April 21, 2015

VIDEOS: Captain ‘I’m Here To Win’

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:23 pm

Following Ali Carter’s win over Alan McManus this afternoon and under the influence of the greatest vegan of them all, Peter Ebdon, he professed himself ‘here to win’ as he looks forward to his next challenge against Robbo…. 

VIDEO: Ding Explains Himself

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:06 pm

Ding Junhui explains why he forgot he was on a 147 after 13 reds and 13 blacks, but can anyone really explain away such carelessness?

Day 4 in Sheffield: Ronnie is in town, Confessions and Careless Kisses

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:42 am
The Circus Begins.

The Circus Begins.

A cracking day ahead today at The Crucible as The Ronnie Show enters town. The Rocket, who is the subject of a quite ridiculous BBC interactive feature at the moment, more of which is to come when I get a chance to fully digest this at home, takes on Craig Steadman with their opening session getting underway this afternoon.

Ronnie has been around the venue now for a couple of days practicing and to me he looks cool, calm and at ease and he’s brought his pal Damian Hirst with him, who looks absolutely nothing like me.

It’s been a great few days already here and when I start to make the journey home tomorrow you can expect regular posts and a full second round betting preview. In the meantime don’t forget to check out my first round and outright preview here.

Mark Allen v Ryan Day
**Ding Junhui 3-4 Dark Mavis

**Ali Carter 6-3 Alan McManus
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Craig Steadman

**Mark Allen v Ryan Day
Mark Williams v Matthew Stevens

OK, here goes, I have a small confession to make. Having been here at close quarters for the first few days I’ve decided to place another bet this morning on the outrights. I know everyone will be raving about the performance of Neil Robertson but for me the best performance so far and I’d argue best preparation for the road ahead has been by the defending champion.

So, while knowing I will live to regret this, I laugh in the face of the Snooker Gods and their various curses and recommend the bet below to add to your book, before the value has gone.

Recommended Outright Bet: 3 points on Mark Selby at 15/2.

In the meantime, Stuart Bingham explains below why kissing The Jester isn’t a very good idea, though judging by all the snoopies around here I’m sure there are plenty who would disagree with Ballrun on that, most of them would give their right arm and I suggest a few other pieces of their anatomy to pucker up with Leicester’s finest, but there’s no accounting for taste I suppose.

Below, the seemingly always chirpy Stuart talks to the press after his victory last night over Robbie Williams, who lives ‘down the road’ from me but I still didn’t get the chance to ask him what road, I didn’t think it would be appropriate as he was probably the most disappointed player that’s been in here so far this week…

April 20, 2015

VIDEO: Robbo Focused on the Win

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 4:34 pm

Neil Robertson is in pretty determined mood after his comfortable 10-2 victory over Jamie Jones this afternoon. He also uses the phrase ‘spits and spouts’, must be an Australian thing…  

VIDEO: Another Thriller

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 2:49 pm

The third decider in as many days this morning saw a spirited fightback from Matt Selt halted at the finishing line by Barry Hawkins. The thoughts of both, including Matt’s on the size of the pockets and Barry’s on why Nigel Bond was on his mind below.

VIDEO: John Higgins ‘Contender? Naaah…’

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:50 am

Another Crucible win for John Higgins yesterday over Rob Milkins, does he still think he’s got what it takes? Is the fire still there? Watch below and see what you think.. 

VIDEO: McGill!! ‘I made a hundred break’

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 2:49 am

Anthony McGill following his 10-9 win over Stephen Maguire last night, you’ve just gotta love the guy..

April 19, 2015

VIDEO: Dott Progresses

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:42 pm

Graeme Dott progressed earlier with a typically gritty performance against Ricky Walden, as ever he was not short of a word or two…

VIDEO: Relieved Fu over First Hurdle

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 3:37 pm

Marco Fu this morning overcame Jimmy Robertson 10-6 to book a full week off ahead of a possible second round meeting with Judd Trump, afterwards, a typically laid back Marco was philosophical about his chances.

VIDEO: Selby – ‘I was preparing my loser’s speech’

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:38 am

Mark Selby, the reigning champion, went a small way last night to defying those pesky old snooker gods in a tension filled final frame win over the superb Kurt Maflin.

He came into the press conference (just before what you see below) with a mightily relieved and particularly high-pitched ‘WHOOOP’, clearly ecstatic to have come through such an epic battle from 8-9 down having been pegged back from 8-4 up.

Being in the arena proved once more why there truly is no theatre quite like the Theatre of Dreams and the annual argument about this ever moving is never far from snooker fans lips at this time of year. But we’re here for at least another three with the excellent and much missed sponsor and if what Bazza says is to be believed in terms of the growth of the sport and projected plans, to even think about moving it would be, well, just rather silly really.

Last night, if proof where needed provided us with further confirmation of what this place can provide. The tension filled the air, Selby fans, of whom there are many, sat unable to take in what they were seeing in front of their own eyes. Was their man being dismantled? Could he, like he’s done so many times before, prove that their faith in him was justified or would ‘The Curse’, which was mentioned once or twice…..just be too much for him?

But for now, he marches on and his celebration, which for some absolutely absurd reason was questioned by some on social media, obviously people who either a) don’t like him b) didn’t want him to win or c) don’t understand what this means to him, showed us why this is the best tournament of them all. Any talk of ‘disrespect’ and such like being immediately dispelled when on leaving the press area, we were confronted with the two protagonists having a friendly chat backstage having just walked off, Kurt; disappointed? of course, offended? definitely not.    

And it’s only Day 2…..

Check out my full Round 1 preview here

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