The curtain falls on *Snooker, my love* blog

It was the summer of  2010 (21st of July to be more precise) when "Snooker, my love" blog first saw the light of day and it's been such an amazing and terrific journey ever since.

I've learned so much along the way, known so many people and experienced so much snooker, that 8 years later I can honestly look at myself in the mirror and see a better person than I was when I started all this.

It was never my intention to penetrate the "snooker media market" or get international recognition for writing about snooker, but somehow, along the way, it just happened. I am glad it did.

This blog saved my life in more than one way and it will continue to do so, even if today I've decided to write the last article.

My love for the game of snooker and my passion for what it stands for, will never vanish, but sometimes, some things, must come to an end, so better ones can begin.

I have had the pleasure to know and even met many of the readers of "Snooker, my love" blog and it's been a thrill. This would have never happened without you. Thank you for that!

What an amazing achievement it is to remain friends and build connections with people that share the same passions and interests as you! To feel that you are not alone in a world that is slowly and sadly turning into an iceberg! You can't buy stuff like that!

Many of you know that this blog started as a personal project, something that I felt I need to do, for a sport that saved me when I was in a very dark point in my life. Now, I feel like I have given back all that I could.

I would just like to give my sincerest thanks to all the people that stood by my side along this snooker journey, starting with you, my dears readers, and continuing with the ones that took the time to grant me interviews, answer my feverishly written e-mails and helped me see snooker as a press officer.

It's been a genuine privilege to know Lewis Ward and Ivan Hirschowitz from World Snooker in person (big thanks guys for an incredible Masters experience), the omniscient Matt Huart (I have learned so much form you!) but also to interview face to face our only top Romanian snooker ref, Alex Crișan.

Of course I can't but also thank all those who preferred to throw stones at me, than support a sport that needs to grow in popularity. You've made this journey even more exciting.

The blog and snooker itself have had an immense positive impact on my life and they helped me developed as an individual, but also as a professional, so it's impossible to just say STOP at all of it.

That's why I will continue to support snooker and go to tournaments and show my appreciation for the players who work so hard yet are so easily critiqued by commentators and the so-called sport fans. So, although part of this marvelous journey stops here, another part of it will continue.

Keep the love for snooker alive my snooker loopies and fight for this sport in every way you can!

Over and out ...

P.S. Some very special thanks go to the one and only, Steve Davis - the man who has not just inspired me to pick myself off the ground and start doing what I love the most (which is writing), but also to never stop believing in myself.

Ryan Day wins thriller final to lift Romanian Masters trophy

Ryan Day beat Stuart Bingham 10-8 in a nail-biting final, to win the inaugural edition of the Romanian Snooker Masters. The match had it all, from gorgeously played shots, to unearthly snookers, nervy moments and ... a re-spotted black!

Recently returned from Gibraltar, where he won the Gibraltar Open after cruelly defeating Cao Yupeng 4-0, Ryan Day continued his good run and added the Romanian Masters trophy to his collection.

A well deserved back-to-back victory, that however, didn't come short from drama, as the Welshman had to make a comeback from being led 4-0.

The start of the match (which was refereed by the Romanian ref Alex Crisan) bared Bingham signature, beginning to end, as the 2015 world champion used runs of 57, 84 and 45 to take an amazing 4-0 advantage over his opponent.

But that 15-minutes break worked wonders for Day as the Welshman won his first frame of the final, on the black! Tremendous poise!

To this, he added a break of 63 and a 52 to go just one behind Stuart, but an awesomely cued 124 was re-establishing the two-frame gap, at 5-3.

However, just as the first session was coming to and end Day used a top break of 40 to pull back one. It was 5-4 and game on!

At returning into the arena, not only did Day manage to draw level for the first time since the final began, thanks to a 50 break, but also to take the lead after a thrilling and extremely dramatic 55 minutes frame.

A very focused Bingham hit back with a break of 84 to restore the balance of the match and took a very scrappy 13th frame to make it 7-6, but Day made the most of the next frame to get his feet back into the game.

It was a great 111 break that put Bingham two-frames short of winning the final, but from that point on, it was a "Day highway".

The Welshman used runs of 61 and 43 to take control of the match, 9-8, and squeeze the best of snooker out of frame 18, which landed on a re-spotted black. Because such a final couldn't' have ended any other way!

Away it went the black into a pocket and so did Day's fist that punched the air. He was champion once more and after quite a final!

The Welshman goes home with a prize money of 50.000 euros, while his opponent has to be thankful with just half of this amount and the pride of making the highest break of the tournament (137), which is not shabby at all.

Photo credit (1): Romanian Snooker Masters
Photo credit (2&3): Bogdan Campean

Romanian Snooker Masters (Day 2) - Trump & Higgins reach QFs

The second day of the Romanian Snooker Masters saw some very exciting matches being played at the Metropolitan Circus arena, Judd Trump performing the third whitewash of the tournament, while the recent Welsh Open champion, John Higgins booked his place in the QFs.

Thursday seemed to be "the day" for Ryan Day as the Welshman beat Barry Hawkins 4-2, after being led by 2-1. Although the opening frame bared his signature, the next two were brutally conquered by Hawkins with breaks of 72 and 61.

However, Day kept his composure and used just a top break of 76 to win three frames in a row and book his quarter-finals place.

Next in line were John Higgins and his fellow countryman Anthony McGill.

McGill broke the ice with a gracefully cued 64 break, but Higgins hit one of those special scares of his (82 and 94) to go 2-1. And although Ants caught up with him thanks to a 85 break, it was the 2018 Welsh Open champion who got the final say and ended the match 4-2.

The evening came and with it "The Ace in the Pack" with a full display of his snooker skills.

Judd Trump faced Belgium's Luca Brecel in a one-sided match, which he won by hitting a myriad of breaks (101, 118, 57 and 52) for a perfect 4-0 result.

Kyren Wilson and Mark Allen were the ones that closed the second day of the tournament (in a match refereed by the Romanian Alex Crisan), Kyren obtaining a much-wanted and fought-for victory of 4-2.

A top break of 77 was the one who helped Kyren cash the first two frames of the match, but Allen hit  back with a superb 130 to win his first one.

However, the Englishman didn't seem to mind and continued his good run with a break of 62, to which Allen responded with a 85 to go just one behind.

The 6th frame saw Wilson make a 66 break and Allen left with 2 snooker, which sadly enough he didn't manage to obtain.

Today order of play:

13:00 Ali Carter v Stephen Maguire
14:00 Liang Wenbo v Stuart Bingham
19:00 John Higgins v Ryan Day
20:00 Kyren Wilson v Judd Trump

*all hours are local time

Photo credit: Romanian Snooker Masters

Romanian Snooker Masters (Day 1): Robertson & Selby face early exit

The first day of the Romanian Snooker Masters recorded some pretty huge shocks, as both Neil Robertson and Mark Selby faced an early first-round exit.

Spring has come to Bucharest, Romania and so did snooker, this magnificent combination kicking off this Wednesday at the Metropolitan Circus with the likes of Ali Carter, Mark Williams, Mark King and Stephen Maguire.

Interestingly enough the first two matches of the day ended on the same result, Carter whitewashing Willo, 4-0 thanks to breaks of 74, 133 and 71, while Maguire "burnt" King with the same result, supported by top breaks of 109, 61, 108 and 74.

The evening came and with it the first match that saw all its frames being played: Neil Robertson v. Stuart Bingham.

The 2015 world champion opened the scoreline with a top break of 91 to take the first two frames of the match, but Robertson fought back not only to draw level, but also to put his nose in front.

It was 3-2, but Bingham had other plans. Plans that made him hit a beautiful 137 break (the highest of the tournament so far) and win two consecutive frame to get his place booked in the quarter-finals.

A very different match followed next, as Mark Selby and Liang Wenbo took the stage in a pretty low-standard confrontation of cues.

The lads got tangled in a pretty scrappy, 43-minute opening frame which went Wenbo's way thanks to a top break of 48, to which the Chinese player added a 47 to go 2-0 up.

Selby pulled one back by using half a century break, but the next one was cashed by Wenbo who was now just one away from victory.

The fifth frame saw Selby barely managing to add it to his collection, everything ending with Wenbo's runs of 31 and 41, for a final result of 4-2.

Today's order of play:

13:00 Barry Hawkins v Ryan Day
14:00  John Higgins v Anthony McGill

19:00 Judd Trump v Luca Brecel
20:00 Mark Allen v Kyren Wilson

Photo credit: Romanian Snooker Masters