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Snooker Live Rankings, Stats and Records - Who's the Best?

Snooker Live: A Guide for Fans and Players

Snooker is a cue sport that is played on a large table with six pockets, using a white cue ball and 21 coloured balls. It is a game of skill, strategy, and concentration, where players have to pot the balls in a specific order to score points. Snooker is also a game of entertainment, excitement, and drama, where players have to cope with pressure, nerves, and emotions. Snooker is one of the most popular sports in the world, with millions of fans and players around the globe. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, a casual or a passionate fan, snooker has something for everyone. In this article, we will give you a comprehensive guide to snooker live, covering its history, rules, players, tournaments, and equipment.

The History of Snooker: How it Started and Evolved

Snooker was invented in 1875 by a British Army officer named Neville Chamberlain, who was stationed in India. He combined two existing games, black pool and pyramids, and added some coloured balls to create a new game. He called it snooker, which was a slang term for inexperienced soldiers. The game soon spread among the British troops and later to the rest of the world.

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The first official snooker tournament was held in 1916, and the first World Championship was held in 1927. The game became more popular in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s, thanks to the emergence of television and the dominance of players like Ray Reardon, Steve Davis, and Stephen Hendry. The game also expanded to other countries, especially in Asia, where players like Ding Junhui and Pankaj Advani became stars. Today, snooker is a global sport, with professional players from over 20 countries competing on the World Snooker Tour.

The Rules of Snooker: How to Play and Score

The basic rules of snooker are simple: two players take turns to strike the cue ball with their cue stick, trying to pot the coloured balls into the pockets. The balls have different values: red (1 point), yellow (2 points), green (3 points), brown (4 points), blue (5 points), pink (6 points), and black (7 points). The game starts with 15 red balls and six colours on the table. The player has to pot a red ball first, then nominate and pot a colour, then pot another red ball, and so on. The colour balls are re-spotted after each pot until all the reds are gone. Then the player has to pot the colours in ascending order of value. The player who scores more points than the opponent wins the frame (individual game). A match consists of a predetermined number of frames.

There are also some fouls that can occur during the game, such as missing a ball, potting the wrong ball, touching a ball with anything other than the cue tip, or leaving the cue ball in a pocket or off the table. A foul results in a penalty of at least four points for the opponent, or more depending on the value of the ball involved. If a player commits three consecutive fouls without making a legal shot, he or she loses the frame.

The Snooker Players: Who are the Legends and Stars?

Snooker has produced many great players over the years, who have amazed fans with their skills, achievements, and personalities. Some of the most famous snooker legends are:

  • Joe Davis: The first World Champion and winner of 15 titles between 1927 and 1946. He also invented the maximum break of 147 points.

  • Fred Davis: The younger brother of Joe Davis and winner of eight World titles between 1948 and 1956. He was known for his elegance and longevity, playing until the age of 78.

  • John Spencer: The first player to win the World Championship in the modern era, in 1969. He also won two more titles in 1971 and 1977, and was the first player to make a televised 147 break.

  • Ray Reardon: The dominant player of the 1970s, winning six World titles between 1970 and 1978. He was nicknamed "Dracula" for his dark hair and sharp teeth, and was renowned for his tactical prowess and mental strength.

  • Steve Davis: The dominant player of the 1980s, winning six World titles between 1981 and 1989. He also won a record 28 ranking titles and was ranked number one for seven consecutive seasons. He was known for his consistency, concentration, and professionalism.

  • Stephen Hendry: The dominant player of the 1990s, winning seven World titles between 1990 and 1999. He also won a record 36 ranking titles and was ranked number one for eight consecutive seasons. He was known for his aggression, break-building, and confidence.

  • Ronnie O'Sullivan: The most talented and charismatic player of all time, winning six World titles between 2001 and 2020. He also holds the records for the most centuries (1080), the most maximum breaks (15), and the fastest maximum break (5 minutes and 20 seconds). He is known for his flair, speed, and unpredictability.

Some of the current snooker stars are:

  • Judd Trump: The current world number one and winner of the 2019 World Championship. He also won a record six ranking titles in the 2019/20 season and has won 22 ranking titles in total. He is known for his power, potting, and creativity.

  • Mark Selby: The three-time World Champion in 2014, 2016, and 2017. He also won four Masters titles and three UK Championship titles, making him one of the few players to complete the Triple Crown. He is known for his resilience, safety, and versatility.

  • Neil Robertson: The first Australian to win the World Championship, in 2010. He also won two UK Championship titles and three Masters titles, making him another Triple Crown winner. He is known for his cue action, long potting, and scoring.

  • Ding Junhui: The most successful Asian player in history, winning 14 ranking titles and reaching the final of the World Championship in 2016. He is also a popular figure in his home country of China, where snooker is growing rapidly. He is known for his technique, temperament, and touch.

The Snooker Tournaments: What are the Major Events and Prizes?

Snooker has a busy calendar of tournaments throughout the year, with different formats, venues, and prizes. The most prestigious tournaments are the Triple Crown events, which are:

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  • The World Championship: The oldest and most important tournament, held since 1927. It takes place at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England, in April and May. It is played over 17 days, with a best-of-35 frames final. The winner receives 500,000 and the iconic trophy.

  • The Masters: The most exclusive tournament, held since 1975. It takes place at Alexandra Palace in London, England, in January. It is an invitation-only event for the top 16 players in the world rankings. It is played over eight days, with a best-of-19 frames final. The winner receives 250,000 and the Paul Hunter trophy.

  • The UK Championship: The second oldest ranking tournament, held since 1977. It takes place at the Barbican Centre in York, England, in November and December. It is open to all professional players on the tour. It is played over 13 days, with a best-of-19 frames final. The winner receives 200,000 and the trophy.

Other major ranking tournaments include: