Squidski wrote:Snooker heroes... I would say Ronnie O'Sullivan. I think when he is at his best, it's the highest standard of snooker I have seen. Unfortunately, he's not as consistent as someone like Higgins. I admire Judd Trump a lot as i've grown up playing alongside him in tournaments and played him a few times. I like Mark Selby and Neil Robertson also. Selby because he puts everything into every shot, and Robertson because... well... 7 finals... 7 wins. Speaks for itself doesn't it?
As for me, I've been playing since I was 3 years old, a long time! I wouldn't be able to say who my game is most similar to. I was self-taught up until I met Vic Harris, who taught me to go through the ball properly. But I have always had an unpredictable style of play, and sometimes I like to be a bit flash and throw caution to the wind. I guess you could say i'm a bit like a modern-day Alex Higgins, minus the 2 World Championships and other titles!
The thing that has held me back is having no sponsorship, and having to work rather than being on the practice table most of the time. From the age of 16-21, i've had around 2 1/2 years out of the game, but still managed to beat the likes of Dave Harold, Alfie Burden, Kuldesh Johal, Simon Bedford, Adam Duffy, Jimmy Robertson, many more and also most of the juniors from when I grew up playing with them. The only juniors I never managed to beat were Judd Trump, Stuart Carrington and Anthony McGill. But regardless of this, I still feel confident I can go all the way, and just need to get myself more practice games with good players and have no breaks away from the table, but again, this isn't easy where i'm from! No-one seems to want to play!
I practiced with David Gray the other day, I haven't really practiced properly in 4 months. I lost the first set 9-0, but won the second set 9-8. I am just struggling for consistency when I am not practicing. So hopefully I can put all that behind me :)
EDIT: May I also say that one of my biggest inspirations is Jack Lisowski, for coming back from cancer, turning pro, and shooting up the pro rankings. And also Adam Wicheard, similar circumstances, was told he would never walk again, yet he's just qualified for the Welsh Open. Amazing.
cheers for the detailed reply
glad to hear you follow the flair players and admire there style. Ive always been a fan of the all out attack and unpredictable style players. Your games like Alex Higgins
My all time fave and who i tend to model my style on too.........and my snooker and pool playing as well
Yes its not easy trying to make your way in snooker, unless your ridiculously exceptional like a young Ronnie was, then no offence but theres a lot of similar guys out there and i guess some of its luck and some of its down to finances and who can make the biggest sacrifice to focus on their snooker and try to get on tour, make an impact etc. Laterlly ive been practicing with a guy Marc Davis who youve probably crossed paths with on the junior and amateur circuit and hes enlightened me to the plight of what himself and guys like you too i guess are suffering.
Eventually i guess you come to a crossroads and have to make some sort of decision, are you going to make it? is it worth the sacrifices or is it a dream that wont come true? with the tour going up to 128 players and increased money and events, id say stick in though and give it your best shot
Is this part of the reason youve not been practicing lately? U become disillusioned by things and way your careers going? You were playing in some of the PTCs im sure though werent you?
I take it youll be entering Q School?
lastly whats the crack with the practice routines with Gray you mention? Sets
what exactly is that
Yeah, I was playing in some of the PTC's, but my table was sold, had nowhere to practice for about 3 months, and we are rebuilding our snooker room, and I just didn't have enough money to go down to the club and practice. Not on Jobseeker's allowance anyway! Just before Christmas, I managed to get myself a job at TOPMAN/TOPSHOP for temporary Christmas work. I was working long days and 5-6 days a week, leaving me no time for practice as I have all the obvious other things in my life like family, friends and my girlfriend. But since Christmas is over, they kept me on and now I am only working 2 days a week, allowing me to get all the practice I need, and they have been reasonably flexible with tournaments too.
The thing with the PTC's was... because of the lack of practice and matchplay I'd had, it was a bad start to the season for me. I played Gareth Allen in PTC 1, and didn't get a good half-chance till the final frame, which I missed. He was potting balls for fun. He's one of the most inconsistent players i've ever seen. He either has a howler or completely blows you off the table. Then in the 2nd PTC at Gloucester, I played David Bailey, and won 4-1, playing about 20% of my game. Then I played David Birley, and lost 4-2. Again, I hadn't practiced, but the fault was my own, as I was on for a 147 on 64 at 2-2, took the more difficult red, missed it, and he cleared up to go 3-2 up. I didn't get a chance in the last frame. Then I played Martin O'Donnell in another PTC, and lost 4-2, throwing away some good chances to win the game, but I hadn't practiced yet again, due to money and time. I couldn't get games with people, they always seemed to be busy playing someone else. I can't remember what order the PTC's came around but I beat Robert Valiant 4-3, Oliver Brown 4-0. But lost in Poland to Michael Wasley 4-2 after throwing away good chances, but again, not having practiced. I lost to Sam Harvey 4-2 in a PTC at Sheffield, in a close hard-fought game.
When at the airport waiting for my plane to get to Germany, my dad wanted to make a withdrawal for some Euro's, but it was close to flight time, and his card was declined, the company said that they couldn't give my Dad's card back, so he got a bit animated, they ended up giving him his card back regardless of the fact that they said they couldn't do that, and we missed the plane by 2 minutes. So I missed the German PTC.
After that, I had to pull out of Belgium and Ireland because I had developed an allergy to cat fur and I have a cat in my house. The strange thing is that I've had my cat for about 11 years and never had a problem. I have dogs too but I went to have tests done and it confirmed that cat fur was the cause of the problem. So if a bit of cat fur in my house gets anywhere near my face or skin now, I sneeze uncontrollably and pick up flu-like symptoms for about a week. Needless to say, the cat is not allowed to sit on the beds or sofa anymore!!!
So yeah, that's why I missed out a lot of PTCs, but the main reason for my drop in form was just lack of practice due to not having a table and money. It was a shame that my club couldn't help me out, considering all the money I have put into the club and not to mention the fact that I have brought them customers in too. They used to let me play on Ali Carter's table for £10 a day when he wasn't on it, and also £10 a day for any other table in the club, including the other match-spec table, as I was going in regularly, when I had money available, due to getting to a Pontin's Open final and getting a pay-out from my previous job. But after I put all that money back into the club, I had run out and couldn't afford it. So I offered to brush, block and iron all the tables in exchange for some free table time. They said no. What happens next? Well, I can't obviously go into the club as often because I have no money, but when I go back the manager has changed, and Ali Carter's table now costs £20 a day and all other tables £13 a day. Even the shocking club tables, which in no way will help your game if you're going to be playing on a Star. To make matters worse, a couple of months later I find out that Ryan Causton is brushing, blocking, ironing the tables and getting free table time, regardless of the fact that I asked about this 2 months prior.