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Snooker

The Hare

Colt
Had a little break as the minor events take over until next week. So currently live on FreeSport we have Champions League and BBC iPlayer or Red Button is the UK Seniors as mentioned above by @ Delboy99 Delboy99.

So Champions League so far Liang Wenbo, Graeme Dott before Christmas and Zhao Xintong impressive last 2 days have made the 7 man Final. 2 more events this week and the competition has hotted up as Selby, Trump, Kyren WIlson and Bingham taking part in this. Clearly not much practice over Christmas as it took Selby a couple of games to get his action going in Group 3 and Trump was short of practice first 2 games today. Ryan Day was terrible, seemingly the Welsh Lockdown meant no practice and he didn't improve as the others mentioned.

Another event to pay the top names to practice it seems. The Chinese had clearly been hard at work over Christmas as all 3 in the last 2 days were very good. They have now been caught up though, well the 2 that didn't qualify. This round and the next this week then another after the Masters rudely interrupts before the last round and Final at the beginning of February.

Then the UK Seniors event from Hull is hidden away on the BBC Red button. A few professionals in it amongst the 16 enteries. Results so far and today's games below, not in draw order. Yesterday probably the more competitive. Seems the whole event on iPlayer so coverage for betting a little limited. Will put some ratings up tomorrow for the Quarter Finals.

1641391073013.png
 
Had a little break as the minor events take over until next week. So currently live on FreeSport we have Champions League and BBC iPlayer or Red Button is the UK Seniors as mentioned above by @ Delboy99 Delboy99.

So Champions League so far Liang Wenbo, Graeme Dott before Christmas and Zhao Xintong impressive last 2 days have made the 7 man Final. 2 more events this week and the competition has hotted up as Selby, Trump, Kyren WIlson and Bingham taking part in this. Clearly not much practice over Christmas as it took Selby a couple of games to get his action going in Group 3 and Trump was short of practice first 2 games today. Ryan Day was terrible, seemingly the Welsh Lockdown meant no practice and he didn't improve as the others mentioned.

Another event to pay the top names to practice it seems. The Chinese had clearly been hard at work over Christmas as all 3 in the last 2 days were very good. They have now been caught up though, well the 2 that didn't qualify. This round and the next this week then another after the Masters rudely interrupts before the last round and Final at the beginning of February.

Then the UK Seniors event from Hull is hidden away on the BBC Red button. A few professionals in it amongst the 16 enteries. Results so far and today's games below, not in draw order. Yesterday probably the more competitive. Seems the whole event on iPlayer so coverage for betting a little limited. Will put some ratings up tomorrow for the Quarter Finals.

View attachment 110305
..... welcome back after your short break. I just kept plodding along and keeping pace with Christmas and the New Year Festivities. All over now unfortunately. Not many of the big names in here really, when you consider how many there must be after all these years. I noticed that Michael Judge, the holder has gone, so all to play for. I see too that the old grinder Cliff Thorburn is still around to do business. Still remember him from when he got his first televised 147 in the days of Bill Werbeniuk and Kirk Stevens. I see that Big Bill died young really only 53 years old and died in 2003. Sorry to see that but I guess his weight could have had something to do with that. See too that John Parrott bit the dust, so he did not last long. Who does one shout for here? I'll have a crack at Ken Doherty and see how far he gets.;)
 

The Hare

Colt
Thorburn has said it his last game, well beaten. These are the Quarter Finals with my ratings in draw order. Couple have no ratings for

1641422859872.png

Plus after Day 1 of Champions League the current positions and my rankings. Not a great event for betting on. Trump a little short of peak but improving. Good to see Donaldson play well as he needs to start getting some tanking points before he drops to the edge of relegation.

1641422919062.png
 

Outlander

Gelding
Thorburn has said it his last game, well beaten. These are the Quarter Finals with my ratings in draw order. Couple have no ratings for

View attachment 110324

Plus after Day 1 of Champions League the current positions and my rankings. Not a great event for betting on. Trump a little short of peak but improving. Good to see Donaldson play well as he needs to start getting some tanking points before he drops to the edge of relegation.

View attachment 110325
Watched the Joe Johnson game still one of my favourite players of all time, his beating of Steve Davis in the World Championship was marvellous snooker, he is pretty useless now and I would say there isn’t a pot he himself would be confident of getting, amazingly he won today but I would suspect he will be whitewashed by David Lilley.
Still enjoyable watching these past players though.
 

The Hare

Colt
Watched the Joe Johnson game still one of my favourite players of all time, his beating of Steve Davis in the World Championship was marvellous snooker, he is pretty useless now and I would say there isn’t a pot he himself would be confident of getting, amazingly he won today but I would suspect he will be whitewashed by David Lilley.
Still enjoyable watching these past players though.
Yes Johnson was a great player and proved no fluke making the Final again. Though I don't think we will get rich backing Lilley to beat him - these are the best outright odds, no match betting yet.

1641456746943.png
 

End Of The Road For Thorburn.

Cliff Thorburn, one of snooker’s great players of the 1980s and all-time great ambassadors, played his last competitive match on Wednesday before calling time on a career which has lasted over 50 years.


Canada’s Thorburn won the World Championship in 1980, held the world number one position for a season and lifted the Masters trophy three times. Perhaps his most memorable achievement was becoming the first player to make a 147 at the Crucible, scoring the maximum against Terry Griffiths in 1983.


Having won the North American Championship in 1971, Thorburn turned pro in 1973 and stayed on the tour until 1996. In recent years he has played in Snooker Legends and World Seniors events.
Over several decades, Thorburn has been a fantastic figurehead for snooker and a great friend to many people on the circuit. He is rightly regarded as one of the best ever non-British players who has made an outstanding contribution to the sport.


The 73-year-old announced that this week’s WAYS Facilities Management UK Seniors Championship in Hull would be his last tournament. He lost 3-0 to Kuldesh Johal in the last 16.


After that match, Thorburn told Rob Walker: “I love the game, it’s dear to my heart. Like everyone else, I didn’t want to go to sleep at night, I wanted to stay in the club all day long, then I couldn’t wait to wake up. When I’d been practising heavily, someone said to me ‘Thorburn, you spend more time on the table than the cloth.’


“I met so many people I have copied. John Spencer helped me to turn professional, I was one of the token overseas players. I remember my games with Alex Higgins – I never met anyone who wanted to win as badly as him. Sadly he went by the wayside too soon, but I have great memories of him. Ray Reardon, Rex Williams, Fred Davis – I admired and tried to copy them. It was a romantic style of snooker, very polished and smooth.


“It has been wonderful. I am going to stay involved with the game for as long as I can.”


Recalling his 1980 Crucible triumph, beating Higgins 18-16 in the final, Thorburn added: “I played very well against Alex, I didn’t miss a ball in the last two frames. My wife came down to the stage which made it really special. It was a very happy day and I remember exactly how I felt. All my best friends from Canada were there and at the end of the evening they didn’t make it to their hotel room, they passed out in the corridor without being able to get the key in the door – it was that kind of night.”;)
 

The Hare

Colt
Well the Big 4 make the semi finals so it might start to get competitive now! Johnson said the pockets were bigger than standard tables, but you wouldn't think it the little I have seen. Best of 7 this is and then Final tomorrow night.

Outright betting is 5/2 Doherty and Lilley 11/4 Lines and 9/2 White which is a fair reflection. Doherty and Lines match seems the best though so they should be favourites in the Final if you can pick the winner.

1641511999201.png

Stuart Bingham somehow won the Champions League, Trump knocked out and Selby withdrawn to save himself for the MAsters. Sums up the standard of the event really.

Wilson, Carter and Gilbert stand out on ratings here. Wilson doesn't want to lose the MAsters putting his all into this!

1641512272814.png
 
Seniors Final tonight. Lilley is 4/5 Lines 11/10. Value has to go with Lines. Doubt it will be exciting though!
View attachment 110407
..... I thought that Ken Doherty might have made it through to the final, he looked quite decent on paper and must have fancied his chances given what had won their way through. Must have lost a lot of his earlier talent and fight to have gone out to such mediocre company. Obviously the older you get the less fire one has in his belly, so looks like he too may have had his day like Thorburn!;)
 

Peter Lines Triumphs in 2022 UK Seniors Championship.

Peter Lines won the 2022 UK Seniors Championship after a 4-1 victory over David Lilley at the Bonus Arena in Hull on Friday evening.





The Englishman, who also overcame 1997 world champion Ken Doherty in the last four, becomes only the second player after Jimmy White to record the World and UK Seniors Championships career double.


Reigning world seniors champion Lilley was hoping to make the same achievement after coming from 3-1 behind to deny the Whirlwind in a tight semi-final encounter.
The Englishman duly got off to the better start in the title-deciding clash as well, winning the opening frame and following it up with a break of 60 at the start of the next.


But Lines dug deep and fought back to pinch the second frame on the black, which proved to be the key juncture of the contest as the 52 year-old subsequently won the remaining three frames for success.


The glory represents his second on the World Seniors Snooker Tour, adding to the World Seniors Championship trophy he captured back in 2017.


The 2022 UK Seniors Championship was also memorable for likely being the last time that Canadian legend Cliff Thorburn plays a competitive match.


The 1980 world champion was given the opportunity to parade the Crucible trophy in front of the audience as he lapped up the applause one more time upon recognition of his achievements on the baize.


Most of the plaudits, however, will go to Leeds’ Lines, who will hope to use this as a springboard for further success on the World Seniors Snooker Tour.;)
 

The Hare

Colt
..... I thought that Ken Doherty might have made it through to the final, he looked quite decent on paper and must have fancied his chances given what had won their way through. Must have lost a lot of his earlier talent and fight to have gone out to such mediocre company. Obviously the older you get the less fire one has in his belly, so looks like he too may have had his day like Thorburn!;)
Yes @ Delboy99 Delboy99, Doherty looked good in the first round but seemed to get worse after that. Lines said he had been having coaching but has now given up and plays the way he wants to - safety first. In Thorburn terms he ground them down. Lines did well in York in the UK's and his form has improved this season. Lines and Doherty 52 and White 59 ( he was a bit angry after the Lilley defeat. Lilley at 46 has the age advantage but couldn't compete after the first frame of the Final.

So Donaldson made the 5th place in the Champions League Final Group. the next round a week on Monday as we go into the Masters. I would go McGill 11/4, Hawkins 11/10, Bingham 7/4 as the Match value bets. How is Hawkins not favourite against Murphy after recent performances?
Selby seems to have the best of the draw.
1641677392602.png
 
.... saw a bit of the Yan v Mark Williams match earlier on and it was quite a good even contest. Mark took a 5-2 lead only for Yan to make it 5-3 with a very good consistent frame. However Mark kept his bottle and rattled in a very good response to clinch the winning frame and the match 6-4 with a great clearance. I was quite impressed with Mark's form this afternoon and if he continues to play in this rich vein, then he should have no trouble in going further.;)
 
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The Hare

Colt
.... saw a bit of the Yan v Mark Williams match earlier on and it was quite a good even contest. Mark took a 5-2 lead only for Yan to make it 5-3 with a very good consistent frame. However Mark kept his bottle and rattled in a very good response to clinch the winning frame and the match 6-4 with a great clearance. I was quite impressed with Mark's form this afternoon and if he continues to play in this rich vein, then he should have no trouble in going further.;)
Williams was good but Higgins next and he was at his very best today. Higgins to win that for me. McGill missed many chances but Robertson improved after the interval.
 

Masters 2022 snooker LIVE: John Higgins overcomes Zhao Xintong before Shaun Murphy faces Barry Hawkins.

Welcome back to Eurosport's LIVE coverage of the 2022 Masters. Mark Williams ended Yan Bingtao's quest to defend the Paul Hunter Trophy he lifted in Milton Keynes last year with an inspired 6-4 win from 3-1 behind. John Higgins completed a dominant 6-2 win over UK holder Zhao Xintong before Shaun 'The Magician' Murphy takes to the table to face Barry Hawkins in his opening match on Monday night.​

MASTERS 2022 SCHEDULE​

  • Yan Bingtao 4-6 Mark Williams – Sunday January 9, 1pm
  • Neil Robertson 6-3 Anthony McGill – Sunday January 9, 7pm
  • John Higgins 6-2 Zhao Xintong – Monday January 10, 1pm
  • Shaun Murphy v Barry Hawkins – Monday January 10, 7pm
  • Ronnie O’Sullivan v Jack Lisowski – Tuesday January 11, 1pm
  • Mark Selby v Stephen Maguire – Tuesday January 11, 7pm
  • Judd Trump v Mark Allen – Wednesday January 12, 1pm
  • Kyren Wilson v Stuart Bingham – Wednesday January 12, 7pm

Higgins 6-2 Zhao​

"Delighted to be back and I can fit in that chair now because for a couple of years I couldn't fit in it," said Higgins, who has lost four stones over the past seven months.
"I'll be delighted to play Mark (Williams). This is the best arena I've ever played in so roll on Thursday."

Higgins 6-2 Zhao​

Higgins finishing off this match as he started it. Among the balls and scoring. A 78 break. A 6-2 win for Higgins.

Higgins 5-2 Zhao (89-0)​

Looks like this match has run its course. Higgins has dominated this contest with 65% of table time. The Scot over the winning line. Should be an intriguing dust-up with Williams in the last eight.

Higgins 5-2 Zhao (39-0)​


Astonishing miss there from Higgins on a red on 39 when he looked set for a big break, but he hasn't left anything for Zhao. Very fortunate. Can
the UK champion keep this match alive?

Higgins 5-2 Zhao (34-0)​

Brilliant plant on reds after a poor Zhao safety shot. Rolls in a brown and he is back among the reds at the scoring end of the table. Looks like this could be game, set and match coming up. Plenty of balls to get him over the line.

Higgins 5-2 Zhao (0-0)​

One more frame required for the two-times Masters champion and he will face old foe Mark Williams in the quarter-finals on Thursday night.;)
 

Masters 2022: Ronnie O'Sullivan beats Jack Lisowski to reach quarter-finals.

Record seven-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan outclassed Jack Lisowski 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the Masters at Alexandra Palace.

O'Sullivan was presented with opportunities by Lisowski and made breaks of 86 and 63 to lead 3-1.
A superb 127 clearance was followed up by 64 to go one from victory, which he took with another fine 125 break.

World champion Mark Selby faces Scotland's Stephen Maguire in the evening session (19:00 GMT).

O'Sullivan's record at the invitational Masters event is unmatched, claiming the most titles, reaching the most finals (13) and winning the most matches (57).

Roared on by a boisterous crowd at his home event in London, O'Sullivan looked sharp by compiling two centuries and three further breaks of 60 or more.

'The Rocket' will meet Australia's Neil Robertson on Thursday in a repeat of last month's World Grand Prix final, in which the Englishman collected his 38th ranking title triumph.

"The way he hits the ball, Neil is a superb cueist," said O'Sullivan on BBC Two. "He is a phenomenal scorer. This is the Ashes, here we go. It is coming back to Britain.

"I am always nervous before any match. Some tournaments bring out the dark side in me, it was tough but I am tough and the snooker gods say calm down and play some snooker.

"It is hard to carry 2,000 Londoners - when you are from here - supporting you. The pressure was on and I felt I had to deliver, if I didn't I would have felt bad. The fans have supported me and I have to give something back."

Lisowski added: "Playing Ronnie out there is like playing Roger Federer at Wimbledon, it is going to be extremely tough to win.

"Once the top guys relax you are really on the back foot, I messed up in the third frame and that was my chance."

Analysis - 'He is saying he is the boss'​

Six-time world champion Steve Davis on BBC Two:

"Ronnie was very proud of his performance, he didn't look nervous but you are a bit when you come out. He quickly got into this stride.

"I like his attitude in the interview, he is going 'I am alright at this game and enjoying it'. That is a dangerous animal."

1997 world champion Ken Doherty:

"Absolutely majestic finish from Ronnie O'Sullivan, he is an absolute genius. He wasn't at his imperious best but still won comfortably against a top-16 player. He will be tough to beat in this tournament.

"He was different in his outlook before Christmas and his attitude is completely different, he is saying he is the boss and you have never heard that from Ronnie. He is usually self-deprecating.";)
 
..... managed to catch a few frames of the Judd Trump v Mark Allen match today and it was really tight for long periods. I thought Trump was going to win 6-4 but mark came back strongly to make it 5-5 and take it to a final frame. It was nip and tuck for a while then Mark missed his Red and that was the turning point for Trump as he finished strongly. Nothing much in it but I suppose Trump had the edge to inch his way through.;)
 

The Hare

Colt
..... managed to catch a few frames of the Judd Trump v Mark Allen match today and it was really tight for long periods. I thought Trump was going to win 6-4 but mark came back strongly to make it 5-5 and take it to a final frame. It was nip and tuck for a while then Mark missed his Red and that was the turning point for Trump as he finished strongly. Nothing much in it but I suppose Trump had the edge to inch his way through.;)
Been some quality snooker this week, topped by both games today. How Trump won the frame from needing snookers was immense. He looked gone when he first started chasing them. Never seen him so excited. Allen was even happier as he had a court case in the morning and seemed to have sorted out his personal life. Says he can now see his daughter and presumably the payments have been agreed. Hopefully he keeps his mind on the job in future.
Then Bingham returned from a seeming massacre to nearly snatch it. Great play by both. Certainly a top event so far.
Quarters look close, Higgins was most impressive and Williams is unlikely to beat him in that form but bookies prices are reflecting that. Robertson v O'Sullivan nearly the same rating - possibly favour Robertson.Trump remains clear of Wilson on ratings but I think the gap is less currently. Expect Trump to snatch it. Hawkins was not bad second half against Murphy but usually struggles against his pal Selby.

1642032354115.png
 
..... saw the O'Sullivan v Robertson match earlier on today and I thought the best man won. Ronnie was OK up to a point but missed the pot and left umpteen chances for Neil, who actually took his chances well and capitalised. Would like to see Higgins win it this time as he has been playing well now for a while but without a trophy to show for it. The weight he has shed has apparently done his game the power of good and he is up there as consistent as ever.;)
 

Masters 2022: Mark Williams and Neil Robertson to meet in semi-final.

Mark Williams beat John Higgins in a final-frame decider to set up a Masters semi-final with Neil Robertson.

Higgins opened with a break of 126 and led 2-0 before Williams made 116 and reeled off three consecutive frames.
The duo, with 16 Triple Crown titles between them and two Masters crowns each, traded frames before Williams sealed his 6-5 win with a break of 91.

Earlier on Thursday, Robertson advanced with a 6-4 win over seven-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.

The Australian impressed throughout and made breaks of 119 and 130, plus three half-centuries, against the Englishman.

"I am really happy with getting through," Robertson told BBC Sport. "My pot success was at 96%, so that tells you I was potting a lot of balls and not making too many mistakes.

"It was back and forth a little bit. My positional play could have been a little bit better but I pulled off some brilliant pressure shots, especially bridging from the cushion.

"It was following a little bit of a pattern there [with O'Sullivan fighting back] - when he gets the crowd behind him and you get 2,000 people absolutely screaming.

"My debut was against Jimmy White at the Masters and I know how much a crowd can carry a player, so it was important I responded well and I did that."

The crackling atmosphere inside the auditorium for this year's tournament has already been referenced by Higgins, Robertson and Williams.

And when O'Sullivan is in town, that ratchets up even further, with 'the Rocket' receiving almost the full weight of support from the London crowd on his own patch.

Yet there was little for them to cheer early on as world number four Robertson took control against the player who beat him in the final of the World Grand Prix in December and sits directly above him in the world rankings.

The 39-year-old capitalised on some loose potting from O'Sullivan to lay an immediate marker with a run of 119 and went on to score 202 unanswered points as he established a 2-0 lead.

Six-time world champion O'Sullivan recovered by taking the third frame and punished a missed red to the middle to draw level at the mid-session interval with a break of 66.

Robertson added another half century and 130 as the players traded frames, with O'Sullivan's response, an 80th century at the Masters, and a 68, just as impressive.

However, Robertson had the final say, sealing his victory with a break of 54 as he won consecutive frames to set up another mouth-watering encounter against another of the 'class of 92' next.

Higgins and Williams renew old rivalry​

This was the 64th instalment of Higgins versus Williams - who both turned professional in 1992 - and it was as predictably hard-fought as their 2018 World Championship final.

The last of Williams' ranking titles came at the British Open in August, while Higgins has reached the final of four tournaments already this season.

And after a rousing reception, lasting almost a minute, in recognition of their enduring class, the Scot set the tone for another fantastic occasion with an immaculate break of 126 from Williams' opening safety shot.

"I have never experienced anything like that. The crowd was unbelievable," Williams told BBC Sport.

"I could not feel my legs in my chair. Thanks to the crowd because it made the occasion even more special. If John and I keep playing like that, maybe we will be here for a good few years yet.

"My legs were shaking, my arms were shaking, I thought my heart was going to come out of my chest. I was a bundle of nerves after the fourth frame.

"I have nothing but respect for him. He is not my rival any more. He is someone I love playing and watching. I think it is 32, 33 years I have been playing him and we are still here at the quarter-finals in the Masters."

Higgins, the beaten Masters finalist in 2021, displayed his resilience to make a composed 127 break to level at 4-4 and looked set to move 5-4 ahead.

But after knocking the black in to the right corner on 43, a red ricocheted into the right middle to leave Williams perfectly placed to win the frame with an accomplished 78.

The four-time world champion took it to a decider with a 61, but Williams held his nerve to win after a poor safety from Higgins.;)
 

The Hare

Colt
The atmosphere has been amazing this week. Odd how they complain at the slightest shout out at other tournaments. May be a new dawn for future snooker. Probably Hearn's are already thinking of having just 16 player invitation events except the UK and World events. They will scent the cash for removing the competition.

Been great stuff though.

Well Williams played superbly against Higgins and Robertson was very impressive against Robertson. Robertson will probably win but around 1.45 is way too short and worth opposing. No prices for other match yet but Trump close to best will be very hard to beat.
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