A cracking day of snooker lies ahead today in York as eight become four with all four quarter finals played today, two of which involve clashes between multiple world champions, with the other two offering two players in particular a golden chance of a great payday this weekend.
Jamie Jones is the latest in a long line of players to claim he’s skint, whilst it is easy to make light of these matters it is now becoming increasingly evident that this is a real issue in snooker and one that should really be being addressed head on.
Jamie is a middling professional who had a great run in Sheffield a few years back but hasn’t really kicked on as expected, with that comes huge financial pressures which only a run like this can ease, just ask Mark King.
Is it time that professional players were guaranteed a base wage? Even if they lose in the first round of everything? That’s a question that there is some disagreement on and while the tour is so big in terms of player numbers it’s very unlikely to happen. Another argument perhaps to trim it a little and have a supporting tour in the background which rewards hard graft?
But this week Jamie is rising to the challenge and if he can win tonight against Marco Fu his financial worries will be eased for a bit at least. Marco himself is busy with other things and selling huge wristclocks to anyone that wants one so he’s stuck his finger in a pie outside of snooker to try and get by, he was of course one of the players who lost out financially from the demise of the old management stable at 110 Sport, apparently he lost a lot of dosh as a result and was one of the worst affected.
But all this talk of money is a far cry from the heavy wallets of this afternoon’s clash between moneybags John Higgins and World Champion Mark Selby, which should be a cracker. They’ve had some great battles down the years, notably at The Crucible with Selby ahead in matches and just one frame ahead in the 183 frames they have played with each other. I get the feeling that this match will set the scene for the big one this evening between MJW and Ronnie, who for me are the two best players to watch in the game when they are at their best.
Shaun Murphy takes on Belgian Bullet Luca Brecel in this afternoon’s other tie, Luca seems to come alive in York and rumour has it can be found in the queue every morning at the iconic local tea establishment ‘Betty’s’ to fuel up for the day ahead. Whatever Betty is putting in his tea seems to be working judging by his win over Mags last night, he might have a lovely smile but inside there is a ruthless competitor who surely at some point will be getting his hands on some silverware, I think he has a great chance against Murphy today if he can keep his form going, he doesn’t seem to get phased by the big occasions at all.
It should be a cracking day and I’m hoping to be able to get to somewhere in the vicinity of the arse dent in the living room sofa for the start of it all at 1pm. I’d advise you to do likewise.
Recommended Bets: SINGLES AND A DOUBLE – More than one century in Higgins v Selby at 6/5 and O’Sullivan v Williams at 6/5.