April 23, 2013

Chirpy King and Knackered Dott on their Day 3 Wins

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 2:43 pm

World Championship Day Four

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:12 am
Thailand's answer to Charlie Chaplin isn't exactly going down a storm with Mags.

Thailand’s answer to Charlie Chaplin isn’t exactly going down a storm with Mags.

It’s Day 4 of the World Championship at the Crucible and those seeds just keep on toppling as John Higgins and Mark Allen yesterday became the latest casualties of the middle-aged former journeyman and under-achiever revolution that is hitting the baize at the moment.

Yesterday began with a truly gritty display by Peter Ebdon who managed to crawl his way back into the match against Graeme Dott, drawing level at 6-6 with Dotty looking like a condemned man heading for the gallows at one point.

But somehow the Glasgow terrier managed to survive Ebbo’s antics which included toilet breaks between frames verging on mid-session intervals. These mini-breaks even at one point had Dennis calling for the governing body to ‘have a good look at it’, though what they would have to have a good look at wasn’t made crystal clear, which in the interests of good taste and decency was probably for the best. Our Den has clearly never managed on a diet of organic carrot juice, raw vegetables and bananas before or else he might have a bit of sympathy with poor old Peter’s lively constitution.

Anyway, they were predictably hauled off early and were to return last night for Dott to finally wrap it up 10-6 much to his and I dare say half the population of the planet’s relief. But you have got to love Ebdon, at least he gets people talking.

In the other morning match Mark Allen and Mark King were having a bit of a scrap, it finished 5-4 to King and they were to return last night where Allen looked to be taking command of the match, only for renowned grappler Kingy to really dig in and eventually win the final four frames of the match in style to once again knock out Allen in the first round, depriving us once more of the chance to see him play Ding.

There are those who are now calling for him to do a bit more talking on the table rather than off it and it has to be said that the Crucible is becoming rather a bad venue for him, something that he will have to correct pretty nifty before the rot well and truly sets in.

“I’ve said it a million times, on my day I can beat anyone,” said King who for some reason doesn’t want a nickname anymore (what’s wrong with Kojak?). “In the past I have put myself under pressure, so this time I came here with no expectation and just tried to relax and enjoy it. I twitched on the pink in the last frame and thought I was going to throw up. But I held myself together and when I potted match ball I nearly started crying. When he won the 12th frame to go 7-5 up he gave it the fist and that spurred me on.”

That’ll learn him.

dark mavis 2In the afternoon we were to see yet another Crucible howler from John Higgins as he was resoundly beaten by Dark Mavis. Our Mave held himself together admirably and later joked that for the last 20 years he’d just been giving the other boys a chance as he felt sorry for them and this was part of the plan all along. Higgins in the meantime was very downbeat and hinted that it may be time to jack the whole thing in and there is clearly something that has gone very wrong with his game recently.

You can watch a delighted Mavis speaking after the match here, he marches on to possibly face another former journeyman who is now finding his feet after 20 years Stuart Bingham, or Sam Baird who is probably a couple of decades away from peaking the way things are going recently.

There was a much chirpier face than Higgins face on the other table as debutant Dechawat Poomjaeng, a kind of Thai Charlie Chaplin/Mr Bean fusion made visual gags an art form against an increasingly irate Stephen Maguire. Notoriously miserable Mags looked at one point as if he was going to twat poor old Poomy when he decided to clap one of his own shots to chortles from the audience who clearly warmed to him from the minute he ‘did a Wenbo’ and lost his way into the arena at the beginning. Maguire managed to win the last frame of that session but again they were hauled off early before Mags did something he regretted with Poomjaeng leading 5-3, they return this afternoon for more of the same hopefully and Poomy can be backed at 6/4 to hold on to his advantage, which he just might.

Last night also saw the start of Ali Carter’s Crucible quest and he leads Ben Woollaston 5-4 going into tonight in what could be a close one to decide who is the next opponent for Ronnie on Saturday. Both looked in decent form so whoever wins will certainly be a big test for the Rusty Rocket.

This morning sees two new matches starting out and the Fu v Stevens encounter could be a decent one with the seed again arguably vulnerable. It also sees the return of Alan McManus to face Ding and given that our Angles fits the Mavis/King profile too, Ding might not have that all his own way either. We also see Judd Trump lining up this afternoon against Spaceman Dommo Dale who is once again walking out to the understated bellowing of Mario Lanza and tonight the world number one Mark Selby takes on another Crucible debutant of the week Matt Selt.

Selty will be hoping to shoot it in the right direction tonight.

Selty will be hoping to shoot it in the right direction tonight.

Selt and Trump used to be pals of course, but not any more. Oh no. Matt decided at the qualifiers last week to tell a journalist that they have had a bit of a lovers tiff and that now he prefers blondes, well, Neil Robertson who is a kind of fake blonde but let’s not split hairs. He goes on to basically say that Judd is totally up himself and that he’s not as good as Robbo or that he ever will be. But the real nail in the coffin comes with the last line of the interview, which I can’t even bring myself to write on here. I’ll let you read it, but be prepared to laugh for the rest of the week and miss all the snooker. It’s here.

Selty walks on tonight to 1980’s gay anthem Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, the video for which featured leather clad muscle men pissing on each other while one was gagged and tied up on a wheel, all good family fun. Judd in the meantime took to Twitter yesterday to show us his collection of shoe boxes, which is also all good manly thoroughly hetrosexual behaviour. I hope the two don’t bump into each other today as I’d fear for our Selty, Judd’s also got an expensive selection of handbags and I think in a fight his would hold up the best. It’s all down to the stitching you see.

The betting hasn’t been exactly a raging success so far and Allen losing scuppered what I though was a pretty solid first round acca. But the old mantra of ‘never bet in a match with Mark King in it’ has come back with a vengeance to bite me on the arse so it’s time to try and make amends with a bet on the remaining first rounders in the hope that some normality is restored to this great championship.

By the way, myself and Mrs SB will be making our way to Sheffield on Friday for the weekend having found a bed and breakfast to our liking about 5 miles out of town. It coincides both with the birthday of the first lady of the baize and Ladies Day at the Crucible, when all ladies will be asked to wear purple for a good cause. You can see the lovely Michaela talking all about it here.

You can view my main betting preview for the tournament and a write up on all the first round matches here.

Also, please keep the Snooker Shrine pictures coming in, there are some corkers in the gallery already here.

Recommended Bet: 3 point treble on Fu (+2.5), Trump (-2.5) and Selby (-3.5) pays just on 11/4 at Apollobet


Matthew Stevens 3-6 Marco Fu
Ding Junhui 7-2 Alan McManus


Judd Trump 6-3 Dominic Dale
Stephen Maguire 9-10 Dechawat Poomjaeng


Ali Carter 10-4 Ben Woollaston*
Mark Selby 6-3 Matthew Selt

*Denotes Match Conclusion

Click the banner below to open an account at blog partners Apollobet, your first bet up to a maximum of £20 will be matched with a free introductory bet to the same value. 

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Thanks as ever to Monique for the main image, you can view her Facebook album from day three here.

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