Snookerbacker

January 8, 2011

Jolly Jester: ‘Pay for my Wedding, Bazza’

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 2:50 pm

Move over you two, there's new kids in town.

After all the doom and gloom and ready made excuses from that miserable lot this morning it’s nice to hear the Jester and my main hope this week Mark Selby spreading a little happiness and showing that it really is nicer to be happy.

Not only is Marky talking the talk and seemingly fancying his chances a bit this week he is also looking forward to his wedding with Vicky, who as we all know is a right little cracker, over in Mexico next year. I’m waiting for my invite which I’m sure will only be a matter of time now with all the other preparations that they’ll have to do.

Mark has even, quite rightly asked old Mr Moneybags Bazza to get his hand in his pocket and pay up some dosh for the nuptuals of the baize’s version of Posh and Becks. There might be a Royal Wedding this year but this is the only one that really matters.

Talking about his Wembley chances he said “It’d be nice to pick up a big one rather than have to pay for the wedding on my own. It’d be nice to have Barry Hearn pay for it”. Quite right too, if you don’t ask you don’t get.

Yeah, cough up Bazza you old miser.

“It’s a tournament where I’m glad to say I’ve done really well, and I’d love to win a third Masters title. Hopefully I can now kick on and go to the Masters and do well there”.

He elaborates more on the second best player’s blog after Ali’s which you can read here and is obviously in confident mood. Talking about his impressive win at Crondon Park he says that has set him up nicely for a tilt at a third Masters crown; ‘I’m always confident going into the Masters, but this was a brilliant boost and I hope I will be lifting that prestigious title once again a week tomorrow’.

Well Jester, if Ali doesn’t manage it, I hope you’re right.

Time is running out to get involved in the Great Blog Bet Pot with the opening fund now up to £130, can you afford not to throw your £5 in the pot? Click here for details or email [email protected] for details on how to pay up.

Who knows? We might all be rich enough to gatecrash the Wedding of the Year by the summer…

The Masters: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not?

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:35 am

John might have to toughen up for the Wembley crowd

We are now just one day away from the beginning of the prestigious Masters and that can only mean one thing. The players are starting to talk up and talk down their chances, so I thought I’d do a summary of who’s hot and who’s not in the build up.

The first player to assess his chances this week was John Higgins. Poor old Johnny says he sometimes feels a bit intimidated at Wembley and that has in the past affected his game. Even though the Wizard of Wishaw has won the event twice, he still doesn’t think it brings out his best and he has said:

“I can’t say I’ve got a terrible record, because I’ve won it twice, but I’ve also bombed out so often at the first hurdle.”

“It’s such a fabulous tournament that I would love to be able to perform better there, but I’ve not often produced my best. I suppose that I’ve always been overawed by the atmosphere at Wembley. It is such a big venue and, if you are playing badly, it can be exaggerated. But I’m really looking forward to it, because I am high on confidence at the moment.”

Let’s hope for his sake that he is ‘in the zone’ as I can’t see the famously noisy rabble that attend this event being quite as accommodating as the Telford crowd were of John’s little mistake last year, in fact after a few sherbets I can envisage the Cockney geezers waving wads of notes at the unsuspecting Scotsman. There is an altogether more interesting piece on him here.

Next up is World Champion Robbo, who seems more bothered about a silly game of cricket than talking up his chances for Wembley. He has been suffering with manflu over the Christmas break though he calls it ‘proper flu’ and says it was like ‘being hit in the head with a cricket bat by Kevin Pietersen’ whoever he is.

He didn’t look as sharp as some of the others at Crondon Park and says  “I’ve only played a couple of hours since Christmas. It’s not exactly been the best preparation for the Masters but there’s not been a lot I could do about it.”

Another getting the excuses in early is Mark Allen, who again uses the old ‘flu’ card and tells 110sport  “I always take Christmas off and then try and get back to it. Unfortunately I was grounded by the flu just after that so I only returned to practicing on Tuesday. That’s not ideal but I am feeling pretty good about my game and hope to continue the form I was on towards the end of last year.”

They're all at it.

Bloody hell, who’s next, it’s like a collection of the sick and infirm this. Maybe we can rely on grumpy Stephen Hendry to lighten the mood a bit? No, not a bit of it. Whilst he does say that he loves the Masters he just can’t resist having a little rant and says:

“The game I was playing in the 1990s was good enough to win tournaments now. There is no doubt. I don’t think the standard of the players has gone up. What I do think is that more players are doing it. It’s easier said than done, getting back to that standard. 2011 is going to be a very important year. My top 16 place is in jeopardy and I need results quickly. The game is changing with all these new events Barry Hearn is putting on”.

“Snooker is going through a big change although I’m not totally on board with everything which does not really suit me as a player at the stage of my career.”

It seems that Stephen is still blaming the new regime for his slide down the rankings rather than maybe thinking that the problem could just be that he’s playing rubbish and keeps getting beat?

So who’s next to brighten up our day? Well ask yourself this, if you need someone to lighten the mood after all this negativity around the place where do you go for it? Why, Ronnie of course! Today’s topic of conversation ‘I’d rather be a nobody’…..

The Rocket (his own harshest critic) tells the Daily Star:

“It’s hard being constantly in the spotlight. I would rather play on an outside table, come in, play the game, slip out almost unnoticed and be watched by no-one. I would much rather Shaun had all the crowds watching him, John Higgins and Mark Williams. I would much rather it be on the other foot, but there’s nothing I can do about it”.

“The people pay their money. If they want to watch me I can’t force them elsewhere. Maybe I should change my tactics, and start playing more boring snooker and enjoy a quieter life. Opponents know what to expect now with the partisan support, and just try and block it out and play the game”.

Ronnie backers gearing up for Wembley

“To be honest, when I have been on the other end, a couple of times against Stephen Hendry in Scotland or James Wattana in Thailand, I have loved it. It was a challenge. I relished, having everyone wanting you to lose. It gave me an extra incentive to win. It can be a handicap on me. There is always huge expectation whenever I go out there, I am expected to win, and get 147s every time I play”.

“It is harder carrying those expectations from people willing you to win than it is dealing with people wanting you to lose. You feel the weight of it all, Jimmy felt it a lot in his career, and I’m sure that’s one of the reasons he never won the world title.”

So perhaps we can expect Ronnie to be crowned the new King of the Dump Shots after this week’s action. My advice is that if you’ve backed him, get yourself down to Wembley, get tanked up at the bar and get yourself into the arena and hurl insults at him, get the crowd around you to randomly shout ‘You’re Shit’ when he’s down on the shot and he’s a surefire winner.

With all this doom and gloom around at least it’s nice to hear our mate Ali feeling chirpy on the Captain’s Log and from what he says, the Jester and the Smurf are also in the happy camp at the moment. Though there is a distinct lack of Smurf opinions in the press this morning. Maybe his New Year resolution is to stop babbling to the hacks.

Anyway, to happier things and there is still time to submit your £5 or 6 Euros to the Great Blog Bet Pot. The fund is building nicely and today I’d expect some activity in the comments section as opinions are voiced on the first stream of bets. This could be the greatest moment since Del Boy and Rodney stumbled on that pocket watch.

If you want to get involved and ensure you are not too late just email [email protected] for details of how to pay your dues. You have until midday tomorrow to enter, when the first bets will be placed.

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