Championship at the end of March, with Williams, Mark Allen, Robertson, Higgins, and David Gilbert currently holding onto those remaining positions.


The next ranking event on the 2021/22 calendar is the Shoot Out at the Morningside Arena in Leicester in January.;)
 

Graeme Dott on 'torture' of 2006 world final, depression, narcolepsy & 'not giving up'.

Surreal doesn't cover it, not even close. One minute he's eight years old playing on a six-foot table and watching Joe Johnson beating Steve Davis in the 1986 world snooker final and the next - in the relative blink of an eye - he's coming through the curtain himself, the Pocket Dynamo from Larkhall, Graeme Dott.

It's the 2004 final and it's Ronnie beside him. Never O'Sullivan or Ronnie O'Sullivan, just Ronnie, like Ronaldinho. Same kind of class, really. "Ronnie has that aura," says Dott. "Not many have it, but he has.
"Davis had it. Hendry had it. I genuinely think John Higgins is the best ever but he's still not got an aura. No idea why, no idea what it is."

Ronnie's done Hendry 17-4 in the semi, then beats Dott 18-8 in the final, but Dott's OK. Nobody beats Ronnie when Ronnie's playing like Ronnie. He came up the road with a lot of positives and a cheque for £125,000.

His life started to twist and turn shortly after. If you want to hear about bottle in big time snooker, listen to Dott. If you want to understand sporting psychology, sit with him and absorb his story. If you want to go to the dark side, he'll take you there, too.

Depression and narcolepsy - practically every word that comes out of his mouth is riveting, the equivalent of century break after century break after century break.

So we go back to Ronnie and the World Snooker Championship semi-final of 2006. Ronnie's 5-3 ahead and Dott's having doubts. He's played well and he's down by two.

Big Del Hill comes in the room and gets to work on his man. Del is Dott's coach and says: "Ronnie doesn't like playing you, you never go away, stick with him and he won't like it."

Dott stuck in. And Ronnie didn't like it. Patience in the safety battles. Ronnie's not getting in and he's annoyed. "It's gone to 8-8 and he shook my hand and it was like a double shake, he kinda grabbed my arm," Dott recalls. "You could tell he had the nip. I thought, 'I've got you'. I knew it, I could sense it."

He does Ronnie 17-11. He's back in the final, against Peter Ebdon this time.

'When adrenaline leaves you, it's horrible'​

John Higgins told him later that he was destined to win that year. It was to do with Alex Lambie, his father-in-law, his mentor and one of his best friends. Lambie was dying of cancer, but he made it to the Crucible for the final. Gaunt, weak, but present. Victory was written in the stars.

"I won the first session and the second session," says Dott. "I come in for the final day and I'm practising but I can hear live television and everybody's saying Ebdon is going to make a comeback and I'm going, 'no, he won't'. I know that if I win the third session it'll break him.

"And I win the third session. I'm 15-7. I only need three more. I had everything sorted in my head - what I was going to say when I won and all that. At the interval, we had an hour. I went for a sleep."

Coming back out, he felt the most relaxed he'd ever been at a tournament. But from the depths of snooker hell, the demons rose up. "It's 15-8, 15-9, 15-10, 15-11," Dott explains. "It doesn't happen quick because Ebdon just strangles you.

"I go back in the dressing room and Del and Alex are speaking to me but I can't hear them. I'm gone. Like proper gone. I'm having these horrible feelings about what's the biggest lead anybody's ever had at the worlds and lost. It's embarrassing. When adrenaline leaves you, it's horrible.

"I know that every player is going to be watching the final and I also know that every player is going to know that I'm gone because you can't hide it. You can see bottle. Snooker players just notice. It goes to 15-12 (the frame lasted 74 minutes), then 15-13. I managed a 60-break to make it 16-13 and everything was like a pint of blood. He goes 16-14..."

Dott went to the toilet, threw water on his face and told himself to go on the attack. If you see a pot, commit to it. And play quick. Play on instinct. You're going down, pal. Save yourself.

"I'm playing quick but in another side of my brain I'm hearing slow down, this is a big part of the game and I'm arguing with myself," he says. "You said you were going to play quick so you need to play quick.

"I'm on a break to make it 17-14 and I'm so nervous it's unreal. I genuinely feel I'm going to be sick. I don't even know how the balls are going in. That clearance was the best of my life. I was OK again. I knew I'd win, but if people could only see the torture. It actually took the enjoyment away."

Alex Lambie passed away later in the year. Perhaps Higgins was right. Perhaps it was destiny that Dott won.

He's always wondered what sparked the awful mental health problems he suffered in the 18 months to two years after Lambie's death, but a psychologist once told him that it might have had something to do with not taking time to grieve his father-in-law's passing. He was always on the road playing tournaments. Snooker was an escape but maybe a prison, too.

"I was like a shell," Dott remembers. "Even thinking back now, it was a bit like a horror film.

"One day my wife was going to college - she was studying to be a nurse - and I was in the living room. The TV wasn't even on but I was just staring at it. She went away, came back at two in the afternoon and I'm still there. Just staring. Or people would phone. Tell them I'm in the bath. I didn't want to speak to anybody."



Revived Dott discusses depression

He still managed to play - and to lose. He reckons he lost 17 matches in a row at one point. He says he can't even remember being at some of the tournaments he played in. He was taking one shirt because he knew he was going out in the first round.

He was playing in China once and he was crying in his chair. He put a towel over his face to hide it.

"I don't actually speak to him, but Ronnie phoned me and was asking how I was because he had been through it as well," Dott says. "I thought it was really nice of him. He doesn't really speak to me, it's not as if we're mates, but it was nice of him to do that. And I looked at him in a different way after that."

His wife Elaine made him go to the doctor. "My wife is an absolute rock," he says. "Unbelievable."

Medication put him on the right track again, but it was hard. "I had dark thoughts," he explains. "Whether you would do it or not, but definitely, there's no point lying about it. I had the thoughts. I thought about jacking snooker in as well, but what am I going to do? No qualifications, what job am I going to get?

"Snooker's all I've ever done. When I was supposed to be sitting my exams in school I was in Finland playing an amateur tournament. I don't know anything else."

'Hopefully it never gets to playing with a helmet on'​

Getting through all of that made his appearance in the final in 2010 even more special than his victory four years earlier, even though he lost to Neil Robertson. His depression was under control but a sleeping disorder had now gripped him. The medics believe he suffers from a form of narcolepsy.

"Part of the brain controls sleep and mine doesn't work," Dott outlines. "My wife filmed me, put it on a time lapse. I'm just constantly moving. Restless leg, that's another thing. Legs kicking in bed. Tossing and turning non-stop. Every time my brain is about to go into a deep sleep I wake up and that's why I don't recharge.

"Bad narcolepsy you need to wear a helmet because you can fall asleep anywhere at no notice. Hopefully it never gets to that - playing snooker with a helmet on."

He laughs at the absurdity of the notion, but this is a very serious thing. "I was exhausted in the 2010 final," he recalls. "Not a lot of people know this, but I'm deadly serious, I came into the dressing room at the last interval and Neil's 14-12 or something like that and I said, 'I can't win'. And my mates were going, 'what do you mean you can't win?' I'm too tired, I can't play. See if it was a boxing match I'd have thrown the towel in.
"I knew I wasn't going to hit century, century, ninety. I knew if I was going to win a frame it was going be a bitty frame, a 40 break and a safety battle and I thought if that happens I'm going to need to be here until three in the morning. I was working out the time. I won't even be awake at three in the morning, let alone trying to play snooker."

Robertson beat him 18-13, but getting to the final was sweet enough. Three world finals, one world title. Most snooker players would take that career in a heartbeat. Covid-19 brought the depression to the surface again in the past year but he knows the triggers now, knows what he needs to do to manage it.

He's missed out on the Crucible for the past two years and wonders if he'll get back there again. It's a long road but he's won bigger battles in his life. It's like what big Del said during that semi against Ronnie. Just stick in. "Oh, I'll stick in all right," he adds. "I'm not getting any younger but I won't give up. I'll keep going.";)
 
Last edited:

Trump Targets Turkish Delight.

Judd Trump will have his eyes set firmly on the £100,000 top prize when he competes in the inaugural Nirvana Turkish Masters in 2022.


The venue for the new world ranking event was confirmed last week – the magnificent Nirvana Cosmopolitan Hotel in Antalya. The tournament will run from March 7 to 13 in 2022 and it will be the first professional event staged in Turkey, under a four-year agreement between WST, the Turkish Billiards Federation and Big Break Promotions.


World number two Trump has won 14 ranking titles within the last three years and sees this new event as a chance to add to his tally.


“Looking at the money and the £100,000 first prize, it is actually one of the bigger events of the season,” said Trump, who is an ambassador for Select Car Leasing. “I am sure some of the players who get through the qualifier may want to take their families along and have that extra pressure. But of course some players might think they can kill two birds with one stone – take the family on holiday for free, and then compete hard in a big tournament for decent money.


“Because of everything that has gone on and the lack of overseas events, no one really expected this tournament to be on and it’s good to know it is a four-year deal. It was a really good piece of news when it was confirmed over the weekend.


“I am sure the players will be excited and especially those down the rankings who don’t get to play at the Masters or the Tour Championship. To have the chance to both play and get away and get some sun doesn’t come along every week, and it will add some pressure to the qualifiers. I went to Antalya as one of my first holidays when I was about 18, and it is a really nice place.”
Antalya is renowned as one of Europe’s outstanding destinations, known for its culture, history and ideal location on the Mediterranean coast. Tickets for the tournament are on sale now.;)
 

Mark Selby reflects on motivational life story and reacts to Stephen Hendry prediction.

Mark Selby started off life in a council estate but has risen up the snooker ranks to become a four-time world champion – slowly closing in on Stephen Hendry's incredible record - and also world No.1 for the eighth time.
Mark Selby insists there will be no wallowing in past glories while a burning desire to add more titles drives him forward.


The 38-year-old from Leicester heads into 2022 as the reigning and four-time world champion – and also world No1 for the eighth time in his stellar career.


Selby has already achieved far more than he dreamed possible as a youngster growing up on a Leicester council estate with beloved and late father David.


But an insatiable winner’s mentality exists in Selby, whose total of ‘major titles’ by which snooker greats are judged is now up to nine – joint-fourth on the all-time list.


Reflecting on another great year in 2021, Selby said: “Hearing that you are world champion for the whole of that next 12 months - there isn’t a better feeling.
“The big titles and the nine major wins, they give you a sense of satisfaction. But I am just not ready to wallow too much in that and reflect on it yet.



“I have a lot more still to give and to win, and a few years left at the top of the game. So I am looking to increase that tally.


“When I eventually pack my cue away I will be proud to reflect on what I have achieved. It is already a lot more than what I set out to do.
“The feeling of winning something big with family and friends present – it is fabulous. The flip side, getting beaten all the time, is the worst feeling. So if you do win, you must cherish those occasions.


“And you have to remember the feeling it and use it for motivation. That’s what makes you work hard - to recapture that feeling.
“I still do a double-take of what I have made of myself and done with my life. The memories of growing up on a council estate with my father are there, there’s a big change to where I live now.


“I think keep my feet on the ground as a person and haven’t changed too much. But I know where and how I grew up.


“And the difference to that house and the one we are living in now does make you pinch yourself sometimes, and makes you a bit proud.


“It doesn’t get less special winning the World Championship, this last one felt just as good.


“Look, I suppose there will always be something extra about your first one. And particularly because that came with a win against Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final.


“But every win at the Crucible has been wonderful. It is such a tough tournament to win and tests you as a snooker player in every way to the maximum.”
For years accepted wisdom was that if anyone could beat Stephen Hendry’s total of seven world titles, it would be Ronnie O’Sullivan – currently standing on six.


But with Selby eight years younger and now up to four, the Scot himself has looked closer at the Leicester man’s credentials.


Selby said: “Stephen said I am the most likely and maybe the only person to equal or even better his record.
“To beat it would be another four world titles – double what I have now! Even to equal it would be another three, a very tough ask.


“Sitting here now if I won one more in my career I would be over the moon with that, as I know how hard it is.
“Then maybe another couple of Triple Crown wins, victories at the UK Championship or the Masters. They are the big titles, our majors, that everyone remembers and judges you on.


“Players like Judd…he is a great, great player but still has just the three major wins and some people will always bring that up. I am sure by the end of his career he will have got that number right up.


“He is still young and a great – but to be that all-time great like Hendry, O’Sullivan, Higgins, Davis, Williams, you want those major successes.”;)
 

‘A very tough ask’ – Mark Selby on Stephen Hendry saying he could beat Scot’s record world title haul​

“Stephen Hendry has come out and said that he thinks I am the most likely and maybe the only person to equal or even better his record of seven world titles,” said the 2021 world champion. Selby beat Shaun Murphy 18-5 in May in the best-of-35-frames showpiece event to add to previous victories in 2014, 2016 and 2017.​

Mark Selby says he would be delighted to add one more world title to his haul of four but noted that Stephen Hendry believes that the Leicestershire cueist is the biggest threat to the Scot’s record haul of seven.
The Jester from Leicester added a fourth world title to successes in 2014, 2016 and 2017 in May at the Crucible after beating childhood friend Shaun Murphy in the best-of-35-frame final.
The win moved Selby on to four world titles, level alongside John Higgins. Only Ray Reardon, Steve Davis, Ronnie O'Sullivan – all on six – and seven-time winner Hendry are ahead of him on the all-time list.
Selby has competed at the tournament 17 times, making the final on five occasions. He lost to Higgins in 2007 before beating O’Sullivan in 2014, Ding Junhui in 2016 and Higgins in 2017 ahead of his 2021 win.
And while the 38-year-old insists he is happy with his lot, he noted that Hendry had earmarked him as a potential challenger to the Scot’s record haul of seven.
“Stephen Hendry has come out and said that he thinks I am the most likely and maybe the only person to equal or even better his record of seven world titles,” said Selby in quotes reported by the Scotsman.
“To try and beat it would be another four world titles – double what I have now and standing only halfway. Even to equal it would be another three, a very tough ask.
Sitting here now if I won one more world title before I called it a day I would be pretty over the moon with that, because I know how hard it is.
“Then maybe another couple of Triple Crown wins, victories at the UK Championship or the Masters. They are the big titles that everyone remembers and judges you on.”
Selby has also won two UK Championship and three Masters crowns to take his Triple Crown collection to nine, and added that the difficulty in winning those events is best captured by the relative scarcity of them in Judd Trump’s collection.
“Players like Judd…he is a great, great player but still has just the three major wins and some people will always bring that up. I am sure by the
end of his career he will have got that number right up," he added.

He is still young and a great – but to be that all-time great like Hendry, O’Sullivan, Higgins, Davis, [Mark] Williams, you want those major successes.
“Hendry and O’Sullivan look at the majors and triple crowns people have won, much as they would in tennis with Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.”
The Masters snooker begins on 10 January 2021.;)
 

Kyren knows it's taking top displays to beat him.

Kettering's top snooker star Kyren Wilson has been reflecting on his season so far.

It took a sensational display by Belgium’s Luca Brecel to deny Kyren Wilson in another bid to win one of snooker’s Triple Crown titles earlier this month.

Kettering’s Wilson looked well on course for glory in York when he defeated Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-5 in a high quality quarter-final.
But the world no.5 had no choice but to hold his hands up in the last four as Brecel produced an incredible performance, knocking in no fewer than four century breaks in his 6-4 win.
Wilson admitted he thought he played pretty well in the match, he was just simply beaten by the better man on the day.
And he conceded that has been the theme - players are having to play well to beat him. And that’s something he’s not overly upset about.
“It’s been a bit of a strange season to be honest,” Wilson said.
“We got off to a bit of a slow start with the backlash of Covid taking its toll in terms of travel restrictions and there are only so many tournaments you can have in the UK. But I know that I have been playing well and look forward to the time when I will be having the results more in my favour.;)
 

Snooker stars heading to Hull for UK Seniors Snooker Championship.

Friday, 31 December 2021
Categories: Leisure & Culture, News, Sport
Tags: Jimmy White, The Bonus Arena, UK Seniors Snooker Championship



Some of snooker’s biggest names are returning to Hull next week for the Ways Facilities Management UK Seniors Snooker Championship.
The tournament takes place 4-7 January 2022 and will see the likes of Jimmy White, Stephen Hendry, Ken Doherty, Cliff Thorburn, John Parrott and tournament champion Michael Judge battle for the title.
Tickets for all sessions of the event are on sale now.
Snooker legend Jimmy White said: “The Bonus Arena is a great venue and Humberside has been a great area for snooker. You’ve had some great players from this part of the country over the years and to get the chance to play Seniors Snooker again in front of a crowd is brilliant.”
Jason Francis, Chairman of World Seniors Snooker, said: “It feels so long since we’ve been able to bring our Snooker to Hull but it’s so good to be back here at the Bonus Arena.”


The event will also be shown live on BBC Digital Channels and Superstar Online in China, bringing a global audience to Hull.


Dan Harris, General Manager at the Bonus Arena, said: “We are delighted to again be welcoming the UK Seniors Snooker to the Bonus Arena.


“The tournament is one of our favourite events in the calendar and will get 2022 underway in fine style.”;)
 

Aaron Hill can build on his great start as a professional snooker player​

Cork native has made incredible progress since focusing on the sport as a 12-year-old as he tells John Coughlan
Aaron Hill can build on his great start as a professional snooker player

Cork professional snooker player Aaron Hill.

John Coughlan
GROWING up on Cathedral Road in Gurranabraher, snooker was always a passion of Aaron Hill's, but little did he realise that one day he would be vying to mix with the sport's elite.
It all began when his dad, Stephen, brought him to the Crucible Snooker Hall off Blarney Street as a 12-year-old and now, seven years later, he is competing against the best players on the professional circuit.
“This season began back in August and I have competed in many tournaments in the UK and looking back on the last five months it has been a mixed bag where I have played well in some and not so well in others,” said Aaron Hill.
The biggest win for Hill this season was his win over Zhao Xintong, who later went to win the UK championship a few weeks ago, so I guess it proves that I can mix it with the best when I bring my A game to the table,” added Hill.;)
 

Ronnie O'Sullivan explains what he has in common with Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal.

Snooker great Ronnie O'Sullivan says there is a different energy in the crowd when he is playing well and that's the effect Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have in tennis. Nadal and Federer are two of the three greatest tennis players of all time and the atmosphere is crazy whenever and wherever they play.

"The difference when I’m not playing well and the atmosphere and when I am playing well and the atmosphere... It is like a different energy so it is nice to bring that energy to a venue, to people and a game," said O'Sullivan, per Eurosport.

"I suppose only certain sports people have that like Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Lionel Messi... They bring something to the table and when you watch them it keeps you intrigued. “I suppose that is why when I play, and get going and do stuff, that is why people gravitate towards watching me play."

O'Sullivan is a big Djokovic admirer​

After winning a last-frame thriller against Mark Selby in a final, O'Sullivan mentioned Djokovic's mentality as something that brings titles. "I shouldn’t really be here,” O’Sullivan said last year.

“I’m 44 years old with no cue action. There’s no way I should be here. “It’s either good or bad, you need to find that Djokovic level. "Genius and bad don’t win you world titles, you need to be steady Eddie, you need to be Djokovic.

“All the flamboyant stuff doesn’t win you World Championships”. Osullivan finds impressive the steadiness Djokovic has in his game. "He’s not the most flamboyant, he’s not going to give you the Roger Federer brilliance or the Rafael Nadal forehand but he’s there from start to finish and his form doesn’t dip much. “I’ve always said to win in Sheffield you have to have that steady state type of game”.

O'Sullivan is a big Djokovic admirer​

After winning a last-frame thriller against Mark Selby in a final, O'Sullivan mentioned Djokovic's mentality as something that brings titles. "I shouldn’t really be here,” O’Sullivan said last year.

“I’m 44 years old with no cue action. There’s no way I should be here. “It’s either good or bad, you need to find that Djokovic level. "Genius and bad don’t win you world titles, you need to be steady Eddie, you need to be Djokovic.

“All the flamboyant stuff doesn’t win you World Championships”. Osullivan finds impressive the steadiness Djokovic has in his game. "He’s not the most flamboyant, he’s not going to give you the Roger Federer brilliance or the Rafael Nadal forehand but he’s there from start to finish and his form doesn’t dip much. “I’ve always said to win in Sheffield you have to have that steady state type of game”.;)
 

'An amazing gentleman' - Tribute from Derek James to Frank Browne MBE.

Following the news that one of Norwich’s most loved fundraisers - dubbed the "snooker marathon man” - had died, journalist Derek James has paid a personal and heartfelt tribute to him.


They were words I looked forward to hearing. “Frank is in the front office.”




He would be sitting there with a smile on his face bringing news of his latest snooker marathon to raise money for others.

And it was a privilege to be able to act as a messenger telling our readers what Frank was up to. It was always a joy to be in his company.

I, along with many of you I suspect, was sad to read that he had recently died at the age of 88.

A man who overcame great difficulties to devote so much of his life to helping others in the best way he could – by playing snooker.
Frank was born in Norwich during 1933 and had a condition called Friedreich’s Ataxia which resulted in a severe speech impediment.

His dad, also Frank, was a forward-thinking Labour councillor, and with his support young Frank was able to attend mainstream schools and then worked at the highly respected Remploy company, which employed people with disabilities.
It was in the 1980s when he first came to ask if I could write a piece about his latest snooker marathon.

From the moment I met him, I admired this man as he struggled to tell me the details - and it turned out to be the first of many visitors.

Goodness knows how much he raised over the years. A man of faith, he attended St Catherine’s Church on Aylsham Road, Norwich, and he helped a range of local charities by staging his marathons. He also helped many animal charities.








His first snooker marathon was in 1981, the Year of the Disabled, to repay some of the help he had received with reading, writing and speech therapy.

Frank had been playing snooker since the age of 12, a sport where no words are needed. And boy was he good at it.

Many years later a booklet called I Played Snooker For God was published all about Frank, who was made an MBE in 1993.

It included many tributes to him and this delightful poem by Janet Baker:

An enterprising chap, this Frank.

Certainly deserves a clap, this Frank

Practising for a marathon

Weeks before the day

Bring aching painful arms

Much to his dismay

But never daunted for long

He snookers on and on

He snookers for a cause, this Frank

May all success be yours, dear Frank.


We will remember him.

 

UK Seniors Championship: Draw, Preview, Schedule.

The UK Seniors Championship commences on Tuesday at the Bonus Arena in Hull, with Michael Judge returning as the defending champion in the draw.

With so many cancellations and postponements as a result of the ongoing pandemic, there hasn’t been much action on the World Seniors Snooker Tour in the last two years.

Indeed, Judge won the last UK Seniors title all the way back in 2019 and has had to wait more than two years to defend his trophy.
The Irishman faces Peter Lines in the first round of the 16-player UK Seniors Championship draw, an encounter between two players who are currently also plying their trade on the professional Main Tour.


Factors involving COVID have not helped the World Seniors Snooker Tour much with its development in recent times, but its overall structure is somewhat of a confusing mess.


The circuit is a jumbled up mix of pros and amateurs over the age of 40 – an age many already consider to be too young – while there’s a ranking list in operation that can only be described as nonsensical.


Patrick Wallace, through performances mainly in qualifying stages, is somehow regarded as the world number one despite having never won an actual event.


The Northern Irishman wasn’t even in the UK Seniors Championship draw initially and was only added to the lineup upon the late withdrawal of Tony Drago.


In the last 16 Wallace faces Jimmy White, who despite having been the dominant force in seniors tournaments over the years is unranked, albeit seeded as third.


None of it really makes any sense and a complete restructuring is needed if it’s to truly lose its tag as a glorified legends tour.


As it is, White will be among the favourites to regain the title he last captured in 2017, with Ken Doherty the other former winner in the field.


Doherty encounters Lee Walker in the opening round, while Stephen Hendry and John Parrott take on Barry Pinches and Wayne Cooper respectively.


Reigning world seniors champion David Lilley begins his crack at an unlikely double against Philip Williams, Joe Johnson battles with Wayne Cooper, and Canadian Cliff Thorburn returns to the tour against Kuldesh Johal.


All matches will be played over the best-of-seven frames until the final, which will last for nine frames and see the 2022 UK seniors champion crowned.


There is live coverage in the UK on the BBC iPlayer and Red Button, with Irish viewers able to watch on Virgin Media Sport.


2022 UK Seniors Championship Draw


Michael Judge (1) vs Peter Lines
(Tuesday, 12pm)
Cliff Thorburn (8) vs Kuldesh Johal
(Wednesday, 2:30pm)
Stephen Hendry (5) vs Barry Pinches
(Wednesday, 9:30pm)
Ken Doherty (4) vs Lee Walker
(Tuesday, 2:30pm)


Jimmy White (3) vs Patrick Wallace
(Tuesday, 7pm)
John Parrott (6) vs Wayne Cooper
(Tuesday, 9:30pm)
Joe Johnson (7) vs Rod Lawler
(Wednesday, 12pm)
David Lilley (2) vs Philip Williams
(Wednesday, 7pm) ;)
 
Top