July 4, 2010

No News is Good News?

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:30 am

There is a time and a place to celebrate.....

While there are usually plenty of things green baizey to waffle on about, either through me finding snippits, just making stuff up or being sent things, these past few days have provided little in the way of snooker news.

We were supposed to know what ‘charges’ were being brought against John Higgins and Pat Mooney this week but perhaps that isn’t going to be released to the great unwashed and will be kept under lock and key until Stan and Ollie turn up to answer for themselves. We’ll wait and see.

But there have been a few stories, some of which are a little more interesting than others. It’s always nice to get an insight into how players are feeling going into the new season, particularly if you’ve had a few quid on them to have a pretty good one and top the rankings by the end of it, as Mark Williams fits that profile, he is refusing to get carried away with winning the PTC1 last week here.

Meanwhile, on World Snooker all you need and don’t need to know about Gerard Greene and Barry Pinches is available here and here.

Ah yes, Barry Pinches, as he proves in his Q&A he should not be parting with his hard-earned cash by betting on football as he’s about as lucky as David Beckham in who he’s been supporting during this sporting summer, but parting with cash is something I should never have done with regard to the Canary Cueist a few years ago.

Let me recount the tale.

The year was 2005 and myself and a good friend of mine had taken the trip to Sheffield to watch some of the action. The first day we were there coincided with a rather large handicap bet I’d had on the first round matches which was due to end that very day with Mr Pinches winning at least six frames against crafty Ken Doherty to land the final leg of a sixfold for a very large sum indeed.

Coincidentally, we had tickets to the morning session of that particular match where Barry showed some excellent form to lead 5-4 at the end of the first session. Life was good and I gave Barry a raptuous send off as he left the arena. One more frame being surely only a matter of time for my man from Norwich.

A fellow Pinches backer the morning after the night before.

This all occurred in the days before I would have been busily laying the rest of the bet off all day and backing Ken to win 10-5, the only way my bet could lose. So instead I decided to treat my friend to a slap up lunch with expensive wine, safe in the knowledge that I’d be collecting a barrel load of cash the following day.

To make a day of it, I thought, after this let’s  enjoy the hospitality of some of Sheffield’s finer spots as we didn’t have tickets until the following day. My friend dutifully followed as instructed with his wallet firmly unopened in his pocket, while I carried on spending to my heart’s content.

Little did I know that back at the Crucible, Ken then decided to win the next six frames and win 10-5, while I was too pissed to care, celebrating the win that never was. Over £250 lighter and with the hangover from hell the next day when it finally dawned on me that my bet, very much like myself, was in the gutter.

My friend consoled me but quite rightly didn’t pay me back either, and my misplaced champagne celebrations were to become the stuff of legend in snookerbacker circles to this very day.

Those were the days.

I went to Norwich a couple of years ago, I was tempted to hunt Barry down but the therapist said it wouldn’t solve anything, but that’s not to say that in a weak moment I still might not get on a train and one day find him.

You have been warned.

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