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Snooker in the Crucible, bliss
World Snooker Championships
Member Name: darren55
World Snooker Championships
Advantages: The atmosphere and the matches
Disadvantages: its cramped
The World Snooker Championships are played every year in my home city of Sheffield at the Crucible. The crucible is a theatre near the city centre, its small cramped and totally inadequate for two full size snooker tables, cameras, players, officials and commentators. However, this cramptness makes for one of the great sporting events, intimate, intimidating, the snooker world championships at the Crucible are one of the great events in the British sporting calendar.
The worlds are the pinnacle of the game and are spread over 17 days, there are 32 players in the draw - 16 seeded players and 16 unseeded. The 16 seeds are the top 16 players as of the end of the previous seasons rankings, the unseeded players have come through qualifying in November at Blackpool. The unseeded players are picked in a FA cup style to play a seed in the first round. The first round is played over the best of 19 (over two sessions of 9 and 10 frames) with the first to 10 the winner, the second is the first that seeded players meet with the number 1 seed playing 16, 2 v 15 etc. These games are the best of 25 spread over 3 sessions of 8,8, and 9 frames, as is the quarter final, the semis are over 33 frames over 4 sessions and the final over 35 frames over 4 seasons of 8,8,9, and 11 frames. The winner is the first to 18 frames.
The players with the most titles are Stephen Hendry 7, Steve Davis and Ray Reardon with 6 and a host of players with 3. Historically the championship was an invite so legendary players like Jo Davis held the world title for 35 years, and his brother Fred was champion for 10 years, I can remember Fred playing in the early eighties and he still holds the record for the oldest player to win a first round match whilst still in his seventies.
The crucible is also famous for some of the most famous matches ever played. Here are my top 5.
1. Jimmy White v Stephen Hendry 2nd Round game in 1991 finished 13-12 to White, a game of sustained brilliance by both players won by Whites magical clearance in the last frame.
2. Alex Higgins v Jimmy White Semi Final 1984 - Won by Higgins 16-14, characterised by the greatest clearance ever seen in snooker history, Higgins 59 behind with 4 reds remaining at 14-14 clears the balls whilst under extreme pressure, this clearance included a legendary long blue and a final red along the cushion. Higgins went on to win the match and the final against Ray Reardon.
3. Jimmy White v Stephen Hendry - Final 1997 Won by Hendry 18-17, White 5 times runner up looked to have finally won the world cahmpionship but missed an easy black in the final frame giving Hendry a tough chance to win the match, he cleared to win on the final black. White was finished and Hendry went onto win another world chamionship two years later.
4. Ronnie O'Sullivan v Stephen Hendry Semi-Final 2004 - O'Sullivan turned in a performance perhaps unmatched by any player in snooker, playing an inform Hendry he destroyed the 7-time champion in a display of sustained brilliance 17-3. He went on to win the final.
5. Mark Williams v Matthew Stevens in an all Welsh 2000 final, Stevens in 14-7 up but Williams rallies to win 18-16 with some of the best break building ever seen. Williams would go on and win again two years later, Stevens hasn't yet won a world title.
The World Chamionships have been the setting for some legendary frames of snooker, Cliff Thorburn made his famous 147 in 1983 it was made in a painstakingly slow 15 minutes but it has the shot of his Canadian friend Bill Werbenuik peering around the window whilst he neared the end of the break. That match against Terry Griffiths also featured the latest finish for any snooker match, Thorburn winning 13-12 at 3.40 am.
My favourite moment? Well nothing will ever beat watching Cliff Thorburn making that break, it was live on a wednesday afternoon and I saw every ball potted.
Summary: Great players and great matches
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