Televised snooker matches are one of the things I miss from my time in Britain, second only to not playing snooker myself on a regular basis (even though I was terrible at it). Given the level of celebrity professional players could enjoy (see Steve "Interesting" Davis) it doesn't surprise me that there's been some match-fixing, but it does sadden me.
A few years ago a woman I worked with told me her husband, who's a professional drummer, played snooker regularly. I asked where in Nashville he found a table. She said, breezily, "Oh, he plays at John Prine's house." Name dropper.
Ohhh, and that's a bad miss.
A few years ago Steve Davis was refused permission to take his cue aboard a plane as part of his hand luggage. "What do they think I was going to do? Roll the pilot up behind the green?" complained an incredulous Davis on BBC Radio 5 Live.
Well he is an Essex man, and you know how they are.
I love Snooker: as a small child I'd watch games on the black and white television at my Grandmother's house in Wales. After about a week of patient watching I'd be able to tell the balls apart by shade of grey.
The main reason I love Snooker, though, is that for casual gaming it's the great equalizer. A number of my friends are conscientious, deliberate pool players, but none of that matters in Snooker, where the table is twice as big and the balls and pockets half the size.
Alas, one-by-one all of the tables in the Bay Area have been removed, so far as I can tell. Table fees at pretty much every venue there are exorbitant anyway, but I remember many a summer evening at Thalassa in Berkeley with a few pitchers of beer, a number of us huddled around the rulebook with puzzled expressions on our faces.
Some friends of mine recently broke the world record for continuous snooker playing - 75 hrs.
They did the same with pool a few years ago.
I don't get the risk/reward here. Stephen Lee has earned ~ £2million in prize money from snooker, plus all the sponsorship deals. The match fixing appears to be linked to betting that has netted about £100K, of which he's been paid about £40K?
I imagine he could have made more money by not throwing matches.
Here's his approach to fitness:
I've always said if you get out of bed the right side then you've done
most of the hard work, but me and my missus like to go to the pub at
the weekend. I've had to stop binge drinking and eating after 10
o'clock at night
Ah Dang it, I came here to post that.
If corruption in sports interests you, in the book Freakonomics they have a chapter about throwing matches in Sumo wrestling.
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