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Re: Betfred World Championship Final Mark Selby v Shaun Murp

Postby Reg Varney

HappyCamper wrote:
OoNebsoO wrote:Hall of Fame, yet active player just got in. Weird.

Interestingly Bingham, Murphy, Ding, and Selby were already in it. Amongst others.

And Graeme Dott! I take it any World champion automatically goes in.

Re: Betfred World Championship Final Mark Selby v Shaun Murp

Postby The_Abbott

Reg Varney wrote:
HappyCamper wrote:
OoNebsoO wrote:Hall of Fame, yet active player just got in. Weird.

Interestingly Bingham, Murphy, Ding, and Selby were already in it. Amongst others.

And Graeme Dott! I take it any World champion automatically goes in.

Explains why Ding is there.

Re: Betfred World Championship Final Mark Selby v Shaun Murp

Postby SnookerFan

World number 14 Jack Lisowski was handed an unexpected chance to switch his cue for a microphone at this year’s Betfred World Championship and the Gloucestershire potter says he relished every minute.

Following world number one and close friend Judd Trump’s calls for current players to be given a say in punditry, Lisowski was offered the opportunity to try his hand at broadcasting for the BBC in the wake of his second round defeat to Neil Robertson at the Crucible.

Originally it was set to be a single day arrangement. However, his success in the studio and the commentary box prompted an extension, which saw the 29-year-old remain in Sheffield for an extra week after his defeat. Off the back of Lisowski’s successful stint, Trump was also invited to join the BBC coverage and worked throughout the latter stages of the event. Lisowski thoroughly enjoyed the experience, which came about at the very last minute.

Lisowski explained: “As soon as I lost, one of the producers asked me if I fancied it. Judd had obviously said a few things to get people talking and the BBC’s production company IMG said it would be cool to get a current player in. I went back to the hotel to get changed after my match with Neil and thought that if I went home, then I wouldn’t be coming back. I got Ryan my manager to speak to them and he arranged for me to do the next day. It was originally a one off, but there was an extension each day and it snowballed. In the end we kept extending until the final.

“I actually wondered if it would be a bit embarrassing to stay after losing, but I know that Ronnie O’Sullivan does it for Eurosport. If he can do it, then I know that I can do the same thing. I think if I hadn’t thought of that I would have been a bit too embarrassed. Stephen Hendry was saying that he didn’t know how I could do it after losing. I thought to myself, no, Ronnie does it and it is good for the game.

“It’s live TV and it can be pretty frightening. When you are playing snooker it is live, but you don’t have to speak. It is a big deal to be on the BBC giving your opinions. I was pretty nervous, but by the end I was more relaxed. Hopefully it can actually help my snooker, as that was more nerve wracking than playing. People like Hazel, Radzi and Seema are amazing. They are so professional and watching them puts pressure on you. It is easy to be conscious of the camera.”

After Trump’s comments on freshening up snooker coverage, Lisowski felt they had no choice but to take the bull by the horns and embrace the chance to step in front of the camera. Lisowski believes that his involvement, alongside Trump, brought a freshness to the coverage and admits he most enjoyed explaining the mindset of the modern player to the viewer.

“I had to back it up and he had to back it up. When they asked Judd, he said to me he wasn’t sure if he could do it. We had to do it though and we had to go through that bit of stress at the start. After the initial nerves, I think it went well and we had good fun. I thought Judd was really good at it. I think he was best at commentary, he was an absolute natural at commentating as there is a lot to think about. We surprised ourselves in many aspects.

“The cool side of it was that we had been playing in the tournament and on the tables, so we could give an up to date perspective on things and even demonstrate by playing some of the shots ourselves. That’s what Judd and I were on about. I think showing the shots was what I was most comfortable doing, as it is my day job anyway.

“There were so lots of parts to the coverage which I didn’t know about. On commentary you have to know when to speak and when not to, do you look at your monitor or the action on the table through the glass? When you are in the studio, you have the producer calling things in your ear and the countdown when you are about to go on air is hard. Hendry and Davis have done it for years now and they weren’t nervous at all, but it takes some getting used to. I feel like I can get better at it and it was really cool to hear people on social media and even in the street saying I did a good job. I don’t want to get too good at it though, as that will mean I’m not winning matches!”

Lisowski’s 13-9 loss to Robertson in the last 16 ended an impressive season for the six-time ranking event finalist. However, defeats to Trump in the finals of the World Grand Prix, German Masters and Gibraltar Open meant that he emerged from the campaign still hunting maiden ranking silverware. Lisowski is now setting his sights on next season as the time to finally make his big breakthrough in filling his trophy cabinet.

“I thought I was unfortunate at the World Championship. Ali Carter was one of the worst first round draws and I just managed to beat him. Neil in that form was incredibly hard to beat. I was trying and trying. I couldn’t break him in the end, he was just phenomenal. I ran into someone that was too good. There are a lot of worse ways to lose, it wasn’t like it was a decider or that I got smashed. If there is a good way to lose then that is it, but at the end of the day I don’t want to be going out in the second round. I can have a nice break now, but next season is the one, this is it. I need to do well and it needs to start happening for me. I am putting myself in these big match situations regularly, so it isn’t new to me anymore. I have to figure it out, get it done and win one.

“I’ve said I think I am five years away from my best. I think the main goal is to be World Champion. That tournament is amazing and being around it makes me want to win it more. It is an amazing event and a real show. Playing at the Masters is crazy, but the prestige event is the World Championship, it is the pinnacle by so far. I want to win that tournament. The punditry was the first time I have seen the one table setup. It changes the whole Crucible. I now know that if I can win these three games and get to the semis, then I am in for the best place to play snooker imaginable. That is what makes it so special and I get it now. I understand it a lot more. Some tournaments you can fluke it. Nobody flukes the World Championship. The best player always wins.”

Re: Betfred World Championship Final Mark Selby v Shaun Murp

Postby SnookerFan


Wednesday 12 May 2021 02:30PM
This year’s Betfred World Championship was a landmark event for English sport as it was the first to welcome crowds in 2021, and on the final day it became the first event to host a capacity crowd for over a year.

The 17-day tournament was part of the UK Government’s Events Research Programme, generating data which will help bring back all forms of venue entertainment.

Chris Downer, a lifelong snooker fan who has been coming to the Crucible since 1993, has written this description of the process he went through in order to be among the lucky few inside the famous arena in Sheffield…

Chris Downer

“As the 2021 World Championship drew close, it was confirmed that the tournament would be one of the Government’s pilot events to be played in front of a live audience. Not quite the Kitchener-esque coerciveness of ‘Your Country Needs You’ but I was happy to do my bit and be part of the experiment to get life back on the road to normality.

The demands made on those attending the event, when first seen on paper, seemed quite a lot of bother just to watch a snooker match but, as it turned out, the whole thing was organised very well down to every detail, the staff friendly, and the procedures quite straightforward.

The only thing one had to depend upon was to test negative for Covid. Thankfully, I did.

The compound for event goers extended from the Crucible main entrance right through the central expanse of Tudor Square allowing a spacious entranceway with social distancing the foremost consideration of the whole operation, and strictly adhered to throughout.

Firstly, one had to use the hand sanitiser and produce an email or text message confirming a negative Covid test that day or the previous day, along with photographic ID. Those attending multiple days were given a wristband to show the date of their last test, valid for three days. A further test would be required if attending a fourth day.

At the second checkpoint, sight was required of the email confirming that the ticket holder had submitted formal consent to be part of the pilot. A QR-code link was available for those who may have overlooked this, so nobody was turned away just for lack of it.

The third base is where the ticket was scanned, and from here each household bubble was ushered in at social distancing intervals, with a separately indicated route to each of the auditorium’s five doors, from street to arena.

Those who had attended the tournament’s three available days last year will have recognised the bareness of the foyer: no bookmaker; no merchandise; no café or bar (although bottles of water were available). The NHS Covid app check-in was the final requirement before finding one’s seat. Plenty of hand sanitisers were dotted around the foyer. Inside the auditorium, like last year, seats had been arranged in various sizes of household bubble between one and four, with signs on the intermediate ones where bums must not be deployed.

I work in an office and, for the last year, have mainly worked from home, so I am not one of the key workers who are used to spending all day wearing a mask. Unlike in 2020, face masks were a requirement even when seated during the match, and I had wondered whether this would be an uncomfortable hassle. It wasn’t. The stewards kept their eye on punters during the sessions, and reminded those whose masks had slipped below the nose to pull them back up.

After the opening weekend, the attendance on Monday morning was lower. But as the week went on, the attendances rose, steadily if not spectacularly, and the applause and cheers were unmistakably those of a Crucible crowd and not a great deal quieter than normal.

The most difficult part of the operation to implement was the requirement that fans remain seated at the interval and end of session, to await the stewards’ instructions to leave, row by row, in order that social distancing could be maintained. There were always a few people who got up to dash out before it was their turn. Most of the time, though, the vast majority complied with the requirements. The referees, helpfully, at the intervals reminded the crowd to stay put until directed to leave.

When the John Higgins v Tian Pengfei match came back for its unscheduled third session, it was interesting to see the players’ seats, dividing walls, and rests being sanitised between the two matches. It seemed a little ironic that Olivier Marteel, taking time off from his day-job as a nurse, should come to Sheffield to put on surgical gloves and wipe surfaces clean!

Returning for the final, of course there was the much-anticipated full crowd. In fact, we mused afterwards that it may have been the fullest crowd ever seen during live play, because without the bar and bookies there was no inclination for ticket-holders to be anywhere other than in the arena. The enlarged capacity and the rain which fell heavily on the final day did not cause any delays in getting into the building. Social distancing was maintained other than at one’s seats but, even so, everyone was guided through the procedures efficiently. Those two Monday introductions, bigged up appropriately and inimitably by Rob Walker, were quite something to experience and very few matches, if any, have ever created quite such a noise during the walk-ons – in fact, the cheering was at its height before either of the players was welcomed.

All in all, the whole event was run like a well-oiled machine. All the staff were exceptionally friendly, which in any case is always true of the Crucible, and everyone knew what they were doing. I overheard one woman, on her way out of the arena, say to a steward: “That was really well organised, thank you,” in a tone which suggested that she may have had her reservations before coming. World Snooker Tour and the Crucible should be proud of the way they made it work, and I hope it came across as such to the television viewers.

Whether ‘My Country really did Need Me’ – and it is certainly debatable – it was definitely worth the effort. And let us hope that all of us who made that effort have played a part in the return to a packed Crucible for every session in 2022.”

Re: Betfred World Championship Final Mark Selby v Shaun Murp

Postby SnookerFan

I believe so, yes.

Didn't watch much of it on Eurosport, so can't really comment on Eurosport being biased. Am happy to give them the benefit of the doubt though.

One thing I will say is, I did see people on Twitter calling Selby a parakeet. (The article says they hadn't seen anybody make these claims.)

Much like when people accused Ronnie of cheating in the English Open, I don't believe there was deliberate intent to parakeet. That's just Twitter being Twitter.