HERE IS THE DRAW for the first round of the Betfred World Championship…


Mark Selby v Kurt Maflin

Stephen Maguire v Anthony McGill

Joe Perry v Zhang Anda

Shaun Murphy v Robin Hull

Barry Hawkins v Matt Selt

Mark Allen v Ryan Day

Ali Carter v Alan McManus

Neil Robertson v Jamie Jones

Ding Junhui v Mark Davis

John Higgins v Robert Milkins

Marco Fu v Jimmy Robertson

Judd Trump v Stuart Carrington

Ricky Walden v Graeme Dott

Stuart Bingham v Robbie Williams

Mark Williams v Matthew Stevens

Ronnie O’Sullivan v Craig Steadman


We will analyse the draw in due course, but first a word on today’s shambolic presentation of it.

World Snooker, for whom social media is the new obsession, promised to stream it live on their official YouTube channel. The only problem was that it didn’t work from the start.

Tweets of the matches started to appear from the governing body while frustrated snooker fans – and players – were furiously pressing refresh.

We were told that Shaun Murphy had drawn Anthony McGill and then that Murphy had drawn Robin Hull.

When the YouTube stream did start to work it was lagging behind the live tweets. Mark Selby, the defending champion, went on to Twitter to ask if it would be redrawn.

All this will be forgotten pretty much as soon as Selby breaks off on Saturday morning, but it was a total shambles which the venerable old tournament did not deserve.

A decade or so ago, the same ball was pulled out twice in the live draw on BBC Radio 5 Live, but that was simple human error. This time it was a failure to check the technical arrangements of a much hyped, much advertised draw.

What makes it worse is that Talksport were apparently interested in covering the draw but World Snooker wanted it done at their charity golf day.

It is understood that the draw went out fine on the web site of sponsors Betfred and also in their shops - but the World Snooker channel would have been the first port of call for most.

Maybe ‘old’ media wouldn’t have been such a bad choice after all?