Snooker, a form of pool or billiards, is very popular in England so getting a lot of action on the U.K. Snooker Championship was sort of expected. However, they became suspicious when the No. 2 player drew a ton of money on the proposition that he would win by a score of 9-3.
Tension really built, however, when the match entered the final phase with the player leading. His opponent needed only to make a final shot to end the match at 8-4. But, he failed.
After the match, the loser was quoted as saying, "I just felt so under pressure, probably the most pressure I have felt in my life. Then to come off (to miss the shot) was the lowest feeling, I felt terrible."
So did the bookmakers who immediately froze all wagers and reported the incident to British wagering officials. A conviction for cheating at gambling can lead to a two-year prison term.
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association did not comment specifically on the case but reiterated its stance on match-fixing.
"The match in question is carefully monitored by World Snooker and a thorough assessment of the players’ performance will be made. In past incidents, which are extremely rare, World Snooker has taken a particularly stringent line where players have been judged guilty of match-fixing or intention to match-fix."
A dozen years ago, a player was suspended for five years for conspiring to lose 10-2 to his opponent in the World Championship.
In the minds of some bookmakers, this year’s championship was just "déjà vu all over again."