This year's snooker World Championship final, which ended last night, was in its way a classic, despite there being no black-ball finish in the small hours. It was between the game’s most brilliant but volatile player, Ronnie O’Sullivan, and its most imperturbable strategist, Mark Selby, who put on a remarkable display of defensive ensnarement. Few people beforehand gave Selby much chance: when O’Sullivan’s head is together, as it has been recently, he is virtually unstoppable, particularly in a long match. (He had won all five of his previous world finals.) And at first, it seemed as if he would run away with this one, as Selby, looking jaded after a gruelling semi-final against Neil Robertson, struggled to find his game.
I know nothing about snooker, but the other week I noticed that someone called Ronnie O'Sullivan almost refused to pot the final black in a maximum break (whatever that means) because there wasn't a decent bonus for doing so. Previously he would have got £147,000 but it's been dropped because it can't be insured against any more since the maximum break thing is too common an occurrence. So O'Sullivan would only have got an extra £4000 which he'd already won for the highest break (whatever that means). He said it wasn't worth the effort, especially once he'd paid tax on it.