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2021 World Snooker Championship


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Starts tomorrow at its home, the legendary Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, with spectators allowed.

The draw

Ronnie O’Sullivan (1) vs Mark Joyce
Ricky Walden vs Anthony McGill (16)
Ding Junhui (9) vs Stuart Bingham
Jamie Jones vs Stephen Maguire (8)

John Higgins (5) vs Tian Pengfei
Sam Craigie vs Mark Williams (12)
Mark Allen (13) vs Lyu Haotian
Kurt Maflin vs Mark Selby (4)

Neil Robertson (3) vs Liang Wenbo
Ali Carter vs Jack Lisowski (14)
Barry Hawkins (11) vs Matthew Selt
Gary Wilson vs Kyren Wilson (6)

Shaun Murphy (7) vs Mark Davis
Martin Gould vs Yan Bingtao (10)
David Gilbert (15) vs Chris Wakelin
Liam Highfield vs Judd Trump (2)

 

Top half looks more difficult, particularly quarter 2, with 3 ex-world champions who have 10 world titles between them.

Anyway for what its worth heres my thoughts having watched pretty much all the tournaments whilst working from home this this season:

Quarter 1

Ronnie has been in good form this season, but has lost in all 5 finals he's reached. I think he might refocus with the prospect of equaling Stephen Hendry's record this year so I think he can come through this section, McGill and Bingham have under performed to the point where the latter actually had to qualify, Stephen Maguire has missed a couple of tournaments and is temperamental at the best of times and Ding has lost in quarters and semis any time he has played anyone good, and that has been Ronnie a few times

Quarter 2

John Higgins was unbelievable winning the Players Championship, losing I think 4 frames, beating Selby 6-0 when he conceded 7 points in the entire match and hammering Ronnie in the final, I think he can continue that form into this tournament and will reach the semis from this quarter. Mark Williams isn't playing too well and neither is Mark Allen and Selby I think has lost it a bit in the big tournaments, been a while since he reached a final in one of the important ones. I actually think Kurt Maflin might turn him over in round 1.

Quarter 3

Neil Robertson is having a great season but his recent record here is poor and Barry Hawkins is coming back into form at the right time. He should have beat Trump and Ronnie in semis at the German Masters and Tour Championship but the longer format will suit him and his record here is really good so he is my pick for the semis. Jask Lisowski has had a good season too without winning anything but I think he lacks the big tournament temperament and he will struggle to get past Ali Carter and as for Kyren Wilson, I just don't rate him at all, great attitude but just doesn't have the ability to match the real top players. Look for his namesake Gary to cause a shock in round 1.

Quarter 4

Whilst Judd Trump has won a lot of tournaments lately, he lost in round 1 in both The Players and Tour Championships and has made some odd media comments lately which suggest he's distracted. I fancy Yan Bingtao in this quarter, who was superb in defeating John Higgins in The Masters final. Dave Gilbert's form has dipped to the point where he is not even in the top 64 on the one year list and as much as I love watching Shaun Murphy play, he's just lacking a bit in his safety game and not knocking in as many long pots as he used to. 

My semis

Ronnie O'Sullivan v John Higgins

Barry Hawkins v Yan Bingtao

Winner: John Higgins

 

  

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Starts tomorrow at its home, the legendary Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, with spectators allowed. The draw Ronnie O’Sullivan (1) vs Mark Joyce Ricky Walden vs Anthony McGill (16) Ding J

This years tournament so far has been incredibly high in  standard with the century breaks record already gone. I do lose a bit of interest in it if Ronnie gets KO’d but that’s just my personal taste.

Mark Selby awesome yesterday...but to call him The "Jester",  now that's a laugh! wish he would smile a little.... IMO he's got less charisma than Steve Davis had in his day.

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Really fancy Higgins or Robertson to win this year World Snooker championship . Higgins found a right cue and hand inches closer to the cue ball than before when he recently won the player’s championship this year in near perfection . Playing like this , he will be unbeatable . Robertson had also found his Touch recently winning the tour championship beating Ronnie 10-4 . Probably carry on playing  like this form , unbeatable as well . Ronnie had recently open a snooker shop in Meadowhall on 12 th April   , I suspect that he was busy doing the shop up instead of practicing extra hours for this championship , will be his downfall . Looking forward to 16 days of snooker on TV . 

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On 17/04/2021 at 05:40, jocky king said:

Really fancy Higgins or Robertson to win this year World Snooker championship . Higgins found a right cue and hand inches closer to the cue ball than before when he recently won the player’s championship this year in near perfection . Playing like this , he will be unbeatable . Robertson had also found his Touch recently winning the tour championship beating Ronnie 10-4 . Probably carry on playing  like this form , unbeatable as well . Ronnie had recently open a snooker shop in Meadowhall on 12 th April   , I suspect that he was busy doing the shop up instead of practicing extra hours for this championship , will be his downfall . Looking forward to 16 days of snooker on TV . 

Also fancy John Higgins to do well ,   he and Mark Selby will give anyone a tough game .

Kyren Wilson has a decent outside chance  ,  And Yan Bingtao is now the best of the Chinese .

Neil Robertson , what has he done to his hair ?      Looks like Harpo Marx  !!   

Winner for me     Judd Trump 

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Yan Bingtao was unbelievable this morning to win 10-6 , Martin Gould did not do much wrong .. 20/1 great price for Yan , only 21 yrs old , Old head on young shoulders , said the commentators... 

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John Higgins and Tian Pengfei  share 2 pretty awful frames to begin their match .

Can only get better . 

Mikeyboy

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2 hours ago, mikeyboy said:

John Higgins and Tian Pengfei  share 2 pretty awful frames to begin their match .

Can only get better . 

Mikeyboy

Shocking performance,  last frame was worse ( seventh frame ) . Ref stopped after that match , no time he says at 18.20 , I think he is pissed off too .. lol . 

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Ding vs Bingham this morning was a good game , Ding took advantage of Bingham simple  errors to go 5-4 up .. Will be a good tussle tmw afternoon. 

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Kyren Wilson shows a bit of trademark grit to get back to within one of Gary Wilson at the break having been 5-1 down....Meanwhile my pick John Higgins 7-4 down to Tian, playing as badly as I’ve seen in a long time, hard to believe it’s the same player who destroyed the field at The Players Champs a month and a half ago.

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16 hours ago, PR1977 said:

Kyren Wilson shows a bit of trademark grit to get back to within one of Gary Wilson at the break having been 5-1 down....Meanwhile my pick John Higgins 7-4 down to Tian, playing as badly as I’ve seen in a long time, hard to believe it’s the same player who destroyed the field at The Players Champs a month and a half ago.

John Higgins scrambled over the line to beat Pengfei , and admitted he was poor .  Will have to up his game to have any chance of progressing further .  

Neil Robertson in contrast was pleased with his game beating Liang Wenbo 10-3 

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Lisowski just edges Carter in the first last frame decider...Ding v Bingham might go all the way too.

Good start from Mark Allen, going a bit under the radar this year after a poor season 

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17 hours ago, PR1977 said:

Lisowski just edges Carter in the first last frame decider...Ding v Bingham might go all the way too.

Good start from Mark Allen, going a bit under the radar this year after a poor season 

Must really drain the players involved when a match goes the distance .  Stuart Bingham beats Ding Junhui in decider after a 2 hour wait to return to the table . 

Waiting to see how Mark Selby goes this year , playing Kurt Maflin who is very talented .

Mikeyboy

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I don’t agree with Mark Williams break off ... I think the RULES should change . Go for the red first not the cushion .  In Pool , you have to go for the balls first and one of the balls must Touch the cushions after the break off .. Do you agree ? Craige does the same cos he didn’t like his break off . He is 5-4 down ( he should be happy after few bad frames ) , Craige should play his own game not drag into Williams game plan . 

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33 minutes ago, jocky king said:

one of the balls must Touch the cushions after the break off .. Do you agree ?

To me its not in the spirit of sportsmanship to break as he does. I get it, he doesnt want to lay one over the corner pocket but there has to be a better way. Its not good to watch, nor is it good for the game. Mark is far too classy player to be acting like this.

Im surprised no-one has tried a thin cut on an outside red bringing the white close to the middle pocket then back to baulk instead of the standard figure 8 break. It wouldnt upset the balls as much as a standard break does.

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Early days but Mark Selby looking ominous , 4-1 up on Kurt Maflin

Judd Trump breezed through 10-4 over Liam Highfield ,  looking really focused

Mikeyboy

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3 hours ago, jocky king said:

I don’t agree with Mark Williams break off ... I think the RULES should change . Go for the red first not the cushion .  In Pool , you have to go for the balls first and one of the balls must Touch the cushions after the break off .. Do you agree ? Craige does the same cos he didn’t like his break off . He is 5-4 down ( he should be happy after few bad frames ) , Craige should play his own game not drag into Williams game plan . 

Doesn’t bother me too much to be honest, I actually enjoy the different tactical aspect to the frame that that sort of break off brings....I agree though Craigie should play his own game.

It’s just another quirky thing Williams does along with his one handed no bridge shot off the cushion and his rest shot in the air...I do enjoy watching him though

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Only three qualifiers already went through with Davis and Maflin still playing . Looks like only 3 or possible 4 qualified.  From what I saw , Selby , Allen , Robertson, Bingham , Gilbert , McGill and Trump were the ones on a top form , Ronnie & Higgins playing shit and still went through .. I think first round performance is not important for a long haul .. Second rd coming up at 13pm Ronnie Vs McGill , should be very interesting, McGill loves the crucible, always plays well there , it is like his home ground.. lol 

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McGill did well to go level with Ronnie 4-4 after losing 1-4 ... Could  go all the way to tomorrow morning & night . 

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Mark Selby utterly ruthless in smashing Kurt Maflin 10 - 1     

Maflin didn't play badly , he just wasn't allowed to play at all !

Mikeyboy

 

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Neil Robertson and Jack Lisowski both struggling so far...surely standard will improve.

Robertson in particular hasn't found his game at all

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2 hours ago, PR1977 said:

Neil Robertson and Jack Lisowski both struggling so far...surely standard will improve.

Robertson in particular hasn't found his game at all

Ye ... Every player must have a bad session , Neil will be happy with 5-3 up despite his potting is below 88% . Jack’s safety improved a lot . He must keep Neil in  close distance all the time . Enjoyed their match though . Tomorrow, an old foe , Higgins Vs Williams should be good . 

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I see Ronnie tried Mark Williams break off the cushion in first frame v McGill, didn’t work though as he left one on to the middle!

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