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Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014



Steve Davis has officially retired. It was probably a few years past time - he said last year that he filled in the entry form for the World Championships on autopilot without really knowing why he was playing - but he loves the game and I don't think he wanted to retire while his father was still alive.

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Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014



Trin Tragula posted:

I never really understood what a good player he must have been in the 80s until 2010, when he beat John Higgins at age 52 and got into the quarter-finals.

I'm still not sure you understand. People talk of Hendry as the player who transformed the game, and to some degree they're right, but it was Davis who really did it. He was the first player to treat snooker as a serious profession, putting in 40 hours a week of practice even when there wasn't a tournament on. This allowed him to perfect the game as it was played: you'd play until you got into trouble, then put your opponent into trouble so he'd put you back in. Davis won because it was very hard to get him into trouble, he could play longer before getting into trouble, and he was better at getting other people into trouble. What Hendry did was concentrate more on winning frames in a single visit and getting out of safeties without putting the opponent among the balls.

When you saw Davis later in life he was playing a lot like the South African player Perrie Mans used to in the 70s. Mans famously never made a century break in a 26-year career, and in 1978 reached the final of the World Championship without ever making a break over 33 (my earliest snooker memory, and indeed one of my earliest memories period, is him beating Fred Davis in the semis that year).

On the subject of Fred Davis: with Steve's retirement there are now only four people on the tour who played Fred in a ranking event - Jimmy White, James Wattana, Mark King and Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Hendry's had a few "loving hell, why did I quit?" moments over the last couple of years, usually when commentating on matches like that. There were serious noises that he was going to come out of retirement when the World Championship qualifying was opened up to give every living world champion a wild card. I'm happy he didn't, though; he loved winning, not playing.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014



A full match snooker table is 12 feet by 6 feet, if anyone was wondering.

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Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014



Alice Klar posted:

Baird vs Selby is absolutely heartwrenching. What a fightback!

I called it at 13-11 Selby when the match leveled. It's so common that someone makes a great fight back to level but they just can't sustain that pitch once the pressure is off. Then the guy who has spent the last several frames in his seat closes it out because now he's fresh. It doesn't always happen - there was the year Ken Doherty came back from X-1 down with X to play two or three rounds running, and of course Hendry-White 14-14 in 1996 - but it's for me the more frequent scenario.

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Dec 10, 2011

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HappyCamperGL posted:

It was probably the ridiculous bounce Williams got off the cushion here. First video on this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/snooker/36121634

The tables do seem to have noticeably shitter this year.

There have been complaints, and for once they're being listened to.

Having a hard time believing the Hawkins-O'Sullivan match. Ronnie is two frames down despite being ahead in every significant metric, and of the seven frames he's won he took three with centuries and three more with 80+ breaks.

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Dec 10, 2011

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Alice Klar posted:

Fantastic performance by Barry Hawkins but I'm disappointed to see Ronnie leave the tournament so early. Lots of great players left but not very showy players.

That in-off was heartbreaking.

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Dec 10, 2011

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Tsaedje posted:

12-11 now,. Absolutely crazy

Equally crazy: McManus beating Higgins 13-11. McManus hasn't reached a ranking semi in ten years and it's been more than half his life since he did it in the World Championship.

Even more interesting is that with that win, we're now guaranteed to have an unseeded player in the final for only the fourth time this century. Only two qualifiers have ever won the title at the Crucible - Shaun Murphy in 2005 and Terry Griffiths in 1979 - but Ding Junhui at least has a very good chance of being the third.

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Dec 10, 2011

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DAAS Kapitalist posted:

McManus looks totally shot.

Doesn't surprise me. He hates being called a veteran but he's not young, it's the longest tournament of the season, he's had no easy matches and he just had to win four on the skid to beat Higgins. There's only so much you can do in one fortnight.

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Dec 10, 2011

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Ding and McManus have equalled the record for centuries in a Crucible semi-final. In the first two sessions of four.

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Dec 10, 2011

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Tsaedje posted:

Bloody hell that final frame was tense

No kidding. I really thought Fu was going to get it when Selby gave away 20 points, but then he got them all back again.

Who do people fancy for the final? Selby has the past form, but I think Ding is playing better on the whole.

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Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014



Selby 6-0 up. Welp.

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