Ricky Rocks Mannheim

Regular readers might remember that a few weeks ago I posted an article regarding an exhibition evening in Mannheim involving the world number 35 and 2008 Shanghai Masters Champion Ricky Walden. Well the event took place last Saturday and I am delighted to say that my request for fan reports did not go unanswered!

The first report here is from Monique who posts over at The Snooker Forum and on the official Ronnie O’Sullivan website. She has not only let me reproduce her report, but also the first four photos on this page which are excellent so thanks again to her for that.

The report:

“On Saturday Ricky was giving an exhibition in Mannheim in the Snookerworld club hosted by Austin Moles.
The exhibition had actually 2 parts.

Starting at 2 pm untill 4 pm, Ricky played a few local cueists and made himself available for coaching and advice. He didn’t do the guys any favours though as he knocked in 7 centuries in the process … Ricky had brought the Shanghai Masters trophy with him and evryone was delighted to have the opportunity to hold it and get pictured with Ricky.

Between the two parts the whole party headed to the “Irish Pub” where we were served irish stew (yes I had to go to Germany to try irish stew 😉 ) and of course guiness.
I had the opportunity to chat with Ricky during the meal and he said he loved traveling but confessed he’s very fussy when it comes to food. Apparantly chinese food is not his favourite and he was sort of starving there … Maybe that’s why he was so dangerous then! 😮

Part 2 started at 6 pm.
Ricky first played a few “serious” frames against locals.
His first opponent was the host himself, Austin Moles, whom he beat 2-0 in a best of three.
Ricky then faced two very young players.
Yovo Hermann must be around 10 and he’s a “natural safety player” 😉 . He put Ricky in all sorts of trouble with some nasty snookers and didn’t hesitate to put Ricky back in when he missed!
Kevin Malz is slightly older – about 12 I’d say – and he really impressed me. He’s a good potter already – he made a lovely break of 38 – and he puts a lot of tactical thinking in his game. He’s also quite confident in his abilities.
His last opponent was a young lad who’s name I didn’t get. Maybe Leeroy can help me here.

After a “refreshment break” … the “raffle” started. First prize was a cue and all other prizes were “a frame against Ricky”. I have no idea how many raffle tickets young Yovo and Kevin had bought but their names came out of the “hat” more than once! True to themselves, Yovo snookered Ricky shamelessly and Kevin gave him good opposition! During that part Ricky unfortunately missed the last red in a 147 attempt … Next time!

All in all a very enjoyable afternoon and evening. Thanks to Austin, Lee and Ricky for having welcomed me so warmly.”

To view the rest of her photos you can view them on the gallery over at The Snooker Forum.


Secondly, planetreckless has also got in touch with me and kindly provided me with a link to his own report and photos from the event. His report is as follows:

“Ricky Walden shreds Mannheim, snooker-wise.

It was last saturday that snooker main tour prodigy Ricky Walden, winner (and conqueror of the infamous world champion Ronnie O´Sullivan) of the 2008 Shanghai Masters tournament, was to play a small exhibition in Mannheim. Since you don´t get to see major league players in Germany that often and I was staying with my girlfriend nearby, it wasn´t much of a decision whether we should go see him or not. And we shouldn´t regret that at all.

We arrived a bit early at the “Snookerworld“, a small club in the outskirts of Mannheim, only to find Ricky and some of his mates waiting in the basement; eventually heading for the hotel to get a quick shower before the show was to start. I was quite surprised Ricky went straight for my hand, asking how I was doing and that it was nice to meet. Now that´s what I call a pleasant first impression!

After heading inside and sorting out our seats, it took some time for the event to begin; so we scouted the area and were stunned that the guys managed to bring the Shanghai Masters trophy, suitably set up on the baize of the session table.

We met the venue owner, Austin Miles, who also turned out to be one nice fella; and I guess it was his son, Kevin, who was to play Ricky in a one-frame-competition later (and for that sake, even several times more as he drew some frames of the lottery, much to the delight of the crowd).

Austin started in a best of three against Ricky and gave hist best, but sadly stood not much of a chance against his opponent, who had some serious fun out of the whole evening – at least this was my impression. His play was accordingly, yet biased with a healthy offensive attitude (you surely wouldn´t expect some of that shots in a major tournament), which was greatly appreciated by the (sadly) rather small crowd. My favorite pot was a long green near the cushion to the right black hole, what a brilliant shot.


Some frames against local junior contenders and lottery winners (…) followed, which also had many seriously funny moments to them, such as the referee granting a foul by Ricky (in front by around 90) to the kid – valued seventy (70) points (LOL). Nonetheless, he absolutely delivered and tore off the roof, so to speak. He build several nice centuries, though I didn´t really care to count them (yeah, shame on me…).

The evening eventually finished off in style – Austin giving away free snooker balls for everyone in the crowd, and Ricky signing them all – you just can´t help but to like these guys. A massive big up to Austin for hosting such a great event, even if it would have deserved a bit more audience. Perhaps better luck next time, I´ll be in for sure !”

You can view his photos from the event and other content over at his new blog here.

Overall it sounds like everyone there had a good time and that Ricky did his reputation no harm whatsoever so well done to everybody inolved. Hopefully we will see more of this type of event over the next few years…