Rocket Man.

Many years ago when I was in Britain I fell in love. And how could I not? Snooker is unbelievably complicated but also elegant and fun and I was absolutely smitten from the first moment I picked up a cue and potted a red ball. Granted I was, and still am, not very good at it, although there was a professor who fancied himself a bit of a snooker shark and liked to put other players in what he thought were impossible situations. And somehow I could always find my way out and he’d grudgingly say, “Nice shot,” but that’s another story.

Ronnie O’Sullivan, whose birthday is today, is an amazing snooker player, staggering to watch.  Here is twenty years, and in record time, earning him the nickname “The Rocket”. If you’re unfamiliar here’s how it works: the game starts with fifteen red balls, worth one point each, and six balls of other colors—yellow (2 points), green (3 points), brown (4 points), blue (5 points), pink (6 points), and black (7 points)—on the table. A player must pocket a red ball first for one point and then can pocket a ball of any other color for the corresponding points. The red balls stay pocketed but the other balls are replaced until the red balls are gone. Then the player must pocket the other balls in order. If one player accidentally sinks the wrong ball the other player gets the points and the turn.

Ronnie O’Sullivan is the master of the nice shot.

6 Comments

  1. Kristine @MumRevised

    I had no idea what a fan of the game you are. Learn something new they say…
    I played Snooker a lot growing up with a table in our basement. It was a way to show up the boys. Boys love that 🙂

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Oh yes, boys always love being beaten by a girl. Actually I never mind being beaten by a better player regardless of gender. In fact it surprises me that I’ve never seen mixed matches in billiards. I’ve seen some of the best women in the world play and I’ve seen some of the best men in the world play and I think the only reason I’ve never seen them go head-to-head is the men know they might get beaten.

      Reply
  2. Ann Koplow

    Nice! Thanks for the lovely and educational post, Chris.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      There’s always something new to learn and I’m glad to share what I know.

      Reply
  3. Gilly Maddison

    One of the only things I know about snooker and billiards is that you need a good bat. I also know that when there are more balls on the floor than on the table, it’s time to join the darts team. Duck!!!!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      As a matter of fact I was part of a darts team at one point. Snooker and billiards are much safer for me. And more useful in an emergency.

      Reply

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