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Best of Snooker in Bucharest

25 May 2016 No Comment

Judd and Neil were in Romania with Mark Selby for a snooker gala, the “Best of Snooker”
Ramona Dragomir, respected Romanian blogger and HUGE snooker fan was there, so here is her report.
Thank you Ramona for allowing us to share your post!

The Best of Snooker Gala – a fun evening with the lads

Ramona Dragomir

Sunday 22nd of May 2016, the Circus Arena from Bucharest, Romania: three big snooker names are about to entertain the Romanian audience and I feel privileged to be part of the crowd.

Mark SelbyNeil Robertson and Judd Trump promise to get the 1st edition of the Best of Snooker gala under way, in the place that has quickly become the house of snooker and Olivier Marteel is going to be the ref in charge. Things can’t be better than this.

The 1st match feature the names of Judd Trump and Neil Robertson. This should be interesting since I have never seen any of the boys play live.

A few minutes pass and I realise these guys are here to entertain: they feel relaxed, they joke with the audience and amongst themselves and I see Robertson play a masse shot.

I mean, of course that Steve Davis is the best looking dude when playing this type of shot, but Robbo isn’t far from looking gorgeous too. Too much information, right? Well, sorry about that.

So, first frame goes to Trump, but the second one goes to his Australian opponent despite Judd’s break of 52.

The standard of play is not the highest, but Robertson manages to hit an 83 to go 2-1 up, before “The Ace in the Pack” draws level and then goes marching on with runs of 53, 34 and 85 to win 4-2.

Only 10 minutes pass and the second match of the evening kicks off with the same Judd Trump, this time facing the current world champion Mark Selby (who, may I add, gets a pretty warm reception from the crowd).

It’s easy to see how Selby’s earned his nickname, for he is a very funny guy. Still, the lads are about to play snooker, so the applauses stop and … here we go again.

The opening frame gets won by Trump on the black who quickly adds another one (this time a more scrappy affair) and hits a perfect 96 to go 3-0 up. His Lounoutin shoes do wonders, I reckon! The line: “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” springs to mind.

But Selby hits back with breaks of 57 and 69, only to see things being wrapped up with a 61 from Trump. Second match of the evening and he’s won it by the same scoreline.

Last two to meet are Neil Robertson and Mark Selby and what do you know, the scoreline is going to be the same, 4-2.

First one in is Selby (thanks to a break of 75), but Robertson catches up pretty quickly with runs of 52 and 48 to which he adds the first century break of the evening (108) and carries on spoiling us with a 109 to go 3-1.

Selby answers with a 75, but it’s a bit too late and Robertson closes safely with a top break of 46.

Bottom line: these three the funniest guys I have ever seen play snooker. The matches weren’t  a display of tremendous snooker skills, although Trump had some pretty amazing shots from time to time, but it was a classical exhibition match: fun and games.

At the end of the night, each of the three players got a trophy and so did Olivier Marteel, who was a key figure in the lads’ way of making the audience laugh.

The Best of Snooker gala promises to return with a second edition somewhere in October (according to the organizer), but there is still a lot of snooker to be played by then.

As for me, I can only say that it was tremendous fun to see these great cue-masters so relaxed and laid-back. It was good to see their “non-robotic” faces and I think it’s good to see them like that from time to time.

I dare say it makes them more humane in our eyes and makes us treasure their performances & victories even more.

Now, who’s up for some more snooker? ;-)

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