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Who's the best when he's at his best.

Postby TheRocket

Which players (or which player) have the best A-game or peak-game, however you wanna call it. And try to make a ranking if you can.

O'Sullivan, Higgins and Hendry are at the top for me but it's really tough to choose between them. Hendry and O'Sullivan are huge scorers while Higgins is the best Allrounder the game has ever seen.

After that there are several players for me who are close to rank on the same level, like Williams, Trump, Ding, Robertson and Selby.


What do you think?

Re: Who's the best when he's at his best.

Postby Andre147

It's difficult to say, because on some players their A game relies more on potting ability, whereas other players their A game is a mix between good breakbuilding and safety play.

Nevertheless, I always thought Ronnie's A game when at his absolute best is the best there's ever been, no one can touch him if he's on song, and then obviously the fear factor comes in as well. Hendry comes in 2nd place, but then on 3rd place I can't really decide between Higgins or MJW because both have different styles of play that work on a given situation. I can't split these two.

As for the others, namely Robbo, Ding and Selby, Robbo for me has by far the best A game of those 3, for instance we saw at at this year's Masters against Carter or at last season's Worlds against Trump in the final session. Ding's A game for me is a cut above Selby as well.

All this is very subjective mind you, and there will be different opinions all around.

Re: Who's the best when he's at his best.

Postby vodkadiet

I have always found this topic irrelevant because it doesn't win you a tournament. in 2007 O'Sullivan hammered Carter in The Northern Ireland trophy making 4 or 5 centuries, and then lost next round.

Re: Who's the best when he's at his best.

Postby Roland

It's Ronnie. I've seen a very select few players play a perfect session of snooker (talking >6 frames) and Ronnie has done it more than anyone else.

Re: Who's the best when he's at his best.

Postby vodkadiet

A far better quality is being able to win when your back is against the wall. That is why I rate John Higgins in higher regard than Ronnie O'Sullivan. His victory at The Crucible in 2011 was the best performance ever. He beat O'Sullivan, Williams, and Trump all from at least 3 frames behind. And he beat them all by 3 frames.

Playing great when you are in great form without any resistance is not that admirable a quality.

Re: Who's the best when he's at his best.

Postby Sickpotter

In terms of pretty play I'd go with Ronnie.

In terms of consistency and ruthlessness I'd go with Hendry.

In terms of all round game/match play HIggins gets the nod.

Hendry has IMO managed to play at his best for the better part of a decade, rarely losing the groove. I never saw that level of sustained consistency from either Ronnie or Higgins.

Re: Who's the best when he's at his best.

Postby Cloud Strife

Does mentality and temperant come into it?

If Hendry and O'Sullivan played each other whilst producing their A games, who of the two would be more prone to succumb to the pressure of such a matchup?

Re: Who's the best when he's at his best.

Postby Andre147

Cloud Strife wrote:Does mentality and temperant come into it?

If Hendry and O'Sullivan played each other whilst producing their A games, who of the two would be more prone to succumb to the pressure of such a matchup?


Probably Ronnie. But then again, for me when at his best he's the best ever, the difference being Ronnie can't sustain his best play as long as Hendry could do in his prime.

In a World Final and if both were playing their absolute A game and it went close, I would give Hendry a tad advantage simply because he could sustain it for longer, but as I said Ronnie's best is better than Hendry's.

Re: Who's the best when he's at his best.

Postby SnookerFan

Cloud Strife wrote:Does mentality and temperant come into it?

If Hendry and O'Sullivan played each other whilst producing their A games, who of the two would be more prone to succumb to the pressure of such a matchup?


I would argue no. This thread is about when a player is playing at his best. Not how good is a person's b-game, or how good is their mental strength when they're not playing well.

Ronnie has the most natural talent in the game, and his best is better than any other player that has ever played the game. However, up until a couple of years ago his temperament was rubbish. If he wasn't up for a game, he'd take reckless shots on, not bother to try. He'd have people he could thrash easily beat him by wide margins.

That's not what we're talking about here. Because that's not his best.

Re: Who's the best when he's at his best.

Postby Dan-cat

Hahahaha SF.

'When Ronnie is at his best, all I can do is repeat the phrase 'You are watching the best, at his best' ad nauseam' John Parrot

Re: Who's the best when he's at his best.

Postby Holden Chinaski

Ronnie at his absolute best, like in the 2005 Masters final for example, is just on another level. There's only one player Stephen Hendry would pay for to see, and that's ROS. Hendry's words not mine. Nuff said.

Re: Who's the best when he's at his best.

Postby Wildey

vodkadiet wrote:I have always found this topic irrelevant because it doesn't win you a tournament. in 2007 O'Sullivan hammered Carter in The Northern Ireland trophy making 4 or 5 centuries, and then lost next round.

yea you need to be at your best for a whole week or 2 weeks no point making breaks for fun in one match and play avarage next match and get beat.

John Higgins or Mark Selby can tough it out when they are strugling but if they came up against Ronnie playing at his best they will have to up their Game.

its irrelivant who can reach the pinacle of play its all about doing it consistently

Re: Who's the best when he's at his best.

Postby Holden Chinaski

Wildey wrote:
vodkadiet wrote:I have always found this topic irrelevant because it doesn't win you a tournament. in 2007 O'Sullivan hammered Carter in The Northern Ireland trophy making 4 or 5 centuries, and then lost next round.

yea you need to be at your best for a whole week or 2 weeks no point making breaks for fun in one match and play avarage next match and get beat.

John Higgins or Mark Selby can tough it out when they are strugling but if they came up against Ronnie playing at his best they will have to up their Game.

its irrelivant who can reach the pinacle of play its all about doing it consistently

But for players like Ronnie, Alex Higgins and Jimmy White for example, just winning titles is not enough. They want to win playing a certain kind of snooker. They want to play exciting, attacking and beautiful snooker. That's why they are the peoples champions.This thread is about who has the best A game, and in my opinion Ronnie has the best, followed by Hendry, John Higgins and Steve Davis.

Re: Who's the best when he's at his best.

Postby whitespider

Snooker is strange though as everybody's A-game produces the same result -

Attack wise
If your playing your best you pot a difficult red then clear the table (or put the frame beyond reach). All the top player's A game produces this result. You could argue even that the top amateurs also experience this from time to time. It's effectively a one shot kill. And you can't better that outcome. Sure some do it with flair, others not but the outcome is the same. Anyone in that sort of attacking form is capable of beating anybody even if the opposing players is in that form themselves. There is a question whether they hit it for one frame, several frames, a session or longer and that is what determines matches and tournaments, and how good a player is. But all your top players can reach and have some frames at this peak, creating something out of nothing and going on to win the frame. And if they sustain this form then there can be no seperation attack wise, in snooker results terms.

Defence wise
So with that in mind if you had two players potting at 97% (which is a realistic peak - Robbo at the Masters had this at one point in one match) the whole question comes down to the players defence and who is most likely to leave the opening red.

Re: Who's the best when he's at his best.

Postby vodkadiet

Cloud Strife wrote:Does mentality and temperant come into it?

If Hendry and O'Sullivan played each other whilst producing their A games, who of the two would be more prone to succumb to the pressure of such a matchup?


O'Sullivan.