Snooker: Dechawat Poomjaeng has it all to do against Michael White

 

The Crucible

On a night of comedy and high farce at the Crucible, the joke was on Dechawat Poomjaeng.

The 34-year-old Thai played the jester, just as he had in beating world No 5 Stephen Maguire, but wound up trailing 7-1 in his second-round match against Wales' Michael White at the World Championship.

He entered the arena with both arms raised in triumph, jumped from the second step on to the stage floor and punched the air as though he had won the world title.

Spotting Thailand's national flag in the second row, he held out his arms in adoration, hugged MC Rob Walker passionately and walked to the correct seat this time, having gone to the wrong side of the arena at the start of his match against Maguire.

You had to wonder what Maguire made of it all, as Poomjaeng looked every inch the world number 70 he is thereafter, albeit a world number 70 with a sideline in divisive physical comedy.

It was rather like Comic Relief, with Poomjaeng providing the laughs and White the serious, meaningful fare that brings in the money.

Qualifier White, a 21-year-old Welshman, looked like a serious player with a big future as he let none of the japery affect him, unlike referee Michaela Tabb who towards the end of the match forgot to put the blue on the table for the break-off shot and then, mid-frame, picked up the white ball for no apparent reason.

She was embarrassed and saw the funny side but clearly the frippery was causing the experienced Scot's mind to wander.

Where White was amassing his lead, making a 101 break for his first Crucible century in the process, Poomjaeng was fluking a black and punching himself in the head, missing a red and letting his head sink to the table in mock mourning for the ball that stayed up.

Incredibly he lost the fourth frame without a ball being potted when after being put in an awkward position he failed three times to hit a red, conceding three fouls. Under the game's rules, three misses when a red can be hit full ball means the frame is conceded.

It looked as though Tabb encouraged Poomjaeng to calm down as he giddily looked at White before the eighth frame, before she saw the funny side when he pointed out the blue was missing from the table.

But Poomjaeng's hopes of getting anything out of the match were surely affected by his exaggerated antics. The clapping of his own shots, the moment he jumped on the spot after firing in a long red - which he followed by wildly missing the brown - and the constant interaction with the audience, meant his game was suffering.

Evidently he has talent and there were some remarkable shots, but the prospect of him returning to obscurity was looking all too inevitable.

Willie Thorne labelled him "Thailand's Mr Bean" and his co-commentator Steve Davis expressed a touch of sympathy. "He knows he's been struggling out there tonight," said the six-time champion. "He's feeling the heat a bit. We know he can play to a higher standard than this.

"You don't beat Stephen Maguire without being able to play a high standard of snooker."

Yet Poomjaeng now risks losing a three-session match inside two sessions - with 13 frames the target for victory - having needed a third session to win a scheduled two-session match against Maguire.

He might not see the funny side of that.

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashion
News
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were
News
people

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Mark Wright
tvStrictly goes head-to-head with Apprentice
Sport
footballPremier League preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's clashes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas