Tempodrom, Berlin - February 1-5 2012
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PartyPoker.net German Masters - Day One
Photo - Monique Limbos
I arrived to a frosty Berlin early this morning ready to enjoy what will be a great week of Snooker. The tournament was incredibly well recieved by fans and spectators alike and will no doubt have many exciting matches.
First up in the morning were eight wildcard matches that decide who will face the top 16 pros in the first round. that included the former world champion Ken Doherty against German former professional Patrick Einsle.
The first two frames were shared before Doherty made breaks of 66 and 87 to take a 3-1 lead. His young opponent had a chance to clinch the fifth but ran out of position on the last red and then in the final frame Doherty clinched victory after snookering Einsle on the last red.
Doherty said after the match; 'There can be a bit of pressure when playing wildcards. It was probably one of the toughest matches i could of faced as a wildcard, Patrick is a gem of a player.'
'I played pretty solid, I missed a couple but overall it was decent. It was the starter before the main course tonight (against Williams).'
'I love the five table set up, the arena is beautiful. I watched the final last year and the atmosphere was electric.'
'It's great to have a big tournament here in Germany, they love their snooker and I can't imagine playing in a better venue, the Tempodrom is fantastic.'
'Patrick is a really good player. We played Germany in the World Cup last year and him and Lasse Munstermann played really well, it was a tough game.'
'I knew Patrick when he first came over as I used to play with him at the Sheffield academy. He's a nice lad and I hope he can get back on the main tour.'
'There are obviously a lot of kids age nine or ten playing in Germany, so it's important for them to see someone like Patrick doing well. We need players from as many nations as possible on the tour.'
Speaking about his next match; 'Mark is the best left hander to ever play the game, its going to be a tough match. I am looking forward to the match, I don't think i'll be phased by the occasion.'
P - Monique Limbos
One of the other wildcard matches featured former professional Craig Steadman who had been a tough opponent for many during the PTC events this season. He faced qualifier Mike Dunn who made his first career 147 during the qualifiers.
According to his Twitter account Dunn hasn't had much practice going in to the tournament due to the Snooker Shoot Out being on last weekend. It showed in the earlier stages as Dunn found himself 3-1 doing going in to the interval.
Dunn hit back when they resumed and made a 102 break in the sixth to level the match at 3-3. But die-hard Manchester United fan Steadman dug deep to win the next and then the eigth frame went down to a black-ball finish.
Steadman played a great safety and left the black tight on the bottom cushion which left Dunn a chance to double it the length of the table to the green pocket but unfortunately it jarred and stuck it up for Steadman who potted it for a 5-3 victory.
He will now face Matthew Stevens tomorrow in the first round proper. Judging by his performance today it should be a close game between the two.
Tempodrom Arena with the five-table setup.
Other results from the mornings matches included China's Liu Song performing well to beat Turkish wildcard 5-0 to face Mark Selby in the next round. Another Chinese player; Yu Delu had a slightly tougher time as he went 3-3 with English amateur Chris Norbury but won the last two frames to go through 5-3 to set up an all Asian clash with Ding Junhui.
Finally the last match to finish in the morning (or technically in the afternoon after other matches had already started) was between Adrian Gunnell and Belgium's Peter Bullen. The young player gave Gunnell a fright at the start but the veteran eventually came through 5-3 to get a chance to play Stephen Lee in the first round.
P - Monique Limbos
Stephen Maguire recently won the PTC12 event in Munich but didn't have a very sucessful campaign at the BGC Masters. He made up for that today at the Tempodrom with a resounding 5-1 victory over Ryan Day.
Day took the first frame only for Maguire to hit back straight away to level the match with a break of 88. Day had chances in the 3rd but failed to take them as Maguire took the scrappy frame to lead 2-1.
After that true to his nickname he was on fire and made breaks of 82, 67 and 57 to win the match a resounding 5-1 winner. He will face the winner of John Higgins and Mark Davis who play tonight.
'Thats probably one of the best matches I have played this season, especially against Ryan. Its probably one of the toughest first round draws I could of had.
'It's different this set up. The first frame I was just coming to terms with not looking at other matches and the lighting is different. I find it tougher but it's just one tournament a year. As long as the fans enjoy it thats the main thing.
'Ryan had a chance to go 2-1 up but he didn't make it and I didn't miss a ball after that.
'I thought I was playing well after I won the PTC win but then I went to Ally Pally and I just didn't show up. I really wanted to compete in that but I didn't and I put my head down after and focused on this event.'
Recent BGC Masters finalist Shaun Murphy was handed the televised match against Barry Hawkins which should of been an easier tie for the Magician. However though his opponent won the recent Snooker Shoot Out event and was high on confidence.
Hawkins got off to a great start, making a 113 break after Murphy broke down on 30. Murphy then hit straight back with a breaks of 76 and 93 to lead 2-1. The two then exchanged frames until they reached a decider at 4-4.
Both players got multiple chances in the last frame. One of Hawkins' was scuppered by a massive kick when faced with a simple red to the middle and Murphy had his share of bad luck when he knocked the pink in off potting the blue.
In the end Murphy got another chance after Hawkins missed a double and made a calm and collected 82 break to come out the winner 5-4. He plays Ricky Walden or Martin Gould in the next round.
'It was always going to be a very difficult match with Barry coming off the win at the Shoot Out last week.
'It was a terrible way for the last frame to go, he had a massive kick on the red over the middle and I knocked the pink in off the split, I was lucky that I got another chance in the end.
'I think i'm due a tournament win soon. I've certainly put the effort in, and they do say that you get out what you put in so I hope it's coming.
'I love the five table set-up in the arena, I think its great for the crowd, they can see all the matches. In the early days there were worries that there would be disturbences but they are all used to it and at the end of the day if the crowds are happy we are happy.'
In the two remaining wildcard matches, PTC11 champion Tom Ford faced little trouble as he came through against Ireland's Philip Arnold 5-1 to face Mark Allen in the next round. Pickering potter Paul Davison took a bit longer than Ford to get over the line but eventually did enough to be Poland's Krzysztof Wróbel to set up a match with a clash of styles against Judd Trump.
The first man through in the evening was defending champion Mark Williams who looked impressive in beating Ken Doherty 5-0.
Williams who triumphed at this venue last year beating Mark Selby in the final recorded breaks of 50, 51 and a 107 in defeating the Irish former world champion.
The Welsh potting machine will face Stuart Bingham in the second round which is a repeat of their Australian Open final after the Essex player beat Peter Ebdon 5-3.
'To beat anyone 5-0 is a good result. Ken's a very tough opponent so to beat someone of his calibre is even better. This is an excellent arena so I want to still be here at the weekend to take in the atmosphere.' Said Williams.
In the other match to feature a world champion, the current one John Higgins managed to get through a scrappy encounter 5-1 against Sussex's Mark Davis. He takes on Stephen Maguire next in an all Scottish encounter.
In the other matches the former Shanghai Masters champion Ricky Walden is looking back to his best form with an impressive 5-1 victory over the seeded Martin Gould.
The recent UK championship semi-finalist was in top gear as he made breaks of 102, 81, 57 and 73 to progress to the next round where he plays Shaun Murphy.
The last match to finish was between Stephen Lee and Adrian Gunnell. Lee managed to eventually get over the line in that one with a top break of 99. He plays either Ding Junhui or Yu Delu in the second round.
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