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A couple questions from BSP...

Postby acesinc

Continuation of this thread.....

Badsnookerplayer wrote:That's interesting Aces. I had understood that 'pool' comes from the act of pooling money but not the details of the old games that predate snooker. Thanks for shedding some light.

One thing you might be interested in is this translation of Mingaud's book on applying sidespin. I think he was an early adopter of leather tips (as opposed to wood) and one of the first to play with screw and side. The book far predates snooker of course: ... &q&f=false

Two questions that occurred to me that you may be able to answer.

i) I am sure I have memories of one player being referred to as 'spot' many years ago. Probably old boys playing billiards? Any ideas on that one? Was one cue ball spotted?

ii) The popularity of snooker in Canada and Australia - why? My best guess would be that lots of Aussies and Canadians passed through Britain in the First World War and may have taken back an interest in the game. But if this is the case, why did the many Americans who came through not pick the game up? My theory may be way off.


Thanks for that book reference, Player. I won't have time to give it a proper viewing; my company business is fantastic and the most important thing for me at the moment. I did give it a quick glance, enough to tell me I want to put this on my "To Do" list. From my quick glance, I will say that I found it a little odd that Mr. Thurston's "translation" includes illustrations of the table showing pockets. Now, as I understand it, Captain Mingaud, the one responsible for the invention of the leather tip, was a Frenchman and as such would have played on a table with no pockets. In the illustrations, you can plainly see the "pockets" represented as black semi-circles in front of the cushions which are all connected to each other as they would be on a pocketless table. So the "translated" version shows pockets, but I am assuming the "untranslated" French version would have been a French pocketless billiard table.

Putting that aside, I will take Mr. Thurston's word that the translation is "by permission" as he seems to state early on. After all, it was his company that manufactured undoubtedly the finest English Billiards table upon which I have ever personally stroked a cue, a model originally manufactured in 1872, prior in fact to the date Snooker was even invented!

However, as a businessman myself, it does appear to me that this work is likely the 1831 version of "going viral"....I think it mainly served the purpose of sales propaganda in order to move more units of Mr. Thurston's primary commodities. Be that as it may, I suspect that when I more thoroughly examine the document, Monsieur Mingaud's information will prove to be reliably accurate.

Moving on to your two questions, I am afraid I am probably not much help here.

i) I have played some English Billiards, but not too much. Are you familiar with English Billiards at all? I did watch a recent match of the World Amateur Championship for English Billiards (it still is a thing and those boys, such as Pankaj Advani, have some serious talent). From what I saw, in the modern set up, one player uses the White while the other player uses the Yellow as his cue ball. I don't know if those are coming from a standard set of Snooker Balls or if a standard set of English Billiard balls are provided this way now (with the Yellow cue ball). I have seen and used a number of the old standard English Billiard ball sets. These consist of three balls... White, Red, and Spot White. And yes, Spot White is exactly identical to White except it has a single, small black spot on it, just about the size of a poppy seed, perhaps. Hard to see unless you know it is there. So I suppose for your question, one of the players would be referred to as White and the other as Spot, to simply differentiate which cue ball each is using. For instance, double scoring strokes are possible.....say Spot is sitting in the jaws of the pocket and White is at table. White can pot Spot with topspin to also pocket his cue ball. This would score four; two for pot of Spot and two for the White in-off. Now with both cue balls in the pocket, White plays from in hand so his ball must be retrieved. He MUST be careful which ball he actually pulls out and plays from in hand because if he plays the wrong cue ball, it is a foul.

ii) I have no absolute information about this at all but your theory makes perfect sense to me. I can even add some information to support your theory in fact. It would seem that the Americans DID in fact pick up on the game when returning home from the Great War. Brunswick Balke Collender was the primary American cue sport equipment manufacturer at that time. Apparently, they made and sold quite a few Snooker tables as well. I am aware of at least three that still exist, including mine which was likely manufactured in 1923 or 1924. I also understand that a lot of the Canadian tables were made by Brunswick Balke Collender as well, though I cannot personally vouch for that. And I have talked to quite a few really old timers, most of them passed by now, in their 80's and 90's if they are still alive, who attested that there was always at least one snooker table in the pool hall when they were young men, but in general, it would be the 3/4 version, 5 x 10. In fact, Brunswick Balke Collender primarily manufactured 5 x 10 for the American Snooker market. The Canadians got the full sized mainly, but to my knowledge, my beautiful, old table is one of just a very few proper, full size, 6 ft. x 12 ft. English Billiards tables manufactured and sold in the USA. Then interest in the game just plunged off a cliff before I arrived on the scene in the middle of the '60's. I had never heard of the game, never saw a table in my life until I arrived in Harrogate. So popularity was never all that great over here but apparently in the early 20th century, there was at least a fair amount of interest. After that, nothing. And I have no idea why.

Re: A couple questions from BSP...

Postby TheSaviour

ii) "The popularity of snooker in Canada and Australia - why? My best guess would be that lots of Aussies and Canadians passed through Britain in the First World War and may have taken back an interest in the game. But if this is the case, why did the many Americans who came through not pick the game up? My theory may be way off".

Yes, the history is always "just" a history.

But I have a few interesting ideas, of which I reckon has something to do with this also, mostly importantly these there;

1. Putting on something safe with a complete hasard shot.
2. The better the opponent, the more it pushes you to make a 147.
3. There wouldn´t be awareness even existing if it wouldn´t also work

1. So yes, a lot´s of players puts something safe with a "brainless" shot. If playing for example against Liang Wenbo or John Higgins we have all saw how they start to clear up the reds with some lesser colours... Yes, they can make that 40 from there, but then there are that problem which would require a well judged cannon. IT MAKES SNOOKER AS A FAIR 9 BALL GAME! Obviously just with a requirement that you are a solid break-builder and won´t be afraid when trainling 0-45. Then there´s that problem ball or a few balls of where the safety-playing starts with, and then that´s basically a 9 ball game. That´s one reason why I see the Canadians fancing the sport of a snooker. The Americans, for example, are much more pedant thinkers, even when that might sound strange but that´s the way it just is.

2. You wouldn´t believe this so easily but it is always the easiest way to split the reds from the black. That´s partly because the angle usually is a natural one and not much any spin are required, only a well judged touch is required to get it right. Splitting the reds from the black. When using the pink or blue it requires a very well judged angle also. Any given professional player is an expert machine. Some rely and has a great touch also. Only those touch players wins anything. So playing against a really dangerous opponent, the more it drives you to play your best. Which always requires playing the positional shots to black. Which causes maximums breaks to happen. Lesser value the maximum break has against the better player it has happened. That´s one the reason I see the Aussies fancies playing the snooker.

3. This one doesn´t require any basically any explanations, those would only makes things worst. Can only state that the snooker does require countless of practice hours even to gain that touch. And so demanding game it is, I can only see that the both the Canadians and the Aussies fancies the game. Just because of because it is educative. Once again, the Americans are slightly different animals, and fancies to take it more easily... Which they always see can only happen after some pedant thinking.

Well, I can only be slightly more happy now. A much more solid taking from the score of people from something what once used to be a logical reasoning. When possesing some knowledge of what the values of different things are, absolutely no need to have a rush. There still is that late evening also. For example.

Well, pretty natural now, yes, but still, er, still not quite good enough..... BUT, the optimism is fully back now. No need to ask if you will win, but just that how much......

I have been following a few people who actually don´t make that many mistakes while reasoning things out. One bloke has been really close to get logarihtms basically spot on. And that optimism concerns absolutely everyone.... Well, only a one or a few person can only still win.... But regardless of that fact, perhaps that optimism still is good to be there ?

Just remember that you need to able to steamroll the people. Only then it counts. Just a sleep a few night outside regardless of the ongoing weather and you pretty close to be natural enough and possessing that steamrolling ability.

But overally, yes, a much more solid taking from the logical reasoning now... Just a one exception... What did happen to SINner ? Well, seen that before also. But a highly likeable lad for sure.

But once again, just have a battle and you got it.