Monday, 31 January 2011

Snooker Q School - Open Days

"Knock! Knock!"
"Who’s there?"
"It’s me, a true snooker fan and a keen player who wants to enroll in the snooker circuit, but I need more practice and I want to know how I can become a genuine player."
"Then, come in child ... actually right now we are giving a tour to everyone who’s interested in knowing how the Q School will function and you can also have some practice with our couches."
"Yippee!", says the future snooker star


What you’ve just read is a preview of what the Snooker Q School is about to do: it opens its doors for six days, so all those who are interested in absorbing more info about the programme and what’s all about can get a clearer image.


So February 12 to 14 (Saturday to Monday) and February 18 to 20 (Friday to Sunday) between 10 pm and 4 am the Academy within the English Institute of Sport - Sheffield will embrace all of you who want to pay them a visit and learn more about the road from a club snooker player to a professional snooker player.
As you all know anyone can enroll into Snooker Q School, anyone age 16 or over (until May 11, 2011 when the programme will start for good).


There will be a chance to familiarizse yourself with the venue, practice on the professional standard tables, receive a few tips from official coach Andy Highfield, and ask any questions about the Q School. There's no need to book - just turn up on the day - as World Snooker stats.


So, don’t be shy and clear you schedule for the first half of February if you really want to make it to the top (they have 12 places in the professional circuit for grabs ;-) ). Of course that school or coaches don’t provide miracles, but if you are talented, ambitious and eager to become better and better, then all of that put together will definitely guarantee you a place in the circuit. :-)

If you want to know more about the rules and the programme, click here.

Zilele portilor deschise la Snooker Q School

"Cioc, cioc!"
"Cine eeeeee?"
"Sunt eu, un fan al snooker-ului si un jucator pasionat care vrea sa intre in circuit, insa are nevoie de antrenament si sa stie mai multe despre Q School si despre cum poate deveni un jucator cu acte in regula!"
"Atunci intra copile ... chiar acum oferim un tur al scolii tuturor celor interesati de "cursurile" pe care le oferim si de cum ar putea sa se transforme dintr-un simplu jucator de club, intr-un adevarat profesionist".
"Iupiiiiii!", spuse viitorul jucator de circuit.


Ei bine, cam asa arata povestea "romantzata" a ceea ce Snooker Q School face in primele zile din Februarie: Zilele portilor deschise! :-) Practic timp de 6 zile, toti cei interesanti sa se "inroleze" in circuitul profesionist si vor sa urmeze "cursurile" de integrare in acesta pot sa viziteze Academia si chiar sa se antreneze. Dupa cum bine v-am mai povestit despre acest subiect, oricine se poate inscrie la Q School, oricine cu varsta de 16 ani sau peste (vasta implinata cel tarziu in data de 11 Mai 2011 cand scoala isi incepe activitatea propriu-zisa). 
Asadar de pe 12-14 februarie si de pe 18-20 ale aceleiasi luni, in intervalul orar 12:00 - 18:00 toti cei interesati pot veni la Academia din cadrul Institutului de Sport Englez din Sheffield, pentru a obtine mai multe informatii.


"Vizitatorii vor avea sansa de a se familiariza cu locatia, de a juca pe mese pentru profesionisti, de a primi indumare de la antrenorul nostru Andy Highfield si de a afla tot ce vor despre Snooker Q School. Nu este nevoie sa va rezervati locurile, doar sa veniti in programul specificat." , declara surse World Snooker.


Asa ca nu fiti timizi si trageti o fuga pana la Sheffield sa vedeti ce inseamna Snooker Q School (sunt la bataie 12 locuri in circuit pentru "absolventi"). Fireste ca nicio scoala din lume si niciun antrenor (oricat de bun ar fi) nu pot face minuni, insa daca esti talentat, ambitios si iti doresti din tot sufletul sa ajungi un adevarat profesionist, toate astea puse la un loc iti vor garanta succesul pe care acum doar il visezi. :-)


Pentru mai multe informatii legate de reguli si program, click aici.

World Snooker Shoot-Out - The Final

Nigel Bond - the 2011 Shoot-Out champion
Wow! What a tournament! This was bloody fantastic! Snooker at full speed, baby! :-)) Impossible not to like it...I mean, even if you are all in for classical snooker, come on! It’s great fun to watch snooker played in this kind of format. Well, I’ve enjoyed it and I must say I’m in for these types of tournaments, more than I’m in for Power Snooker. :-P Anyway, so the last day, huh? The last day always brings a champion to the public and this time, for the premier edition of CaesarsCasino.com Shoot-Out that champion is the Bond of the snooker business, the "007 agent" ... Mr. Nigel Bond!!! :-)) I bet no one thought this will end with an "old" player on the top of the world screaming "Yep, I’ve conquered the Shoot-Out trophy!", but here we are peeps and this victory that Bond earned is a totally deserved one.


In the Last 16 round Bond meet up with Rory McLeod, the luckiest boy in town, to play a snooker that was breathtaking - mainly because to see a winner out of that match was such a difficult task. Nigel started the match with a 35 break just before he missed a red (this making him really angry) so Rory came to the table to pot some really amazing balls, play a couple of incredible doubles and score a 38 break. At that moment the score was in favor of McLeod, who was leading just by 3 points. Bond had yet another chance that he very well took advantage off, by potting a red and a yellow to draw at 45-45 and he kept on going until the time ran out and he was in the lead (this time) with two points. "Basildon" was through to the quarter-finals!


Robert Milkins - the 2011 Shoot-out runner-up
Here, he had a very interesting match with Mark King, a match that ended on a 29-23 scoreline. As usual Bond opened the match with a mini-break of 13 points, but King was careful enough to respond in breaks that didn’t overcome 10 points, to bring the score at 14-22 in his favor. Mark tried to clear what was left on the table so he took on a red, but missed the brown, this giving Nigel a perfect opportunity to comeback and score a 15 break (started with an unbelievable red that was potted in a pocket hungry for snooker balls) in the last minute. Once again Nigel was making his way through to the next round.


Marcus Campbell was his opponent for the semi-final, but this time Bond went straight to victory by firing in breaks of 15, 28 and 10 and closing the deal at 55-14. For the first time in 13 years Nigel was in the final of a modern snooker event and he was just one step away from lifting that brand new trophy over his shoulders.
He meet Robert Milkins in the final, the player that sent "Rocket Ronnie" (as obsessively Andy Goldstein keeps on calling O`Sullivan) home by hitting in runs of 19 and 53. Both he and Ronnie had a very scrappy start in that match, but the one who recovered faster was Robert... and now he was in the final.

Ronnie O`Sullivan had a beautiful run
The match wasn’t filled with amazing breaks but was one who kept us quite nervous on our seats. Milkins succeeded in potting a red but he couldn’t continue so Nigel came to the table in order to cash some points. Both players struggled in having a fluent game as the tension was rising and the minutes were magically disappearing, but Bond’s runs of 14 and 38 gave him a pretty good advantage. Robert tried to make use of Nigel’s mistakes, but he was already in need of a snooker and there was only one minute left. So there it was! The final score, the one that made Nigel Bond a champion after 13 years: 58-23! :-)


What an incredible run had Bond! What crazy and twisted matches he played in! My deepest and sincere congratulations go to him for succeeding in showing to the entire world that age doesn’t count in snooker and that anyone can do it! Milkins had a very, very good run and he proved to be one dangerous opponent, but in one frame-match anything could happen - one tiny mistake can throw you out of the match and I know it seems unfair, but these are the rules of the game.


Here are the final results:
Quarter-finals:
Neil Robertson 49-57 Marcus Campbell
Mark King 23-29 Nigel Bond
Ronnie O`Sullivan 94-14 Mike Dunn
Robert Milkins 50-27 Judd Trump
Semi-finals:
Robert Milkins 72-35 Ronnie O`Sullivan
Nigel Bond 55-14 Marcus Campbell
Final:
Nigel Bond 58-23 Robert Milkins


Bottom to the top this Shoot-Out event was a great one! It was first of all so nice to see all 64 players on the telly, second of all to see them having so much fun and communicating with the audience and third of all it was a very entertaining show for all of us. So, good job Barry Hearn, the guys from CaesarsCasino.com, SkySports and all the people that worked behind the stage so this event could made our weekend a more beautiful one.


And here is something to end this article, a song that (I think) has many to do with the name of this marvelous snooker event ;-)

World Snooker Shoot-Out - Finala

Nigel Bond - campion Shoot-Out 2011
Wow! Timp de trei zile am avut parte de unul dintre cele mai inovative si mai captivante turnee de snooker! A fost snooker la viteza maxima, snooker semi-clasic, snooker jucat de cei mai buni 64 de jucatori din lume ... si in aceste conditii este aproape imposibil sa spui ca nu te-a tentat nici macar putin :-P Comparand putin competitia ce tocmai s-a incheiat cu cea de Power Snooker, o prefer de 100 de ori pe prima. Este mult mai "calma", mult mai clasica si mult mai interesanta. Insa ca tot veni vorba despre interesant, cat de interesanta poate fi o finala cu doi jucatori care nici in visele cele mai indepartate ale celor care pariaza pe snooker, nu cred ca s-ar fi aflat printre favoriti?! :-)) Ei bine Robert Milkins si Nigel Bond au scris istorie seara trecuta in orasul englezesc Blackpool! Cei doi s-au razboit in tacuri pentru ca in final cel care a ramas in picioare sa fie acest Bond al snooker-ului, agentul 007 cu tac si strategie la purtator - Nigel Bond! :-)


Nigel si-a inceput ziua cu meciul sustinut impotriva "regelui fluke-urilor" Rory McLeod, meci din optimile de finala. Si pentru cei care au vazut acest meci, stiti deja ca stabilirea unui castigator a fost o sarcina extrem de dificila. Nigel a pornit la drum cu un break de 35, urmat de o serie de lovituri exceptionale ale lui Rory si vreo doua "duble" fenomenale ce au starnit invidia colegilor de breasla, realizari ce au contabilizat 38 de puncte. Dupa inca cateva randuri la masa, Nigel era condus cu 3 puncte, iar timpul se scurgea cu repeziciune. Asa ca Bond incrie o bila rosie si una galbena pentru a aduce scorul la 45-45 si continua pana cand cronometru se opreste, iar el este in avantaj. Scor final: 47-45!


Robert Milkins - finalist Shoot-Out 2011
In sferturile de finala l-a avut ca oponent pe Mark King, un jucator ce pare ca a renascut din propria-i cenusa in ultima perioada :-P Nigel a deschis cu un mini-break de 13 puncte, urmat de tentativele lui King in materie de break-uri (pana in 10 puncte mititele) ce totusi i-au adus avantajul de a conduce 22-14. Mark a incercat sa curete ce mai era pe masa insa s-a oprit doar la o bila rosie, ratand bila maro. Cu o sansa in plus pentru a reveni in meci, Nigel reuseste sa inscie bila dupa bila, cat pentru un break de 15 puncte si un scor final ce il "arunca" direct in semifinala: 29-23


In semifinala insa nu a intampinat prea multe greutati invingandu-l pe scotianul Marcus Campbell cu scorul de 55-14 (break-uri de15, 28 si 10 fiind incluse in oferta). Si iata asa, Bond reusea sa ajunga intr-o finala de campionat dupa nici mai mult nici mai putin de 13 ani!
Contra-candidatul sau a fost Robert Milkins, jucator ce l-a trimis acasa pachet pe Ronnie O`Sullivan , invingandu-l in semifinala cu scorul de 72-35 si avand break-uri de 19 si 53 la purtator pentru a inscrie o asemenea victorie :-)

Ronnie O`Sullivan- favorit insa nu si invingator
Finala nu a cunoscut vreo ploaie de break-uri fabuloase, Robert reusind sa inscrie prima bila din meci insa neramanand cu vreo pozitie de atac; asa ca Nigel si-a incercat norocul la masa pentru a aduna cateva puncticele. Ambii jucatori s-au chinuit sa aiba un joc fluent, insa in final break-ul de 38 de puncte a lui Nigel i-a adus acestuia avantajul de care avea nevoie. Milkins s-a tot chinuit sa mai adune de pe ici-colo un punct-doua insa avea nevoie de un snooker pentru a castiga, iar "timpul nu mai avea rabdare" ;-) Audienta incepe sa numere de la 5 in jos, cronometrul se opreste iar Nigel Bond castiga primul sau trofeu dupa 13 ani de "stat in umbra" invingandu-l pe Milkins cu 58-23. O victorie cat se poate de meritata, obtinuta de un jucator care a demonstrat intregii lumi ca in snooker nu conteaza varsta! Actualul ocupant al locului 37 in topul mondial a ridicat vrajit si oarecum fastacit trofeul editiei pilot Shoot-Out - era campion si era seara sa de glorie! :-)


Iata si rezultatele finale:
Sferturi de finala:
Neil Robertson 49-57 Marcus Campbell
Mark King 23-29 Nigel Bond
Ronnie O`Sullivan 94-14 Mike Dunn
Robert Milkins 50-27 Judd Trump
Semifinale:
Robert Milkins 72-35 Ronnie O`Sullivan
Nigel Bond 55-14 Marcus Campbell
Finala:
Nigel Bond 58-23 Robert Milkins


Tragand linie, prima editie de Shoot-Out a fost una deosebita, asta este clar. A fost extraordinar sa ii putem vedea pe toti cei 64 de juctori performand, a fost minuat sa ii vedem cu un zambet pe fata si distrandu-se in limita in care jocul o permite si a fost in final un show pe cinste. Asa ca felicitarile mele merg catre Barry Hearn, baietii de la CaesarsCasino.com, SkySports si catre intreaga echipa din spatele "cortinei" care a facut ca acest eveniment sa ne inveseleasca sfarsitul de saptamana.
Felicitari lui Nigel Bond, unui "batranel" al snooker-ului care a dovedit ca un jucator adevarat nu renunta niciodata, lui Robert Milkins care a dovedit ca este un adversar demn de luat in considerare si tuturor celor care au venit sa isi incerce aptitudinile de snookeristi rapizi. :-)


In incheiere va las cu un cantecel, al carui titlu are mult de a face cu numele competitiei de snooker ce abia a luat sfarsit ;-)

Sunday, 30 January 2011

World Snooker Shoot-Out - Day 3 (Last 16 results)

Last 16 round being over, here are the results:
Fergal O`Brien 5-61 Mark King
Nigel Bond 47-45 Rory McLeod
Mike Dunn 47-6 Stuart Bingham
Peter Lines 37-39 Judd Trump
Robert Milkins 48-22 Ryan Day
Neil Robertson 63-13 Ken Doherty
Ronnie O`Sullivan 129-0 Mark Selby 
Anthony Hamilton 0-88 Marcus Campbell


Quarter-finals draw (to start from 7 pm-UK time):
Neil Robertson v. Marcus Campbell
Mark King v. Nigel Bond
Ronnie O`Sullivan v. Mike Dunn
Robert Milkins v. Judd Trump


Enjoy snooker!

World Snooker Shoot-Out - Ziua 3 (rezultate optimi de finala)

Optimile de finala fiind finalizate, iata si rezultate meciurilor:
Fergal O`Brien 5-61 Mark King
Nigel Bond 47-45 Rory McLeod
Mike Dunn 47-6 Stuart Bingham
Peter Lines 37-39 Judd Trump
Robert Milkins 48-22 Ryan Day
Neil Robertson 63-13 Ken Doherty
Ronnie O`Sullivan 129-0 Mark Selby
Anthony Hamilton 0-88 Marcus Campbell


Lista meciurilor pentru sferturile de finala (cu incepere de la ora 21:00-ora Romaniei):
Neil Robertson vs. Marcus Campbell
Mark King vs. Nigel Bond
Ronnie O`Sullivan vs. Mike Dunn
Robert Milkins vs. Judd Trump


Vizionare placuta la snooker! :-)

World Snooker Shoot-Out - Day 2 (part 2)

One more day of the beautiful and crazy Shoot-Out is over and with it, the first and the second round are due to send 16 players further in the competition. What can I say? Only that yesterday being the second day, the players were in their element and the atmosphere was quite magical, I might add. It was great fun to see them smile and being more casual then ever, it was great to see the crowd so excited about the new format and it was great to see Michaela Tabb telling them to keep it down while a player takes a shot. Brilliant stuff from Michaela there! She knows her business and she’s not afraid to make it public. Girls Power, baby! :-))
As you might already know (if you read the first part of this article) the first round is over, 16 players making it all the way through the second one. But what happened in the second battle of the evening, you all going to ask me...well, hold your horses, for here I go!


Nigel Bond just seconds away after the victory
The first match of the evening was the one between Nigel Bond and Stephen Lee, a match that ended just like that poff - with a marvelous 91 break hit by the "James" Bond of snooker. Stephen Lee couldn’t say or do anything about it, the foul that he commited at the beginning of the frame causing the 007 snooker agent sprint :-) Final score 94-0.
Soon after this match ended another one followed (like dhaaa!) the one between Mark Davis and the 2010 EPTC 1 winner Judd Trump. Unlike the previous match this was a very tight one, so tight that the final score was 30-31, in favor of the Juddernaut (as friends call Trump). And here it is ... look how a point and a limited playing time make all the difference in this "strange" tournament.


Perhaps one of the most beautiful matches of the evening was the one that had Rory McLeod and Tony Drago highlighted. First of all because Tony is one of the fastest players on the circuit and Rory isn’t and second of all because...well, let me tell you why: Tony started pretty good with a break of 35, but missed a black, this giving the chance to Rory to come to the table ... but what do you know? Rory committed a foul, so Drago succeeded in hitting an 18 break. A couple of safety shots were played, but Tony fouled, Rory coming to the table for a 42 break - he was in desperate need of all the colors, but he only succeeded in potting them until the blue (included). 

Rory McLeod - the luckiest guy in town
The Maltese knight was given yet another chance, but he couldn’t pot anything, leaving Rory with the pink and the black still on the table. McLeod took his chances with the pink and he potted it, but missed the black. That was all he needed! The black! With only 30 seconds left, Tony tried to cash that black, but he doesn’t succeed, Rory being left with a "non-position" cue ball on the table. And when the time is running out, what can you do? When you are being lead 57-54, what can you? You try to fluke the ball...and sometimes you also pot it ... and Rory did it! He potted the black to win 61-57 to Tony Drago. What an amazing match! What a final! Best so far!


I was telling you that Mike Dunn has had and amazingly good run during this event and last night he proved once again that, the fact that he won his first match was no coincidence. He and Alfie Burden fought like lions for a place in the Last 16 round. Alfie made a good start by hitting a 31 break, but Mike responded with a 39 one; still Burden didn’t give up and hit a 28 break. Dunn potted an incredible yellow to bring the score at 44-59 in favor of his opponent and after both players took turns at potting the brown, Mike put it in its place (aka. the pocket) and closed the match with a blue and a pink. Final score 48-59! Top class snooker!


Mike Dunn has continued his good run
"The Wizard of Wishaw" was taking on Peter Lines, in what was one of the funniest matches of this competition. Peter took the lead by hitting in runs of 12 and 42, while John didn’t seem to get "in the zone". They took turns at the table, until the score was 54 to 25 in favor of Peter, John being in the position of running out of time and of points - so he started to practically run around the table and pot one ball after another hoping he will catch up his opponent and maybe even beat him. Unfortunately the clock was ticking as he potted one last red, a 22 break being insufficient for cashing the victory. Still, it was great to see John and Peter have so much fun in the arena.


A similar match but with a different result was the one between Alan McManus and Neil Robertson. Both players started the match by committing fouls and giving one to another the chance to take the lead, but only Alan succeeded in doing so. He hit in runs of 13 and 23, while Robbo only had a tiny and lonely 13 break on his side. But the match wasn’t over yet! Aussie seemed to wake up from the dead and he also started to run around the table trying to pot as many balls as possible and beat Alan. He made an incredible 39 break, a break that also meant a final score of 50-49! Robbo succeeded in hitting the last ball he needed just before the clock stopped, so the point he got by potting the ball added to his score, made him the winner. It doesn’t get better than this! :-))

King has crashed poor Steve Davis
One of the last matches of the evening was the clash between Mark King and Steve Davis, a match where King performed his second whitewash of the competition as he beat Steve 112-0. The funny thing is that Mark didn’t clear the table so Steve told the ref he didn’t take a shot, so that should count as a foul and that Mark should get 5 points and another shot at the table. Of course that Steve was joking in his own personal way saying that King performed like a... king :-)


The rest of the results:
Ali Carter 48-57 Fergal O’Brien
Marcus Campbell 67-1 Andrew Higginson
Mark Selby 89-6 Stuart Pettman
Robert Milkins 54-9 Tom Ford
Stuart Bingham 37-34 Andrian Gunnell
Ryan Day 53-40 Graeme Dott
Rod Lawler 34-86 Ronnie O`Sullivan
Joe Perry 25-83 Ken Doherty
Dominic Dale 15-54 Anthony Hamilton


Today snooker programme starts at 2:00 pm (UK time) for the first session and at 7:00 pm (UK time) for the second one, the draw being available from 2:00 pm, as the random draw will be performed, so pay me a visit later, ok ?:-)

Last 16 players:
Fergal O`Brien v. Mark King
Nigel Bond v. Rory McLeod
Ronnie O`Sullivan v. Mark Selby
Mike Dunn v. Stuart Bingham
Peter Lines v. Judd Trump
Robert Milkins v. Ryan Day
Anthony Hamilton v. Marcus Campbell
Neil Robertson v. Ken Doherty
*update 


The event is covered by SkySports 2, so don’t miss the chance to see who’ll win this Shoot-Out event premiere! :-)

World Snooker Shoot-Out - Ziua 2 (partea II)

Cea de-a doua zi a competitiei fulger Shoot-Out a luat sfarsit, astazi fiind marea zi in care vom afla cine va pleca cu trofeul editiei pilot. A fost o zi ceva mai relaxata, baietii fiind mai obisnuiti cu regulile jocului, desi pe acoluri tensiunea de a juca in ceea ce este de fapt ultimul frame dinte-un meci decisiv cauzand ratari de zile mari. Insa a fost placut sa ii vad pe jucatori cu un zambet larg pe fata, facand glume cu publicul si la randul sau acesta dandu-le replici; insa bombonica de pe tort a fost Michaela Tabb, care a rugat publicul sa nu mai faca galagie cand jucatorii se pregatesc sa loveasca bila. Iuhuuu! Asa fata zi-le tu! :-)) Michaela stie cum sa se impuna asa ca publicul a tacut malc la urmatoarea lovitura si desi au mai fost mici scapari pe ici pe colo, s-a pastrat o nota mai respectoasa pana la final.
Dar sa vedem pe scurt ce s-a intamplat in runda cu numarul 2, runda ce ne-a adus si numele jucatorilor ce vor participa in optimile de finala :-)


Nigel Bond la cateva secunde de la victorie
Primul meci al serii a fost cel dintre Nigel Bond si Stephen Lee, un meci care s-a terminat extrem de rapid, acest Bond al snooker-ului impuscand un break de 91 de puncte. Stephen nu a putut sa faca sau sa zica absolut nimic, faultul comis la deschiderea de frame cauzand plaoia de inscrieri a agentului 007, inscrieri ce au setat scorul final la 96-0.
La polul opus, a fost meciul dintre castigatorul EPTC1 editia 20100, Judd Trump si deja cunoscutul Mark Davis. Acest meci a fost unul dintre cele mai stranse meciuri din aceasta editie, scorul final propulsandu-l castigator pe Judd, cu doar un punct diferenta. S-au realizat break-uri micutze, niciunul dintre ele depasind valoarea de 20 de puncte, asa ca nici scorul nu a fost unui fabulos: 30-31. Si iata cum limita de timp si diferenta de un punct, fac legea in Shoot-Out.


Rory McLeod, unul dintre cei mai norocosi jucatori
Dar poate ca unul dintre cele mai interesante meciuri ale acestei competitii a fost ciocnirea dintre Rory McLeod si Tony Drago, si asta in contextul in care Tony este unul dintre cei mai rapizi jucatori din circuit, pe cand Rory este unul dintre cei mai lenti jucatori ... cred ca de fapt este cel care a inventat "lenea" in snooker :-)) Glumesc, fireste!
Tony a pornit la drum cu un break de 35 intrerupt de ratarea bilei negre, insa Rory nu a putut profita prea mult de ocazia oferita de maltez, comitand un fault si lasandu-l pe acesta cu "ball in hand". Tony si-a mai adaugat la colectie un 18, de acesta data pauza intervenita (faultul lui Drago) aducandu-i lui Rory un frumos 42; insa McLeod avea nevoie de toate bilele colorate pentru a castiga, iar timpul se scurgea cu repeziciune.Cei doi a pornit intr-o cursa de forta in care au alergat efectiv bila roz si pe cea neagra, intr-un final glorios Rory reusind sa isi inscrie in "palmares" si rozalia zgubilitica. Insa ce sa faci cu bila neagra? Tony nu reusea neam sa o inscrie, iar Rory avea nevoie disperata de ea. Cronometrul urla ultimele secunde din timpul acordat, asa ca Rory si-a incercat norocul tintind bila neagra si sperand intr-un fluke de zile mari. Ca sa vezi i-a reusit! Fantastic! Rory a castigat meciul in ultimele secunde, atunci cand nimeni nu se mai astepta...nici macar el! Fabulos! Scor final: 61-57.


Mike Dunn este pe val
Va spuneam despre Mike Dunn, ca a uimit audienta stransa la eveniment printr-un stil de joc extrem de bine pus la punct pentru un baiat ce nu prea este obsinuit cu lumina reflectoarelor. Ieri seara a demonstrat inca o data ca victoria obtinuta in  meciul de deschidere nu a fost nicio concidenta, ci o victorie meritata pe deplin;  oponentul sau a fost Alfie Burden, de altfel un jucator extrem de bun. Meciul a inceput cu break-ul de 31 a lui Alfie, break ce a primit ca raspuns un 39 marca Dunn, insa Alfie nu avea sa se lasa pagubas asa ca a mai inscris un 28, cat sa preia conducerea la joc. Ceea ce a urmat insa a fost un scenariu demn de "Soarecele si Pisica", ambii jucatori alegrand dupa bilele de pe masa, bile ce aduceau victoria absoluta celui care reusea sa le inscrie pe toate. Mike a parut favorit inca de la bun inceput, cand a inscris galbioara de la o distranta considerabila, insa nu a reusit sa tina pasul cu maronia imbufnata care nu dorea a fi inscrisa neam. Nici macar de Alfie nu vroia sa fie inscrisa, asa ca cei doi s-au tot chinuit ceva timp sa ii dea de cap. Cel care a si reusit performanta a fost Mike, care a inscris-o dintr-o pozitie nu tocmai favorabila, aducandu-i-le companie pe albastrica si rozalie. Mike castiga cu scorul de 66-59 un meci fabulos!


Mark King l-a pus la zid pe Steve Davis
Din seria "Hai sa ne mai distram putin" avem doua meciuri pe rol: cel dintre Alan McManus si Neil Robertson si cel dintre Peter Lines si John Higgins. Atat, Robertson cat si Higgins "si-au revenit" pe finalul meciului, sau mai bine zis in ultimele cateva secunde. Pentru Robertson a insemnat victoria totala, pentru Higgins insa a fost insuficenta alergatura zdravana pe care a trasa-o in jurul mesei, cu un zambet mare, mare pe fata si la sfarsit rasufalnd din greu. Robertson a castigat cu scorul de 50-49, iar Lines cu scorul de 54-47 ; inca cateva secunde si scotianul Higgins ar fi putut sa faca fata si sa preia conducerea...dar asta e...poate data viitoare :-))


Unul dintre ultimele meciuri ale serii a fost cel dintre Mark King si Steve Davis. Mark a a demonstrat ca este in mare forma "jucand cel mai bun snooker ever", cum ar spune comentatorii :-P si a incheiat meciul la scorul de 112-0. Iar acel 112 este si break. Steve statea impasibil la locul sau, uitandu-se la arbitru si la Mark si sugerandu-i Michaelei ca daca el (Steve) nu a efectuat nicio lovitura ar trebui sa se strige fault si sa i se acorde 5 puncte lui King si "ball in hand". Fireste asta este mondalitatea lui Steve de a spune ca mult mai tanarul King a jucat regeste, asa cum si numele i-o sugereaza. La sfarsit au ras amanadoi cu pofta, Davis felicitandu-l pe Mark pentru evolutie.


Dar iata si restul scorurilor pentru ziua de ieri:
Ali Carter 48-57 Fergal O’Brien
Marcus Campbell 67-1 Andrew Higginson
Mark Selby 89-6 Stuart Pettman
Robert Milkins 54-9 Tom Ford
Stuart Bingham 37-34 Andrian Gunnell
Ryan Day 53-40 Graeme Dott
Rod Lawler 34-86 Ronnie O`Sullivan
Joe Perry 25-83 Ken Doherty
Dominic Dale 15-54 Anthony Hamilton

Seria meciurilor de astazi se desfasora tot in doua sesiuni, prima incepand de la ora 16:00 (ora Romaniei), iar cea de-a doua de la ora 21:00 (ora Romaniei) pe programul SkySports 2. Lista meciurilor va fi facuta publica incepand cu ora 16:00, asa ca va rog sa reveniti putin mai tarziu pentru a afla cine cu cine joaca.

Optimile de finala:
Fergal O`Brien vs. Mark King
Nigel Bond vs. Rory McLeod
Ronnie O`Sullivan vs. Mark Selby
Mike Dunn vs. Stuart Bingham
Peter Lines vs. Judd Trump
Robert Milkins vs. Ryan Day
Anthony Hamilton vs. Marcus Campbell
Neil Robertson vs. Ken Doherty
*actualizare ora 16
 
Enjoy snooker! :-)

Saturday, 29 January 2011

World Snooker Shoot-Out - Day 2 (part 1)

Robbo is through to the next round
Round one is over peeps and it was a lot of fun involved in the game of fast and furious snooker ... or I should say kamikaze snooker? :-)) You’ll be the judge of that. So the last 16 matches were played, but before you find out who is through into round two (made a rhyme there :-P) let me tell you that this, let’s call it second part of round one, was filled with permutations and a lot of surprises.


The first match was the one between Barry Pinches (you know the guy, he won last year PTC 4 event) and former world number 1 and current world champion Neil Robertson. Although Barry had a very good start he only succeeded in making a 15 break before he committed a foul, which in this type of snooker mean instant death! Robbo hit in breaks of 21 and 81 to seal the score at 102-15.

Alfie in his element
A very big surprise was the match between Shaun Murphy and Rory McLeod and I’m saying this because Rory is a very, very (very!) slow player, while Shaun is used to Premier League shot-clock. Bottom to the top it was a pretty scrappy frame, which Rory succeeded in cashing it with only 2 points ahead of Murphy 30-28.


Alfie Burden was responsible for the first whitewash of the day, as he scored a beautiful break of 106 to defeat Matt Selt; just a few minutes after his victory Joe Perry succeeded in hitting the biggest break of this competition (so far!) an extraordinary 130 to take over his opponent, Ricky Walden.

Joe Perry hit the highest break so far (130)
Up next Graeme Dott has put quite a performance as he’s fired in breaks of 37, 34 and 24 to win over Matthew Couch with a final result of 99-16.
But maybe one of the biggest surprises (in a good way of course) was the match between Jamie Cope and Ken Doherty. The 1997 world champion, the Irish with such a great way of entertaining the crowds, hit in runs of 28 and 63, putting quite a show and defeating the youngster Jamie 81-1. It was such a brilliant performance from Ken and it really makes me happy to see him playing so well. Hopefully he’ll keep up the good work tonight ;-)


Doherty has played like a king
The strategist Dave Harold proved he’s not quite into this "under pressure" snooker, for he was playing really well and he was also in front of Judd Trump, when he almost forgot that his time was running out. Scared of the constant "beep-beep" of the shot-clock he wanted to be sure he will get a good safety of a red, but totally miscalculated due to the pressure involved and that has cost him the match, young Trump winning it with a 52-31 scoreline.
We all know that some players perform better in the dark of their own practicing rooms or in pubs, or on untelevised events and Mike Dunn is one of them, but today he proved us all wrong as he hit a 47 break at the beginning of his meeting with Matthew Stevens and continued with a 14 one soon after Matt missed in potting a red into the left superior pocket. He finally won the match with a score of 67-36. That was good! Very, very good! :-)


Below you’ll find the rest of the results:
Peter Lines 65-24 Barry Hawkins
Adrian Gunnell 85-30 David Morris
Gerard Greene 38-55 Rod Lawler
Stuart Pettman 41-35 Bjorn Haneveer
Joe Swail 6-49 Mark Davis
Andy Hicks 34-44 Mark Selby
Anthony Hamilton 70-31 Anthony McGill
Stuart Bingham 51-31 Ian McCulloch


Next matches due to start from 6 pm (UK time):
Nigel Bond v. Stephen Lee
Alan McManus v. Neil Robertson
Mark Davis v. Judd Trump
Peter Lines v. John Higgins
Ali Carter v. Fergal O`Brien
Marcus Campbell v. Andrew Higginson
Mark Selby v. Stuart Pettman
Mike Dunn v. Alfie Burden
Robert Milkins v. Tom Ford
Stuart Bingham v. Andrian Gunnell
Rory McLeod v. Tony Drago
Ryan Day v. Graeme Dott
Rod Lawler v. Ronnie O`Sullivan
Joe Perry v. Ken Doherty
Mark King v. Steve Davis
Dominic Dale v. Anthony Hamilton

Good luck to the lads and see you tomorrow for some commentaries. Don’t forget, the event is fully broadcasted by SkySport 1 and 2 (tonight is SkySports 2). Enjoy snooker, dears! :-)

World Snooker Shoot-Out - Ziua 2 (partea I)

Robbo are un loc asigurat in runda 2
Runda intai fiind incheiata numaram "bobocii" care au reusit sa ii faca "rezervare" pentru urmatoarea confruntare (iata si o rima din partea casei :-P). Cea de-o doua ceata de voinici s-a luptat cu la fel de multa indarjire ca si ceata anterioara, insa la fel ca si in prima zi si acum am avut parte de multe surprize si multe rasturnari de situatii - pana la urma se joaca un fel de "the fast and the furious" in materie de snooker, asa ca orice este posibil. Insa inainte a consulta lista celor ce vor juca in sesiunea de seara, sa vedem in mare ce s-a petrecut in prima parte a zilei.


Alfie Burden in elementul sau
Primul meci al zilei s-a dat intre Barry Pinches (il stiti pe baiat, intrucit este castigatorul de anul trecut al PTC 3) si fostul numar 1 in lume, insa actualul campion mondial Neil Robertson. Desi Barry a pornit la drum cu destul de multa incredere in sine, s-a oprit brusc in fata unui break de 15 puncte, comitand un fault - fault ce in Shoot-Out poate insemna "ura si la gara" (ca sa ma exprim asa :-P). Robbo a venit la masa pentru a inscrie un 21 si un 81 si a incheia meciul cu scorul final de 102-15.
Ceea ce s-a intamplat intre Shaun Murphy si Rory McLeod a fost o adevarata surpriza, multi dintre noi mizand pe faptul ca Rory este un jucator extrem, extrem de lent (subliniez inca o data - extrem!), iar Shaun fiind deja obisnuit cu limita de timp acordata per lovitura datorita faptului ca a jucat in seria de Premier League. A fost un meci destul de slabut, insa miraculos Rory a reusit sa castige la diferenta de doar 2 puncte. Scor final 30-28.


Joe Perry a realizat un break demn de invidiat (130)
Alfie Burden a facut show de zile mari, inscriind un frumos break de 106 si trecand astfel fara probleme de oponentul sau Matt Selt, la doar cateva minute dupa finalizarea acestui meci Joe Perry realizand cel mai mare break al competitiei (pana in acest moment), un 130 fabulos ce l-a propulsat in fata lui Ricky Walden, nevoit sa-si indrepte pasii catre casa.

Finalistul World Championship 2010, scotianul Graeme Dott a lovit in break-uri de 37, 34 si 24, mult prea puternice pentru micutul 16 a lui Matthew Couch, incheind sesiunea cu scorul final de 99-16 si astfel primind un loc in runda secunda.
Ken Doherty in actiune contra-cronometru

Campionul mondial din 1997, irlandezul Ken Doherty a dovedit ca este intr-o forma foarte buna trecand cu o serie de 28 si 63 de mult mai tanarul Jamie Cope si uimind audienta prezenta la eveniment. Este placut sa il vezi pe Ken jucand bine, asa cum a facut-o de multe ori in trecut. Sa speram insa ca va resusi sa se si mentina ferm pe pozitii in aceasta seara.


Cu totii stim ca exista jucatori ce se simt mai in largul lor jucand in intunericul unui club de snooker, sau in camera lor proprie si personala de antrenament, ori in evenimentele ce nu beneficiaza de public sau nu sunt vazute de milioane de oameni, iar unul dintre acesti jucatori este Mike Dunn. Surprinzator insa, in meciul disputat in fata galezului Matthew Stevens a dovedit contrariul. A inceput cu un break de 47, urmat de ratarea fantastica a lui Stevens (bila rosie - buzunarul stang superior) cand tocmai atingea un 36, Mike continund cu un micuzt 14 cat sa inchida meciul triumfator la scorul de 67-36.


Iata insa si restul rezultatelor:
Peter Lines 65-24 Barry Hawkins
Adrian Gunnell 85-30 David Morris
Gerard Greene 38-55 Rod Lawler
Stuart Pettman 41-35 Bjorn Haneveer
Joe Swail 6-49 Mark Davis
Andy Hicks 34-44 Mark Selby
Anthony Hamilton 70-31 Anthony McGill
Stuart Bingham 51-31 Ian McCulloch


Lista meciurilor ce vor incepe de la ora 20:00 (ora Romaniei):
Nigel Bond vs. Stephen Lee
Alan McManus v. Neil Robertson
Mark Davis vs. Judd Trump
Peter Lines vs. John Higgins
Ali Carter vs. Fergal O`Brien
Marcus Campbell vs. Andrew Higginson
Mark Selby vs. Stuart Pettman
Mike Dunn vs. Alfie Burden
Robert Milkins vs. Tom Ford
Stuart Bingham vs. Andrian Gunnell
Rory McLeod vs. Tony Drago
Ryan Day vs. Graeme Dott
Rod Lawler vs. Ronnie O`Sullivan
Joe Perry vs. Ken Doherty
Mark King vs. Steve Davis
Dominic Dale vs. Anthony Hamilton

Le urez baietilor multa bafta, iar noi ne revedem maine pentru comentarii. Nu uitati, meciurile se transmit pe SkySports 2. Vizionare placuta! :-)

World Snooker Shoot-Out - Day 1

"I shot the sheriff, but I didn’t shoot the deputy...Oh nooo!" :-))) Well, I had to start with something right? :-)) What can one say about the first day of the CaesarsCasino.com Shoot-Out event? It was great fun and snooker was played with a constant smile on the players faces. Well, at least most of them were happy...those who won, mainly. :-P But to be honest with you, I like this format way much better than Power Snooker. It’s quieter (although sometimes the people in the crowd get nuts and start screaming, but I’m sure they are just expressing their excitement), funer, a lot more "classic snooker resemblance" and with that creepy dark voice that announces "Let the Shoot-Out begin!" everything seems so damn cool! :-)
But let me tell you a little something about yesterday’s matches.


Tom Ford crashed Stephen Maguire
As you all know the Chinese Liang Wenbo withdrew from the competition due to some personal reasons, so his opponent, Tony Drago is through the next round, the day starting with the clash between Mark Allen and Ryan Day. This was pure fun! Mark was starting to build himself a nice and steady break, but he was brutally interrupted by a miss red to the left middle pocket, this leaving him with only 16 points. Ryan came to the table to repeat his opponent mistake and stop at 16 points missing a red to the same pocket. Strange stuff! So "El pistolero" Allen was given another chance to win this, but he only succeeded in making a mini-break of 15 before he missed the black. And this was it for the proud of Northern Ireland (as Rob Walker uses to present him) I’m afraid, as Ryan came back to the table to hit a 38 break. The final score was 72-31 in favor of Day who is through the next round - the first player to win his place in the second "tour of force" if we don’t count Tony`s free passing ticket. :-P

John Higgins ... just a little bit of history repeated
Another interesting match and also the first whitewash of the evening, was the one between Robert Milkins and Martin Gould. It all started with a safety shot battle which Robert won by hitting a 29 break. Gouldie had his chances as he was "permitted" to have his turn on the table, but unfortunately he committed a foul, this giving Milkins the chance to place the cue ball anywhere on the table so he could have a better position to attack those crazy snooker balls. So he did it - he hit a 49 break to turn the score at 82-0, when Martin, pretty sure that it was impossible to make a comeback in the remaining minutes, concealed the match.
Tom Ford was on the top of the mountain! He was kicking, hitting and potting those balls one at the time. He took on the Scot Stephen Maguire, who was permanently kept on his seat, as Tommy-boy was making his way through the balls. He made an incredible 84 break to perform the second whitewash of the night. Pure madness! I tell you Ford smashed it! He was brilliant!

Another match who was feverishly expected was the one where "The Whirlwind" Jimmy White was facing "The Captain" Ali Carter. The legendary Jimmy had a pretty good start as he hit a 27 break, but Carter’s runs of 16 and 46 where the ones that decided the faith of the match. Unfortunately we weren’t going to see "The Whirlwind" going into the next round. Final score: 62-28.

Ronnie hit the only century break of the evening
Needless to say that life has its one twisted way of arranging things, one proof in this direction being the fact that the two 2010 UK Championship finalists were going to meet again ... and with the same result, for John Higgins crashed Mark Williams by performing a beautiful 93 break! Top drawer!


Next was the match where "The Speedy-Gonzales" of snooker (aka. Ronnie O`Sullivan) was taking on Cue Man-Fu from Hong Kong. But what can one do when Ronnie has a good start, he’s in a good mood and he’s on the balls? Just wait and admire him and that’s what Marco did while Ronnie hit the first and only century break of the evening - an extraordinary 113! And just so you know it: he was about to make a maximum, but lose his position and was forced to take on a blue ball instead of a black one - he fancied a maximum as he gladly declared in a short interview given just a few second after the match was over.

"The Nugget" on action
These are historical moments for snooker, there’s no doubt about that - the fact that Steve Davis and Peter Ebdon were playing each other being a clear proof of that. "The Nugget" started his game with a break of 35, while Peter hit a 24 to reduce a bit the gap, but Steve’s 19 break put him in the lead, as he closed the match with a final score of 69-24.
The last match was another whitewash, this time performed by Mark King who totally crashed poor Jimmy Robertson, a face that I have never seen on the telly before. With a scoreline of 79-0, King booked himself a place in the next round.


The rest of the results:
Stephen Lee 62-30 Michael Holt
Nigel Bond 46-24 Joe Jogia
Stephen Hendry 29-55 Fergal O'Brien
Andrew Higginson 27-16 Jamie Burnett
Ding Junhui 11-71 Dominic Dale
Michael Judge 26-68 Alan McManus
Jimmy Michie 21-32 Marcus Campbell


Today’s matches:


From 12 pm (UK time)
Barry Pinches v. Neil Robertson
Peter Lines v. Barry Hawkins
Shaun Murphy v. Rory McLeod
Alfie Burden v. Matt Selt
Ricky Walden v. Joe Perry
Judd Trump v. Dave Harold
Graeme Dott v.. Matthew Couch
Jamie Cope v Ken Doherty
Adrian Gunnell v. David Morris
Gerard Greene v. Rod Lawler
Matthew Stevens v. Mike Dunn
Stuart Pettman v. Bjorn Haneveer
Joe Swail v. Mark Davis
Andy Hicks v. Mark Selby
Anthony Hamilton v. Anthony McGill
Stuart Bingham v. Ian McCulloch


From 4 pm (UK time) - the last 32 players
* the order is being establish by random draw after the first session is over (check the blog later)

Don’t forget to tune in on SkySports 2 or click on this link for your share of Shoot-Out Snooker! :-)

World Snooker Shoot-Out - Ziua 1

"I shot the sheriff, but I didn’t shoot the deputy...Oh nooo!" :-))) Trebuia sa incep cu ceva nu? Si cam asa s-a desfasurat si prima zi a competitiei de snooker Shoot-Out. :-P S-au cam "impuscat" baietii si nu oricum ci contra cronometru. Ca si idee generala, formatul este insa extrem de atragator si de distractiv, mult mai atragator si mult mai distractiv (ca sa nu zic mult mai potrivit) decat Power Snooker! Cu siguranta ca este mai linistit (desi se mai gasesc cate unii spectatori sa urle, insa o sa pun "ragetele" pe seama entuziasmului intens), mai captivant, mai asemanantor cu snooker-ul clasic, iar cu vocea grava ce anunta "Let the Shoot-Out begin", deja este format adjudecat pentru cei care vor putin snooker condimentat :-))
Insa haideti sa vedem cum a fost prima zi, "okeiu"?


Tom Ford a facut furori
Dupa cum bine va spuneam chiar ieri, chinezutul Liang Wenbo s-a retras din competitie, invocand o serie de motive personale, oponentul sau maltezul Tony Drago primind trecere libera catre runda urmatoare. Cum cei doi sus numiti deschideau prima zi de turneu, am trecut repede la meciul numarul doi (actual numarul 1), adica cel dintre Mark Allen si Ryan Day. Un meci numai bun pentru a testa ce insemna snooker la viteza maxima. ;-) Allen a pornit destul de determinat la drum, reusind sa-si contruiasca un break de 16 puncte (intrerupt de ratarea unei bile rosii in buzunarul stang de mijloc), asa ca Ryan i-a luat locul la masa repetand insa aceaisi greseala (break de 16, ratare bile rosie, acelasi buzunar). Si iata cum nord-irlandezul primea inca o sansa pentru a merge in urmatoarea runda, sansa pe care insa nu prea a fructificat-o inscriind numai un break de 15, Ryan revenind la masa pentru un 38 ce avea sa ii consolideze pozitia de lider. Scor final: 72-31.


John Higgins - a rescris istoria
Robert Milkins si Martin Gould au oferit multimii adunate in arena Circus din orasul Blackpool un show pe cinste ... sau mai bine zis numai Robert a oferit? Hm...va las pe voi sa decideti. Doar va spun ca Milkins a pornit cu un 29, i-a lasat insa "mana libera" lui Martin care nu a protiftat si a comis un fault, aceasta dandu-o ocazia lui Robert sa pozitioneze bila alba oriunde pe masa de joc astefel incat sa atace mai vartos ... ceea ce a si factut, incriind un 49. Condus cu 82-0, Martin a cedat meciul "returnanduse" acasel totusi nu fara banuti in buzunar.

O mare si frumoasa surpriza a oferit Tom Ford, cel care l-a invins pe scotianul Stephen Maguire cu scorul de 84-0! Nebunie curata! Tom a resusit sa intre in "the zone" asa cum bine spune Jimmy White, si-a "imprastiat" bilele strategic cat sa obtina avantaj, a continuat sa se concetreze in ciuda timpului limitat acordat per lovitura si a reusit sa inscrie un break de 84. Clasa!


Ronnie a inscris singurul break de peste 100 de puncte
Si ca tot vorbiram de Jimmy mai devreme, legenda proaspat detinatoare a titulului de campion mondial la seniori, avea sa il intalneaca pe Ali Carter intr-un meci care a produs "delir" in numarul celor prezenti. "The Whirlwind" a pornit la drum destul de sigur pe sine cu un break de 27, insa seria de 16 si 46 inscrise de Carter nu prea i-au dat sanse de revenire. Ce-i drept White nu s-a dat batut insa cu toate aceastea scorul final de 62-28 nu a fost in favoarea sa, din pacate :-(
Din ciclul "Micile ironi ale vietii" (dar nu de Thomas Hardy :-P ), cei doi finalisti de UK Championship 2010, Mark Williams si John Higgins s-au intalnit, din nou, intr-un meci cu un format ciudat de aceasta data. :-) Istoria insa s-a repetat, scotianul iesind invingator si de aceasta data, datorita unui break fabulos de 93 de puncte. Scor final 93-0!


"The Nugget" in actiune
Urmatorul meci pe lista a fost cel dat intre acest "Speedy-Gonzales" al snooker-ului (aka. Ronnie O`Sullivan) si Cue Man-Fu din Hong Kong. Dar ce poate face un om cand Ronnie este intr-o pasa buna, are un inceput stralucit, se mentine in joc si are o pozitie de atat formidabila? Nu poate decat sa stea si sa il admire pe "The Rocket", ceea ce a facut si Marco. Ronnie a reusit performanta de a inscrie primul si singurul break de peste 100 de puncte al serii, mai precis un frumos 113 si trebuie mentionat ca a avut sansa se a lovi un maxim, insa a pierdut pozitia de atac si a fost nevoit sa inscrie o bila albastra in locul celei negre. Dupa meci a declarat ca i-ar fi placut sa inscrie un maxim si cu ocazia asta si-a mai spalat din "pacatele" de la World Open (prietenii stiu de ce :-P)


Momente unice in istoria snooker-ului: "The Nugget" Steve Davis s-a razboit cu Peter Ebdon intr-un meci de a dat emotii publicului amator de snooker (ambii sunt strategi ai snooker-ului si nu tocmai unii dintre cei mai rapizi jucatori). Steve a inceput cu un 35, a urmat un 24 inscris de Peter care spera sa mai reduca din diferenta, insa break-ul de 19 realizat de Steve i-a propulsat pe aceasta din nou la conducere, unde a si ramas pana la sfarsitul meciului. Scor final: 69-24.
Ultimul meci al serii s-a dat intre Mark King si Jimmy Robertson, o prezenta prea putin intalnita pe sticla televizorului din camerele fiecaruia dintre noi. Din pacate insa nici nu prea am avut ocazia sa il vedem la masa, King inscriind bila dupa bila pentru un break de 79, Jimmy nereusind sa inscrie niciuna. Scor final 79-0.

Iata insa si restul rezultatelor pentru meciurile de ieri:
Stephen Lee 62-30 Michael Holt
Nigel Bond 46-24 Joe Jogia
Stephen Hendry 29-55 Fergal O'Brien
Andrew Higginson 27-16 Jamie Burnett
Ding Junhui 11-71 Dominic Dale
Michael Judge 26-68 Alan McManus
Jimmy Michie 21-32 Marcus Campbell


Meciurile de astazi:
Prima sesiune incepe la ora 14:00 (ora Romaniei)
Barry Pinches vs. Neil Robertson
Peter Lines vs. Barry Hawkins
Shaun Murphy vs. Rory McLeod
Alfie Burden vs. Matt Selt
Ricky Walden vs. Joe Perry
Judd Trump vs. Dave Harold
Graeme Dott vs. Matthew Couch
Jamie Cope vs. Ken Doherty
Adrian Gunnell vs. David Morris
Gerard Greene vs. Rod Lawler
Matthew Stevens vs. Mike Dunn
Stuart Pettman vs. Bjorn Haneveer
Joe Swail vs. Mark Davis
Andy Hicks vs. Mark Selby
Anthony Hamilton vs. Anthony McGill
Stuart Bingham vs. Ian McCulloch


A doua sesiune incepe de la ora 20:00 cu lista celor 32 de jucatori
*ordinea de joc este stabilita prin tragere la sorti dupa finale primei sesiuni (reveniti mai tarziu pentru lista)

Asa ca nu uitati sa comutati televizoarele pe SkySports 2 sau sa dati click pe acest link pentru portia de snooker de weekend :-)

Friday, 28 January 2011

World Snooker Shoot-Out without Liang Wenbo

The Chinese player Liang Wenbo has pulled out from CaesarsCasino.com Shoot-Out event, due to personal reasons, says World Snooker.

Unfortunately we won`t be able to see one of China`s brightest snooker stars in action, the first match now being the one between Mark Allen and Ryan Day.

Liang Wenbo is world`s number 24, with a very impresive snooker CV for a 23 year-old lad. Just to point out one of his biggest acchievements, Liang was a runner-up in the 2009 Shanghai Masters, where he lost to "The Rocket" Ronnie 5-10.

World Snooker Shoot-Out fara Liang Wenbo

Chinezul Liang Wenbo a decis sa se retraga din competitia CaesarsCasino.com, invocand motive personale, anunta World Snooker.


Asadar va trebui sa ne obisnuim cu absenta micului chinezutz, una dintre maretele stele ale snooker-ului "Made in China", primul meci al serii fiind acum cel dintre Mark Allen si Ryan Day.


Liang este mandrul ocupant al locului 24 in clasamentul mondial, avand un CV impresionant pentru un tanar de doar 23 de ani. Ca sa scot in evidenta doar una dintre cele mai mari realizari profesionale ale chinezului, pot sa va spun a acesta a fost finalist in Shaghai Masters-ul din 2009, cand a pierdut cu scorul de 5-10 in fata lui "The Rocket" Ronnie.

World Snooker Shoot-Out preview

Shoot-Out event breaks the rules! Revolution baby! :-))
Here we are peeps - the snooker event of the year, the CaesarsCasion.com Shoot-Out tournament will kick off today in the city of Blackpool! Not a competition for purists, but for those who would like to see under pressure snooker live in their own living-rooms. :-P
Many of you know what this event is all about, so I will just points out the main rules and get on with the schedule so you can make your agenda for the next three days, ok ? :-)))


Things you should know about Snooker Snoot-Out:


- one frame knock-out
- random draw 
- world`s best 64 players
- the action is played on one table and one table only so you won’t miss anything at all
- each frame will last 10 minutes
- we have a shot-clock people! 20 seconds per shot in the first five minutes of the frame and 15 seconds per shot in the last five.
- if a player commits a foul then the opponent is granted ball in hand
- players must hit a cushion (with the cue ball or the object ball), or pot a ball each time they perform a shot
- players "lag" for who breaks (meaning that the players will hit a ball long ways to the opposite end of the table and who gets the ball closest to the opposite rail plays first)
- in case of a tie the "Blue ball" shoot out will be performed (winner of “lag” decides who goes first)
- lots of fun
- lots of "why are they doing that?"
- lot of "aww, is that over? so soon?" :-)))
Kidding, but is going to be lots of fun! :-)


Today’s matches:
Tony Drago v. Liang Wenbo
Mark Allen v. Ryan Day
Stephen Lee v. Michael Holt
Nigel Bond v. Joe Jogia
Stephen Hendry v. Fergal O'Brien
Robert Milkins v. Martin Gould
Andrew Higginson v. Jamie Burnett
Tom Ford v. Stephen Maguire
Ding Junhui v. Dominic Dale
Jimmy White v. Ali Carter
Michael Judge v. Alan McManus
Mark Williams v. John Higgins
Ronnie O'Sullivan v. Marco Fu
Peter Ebdon v. Steve Davis
Jimmy Michie v. Marcus Campbell
Mark King v. Jimmy Robertson


The event will be televised, the first day starting at 6:00 pm (UK time), but you can also follow the boys online. So don’t forget to tune in on SkySports 1 this Friday for your share of crazy, twisted, fast snooker! :-))

Avanpremiera: World Snooker Shoot-Out

Shoot-Out sparge tiparele! Viva la revolution! :-))
Pe principiul "Uite a sosit!", anunt cu mare onoare si mandrie inceputul mult asteptatului eveniment snookeristic CesarsCasino.com Shoot-Out!!! Orasul Blackpool se transforma pentru trei zile intr-o gazda primitoare pentru unul dintre cele mai revolutionare turnee din istoria snooker-ului modern. Nu foarte pe gustul puritanilor si a celor care nu contenesc in a cauta nod in papura pentru orice si oricine, insa intens asteptat de cei care isi doresc snooker "in oala sub presiune" servit direct in iatacurile personale, evenimentul Shoot-Out continua revolutia pornita de boss-ul World Snooker, Barry Hearn.
Dar sa nu zabovim prea mult in prezentari pompoase si sa vedem care-i dom`le faza cu snooker-ul asta special, ok? :-))


Ce trebuie sa stiti despre Snooker Shoot-Out:


- regula de joc - un singur si maret frame
- in atentia publicului se alfa o singura masa de joc, astfel incat nu riscati sa pierdeti niciun meci
- isi dau concursul cei mai buni 64 de jucatori
- componenta fiecarei grupa este stabilita prin tragere la sorti
- un frame dureaza 10 minute
- avem cronometru in dotare, acordandu-se 20 de secunde per lovitura pentru primele 5 minute din frame si 15 secunde per lovitura pentru ultimele 5
- daca un jucator comite un fault, oponentul sau primeste "ball in hand" (adica are posibilitatea de a plasa bila alba oriunde pe masa astfel incat sa obtina o pozitie cat mai favorabila de atac)
- jucatorii trebuie sa atinga manta (fie cu bila alba, fie cu bila vizata) sau sa inscrie o bila de fiecare data cand executa o lovitura
- jocul este deschis in urma lovirii bilei albe spre partea opusa a mesei, jucatorul care obtine o pozitie mai apropiata de margine, avand prima lovitura
- in caz de egalitate se declanseaza "Blue Ball" shoot-out  (stabilirea ordinii de joc facandu-se dupa principiul prezentat anterior)
- multa distractie
- multe intrebari de genul "de ce face asta?" si "aaa, s-a si terminat? atat de repede?"
Glumeeeeesc! Insa cu siguranta va fi distractiv. :-)


Lista meciurilor de astazi:
Tony Drago vs. Liang Wenbo
Mark Allen vs. Ryan Day
Stephen Lee vs. Michael Holt
Nigel Bond vs. Joe Jogia
Stephen Hendry vs. Fergal O'Brien
Robert Milkins vs. Martin Gould
Andrew Higginson vs. Jamie Burnett
Tom Ford vs. Stephen Maguire
Ding Junhui vs. Dominic Dale
Jimmy White vs. Ali Carter
Michael Judge vs. Alan McManus
Mark Williams vs. John Higgins
Ronnie O'Sullivan vs. Marco Fu
Peter Ebdon vs. Steve Davis
Jimmy Michie vs. Marcus Campbell
Mark King vs. Jimmy Robertson

Evenimentul va fi televizat incepand cu ora 20:00 (ora Romaniei), insa va putea fi urmarit si online. Asa ca nu uitati sa comutati pe SkySports 1 pentru o portie zdravana de snooker rapid, nebun si inovativ! :-)



Snooker Championship League (group 4) - Captain Carter flies victoriously

Carter finally in Groups Final
I’m chuffed to bits to announce you that "Captain" Ali Carter is the winner of Group 4 Championship League competition. I know, I know I’m not supposed to take sides and I have to be objective, but come on! The guy has been struggling from Group 1 to win this! I’m almost bored to see him playing in all the groups! :-)) Nooo, I’m kidding, I never get bored of watching a good player perform, but if he wouldn’t have won yesterday I think I would have had to go to Essex and say "Come on, let the poor guy win this!" :-)) He had a long and difficult run, but he played extraordinarily well these last days and finally all that hard work has played off.


Along with the winners, there are also the ones that weren’t fortunate enough to stay in the competition, this being the case for Stephen Hendry and Peter Ebdon. While the Scot has been struggling for some time now to win tournaments and perform like in the old days, Peter gave his best in Group 3 matches, but lost some of that enthusiasm in Group 4 matches.
Hendry won one single match, the one played against Mark King, whom he beat 3-1 by hitting in breaks of 45, 70, 57 and 66. Along the way, he had some really tight and tense encounters with Peter Ebdon and Ali Carter, in both matches the Scot losing 2-3; he did hit a wonderful 129 break, though! Because a legend is always a legend ;-)
Peter won two matches, one in the first day of the competition and the second in the last day, earning only 2 points, not enough to continue his run in the Championship League, I’m afraid :-(


Matt Stevens almost but not quite there
Mark King, Mark Allen and Marco Fu had obtained 3 points each, but since we couldn’t have all of them playing in the semis, we had to check out who won more frames. Fu cashed 13, Allen 12 and King 10, so it was crystal clear that King was being situated on 5th place, this giving him the opportunity to take another chance on victory in Group 5. For the others two the battle wasn’t over yet!


Needless to say that Ali Carter and Matthews Stevens had received a free passage to the semis, Carter having four points in his pocket and Stevens five.
So, the Welshman Stevens was taking on Northern-Ireland’s Pistol Allen, a match that ended on a very decisive score 3-0, in favor of Mark who fired in breaks of 71, 93 and 131!
On the other side (meaning Table 2), Ali Carter was fighting Marco Fu in a true battle of strong nerves. The boys shared frames, only to bring the match to a decider who was taken by "The Captain" with a break of 63. Tough luck for the little man from Hong Kong, but I’m sure he’ll get back on his feet and win his way through Groups Final.


And since we are talking about the final, here we were: Mark Allen and Ali Carter. The Essex boy started by taking the first two frames with breaks of 32, 43 and 73, but Allen took his revenge with a 73 break to reduce the gap at just one frame. It would have been nice and more exciting to see a decider, but the next frame was going to be also the last one. Not a very bright one, I might add, as a lot of mistakes were made by both players, but Carter succeeded in taking the lead and leaving Mark in need of two snookers. "The Pistol" concealed the match, so "The Captain" can now fly away to Blackpool for the Shoot-Out snooker event due to start today!.


It was a lovely week for snooker, with many twisted situations and a lot of surprises, just like snooker likes to present itself every time :-)
The next set of matches will start at the end of February when Group 5 players will try to secure a place in the Groups Final, where Mark Selby, Mark Williams, Shaun Murphy and Ali Carter are ready to welcome them (we need three more to complete the gang :-P).

Snooker Championship League (grupa 4) - Capitanul Carter zboara spre victorie

Marea confruntare: "The Pistol"Allen si "The Captain"Carter
Glorie! Ali Carter a reusit sa se califice pentru Etapa Finala a grupelor! Da, da stiu ... unde este impartialitatea si obiectivismul, dar aveti mila, omul se tot chinuie sa se califice pe mai departe inca din prima grupa!!! :-) A ajuns in finala Grupei 1 alaturi de Mark Selby, cand datorita unui kick major a pierdut meciul la mustata (3-2), a ratat intrarea in semifinale in Grupa 2, cand a fost invins cu 3-1 de Shaun Murphy si a pierdut semifinala din Grupa 3, in fata lui Mark King cu acelasi scor "ingrat" de 3-2. A jucat magistral aceasta saptamana si a fost mereu in primii 3 clasati, ceea ce face ca victoria pe care tocmai a obtinut-o sa fie meritata cu varf si indesat. ;-)


Alaturi de castigatori ii avem insa si pe cei care nu au fost la fel de norocosi si si-au pierdut locul, fiind eliminati din competitie - aceasta este cazul lui Stephen Hendry si a lui Peter Ebdon. 
Desi evolutia lui Ebbo din grupa anterioara a fost demna de invidiat, aceasta atingand faza semifinalelor, se pare ca in Grupa 4 si-a cam pierdut din elan si entuziasm, acumuland doar 2 puncte, insuficiente pentru a continua cursa.
In ceea ce il priveste pe Hendry, acesta nu a reusit decat sa castige intrevederea cu Mark King (3-1), cu ajutorul unei serii de break-uri in valoare de 45, 70, 57 si 66. Totusi nu pot sa nu remarc ambitia scotianului, Stephen reusind sa incheie 2 dintre meciurile disputate ieri la scorul de 3-2 (fireste nu in favoarea sa ci a lui Carter si Ebdon) dar sa si "impuste" un minunat 129. Asa ca pentru carcotasii care deja ii canta prohodul in snooker. :-P


Matthew Steven aproape si ... nu prea de victorie
Marco Fu, Mark Allen si Mark King si-au adunat constinciosi cate 3 puncte la finele zilei de ieri, "scor" ce insa nu ii putea integra pe toti in semifinale. Asa ca s-a apelat la calcularea frame-urilor adjudecate de fiecare in parte, rezultand ca Fu avea 13, Allen 12, iar King 10. Asadar Mark King ocupa locul 5, loc de ii garanta un loc in grupa urmatoare, pentru ceilalti doi "cavaleri" ai snooker-ului lupta nefiind insa finalizata.
Nu mai are sens sa va spun ca atat Ali Carter cat si Matthew Stevens au primit "libera trecere" pentru semifinale, Stevens acumuland 5 puncte, iar Carter 4.


Duelaj de tacuri intens intre Ali Carter si Marco Fu, ambii jucatori dorindu-si un loc in finala. Desi cei doi si-au impartit frame-urile pe durata intregului meci, ultimul a fost acaparat de "The Captain" cu un break de 63. La masa alaturata insa, lucrurile au fost mult mai simple. Allen l-a invins pe Stevens cu un decisiv si curat 3-0, scor sustinut de ploaia de break-uri de 71, 93 si 131! 
Finala a inceput cu incasarea primelor doua frame-uri de catre Ali (break-uri de 32, 43 si 73), insa un 78 sigur l-a facut pe Allen sa mai reduca putin din handicap. La 2-1, reprezentantul Irlandei de Nord a avut destule sanse sa egaleze, insa din pacate nu a profitat din plin de ele, acest lucru dandu-i lui Carter sansa de a prelua conducerea in frame-ul cu numarul 4. Lasat in postura de a executa 2 snookere, Allen a decis insa sa cedeze meciul, astfel Capitanul Carter luandu-si zborul victorios spre Blackpool, unde evenimentul Shoot-Out isi deschide portile pentru curiosii si amatorii de snooker "tra la la" la viteza maxima. :-))


A fost o saptamana frumoasa pentru snooker, plina de rasturnari de situatii si de surprize, exact cum ii sade bine snooker-ului :-)
Championship League revine la sfarsitul lunii Februarie, cand jucatorii din Grupa 5 isi vor incerca norocul pentru a prinde unul dintre cele 3 locuri ramase pentru Etapa Finala a grupelor. Aici Mark Selby, Mark Williams, Shaun Murphy si Ali Carter ii astepta sa intregeasca gasca de snookersiti dornici de un loc asigurat in Premier League-ul din toamna. ;-)

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