World Snooker Shoot-Out - Day 1

14:19:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

"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 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! :-)