After each big tournament this season we’ll be reflecting on the latest action, so let’s take a look at a few things learned after the English Open.
It’s a bit of a cliche but cliches exist primarily because there’s a lot of truth to them.
Mark Selby proved to everyone after the English Open why he’s a proven champion and anyone who had doubts about his pedigree should feel a little foolish.
Even before Sunday’s final against David Gilbert there were many saying, here included, that Gilbert had as good a chance as his form in the last year probably easily surpassed that of Selby’s.
But the enormous difference between the pair? Gilbert has never won anything of note while Selby is an eight-time winner of Triple Crown events.
The manner in which he romped to a 9-1 success at the K2, only a day after coming from behind in trademark fashion to deny Mark Allen in a gruelling semi-final decider, was reminiscent of his peak.
Selby has now triumphed 16 times at ranking event level, on a par with Neil Robertson in sixth place on the all-time list.
Gilbert is by no means a loser, but his continuous inability to etch his name on silverware – the latest final defeat represents his fourth overall at the last hurdle – means that he can’t yet be truly considered among the higher echelons.
In Tune or the Wrong Signal?
Launched last week for the first time was the new Snooker Radio service, fronted by two good journalists with a fine appreciation for snooker in Hector Nunns and Michael McMullan.
It was an interesting idea, one in which many hardcore snooker fans seemed to enjoy from the comments and feedback on social media.
The pair took turns describing the happenings from table two while also mentioning the scores and such from the outside tables.
Nunns and McMullan were then joined on occasion by players for short interviews, which was undoubtedly the best part as we got an extra snippet of the in-tournament mindset of the competitors.
But can we call it a success? I’m not so sure.
Before it started and as a journalism graduate who majored in radio, I was looking forward to something a bit different.
In reality, though, the output was pretty boring and it didn’t help that, whenever I tuned in at least, Nunns and McMullan were never together.
One of the best parts of Judgement Day for the World Championship qualifiers is the banter shared between Rob Walker and Neal Foulds, not to mention the constant interaction they maintain with social media to keep people hooked.
While listening, I also was left wondering why, instead of Snooker Radio, a Snooker Streaming live video service couldn’t have been initiated to actually show the outside tables in a roaming capacity?
That being said, World Snooker should be applauded for a distinct increase in their efforts to provide additional online media lately.
As well as Snooker Radio, there was a daily round-up video on its social media channels, while a new snooker podcast called Table Talk was revealed last week too.
— World Snooker (@WorldSnooker) October 21, 2019
There are two million-pound bonuses on offer this season and it’s a stretch to imagine that either of them will need withdrawing from the World Snooker bank account.
Tom Ford’s second 147 of the season means that he could be in line to receive at least £100,000 at the end of the campaign.
The problem? He needs another 18 maximums to be compiled before the £1 million pound jackpot is activated.
Selby, meanwhile, is the last man standing after the English Open in the Home Nations series race.
Should the “Jester” proceed to capture the Northern Ireland, Scottish, and Welsh Open titles in the coming months, he’ll be set for a mammoth windfall.
Of course, it’s highly unlikely that either of these gimmicks will materialise so World Snooker’s profits are looking pretty safe.