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…
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…