On Wednesday 3rd March I went to the EIS once again to watch the World Snooker qualifiers. I watched Jimmy White play Mark Boyle and got plenty of photos.
I arrived at the EIS having met 88 of the 96 main tour professionals, and was planning on getting photos with as many new players as possible.
Immediately upon arrival former world champion Ken Doherty and Martin Gould both walked past and had photos. Mark Joyce, who had just beaten Jimmy Robertson 10-9 also had a photo.
I had a photo with the legendary Jimmy White who was as nice as ever, as he arrived for his evening session against Mark Boyle. We then went into the hall to see the last frame of David Roe and Ben Woollaston who were the last ones playing. Woollaston was in and seemed to look as if he was going to win it, but he missed and Roe cleared to win the match 10-9.
As David Roe was one of the 8 players that I had yet to meet, I nipped out and got my photo with him as well as David Gray who was just about to play. This brought my total to 89.
Just as we were walking back to the hall to watch Jimmy White begin I spotted Graham Miles, a legend from my Dad’s era. Graham was the first player my Dad ever saw play at the Crucible, back in 1977 against John Pullman. Graham also won the Pot Black tournament twice, in 1974 and 1975. He was very friendly and happy to have photos with me and my Dad.
We also had a chat with Matt Selt, who had lost to Barry Pinches earlier in the day, and he was very friendly and chatted for a while.
From where I was sat in the hall I could see three matches, Jimmy v Mark Boyle, Mei Xiwen v David Morris and David Gray v Andy Hicks. I was of course most interested in the Jimmy White match. White was leading 5-4 after the first session, in which he scored a 137 break. However Mark Boyle came out with all guns blazing and rattled off the first two frames with breaks of 49 and 57.
The third frame was very scrappy though and my attention wondered over to the Xiwen v Morris table. David Morris was leading 7-2 after the first session but Mei Xiwen was playing very well to get back in it and he made it 7-5 with a break of 90 in the 10th frame. Morris managed to win the last frame before the interval to make it 8-5.
Morris was another of the players I was yet to meet and so I went down to meet him a the mid session interval. I got a photo with him and Mei Xiwen who I also met on sunday. While we were out I also spotted Anda Zhang who I had yet to meet. Anda beat 1991 world champion John Parrott 10-6 earlier on to almost certainly knock him off the main tour. Adrian Gunnell who was playing Joe Delaney the following day also had a photo with me and he was very friendly chatting for a short while.
Jimmy had won the next two frames up to the interval, making the score 7-6 now. The players shared the next two frames, in which there was a large break as Mark Boyle’s tip split and so he had to go and replace it. At 8-7 it was getting rather late and with no end in sight, we decided to head off home. Jimmy won the match 10-8 in the end, with a after-midnight ending.
Before we left we had long chats with Jimmy Michie and Joe Delaney who were both really friendly, and I got photos with them both as well as Jin Long and Alan Chamberlin. I have now met 92 out of the 96 main tour professionals. I only need Stuart Pettman, Jamie Burnett, David Gilbert and James Wattana to complete my collection.