October 26, 2012

Ronnie Pulls Out of International Championship

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 2:59 pm

Withdrawal Symptoms

Ronnie O’Sullivan has pulled out of the lucrative International Championship in Chengdu which starts on Sunday with the following statement posted on the Grove Snooker website.

‘I’m very sorry that I had to officially withdraw from the International Championship, due to ongoing health problems’

‘I would have loved to be fit to compete in Chengdu but I have been advised by my doctor not to travel. I want to sincerely apologise to Worldsnooker (sic) the sponsors and the fans for the disappointment caused. I look forward to see you all soon’

This follows his announcement yesterday that he was regretting entering any of the tournaments that he has, which include the UK Championship and the Masters. He did of course last night complete his Legends in Liverpool with Jimmy White.

It remains to be seen whether we will see his smiling face at either of the big UK events either side of Christmas.

The Deep Heat Is On: It’s the World Seniors

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:47 am

The crowd are looking forward to this

It’s that time of year again, the time when all the elder statesmen of snooker get together to exchange stories about the increasing price of fish, dead and terminally ill golf buddies, why the youth of today have no respect for their elders and why national service should come back. Yes, it’s time for the World Seniors Championship from Portsmouth, by the sea.

I have to say that I quite enjoyed this last year, mostly from an entertainment perspective although I seem to remember landing the odd match bet or two and despite the fact that there are main tour players competing again, Licensed to Pot Nigel Bond, The Nugget, The Whirlwind and Tornado Tony Drago it may again prove to be enjoyable to watch some of the old faces renewing old rivalries on tables with pockets the size of dustbin lids.

Darren Morgan won it last year of course and he was by far the best player on show, he’ll fancy his chances of retaining the title as he opens up against good old Joe Johnson, who is taking a break from his Eurosport duties to take to the baize again. It would be something of a shock if Welshman Dazza, who used to have a red sports car with the registration H1 BAB5 (Hi Babe) came unstuck against Uncle Joe.

Nigel Bond had to qualify for this which is a bit weird but he takes on Dennis first up. Den can still play a bit but given his lack of Legends preparation this time you’d expect Nigel to wipe the floor with old four eyes.

A follower on Twitter has told me that Barry West quite fancies his chances in this. All I can remember of Barry from his heyday was how tediously slow he was but it did get him results, he plays Kiwi Dene O’Kane, who used to have awful hair which resembled a ferret with it’s paw stuck in a electric plug socket. If West is prepared for this and the shot clock doesn’t put him off his policeman-like stride he might be worth a bet.

Steve Davis v Cliff Thorburn was one of the first matches I remember watching as a kid, the 1981 World Championship semi-final I recall when the Nugget still had ginger hair and lots of it and was about to start his domination of the sport for a decade, making untold fortunes with his gaffer Bazza along the way. Cliff was the Rhett Butler of Snooker and had ladies swooning at his feet, a real class act, the Grinder used all his trickery to get results, that one will bring back memories but you’d expect Steve to come through.

In the evening Tony Drago opens up against Tony Chappel, now then, now then, none other Mark J Williams has told me to ‘get on’ Chappel at 80’s to win it. As ever, I have no idea if he’s winding me up but there you have it. Karl Townsend (who?) very nearly stole the show last year and this time takes on the Bolton Stud and best shagger the baize has ever known, Tony Knowles. It’s great to see Knowlsey back on our screens and doubtless after the match he’ll be indulging in a bit of off-screen entertainment which has always been on tap for him at a mere click of his fingers, get in there Tony lad.

Jimmy Hill lookalike Alain (or Elaine) Robidoux is also coming over from Canada to play Les Dodd from Southport, a former slimmer of the year who hasn’t really kept up the regime after winning this coveted title. Les is a jovial chap who usually plays in the World Championship and is a familiar face around the circuit who obviously still loves the game, I beat him 3-1 at Pontins once when he was a decent pro by the way, just thought I’d get that in.

Alain Robidoux (I think)

Finally, Jimmy heads down South fresh from his Legends cash register tour with Ronnie, assuming of course his car didn’t get nicked last night, I asked the boys to look after it for him. He plays Mike Hallett who will doubtless be playing cross-doubles and calling Jimmy careless when he misses, surely Jimbo is a shoo-in for that one.

Anyway, it’s probably worth a bet on a few of these, despite the fact that they are best of 3 with a shot clock and pockets the size of Surrey, the prize money alone should be enough to ensure they are all trying so here goes:

Recommended Bets: 3 point treble on Morgan, Bond and White pays over 5/4 at Totesport. Add Townsend for a 2 point 4 fold that pays nearly 3/1 at the same firm. Add Davis for a 1 point 5 fold that pays over 4/1 at the same firm.

2 points on Jimmy White to win the World Seniors at 4/1 with Ladbrokes. 

Match schedule

Saturday October 27  

1.00 pm
Darren Morgan 2-0 Joe Johnson
Dennis Taylor 0-2 Nigel Bond
Dene O’Kane 2-0 Barry West
Steve Davis 2-1 Cliff Thorburn

7.00 pm
Tony Drago 1-2 Tony Chappel
Karl Townsend 1-2 Tony Knowles
Alain Robidoux 2-0 Les Dodd
Mike Hallett 0-2 Jimmy White

Sunday October 28 


Quarter-finals (Random Draw)

Steve Davis v Darren Morgan
Dene O’Kane v Jimmy White
Alain Robidoux v Tony Chappel
Tony Knowles v Nigel Bond


Semi-finals & Final

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