Other, Sport

STATSCORE loves sports: Matt talks snooker

Snooker in it’s present form was invented over 140 years ago. It was a development from Billiards and played by British Armed Forces, stationed in India. Snooker is a cue game and played on a table, the object of the game is to strike the “white cue ball” to knock the coloured balls, into pockets placed around the table to score points. Whoever has the most points at the end, wins the game, also known as the “frame”.

The game today

Snooker is still a very popular game, played and watched by millions all over the world. I just recently watched the very popular Ronnie O’Sullivan win the 2018 UK Championship, and continue to break records in the process. His victory of 10-6 in the final, was in fact the 7th time he won this tournament, a record in itself. He has how own 34 ranking events and is 2nd on the all time list to Stephen Hendry, who has 36. He has won the World Championship 5 times and holds the record for the most 147’s (15) as well as the fast ever 147 on record (5 minutes and 20 seconds).

The golden age

No matter how popular the game is today, in my opinion it can’t compare to what’s become know as the golden age of Snooker in the 70’s and 80’s! These two decades boasted the names of Alex Hurricane Higgins (2 World Championships), Ray Reardon, also know as Dracula (6 World Championships), Steve Davis (6 World Championships) Dennis Taylor (World Champion in 1985) and Jimmy White, considered the best player never to win the World Championship, but was runner up an incredible 6 times.

The best snooker match ever

The golden age left us with what many people call, the best snooker match of all time. This is of course the 1985 World Championship Final, between Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor, often referred to as “the black ball final”. I still remember watching every minute of this marathon match as it continued in the early hours of the night. The match lasted 14 hours and 50 minutes over two days and is still the longest “best of 35 frame” final ever. The match was decided on the last ball of the last frame when Dennis Taylor finally held his nerve to pot the final black of the match. Such was the interest and excitement, the final frame was watched by a record UK audience of 18.5 million people! This still remains the highest audience for an event on BBC 2,and the record for any event, on any channel, to take place after midnight on UK TV.

My playing days

I say my playing days, the truth is I still play from time to time if I get the opportunity, but it was back in the 80’s I played a lot of Snooker. My favourite player was Jimmy “The Whirlwind” White, not only are we around the same age, but we were born and grew up in the same part of London. I was lucky enough to see him play a few times in exhibition matches at my local club where I played most of my snooker. Hopefully by now, you can see that I’ve been a fan of, and participated in many sports, but although Snooker will always be a game that I love, It’s not a game that I have excelled at. Over the years, I must have spent hundreds of hours and thousands of pounds on playing Snooker. I even had a little coaching at one point, but I’ve still never had a break of more than 30 plus, which just goes to proves, practice, doesn’t always make perfect.


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