Saturday, 13 April 2013

Crucible qualifiers: part 1

How was today for great entertainment?

Six of our 16 qualifiers for this year's World Chmapionship were decided - and four of them will be making their debut at the Crucible.

It feels like times are changing as new blood forced their way through to snooker's premier stage.

To kick off the OnCue guide to the qualifers, here's a bit more information on the half a dozen who have made it so far...

They're an exciting bunch.

Make sure you're back tomorrow for more top class action on the old green baize...

Dechawat Poomjaeng

An incredible effort this week from Poomjaeng. He's won four matches to reach the Crucible for the first time and become only the third Thai player to compete at the World Championship, following in the
footsteps of James Wattana and Tai Pichit. Coming through every round of the qualifying roster is no easy task, but at times he's been in cruise control. A 10-3 win against Jamie Cope saw him over the line and he also enjoyed 10-4 wins versus Michael Leslie and Anthony Hamilton. Dechawat's biggest test of the week came against Liu Chuang who forced him all the way to a decider. Poomjaeng is 34 years old but only in his second season on the main tour. He has been incredibly consistent throughout this campaign and has already played at both the German Masters and China Open venues. This is by far the feather in his cap. Not many people will fancy his chances but he's a calm player who gives every shot great attention.

Jack Lisowski

Jack's qualification for his maiden World Championship feels like the inevitable. Anyone who has watched Lisowski this season can see he is a player coming of age. He has reached the UKPTC1 final, qualified for the UK Championship and, more recently, beaten close friend Judd Trump and Mark Davis to make it to the quarter-finals of the China Open. Back-to-back 10-4 wins against James Wattana and Fergal O'Brien have seen him get the better of experienced fellow professionals and book his place at the Crucible. Lisowski is seen by many as one of the real stand out names in a cluster of young players breaking onto the scene. He is a brave and exciting young player who will be ready to take on anyone. He plays the game with plenty of attacking intent and will add a real edge to the World Championship. This is a big moment in his career but hopefully the start of something even greater. He thinks big and wants to reach the very top. There's no reason why he can't.

Michael White

Another debutant and another player the top seeds will want to avoid in the first round. The 21 year old Welshman is a great talent and is already no stranger to the major venues this venue. This will be his fourth of the season. He is a strong long-potter plus a quick and heavy scorer. He's been knocking on the door for a while and now has the chance to showcase his ability on the biggest stage. Michael has beaten Anda Zhang 10-5 and Andrew Higginson 10-4 this week and seems to stick by his own game no matter who he comes up against. He won't give his Crucible opponent any more respect than they deserve and looks pretty natural in front of the TV cameras. A fans favourite in the making.

Marco Fu

This is a 12th appearance at the Crucible for a more experienced Fu. The Hong Kong potter is a class act and showing all the right signs in time for the big event of the season. He recently reached the German Masters final and was striking the ball very well to beat Dave Gilbert 10-6. He's been hard at work on the practice table in the build-up to the qualifiers and has great pedigree. He's proved himself at the big tournaments before and will be a match for anyone.

Michael Holt
One of the real bright characters on our circuit who will add some charm to the World Championship. He survived a scare to make it to the Crucible, though. From leading Mark Joyce 8-0, he eventually got over the line 10-7 and will be making the trip to Sheffield for the first time since 2010. Anyone who follows Holt on Twitter will know how much he wants success and here he has another chance. On two of his previous attempts at the Crucible he's lost out to John Higgins who has gone on to win the title. There's no such thing as a favourable draw at the venue these days for the qualifiers but, on song, Holt will be in with a chance.

Ben Woollaston

Great joy for Leicester's Wollaston who was the sixth man to make it to the World Championship but, remarkably, the fourth debutant already. He prevailed in a top quality contest between him and Ryan Day. He made three centuries and eventually came through 10-9. The most impressive aspect of his performance was his inability to be shot down by nerves. Ben is a very pragmatic and thoughtful player. He managed to keep this in check even when the pressure cranked up in this tense battle. Earlier this week he knocked down Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 10-3. Woollaston is rated very highly by some hardcore fans of the game. His game has come on leaps and bounds even throughout this season. He looks a completely different proposition. He has fashioned his solid game based on percentage play to a new level. He can attack when he has the chances and play safe when he needs to. If tonight's almost unshakable performance is anything to go by we could have a real steely battler on our hands.

1 comment:

  1. best of luck to all of them, I hope their game comes together at just the right moment