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Matchplay versus Arseplay

Postby Pink Ball

Matchplay is the art of looking invulnerable when you're actually vulnerable. It's damage limitation at its most effective.

It's about playing the right shots at the right time. It's about playing in a way that doesn't suit your opponent. It's about taking your chances when you get them, and if you run out of position, making sure you don't leave that chance to your opponent. It's about hitting them when it would hurt most.

What we have seen so far from John Higgins today and yesterday has been a masterclass in matchplay, rightly acknowledged by the BBC today. He could easily be 10-6 or 11-5 down, because his A game is not quite there. But instead he's at 8-8 against a very dangerous opponent. Even if he loses, he has at least given himself a far bigger chance of winning than would normally be the case. Ronnie O'Sullivan playing at Higgins' level would be down and out against an opponent playing like this now, and that's not because Ronnie O'Sullivan isn't brilliant; he has attributes John Higgins can't live with either at times. But Higgins is a superior matchplayer.

But Mark Selby got similar praise a few days ago for his 'matchplay' against Jordan Brown. It was nothing but arseplay. Selby gifted chance after chance to a limited opponent, and actually kept Brown in the game for longer than he had any right to be. His shot selection was all wrong. He was missing chances when they'd have hurt most.

Even today Selby has been much better, but we saw him lose that eighth frame with a comfortable lead, something Selby very, very rarely allowed to happen when he was a fantastic match player.

John Parrott gave both men similar praise. Parrott: learn the difference between match play and bottom play.

Re: Matchplay versus Arseplay

Postby The_Abbott

Matchplay and arseplay are both potential fire starters. Depends how much methane comes from the bottom.

Re: Matchplay versus Arseplay

Postby Iranu

I think you’re underestimating how good Higgins was today. Yeah he stole a couple of frames but this was far more than just good matchplay.

Higgins was awesome, his pot success was what, 96% or something? And his long potting was great too which is usually when you know Higgins is on form because long potting is his (relative) weakness.

He was just better than Maflin this afternoon, let’s be honest.