World Snooker Shoot-Out - a personal note

05:53:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Circus Arena ready for some Shoot-Out snooker
The Shoot-Out event has brought a breath of fresh air to snooker, that’s for sure and although not everyone was delighted by its fast format and twisted rules, I know that many of you enjoyed it and also that there’s a desire for a “to be continued” in the future. :-)

It is said that a black dress it’s a must in a woman’s wardrobe because it will never be out of fashion and that’s also the deal with classical snooker - it will never be something uncool, something to be bored of or something that will not entertain the audience. At least I refuse to think that. But from time to time, just like in a relationship, it’s nice to "spice" things up a bit: to bring more fun or more pressure into the game, to bring new faces or to bring a brand new format with brand new rules. Hey, I’m talking about snooker here, not relationships...don’t you get any funny ideas of bringing new faces into a relationship, for I don’t think your partner will enjoy it :-)))

First of all the Shoot-out event proved to be a test for all 64 players (or better to say 63, as Wenbo withdrew), a test that was passed by many, but wasn’t too successful with others. Not to forget that in the end a bit of luck helps snooker, so don’t you go on an think that just because a player lost, he didn’t cope with the pressure for that’s not a rule that can be applied in every case.

Steve Davis is ok with the fact that King beat him
Most of the players didn’t even get the chance to pot a ball, as was the case of Martin Gould (who lost 0-82 to Robert Milkins), Stephen Maguire (lost 0-84 to Tom Ford), Mark Williams (lost 0-93 to John Higgins), Marco Fu (lost 0-113 to Ronnie O`Sullivan), Jimmy Robertson (lost 0-79 to Mark King), Matt Selt (lost 0-106 to Alfie Burden), Ricky Walden (lost 0-130 to Joe Perry), Stephen Lee (lost 0-96 to Nigel Bond), Steve Davis (lost 0-112 to Mark King), Mark Selby (lost 0-129 to Ronnie O`Sullivan) and Anthony Hamilton (lost 0-88 to Marcus Campbell). This is how this tournament had its way with the players, for just a tiny, tiny mistake at the beginning of the match can throw you out of it. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, there’s really no ones foul, but these are the rules of the game and with that "ball in hand" modified rule, anyone can perform a comeback and win this event.

We had some really good time these last three days as we had the opportunity to see so many players that have been "stolen" from us, the eyes of the public :-P Many of them were so happy to be on TV and play with the heavy names and had a lot of fun.
I don’t think there’s a bigger reward, as a fan, as when you see a player having fun but also playing like a lion. You just can’t buy stuff like that! :-)

Willie Thorne - always on duty when it comes to snooker
This event was filled with surprises and tension and there was more then one opportunity to see how a situation can be turned completely up side down just because the players were dealing with a limited time and no time-outs for grabs :-) If you well remember, the match between the youngster Judd Trump and the strategist Dave Harold, then you know what I mean. Dave was getting into the balls, leading Judd just by one point when he totally forgot the time was running out, so when he heard the "beep-beep" got very scared and performed a really poor safety shot. That shot has cost him the match, for Judd stormed out and won a place into the next round.

And since I was talking about luck a bit earlier, the match between Tony Drago and Rory McLeod was a "living" proof of how luck can make things go wrong or right for a snooker player. Tony was in the lead with three points ahead of Rory and time was on his side as there were less then seven seconds left. But Rory had another shot and fluked an amazing black into the right superior pocket to win the match being on the edge of time. What a match that was! What a fantastic match that was!
If you want more of these, you can also review the match between Neil Robertson and Alan McManus, match that was won by the Aussie in the very last seconds with a break of 37, the final score being 50-49. It can’t get any better than that! :-)
Mike Dunn had played wonderfully in this tournament and he almost made it to the semis, if it wasn’t for a brutal mistake of potting the cue ball, while playing against O`Sullivan. That was it for Mike as Ronnie came to the table to hit a 90 break and close the deal.

Nigel Bond punches the air as he wins the Shoot-Out final
So you see what kind of impact and what kind of result this type of event has and to be honest with you I quite enjoy it. It’s fresh, fast and crazy! It’s good for the players, it’s good for the audience and it’s good for those who weren’t very fond of snooker.
You can’t compare classical snooker with this Shoot-out tournament because they are so different and I think that both find their own way in the snooker programme ;-)

It was nice to see SkySports being in charge of snooker and not just Premier League snooker. There were always on time, very transparent with the rules and very excited about the event. Still, I’m a bigger fan of the BBC when it comes to snooker, because ... I don’t know... BBC and snooker is like mother and gives you that cozy feeling and that homey touch that you are not watching something commercial, but players working real hard to get in those balls. Sure, it was nice to have the snooker legends on SkySports and the fact the Jimmy White was a commentator for certain matches was so much fun, but in the end I prefer those old-fashioned and so boring columns that BBC brings to every snooker venue and Hazel Irvine presenting snooker in her own special way that I totally adore – and by the way… this is from a person outside the UK ;-)

Drawing the line, it was fun! I’m happy for Nigel Bond, because it’s always nice to see "new" faces winning competitions and I’m sure this was an unwritten statement towards all the snooker players out there whose confidence is not that strong.
Snooker is entering a new era and those who are bright enough will stand by it, but those who aren’t will better run and hide because snooker is hungry for speed these days :-))