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HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan




If you're an experienced snookerer who just wants to discuss the 2017 Betfred World Snooker Championship, then feel free to skip this post and move on to the next one. For those wondering what the hell snooker is, clicked because you saw "FREE" in the title, or just sorta stumbled in randomly, I give to you my Newbie's Guide To Snooker.



Okay, so let's work under the assumption that the majority of people reading this are American, or used to spend a lot of time on candystand.com. So we all know pool, it's a fun cuesport, but we can do so much more with it. Let's make the table bigger so we have a larger playing surface, shrink the pockets slightly to make things more of a challenge, and introduce a unique scoring system based on coloured balls rather than just having the same eight or nine to go for in a fixed format. Add in a brand new set of rules and quirks and voila, we have snooker!



Snooker seems pretty complicated on the surface, mainly because it is, but the core rules of the game are simple enough to pick up. Here's a handy YouTube guide that's well worth watching:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjSWUTkupQo

If anything after the first couple of minutes of that is beyond you, or you're not in a video watching mood, that's fair enough. Let's break it down as simply as possible.

At the start of the game, the balls are set up as shown in that video around 30 seconds in. Each round of snooker, where the balls are set up again once they've all been potted, is called a frame. The object in each frame is to score more points than your opponent, generally by potting enough balls so that they cannot beat your score with what is left on the table.

In order to score points, balls must be potted in a specific order. You must start with a red ball, the most plentiful and lowest-scoring ball. Once a red ball is potted, you score one point, and that red ball is gone from the table for the rest of the frame. Once you have potted a red ball, you have started a chain of potting balls known as a break. To continue the break, after potting a red ball, you must then attempt to pot one of the six coloured balls on the table; these are effectively bonus balls that add to your break, and allow you to build up your score. Unlike with a red ball, once a coloured ball is potted, it is placed back on its spot.



You then continue this pattern of potting a red followed by a colour, until one of two things happens - your turn ends, either by missing a shot or committing a foul, or all the reds have been potted. With the former, you leave the table, and your opponent plays on instead, attempting to do the same as you. With the latter, once the final red and "bonus" colour have been potted, you must then clear the colours. This is done by starting with the colour with the lowest points value (the yellow, two points), and moving through the colours in ascending points order. In this instance, once a colour is potted, it is gone from the table until the end of the frame, like the reds were. Once the black is potted, the table is cleared, and the player with the most points wins the frame.

Of course, it's not usually a simple case of potting everything and clearing up. In this eventuality there is an entire aspect of the game not yet covered - safety play. In order to pot a red, you have to be in a position where you have a reasonable opportunity to pot a red; if you're not, you don't want your opponent to be in that position, so you have to play a shot which involves potting no balls, but leaves the cue ball in a difficult position.

Much like when making a break, a red ball is the target ball (except when there are only colours left, as before). The aim is to strike a red ball in such a way that the cue ball moves around the table and ends up awkward, usually on a cushion or behind a ball of the "wrong" colour. If you are unable to directly strike the target ball due to being behind another ball, this is said to be a snooker, and yes there is a situation named after the sport itself, strangely enough.

But enough waffle, let's put this all into practice, shall we? Here's an example of a standard frame that goes well for one of the players:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P_hqsaemRM

While here's an example of a frame that becomes tactical towards the end, and relies heavily on safety play:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dj2cYJbHfzU

This one is good as it shows that while there were not enough points on offer for the losing player to win by potting everything, he was able to get back into the frame by laying a snooker, and forcing his opponent into a foul. Again, don't worry if none of this makes sense, it will in time. If anyone has any questions about anything, post them in the thread, no matter how minor or silly you think they are.



Well, as you've hopefully established by now, it's a pretty fun sport. It can be really engaging - there's a lot more depth to it than pool, and it's full of all sorts of little statistics if you are of that variety of sports fan. Would you like to know a player's long pot success rate, or their average shot time? It's all recorded and duly noted during a game.

AMERICANS: If there is one single reason why you must absolutely follow snooker, get into it, and start playing it yourselves, it is this man:



This is Cliff Thorburn. He was the first overseas winner of the World Championship, in 1980, and remains the only North American to have won it. Thorburn is Canadian. In fact, all of the greatest North American snooker players have been Canadian. It is therefore down to you, dear reader, to buck that trend, to take the first step towards planting the American flag on the snooker map. That first step is this thread.

Let's move on to the second post, where I summarise the favourites for this year's tournament, and explain how you can actually watch the drat thing.

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HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan




Welcome to the 2017 World Snooker Championship, the 40th installation of the "modern" championship, at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield. Let's take a look at five of the big names from this year, chosen by myself, the OP.



Age: 33
Seed: 1
Previous Best: WINNER 2014/2016

Mark Selby returns to the Crucible as the reigning World Champion, and also as this year's favourite. He's still as hardy a competitor as ever, and will take some stopping. Fun fact: He won his second world title last year a matter of minutes after his hometown football club, Leicester City, had sealed the Premier League title. As you can tell, he was overcome with emotion:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uFQqiaMuH8#t=9924s (02:45:24)



Age: 41
Seed: 12
Previous Best: WINNER 2001/2004/2008/2012/2013

Ronnie O'Sullivan remains the biggest draw in snooker. Despite his advancing age and fading form, his outrageous skill and natural talent ensure he is the player everyone wants to watch. While he is still unbeatable at his best, it's difficult to imagine he can keep it going over a single match, let alone 17 days, but we shall see. COME ON RONNIE



Age: 27
Seed: 2
Previous Best: Runner-up 2011

There's no escaping from Trump, not even in snooker. Judd is the most flamboyant player in the game, and is regularly touted as the next Ronnie O'Sullivan, despite Ronnie O'Sullivan still being the current Ronnie O'Sullivan. Hate him or loathe him, he is the future of snooker, and as such you will never hear a bad word said about him by pundits, because he is effectively Barry Hearn's retirement fund. Listen out for the phrases "Naughty snooker" and "Judd Trump special" to be uttered on numerous occasions during the tournament, mainly by Dennis Taylor.



Age: 30
Seed: 4
Previous Best: Runner-up 2016

Ding Junhui, the "Chinese Sensation", has flattered to deceive somewhat, but he appears to be approaching his peak, and is always a tough competitor. Having the weight of a billion-strong nation on his shoulders has always been a bit of a burden, but it's been eased in recent years through a spate of fresh young Chinese players making their way up the rankings. Ding is still China's number one though, and always one to watch.



Age: 39
Seed: 8
Previous Best: Semi Finalist 2006/2016

Marco Fu is my dark horse for the tournament. He has been playing the best snooker of his life in the last couple of years, despite reaching a near-pensionable age in sporting terms. Fu's has a really solid season, and is coming into this tournament in great form. Admittedly, his bracket is atrocious, but hey, you have to beat the best to be the best. Oh and if you were wondering, he sort of has a nickname, but it's dumb and rarely used so I've not included it.

As is standard, follow Wikipedia for the draw and results. Qualifying completes on the 12th, at which point we'll know the full draw. What we do know is that four of the guys I've mentioned are in one half of the draw, with Trump all on his own in the other half, which is bloody typical.



A fairly important aspect of the tournament is being able to watch it, so how do you manage that? Well, it's shown live on the BBC, so for Brits all the usual avenues can be explored - TV, red button, online, iPlayer, blag stream, etc. It is also carried by Eurosport.

Non-Brits can still enjoy BBC streams and whatever version of Eurosport you're able to get, plus there are people who upload full matches to YouTube as soon as they're finished, so I'll be sure to link those as I find them.

The tournament runs from the 15th of April to the 1st of May.

UPDATE: "World Snooker Championship to be Broadcast throughout the Americas and the Indian Sub-Continent Live On Facebook" (up to the QF stage in the USA)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WorldSnooker1
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5lTEvtwu6SR3LMSmU9VZ2Q

HJB fucked around with this message at 20:09 on Apr 11, 2017

DJExile
Jun 27, 2007



That's an amazing OP, real talk. I learned snooker years ago and it kinda got away from me. I'll have to watch some of this and get back into it. It's a blast to play.

Pvt. Public
Sep 9, 2004

I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.

Holy poo poo, snooker thread is back! I had a job for several years that sent me to England fairly regularly, so I got my fix of playing snooker and cricket when I went. Thankfully, my town now has a local artificial cricket pitch in a park and our university's union hall has a recently-restored snooker table in the billiards hall, so I get my fix more regularly now. I always watch the Worlds and usually the China Open, but it'll be nice to have a thread again!

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


It should perhaps be mentioned that Jimmy White lost in the first round of qualifying - this year it's more significant as it means he's not racked up enough ranking points this season to retain a tour card, meaning his status as a professional has been lost after 37 years at the top. He could still win it back or earn a wildcard spot but it may be what finally pushes him into retirement. In the great man's honour, here are a couple of vids of him breaking the laws of physics:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmYo2Ny_KWY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-91ZCBVUes#t=38s

Julio Cruz
May 19, 2006



I hope Neil Robertson wins because he has the single best (IMO) nickname in all of snooker - the Thunder from Down Under.

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


The official YT channel's streaming the final round of qualifiers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf_IjcTGFjw

I don't know if it's UK-only but it's something anyway.

DJExile
Jun 27, 2007



HJB posted:

The official YT channel's streaming the final round of qualifiers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf_IjcTGFjw

I don't know if it's UK-only but it's something anyway.

I'm in the states and this is working

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


Excellent, I guess it's because it's not being shown on TV anywhere but if they could do that for the tournament proper that'd solve that problem.

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


Here we go, some good news: http://www.worldsnooker.com/world-snooker-broadcast-world-championship-facebook/

In short, if you're in the Americas or parts of Asia, you'll be able to watch live coverage on Facebook (and presumably YouTube as well). Unfortunately you'll only be able to watch up until the quarter-finals in the USA, but I'm sure there's ways around that.

Sneaks McDevious
Jul 29, 2010

by LITERALLY AN ADMIN


HJB posted:

In the great man's honour, here are a couple of vids of him breaking the laws of physics:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmYo2Ny_KWY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-91ZCBVUes#t=38s

What in the actual gently caress? Nobody plays like that these days.

Pvt. Public
Sep 9, 2004

I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.

julian assflange posted:

What in the actual gently caress? Nobody plays like that these days.

Jimmy White rules.

I'm hoping to see Saengkham go on as well as Vafaei. I'm torn on whether I want McLeod or Miah to win their match, though.

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


Here's the final session live: (E: Apparently they're having issues, so any problems are on their end)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKc9_MZgpqo

Eight players qualified earlier today:

Xiao Guodong
David Grace
Luca Brecel
Gary Wilson
Peter Ebdon
Jimmy Robertson
Yan Bingtao
Martin Gould

Ebdon won in typical Ebdon fashion, a 10-9 win, on the black, after a marathon session.

HJB fucked around with this message at 16:19 on Apr 12, 2017

Pvt. Public
Sep 9, 2004

I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.

Finally catching up on the evening session, and man it was great watching Maguire clear the 13th frame with some classic play on his part. Hopefully he keeps form, he's quite fun to watch.

Tsaedje
May 11, 2007

ASK ME ABOUT BEING A JOYLESS CURMUDGEON WHO CANNOT ENJOY LIFE'S SIMPLY PLEASURES LIKE EATING AN ICE CREAM WHILST HAVING A SHIT


I think we can all agree: gently caress Peter Ebdon

Pvt. Public
Sep 9, 2004

I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.

Tsaedje posted:

I think we can all agree: gently caress Peter Ebdon

Yes, I feel that is a universal opinion.

Also, Maguire's finish was real good and I winced real hard when Vafaei hosed that pink in the 15th frame to go down 8-7 rather than being up. And I forgot how short Graeme Dott is. Dang, he tiny.

edit: Finally finished the session. Some thoughts:

- Vafaei blowing that pink in the 15th and Ford's back-to-back shots to get out of snooker was his downfall, ultimately. His shots never quite recovered after losing those two battles.

- Saengkham gets in through sheer force of will. How he came back from that deficit is beyond me.

- Yuelong over Woollaston was match of the qualifiers for me. The grind to the end was fantastic to watch.

- Miah's final shot was just insane. Not sure what the hell he was thinking. McLeod is pretty cool.

Pvt. Public fucked around with this message at 22:04 on Apr 12, 2017

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


Poor old Mark Williams, he was two frames away from winning a tournament and earning enough ranking points to qualify outright, then he falls three frames short in qualifying itself. As Rob Walker was at pains to point out, it also means he's the only world champion from this century not to make it. Also a shame Hossein "Trumpslayer" Vafaei misses out, a little lack of experience by the sounds of it.

THE DRAW

Session Times

A few standouts there, some more positive than others. Selby-O'Brien and Bingham-Ebdon are 3am finishes in the making, Fu's path doesn't get any easier with Brecel in his way, and the last five matches all have solid potential, especially Higgins-Gould and McGill-Maguire.

Also, best news of the day:

https://twitter.com/BarryHearn/status/852469029914759168

HJB fucked around with this message at 11:15 on Apr 13, 2017

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


Barry Hearn has just announced Jimmy White has been given a wildcard for another two years on the tour, as has Ken Doherty. It was half expected given Hearn's made a fair few changes and concessions over the years seemingly with the intent of giving White more airtime, but there you go, his retirement's been delayed for another couple of years.

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


Okay, the tournament has officially started! Grab yourselves a seat, a stream, and some suds, and let's enjoy (endure in some cases) seventeen days of snooker action. Liveposting is encouraged, if only because it stops me spending the next fortnight posting at myself.

Sneaks McDevious
Jul 29, 2010

by LITERALLY AN ADMIN


*in annoying golf fan voice* GET IN THE HOLE

HappyCamperGL
May 18, 2014



Mark Selby 4-0 up against "Fearless" Fergal O'Brien at the interval. I had no ideas he was still playing.

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


I think this match is going to take as long as the frame that got Fergal here in the first place.

HappyCamperGL
May 18, 2014



quote:

He took two hours, three minutes and 41 seconds to take the deciding 19th frame

http://m.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/fergal-obrien-wins-professional-snookers-longest-frame-to-grab-crucible-spot-35619130.html

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


A quick primer for stats fans:



The stats on the left are good. The stats on the right are less good.

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


It's time for Lord Ronald the snowtipped cuesmith to make his bow.

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


Another unwritten rule of snooker: Ken Doherty must always commentate on Murphy games, just so the BBC can get a cheap laugh out of him saying "Shorn Morphy" all the time.

HappyCamperGL
May 18, 2014



Cue Man Fu having an absolute mare against this Belgian guy.

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


I think I've jinxed him, he's having a shocker. He's just about grinding his way to his first frame as I type.

E: Since I said I'd be doing this, a couple of first round vids:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFX27jn_YpU - Selby-O'Brien
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4lGbYF0FQU - McGill-Maguire

HJB fucked around with this message at 20:11 on Apr 16, 2017

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005



Tsaedje posted:

I think we can all agree: gently caress Peter Ebdon

it's me, I'm the guy who likes Peter Ebdon, he's a giant troll and everyone gets so incredibly het up and fuming about him and I laughed like a drain when he bored Ronnie to death that one time in 2005

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014



HJB posted:

I think I've jinxed him, he's having a shocker. He's just about grinding his way to his first frame as I type.

And look what happened in the second session.

Major kudos to Yan Bingtao also, 6-3 down against Murphy and pulled it back to 9-8 before losing a black ball decider. A very credible showing for the first player born this century to play at the Crucible.

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


Jedit posted:

And look what happened in the second session.

Yep. This in particular is what snooker is all about :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmJPQSUDZtg

RoboJoe
Dec 30, 2006

We cleanse.
You are the filth.





The frame just played by Higgins Vs Gould (Frame 10 I think it was) was bloody fantastic. That black splitting the pack was lovely and let Gould clear up in a way I didn't think was going to happen at that point.

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


Gould is insanely good in short bursts, and yeah that shot was great.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yZjlHMjhaI#t=265s

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014



Permission to say "Whoa, holy gently caress, Rory McLeod!"? Last time there was an upset this big was when Michael Wasley knocked out Ding Junhui in 2014, and while Ding was in form that year he wasn't the second favourite.

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


Much like Dennis Taylor, I fear you may have arrived a little prematurely regarding Judd.

HappyCamperGL
May 18, 2014



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-4422296/Why-Rory-McLeod-wears-ISIS-waistcoat.html

Lol

HappyCamperGL fucked around with this message at 20:41 on Apr 19, 2017

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


Well hey he managed to grind it out, naturally I'm devastated but I'm sure I'll get over it in time. Ah there we go.


Yeah this came up I think last year at one of the tournaments, the reaction was as you'd expect, probably similar to how Trump fans are reacting right now.

RoboJoe
Dec 30, 2006

We cleanse.
You are the filth.





That McLeod match win was very surprising, good on him for doing it though!

I just don't think Judd trump was on form at all this tournament, maybe his injury was a problem but I don't think he would have won even if he had beaten McLeod.

RoboJoe fucked around with this message at 22:59 on Apr 19, 2017

HJB
Feb 16, 2011

I can't get enough of are Dan


Some more videos:

Day-Xiao
Session 1 / Session 2

Fu-Brecel
Session 1 / Session 2

Murphy-Yan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9Ru_PJDq0I

O'Sullivan-Wilson
Session 1 / Session 2

Liang-Carrington
No Session 1 yet (Frame 5) (Frame 6) (Frame 7) / Session 2

Ding-Zhou
Session 1 / No Session 2 yet

Bingham-Ebdon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36MGhPKglxE

Wilson-Grace
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsXnwaoER9A

Allen-Robertson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIgRHmLgk2Y

Higgins-Gould
Session 1 / No Session 2 yet (Frame 10) (Frame 11) (Frame 12)

Carter-Dott
No Session 1 yet / Session 2

Trump-McLeod
No Session 1 yet (Frame 9) / Session 2 / Session 3

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Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014



Ronnie vs Murphy starts at 7pm UK (29 minutes hence).

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