THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LAW OF AVERAGES

It's coming to that time of year again for snooker fans: the World Championship and the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.
It is every player's dream to win the world title, and every year it becomes more and more wide open.
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Never have I seen so many players playing well enough, or capable of winning the World Championship than this season. And all for very different reasons.

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I'm a great believer in the law of averages, which point to the fact that no player can keep winning, and that someone good enough is bound to have a decent run at some point.
People go up and down, and someone who has been on a good run will feel their game is on the up, but others may feel good about their game before the Crucible. By the time Sheffield comes round, they will feel they have a real chance of winning.
You don't want to be flying at peak levels from the get-go, you want to feel like your game is in good shape, but you are cruising if that makes sense. Over 17 days it is a slow burn in Sheffield, and you hope you have enough in the tank to be building towards your best at the end.

ALMOST HALF THE FIELD COULD WIN WORLD CHAMPS

I've been really impressed by Mark Williams (world champion in 2000 and 2003).
He was the best player in my book at the Championship League at Crondon Park this year. He has the mindset and the bottle to win big, and always will. Those are huge bullets to have in your locker.

Ronnie was a 6-5 winner over Mark Williams on his way to winning the Masters.

Image credit: Eurosport

Mark Selby (2014 world champion) is another player in that category who looks to be playing okay. I like Selby’s game now, I've enjoyed watching and learning from him, he has so much going for him that makes him the fierce competitor he is.
You would have to put John Higgins (winner in 1998, 2007, 2009 and 2011) in that bracket along with myself.
Other than that, you have your usual suspects who are bound to win the World Championship - Neil Robertson (2010 world champion) and Shaun Murphy (2005 winner) surely won’t end their careers with just one world title while there is Judd Trump and Ding Junhui, who will surely lift the trophy at some point, but then again there seems to be an endless list of players who are good enough to win it.
You have players who have proven they can win when the mood takes them, and are more than capable of winning any event they play in. I’m thinking of guys like (defending champion) Stuart Bingham, Martin Gould, Joe Perry, Barry Hawkins, Stephen Maguire, Ali Carter..I mean where do I stop? I'm gonna stop now!

Mark Selby and Neil Robertson are strongly fancied for second world titles.

Image credit: Eurosport

They are all amazing players of this beautiful game.

CRUCIBLE 'MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY DRAINING'

Whoever wins this year’s World Championship will know they have been through the mill.
It’s that type of event. It is gruelling in so many ways, mentally and emotionally, that's why I think the event is a little too long, but many will beg to differ.
Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis never seemed to have that problem, but maybe this type of event suited their relentless style of play and attitude?

RETURN TO SCOTLAND AND IRELAND GREAT NEWS

The snooker circuit has really come a long way since Barry Hearn took over. The game has gone from strength to strength, so many more playing opportunities, and the standard has gone ballistic.
It’s gone nuts in a good way, and it's so exciting next year that there will be the "Home Nations" events, which will be great going back to Scotland and Ireland for top-class snooker.

Barry Hearn

Image credit: AFP

Scotland and Ireland have always supported snooker so well, they are the perfect places to be going back to play. I love going there. The crowds have always been fantastic, and they have great cities to visit such as Glasgow.
There's a bit of everything in snooker now, but we should always been making room in the calendar for Scotland and Ireland.

CARDIFF THE RIGHT VENUE FOR WELSH OPEN

I haven't got much to say on the Welsh Open other than saying I thoroughly enjoyed the whole event, which is a massive turn around on how I felt about last year’s tournament. I think this year I knew what to expect, it was hard going from one of my favourite venues in Newport to Cardiff.
I really did struggle with it, and I really hope one day we go back to Newport, just because the venue is so good. And the crowds are fantastic.

Ronnie won the Welsh Open with a 9-5 win over Neil Robertson.

Image credit: Eurosport

But I have to say the Cardiff people came out and supported the event so well, the crowds were good all week, and they really were treated to some top snooker, the standard from most of the guys was top drawer.
I was a little bit gutted for Michael White as I know he played some fantastic snooker along the way, and wanted to do so well in the event, but he a had a nightmare against Mark Allen, nothing went right for him, but I'm sure he will come good again, he’s a great talent.

HEAVIER CLOTHS COULD GIVE DAVIS CHANCE OF A COMEBACK

As for the kicks, there were lots that week, I didn't get loads myself, but what I did watch, there seemed to be lots of them.
It is really annoying when they come along, they always seem to happen on important shots too.
I think they need to use thicker cloths, and slightly heavier balls.
I think by doing that, it will be a tougher test for the players, and that is no bad thing.

Ronnie O'Sullivan and Steve Davis

Image credit: Eurosport

Golfers love a tougher test, why not make it tougher for snooker players?
It could help players like Steve Davis to have a chance of competing again.
It will make players start to use their brains a bit more, which will help the more intelligent players like Steve. It won't be so crash, bang, wallop.

LEICESTER TITLE WOULD BE GREAT FOR SPORT

Who's gonna win the Premier League? I'm not a football fan, but I can't help but notice that there are two teams fighting for the Premiership, Leicester and Spurs. I have to say I fancy Spurs, but wouldn't it be great if the Foxes can do it? You can't help but want to will them to victory.

Ronnie's next competitive tournament is the World Championship at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre between April 16-02 May. You can follow all the action

live on Eurosport.

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