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The Claps…

Enter from stage behind, the fake claps…

IT was a dramatic first weekend at the Theatre of Dreams as the 2020 BetFred World Snooker Championship got underway.

As fans began to get used to the new set-up with no audience allowed in to watch the drama unfold, the tech crew came up with an obvious idea…

David Gilbert
David Gilbert had an emotional roller coaster last year at the Crucible but this year could not see off Norway’s Kurt Maflin in Round one.

Fake crowds clapping.

As the centuries started rolling in, with Neil Robertson and Tom Ford currently holding the high break of 140 between them, the noise of the fake crowds got louder and louder. Good job.

However, watching great shots by some players go without a clap is infuriating.

Watch these, and CLAP, CLAP, CLAP…

There was also a fresh addition to the BBC commentary team. A football commentator in David Farrar, whose low-pitched voice reminded SnookerZone of Ted Lowe’s whispering dulcet tones.

What has the tech crew backstage got up their sleeve, next?

It comes as big names such as John Virgo, famous for, “where’s the cue ball going? was unable to attend the venue due to being abroad.

The sad passing of Willie Thorne a few months ago is also another dramatic loss to the 17 days of action at Sheffield’s home of snooker in what is a very strange World Championships for a number of reasons.

  • It’s being held in summer
  • There are no audiences allowed in

Despite there being no crowds, some players are still feeling the pressure whereas others are basking in playing with freedom and knocking in big breaks.

Qualifiers Dropping like flies…

The 16 qualifiers, however, are dropping like flies this year in Round One as one by one the top seeds show that little extra to book their places into the second round.

However, for top seed David Gilbert, it wasn’t a procession into the second round as the former World Championship semi-finalist of last year, bowed out in a very close encounter against Norway’s Kurt Maflin, who stuck with Gilbert all the way until Maflin went 9 – 8 in front.

Gilbert had his chances in frame 18 but could not force the decider as The Viking, as he is nicknamed by MC Rob Walker clambered over the line and is the only qualifier so far to proceed into the last 16.

Maflin told WST after: “I felt like I played pretty well and pretty solid. I feel like I could have beat Dave 10-6 or something, and I made it a little bit hard for myself. It meant a lot as I think I have grown a little bit as a snooker player. My all round game is getting stronger, I feel like I can mix it up with anyone now.

 

He added: “I think this result will take off in Norway in terms of social media. I have quite a big following and fanbase behind me. There are many people interested and sending me good luck messages on Twitter. They are a real good bunch of people and I really appreciate all the support I am getting from back home in Norway.

Enjoy the first week of action, and remember, CLAP…

 

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All James Cahill’s Dreams Come True in Just Two Days…

In just two days, Cahill has become a household name for snooker fans and its history…

JAMES CAHILL’S snooker dreams have all come true in just two days.

The 23-year-old amateur from Blackpool only yesterday qualified as the first amateur to make history and appear at the Crucible for the first time after winning three best of 19 matches at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

But, today, he now knows who he’s going to be playing there – and that’s the 19-major winner and five-times World Champion and World number one Ronnie O’Sullivan in the first round at the iconic venue that has seen some epic dramas since 1977 – on Monday afternoon.

Cahill’s odds on odds checker of beating the Rocket and causing an upset in the first round are 22/1 with the Rocket odds on at 1/25.

Top boss Barry Hearn, who did the draw with Legend John Parrott, a winner in 1991 of the World Championship when he defeated Jimmy White, said that Cahill had everything to gain and nothing to lose.

The amateur is one of several debutants including a string of Chinese players including Tian Pengfei and 19-year-old Luo Honghao, making a debut at the Crucible in his first season as a professional.

Judd Trump, one of three top 16 players whose had a consistent season winning two ranking titles faces a tough first round against the Thai potter Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

SnookerZone can see a few upsets coming in this year’s first round as the field is top notch with some former World Champions making the cut for the Crucible.

2006 World Champion Graeme Dott will face the 2015 World Champion Stuart Bingham as a qualifier, the second consecutive time Dott has qualified for the event.

World Champion Mark Williams faces the Pinner Potter Martin Gould, who, on his day, can beat anyone. Gould is a former German Masters Champion.

Former World number one Mark Selby also is set for a tough draw against the improving Chinese player Zhao Xintong.

Watch the draw below if you missed it…

 

 

 

 

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Snooker 19 – Revolutionary Snooker Gaming for the Masses…

Almost the real thing? Snooker19

YESTERDAY saw the launch of Snooker 19 – the new revolutionary cuesports game which saw World Snooker team up with Ripstone and Lab 42 to create the “definitive snooker gaming experience” on XBox, PC, and Playstation 4 & Nintendo Switch later on in year.

The virtual launch coincided with the conclusion of the real 2019 World Championship qualifiers at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield where 16 qualifiers will now pit their wits against the top 16 players in the World at the iconic snooker venue hosting the World Championships since 1977 the Crucible Theatre starting on Saturday.

Snooker 19 aims to mimic the whole tour scene where players earn those ranking points to move up and players can also earn to buy cues and top equipment to give them that edge over the rest.

“Being big fans of snooker, we’re thrilled to finally bring Snooker 19 to the masses,” said Justin Forrest of Lab42, Game Director of Snooker 19. “This has been a big passion project of ours and the chance to work with World Snooker was a dream come true. We’re confident that we have created the definitive snooker experience, and hope you will agree when you try Snooker 19 yourself.”

Snooker gaming has gone through an evolution. From the days of the Jimmy White Whirlwind game on Atari’s to the early versions of World Championship Snooker on Playstation’s 1, 2 and 3.

There are lots of snooker games now on mobile and tablet, including Pro Snooker 2018/19 and Snooker Live Pro with stars Neil Robertson and Judd Trump. Fans now have a choice of when and where they can pretend to be their favourite stars – but it does beg one question: Will it make kids want to pick up a cue in real time, or will it just keep them hooked in their bedrooms?

For SnookerZone, nothing quite beats playing the real thing…

We’ll review the game in full, when we come back from the real thing in Sheffield in just under two weeks time!

Stay tuned…

Meanwhile, you can now start enjoying the virtual experience on PC, XBox and Playstation below…