2016 World Snooker Championship - Discussion Thread

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 16 Apr 2016, 12:25 pm

First topic message reminder :

The Crucible opens its doors to snookers greatest players on the planet for 17 days but who will end it holding the world crown?

The tournament (as is tradition) starts with the champion opening proceedings and Bingham is having early problems trailing Ali Carter 3-1. On the other table Marco Fu is in command against former champion Peter Ebdon leading 5-1.

Discuss.....
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Post by temporary21 on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 1:00 pm

By the same token, Selby and Fu arent just grinders either. The above players you clearly like more are more known for potting than grafting, but they havent grafted at all.

Selby, need we remember, has also won multiple titles, its a little bit of a slap in the face to the guys left to call the tournament a turd, just because they got there because the other guys were terrible this tourny. The snookers still compelling, but in a different way.

Its fair enough though. Clearly the slow frames with lots of safety and surprising misses arent your thing. The guys in the semis all deserve it though, the misses are due to nerves, not because theyre worse players

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Post by Guest on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 2:36 pm

This 24th frame has been ridiculous, over an hour & 10 mins & still going

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Post by temporary21 on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 2:42 pm

Well those frames are my guilty pleasure. Derby can barely cue it straight but just dug in, and sheer refusal to blink warns him a shared session, that nobody else playing that badly could have managed

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 3:42 pm

Robertson's ability has and is being massively over stated here, you'd think he's a multiple winner and finalist the way B.A. is talking about him, he doesn't really belong in the same bracket as O'Sullivan, Murphy or Higgins when it comes to the World Championship.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 3:53 pm

Murphy ??

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 4:03 pm

One time winner and two time runner up puts him on a level above Robertson.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 4:14 pm

I don't know that much about snooker so I won't argue...

Just didn't recall him winning as much as Higgins/ Hendry so I was surprised he was bracketed with them..

Still plenty of time though..Nice kid.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 4:28 pm

He's not in their league, was more to highlight how Robertson's name always comes up in poor tournament debates when he's rarely an actual contender for the World's. He won in 2010 which in my opinion is the lowest quality tournament i've ever seen; O'Brien, Gould, Davis, Carter and Dott were his five victims, managed to avoid every single top player.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 4:51 pm

Selby is a different beast from the likes of Hendry and O'Sullivan. His strength is his matchplay snooker. He can manufacture frame wins in bits and pieces and all that matters is that is is a frame on the board.

I think too often people overlook the tight matchplay snooker player-type. It is different from the style of Trump or Ronnie but boy does it screw their brains up. I mean how many strong matchplay snooker players have accounted for Ronnie at The Crucible - players like Ebdon, Dott, Hawkins and Bingham. It proves that potting talent alone is not an assurance to win a match.

Ding's run here I'd say is down to the work Terry Griffiths have done with him toughening up the matchplay side of things much like Ronnie got guidance from Ray Reardon in recent times. Don't underplay the great value of having a strong all-round matchplay-type game.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 4:56 pm

Ding beats McManus to seal his first World Final appearance. If he can keep this standard up I would have to have a re-think about this as I was confident he'd not win the world title.

Well not quite over yet but feels like last rites just now.
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Post by sirfredperry on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 6:26 pm

Earlier post......"Basically i just think it's been a turd tournament, the big players have disappointed and we are left with a a pi$$ poor semi like Selby vs Fu where both players are frankly embarrassing..."

Well, there have been times when I'vebeen inclined to agree with the above. Whether it's been the tables or the flair players going out early, the latter stages have been very average. That last "morning" frame in today's semifinal was quite dreadful.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 6:35 pm

But surely, if this has been a 'turd' tournament then why isn't GOAT wannabe Ronnie walking it?

I think snooker is in something of a new phase. Great potting is fine but have that without a top notch matchplay game to back it up and you are nowhere. Players aren't embarrassing just because they don't pot the balls from the lampshades. These players are the ones left in for a reason - rock solid matchplay snooker. In this day and age it beats the potting brigade unless that potting brigade has a very good matchplay game to fall back on when potting is off or not possible.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 6:38 pm

If we look at those players whose strengths were potting and break-building then Ding is one but he has been working with Griffiths bringing more tactical nous and savvy to beef up his game. Ronnie did the same a few years ago getting advice from the great Ray Reardon. Nowadays potting alone will not get you across the winning line.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 6:42 pm

Also, for years, people used century stats as a reason to say why snooker in 00's were better than the 90s so if that is the case (with the record set to go this year for centuries) then surely the here and now is better than the 00's. Erm
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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 6:50 pm

The centuries stat doesn't mean a great deal; Robertson, Fu, Ding and Trump have made more than Davis did in a 35 year long career, nowhere near being in the same class.

You could say a similar thing with regards to 1991, how did the GOAT Hendry not win a tournament won by John Parrott, these things happen.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 6:57 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:The centuries stat doesn't mean a great deal; Robertson, Fu, Ding and Trump have made more than Davis did in a 35 year long career, nowhere near being in the same class.

You could say a similar thing with regards to 1991, how did the GOAT Hendry not win a tournament won by John Parrott, these things happen.

GOAT's find a way to dominate. Hendry did it as did Davis. They had a style of game at that time that could handle whatever anybody else could throw at them. Ronnie isn't like that. Chuck a top matchplay snooker player at him and he is snookered so to speak. Look at those that have beaten him at The Crucible such as Dott, Ebdon, Hawkins, Selby and Bingham (all probably derided by posters on here but all with a game capable of beating Ronnie). Like I say talent-wise Ronnie is greatest to pick up a cue but GOAT? No.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 7:09 pm

I reckon Mark Selby will pull through tonight maybe by 17-14.
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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 7:25 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:Look at those that have beaten him at The Crucible such as Dott, Ebdon, Hawkins, Selby and Bingham (all probably derided by posters on here but all with a game capable of beating Ronnie). Like I say talent-wise Ronnie is greatest to pick up a cue but GOAT? No.

Hawkins and Bingham beat him straight up so no complaints there, the other three in my opinion deliberately played even slower with a level of gamesmanship I think should be dealt with.

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Post by temporary21 on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 7:31 pm

Not being a flair potter doesnt make you a poor player, nor does their abscence through lack of application make the tournament a turd.
If you heavily favour the potters tough, of course this would be one of the least enjoyable for you.

This match has been very scrappy, but the other semi had some good quality potting. Fu is very Nervous, and Selby has very little form. Its enticing in its own way, but only if you like that kind of thing

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Post by temporary21 on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 7:33 pm

Selby has done Ronnie in a couple of times at the worlds though. Youve gotta have some real pedigree to pull that off.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 7:33 pm

That being said Temp, this semi final is an absolute turd of a match to watch.

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Post by temporary21 on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 7:36 pm

Each to their own, Im the type of guy who watches a cricket team try to dead bat a draw in test cricket. It could be better, but I like it when it gets gritty

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 7:46 pm

temporary21 wrote:Each to their own, Im the type of guy who watches a cricket team try to dead bat a draw in test cricket. It could be better, but I like it when it gets gritty

I am with you.

Take cricket as an example. The in-thing now is the wham-bam thank you ma'am of Twenty-20. Hit big and it is everything for fans but it only highlights one strength - batting big. Test Cricket is my forte where wickets and runs have to be earnt and strategically batsmen have to be worked over before getting them out using certain deliveries.

Snooker is similar. Fans are often too one-eyed oozing over the great potters who more often than not can be one-dimensional. Stick them in a safety battle or a frame when the balls go awkward and they neither have the patience or the mental skill-set to fathom out how to win those frames. That is where the matchplay-type players come to the fore. I enjoy big breaks but equally enthralled by safety battles as it tests every asset of a snooker player's game.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 7:51 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:Look at those that have beaten him at The Crucible such as Dott, Ebdon, Hawkins, Selby and Bingham (all probably derided by posters on here but all with a game capable of beating Ronnie). Like I say talent-wise Ronnie is greatest to pick up a cue but GOAT? No.

Hawkins and Bingham beat him straight up so no complaints there, the other three in my opinion deliberately played even slower with a level of gamesmanship I think should be dealt with.

Gamesmanship? Why? Because they don't play to a pace Ronnie operates at? Sorry but GOAT's don't let trivial things like that get to them. The problem Ronnie has is his impatience. His safety play has improved ten fold in recent years since working with Reardon but he still has that tendency to not be able to resist pushing the boat out and opening the door to his opponents. If Ronnie can find a way of solving the conundrum of how to beat a matchplay player who is not intimidated he way have another world title or more in him but he'll need to be quick.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 7:53 pm

Fu draws level at 13-13 with Selby with a big break.
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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 7:56 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:Look at those that have beaten him at The Crucible such as Dott, Ebdon, Hawkins, Selby and Bingham (all probably derided by posters on here but all with a game capable of beating Ronnie). Like I say talent-wise Ronnie is greatest to pick up a cue but GOAT? No.

Hawkins and Bingham beat him straight up so no complaints there, the other three in my opinion deliberately played even slower with a level of gamesmanship I think should be dealt with.

Gamesmanship? Why? Because they don't play to a pace Ronnie operates at? Sorry but GOAT's don't let trivial things like that get to them. The problem Ronnie has is his impatience. His safety play has improved ten fold in recent years since working with Reardon but he still has that tendency to not be able to resist pushing the boat out and opening the door to his opponents. If Ronnie can find a way of solving the conundrum of how to beat a matchplay player who is not intimidated he way have another world title or more in him but he'll need to be quick.

They play deliberately slowly and the way you talk you'd think he's miles behind Davis and Hendry, it's one and two world titles respectively; Davis himself got very complacent it's why he lost to Taylor and Davis.

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Post by temporary21 on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 7:56 pm

Ronnie can do it all, hes got great safety. Sadly, his main issue is he mentally beats the cr*p out of himself, so the longer you leave him to stew, or not pot, the more he gets worse. Its an unfortunate result of his mental demons.
I wouldnt personally begrudge a player to try and tak advantage of that, its up to Ronnie to keep himself in a good place and stay on focus,

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 8:07 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:Look at those that have beaten him at The Crucible such as Dott, Ebdon, Hawkins, Selby and Bingham (all probably derided by posters on here but all with a game capable of beating Ronnie). Like I say talent-wise Ronnie is greatest to pick up a cue but GOAT? No.

Hawkins and Bingham beat him straight up so no complaints there, the other three in my opinion deliberately played even slower with a level of gamesmanship I think should be dealt with.

Gamesmanship? Why? Because they don't play to a pace Ronnie operates at? Sorry but GOAT's don't let trivial things like that get to them. The problem Ronnie has is his impatience. His safety play has improved ten fold in recent years since working with Reardon but he still has that tendency to not be able to resist pushing the boat out and opening the door to his opponents. If Ronnie can find a way of solving the conundrum of how to beat a matchplay player who is not intimidated he way have another world title or more in him but he'll need to be quick.

They play deliberately slowly and the way you talk you'd think he's miles behind Davis and Hendry, it's one and two world titles respectively; Davis himself got very complacent it's why he lost to Taylor and Davis.

They are slow players though - no doubt about it. I have no qualms saying Ronnie is one of the all-time greats - no question about it. But the way some talk Ronnie is way ahead of Hendry and Davis. Titles talk for me and the fact they dominated the sport yet Ronnie has never had a dominant spell says a lot. Natural talent will get you so far but doesn't guarantee GOATdom as can be seen by likes of Alex Higgins and Jimmy White and for all we know Judd Trump may join Jimmy as one with all that natural talent yet no world titles.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 8:11 pm

Great break this from Mark Selby. This is his strength where he can still hold his game together even though not in his very best form.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 8:12 pm

Selby edges back ahead and leads 14-13.
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Post by temporary21 on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 8:13 pm

First guy to open up a 2 frame lead I think has this in the bag

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 8:17 pm

temporary21 wrote:First guy to open up a 2 frame lead I think has this in the bag

I'd still back Mark Selby on the virtue of having been there and done it. Big match experience and all that.
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Post by Dave. on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 8:35 pm

Willie and JV didn't like the morning session!

Dennis mentioned golf yet?

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Post by temporary21 on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 8:36 pm

Cant hear him at the mo. I imagine hes mentioned the 85 final 4 times though

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Post by temporary21 on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 11:16 pm

these last two frames have been absolutely brilliant matchplay snooker from Mark. Hes literally broken Marco, aand he will be in the final

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Post by B.A. BARACUS on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 11:52 pm

temporary21 wrote:By the same token, Selby and Fu arent just grinders either. The above players you clearly like more are more known for potting than grafting, but they havent grafted at all.

Selby, need we remember, has also won multiple titles, its a little bit of a slap in the face to the guys left to call the tournament a turd, just because they got there because the other guys were terrible this tourny. The snookers still compelling, but in a different way.

Its fair enough though. Clearly the slow frames with lots of safety and surprising misses arent your thing. The guys in the semis all deserve it though, the misses are due to nerves, not because theyre worse players

Selby may have won multiple titles but he is not what you would call a fluent player.

His jerky cue action dictates his style of play, there is no flow to his game and that is why he tends to win matches by grinding his opponents into submission.

His matchplay is second to none and i would argue is just about the best in the game - there was a time when J. Higgins was regarded the best 'matchplay' player but his glory days are behind him now.

How you can say the likes of Robertson, Ronnie, Murphy, Higgins, Trump are known for being potters is beyond me. All of that list have an exceptional all round game, you don't win 5 world titles like Ronnie and 4 like Higgins just by being able to pot balls.

Trump is an exceptional potter but that is not to say that he doesn't also have a good safety game - he has shown in the last couple of seasons that he is not just the 'pot them of the lampshades' type player he was when he reached the final a few years ago.

I would label players like Robert Milkins, Tony drago and to a lesser extent Jimmy white as examples of 'potters' as they lack the aspects of the game that are required to be multiple title winners.

I don't mind the odd bout of safety as it is an important part of the game BUT when the players can barely string a 20 break together and the frames are taking an hour each as they have in this second semi, then i would not call it compelling but poor.

I don't know what you mean when you use the word 'grafting' you imply the players that have gone out have not tried hard enough and can't be bothered - i disagree.

This is the biggest tournament in the game.....the only player that i would accuse of not grafting as you call it is Maguire - he admitted that he couldn't be ar$ed trying...obviously more interested in throwing in the towel so he can make a sharp exit and stuff his face at Burger King.

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Post by B.A. BARACUS on Sun 01 May 2016, 12:16 am

Hammersmith harrier wrote:Robertson's ability has and is being massively over stated here, you'd think he's a multiple winner and finalist the way B.A. is talking about him, he doesn't really belong in the same bracket as O'Sullivan, Murphy or Higgins when it comes to the World Championship.

Robertson doesn't belong in the same bracket as Ronnie and Higgins in terms of historical records YET but he certainly deserves a mention alongside them if discussing (IN HINDSIGHT) the favourites for this years title.

He is a fantastic all round player. To suggest that Murphy is head and shoulders above him historically or in today's game is laughable.

Robertson may only have one world title but he has won the triple crown of UK, Masters and Worlds and has 11 ranking titles to his name.

Pie man Murphy has 6 ranking titles - he may have been a runner up at the crucible a couple of times on top but so has Carter, Dott, White...does that also mean they are a level above Robertson???


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Post by B.A. BARACUS on Sun 01 May 2016, 12:31 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:But surely, if this has been a 'turd' tournament then why isn't GOAT wannabe Ronnie walking it?

I think snooker is in something of a new phase. Great potting is fine but have that without a top notch matchplay game to back it up and you are nowhere. Players aren't embarrassing just because they don't pot the balls from the lampshades. These players are the ones left in for a reason - rock solid matchplay snooker. In this day and age it beats the potting brigade unless that potting brigade has a very good matchplay game to fall back on when potting is off or not possible.

In my opinion Ronnie would have wiped the floor with either Fu or Selby had they played like that against him.

Hawkins played the game of his life to beat him and he deserves a lot of credit for that. He never let Ronnie pull away and jumped on every mistake he made.

If Ronnie gets a few frames ahead it's likely he will hammer you but if you can stay with him and punish his errors then eventually he will succumb to the pressure just like anybody else.

For the record i think Ronnie has a fantastic temperament these days and a brilliant all round game. He is a far more rounded player then he was ten years ago and can mix it with the best of them in terms of matchplay.

In my opinion the standard this afternoon in the Selby vs Fu semi was abysmal. Missing pot after pot, not being able to take clear cut chances to win frames and running out of position then playing safe can not just be dressed up as 'matchplay'.

Both players were rubbish and in effect nullified each other.


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Post by B.A. BARACUS on Sun 01 May 2016, 12:46 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:If we look at those players whose strengths were potting and break-building then Ding is one but he has been working with Griffiths bringing more tactical nous and savvy to beef up his game. Ronnie did the same a few years ago getting advice from the great Ray Reardon. Nowadays potting alone will not get you across the winning line.

There has never been an era in the modern game where potting alone has won you titles.

Perhaps Higgins in 82 or J. Johnson in 86 was the last time a pure 'potter' won the title.

Davis dominated the 80s because he possessed such a fantastic all round game.

Hendry dominated in the 90s because he was an imperious break builder and had the best temperament i've ever seen coupled with a ruthless desire for victory.

The closest a potter has come to winning recently was Trump a few years back where he almost blasted Higgins off the table but just came up short at the end.

In my opinion break building is the greatest strength a player in the modern game can have.

There is no point being a tactical genius if you can't make a frame winning clearance when it presents itself.....Steve Davis in the latter stages of his career is a perfect example. He was lauded as being a tactical master yet when he did manage to create a frame winning opportunity from his tactical mastery, he inevitably cocked it up.




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Post by B.A. BARACUS on Sun 01 May 2016, 1:15 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:The centuries stat doesn't mean a great deal; Robertson, Fu, Ding and Trump have made more than Davis did in a 35 year long career, nowhere near being in the same class.

You could say a similar thing with regards to 1991, how did the GOAT Hendry not win a tournament won by John Parrott, these things happen.

GOAT's find a way to dominate. Hendry did it as did Davis. They had a style of game at that time that could handle whatever anybody else could throw at them. Ronnie isn't like that. Chuck a top matchplay snooker player at him and he is snookered so to speak. Look at those that have beaten him at The Crucible such as Dott, Ebdon, Hawkins, Selby and Bingham (all probably derided by posters on here but all with a game capable of beating Ronnie). Like I say talent-wise Ronnie is greatest to pick up a cue but GOAT? No.

I think you're being a tad harsh on Ronnie with that statement.

Ronnie has played and beaten a lot of excellent 'matchplay' type players - including (for his 1st world title) J. Higgins who is perhaps the greatest exponent of matchplay snooker there has been.

Inevitably he is going to lose at times but to say that he comes unstuck against any one type of player is doing him a disservice.

Is he GOAT..not for me. Talent wise maybe but in my opinion Hendry is the best exponent of the game i have seen.

It's always difficult to compare eras when discussing who is the GOAT.

Hendry and Davis may have dominated but the opposition in their respective eras was pretty poor.

More than anything though, alongside their unquestionable talent, Davis and Hendry in particular had a steely determination to win that set them apart from the rest of the pack.

The standard of players in the last ten years has been the best there has been in my opinion and that it why no one player is able to dominate like Davis & Hendry did.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 01 May 2016, 7:16 am

B.A. BARACUS wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:But surely, if this has been a 'turd' tournament then why isn't GOAT wannabe Ronnie walking it?

I think snooker is in something of a new phase. Great potting is fine but have that without a top notch matchplay game to back it up and you are nowhere. Players aren't embarrassing just because they don't pot the balls from the lampshades. These players are the ones left in for a reason - rock solid matchplay snooker. In this day and age it beats the potting brigade unless that potting brigade has a very good matchplay game to fall back on when potting is off or not possible.

In my opinion Ronnie would have wiped the floor with either Fu or Selby had they played like that against him.

Hawkins played the game of his life to beat him and he deserves a lot of credit for that. He never let Ronnie pull away and jumped on every mistake he made.

If Ronnie gets a few frames ahead it's likely he will hammer you but if you can stay with him and punish his errors then eventually he will succumb to the pressure just like anybody else.

For the record i think Ronnie has a fantastic temperament these days and a brilliant all round game. He is a far more rounded player then he was ten years ago and can mix it with the best of them in terms of matchplay.

In my opinion the standard this afternoon in the Selby vs Fu semi was abysmal. Missing pot after pot, not being able to take clear cut chances to win frames and running out of position then playing safe can not just be dressed up as 'matchplay'.

Both players were rubbish and in effect nullified each other.  


You are over-looking things though. The match-up of players determine how matches go. This Fu/Selby semi got bogged down in safety and tactical frames which naturally breaks up a player's natural potting rhythm hence you get more misses creeping in. That does not equate to them being bad players - just circumstance. If they had played Ronnie it would have been a totally different type of match.

As for this talk about snooker being better quality than the 90s - highly debatable. Just look at this thread for the berating of players such as Selby, Carter, Dott, Maguire, Fu etc etc who have been contenders in this era. Unless my mind has gone Ronnie played tgroughout the large part of the 90s winning Uk and Masters so was a winning machine but no world titles. John Higgins also played for a good part of the 90s who went on (like Ronnie) to win multiple titles in the 00s. Mark Williams was also plying his trade and winning in the 90s and then you had others such as Jimmy White, Ken Doherty etc etc etc.

As to Ronnie it cannot be over-looked. His Crucible defeats have all been against the same type of players - players capable of excellent matchpkay snooker who dont get intimidated but invariably players unfairly berating by others such as Dott, Ebdon, Hawkins, Selby and Bingham. There has to be a reason for that as Davis and Hendry often had to contend with such players but never suffered such at their hands.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 01 May 2016, 10:36 am

The Final between Ding and Selby is a tough one to call. If Ding can win enough frames without getting dragged into safety battles and if he can keep his head then he stands a great chance. Selby has been patchy throughout the tournament but has that quality of finding a way to carry on winning frames plus he is a course and distance winner which must count for something. I'll opt for Selby to bag his second world title.
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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sun 01 May 2016, 10:40 am

Despite have been world number for a fair while, Selby would be punching well above his ability were he to win a second world championship.

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Post by B.A. BARACUS on Sun 01 May 2016, 1:39 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
B.A. BARACUS wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:But surely, if this has been a 'turd' tournament then why isn't GOAT wannabe Ronnie walking it?

I think snooker is in something of a new phase. Great potting is fine but have that without a top notch matchplay game to back it up and you are nowhere. Players aren't embarrassing just because they don't pot the balls from the lampshades. These players are the ones left in for a reason - rock solid matchplay snooker. In this day and age it beats the potting brigade unless that potting brigade has a very good matchplay game to fall back on when potting is off or not possible.

In my opinion Ronnie would have wiped the floor with either Fu or Selby had they played like that against him.

Hawkins played the game of his life to beat him and he deserves a lot of credit for that. He never let Ronnie pull away and jumped on every mistake he made.

If Ronnie gets a few frames ahead it's likely he will hammer you but if you can stay with him and punish his errors then eventually he will succumb to the pressure just like anybody else.

For the record i think Ronnie has a fantastic temperament these days and a brilliant all round game. He is a far more rounded player then he was ten years ago and can mix it with the best of them in terms of matchplay.

In my opinion the standard this afternoon in the Selby vs Fu semi was abysmal. Missing pot after pot, not being able to take clear cut chances to win frames and running out of position then playing safe can not just be dressed up as 'matchplay'.

Both players were rubbish and in effect nullified each other.  


You are over-looking things though. The match-up of players determine how matches go. This Fu/Selby semi got bogged down in safety and tactical frames which naturally breaks up a player's natural potting rhythm hence you get more misses creeping in. That does not equate to them being bad players - just circumstance. If they had played Ronnie it would have been a totally different type of match.

As for this talk about snooker being better quality than the 90s - highly debatable. Just look at this thread for the berating of players such as Selby, Carter, Dott, Maguire, Fu etc etc who have been contenders in this era. Unless my mind has gone Ronnie played tgroughout the large part of the 90s winning Uk and Masters so was a winning machine but no world titles. John Higgins also played for a good part of the 90s who went on (like Ronnie) to win multiple titles in the 00s. Mark Williams was also plying his trade and winning in the 90s and then you had others such as Jimmy White, Ken Doherty etc etc etc.

As to Ronnie it cannot be over-looked. His Crucible defeats have all been against the same type of players - players capable of excellent matchpkay snooker who dont get intimidated but invariably players unfairly berating by others such as Dott, Ebdon, Hawkins, Selby and Bingham. There has to be a reason for that as Davis and Hendry often had to contend with such players but never suffered such at their hands.

To a certain extent, the match up of players can have an effect on the type of match that plays out but i don't feel that was the case in the Selby/Fu semi.

The reason the match got bogged down in safety and tactics was because both players were struggling and could barely string a decent break together.

They missed numerous pots, regularly ran out of position and therefore were forced to continually play safe - had they managed to make a few more frame winning clearances then there would have been no need to repeatedly play safe.  

I don't know whether it was the occasion or perhaps fatigue as it is such a long tournament but they were both poor for large parts of this match - although the final session was a lot better and both players looked like they had greatly improved.

Fu must be kicking himself, he had a poor Selby on the ropes yet couldn't finish him off. He must have given away at least 6 frames where he missed frame winning pots or chances.

I don;t feel snooker was better quality in the 90s, the standard of players now is the best it has been.

If you take Hendry out of the 90's you are left with a fairly mediocre bunch of established players like Parrott, Bond, Ebdon, Thorne, Wattana etc and later on future stars like Ronnie, Higgins and Williams who were all vying for titles but did not quite mature until the turn of the decade.

Ronnie played in the 90s but he was a mess - he has admitted that he had numerous problems off the table during this period and did not dedicate himself to the sport.

The biggest change in the sport in the last few years has been the introduction of a lot more tournaments, PTC events etc and the overhaul of the ranking system to a continuously 'rolling' based system like tennis.

Before this happened 'lesser'players like Binghan and Hawkins were out of the top 16 and had no real hope of breaking into this elite field as they weren't automatically included in the main draw for the established tournaments and quite simply there wasn't enough tournaments being held to accumulate the required points to rise through the ranks and push the established order out.

Also without the experience of of getting to the TV stages these type of players often struggled in the big arenas.  

Ten years ago once a player broke into the top 16 it was near impossible for him to drop out as long as long as they played half decent and won a few matches each season. They automatically got through to all the calender tournaments and even if they went out in the 1st round, a few ranking points were picked up along the way.

With these changes it really is impossible to compare eras, the players are just so much more match sharp now due to the sheer number of tournaments that are now held each year.

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Post by Guest on Sun 01 May 2016, 1:39 pm

Could be quite a ding dong of a match.  Ding seems to be in better form than Selby and will be hoping for a fast start against Selby.  That said Selby must be doing something right to have got to the final via gruelling snooker that could have broken lesser players.

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Post by B.A. BARACUS on Sun 01 May 2016, 1:43 pm

Hope Ding can cope with the occasion and bag his first world title.......i don't feel Selby has played well enough to merit a second title.

He has also had a fairly easy draw to get to the final, avoiding every top player.

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Post by temporary21 on Sun 01 May 2016, 2:30 pm

Being tough and hard to beat is never given much credit. Selby deserves a great deal more respect than what he gets, has the toughest all round game of the "newer" guys hell be a very hard guy for Ding to beat

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 01 May 2016, 2:54 pm

B.A. BARACUS wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
B.A. BARACUS wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:But surely, if this has been a 'turd' tournament then why isn't GOAT wannabe Ronnie walking it?

I think snooker is in something of a new phase. Great potting is fine but have that without a top notch matchplay game to back it up and you are nowhere. Players aren't embarrassing just because they don't pot the balls from the lampshades. These players are the ones left in for a reason - rock solid matchplay snooker. In this day and age it beats the potting brigade unless that potting brigade has a very good matchplay game to fall back on when potting is off or not possible.

In my opinion Ronnie would have wiped the floor with either Fu or Selby had they played like that against him.

Hawkins played the game of his life to beat him and he deserves a lot of credit for that. He never let Ronnie pull away and jumped on every mistake he made.

If Ronnie gets a few frames ahead it's likely he will hammer you but if you can stay with him and punish his errors then eventually he will succumb to the pressure just like anybody else.

For the record i think Ronnie has a fantastic temperament these days and a brilliant all round game. He is a far more rounded player then he was ten years ago and can mix it with the best of them in terms of matchplay.

In my opinion the standard this afternoon in the Selby vs Fu semi was abysmal. Missing pot after pot, not being able to take clear cut chances to win frames and running out of position then playing safe can not just be dressed up as 'matchplay'.

Both players were rubbish and in effect nullified each other.  


You are over-looking things though. The match-up of players determine how matches go. This Fu/Selby semi got bogged down in safety and tactical frames which naturally breaks up a player's natural potting rhythm hence you get more misses creeping in. That does not equate to them being bad players - just circumstance. If they had played Ronnie it would have been a totally different type of match.

As for this talk about snooker being better quality than the 90s - highly debatable. Just look at this thread for the berating of players such as Selby, Carter, Dott, Maguire, Fu etc etc who have been contenders in this era. Unless my mind has gone Ronnie played tgroughout the large part of the 90s winning Uk and Masters so was a winning machine but no world titles. John Higgins also played for a good part of the 90s who went on (like Ronnie) to win multiple titles in the 00s. Mark Williams was also plying his trade and winning in the 90s and then you had others such as Jimmy White, Ken Doherty etc etc etc.

As to Ronnie it cannot be over-looked. His Crucible defeats have all been against the same type of players - players capable of excellent matchpkay snooker who dont get intimidated but invariably players unfairly berating by others such as Dott, Ebdon, Hawkins, Selby and Bingham. There has to be a reason for that as Davis and Hendry often had to contend with such players but never suffered such at their hands.

To a certain extent, the match up of players can have an effect on the type of match that plays out but i don't feel that was the case in the Selby/Fu semi.

The reason the match got bogged down in safety and tactics was because both players were struggling and could barely string a decent break together.

They missed numerous pots, regularly ran out of position and therefore were forced to continually play safe - had they managed to make a few more frame winning clearances then there would have been no need to repeatedly play safe.  

I don't know whether it was the occasion or perhaps fatigue as it is such a long tournament but they were both poor for large parts of this match - although the final session was a lot better and both players looked like they had greatly improved.

Fu must be kicking himself, he had a poor Selby on the ropes yet couldn't finish him off. He must have given away at least 6 frames where he missed frame winning pots or chances.

I don;t feel snooker was better quality in the 90s, the standard of players now is the best it has been.

If you take Hendry out of the 90's you are left with a fairly mediocre bunch of established players like Parrott, Bond, Ebdon, Thorne, Wattana etc and later on future stars like Ronnie, Higgins and Williams who were all vying for titles but did not quite mature until the turn of the decade.

Ronnie played in the 90s but he was a mess - he has admitted that he had numerous problems off the table during this period and did not dedicate himself to the sport.

The biggest change in the sport in the last few years has been the introduction of a lot more tournaments, PTC events etc and the overhaul of the ranking system to a continuously 'rolling' based system like tennis.

Before this happened 'lesser'players like Binghan and Hawkins were out of the top 16 and had no real hope of breaking into this elite field as they weren't automatically included in the main draw for the established tournaments and quite simply there wasn't enough tournaments being held to accumulate the required points to rise through the ranks and push the established order out.

Also without the experience of of getting to the TV stages these type of players often struggled in the big arenas.  

Ten years ago once a player broke into the top 16 it was near impossible for him to drop out as long as long as they played half decent and won a few matches each season. They automatically got through to all the calender tournaments and even if they went out in the 1st round, a few ranking points were picked up along the way.

With these changes it really is impossible to compare eras, the players are just so much more match sharp now due to the sheer number of tournaments that are now held each year.

Sorry but Ronnie was winning UK and Masters titles in the 90s so how does that equate to 'a mess'? And also can we say that Ronnie gets special dispensation now where he can pick and choose what tournaments he enters so can remain fresher where a few years ago players had to play in them all and mental burn-outs were not considered. It is an enigma. Players dissed such as Selby, Dott, Carter, Fu, Ebdon and Bingham have all beaten Ronnie who people tout as GOAT - I will be buggered if I can work that one out.

And these 'dissed' players are world champions (well Dott, Bingham and Ebdon) are in recent years so what does that say about the 'quality' of this era?

Ronnie fans can't have it both ways - either Ronnie should be questioned for not winning far more world titles considering how dissed players of this era are or these dissed players are better than people are giving them credit for.
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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sun 01 May 2016, 2:57 pm

Do you know what Craig, I think they've all beaten Hendry too, your arguments are far too one way, you only see the negatives in one player failing to appreciate they apply to others too.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 01 May 2016, 3:03 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:Do you know what Craig, I think they've all beaten Hendry too, your arguments are far too one way, you only see the negatives in one player failing to appreciate they apply to others too.

Yes they have - a Hendry in decline I'd certainly say they have. Is Ronnie in decline? When was Ronnie's peak? I have said twice or three times on this thread and on the other that Ronnie is the most naturally-gifted player to pick up a cue so can't see what is negative about that. My complaint is trying to pin him as GOAT when he has less world titles than TWO other players in the modern era and is plying his trade at a time when we have so many dissed players playing. As I said it is an enigma.

And may I add it isn't me that has been dissing those players listed. They each have admirable qualities.
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