have often been asked what ingredients are required
to make a top class snooker player. After listing:
Dedication, Method, Bottle and Tactics, it is essential to add
a "little bit of luck."
ago there was little mention of the part 'luck' had played in
a match. Snooker had always been played in such a good sporting
manner that the loser, whoever he was, was often reluctant to
claim he had been unlucky because he did not want to take anything
away from his opponent.
the game is still played in the same sporting manner as millions
of television viewers will testify. But because of the television
commentary teams and sporting press, more attention is being paid
to vital points which have ultimately decided the outcome of a
people realise that where there is a round ball there is certain
to be a roll or a bounce that can either be in favour or against
the player or team concerned.
example: in tennis when the ball hits the top of the net, who
knows which side of the court it will eventually fall.
the football field, a goalkeeper has a shot well covered only
to see the ball deflected to the other side of the goal by someone
in front of him.
golf, the ball may be on its way out of bounds but after striking
a tree rebounds back onto the fairway or green.
cricket, an inside edge can be deflected straight onto your stumps
or alternatively can fly
past the wicket and the keeper for four runs.
examples are endless. Anyone who is honest will agree that on
days like that, the gods were on their side and they had a little
bit of good fortune.
in all of the above games there is only one ball, but what about
snooker where 22 balls are in play? Everyone is instantly aware
of a fluke when a ball is potted accidentally, but what is not
so obvious are the little nudges and kisses that can either
lead to an easy opening or adversely, a position where it is impossible
to score from.
worse can be a little flick that places you in a position where
it is almost impossible to stop your opponent from scoring
of the well-known clichés is that luck evens itself out. In my
opinion it does sometimes, but not always and can be dictated
by the length of the match in question.
players would much rather be involved in best of 17 frame matches
rather than best of 9 as there is more chance of the luck, if
it does favour one player more than the other, swinging the other
way over a longer distance of match. A player who finds the luck
going against him also has more time in which to adjust his game.
player must learn to take note of the running of the balls. If
things appear to be going against them it may well be worth tightening
up their safety play by putting the cue ball on the bottom cushion
or by obtaining a snooker behind the baulk colours. This can then
lead to a change in fortune and the opportunity to score at the
often a change in tactics and approach can change the running
of the balls and proves the saying that 'Lady Luck' is fickle.