February 17, 2016

The Ronnie Roadshow Continues

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:05 am

ROSThe Ronniefest featuring a supporting cast continues today in Cardiff as the Welsh Open reaches the Last 32 stages. Yesterday saw another scintillating (yes I found a spare unused superlative in a dusty corner of my mind) display by The Rocket as he managed to produce an almost flawless performance against Tian Pengfei.

He managed 100% in the long potting and safety stakes as well as 98% in overall potting and claimed when he came out of the arena that he played ‘OK’, which in anyone else’s language would probably equate to ‘fucking brilliant’. But being your own harshest critic does have its downsides and it’s difficult to know when Ronnie will actually be chuffed to bits with how he is playing.

The rumblings from Moaning Monday continued at a pace and the BBC were so desperate for every possible opinion and angle on the story that they even quoted something I said about it in the Sports News, that’s how you know they are dripping every last drop out of a story right there.

Even The Great WT claimed that himself and his increasingly bushy moustache had been asked to do 11 interviews since 7am yesterday morning, though presumably a couple of those were for his regular columns in ‘Moustache Monthly’ and ‘Readers Moustaches’ and nothing at all to do with Ronald.

Talking of ‘nothing at all to do with Ronald’ it is probably easy for Joe Public to forget about the extras in this little Welsh showpiece he is creating. But there are another 31 players still left in it, one of them (perish the thought) might even beat him. We have Selby, Higgins, Robbo, Trump, Murphy and even Ding left in it who would all, along with the others I’m sure like to stick it up The Rocket and bring him back down to earth with a bang.

The PR departments at the bookies are as usual getting very carried away by all this and are having something of a wank-off to see who is the best. The sponsors agreed to pay out punters on a 147 the other day despite there not being one, which must have cost them about fifteen quid knowing the limits they impose on anyone with the audacity to ever place a winning bet with them. Following this a rival firm who shall remain nameless because they’ve never offered me anything got in touch with Ronnie to offer him an extra incentive to actually go one better than his 146. The offer of £61,000 should he make the max being £1000 more than the winner gets. Again the schoolyard bully ‘my dad’s bigger than your dad’ mentality of the excitable bookies PR chimps is there for all to see. Anyway, by my calculations, with the standard 147 prize on top, if he does win it and makes a max in the process he’s made that £125,000 back that he stupidly lent to Flash Harry a few months ago.

So can anyone stop him? Probably not but I hope they do. For everyone that is liking this spotlight treatment of snooker’s prized possession there are probably two more who want him to get sent packing. I know several snooker diehards are well, dying hard, at the coverage this week. One former reporter of the sport on Twitter claimed to have had enough of snooker after a lifetime love affair, citing the Ronnie love-in as the main reason for her defection. I’m probably not helping matters, sorry about that. 

In terms of the Battle of the Bookies, again without wishing to piss on anyone’s chips, I don’t think this is necessarily great for the sport’s long term future. It is hard enough to find sponsors from outside this industry without them claiming the limelight on something that could actually sell the sport. But no, let’s go for the easy option of reporting the extra cash incentive on the money table instead of reporting what is actually happening on the snooker table. All this does is further alienate potential sponsors who might just have switched on after Monday to snooker’s appeal. We’re too in bed with betting at the moment, there is no getting away from it. It has it’s place and is an essential part for some of their enjoyment of sport, but it shouldn’t be calling the shots and stealing the headlines. 

Ronnie is up against Jimmy Robertson tonight but first we must suffer the agony of watching some other inferior players, you’d think they’d just cut to the chase and give him the trophy so we could all move on. 

The match list for today is here and the live scores, on the off-chance they are working can be found here

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