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So the news going into the worlds then is the withdrawal of Anthony Hamilton. Anthony suffers from sever asthma and has decided to pull out of the tournament due to concerns about coronavirus.

He has received a bit of criticism for the decision because he came through the qualifiers to get to the final stages and some are seeming it as unfair that he has stopped other players getting to the crucible when he could have pulled out earlier and given them the opportunity. I personally don't like this criticism and totally respect Anthony's decision. These are unprecedented times and for a player to give up the opportunity to play at the crucible shows that he had some real worries that should be respected.

I think it's unfair to say he shouldn't have taken part in the qualifiers as well. You get prize money and ranking points for the qualifiers just as you do for the main tournament and the qualifiers were played behind closed doors so there was no reason to have the same concerns and if there is an opportunity to earn these prizes then why not take part? As a lower ranked player he maybe wasn't particularly expecting to get to the crucible anyway so when he did he realised that actually he was quite worried about playing in front of crowds. 

I totally respect Anthony's decision which definitely will not have been taken lightly. 

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Who should we be looking out for then?

I personally want to see Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Alexander Ursenbacher do well.

The Thai player has been really moving up the rankings in the last couple of seasons and is knocking on the door of the top 16. It's great to see a Thai player doing well again seen as it's been a long time since James Wattana was at his height. He's got Ronnie in the first round so it's gonna be very tough to get any further but Thepchaiya has been in a couple of finals recently and has got to a few quarters this season so he will have some confidence I reckon. 

I'm very excited to see Alexander Ursenbacher at the crucible. It's great to see a Swiss player doing so well at the moment and only in his early 20s there is a lot of potential for the future. I think it's Alexander's first time at the crucible but in his short career we have seen he can do well, reaching the semis of the English open (if I remember rightly) a couple of years back and the quarters of the Northern Irish this season. He's got Barry Hawkins in the first round who can be a bit hit and miss so Alexander can definitely win that one and even just advancing one round would shoot him up the rankings. 

Another European to watch is Kurt Maflin. Interesting player, born in England and married a Norwegian woman, moved there 10 years ago and gained citizenship and has chosen to represent Norway in snooker. Kurt shows glimpses of his potential every so often but has found it hard to really break through in his career. I'll be wanting him to do well but I don't reckon he will get through the first round. 

In terms of who I think will actually win, I think the field is very open this year. Judd Trump is dominating at the moment and I could see him taking back to back titles to be honest. Mark Selby has fallen away a bit this season but you shouldn't ever write him off which you would always say for Ronnie as well. John Higgins has lost 3 finals in a row, will he make it 4? I can't see him getting to the final this year.

The two possible outsiders to look out for are Mark Allen and Jack Lisowski. Mark Allen has been having a great season, while not actually having won a tournament he is frequently getting to the very latter stages and is currently ranked higher than he's ever been before. He's got a masters title and two UK championship finals under his belt and I could see he getting to the final here. Mark has what should be an easy first round tie against the young Welshman Jamie Clarke who I think is ranked about 90th at the moment. Jack Lisowski has shot up the rankings in the last couple of years and has reached a few finals and I think it's only a matter of time until he wins something big. He's got a bit of a tougher tie against Anthony McGill. Anthony is probably one of my favourite players at the moment but I'm not reckoning on him doing much here after a pretty average season and a drop of something like 20 places in the rankings. 

So who do I think is gonna win? I think Judd will take back to back titles. 

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4 hours ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

So the news going into the worlds then is the withdrawal of Anthony Hamilton. Anthony suffers from sever asthma and has decided to pull out of the tournament due to concerns about coronavirus.

He has received a bit of criticism for the decision because he came through the qualifiers to get to the final stages and some are seeming it as unfair that he has stopped other players getting to the crucible when he could have pulled out earlier and given them the opportunity. I personally don't like this criticism and totally respect Anthony's decision. These are unprecedented times and for a player to give up the opportunity to play at the crucible shows that he had some real worries that should be respected.

I think it's unfair to say he shouldn't have taken part in the qualifiers as well. You get prize money and ranking points for the qualifiers just as you do for the main tournament and the qualifiers were played behind closed doors so there was no reason to have the same concerns and if there is an opportunity to earn these prizes then why not take part? As a lower ranked player he maybe wasn't particularly expecting to get to the crucible anyway so when he did he realised that actually he was quite worried about playing in front of crowds. 

I totally respect Anthony's decision which definitely will not have been taken lightly. 

He did exactly the right thing for him - which TBH, is the motivation for 99.99% of professional sports people.

Ronnie O'Sullivan voiced worries about the covid measures at the Crucible. Mind you, he does have a bit of a history of finding fault with everything the people who run snooker do. Usually with good reason.

I have no idea who I'll be wanting to win, or expecting to win, but I will be following.


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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I don't think he has warranted the criticism - these are not normal times and shouldn't be judged the same way.

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I think a lot of the criticism has come because he pulled out after qualifying, despite knowing there would be spectators at the Crucible, whilst qualifying, if he had made it clear during qualifying he was not going to partake, or even if he had pulled out of qualifying, then MAYBE he would have a more sympathetic response.


Sex and Money are like Oxygen

They're not important until you're not getting enough.

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snookers been sterile and rubbish for years - no characters in the game anymore, oh the days of big bill , 20 fags and 8 pints taking on sourpuss cliff thorburn looking like he just stepped off the set of "magnum pi" - that was snooker


the grass may be greener on the other side of the fence but the crows are just as black

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Judd finally managed to get the better of Tom Ford then. Must say I've never seen much of Tom Ford and was surprised at his break building in the first session but his positional was letting him down throughout. There was a chance in the first session for him to go 4 frames clear and that would have been the game changer but he seemed completely different in the second session, far too many mistakes creeping in. 

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18 hours ago, graveyard johnny said:

snookers been sterile and rubbish for years - no characters in the game anymore, oh the days of big bill , 20 fags and 8 pints taking on sourpuss cliff thorburn looking like he just stepped off the set of "magnum pi" - that was snooker

Kirk Stevens and his white suit 

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Don't think I've ever seen that in a snooker match. Kurt Maflin on for a maximum, got 14 reds, 13 blacks, snooker himself and sticks two fingers up at the black! Ref warns him after the frame that if he makes another offensive gesture he will lose a frame. 

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On 02/08/2020 at 21:38, The Hallucinating Goose said:

Don't think I've ever seen that in a snooker match. Kurt Maflin on for a maximum, got 14 reds, 13 blacks, snooker himself and sticks two fingers up at the black! Ref warns him after the frame that if he makes another offensive gesture he will lose a frame. 

"Do not swear at an inanimate object, please."

I haven't watched anything like as much as I'd like to but did catch the 19th and deciding frame between Anthony McGill and Jack Lisowski last night. That had absolutely everything you want from a frame of snooker including catastrophic misses, decent safeties, and a result in doubt until the end. We all know they can pot, it's nice when the other stuff comes into play.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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2 hours ago, gingerjon said:

Do not swear at an inanimate object, please."

 

Darts players sometimes have a right finger pointing rant at the board !

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Couple of big shocks today. Noppon Saengkam beating Shaun Murphy was incredible, especially given it was by 6 frames but even more incredible is the Welsh debutant, Jamie Rhys Clarke, ranked 89th in the world, knocking out Mark Allen. Congratulations to both players! 

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Extraordinary match yesterday! John Higgins makes the first crucible maximum (if you want to be pedantic no it wasn't but won't get into what a maximum actually is now) in 8 years, always love to see a 147, and then gets beaten by the Norwegian Kurt Maflin, who I really didn't think was gonna do anything this tournament.

Must say as well, looking at his side of the draw, he honestly has a good chance of getting further. Anthony McGill or Jamie Clarke in the next round, both had tough first round games, both beat better opponents but neither are on the level of Higgins. If Jurt can beat Higgins he can certainly get past those two. Then in the semis it would be one of Trump, Yan, Gould or Wilson. Trump hasn't looked at his best so far this tournament, only just got past Tom Ford in the first round and is currently losing to Yan after the first session. Gould is nowhere near what he was a few years ago and haven't seen Wilson yet seen as he got a walkover so would like to say he isn't as prepared. You can see how going through the qualifiers instead of being seeded can help by how many qualifiers have won their first round games and not only was Wilson seeded but didn't even play in the first round. 

We will see what happens but again, if Kurt can beat Higgins he can beat a below par Trump and any of the other 3. Norwegian in the final anyone? I'm getting ahead of myself but it would be amazing if it happened! 😁

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On 31/07/2020 at 02:32, The Hallucinating Goose said:

So who do I think is gonna win? I think Judd will take back to back titles. 

And break the "Crucible curse"? That's a bold prediction. You could be right though - I think Trump is the sort who has the temperament to do it.

As normal I'll be supporting Ronnie, but I don't really mind who wins. I just hope for some good quality snooker.

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45 minutes ago, 17 stone giant said:

And break the "Crucible curse"? That's a bold prediction. You could be right though - I think Trump is the sort who has the temperament to do it.

As normal I'll be supporting Ronnie, but I don't really mind who wins. I just hope for some good quality snooker.

Well I made that prediction before it started and tbh Judd has looked a bit off at times in his first two games. Everyone knows Yan is a good upcoming player so it didn't surprise me too much that he gave Judd a good game but Judd was lucky to get past Tom Ford. I didn't think Kurt Maflin was gonna do anything but seen as he's doing so well he's who I'm cheering on at the moment and he is in the easier side of the draw so we'll see. 

I'm very much like you, I don't really mind who wins I just want to see some good snooker and it has been a very good competition so far.

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Trump is out. The Crucible Curse continues, which I'm quite pleased about. It's amazing how many great players have succumbed to it over the years.

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1 hour ago, 17 stone giant said:

Trump is out. The Crucible Curse continues, which I'm quite pleased about. It's amazing how many great players have succumbed to it over the years.

Yep, turns out I don't have a clue what I'm talking about! 😂

Its been an unpredictable championship so far and at the moment the competition is looking wide open. 

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32 minutes ago, Number 16 said:

This final frame of Wilson and McGill is bizarre and enthralling. 

who?


the grass may be greener on the other side of the fence but the crows are just as black

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1 hour ago, graveyard johnny said:

who?

That's what I said, too. 

Still doesn't detract from events in the thirty-third frame. 

Snooker is like RL in that public consciousness of its personalities is now far short of where it was in the 80s.

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