I’ve noted before that on the WS livestream during big tournaments, while the regular BBC feed switches to the studio, we often get to watch the players waiting for the balls to be set up for the next frame, which for me creates kind of a fascinating Zen thing sometimes. Well, after much recording through the World Championships, I can now present my first edited snooker video: Snooker Players Waiting. Hope you like it.
Watch for Ali. He kind of ends up the star, but you may find your own.
Here’s a rough grab of the BBC’s collection of some of the fun stuff Dechawat Poomjaeng got up to beating Stephen Maguire in the first round of The Worlds (since they saw fit to make the video UK-only).
My highlight, though, was when the powers that be stopped play with Poom leading 9-8. They were about an hour before the next session, but it was thought that was too close, so Poom and Mags were taken off. Keep in mind that Poom was on a roll in a very entertaining session of snooker, and he was facing having to win one more frame in the biggest match of his life on the biggest stage. Clearly a break favoured Mags, who was struggling mightily but could always snap back into place. Anyone in Poom’s position could have been justifiably livid being taken off the table, wondering if a spell would be broken. But while Mags stalked off to rest and compose himself, Poom stayed around, chatting with fans and posing for photos, even sharing a cheer with one of his countrymen. And then he came back to win in a decider.
In case you haven’t seen it (and we hadn’t because Matt was busy making it to the semi-finals of the Snow Tournament - yay!), here’s the end of the classic Ronnie/Mags German Masters final. Go search for the rest of the match, because it’s worth it. And Ronnie’s had glandular fever (in American: mono) since December? WTF? The man is indeed a legend. Let him take a nap until the Welsh Open.
On this Robbie Burns Day, celebrating all things Scottish, we consider the great Stephen Hendry, who was winless in the Championship League yesterday. That was especially a shame because he didn’t really do anything really wrong, but things just didn’t break his way as they would way back when to combine with his ridiculous talent. He’s been classy in his decline of the last several years, and his recent commentating work has been fantastic in his focus, weirdly calming tone and inability to say stupid things. So it looks like Hendry will keep making the sport better for fans no matter what happens on the baize.
It’s easy to pick out any number of great Hendry moments from the long past, but we’re posting his 147 from last year’s Welsh Open (against fellow Scot Stephen Maguire) to show there might be life in the “wonder bairn” yet.