Friday, April 22, 2005

Embassy World Snooker Championship 2005 Part 1

Slightly delayed this post may be as I went to Sheffield on Sunday morning and it's now Friday night but I'll try and remember anyway. If you get bored at least read the 3rd paragraph from the end starting with quotation marks as that is stightly more entertaining than the rest of it.

The first day of the tournament saw what many people saw as the championship decider with current champion Ronnie O'Sullivan beating in form qualifier Stephen Maguire 10-9 after coming from 9-7 behind.

The following day I went to se David Gray (the mighty atom) play Anthony (the robin hood of snooker) Hamilton (he's from Nottingham). Hamilton was 4-2 down after a dismally slow first session and I hoped the second would not be as slow. It turned out to be quite entertaining even though there were no century breaks, we did see 11 frames however with the match finely poisedat 9-8 they were called off as it was time for the afternoon session to start. Hamilton went on to win 10-8.

There has been a sharp rise in prices for the snooker in recent years with the morning session costing £6 this year. I'm quite sure this has doubled over the last five years. Programmes have also risen in price from £3 on my first visit in 1990 to £5 this year but it is a quality production and is the 16th one in my collection. It also comes with the option to send off for a free DVD. Wonder if this has something to do with the raise? It does make sense to have ticket prices higher than the programme price though and four hours of world class snooker the price seems tiny compared to the £16 paid for third tier league football for only half the time.

I had Wednesday off work which just happened to coincide with the maximum 147 break from Mark Williams. It was his first maximum in tournament play has he normally plays less carefully when a frame is won as he has no more incentive. £161,000 was enough incentive it seems. Not bad for les than ten minutes at the table.

I also watched Quinten Hann lose 10-2 to ex champion Peter Ebdon yesterday. He went 8-0 down and was playing like a club player (a mediocre club player, still better than me). This was because half of his cue had gone missing between it flying back from China to London. He said afterwards, "The night before the match I'd planned to knock a few balls around and have a few drinks. Instead I had a lot of drinks." This meant he had a hangover and then a migraine for the 10:00 session and presumably didn't feel much better in the evening already being 8-1 down. He was less entertaining than normal too. I remember a couple of years ago when I was there he broke off by smashing all the reds up and potting one which was quite funny to witness.

Yesterday saw last year's runner-up Graeme Dott lose 10-9 to Ian McCulloch in a very tense match. McCulloch performed a very humourous crazy dance after claiming victory but stands little chance against Williams in round two. There is a funny story about Graeme Dott in the programme which I feel necessary to share.

"Dott snapped his cue in frustration midway through last season at a motorway service station. "Icouldn't break it at first," he said. "There was a guy watching me and he must have been wondering what I was doing."

Today saw Anthony Hamilton lose 13-3 to Stephen Hendry. So much for his good form on Sunday. Sheffield was also announced as the venue of the World Championships for the next five years. This decision pleased me immensely as I've been going for 16 years now (since I was 7) so it's become an nnual occasion for me. The Crucible will undergo a £1m refurishment, which to be fair, is necessary as the seats are the same ones you see when it was first held there in 1977. The possibility of a new venue will also be looked into and Sheffield is the home of a new snooker academy.

That's it for now. Hopefully part 2 will be shorter yet just as interesting :-)


At Tue May 03, 12:54:00 am 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well...I just watched the final on tv ;) and what a good one at that. Well done Shaun Murphy!


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