October was another busy month on the baize with plenty of silverware handed out all around the world.
There were two ranking events in Europe and another that is currently ongoing in China, while the World Women’s Tour ventured into new territory with a successful staging of the inaugural Australian Women’s Open.
The 2018/19 campaign also had liftoff in the World Seniors Tour with the UK Seniors Championship in Hull providing fans with a glimpse of some of the stars from yesteryear as well as the ever-growing over-40s category of amateurs daring to dream.
Let’s then see who impressed our panel of experts this time with the October Snooker Player of the Month.
Fin Ruane – WPBSA coach, owner of CrossGuns Snooker Club
Vote: Jimmy Robertson
The European Masters held in Belgium kicked off the month and it was a maiden ranking tournament win for Jimmy Robertson.
With a week’s qualifiers for the International Championship sandwiched in between, the tour then moved on to Crawley for the English Open.
An all-English final between good pals Stuart Bingham and Mark Davis saw the latter battling to win a first title in his 27th season as a pro, but it wasn’t to be and the 2015 world champion won the Steve Davis Trophy with a 9-7 win.
It was a great performance from Davis, who defeated John Higgins and Ronnie O’Sullivan en route to the final but for me the October snooker player of the month is Jimmy Robertson.
Winning his first ranking event was special, particularly when you take into account he won three of his matches on the final black and one of them was from 3-0 behind to Anthony McGill.
A mention must go to Thepchayia Un-Nooh and Ronnie O’Sullivan for compiling a maximum each at the English Open and of course to fellow Dubliner Ken Doherty – winner of the UK Seniors Championship.
Gary Moss – Snooker Blogger
Vote: Jimmy Robertson
Quite simply the biggest week in his snooker life so far, 32 year-old Jimmy Robertson picked up his maiden ranking event win at the European Masters.
Before touching down in Lommel in early October, he had only reached the quarter-final stages of a ranking event once before.
Now into his eleventh season as a pro, you’d say that was a poor return for a player who is clearly better than this record suggests.
This was a breakthrough moment when everything clicked and he showed what he’s really capable of.
A month that, without doubt, belongs to J. Rob.
Christian Oehmicke – Break-Off.com
Vote: Mark Davis
Although Jimmy Robertson – who won his first ranking event – and Stuart Bingham took the trophies in October, I have to go with 46 year-old Mark Davis from England.
There is always something special about reaching your first ranking event final, but imagine doing it having lost all of your five previous semi-finals.
Also, imagine reaching your first final by beating Ronnie O’Sullivan in a more than convincing manner – it really was the way he got to the final that impressed me the most, even if he did run out of power against Bingham the next day.
There is an ongoing debate among those who write, tweet, and philosophize about snooker: who is the best player without a ranking title?
As Anthony Hamilton and Ryan Day have taken their trophies home at this point, it might be Mark Davis – and I do hope he can turn the week in Crawley into an event winning run sooner rather than later.
SnookerHQ’s October Player of the Month
Vote: Jimmy Robertson
The parable that a player’s “name was always on the trophy” is often bandied about loosely but there is a strong case to be made that Jimmy Robertson’s European Masters triumph was written somewhere in the stars.
After narrowly qualifying courtesy of a 4-3 victory over Andy Lee that concluded on the final pink in Preston, Robertson duly won his first three matches by an even more slender margin still, as the main event got under way in Belgium.
A succession of 4-3 successes against Zhang Yong, Zhou Yuelong, and Anthony McGill all ended dramatically on the final black and the affable Englishman wasn’t about to let those escapes slip from his apparent destiny.
Robertson, who had often been labeled as a player of the cubicles rather than the TV setup, grew in confidence with further triumphs over Marks Allen and King taking him to the final showdown, which he prevailed in against Joe Perry for a moment he’ll savour for a lifetime.