Poomjaeng goes a little loopy at Crucible

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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 Stephen Maguire, but wound up trailing 7-1 in his second-round match against Wales’ Michael White at the Betfair 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 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.

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.

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.