World Snooker Championship 2018

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

Old Ronnie

It has been five years now since Rocket Ronnie O’Sullivan last walked away from the crucible armed with the trophy. He hasn’t even been to a final since losing to Mark Selby in 2014. And yet, like Tiger Woods in golf, all personal foibles are ignored by the watching millions, tuning in just to watch him, in the hope he can win one more big title. 26 years in Sheffield hasn’t diluted his star appeal.

Or in Ronnie’s case, two more. Although it is obvious to everyone that he is the greatest player to ever hold a cue, the statistics say otherwise, with Steve Davis and Ray Reardon one ahead of Ronnie on six Worlds, and Stephen Hendry out there with seven.

Yet happily for the bookmakers, all this seemingly means nothing to O’Sullivan, who will show up and win if he fancies, but if not, will just sack it off, appear on the tv, and pocket some money that way.

With all the hype around Ronnie, it is easy to forget that Mark Selby is gunning for his fourth title in five years, a victory that would leave him just one behind O’Sullivan. There is certainly nothing funny for Barry Hearn and the BBC about the Jester from Leicester becoming the dominant force in the game. Having gone course and distance so many times before, Selby has to be the bet at 5.3. O’Sullivan is now 42, and perhaps his ‘not arsed’ shtick is merely a cover for the fact he no longer has the stamina for the biggest snooker event of them all.

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