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Page last updated at 15:30 GMT, Tuesday, 4 May 2010 16:30 UK

Winners and losers at the Crucible

By Mark Ashenden
BBC Sport in Sheffield

World champion Neil Robertson
Robertson looks to the heavens as he realises he has won the world title

It was 17 days of drama on and off the baize.

Old-timers performing miracles, near-maximum breaks, players walking out to Ice Cube and the Proclaimers, and a late-night climax of Australian glory.

If Neil Robertson took the ultimate accolades, there were plenty of other moments to celebrate.

Here are our unofficial tournament awards, and do make your own suggestions on 606.

TRIP OF THE WEEK

Two clouds overshadowed the snooker somewhat. A volcanic one at the start and one called John Higgins at the end.

606: DEBATE

Referee Jan Verhaas arrived by ferry after missing the championship opening for the first time in 17 years, and a German fan drove to Sheffield for 19 hours to see Ronnie O'Sullivan and reveal: "He's got a nice bum".

But a late entrant is Neil Robertson's mum Alison, who made a last-minute flight of 12,000 miles to watch her son play a professional match for the first time.

"We had a strong feeling he would be in the final and we booked a flight, and here we are," she said. Hope you cleaned your bedroom, Neil.

BEST ENTRANCE

A hotly-contested category, with world number four Shaun Murphy coming out to Queen's It's A Kind Of Magic. But Liang Wenbo shades it, and not for his choice of music. The Chinese cueman needed his sat-nav after getting lost behind the curtains before his match with Ronnie O'Sullivan.

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Snooker player gets lost backstage

MOST THRILLING BREAK

Mark Allen's 124, stopping five balls short of a maximum 147, was special.

Steve Davis spent 30 years of being cagey at the Crucible and then doubles a brown to clinch his stunning upset victory over defending champion Higgins. Also good.

But the winner goes to Mark Selby, who produced a breathtaking 66 to peg back Dott 10-7.

The 'Jester from Leicester', needing four blacks with the last five reds to win by one point, sunk two long reds and the pink to release the black off the cushion before clearing up. Stunning.

BIGGEST MISJUDGEMENT

Six-time champion Steve Davis was backstage for his match with Neil Robertson waiting for his call-out. Steve Davis. The legend. The one and only.

Master of ceremonies Rob Walker gave him the big build-up speech and right at the end…announced him as Dennis Taylor.

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Mixed-up MC introduces wrong legend

HARE AND TORTOISE PRIZE

Longest frame: Robertson v Fergal O'Brien, frame 13. 1 hour, nine minutes and six seconds (Robertson won 77-70)

Quickest frame: Carter v Jamie Cope, frame 12. Six minutes 27 seconds. (Cope won 84-0)

Fastest centurion: O'Sullivan in five minutes 32 seconds.

THE WHITE-GLOVED BALLS-UP AWARD

Referee Colin Humphries had already warned O'Sullivan for ungentlemanly conduct in his first-round match with Wenbo and then interrupted his break of 60 by replacing the wrong ball too quickly.

Ronnie O'Sullivan and Colin Humphries

Ref error cuts short O'Sullivan break

Michaela Tabb gets the nod though after becoming distracted by a mobile phone in the clash between Stephen Maguire and Graeme Dott.

Michaela Tabb

Referee's white ball blunder

MOST PROMISING PLAYER

He didn't get over the first hurdle but he gave Stephen Hendry a massive fright. Aged 18, Chinese debutant and qualifier Zhang Anda got to within one frame of beating the seven-time world champion in the first round.

Zhang doesn't say much yet, but expect to hear a lot more from the man who practises with 'The Rocket' in Romford.

BIGGEST OUTBURST

O'Sullivan missed a simple red in the seventh frame against Wenbo and responded with a one-fingered gesture at the ball.

The ball refused to comment but referee Humphries warned him of being docked a frame if there was any repeat.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

O'Sullivan shows his frustration

BEST MATCH

O'Sullivan and Mark Williams (13-11) treated us to a classic battle with a hatful of centuries as the two experienced gladiators slugged it out.

My favourite was Zhang's first-round clash with Hendry. The seven-time champion was 9-7 down and his grumpy face said it all.

Watching the audacious teenager from China ridicule such a legend, yet ultimately fall to a man fighting for his career, was intriguing, painful and mesmerising.

Hendry scraped through a last-frame thriller and said: "I had my retirement speeches ready. It just summed up a dismal season. Then something just clicked."

ANGER MANAGEMENT TROPHY

The mild-mannered Ali Carter could easily have ended up robbing Ronnie of the previous award. After a late finish against Murphy, 'The Captain' was up early to face Robertson in the semi-finals.

On missing out on a crucial second frame, Carter said: "My head totally went. And I could have smashed the place up - I was that angry - but I was feeling very tired."

MAGICAL MERCHANDISE PRIZE

Yes, yes, the 'Jester' and 'Rocket' T-shirts were very nice. And the snooker fridge magnets would make the perfect Mother's Day gift. But you cannot argue with statistics.

The 'Rocket' teddy bear was sold out from day two. Cuddly. Cute. Crucible. A winning combination.

FACIAL HAIR OF THE WEEK

Since the demise of Canadian player Alain Robidoux, beards are sadly a thing of rare beauty around the baize.

Cliff Thorburn
Thorburn: fashion is temporary, class is permanent

Happily there is one moustache still bouncing around 14 years after retirement.

Some fine Canadian follicles belonging to 1980 world champion Cliff 'The Grinder' Thorburn - the last non-British Isles champion until Robertson - wiggled themselves over the weekend just 14 inches away from me.

TOP DRAWER CRUCIBLE CHAT

O'Sullivan after beating Williams: "I don't listen to what everyone keeps saying that I'm my harshest critic because you don't know what you're talking about."

O'Sullivan after losing to Selby: "I'll always be involved in snooker because it's in my blood but I don't need it. But it's like a drug and I know I will miss it, and I'll always think 'What if?'"

Dott, ahead of quarters with Allen: "It's just a massive advantage to have been champion. If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, I can still be happy that I have won it."

Allen on the maximum break that never was (124): "I was shaking that much my head nearly fell off - I was under that much pressure."

Robertson on winning: "It's perfect what's going on in my life right now. If this doesn't do anything in Australia, I probably won't call myself Australian."

BIGGEST UNDERSTATEMENT

Dott battled brilliantly to see off the then tournament favourite Selby to reach his third world final. 'Surely you're feeling over the moon Graeme?' he was asked as he walked calmly into the press room. "I'm just relieved," said the doughty Scot.

FLUKE OF THE TOURNAMENT

Selby was 8-6 down against Dott in the semis. The 'Jester from Leicester' pots a red, the white flies up the table, hits the jaw of the middle pocket, does a little dance and heads down towards the pack to go round the angles and rest up with a perfect angle on the black to split the pack. He goes on to make a 51. Jammy.

COMEBACK KING

Quite a few contenders but Robertson takes this one, considering he went on to win the tournament.

Trailing 0-6 and 5-11, the Australian checked out of his hotel before hitting back to see off Martin Gould 13-12. Ken Doherty, the 1997 Crucible winner, called it "sensational". Robertson described it as "the key turning point" on his way to becoming world champion.

CRUCIBLE LUNAR AWARD

Claudia Winkleman was recently revealed as the new host of BBC One show Film 2010, succeeding Jonathan Ross. Her reaction? "I'm over the moon".

It soon spread to the Crucible and the new world champion wins this prize after a Lunar double.

Murphy after beating Ding Junhui: "I'm over the moon to win."

Williams on beating Marcus Campbell: "I'm over the moon about the result but not the performance - it's the twitchy round."

Robertson after Davis win: "I'm over the moon to get to the semis considering the way I've played so I'll have to improve a lot to get to the final."

Robertson after defeating Carter to reach the final: "I'm over the…" Yep you guessed it.



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see also
Robertson beats Dott to win title
04 May 10 |  Snooker
Aussie mettle wins it for Robertson
04 May 10 |  Snooker
World Snooker final as it happened
02 May 10 |  Snooker
Final scores from the Crucible
20 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Dott beats Selby to reach final
01 May 10 |  Snooker
Robertson reaches Crucible final
01 May 10 |  Snooker
Robertson ends Davis's fairytale
28 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Dott & Carter progress to semis
28 Apr 10 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan warned after gesture
20 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Hendry survives scare at Crucible
18 Apr 10 |  Snooker
World Championship results
15 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Century breaks
17 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
08 Apr 11 |  Snooker


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