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World Snooker Championship 2024

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Post by Duty281 Thu 18 Apr 2024, 10:42 am

Here we go again. Luca Brecel won the most unlikely World Championship you'll ever see in 2023. He went into the event having never got beyond the first round, but he went on an astonishing run where he beat Walden in a decider; defeated the veteran Williams 13-11; won seven on the spin v Ronnie to overturn a 6-10 deficit; managed an astonishing comeback against Si when he rallied from 5-14 to triumph 17-15; and then downed the marathon master, Selby, 18-15 to win the world title. A run that defied all logic and reason. The greatest Crucible run.

Can he repeat the trick in 2024? It'd be foolish to write him off, but Brecel has really struggled this season, only reaching one ranking QF and having a lot of early exits.

The favourite for the event is Ronnie O'Sullivan. Ronnie is chasing his greatest ever season, having won The Masters and the UK Championship, as well as the World Grand Prix, Shanghai Masters and the inaugural event in Saudi. Despite this strong season, Ronnie has shown some lapses, such as losing 6-0 to Selby in the Players Championship, and recently losing seven frames on the bounce against Williams in the Tour Championship final. If Ronnie does triumph in the Worlds, he would go past Hendry, and achieve his first ever Triple Crown season, and the first in snooker for 21 years.

Trump has won five ranking events this season, more than anyone else, but he generally struggles to replicate his best snooker on the biggest stages. Selby has reached the Crucible final twice in the last three years, though he has struggled for form for much of this season. Allen has ended the season strongly, and is hoping to go a couple better than last year's effort in the Worlds. While Williams has excited everyone after producing some astonishing snooker to win the Tour Championship.

Plenty of other contenders too. Ding, Zhang and Si are China's leading contenders, while veterans like Murphy, Higgins, Carter and Hawkins are still present. But perhaps one of the newer, or newish players, such as Lisowski, Wilson or Hossein can triumph?

There were some notable fallers at qualifying. Robertson is one of them. The 2010 World Champion not making it to the Crucible, capping a dreadful season. McGill, another sizable name who missed out. Thepchaiya, Zhou, Wakelin and Noppon were also losers in the qualifying stage.

Draw:

Odds - Ronnie 9/4; Trump 4/1; Selby 7/1; Allen 11/1; Williams 12/1; Brecel 16/1; Ding 20/1; Higgins 20/1; Murphy 22/1; Carter 25/1; Wilson 25/1; Zhang 33/1; Wilson 33/1; Lisowski 33/1.

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Post by Duty281 Thu 18 Apr 2024, 10:59 am

Looking at the draw, the bottom half looks very stacked. Led by Ronnie and Trump and Williams, but there's dangerous figures all over it, with Lisowski, Ding, Si, Bingham, Zhang and Hossein featuring. It's going to be a tough half to battle through, though I think Ronnie will be very happy with his quarter. Trump and Williams both have dangerous opponents in the first round, ahead of a possible QF between the two.

The top half looks lighter. Brecel has really struggled this season, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a first round exit. Carter's made quite a few deep runs, without winning anything, while Murphy's another struggler. Selby hasn't been vintage, but he usually turns up at the Crucible. Allen's ended the season well, and might have finally turned a corner at the Crucible with last year's effort. Higgins is obviously a name still to be respected, even if his greatest days now elude him.

In terms of predictions, I'll go for a Ronnie and Allen final, with Ronnie capping his greatest year by winning number eight. I do have reservations about Ronnie. He has hit some concerning lapses this season, and he might be putting too much pressure on himself to win an 8th and sweep the Triple Crown events this season, but at his best no one can touch him, and he has shown plenty of his best this season. I think and hope Allen will make another good run this year, following last year's SF and this year's Players Championship win.

I'm thinking Selby and Trump will falter at the QF stage, to Allen and Williams respectively.

If I were looking at outside bets to win the Worlds, or at least cover an each way bet, I'd be thinking Carter and Hossein. Carter has a very winnable quarter, the softest quarter of the draw; while Hossein has the potential to be brilliant, and sometimes delivers on that, even if his inconsistency is maddeningly frustrating. He might catch Trump cold in the first round.

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Post by Duty281 Sat 20 Apr 2024, 10:38 pm

No more heroics for Brecel. Led Gilbert 9-6, but loses 10-9.

The Crucible Curse has another, not surprising, victim.

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Post by Duty281 Sun 21 Apr 2024, 2:11 pm

Selby hasn't turned up this year. Down 7-2 to debutant O'Connor and needing an enormous turnaround tomorrow afternoon. Selby looked terrible for the entire session. Full credit to O'Connor, you sometimes see lesser players fail to take advantage when the opportunity is presented, but he was pretty damn ruthless in pressing home his advantage.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 22 Apr 2024, 11:34 am

Well, both of my outside picks have fallen at the first fence. Not too surprised about Hossein going, losing 10-5 to a very strong effort from Trump, but I was surprised to see Carter beaten 10-7 by Maguire, in a pretty low standard game.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 23 Apr 2024, 9:09 am

Selby is indeed out and he's questioning his future (again). Bingham has also toppled Wilson, in another surprise.

Quite a few of the seeds out already - Brecel, Carter, Selby, Zhang and Wilson.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 23 Apr 2024, 6:06 pm

Another big name falls, this time Mark Williams, losing to Si Jiahui.

Si was sublime initially this afternoon, going from 4-5 to 8-5, but Williams was staggeringly below his best. After the mid session interval, Williams pulled it back to 9-9 and looked the likelier, but he missed a tight red to the right middle and Si showed nerves of steel to clear up in one visit.

That's six of the top 16 gone in the first round, with the potential for more to go. Williams was fantastic in the Tour Championship, so to see him exit in the first round shows how competitive the snooker world is now.

Huge credit to Si. As we saw last year he's immensely talented, and has the potential to be China's first world champion. The question is whether he can harness that talent and become more consistent in applying it. He has had a tough season since last year's SF run, and nearly didn't make it at all after being 0-4 in the final qualifying round, so this result is quite a surprise in that respect.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 24 Apr 2024, 10:35 pm

Lisowski won a final frame decider to beat Ding, and Ronnie had zero problems as he strolled to an 8-1 overnight lead against Page. Ronnie with a century in that one...thirty years of making centuries at the Crucible. Plus, Hawkins overturned a 5-4 deficit to lead 8-5, only for Day to take the next five frames and win! That's eight of the top sixteen out in the first round, with Higgins' progress not yet guaranteed.






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Post by Duty281 Mon 29 Apr 2024, 9:05 am

Gilbert into the quarters, and Maguire took out Murphy in a feisty game. Allen and Higgins currently quite close, 9-7 to the Northern Irishman at present.

Trump looking very good so far, and has breezed to the quarters. Jak Jones up next for him, after he took out Si Jiahui. Lisowski and Bingham might be going to the wire.

O'Sullivan leads Day 10-6 in that second round game. Ronnie's looked quite poor, but Day has been even worse.

Should be a good Monday, and the quarters start tomorrow.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 29 Apr 2024, 11:25 pm

Barely believable stuff as Higgins wins a final frame decider against Allen. Allen was 62-0 ahead, then narrowly missed a red with the rest. Higgins cleared on the counter, one of the greatest breaks, kicked off with an outrageous double. Sickener for Allen. I was wondering if we'd ever see Higgins at the Crucible again, then he delivers that. Astonishing.

O'Sullivan and Wilson also through today. Bingham continues his magical run, beating the frustrating Lisowski, who has loads of talent and little application. Bingham's run started from the 3rd qualifying round, and he was 3-7 down in that game, before winning 10-9.

QFs begin tomorrow.

Gilbert v Maguire. Both put in the softest quarter and they've profited from that. I've been impressed with both so far, but moreso Gilbert because he rarely does anything at tournaments, so I might be narrowly favouring him.

Wilson v Higgins. What a game this should be. Wilson has looked good so far, but hasn't faced much of a challenge, it's fair to say. Higgins will be a proper test. Could go to the wire, but it starts tomorrow afternoon, and perhaps not much time for Higgins to mentally recover from tonight's draining game.

Trump v Jones. Should very easily be Trump, who's been the best at this tournament so far.

O'Sullivan v Bingham. Ronnie should have too much for Bingham, but he does need to show quite a bit of improvement, especially with the long potting. Bingham will of course remember beating Ronnie at this exact same stage in the year he won the World Championship (and he went on to beat Trump in the SFs afterward, which he'd probably have to do again if he won here).

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Post by 88Chris05 Tue 30 Apr 2024, 12:40 am

As a huge fan of Higgins since I was a kid (yeah, yeah, I know; dirty match-fixing bas*ard and all that), that match was mostly horrible, but was made all worth it thanks to that little bit of magic he produced at the end. The first 24 frames were, quite often, a sad reminder of how far he's fallen, but that last one was like stepping back in time. His penchant for pressure doubles and dramatic steals on full show.

Great credit for gutting it out and winning from 7-10 down, but doesn't bear thinking about what the likes of O'Sullivan or Trump would do to him if he played like that against them. He looked so jaded and rickety for much of the match.

Very disappointing tournament for Allen, and he'll be sickened with himself about how he let and over-the-hill, out-of-form Higgins off the hook there.
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Post by Duty281 Wed 01 May 2024, 12:49 pm

Trump is out, losing 13-9 to Jak Jones. My pre tournament prediction was Trump losing in the QFs to a Welshman...but not this Welshman!

Trump was unbelievably bad this morning. He battled to an 8-8 position overnight. Came out this morning and played some of the worst snooker I've ever seen from him. The one frame he won he needed about half a dozen chances. That mental block is still prevalent in the biggest events, and it doesn't seem Trump will ever be rid of it.

Jones sealed the greatest win of his life with a century. He's barely done anything in his decade long career so far, this is just his second ranking SF, but he certainly seems to like Sheffield.

Might say the way is clear for Ronnie now, but his struggles are continuing. He's 4-4 with Bingham overnight and far from assured of a SF berth. If Ronnie does win the title, he'll have done it without needing to beat a single top ten player, which is quite something. It's been an odd tournament.

Wilson is in cruise control against Higgins, and Gilbert is having a good time against Maguire.

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Post by Duty281 Wed 01 May 2024, 9:32 pm

And Bingham does beat Ronnie, 13-10. Can't say I'm too surprised. Ronnie has struggled for form in this tournament, and was fortunate that Day didn't exploit it, but Bingham has done. A deserved win.

Might be the strangest World Championship I can recall. Three qualifiers and Kyren Wilson are the semi finalists! Not a single top ten player in the world has made the semis.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 06 May 2024, 10:08 pm

Kyren Wilson wins the 2024 World Snooker Championship. Just his sixth ranking title and by far the biggest.

He beat Jak Jones 18-14. It was a final effectively decided by the 1st session, where Wilson was 7-1 ahead at the end. Jones battled well, but there was no coming back from such a deficit.

A first time champion twice in a row. Let's hope this one kicks on in his career from this success.

Snooker as a whole remains in a strange place. There's likely to be a breakaway tour in the Far East, plus Saudi's influence is extending, with the World Championship likely to go over there in a few years.

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Post by 88Chris05 Tue 07 May 2024, 2:46 pm

I'll be honest - very good player though he is, I never really had Wilson down as a world champion during his career. But then again, how often do you see anyone ascend to the world title by beating players ranked #40, #30, #13, #31 and #44!!??

Of course, it's not Wilson's fault that so many of the big hitters and fancied players failed to deliver on their promise this time out, but the fact that he rather fell over the line in a very low-quality final session does add to the feeling that this was a bit of an underwhelming Championship, not helped by the slimy sorts such as Hearn, O'Sullivan, Vafaei etc. and their incredibly ham-fisted and so painfully bought-and-paid-for agitating in terms of trying to move the tournament away from The Crucible.

Fair play to Jak Jones for seizing the opportunity to make a name for himself, but he never looked much more than the world #44 he is throughout the tournament, even in matches he won. I suspect both Wilson and Jones have turned up to, and will do so again, tournaments where they've been in better form than this but got nowhere near a final.

Ultimately I am happy for Wilson, as he's one of the more likable players on the tour, and I have probably underestimated him as his record has been pretty consistent at the World Championship for the past few years. If you win your five matches you deserve the trophy. That said - a bit more of an exciting, less politicised and higher-quality tournament in 2025 would be much appreciated!
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Post by EdWoodjr Wed 15 May 2024, 12:25 pm

Sad news about Dene O’Kane.
RIP.

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