World Snooker Championship final: O'Sullivan v Carter as it happened

Ronnie O'Sullivan beats Ali Carter 18-11 to win his fourth World Championship title at the Crucible.

7 May 2012 Last updated at 22:47

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As it happened

  1. 2113: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan - 2012 World Snooker Champion

    There we are. What a memorable 2012 World Snooker Championship we have had. The 'marathon of the mind' comes to an end with Ronnie O'Sullivan being crowned champion for the fourth time, sitting alongside Stephen Hendry (7 titles), Steve Davis (6), Ray Reardon (6) and John Higgins (4), as players with four or more title wins in the modern era. It has been an honour to have guided you through the final over the last two days and a Crucible round of applause goes to you for keeping me company with your tweets and texts. Last thing for you to do is read Ben Dirs's report. Same again next year? I hope so. Goodbye.

  2.  

    Tobias Bischoff on Twitter: "O'Sullivan might be not the player with the most titles, but at last he'll always be a legend, the greatest, the best."

  3.  

    Mrs Hashemi on Twitter: "THE LEGEND THE MASTER THE ROCKET RONNIE OSULLIVAN WINS AGAIN he plays flawlessly well deserved."

  4.  
    RONNIE O'SULLIVAN WINS FOURTH WORLD TITLE 18-11
  5.  

    Dave Brookes on Twitter: "Well done Ronnie. The most naturally gifted snooker player to play the game!"

  6. 2101:  
    Steve Davis, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "Very controlled at times unplayable, even in his worst moments in the event he was controlled, his safety was good, from my perspective that's the best ever Ronnie O'Sullivan we've seen at the World Championship."

  7. 2101:  
    John Parrott, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "He can win as many world titles as he wants to, he's got more talent than any human being deserves to have, he's been sprinkled with star dust.

    "Carter is certainly good enough to compete, he shouldn't be thinking about flying aeroplanes, he's lost to a genius twice."

  8.  

    Rob via text: "Is it just me or was Ronnie giving Ali some eyeball back on the handshake after winning?"

    Anyone else spot this?

  9.  

    Two international tweeters:

    Flemming Jensen tweets: "Congrats from Denmark, Ronnie. Please, don't quit!"

    Francis Donohue tweets: "Well done #bbcsnooker stayed up here in Dubai to see The Rocket win through. Snooker's getting back to the old days!"

  10.  

    Thomas Vandermeiren on Twitter: "Once is special, twice is superb, three times is sublime, but four times is just stupendous! You did it again, Ronnie."

  11. 2056: 

    Did that sound like a man who is quitting the sport then? Why would O'Sullivan want to retire after this fantastic showing over the last 17 days? Many doubted whether he could come back and clinch a fourth, but he has proved them wrong to be the top man of world snooker once again.

  12.  

    Dave Jones on Twitter: "Congratulations to the rocket!! The man is a genius!!!! Quality!!"

  13.  

    Joe via text: "Undoubtedly the greatest of all time, no other word than genius describes the Rocket - absolutely breathtaking."

  14.  

    Alex Heathcote on Twitter: "Living Legend! But so much more Ronnie could achieve."

  15. 2051: 

    A gracious Ali Carter said after his defeat: "Maybe if he retires I might win it, who knows.

    "I just kept punching I was disappointed I was out played in the final Ronnie put me under pressure his safety was better and when he gets in he's just a genius.

    "I've come back to playing half decent and feeling better in myself so I'll keep playing for a bit. I've been to two finals so I believe I can win it one day... if Ronnie retires."

  16.  

    Thomas Frost on Twitter: "Chin up Ali. You've lost 2 World Finals but if you're going to lose, lose to someone like Ronnie. No shame in that."

  17.  

    Justin Barnes on Twitter: "Congratulations to Ronnie O'Sullivan. Genius + Application = Unplayable."

  18.  

    More from Ronnie O'Sullivan after his 18-11 victory: "It's been very hard to come here and stand it for 17 days. It's an endurance test, the equivalent of doing an ironman. It isn't so much the snooker it's about controlling your emotions and holding it together."

  19.  

    Tim Robinson on Twitter: "In my opinion, O'Sullivan will always be the greatest snooker player of all time."

  20. 2048: 

    Poor Ali Carter goes alongside Jimmy White (6) and Matthew Stevens (2) as players who have gone into multiple finals without winning.

  21.  

    Darren Smith on Twitter: "Once ronnie gets going, there aint no stopping him. best player i've probably ever seen."

  22. 2046: 
    Champagne moment

    Ronnie O'Sullivan lifts the World Championship trophy for the fourth time, as ticker-tape comes streaming down from top of the Crucible Theatre. Ronnie reigns again!

  23. 2046: 

    Runner-up Ali Carter receives a silver medal and takes the applause of the crowd. He was beaten by the better man in this final.

  24. 2045: 
    BREAKING NEWS

    Ronnie O'Sullivan: "I'm having a good six months off to spend time with my son and daughter, then I will assess the situation."

  25.  

    James Stevenson on Twitter: "Well done Ali. You'll do it some day. Gotta believe!"

  26.  

    Shannon Selby on Twitter: "Fair play to Ali Carter. Well played."

  27. 2042: 

    Keep the texts and tweets coming. Tweet me @ShamoonHafez using the hashtag #bbcsnooker or text in via 81111. NAMES ON TEXTS!!

  28. 2041: 

    So Ronnie does to Ali what Barcelona did to Manchester United, two final clashes, two defeats for Carter. But O'Sullivan has deserved this, he has been the best player throughout and The Captain's challenge was no match for The Rocket.

  29.  

    Jordan James on Twitter: "Truly sensational snooker from Ronnie. Played to win from day 1. New attitude, unbelievable shots. Hopefully he will continue."

  30.  

    DJ Dan on Twitter: "RONNIE O'SULLIVAN WORLD CHAMPION 2012!"

  31. 2039: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 18-11 Ali Carter- O'SULLIVAN IS WORLD CHAMPION FOR THE FOURTH TIME

    He has done!! A blow of a kiss up to his son Ronnie Junior. The Rocket, the genius around the baize. Knocks in a frame-winning break which is enough for him to clinch his fourth world title in four appearance. Superb, sensational, sublime. Running out of superlatives. It has been an absolute masterclass, a virtuoso performance throughout the championship.

  32. 2035: 

    Bit messy at the moment. Ronnie attempts a long red but is unable to push his cue through in a straight line, seeing it veer to his left. He grits his teeth, he knows that was a chance to wrap it up. Carter plays a containing safety, but as he did earlier in the match, leaves O'Sullivan with a sniff, and that's all he needs. Red into the middle. Next update could be telling you it's all over.

  33. 2031: 

    Ali in a bit of trouble when Ronnie snookers him behind the blue. No probs for him though, settles on a red behind the black. "Shot," a Carter fan bellows out. These two have now been playing for nine hours.

  34.  

    Harms Bhogal on Twitter: "Possibly the last frame of the Snooker Championships. Come on Ronnie. Finish it off."

  35. 2029: 

    Ronnie in amongst them in the 27th, could be over shortly. He is momentarily disrupted when some sort of sound goes off in the theatre, and elects to play safe. Michaela Tabb sees the funny side of it, Ali Carter doesn't. He won't be finding anything funny at the moment.

  36.  

    Keith on Twitter: "O'Sullivan close to victory now. Shame, I like late nights at the Crucible."

  37. 2025: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 17-11- Ronnie needs one frame for victory

    As ever, a plant, dead set or not, is given a raucous ovation. Never understood that. Anyway, 46 and Ali Carter stays in his chair, ruefully awaiting his fate. Will we get a mid-session interval? It's scheduled for after this frame.

  38. 2023: 

    Finally, Ronnie finds a way of removing the red that was disrupting the black, which opens the table up. Only a few pots away from clinching the frame now.

  39. 2020: 

    30 for Ronnie. Tries to arc the cueball into the pack off the black, but sticks. He kicks out towards the table in frustration and raises his eyebrows in frustration as he makes his way back to his seat.

  40.  

    Simon White on Twitter: "As much as I dislike O'Sullivan for his nonchalance and the way he behaves sometimes, I love the sport side of him as a player. Not a rocket. A Living Legend."

  41.  

    Peter via text: "As much as I dislike O'Sullivan for his nonchalance and the way he behaves sometimes, I love the sport side of him as a player. Not a rocket. A Living Legend."

  42. 2017: 

    Bit of luck for Ronnie, flicking off the green and popping the cueball behind the brown. He says sorry to Carter, but that won't be of any consolation to him. Comes up short trying to play into the pack, and Ronnie cuts a red in.

  43.   
    Ken Doherty, Snooker analyst, BBC Sport

    "I spoke to Ali Carter after the first session and he said he wouldn't give it away to Ronnie and would make it hard as possible."

  44. 2014: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 16-11 Ali Carter

    Not costly this time, but Carter hasn't got too many lives remaining. He gestures to the crowd to say, "Yes, I've won one." Still five behind so O'Sullivan won't be worried just yet.

  45. 2012: 

    64 for Carter and he seems favourite for the frame. One snooker needed for O'Sullivan, who comes back to the table to play. You can tell he wants to get this wrapped up. Careless from Ali, though, missing an easy red. This frame should already have been over.

  46. 2008: 

    When it rains, it pours. Carter pockets a red but can't believe his luck when the cueball flies off the cushion and lands millimetres way from the pink. Great recovery though, slicing it into the corner without a push-shot. More than generous round of applause for that shot. Reds have been opened up.

  47.  

    Paul Glover on Twitter: "Ronnie trying to give Ali the Goodbye Kiss."

  48.  

    Oliver Marshall on Twitter: "The Captain's facial expressions suggest he is feeling truly deflated. I'd be very surprised if he made a comeback here."

  49. 2003: 

    Carter leaves a red hanging over the corner pocket, and O'Sullivan strides in to pot it, before falling perfectly on the black. Only two difficult reds, cueball in and around the black area..but surprisingly, he misses the black off the spot, trying to force an angle for the next red. He bites his bottom lip in disgust. Does Carter have anything left in him?

  50.   
    Ken Doherty, Snooker analyst, BBC Sport

    "It isn't impossible for Ali Carter but Ronnie O'Sullivan is so hard to play against. He's making the game look so easy and his safety play is magnificent - it's like playing a robot. He's very hard to beat and I don't know what Carter can do now."

  51.  

    Tod on Twitter: "Feeling sorry for Ali. Ronnie is on fire and playing with such precision in both safety and break building."

  52.  

    Bobby McCarthy on Twitter: "No faith for the Underdog!"

  53. 1958: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 16-10 Ali Carter- Needs two for the title

    Boom! Fast as that, the frame is over. Only two from victory now. May wrap this up before the mid-session, unless Carter can mount a dramatic comeback. "Ronnie O'Sullivan 70... and the frame," before nonchalently making his way back to his seat to sip on the ice cold water.

  54. 1955: 

    Mistake from Carter, catches the red on the left-hand side whilst trying to negotiate a path up the table. Ronnie's in, Carter's scoreless. Worrying times for The Captain.

  55. 1954: 
    A celeb has been spotted

    Serge from Kasabian has been spotted in the crowd. If Ronnie wins this frame, I feel Carter will be Cutt Off. (sorry)

  56. 1952: 

    Containing from Carter, placing O'Sullivan under no pressure. Cogs in Ronnie's head working overtime as to how he can put his opponent in trouble again. You don't usually see him take this much time over a shot.

  57. 1950: 

    Beauty from Ronnie, beauty. Flicks off the pack and angles the cueball to rest on the baulk cushion. Terrific comeback from Carter, and more of the same from O'Sullivan. Edgy so far, every shot being applauded.

  58. 1948: 

    Disciplined from O'Sullivan, keeping it tight. Can't get prime position on a red so elects to play safe, having made on 22. Very impressive the way way he has stayed focused throughout the championship.

  59.  

    Pablo Martin on Twitter: "The perfect game in Baseball."

  60. 1946: 

    Ronnie screws off the cushion from the brown and crashes into the pack, opening a few more reds up. "Come on Ronnie," shouts a gentleman in the crowd. Calm down, bit too early for that.

  61.  

    Sam Palmer on Twitter: "Respect for all "maximums" but surely a golden set in tennis(not dropping a point) is harder than all."

  62. 1943: 

    Not the best of safeties from Ronnie, catching the bump of the middle pocket. Carter has a half chance but can't convert, leaving the same red on for O'Sullivan. Wasn't the most difficult of pots, but gets a round of applause from the crowd.

  63.  

    John Loughlin on Twitter: "Has to be nine darter, you can play a poor shot in 147 and still get back on track, same in darts and it's over."

  64.   
    Willie Thorne, Snooker Commentator, BBC Sport

    "The walk-ins just now were absolutely sensational. Stephen Hendry has given us so many memories down the years and what memories will these two players give us tonight?"

  65.  

    Scooby in Halifax via text: "147. Unlikely I know, but I could fluke 9 darter - I couldn' t fluke a 147!"

  66.  

    Russell Goodman via text: "A nine darter requires 9 perfect shots on a fixed target. A 147 requires 36 perfect shots with a changing table. Definately a 147 is hardest maximum."

  67.  

    Dan Fahy on Twitter: "Perfect game in 10 pin bowling!"

  68. 1939: 

    Players come out for the last time. Not through the tunnel, but down the step from the top of the theatre. No glare from Carter in the handshake this time. He breaks off in frame 26. Here we go.

  69.  

    The4Mcleans on Twitter: "Toughest maximum in sport must be 6 sixes in cricket? How many times has that been achieved?"

  70.  

    Alexandria Hassett on Twitter: "I would suggest its a snooker 155 (the true maximum)."

  71. 1936: 

    Is that a tear I see in Stephen Hendry's eye? Surely not. He did get a little emotional after emerging through the tunnel and taking the rapturous applause of the packed theatre. "To make a maximum in my last visit here was something special. I have so many magnificent memories. I shall really miss walking down those stairs with a cue in my hand," he says to Rob Walker. How sweet!

  72.  

    Emily Ross on Twitter: "Excited for the last session of the snooker."

  73.  

    Sam Fuller on Twitter: "Think it's got to be a nine darter."

  74. 1930: 

    An interesting question arose during the break.

    What is the most difficult 'maximum' in sport? Football hat-tricks, cricket centuries we see all the time and a hole-in-one is more due to luck than skill. Maybe a nine-darter? Cricket bowler's hat-trick?

    My vote goes for the 147. You can't plan for it and never know where the balls will fall, as well as playing each shot to precision.

    What do you think, and why? Tweet me @ShamoonHafez using the hashtag #bbcsnooker or text in via 81111. NAMES ON TEXTS!! Nice!

  75. 1927: 
    BBC coverage

    TV pictures are back under way at 1930 BST on BBC 2 and the BBC HD channel, and at the top of this page. I don't expect any dramatic developments on the Great British Menu for us to get delayed.

  76.  

    Niall Adams on Twitter: "Hope Ali Carter pulls it back to make it even more interesting!"

  77. 1924: 

    By the way, the latest finish for a final is 12:54am. John Higgins's win over Mark Selby in 2007, and Neil Robertson's triumph over Graeme Dott in 2010. Don't want these two to break that record, though.

  78.  

    Benjamin Gledhill on Twitter: "Come on Ronnie, close it out you masterful player."

  79. 1921: 

    According to my Crucible Almanac, Ali Carter still has hope. In 1985, Dennis Taylor was 8-1 behind to Steve Davis, before going on to win 18-17 in, possibly, the greatest ever final played at the theatre. Stephen Hendry was 14-8 down to Jimmy White in 1992, winning an incredible 10 in a row to take the crown, and in 2000 Mark Williams was 13-7 behind to Matthew Stevens, going on to win 18-16. Carter's only five behind, not all over just yet then.

  80. 1916: 

    Here we are then, the home straight. The final session on the 17th day of action from the Crucible. O'Sullivan v Carter; Part II and at this stage, it looks like going the same way as 2008. Just to refresh your memories, O'Sullivan took the last session 5-3 to establish a 15-10 advantage.

  81. 1755: 

    I'm joining the players on a well-earned break. I'll be back at 1915 BST to guide you through the remainder of the tournament, whether we are here for an hour, or into Tuesday morning, you can rely on me to keep you updated on all the action from the final session of the World Championship at the Crucible. For now, you can read Ben Dirs's updated report. See you then!

  82.  

    Rob Biggar on Twitter: "Backing Ronnie- hopefully a 4th title will dissuade retirement. Far too entertaining to join the post office cue."

  83. 1750: 

    A montage playing of Stephen Hendry's career at the Crucible, seeing him win those seven world titles, including being the youngest champion at the age of 21. Great memories and as Ronnie says: "He will be missed." But he hasn't gone too far, up in the commentary box now, relaying his expert knowledge to the rest of us.

  84.  

    Jane in Newcastle via text: "A lot of talk about Carter's bad luck yesterday but Ronnie didn't have it all his own way either and I think each player had an equal amount of things going against them. Carter also had a couple of outbursts that Ronnie just wouldn't have got away with. I hope Ronnie runs away with it this evening, he's a class act. 18-10 O'Sullivan please!"

  85.  

    Lorraine on Twitter: "It's closer than the last time these two met in the world final. Let's not forget that."

  86.  

    Jared Risley-Jones on Twitter: "Come on Ronnie the end is near, showing excellent form ahead of tonight's session."

  87.  

    Eiddon Paul on Twitter: "O'Sullivan's won 2 sessions 5-3 and one 5-4.Now thats consistent,Carter making this a great final now."

  88.  

    Nick Davison-Allott on Twitter: "Surely even Ronnie's biggest fans want Carter to make a comeback. It would be a shame for this to be over quickly."

    Marco Santens on Twitter: "This is no epic final - Ronnie O'Sullivan is simply walking all over Ali Carter. Spectator's nightmare."

  89.   
    Steve Davis, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "When you get older you don't cope with the pressure as well but Ronnie O'Sullivan is in good shape physically and he's arguably a more skilful player now because he's learnt his craft. He's responded to the pressure and he looks a very strong all-rounder."

  90. 1740: 

    Keep your chat coming. Does that mini-comeback from Ali Carter give him some hope of a revival this evening, or is it too-little-too-late with Ronnie too far away in the distance to catch up? Tweet me @ShamoonHafez using the hashtag #bbcsnooker or text in via 81111. Don't forget your names on the texts, you lovely lot.

  91.   
    Stephen Hendry, Snooker analyst, BBC Sport

    "This championship, and in 2008 when he beat me in the semi-finals, he's played perfect snooker, putting as much effort into his safety play as his break-building. He's slowed down a little but he's so good among the balls."

  92.   
    John Parrott, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "Ali Carter's stuck at it and won three frames and I said it might be a twitchy last frame but Ronnie O'Sullivan won that in magnificent style. That's been a feature of his game throughout the tournament - when he's been under puressure he's pulled away again."

  93.  

    Jack Hardie on Twitter: "That was Ronnie at his best."

  94.  

    Stuart in Cambridge via text: "Watching Ronnie in full flew is mesmeric. He keeps you glued to the box. As far as I am concerned there has been no better player in the modern era. I mean how good must you be to compile centuries with both hands. Genius doesn't come close."

  95.  

    Lord Attenborough on Twitter: "Could we possibly see a comeback from young Carter in the #snooker this evening? Somehow I can't see Ronnie being beaten now."

  96.  
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 15-10 Ali Carter- End of session.

    Whoosh! We have lift off! The Rocket is up and Carter's in-off is punished in the severest of manners as O'Sullivan closes out the last frame of the session with a well-taken 64. Five ahead, needing just three to win, that may well just be the killer blow for Carter. O'Sullivan clears up the remaining balls on the table, just to show who is boss.

  97. 1732: 

    Ronnie knocks in a 64, and Carter comes to the table 74 points behind, needs two four-point snooker to win. Oh, he needs blacks with the five remaining reds too. Tall order.

  98.  

    Tom Carr on Twitter: "Been a tantalising final, every time you think Ali Carter is out of it, he makes a little comeback to get you thinking again..."

  99.   
    Dennis Taylor, Snooker Commentator, BBC Sport

    "Ronnie doesn't even twitch with his left hand!"

  100. 1723: 

    Cagey play from the two, nicking off the widest red to go back into baulk. Carter goes for a thin safety, but goes in-off and Ronnie has ball in-hand. Beautiful long red before screwing up for the blue. He is in here. Ronnie Junior, his son, applauds enthusiastically and he could knock in a big one here. Well, he should.

  101. 1719: 

    O'Sullivan puts Carter in a spot of bother and he tries to come off the cushion to nestle into the pack, but misjudges and hits the pink. A conversation between Ronnie and referee Michaela Tabb occurs, before the balls are placed back where they were before. Second attempt, nicely done. Finds a red without leaving a pot on.

  102.   
    John Parrott, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "I think Ali Carter's had a tin of spinach not carrot juice! He's certainly turned this around - he looked like he wasn't at the races earlier - and Ronnie looks like he's lost a bit of concentration. This is a massive frame. If Carter can play carefree in this frame and win it that will definitely put him back in the final. There could some twitching going on in this frame."

  103. 1716: 

    Last frame of the session, if Carter wins this, he is right back in it. A huge frame in the context of the match. Getting a bit exciting now. Not for Ronnie fans, but for the Carter Camp and the neutrals. Beautiful!

  104.  

    Chris Gouveia on Twitter: "14-10 and 3 in a row, just what the neutrals ordered."

  105.  

    Martin Thompson on Twitter: "Come on Ali! Keep the fight up you defo deserve this!"

  106. 1713: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 14-10 Ali Carter- Carter wins third frame in a row

    Have I said Carter has been unable to keep complete control of the cueball during this match? Up and down, up and down, working tirelessly to try and keep command of the white in this break. Ronnie gives the ref a nod to concede the frame and walks out for a quick break. Doesn't matter how you win them, they all count. Ali nicks another frame back.

  107.   
    Dennis Taylor, Snooker Commentator, BBC Sport

    "At the moment you can hear a pin drop in the theatre. They wanted a comeback and they are certainly getting. This final is far from over if he takes this frame and possibly the last one of the session."

  108. 1708: 

    Ronnie attempts an ambitous plant but only succeeds in rattling the jaws and scattering a few reds around. Carter's second chance in this frame, and they're all set up as they would be in practice. No practice match this, it's the real thing, the final at the 'home of snooker'.

  109.  

    Chris via text, on the train to Harrogate: "Cmon Captain! I want to see plenty of action when I finally get home tonight!"

  110.   
    John Parrott, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "It's a great effort from Ali Carter. He looked beaten and sitting in his chair it looked a desperate situation, but the interval came at the right time and well done to him. He was probably thinking he had nothing to lose and saying to himself, well, let's have a go."

  111. 1659: 

    Hold on, Ronnie seems to have lost momentum. Has the pendulum swung Ali's way? O'Sullivan doesn't even come close with a red and leaves Carter with an easy opener. The cue-action seems to be flowing and he's striking it nicely...WAS striking it nicely. Missed red!

  112.  

    Derek Kinsella on Twitter: "Liking the fight back from Carter... Would like this to be a tight final."

  113.  

    Katie on Twitter: "Yes Ali! Lets have a comeback son."

  114. 1654: 
    100 - Ronnie O'Sullivan 14-9 Ali Carter- Carter makes a century - his first of the final

    Nice Carter, nice! Keeps himself together to knock in a break of 105, his highest of the match so far. He took his time over each shot and they all hit the heart of the pocket. Confidence booster, no doubt. Match on?

  115. 1647: 

    Carter comes to the table 27 behind and bags a difficult red along the cushion. It's a chance this, but everytime I've said that, he's broken down. Needs to keep his composure. Striking it nicely so far.

  116.  

    HM on Twitter: "Excellent by Carter there, he played some top class shots, now he needs to maintain that level for the rest of the session."

  117. 1642: 

    Great celebrations from Carter when he won that frame. Arms in the air, pirouetting round and basking in the glory of the Crucible applause. Settle down now Ali, still miles behind.

  118.   
    Stephen Hendry, Snooker analyst, BBC Sport

    "Ronnie O'Sullivan would have been thinking about ending it this afternoon and getting home early but Ali Carter has done well there. If he wins the next two frames who knows?"

  119.  

    John Allen on Twitter: "Pleased that Carter got a frame on the board."

  120. 1640: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 14-8 Ali Carter- Carter wins first frame of Monday's play

    Well done Carter. Takes the frame, his first of the session which means we will be back this evening. All a bit messy in that frame which suits Carter, but he needs six more of those to just draw level. At least he is on the scoreboard now. Maybe that will give him a bit more confidence.

  121. 1637: 

    "Shot," (well, I'm sure that is what he said anyway) O'Sullivan says to himself after failing to find the right angle on a colour from a red. Consqeuently, he over cuts the blue and Carter is in again. He has had chances but no, not going for him. O'Sullivan showing off now, could hit a red directly, but decides to come off the cushion. To be fair, he just didn't see it.

  122. 1631: 

    Just 27 from Carter, not good enough at this level, losing position way too often. Quickly gets down to play a safety, it's almost a resigned look from him. O'Sullivan would have gobbled those up.

  123. 1628: 
    What a shot!

    Hats off to the Captain, pulls out a worldie of a red, full length into the yellow bag. That's more like it. But as I say that, he comes low on the pink, and will be running away from the reds. Great recovery though, using the angles to go in and out of baulk. Well set now.

  124. 1625: 

    Just as he was doing in the first day's play, he is unable to keep the cueball under control and makes just 12, before popping the white up in baulk. Ronnie smacks Carter back with a tremendous safety, the perfect platform to get into the reds as Ali makes a mess of the return. What's Ronnie doing though? He's planted the pink into the pocket. All a bit amateurish at the moment.

  125. 1622: 

    Not good enough though. He gives O'Sullivan a sniff which he laps up by knocking a red into the centre. Shock, horror!! He misses an easy yellow and Carter is in amongst them. Can he compile a sizeable break?

  126. 1620: 

    Back to the baize then. Ronnie knocks in a red that was hanging over the pocket, but can't find position so plays safe off the yellow. A shake of the head from Carter as he plans his route back to the baulk cushion. Referee Michaela Tabb lurking around in the background, keeping a close eye on proceedings. Ali plays a containing safety, leaving the cueball on the black cushion.

  127. 1618: 

    A great slow motion shot of the handshake at the start of the session. Ali Carter glaring into the eyes of O'Sullivan for a few seconds more than he should have. That could have been the moment which flicked the switch in Ronnie's head and given us this frame-winning burst from him.

  128.  

    Chris Oates on Twitter: "Met Ray Reardon at 2004 crucible, when he masterminded Ronnie's win. Bought him an icecream! True gent and legend of the game."

  129. 1614: 

    Right, the boys are back, four frames left to play, four frames required for Ronnie to win it. Could all be over soon. We resume at 14-7, with O'Sullivan taking all the frames in this session so far.

  130. 1611: 

    Beautiful poem of the 2012 championship narrated by Rob Walker. Never heard him speak so solemnly and serenely. The closing line, "After 17 days we'll know who's the best, it's the one who survives snooker's ultimate test."

  131.  

    Joshua Abbott on Twitter: "Its 1am here in Australia, I'm following BBC updates and a live stream - and probably not going to uni tomorrow!"

    Education is important, but you'll miss seeing a genius at work if you go to sleep now.

  132.  

    Paul in Birmingham via text: "Can i just say that snooker just isn't the same anymore. The sport was blessed with great showmen in the 80s and 90s. We had players like Alex Higgins, Jimmy White, Ray Reardon, Cliff Thorburn etc and my all time favourite Mr Steve Davis. I just dont enjoy it anymore and if I see Ronnie O'Sullivan carries through his threat to quit, then it's another nail in the coffin for the sport."

  133.  

    Jordan James on Twitter: "Looks Like Ronnie came to the tournment to win it. Imagine what he could of achieved if he always did this."

    Rupert Lloyd on Twitter: "Praying Ronnie isn't going to retire after this. Snooker needs him."

  134.  

    Joe Stockley on Twitter: "Be interesting to see how Carter picks himself up, next frame is crucial."

  135.  

    Ricky on Twitter: "Don't think Carter will be coming back from this... Ronnie is playing to good at the moment."

  136.  

    Luke Latham on Twitter: "Ronnie O'Sullivan's in a class of his own."

    Mark Andrew Crowther on Twitter: "Ronnie absolutely running away with it."

    Adam Johnston on Twitter: "Ronnie well on course for his 4th world title. Great to watch."

  137. 1558: 

    Fair to say, The Rocket has taken off? Well, he is certainly flying higher than The Captain at the moment. Any way back for Carter, or has Ronnie got it wrapped up? Give me your views. Tweet me @ShamoonHafez using the hasthtag #bbcsnooker or text in via 81111. Names on texts! You lot have been great so far, keep them coming!

  138. 1555: 

    A piece on Ray 'The Dracula' Reardon at the moment. He won the world championship six times and the man behind Ronnie O'Sullivan's title win back in 2004. The Rocket is doing well without him so far this year.

  139.   
    John Parrott, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "Ali Carter has had a very long 17 days and it looks like it has caught up with him. He's put a massive effort in but he seems to be playing on empty."

  140.   
    Steve Davis, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "I don't think I have seen Ronnie O'Sullivan look so good for a whole tournament or play so well. The balance in his game is magnificent and when he plays like that he truly is the greatest player ever to play the game. He's a demi-god with what he can do with a cue in his hand."

  141. 1549: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 14-7 Ali Carter

    Ronnie with the first mistake, and a chance for Carter to knock in a yellow over the pocket to go back up for the green. Puts too much side on it and wobbles it! O'Sullivan clears the colours and now it's an uphill battle for Carter. Into the mid-session, Ali needs to gather his thoughts.

  142. 1546: 

    Misses! Carter is unable to pocket a difficult yellow and finds himself in a snooker, but plays out of it well. Tactical exchange! A crucial frame, who will make the first mistake?

  143. 1544: 

    Carter clears the reds with ease, 13 behind and needs all the colours. They're all on their spots.

  144. 1542: 

    Ronnie knocks in a gem of a red to the centre and attempts a repeat with the brown, but sees it catch the jaw. He breaks down on 54 and Carter needs..NEEDS to take this. He is 54 in arrears, but all the balls are out in the open. Come on Captain, hold yourself together.

  145.  

    Nathan on Twitter: "Lovely banter at the Snooker. Referee handling the game extremely well!"

  146. 1539: 

    Referee Michaela Tabb is in a tricky place here. The pink spot is occupied, as are all the other spots so she needs to move a red before placing the pink in between the pack as close to its spot as possible. The biggest round of applause for respotting a colour is given and even Ali Carter is able to muster up a smile. Well done!

  147. 1536: 

    Excellent safety play from Carter on the first day, completely the opposite on the second day. He looks as though he is running on empty now, with nothing to give, sitting alone in the chair. He has the best view of Ronnie's magic on the baize, though, and O'Sullivan is working it.

  148.   
    Steve Davis, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "The experience of this is not nice for Ali Carter - you have to sit out there looking at the execution happening and have to suffer it in front of everyone. There's an embarrassment factor."

  149.  

    John Allen on Twitter: "I suspect we aren't going to need an evening session."

  150.   
    Stephen Hendry, Snooker analyst, BBC Sport

    "He's started looking a little resigned to his fate. The spectre of being beaten a session early is looming and it's getting harder and harder for Ali Carter to get a frame on the board."

  151.  

    Sam Gray on Twitter: "Can't see any way back for Carter now. Fought hard to get to the final but too many mistakes and Ronnie too strong!"

    Pamela Somerville on Twitter: "You turn away from the screen for two seconds and the Rocket has cleared up!"

    Chris Hardwick on Twitter: "Looks like 2008 all over again."

  152. 1531: 
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 13-7 Ali Carter

    Not a pretty sight for Carter at the moment. He shakes his head, this could be over soon. Too many misses and O'Sullivan clears up to go further ahead. 18-8 was the scoreline in 2008, you wouldn't bet against it being the same this time.

  153. 1526: 

    The audience groans as Carter misses a red with the rest, it's painful for him at the moment. You almost expect him to miss every time he is playing a shot. O'Sullivan steps up, 26 behind.

  154. 1521: 

    No no no. Oh Ali! Over cuts a red and sees it wobble in the jaws, before despondently making his way back to his chair and letting out a puff of the cheeks. You wouldn't expect O'Sullivan to miss from this situation...but he does, in the same pocket as Carter did.

  155. 1518: 

    O'Sullivan misses a long red and grimaces as he walks away from the table. More to do with the miss than his achey tummy, I think. Carter confidently knocks in a red to the centre and with the balls spread around the table, and can get on the scoreboard for the first time in this session.

  156.   
    Steve Davis, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "Even if you have been playing well in previous sessions sometimes when you start a new session all of a sudden it feels like the weight of the world is on the end of your elbow and somebody is holding it back - and that's why you under-hit your shots. Ali Carter needs to relax a bit more but that's the hardest thing to do when you are trying so hard."

  157. 1511: 

    Apparently, Ronnie O'Sullivan was suffering from food poisoning during the first day of the final. Judd Trump was experiencing the same pain after eating a dodgy chicken dish, and he still managed to beat Dominic Dale. Wonder what O'Sullivan had!

  158.   
    John Parrott, Snooker Analyst, BBC Sport

    "The gap is getting wider and it doesn't seem like Ali Carter is going to take his chances. It doesn't look like any department of his game is 100%."

  159.  

    Colim McCaw on Twitter: "Ali Carter - no chance - white flag time me thinks!!"

    Helles Mammut on Twitter: "Looks like Carter has already conceded over night - at least in his head..."

    Sam Trapp on Twitter: "Worry for Ali Carter... at this rate the match may be done before the evening session."

  160.  
    Ronnie O'Sullivan 12-7 Ali Carter

    That may well be the fatal blow for Carter. Still early on, but it could be a major turning point. Carter was given a couple of chance but nothing materialised and he shakes his head while sitting in the chair. O'Sullivan won't be complaining, though.

  161. 1503: 

    A miss from Ronnie, after attempting a red to centre. Another poor safety from Carter, but surprisingly, O'Sullivan fails to capitalise. The Colchester man is given hope..but breaks down on a simple pink. A shocker of a start from Carter.

  162. 1459: 
    A celeb has been spotted

    CJ de Mooi and Darren Day are sat together in the Crucible crowd. Bet the Egghead knows every stat about this year's championship.

  163. 1458: 

    And that safety from Ronnie, when he could have gone for a difficult pot, puts Ali in a bit of trouble. He catches a red a on the right-hand side cushion and leaves his opponent in amongst them.

  164.   
    Willie Thorne, Snooker Commentator, BBC Sport

    "Every pot Ronnie has gone for is hitting the middle of the pocket. He looks in the mood today."

  165.  

    Arthur Guinness on Twitter: "O'Sullivan is Cantona for sure. Maverick, but absolute genius when in full flow."

  166. 1456: 

    Ronnie knocks the black in giving away seven points. Carter follows it up with a poor safety and after knocking in a long red, O'Sullivan is unable to compile another biggie. Just a safety into baulk, then. Ronnie looking focused.

  167.  

    Steve in Atherstone via text: "Jimmy White as Alan Shearer. Both amazingly talented neither won anything..."

  168.  

    Adam Sharp on Twitter: "Neil Robertson as Steven Gerrard, always turns up for the big games and looks to score from long range."

    Phil Burton on Twitter: "O'Sullivan like Tevez. Turns up and plays when he feels like it."

  169.  
    100 - Ronnie O'Sullivan 11-7 Ali Carter

    What a start. If you blinked there, you really would have missed this break. A rapid century break of 101 from Ronnie. After a great long red, he picked the rest off like apples from a tree. The 70th ton of the tournament. Just what Carter did not need.

  170.  

    James Morton via text: "Alex Higgins was like George Best, two Belfast boys who changed the games forever and did it their way."

  171.  

    Calum Leask on Twitter: "John Higgins would be Rio Ferdinand: extremely consistent for many years and cool under pressure!"

  172.  

    John S via text: "Ali Carter as Scott Parker. Battling defensive play, scores occasional long range screamers."

  173.  

    Martin George on Twitter: "Ali Carter is like Kevin Davies (Bolton) - gutsy, well-rounded, passionate, determined. They even look alike!"

  174. 1446: 

    First pot of the session from Ronnie, a long red into the corner. Black follows before an outrageous cut on a red. He has a chance already to extend his lead. Carter's poor safety shot gave him this opportunity.

  175.  

    Ritchie Smith on Twitter: "Stephen Hendry has to be Giggs, burst on the scene as a teenager and won everything!"

    Wayne Maney on Twitter: "Judd Trump - Messi, Got it all and will dominate the world very shortly."

    Max Mclean on Twitter: "O' Sullivan is George Best. Superb, incomparable, but flawed."

  176.   
    Stephen Hendry, Snooker analyst, BBC Sport

    "Ali Carter won a massive frame last night and at 10-7 is still in it. If he can change his game and go about attacking instead he might surprise Ronnie O'Sullivan."

  177.  

    Richard Murphy on Twitter: "Mark Allen - Joey Barton. Talented, but maybe too outspoken at times."

  178. 1441: 

    Players are out. Ali Carter emerges to Flo RIda's - Good feeling while Ronnie O'Sullivan comes out to Robbie Williams's - Let me Entertain You. "Blink and you'll miss him," says MC Rob Walker about Ronnie. We are under way, folks!

  179.   
    John Virgo, Snooker Commentator, BBC Sport

    "Ronnie O'Sullivan has an extra gear and has shown it a few times but Ali Carter has a game plan and there were signs last night that he was beginning to despair and he went for shots he might not have done before.

    "Maybe Peter Ebdon overnight told him to knuckle down again. It will be interesting to see how this pans out in the first few frames of this session."

  180.  

    Benjy in London via text: "Hopefully Stephen Hendry is like Paul Scholes... Have a brilliant career with loads of success and titles, retire and then realise how much they love and miss the sport and return to grace us with their brilliance once again."

  181.  

    James Hunter on Twitter: "Peter Ebdon would be Tony Adams. Slow, but superb defensively."

  182.  

    Amir Nikfekr on Twitter: "Stephen Hendry is Zidane. Temperament, Class, Reserved, Legend."

  183.  

    Ben Smith on Twitter: "Hopefully Ali's had a 'rest' over night, though Ronnie's still first in the 'cue' for the championship."

    I hope there weren't any 'spiders' under Ali's bed.

  184. 1433: 

    This is the last match of the snooker season with the players earning a month off for their hard work before returning to do it all again. Football leagues around Europe are also reaching their climax.

    So, this is where you come in. I need some chat from you lot. If snooker players were footballers, who would they be and why?

    I'll start off with Ronnie O'Sullivan as Cristiano Ronaldo. Both possess ambidexterity (or ambipedal as I've been notifed), love entertaining the crowd and can score with just a sniff.

    Tweet me @ShamoonHafez using the hashtag #bbcsnooker or text in via 81111. NAMES ON TEXTS PLEASE..NAMES, otherwise I can't use them. Let's do this!

  185. 1428: 
    BBC coverage

    TV coverage of the final begins on BBC 2 and the BBC HD channel in the next few minutes, and at the top of this page too. I'll be here all the way 'til the last pot.

    Oh, by the way, if you missed Laura Higgins talking about her father Alex, take a few minutes to watch the clip of it.

  186. 1424: 

    Carter has The Power on his side going into the final. Peter Ebdon has been in his corner acting as a mentor and the 2002 champion was on BBC Radio 5live earlier:

    "I think perhaps people have put too much emphasis on what I may or may not have been doing for Ali this week. I am more of an attacking player than people think. I am maybe not the fastest - I am 41 going on 42 and I don't see the ball as well as I used to.

    "But Ali has been far more disciplined than I am in my game. If I had been able to refuse some of the balls Ali has refused this week, I might be winning more tournaments.

    "Ali has shown great focus and discipline throughout the whole tournament. I think he has every chance of doing it today, he just needs a bit more luck because Ronnie had a lot of the run of the balls yesterday."

    Yet the most interesting line was: "I would just like to see him get on with it a bit more today and be a bit more positive."

    Maybe we'll get to see a change in playing style from The Captain and a more free-flowing match then.

  187. 1419: 
    RECAP

    OK, not 'exactly' TOWIE style, but we have Chigwell's Ronald Antonio O'Sullivan, with his slicked hair, resuming combat against the blond-bombshell of Colchester Allister Carter and his carrot juice diet.

    Ronnie took a 5-3 lead after the first session, which included two centuries, and a 92 break which was described as "one of the finest breaks you'll ever see" by Dennis Taylor.

    In a scrappy second session, O'Sullivan extended his lead to 10-6, before Carter snatched the last to stay in the contest.

  188. 1416: 

    The Only Way is Essex is all the rage at the moment, everyone's been watching and talking about it. We have two guys going against each other to get their hands on the prized asset. Expect thrills, spills and heart-felt drama, we may even get to see a kiss at the end too, who knows. This, is the season finale of the 2012 World Snooker Championship..TOWIE style!