Ding Junhui’s thrilling 4-3 victory over Neil Robertson in the final of the Players Tour Championship grand finals in Galway tonight provided a fitting finale to the PTC series.

But for an in-off on 98 playing down for the yellow, Ding would have completed victory with his ninth century of the week.

It was an irony for Robertson that he played his best snooker of the tournament in the only match he lost.

But this proves how well Ding played from 3-0 down to complete his 4-3 victory in one of his best ever performances.

All through the week he appeared to be composed and in full control of his emotions, which is half the battle in top level snooker.

He had one stroke of luck in the sixth frame when he fluked a snooker from out of a snooker on the yellow but he later potted a high pressure brown before prevailing in one visit in the decider.

There was also a question mark over whether he should have used his chalk earlier in this frame to check the black spot, although I’m not sure this had much bearing on the result.

What the final proved yet again is that top level snooker, unfettered by silly gimmicks and when played by the best, is terrific entertainment.

And we are in the entertainment business. That is why I was all for Robertson’s vocal celebration on beating Tom Ford in the semi-finals.

Let’s see some emotion. This stuff matters to the participants. To the rest of us it’s one long rolling show to be enjoyed. Tonight’s final was superb.

Ding will be back in action this week at Crondon Park for the winners’ group of the Championship League.

It has been widely assumed for months that Judd Trump would break Mark Selby’s seasonal centuries record of 55 but Ding could still end the campaign ahead of him.

Trump is on 54 centuries but only 14 of these have been compiled in 2013. Ding is on 46. He has three events left, Trump has two.

All of that will sort itself out. For the moment snooker should toast a special talent.

St. Patrick was said to have driven the snakes out of Ireland but Ding, in the Chinese year of the snake, has proved that it takes the highest quality snooker to stop him winning when he’s playing at his best.



Ford trailed Robertson 3-0, Came back 3-3. Robertson won, 4-3.

Did played great to beat Maflin, 4-0. What a final Roberston lead 3-0 Ding made it 3-2, potted a tough brown to level, 3-all. Ding made a 98 break in the decider, to win, 4-3. Great stuff.

Anonymous said...

Pure entertainment

Other players please note

kimball said...

It was quite incredible, he won four deciders and would have finished off three with tons not counting the in off on 105 and going for yellow.

He opened the Allen match with a Max!
He missed one shot with the rest to
go 1-2 in the final, that was the only shot he missed!!
Stats were 100 % for long pots and
99% for potting in general!
His average potting stats for the
whole tournament was maybe 94-96!
Very good come Sheffield and actually, listening to interviews
et.cet I am convinced that Ding is
mature enough now to jockey for the
Wch ship title in earnest.

kildare cueman said...

Im not sure that snooker in the sixth was a fluke.
I Thought at the time, if he can catch the yellow thick on the right hand side, the white was going in that direction with the yellow going up the spots.
Having contacted the yellow correctly, it was all about pace.

Anonymous said...

Very glad Ding took the title and with class.
Class in terms of his standard of play. Class in terms of his manner once across the line.
Unlike the unnecessary, disrespectful Ebdon-like shenanigans of Robertson upon winning his semi final.
Cringeworthy and embarrassing.
Well done Ding. Hope he goes all the way at Sheffield.

Anonymous said...

Good to see ding show some human emotion at the end... I thought he was a miserable emotionless robot, fair play to him, he played the best all week

Anonymous said...

Ding has really matured over the last 18 months-2 years. Gone are the days it seems when he used to frequently beat himself up when things were going against him. He's always had the pedigree, even as a 14-16 year old when he was winning the Asian U/21 and World U/21 titles among others. I remember backing him at 9/4 to beat Joe Perry on his Masters debut in 04, a price that seems even more crazy now. Semi finalist in the World 2 years ago although he's lost in the first round of the worlds last year plus the UK, I think if he can comfortably get through his opener at Sheffield he will be as live a contender as anyone.

Anonymous said...

LOL - I nearly fell off my chair when those giant Leprauns followed the players out!

I can just imagine the bar crew pouring 500 pints of Guinness as the wards were given out.

Note in diary - go to Galway next March for PTC finals.

Anonymous said...

Mention has been made before on this forum of the Eurosport Player.

For info we had the snooker on last week for over 70 hours on a cheap PC via the Eurosport player (we werent watching it all the time!). It didn't crash once.

Anonymous said...

These things are put the to test us all. Ding won this match due to an aptitude for resistance.
A threshold for success and also a keenness to entertain.
What does this tell us?

Alan C said...

If Ding didn't win, it would have been an injustice. He has been the top player throughout this tournament. Also the quality between the top players compared to the lower ranked ones is night and day. The Allen V Ding match was my highlight, and was the only match I made sure I watched, luckily there was another 147!

Ding might get as far as the semi's in this years world champs. But he still has to travel to China and he generally plays terrible over there. Except for the year he won it... If he can get into the top 7 to avoid the top seeds, then he might have a chance.

Anonymous said...

Well it has told us that Ding has got a inner strength of competitiveness that some may well of thought he didn't have due to his general poker face. It was great to see him after his win, when punching the air in delight and punching his heart.

Anonymous said...

Winning the World Championship must need to be mature enough?

What do you think about Shaun Murphy in 2005?

Anonymous said...

Any news on the new sponsor for the Worlds?

Anonymous said...

Is the China Open next week doing away with wild cards?
Personally I'm sick of these striplings called Zong beating hard working British players.
They should be barred.

Anonymous said...

re 8:38 I am really hoping this is sorted - if not is there going to be a £ problem for the 2013 - 14 season - less tournaments or less prize money?


Today, is mnow March 18th. Happy 64th birthday, to Alex Higgins. Joe Johnson metioned it in commentary yesterday. It was Me that told Him. I gave him the right bate, but, he got the date wrong.

Anonymous said...

8:50 - already confirmed as:

Anthony McGill v Heydari Nezhad Ehsan
Dechawat Poomjaeng v Zhu Yinghui
Jimmy Robertson v Wang Yuchen
Rory McLeod v Hu Hao
Liang Wenbo v Lu Ning
Mark Joyce v Lyu Haotian
Jack Lisowski v Zhou Yuelong
Jamie Cope v Zhao Xintong

No idea who Ehsan is - seems a bit unfair he gets to play in rankers when there is an Iranian on the tour who cannot get a visa to play in the qualifiers.

And still no wildcard for Long Wang!

JIMO96 said...

Re 8:38 & 8:59.....hoping for this announcement soon, and also hoping it's BGC, the company who sponsored last seasons Masters (which reportedly had Hearn 'jumping for joy'), and then suddenly disappeared(!)

Also eagerly awaiting 2 more WSA announcements:

- how next seasons tour will be made up (i.e the 128 players, and from which sources)

- next seasons calendar (dying to know just how much the Premier League has been stripped back, and if a more credible event takes it's place)

I dunno why, but I have a feeling that nothing will be announced until the Stephen Lee case is out of the way, so that's at least next week.

kimball said...

4.02 (who might be Decco!)

I meant that Ding might be mature enough now to withstand all outer
and inner pressure to perform as well as 2011 but with an edge!!

Murphys win was fantastic, pure adrenalin and longpotting stats that were a oneoff and Murphy had to mature in his game to stay a top player.

Anonymous said...

Zhao Xintong, one to watch for the future.

Anonymous said...

Suddenly ding is a world title contender because he won a best of 7 frames final lol don't make me laugh he's a good player but no personality at all.

Anonymous said...

Ok, ok.
Blimey O'Reilly - been enjoying your regular bulletins, additional punctuation marks and all.
But, "Happy 64th birthday to Alex Higgins" ?

Anonymous said...

10.47am - He didn't just win the final, he won the whole tournament, plus made 8-9 centuries and a 147 for good measure. How can you say he's not a World title contender. He's been twice UK champion, and a Masters champion, plus reached the semi finals of the worlds two years ago.

"he's a good player but no personality at all" What's that got to do with been able to win the World Chp? Steve Davis won the World title 6 times in the 80's showing little personality back then.

Anonymous said...

Keep your hair on mate !! I don't know yet if he's ready to win the WC winning ranking tournaments is all well and good but winning the world title is a different kettle of fish altogether. I fancy ronnie or Higgins as they have shared 5 of the the last 6 world championships my outside bet would be Allen.

kildare cueman said...

There was a good international feel about that tournament. An Aussie and a chinaman in the final and a Norwegian(kind of) in the semi.

This is good for the game. Apart from some slow play, the profileration of Brits will make it harder to make snooker a global sport, even with Hearns ability.

Anonymous said...

I expect Ding to meet Ronnie on world finals day at Sheffield on May 5th.
Not actually in the final but accross the road at the patisserie where they might share a coffee and a cream slice.

Anonymous said...

A player who has won the UK twice and the Masters is a live contender for the World Chp. He only lost 15-17 in the semis to Trump two years ago and I feel he's about 14 points better now, largely because of his better temperament.

Saying that, looking at the current prov rankings at present I'd say to actually become WC, there's only - Trump,Selby,Robertson,Higgins,Murphy,Allen,Maguire,Ding,Bingham and Carter from the top 16 and of course O'Sullivan with Fu and Gould possibilities if they can click.

Wouldn't go anywhere near backing Stevens, Williams, Walden, Dott, Hawkins, M.Davis or Lee if he did play, plus anyone else, although there's still time and events to come to have a change of view.

kimball said...

Depending on the draw, gut feeling is Higgins vs Ding in the final.

Anonymous said...

I really hope Marco Fu plays Mark King in the final so Jason Mohammed can discuss the Fu/king snooker.

Anonymous said...

O'sullivan v trump would be the dream final. Full out attack !!!

Anonymous said...

Kildare - Agree in a away - disappointing there's been no Canadians that have come through after Thorburn,Kirk Stevens, Big Bill and Brady Gollan. Also the game is big in Germany but can't think of any that have made a decent inpact plus I expected more from Belgium too apart from Brecel. Scandanivia too, no one since Robin Hull I can think of.
On the plus side, India is making their mark with the two in the rankings at pres and from Asia they've really come on and only a matter of time before there's more of the quality of Ding. Who knows snooker might take off to a degree in the states if they introduced a shot clock, the same as in the Shoot-Out!

Anonymous said...

LOL @ 4.21!

Anonymous said...

Is predicting the final even possible?
The seedings list still changes, doesn't it?

Well, it soesn't matter. If Ronnie doesn't meet Ding or Robertson, he'll win the lot.

Anonymous said...

8.11, Its not Ding and Robbo that Ronnie needs to avoid. He'll brush them aside. Its Higgins, and a few bores like Selby, walden and co.

Anonymous said...

8:11 - agreed.
Having those months away will do Ronnie more good than anything else.
He has access to Star match tables with ultra fine cloths for some match sharpness. He has said before that his form can come and go within one shot so, he'll be ready.
Assuming he is in a good frame of mind, nobody will touch Ronnie. Title no 5 is there for the taking.

kildare cueman said...

6.51, I wasn't suggesting for one minute that a shotclock akin to the shootout should be employed.

I was thinking, maybe a minute, like they have in English pool. After a while, you don't even notice it. Players just play the shot within a minute.

At the moment, it is technically possible for a player to leave the arena mid-frame and practise a difficult shot that he is faced with back in the arena.

Even chess has time constraints. Why not snooker?

Anonymous said...

There may be no official time restraint at present but the referee does have the discretion to warn a player for slow play, although I can only think of one instance of this off the top of my head - Alan Chamberlin a few years ago telling Fergal O'Brien to basically get a move on during the World Team Cup. Ebdon should have been warned v O'Sullivan a few years ago v O'Sullivan during the World Chp but wasn't. Perhaps referees should use this power more often when needed.

Anonymous said...

2:10...Agree. Ebdon really should have been warned for his blatant time wasting v Ronnie in the WC a few years ago. Disgraceful behaviour.
That said, it's a tactic that Ebdon relies on when he recognises an obvious gulf in ability. Anyone can waste time. Absolutely no skill in that whatsoever. Should not be tolerated.

Anonymous said...

Kildare - 1 minute time duration, would put pressure on players when certain shots would need a lot of thought plus also when times extensions needed using etc. Things could be improved if referees simply used their discretion more and told players they needed to get a move on if the referee thought they were taken to long whether deliberate or not.

On another note - it's the final day of the Championship League today and you go on their official site to collect today's fixtures and they only show Mon-Tue, pathetic! Back to the results page on WS to get them.

Anonymous said...

210, I think Ronnie should have been warned for the towel head and spoon gazing incidents.

if I was his opponent that would put me off.

id class that as gamesmanship or cheating if it happened in my local league.

would he have been allowed to bring a razor out and have a shave too?

totally unfair on his opponent who wasn't breaking rules imo

Anonymous said...

re 2:10 and 9:51

Ronnie reported to practicing with Ebdon in yesterdays press ahead of Sheffield...

Anonymous said...

Peter 'attention all pockets' Ebdon should be arrested for loitering with the intention of playing snooker.

Anonymous said...

players who sit with a towel over their head while their opponent is at the table should be dealt with and not ignored like a troublesome child.

Anonymous said...

Since the referee seemed reluctant to deal with Ebdon's blatant time wasting (cheating actually), Ronnie's reaction at least indicated his objection.
No time wasting, no towel on head.

Anonymous said...

no, the ref upholds the rules. not you. some play slow, some fast.

putting a towel over your head as you disagree is 8 year old behaviour.

says more about you that you cant accept players are different but can accept offputtinfg childish behaviour.

Anonymous said...

Point is, Ebdon employs the tactic of slow play on purpose because he knows that there is an obvious gulf in ability when up against a top player. That particular game was a joke. His blatant time wasting should have been challenged but wasn't. I defy any player not to react to that sort of torture. It requires no skill to deliberately hold up the pace of play in order to put your opponent off. Ebdon does not have a natural shot time. If differs depending on who he plays. His dubious shot selection has given rise to allegations of not giving of his best (to put it kindly). Do some research.
Ronnie's reaction may have been extreme but at least he registered his objection. The referee should have done much better.

Anonymous said...

point isn't that at all

that is what YOU would like the point to be.

the ref refereed it. he knows the rules better than you. he used HIS judgement.

Ronnie disagreed.

that, he is allowed to.

what I wouldn't expect of a "top" professional is to start monkeying around like a caged anmal that had just found a rag.

that WAS childish and would only appeal to other childish or stupid people.

but he got away with that, which is quite clearly offputting and would be able to be dealt with under the rules.

notice I aint moaning the ref never pulled him up on it.

the ref used his judgement.

one I think he was too lenient with, just like you think he was too lenient on ebdon varying his pace.

point is, putting a towel over your head while in the arena is done for a laugh, to upset opponent or because youre an idiot, IMHO.