Steel City atmosphere second to none

Betfred TV’s Mark Pearson

What a cracking start to the Betfred World Snooker Championship. We’ve only Day 1 under our belts, yet it’s living up to its billing of the greatest show on earth.

Mark Selby, our current World Champion, is the first player to book his place in the second round. In the end it lasted longer than we all thought, with Jamie Jones battling all the way, but the Jester from Leicester won 10-7.

Mark is of course a 4-time winner, and he knows it’s just all about getting over the first hurdle.

Saturday afternoon there was a Ronnie O’Sullivan masterclass. The greatest human being since Noah to pick up a piece of wood looked in trouble at 3 zip down to the 2019 semi-finalist Dave Gilbert, then The Rocket exploded – winning 6 frames on the bounce and knocking in 2 tons of 114 and 122.

Ronnie should see off Gilbert this afternoon. Also to look forward to on Sunday morning is the conclusion of Zhao Xintong who is 7-2 up, against Jamie Clarke. Xintong, already having won the UK Championship this season, is only 25 years of age and seems to be growing in confidence with every shot. As I speak, the young man has powered to a 10-2 win. Such a talent.

Also on Sunday we see two titans of the baize in 2005 winner Shaun Murphy, concluding against Stephen Maguire. Unfortunately the Magician seems to be struggling.

We’ve still got 16 days left but it’s living up to the hype. And the best part of the day was the full crowd and the atmosphere around the Crucible, with the bars being full.

I love snooker, and I love Sheffield.

Mark.

World Snooker odds, from Betfred

Author: Paula Allen