Snooker Hall: The tables have turned as Ali Carter goes out at the Crucible

World Snooker Championships 2016 at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Second round action Ali Carter and Alan McManus. Photo: Chris Etchells

World Snooker Championships 2016 at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Second round action Ali Carter and Alan McManus. Photo: Chris Etchells

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Last week, this column talked cues; now it’s the turn of tables. Namely, Table One at the Crucible. Ali Carter billed it on Saturday as the worst he’s ever played on in his career, after a series of bizarre, random kicks and heavy bounces, and Mark Williams and Michael Holt shared a humorous moment in their game on the same table.

“The conditions were horrific,” Carter said.

“There were kicks every other shot and big bounces off the cushions. I just wanted to smash the place up at the interval, I was that frustrated.”

Organisers changed the cloth and cushions last week, and the cushions again on Saturday. They say they’ll continue to monitor how they play throughout the tournament.

“I am not going to criticise the tables but I can observe them,” Holt also said. “They were interesting, to say the least.

“It was about being the best guesser. You just need to watch it and see what was happening. We are not that bad.”

Each Crucible table weights around a ton and a half, and officials at the venue keep a close eye on temperature, both in the room and in the air. The World Championship is serious business, after all!

On the eve of the tournament starting, Judd Trump spoke to the regional press about the importance of staying calm under pressure and enjoying his snooker again. But the Bristolian certainly looked to be cracking under the pressure against Ding Junhui yesterday, falling 6-2 behind, and used the interval to hit back at Eurosport commentator Dominic Dale. Dale had criticised Trump’s control of the cueball and Trump replied on Twitter: “You are clueless. Watch my first break of 80 something then watch both his frames.”

Dale later added: “I’ve said times out of number how much I like watching Judd, how great he is for the game. All players have strengths and weaknesses.

“Judd’s strengths are his self belief, and undoubted natural flair and potting ability. It’s hard to separate Ding and Judd. That’s why I mentioned the difference in cue ball control. It’s only my opinion obviously and obviously opinions can be right or wrong... Judd knows I am not the type of guy to intentionally cause controversy.”

Trump finished the session on a high last night, but he still trails Ding 10-6.

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