You have to love snooker. In this article, I will answer a question that has never been asked: “What do I do with the videos from #snookergifsunday?”
For those who don’t know, #snookergifsunday is something I do once every few Sundays, where I find a wonderful variety of shots for a particular snooker player. I collected a number of clips and watched a number of videos to find which shots I really like! Hopefully, it also encourages people to talk about their best shots. That is unlikely to happen because we are easily distr- oh look a squirrel!
I’ll be doing a random selection of shots every now and again, just out of pure enjoyment with a bit of backstory if there is one. Please note it’s not a countdown to my most favourite shot of all time, otherwise it will take all bloody decade. They can be power shots, escapes, safety, hilarious shots – here are some!
There is so much to this shot alone. In the 2014 World Championship final, Ronnie O’Sullivan was 10-5 up against Mark Selby and every snooker commentator and pundit refused to give Selby a hope in hell of winning. Fast forward, and Mark Selby gained the upper hand, dominating the exchange with attritional play and fantastic safety to subdue the Rocket and annoying many of his fans in the process.
A lot of fans criticised Mark Selby for being boring and very defensive. At 56-1 down in the 32nd frame, the Jester from Leicester went around the house and finished with a wonderful cannon to split the reds. Though not in one break, Selby ended up winning the frame, the match, and the World Championship. As they say, the rest of history. Gorgeous!
No story behind this shot, it’s just a wonderful ‘hit and hope’ shot where it is almost impossible to miss. You know it’s good when a number smile about it!
So Matthew Stevens missing four reds TWICE, basically all of the colours and finally the fifth and final red. What’s more beautiful is that the cue ball finished where there is no easy red on, which left Marco which the possibility of asking the ball to be put back again!
One of my favourite players is Dechawat Poomjaeng. Probably not every reason is related to his snooker ability and more because of his tremendous character.
Yes, this particular shot isn’t up there with the class of Jimmy White, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Neil Robertson, of course it isn’t. But it is the circumstances that make up for it. In my opinion, then No. 70 Poomjaeng beating Stephen Maguire is one of the biggest shocks in Crucible, certainly in the top three. This shot was in the final frame and Dechawat was slightly out position, with only a brown providing him to a route to a single red. There was a lot of pressure on that shot and that ended up being a 63 break, which one shot after that gave him his only World Championship win. Hell, even Stephen Hendry said the above was a fantastic shot! It’s unlikely, but I hope he returns to the professional circuit!
This shot is rather unusual. It was an excellent snooker by Ryan Day when he is four snookers behind Marco Fu. This was the shot that started a long and fascinating battle between the two and phenomenal safety play – some may call this ‘pure snooker’!
It took another 20 minutes for Ryan Day to win the frame. He forced three penalties out of Marco Fu as well as a free ball to even stand a chance against winning against the man from Hong Kong. He laid a multitude of snookers and showed great strategy too. It was a very important frame indeed, as Dynamite reeled off the next two frames to reach the final of the World Grand Prix!
For a clip of the entire battle, please click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDhTeLWJBxI
Since that tournament, I started to get really into snooker because of how Judd Trump played. After beating Neil Robertson, Martin Gould and Graeme Dott, he faced another fresh-faced player Ding Junhui in the semi-finals. That match, according to Stephen Hendry and John Virgo, showcased a new brand of snooker and was an indictment of how the game was then played.
In the first frame, Ding showed his prowess to make a century break of 102. Judd went one better with 110, including this red down the cushion, with lots of power and having a bit of side on as well. It’s become one of the pots synonymous to the Juddernaut and earned him more fans, including myself.
Since his brand of ‘naughty snooker’ after winning the China Open and finishing runners-up in that World Championship, Trump was heralded as a future World Champion and the figurehead of young snooker players. Will he get that trophy that finally puts doubters at ease? I do hope so!
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