The 147 bonanza continued today with yet another 147 in the eleventh Players Tour Championship event of the season.
Yesterday, Ding Junhui recorded his fourth career maximum – second in three days – en route to reaching the last 16 while Stoke’s Jamie Cope repeated the feat this evening with his third perfect frame.
Both players are now in a select band of players that have recorded more than two competitive 147 breaks – the others being Ronnie O’Sullivan (11), Stephen Hendry (10), John Higgins (5) and James Wattana (3).
The latest max means that there has now been four in as many days and seven compiled in less than a month.
Some analysts say that the pockets are bigger – the usual criticism when a streak of high standard performances materializes – and others point to the fact that there are now so many playing opportunities that it was only a matter of time before an abundance of them came at once.
While the latter may be true, there is sufficient scope to suggest that all the cueists are simply riding a crest of a very special wave, a case of “if you can do it so can I” attitude.
This is unlikely to last for long and it is inevitable that the rarity of a 147 break will arise again in the future.
It is also worth noting that none of these achievements have come in major ranking events but in the satellite PTCs or qualifiers.
Nevertheless, it is worth enjoying the madness while it lasts and it is indeed an incredible stretch that was totally unexpected only a matter of weeks ago when Ronnie O’Sullivan remained the sole 147 hitter of the season.
Anyway, while all this was going on PTC 11 has been whittled down from 128 players to 16 in the last couple of days.
The stand-out performance so far has arguably been from Sam Craigie – the 17 year-old edging out Stephen Lee in a decider before comfortable victories over Justin Astley and Michael White.
Craigie will play Ricky Walden for a place in the quarter-finals with the latter still in with an outside chance of dislodging O’Sullivan from the top 16 in the world rankings, as does Mark Davis who progressed on Saturday.
Mark Selby, Judd Trump, Graeme Dott, Tom Ford, Yu Delu and Cope himself all also had a successful time of it in the last event of 2012 and joined those who advanced yesterday in the last 16 – Stephen Maguire, Ding Junhui, Anthony Hamilton, Martin Gould, Simon Bedford, Michael Holt, Matthew Stevens and Davis.