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Why Don't More Snooker Players Shoot Pool Too?

Pool and snooker have a lot of similarities. The name of the game is to pot more ball than your opponent. The same implement is used for both sports and they both have more or less the same technique. So why is there not a crossover of talent between the two games?


Why Don't More Snooker Players Shoot Pool Too?

Why Don't More Snooker Players Shoot Pool Too?

One reason could be even though there are similarities between the techniques, the skillsets required in the two disciplines are very different. Pool moves at a quicker pace and is less of a strategic game than snooker due to the amount of balls on the table. Players can be more ambitious with their attempt to pot balls from a distance due to the smaller pool tables and wider pockets.

Snooker on the other hand requires restraint. The pockets are extremely narrow and precision is required to pot and build a substantial break that will hopefully lead towards a victory. Patience and foresight are attributes that are needed in abundance – as the player not only has to think two shots ahead, but in some cases their next six or seven shots.

As a result, there is not an easy transition to be made between the two sports in the mind rather than with cue in hand. However, there have been examples of special talents who have drifted seamlessly between the games during their careers.

White and Davis

Jimmy White was the best snooker player in the history of the game not to win the World Championship. He dazzled with his cue-making and potting ability, but failed on the grand stage on six occasions most notably in 1994. White’s cue action remains one of the smoothest actions to have graced the game.

That skillset allowed him to transcend the sports and become a quality pool player, representing Europe in the Mosconi Cup on two occasions. He did not have the best of records, notching only two wins from his eight matches, although he was part of the European side that triumphed in the 1995 Mosconi Cup.

The brilliance of Steve Davis on the snooker table allowed the Englishman to dominate the sport in the 1980s. Millions would tune into the BBC to watch Davis at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield at the peak of his powers. He won six World Championships over the course of the decade as well as four UK Championships and Three Masters’ crowns. Davis turned his hand to pool, displaying the clinical edge around the pockets that he learnt around the snooker table.

He enjoyed a greater run on the blue felt than his old rival White. Davis made 11 appearances in the Mosconi Cup, pulling off a great victory over Earl Strickland, one of the greatest nine-ball players of all-time, in the singles in 2002 to allow Europe to clinch the title. Despite his achievements in snooker, Davis regarded that victory as one of the best moments of his professional career.

White and Davis were two icons of snooker who enjoyed the nine-ball game, but it’s a trend that has faded over time.

Why do players not cross over the formats?

In the modern era only Ronnie O’Sullivan has turned his hand at pool, representing Europe twice in the Mosconi Cup. However, the last of those appearances came in 1997 when the United States defeated Europe at Bethnal Green. Davis made the last appearance by a snooker player in the competition in 2003 – since then there has been no crossover.

O’Sullivan has become the dominant force in snooker and has focused on the discipline, winning six World Championships. He is backed at +450 with Betway as of 30th December to win a seventh in 2021. Due to his focus on snooker, O’Sullivan has not been swayed away from the game where he makes his riches and more often than not accumulates titles.

Judd Trump is emerging as the new face of snooker, and he may have the skillset to transfer his abilities to the blue felt. However, due to the amount of competitions played across the world and growing markets in China among others, there is no time for Trump to attempt to breach the gap.

Three-time world champion Mark Selby is a fine snooker player, but does not have the style that would appeal to pool audiences. Neil Robertson does have the style that would suit perfectly in the nine-ball game, but the Aussie will not be appearing in the Mosconi Cup unless he changes his nationality.

Finding time in the schedule to play in tournaments is a big issue and players who are gifted at snooker are unlikely to give up a chance to win a title or prize money on a whim and vice versa. We may well have seen the last of snooker players in the best pool tournaments in the world.

  • Title: Why Don't More Snooker Players Shoot Pool Too?
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 1/7/2021 1:32:33 AM
  • Last Updated: 1/7/2021 1:57:29 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum

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