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  • What it takes to become a Snooker Pro?

    I am 31 year old guy who started playing pocket billiards around a year back.
    After getting myself comfortable with the pool, I switched to snooker few months back.
    I am practicing snooker on daily basis although found it way difficult than pool.

    I was just wondering what it takes to become a pro in this game?
    How can I showcase myself as a pro snooker player in the championships?
    Do I need to get invitation or is there any entry fee that I need to pay to enter the tournaments?
    Most importantly, will my age make any problem for me? I read that Ronnie O'sullivan, Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, Mark Selby and many other pro players started it at a very tender age. They were making century breaks before turning 18 and winning championships before 20. So me being a 31 years old guy - does it make any drawback to start learning snooker at this age? Is there any age limit in international snooker championships?

    -- Harry
    I Admire Ding, Adore Judd & Would do ANYTHING to play like Ronnie.

  • #2
    I'd be interested to know what standard you're playing at if you started playing snooker a few months back and you're already talking about becoming a pro! You're right that most top players started very young. Hendry, Ronnie, Davis, Selby, John Higgings, Mark Williams, Shaun Murphy....actually its hard to think of any top players who didn't start young. People often talk about Bingham starting late, but he actually turned pro in 1995 when he was just 19.
    There is no reason why you can't become a very good snooker player in your 30's or even 40's (look at Mark Davis who seems to be getting better in his 40's!).
    Becoming a professional is straightforward enough actually - you can enter Q-school which runs every May. As far as I know, anyone can enter, and the 8 best players win a 2 year tour card. You should note though that the standard is extremely high - the guys at Q-school are banging in 100's regularly. It is tough out there!

    Comment


    • #3
      Have a look at the Dan plan: http://thedanplan.com

      Comment


      • #4
        If you've just started playing and thinking of becoming a pro you're going to need a magic wand Harry
        It's hard to pot balls with a Chimpanzee tea party going on in your head

        Wibble

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah, gotta agree with Tim. Our good friend George Pragnell makes +140s and he didn't make the cut at Q school, neither did Reanne Evans, ladies world champion. Eden Sharav, did make it and he plays to a pro standard. That's the thing, can you play like a pro in your local leagues and county. You'll need to take that sort of game to Q school to have any chance of making the 8. You can enter other lower ranking comps in the season and if you win one, you can get a card that way I think but those comps are loaded with talent as well. Folk with lots of talent like Ronnie, got to a pro standard within five years of playing. This is possible in the teens but very hard in the 20s and beyond. Developing a good cue action takes around 2 years; just bedding in good basics.

          But even if you don't make it to pro standard, it doesn't stop you being a hustler.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by GeordieDS View Post
            If you've just started playing and thinking of becoming a pro you're going to need a magic wand Harry
            GDS is generally spot on with most things and you may well need a magic wand. Luckily for you, I'm making a snooker magic wand:

            http://www.thesnookerforum.co.uk/boa...l-Badge-Design

            Comment


            • #7
              Just curious to know from Thread starter what is your average good break, highest break from line up practice and as well as during match play.

              All i can say is, if you turn pro at 31 and win any sort of championship. You will be a snooker legend and massive motivational snooker player for those lot of us born in the 80s (including me)

              Comment


              • #8
                Guys..thanks a lot for your comments and feed-backs.

                @Tim - Thanks for giving insights on the Q School. To be honest, I never knew such tournaments exists. And considering the difficulty of the the competition, it seems like I shall be needing quite practice as I am only reaching half century breaks as of now.

                @Geordie - Hahaha..you betcha. Why do you thing my Id is Harry Potter ;-). In fact we all have magic wands with us, our cues. We only need to practice the right spells at the right time. What you say

                @Master Blaster - You are quite right and I agree with Tim. I went through the Q School website and the guide..it does seem like a tough competition out there. And if players who are making +140 are facing trouble in qualifying then I have got nothing else to say . But yes, I shall keep on developing my game and who knows..

                @Blinker - I was born in 1985 and started playing snooker few months back..around 4-5. As of now, I am facing real trouble keeping my cue straight and thus not able to strike hard else my LoS got screwed up. By keeping the stick relax and striking slow with little english and very less cue control, I am making avg 50 break in my practice. In games, I am making almost the same break.
                I Admire Ding, Adore Judd & Would do ANYTHING to play like Ronnie.

                Comment


                • #9
                  1. Dedication
                  2. Sponsors/good people/friends/coach/motivational types - someone you trust to share your thoughts and boost moral.
                  3. Patience
                  4. A affinity for or an ability to deal with - metal pain stress and ineptitude or learn to become or already be the type of person who does not give a monkey's
                  5. A tolerance for travel
                  6. An ability to suffer fools lightly/politely - weed out the hangers on - distractions -
                  7. Really good facilities to practice - proper lighting tables -
                  8. Luck
                  9. Understanding friends and family
                  10. A back up plan -

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by _Harry_Potter_ View Post
                    Guys..thanks a lot for your comments and feed-backs.

                    @Tim - Thanks for giving insights on the Q School. To be honest, I never knew such tournaments exists. And considering the difficulty of the the competition, it seems like I shall be needing quite practice as I am only reaching half century breaks as of now.

                    @Geordie - Hahaha..you betcha. Why do you thing my Id is Harry Potter ;-). In fact we all have magic wands with us, our cues. We only need to practice the right spells at the right time. What you say

                    @Master Blaster - You are quite right and I agree with Tim. I went through the Q School website and the guide..it does seem like a tough competition out there. And if players who are making +140 are facing trouble in qualifying then I have got nothing else to say . But yes, I shall keep on developing my game and who knows..

                    @Blinker - I was born in 1985 and started playing snooker few months back..around 4-5. As of now, I am facing real trouble keeping my cue straight and thus not able to strike hard else my LoS got screwed up. By keeping the stick relax and striking slow with little english and very less cue control, I am making avg 50 break in my practice. In games, I am making almost the same break.
                    so you are playing for 4-5 months now, cant keep your cue straight and hit 50 breaks in frames

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by _Harry_Potter_ View Post
                      Guys..thanks a lot for your comments and feed-backs.

                      @Tim - Thanks for giving insights on the Q School. To be honest, I never knew such tournaments exists. And considering the difficulty of the the competition, it seems like I shall be needing quite practice as I am only reaching half century breaks as of now.

                      @Geordie - Hahaha..you betcha. Why do you thing my Id is Harry Potter ;-). In fact we all have magic wands with us, our cues. We only need to practice the right spells at the right time. What you say

                      @Master Blaster - You are quite right and I agree with Tim. I went through the Q School website and the guide..it does seem like a tough competition out there. And if players who are making +140 are facing trouble in qualifying then I have got nothing else to say . But yes, I shall keep on developing my game and who knows..

                      @Blinker - I was born in 1985 and started playing snooker few months back..around 4-5. As of now, I am facing real trouble keeping my cue straight and thus not able to strike hard else my LoS got screwed up. By keeping the stick relax and striking slow with little english and very less cue control, I am making avg 50 break in my practice. In games, I am making almost the same break.
                      As others have asked.. What is your highest match break, and highest in practice? ( in a frame ), line ups are nice, but not a realistic impression of how you are doing. Are you in the States? I ask, because you use the term 'english' when referring to sidespin, and 'stick' for cue. More commonly used wording in the U.S and Canada.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just read your responses - not being dis respectful but what amazes me is there are people in the world who think they are or can be pro - like an x factor singer who thinks they can be the next big thing when they cant sing that well - what I would say is even if you have all the ability in the world that means nothing - there are really talented players - many ton men who fall by the wayside - and by talented I mean guys who can knock in maximums and multiple tons every day. Just having the talent is not enough these days - snooker is a lifestyle choice too and you must be able to adapt, keep positive and stay healthy -enjoy yourself by all means but switch back on and dedicate again and again when needed snooker is all ups and downs - no one stays on top.

                        I think there is a massive gap between levels - there are decent club players - perhaps had a few tons - there are decent county level players perhaps had a few max's more regular tons never really made it could have - should have - something stopped got in the way - there are those who are nearly there or have been there and fallen off and given up and again those players again at their peak would have made great breaks on a daily basis - some don't even play any more and hate the game - There are bottom ranked pro's - making there way up may fall off struggling learning to take the defeats waiting for a run in something - there is a gap - not always in skill but there is in experience to the top 32 types - who have a stronger mental approach - but there is also a gap from 32 to top 8 as the top 32 have perhaps battle scars and suffer a loss in dedication or hunger because they have been there done it at some point and dedicated their whole life to it - then the top 8 - buzzing think its going to last forever - it wont - so save your pennies for when its all over but well done - what a guy - I admire any of these players for putting themselves through all that nonsense and still being alive at the other end.

                        Personally mate - and I mean this - a player is lucky if they can enjoy the game for what it is and have a regular job and a regular life - yes its great to be a millionaire player drive flash cars and be the next Judd Trump - but how many of them are on tour?
                        You don't have to be a pro to make it at snooker - you could aim to be a coach - or a club owner - promoter - cue maker or be involved in it in some way and be a success just the same.

                        MY dream is to just be as I am - a guy who has a great hobby - snooker - someone who loves the game, loves his cues and yeah I try and improve and win bits of things slap in the odd few tons a year have a laugh maybe one day I might get my own table - man cave in the house but I have always been realistic about how good and bad I am at the game and I am up and down like a brides nighty in terms of playing standard - we all are if you don't give it enough table time.

                        I see people all the time who think they can be the next Ronnie - some can make it pro and have - but more than occasionally you see the deluded ones.

                        I made a few 50's and a 80 odd in the club a few weeks back and this old man watching said - you should be a pro - I heard this before once or twice and it makes me laugh because to him - a guy that don't play that standard might seem good and its ok in that moment but I know myself that is a million miles away from that kind of standard the people I have mentioned can play at and the level of consistency they produce is far better. My mate once watched Judd Trump play at Pontins - he was 14 or so - now this mate of mine had made multiple tons himself and one max was a great young player himself at the time and he sat and watched young Judd closely - driving back my mate said - I decided I am going to College to do something else with my life - what about snooker I said - cant compete with that he said - that kid does not miss I will never be that good.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by svendh View Post
                          so you are playing for 4-5 months now, cant keep your cue straight and hit 50 breaks in frames
                          I said I can't keep my cue straight when I hit hard. Also you might not have read that I have been playing pool for over a year now so my cue action is not that bad and so is my LoS. Overall I am using cue stick for a year and half and can keep it straight with slow controlled shots. Not with high speed shots.
                          I Admire Ding, Adore Judd & Would do ANYTHING to play like Ronnie.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Byrom View Post
                            Just read your responses - not being dis respectful but what amazes me is there are people in the world who think they are or can be pro - like an x factor singer who thinks they can be the next big thing when they cant sing that well - what I would say is even if you have all the ability in the world that means nothing - there are really talented players - many ton men who fall by the wayside - and by talented I mean guys who can knock in maximums and multiple tons every day. Just having the talent is not enough these days - snooker is a lifestyle choice too and you must be able to adapt, keep positive and stay healthy -enjoy yourself by all means but switch back on and dedicate again and again when needed snooker is all ups and downs - no one stays on top.

                            I think there is a massive gap between levels - there are decent club players - perhaps had a few tons - there are decent county level players perhaps had a few max's more regular tons never really made it could have - should have - something stopped got in the way - there are those who are nearly there or have been there and fallen off and given up and again those players again at their peak would have made great breaks on a daily basis - some don't even play any more and hate the game - There are bottom ranked pro's - making there way up may fall off struggling learning to take the defeats waiting for a run in something - there is a gap - not always in skill but there is in experience to the top 32 types - who have a stronger mental approach - but there is also a gap from 32 to top 8 as the top 32 have perhaps battle scars and suffer a loss in dedication or hunger because they have been there done it at some point and dedicated their whole life to it - then the top 8 - buzzing think its going to last forever - it wont - so save your pennies for when its all over but well done - what a guy - I admire any of these players for putting themselves through all that nonsense and still being alive at the other end.

                            Personally mate - and I mean this - a player is lucky if they can enjoy the game for what it is and have a regular job and a regular life - yes its great to be a millionaire player drive flash cars and be the next Judd Trump - but how many of them are on tour?
                            You don't have to be a pro to make it at snooker - you could aim to be a coach - or a club owner - promoter - cue maker or be involved in it in some way and be a success just the same.

                            MY dream is to just be as I am - a guy who has a great hobby - snooker - someone who loves the game, loves his cues and yeah I try and improve and win bits of things slap in the odd few tons a year have a laugh maybe one day I might get my own table - man cave in the house but I have always been realistic about how good and bad I am at the game and I am up and down like a brides nighty in terms of playing standard - we all are if you don't give it enough table time.

                            I see people all the time who think they can be the next Ronnie - some can make it pro and have - but more than occasionally you see the deluded ones.

                            I made a few 50's and a 80 odd in the club a few weeks back and this old man watching said - you should be a pro - I heard this before once or twice and it makes me laugh because to him - a guy that don't play that standard might seem good and its ok in that moment but I know myself that is a million miles away from that kind of standard the people I have mentioned can play at and the level of consistency they produce is far better. My mate once watched Judd Trump play at Pontins - he was 14 or so - now this mate of mine had made multiple tons himself and one max was a great young player himself at the time and he sat and watched young Judd closely - driving back my mate said - I decided I am going to College to do something else with my life - what about snooker I said - cant compete with that he said - that kid does not miss I will never be that good.
                            Totally agree with you here. And I am not acting like a pompous arse who is acting like an obnoxious ***** and think he can be a pro. In my humble way all I asked from my fellow players was - What is it takes to become a pro?
                            I had a question in my mind and who is better to ask than my fellow players.
                            I also never said that I am as good as a pro player. All I wanted to know was where my game stands now and how much do I need to develop my game to be considered as a good player.

                            I am sorry but I don't agree with the last few lines. It is not how good the other player is but how good you can be to reach your goals. For instance if Jordan has decided to quit basket ball when he was thrown out of his high school team, he would probably have been working in a McD serving burgers. Rather taking it a negative, one should take it as a exceptional Karma nudge to work even harder to realize his dreams.

                            I am sure if that friends of yours have continued playing his game and kept on developing it, you probably would have gotten a VIP pass to watch him play at the crucible some day. Just my humble opinion.
                            I Admire Ding, Adore Judd & Would do ANYTHING to play like Ronnie.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              One thing to keep in kind as well, I recall Stuart Bingham saying in an interview that due to his focus on playing pro, he can no longer go out with his mates for a frame or two, as every time he starts focussing, concentrating and analysing, not a fun night out anymore for him or his friends.
                              Last edited by DeanH; 24th June 2015, 08:32 AM.
                              Up the TSF!

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