The Origins of Snooker
Snooker as we know today originated in 1875, when a young lieutenant called Neville Chamberlain experimented on the officers’ mess table in the Indian town of Jubbulpore (now known as Jabalpur), with the existing game of ‘Black Pool’. Additional coloured balls were added into the mix, and he soon discovered that rookie first-year cadets were called ‘snookers’, to which he thought everyone playing the game were in fact snookers themselves at this version of the game. From this moment onwards, the name ‘snooker’ stuck. Chamberlain took the game with him on his travels and continued to play, eventually bringing it back to England where it grew in popularity and flourished into the game as it’s known today. Chamberlain’s Devonshire regiment remain incredibly proud of their role in the invention of snooker to this day.
The new era of snooker is noted to be down to one man: Joe Davis. He is arguably one of the greatest players of all time thanks to his longevity and unmatched exploits on the table. With snooker overtaking the established game of billiards in the UK in the mid-1920s, crowds were being drawn to matches to watch the exciting games which provided great entertainment to the public.
During the 1990s, snooker became one of the nations most played sport, ignited by Stephen Hendry who kept interest high in the world finals. The sport has been played more and more by the younger population over the years, largely due to the fact it’s a sociable game that is played in many pubs and bars. A number of great champion snooker players have claimed great titles at such young ages, even as young as nineteen, and in Hendry’s case, 21 when he won his first world title.
The Greatest of All Time
Ronnie ‘The Rocket’ O’Sullivan is an all-round snooker star. As the youngest player to have won a ranking title (at 17-years-old) in 1993, O’Sullivan has since had many great successes including twenty Triple Crown wins, consisting of six World Championships, seven UK Championships and seven Masters. He has won a total money list earning of £864,000 throughout his career, and shows no signs of slowing down.
At 16 years-old, Hendry turned pro and began his snooker career. His highest tournament break was 147-11 times and he’s had 36 ranking titles. Hendry’s eighteen Triple Crown wins include seven World Championships, six Masters and five UK Championships. 2021 has welcomed his return after an eight-year absence from the game, announcing his retirement in 2012. His comeback match saw him make his 776thcareer century in the first qualifying round of the World Championships. His achievements over the years are telling as to why he is considered to be one of the greatest snooker players of all time.
The Scottish legend has a total of nine Triple Crown wins, including three UK Championships, one Masters and is a four-time World Champion, establishing himself as an excellent match player. Nicknamed ‘The Wizard of Wishaw’, his contrasting calm temperament has helped him through every tough situation and has helped him to become the great champion he is today.
Six-time World Champion, six-time UK Champion and three-time Masters Champion, Steve Davis, is a winning machine who has dominated so many matches, notably through the 1980s. As a player with such great talent, Davis is certainly someone aspiring snooker players look up to and admire.
How to become a professional snooker player
Natural ability, coordination and a steady hand are factors that contribute to an individual’s future as a professional snooker player, qualities that Ronnie O’Sullivan has been blessed with. Playing from a young age on a full-size snooker table is important to gain the habits and skills needed to progress to a higher level, in addition to participating in leagues and competitions (if you’re gifted enough to qualify and gain a ranking, of course). Q School runs every year and provides players the opportunity to qualify for the professional tour. There are usually 12 places on the main tour available.
Practicing is crucial to develop your ability and progress further. Snooker players often spend hours per day perfecting their game, helping them to put up a fight against the greatest in the world.
Experience the historic and exciting game as you’re surrounded by the electric atmosphere that soars around the renowned Alexandra Palace for the 2022 Cazoo Masters.
Don’t miss out. Discover our range of hospitality packages for this highly anticipated event and visit our website now.