McChazzz wrote:Ok, as many points as I can make:
1) "Beating those players means nothing" - no, it definitely means something. It may not mean much, but it means that we're dealing with a player who is capable of beating top sixteen opposition. This isn't Lee Page in the final, this is a player slowly approaching the upper echelons of the game.
2) "A final is a different ball game" - Absolutely, and I wouldn't dispute that. Then again, a one table ranking semi-final was also meant to be breaking new ground for Woollaston, and he seemed to cope with that ok tonight. At the end of the day, it's still just snooker, albeit over more frames and with more pressure.
3) "Woollaston didn't play that well to beat MJW, he choked badly, he was a tad lucky MJW didn't take advantage of his chokes in the decider." - You and I must have been watching different matches, my friend! He made five 50+ breaks (strong scoring from anyone in a best of eleven), potted a fantastic green to go 2-0 up, and responded to losing two frames after the interval with two of his own to go 5-3 up. Yes, pressure told as he approached the finishing line, but he still won. He really only gave MJW one clear chance in the decider, and when MJW choked straight back (because hey, experienced players feel pressure too!), he closed it out with a sixty break.
4) "...him beating Higgins here would have to be regarded as one of the biggest upsets of all time in snooker." - No it wouldn't. Based on bookmakers odds, it would barely make the top fifty upsets this season! Just because the setting is a final doesn't make it astronomically more unlikely that Woollaston will win. It makes it more unlikely, but I'm saying everyone in this thread is wildly over-estimating how much so.
5) "Most of those opponents were over best of 7, while best of 17 is [a] completely different game" - It's different, but not completely so. Higgins' win probability has been set at 67%, while in a best of seven it would be about 60%. It's a difference, but it's not 99.99% as seems to be the general feeling! If you can beat top players in best of seven, you won't be far off beating them in a best of nine, and so on. He just beat a top player in a best of eleven - why is doing it in a Bo17 so different?
6) Not a lot of love for the die analogy, but I'm just quoting the odds; if you disagree with me, Coral out there will take your money at 8/15, etc etc. To say "a die is not mentally weak" wildly misses the point (and where was this mental weakness tonight?) - it's a way of comparing something you're familiar with the odds of (rolling a large number on a die) with something you all seem to have a poor grasp of the odds of (Ben's winning chances).
Just for fun, here's how I see the outcomes of that fictional die roll...
1 - Higgins comes out in the same form he showed early against Brecel, blitzes him early with power scoring and trademark steals, and Woollaston never recovers. Higgins wins 9-2 or 9-3, and everyone in this thread pats each other on the back, telling me how wrong I was.
2 - Higgins is more like the player in his match against Maguire, but Woollaston is a shadow of his previous performances and trails 6-2/7-1 going into the evening session without making a break over 30. With the pressure off he adds some respectability to the scoreline, but loses 9-4 or 9-5. Everyone in this thread pats each other on the back, telling me how wrong I was.
3 - Both players play roughly to their average strength, with Higgins being the better player and doing enough to win 9-6 or 9-7. Everyone in this thread pats each other on the back, telling me how wrong I was and making pains to point out that even if it had got close, Woollaston couldn't have won due to Higgins' experience/his mental weakness, etc.
4 - Both players play roughly to their average strength, but Woollaston holds a slender lead with just a few frames to go before losing tragically in a decider after numerous twitches. Everyone in this thread pats each other on the back and offers me more advice on how a die cannot see the winning line.
5 - Both players play roughly to their average strength, but Woollaston gets an early lead and doesn't relinquish it, winning either 9-7 or 9-8. Everyone in this thread bemoans how lucky Woollaston was, pointing out every Higgins miss (and ignoring that you only have to play better than the opponent that shows up) and saying how he should really retire as to lose to this guy is a disgrace.
6 - Higgins looks like the player who hadn't made a semifinal for ages, missing simple balls and playing loose safety, while Woollaston looks like the player who knocked out four top twenty players en route to the final (and who Carter called "unplayable for three frames"). Woollaston wins 9-5, and everyone says that such a freak result could never have been foreseen, just like Murphy 10-2 Robertson in the Masters final.
You didn't get me with that post, I had Higgins -2.5.