Snooker: National Championship – 2nd Event


Yesterday took place the second tournament of the National Snooker Championship which is held in Bucharest. This is a different event from the one that I have been writing before (the local league which is held in Brasov, my hometown). It is also not the first, but the second league in importance from which the first top 4 players qualify in the first league each year.

The hardest thing to do this time was deciding whether to go or not and  I already had a backup plan to go hiking again this week. Just the thought that I will have to get up at 5AM after getting to sleep 3-4 hours made me think “oh no you are not gonna do that again” but, of course it happened and so I gave a few phone calls and we managed to form a group of three. I got picked up at 5:30 and the three of up went on what I would call a very pleasant 2,5 hour ride in which we joked all the way and were very positive.

We arrive half an hour earlier but just in time to have breakfast and regain some strength after the journey.

My companions started playing  right ahead, from 9AM but I was supposed  to start only at 2:00PM. I was horrified with the thought that I will have to wait another 5 hour time to start playing but eventually all worked just fine. I picked up my suit and gloves and started to referee a game – I got to practice a lot at this too because I want to become an international referee. You know, when you get in touch with this game it’s like, you have to do it, you have to play or do anything else related to the game of snooker. Even if you play so bad some time you still want to play more. It’s like a disease but a good one:)

A few  minutes after I finished to referee my first game I was told that some players couldn’t come to the tournament and that I will be playing soon. I started practicing and was really pleased with the way I was played and so, after my 15 minutes of practice were over, I sat down comfortably waiting for my opponent. She was last year’s winner of the Ladies National Tournament and I was impressed right from the start with the way the was playing when I saw her in practice.

The first frame went quite fast and I was soon 1-0 down. The second didn’t start better either – half a frame over and I was already 30 points down. Just when all sort of  thoughts started roaming my mind she missed a shot and I managed to start concentrating again and somehow steal the frame. From then it went from good to better and I managed to win the game with a final score of 3-1. It wasn’t at all an easy game and if the score went 2-0 instead of 1-1 I don’t think that I could have made a comeback.

I didn’t have time to sit more then five minutes because I had to referee another game. It was a quite long game or it just seemed so because I was so tired but it was nice also and it had a bit of drama in the end. It is great to be involved in the game even as a referee because you get to see a lot of shots and especially learn new stuff from good players.

At 4PM, after about 7 hours of snooker, I finally had one free hour in which had to wait for my opponent. He is one of the two roumanian’s Eurosport snooker  commentators. Not only he is a good commentator but a good player too. He was part of the top 16 players for years and this year was his first season in the second league.

So here I was, after nearly eight full hours, playing the finalist of the first tournament in January. It was a close game and I think that the 3-0 score does not do justice for what happened. In the first two frames we had equal about of points when only 5 balls were left on the table but I lost them both at a very close margin. Only the 3rd frame was not that close but I had my chances too. I was pretty pleased with my performance even though I lost with this score.

It was a nice tournament and even if it was a full day of snooker, approximately eleven hours, it is always great to participate in this league in which players come from the entire country.

All the best!


Snooker: Local League Review I

Last Saturday, as mentioned in an earlier post, it took place the first tournament of the local snooker league. For me it went quite good I would say, winning 2 of my 3 matches from the group stage and qualifying in the last 16 but none of my matches were easy.

After my fist 2-1 win I had to play with the local coach from which I couldn’t snatch a frame, loosing 3-0. It wasn’t that I had played badly but, the fact that the match was getting interrupted from two to two minutes, really made me lose my concentration. Perhaps I should have stayed calmer and just focused on the game but it is easier said than done when all sort of toughs start roaming your mind.

Right after this game I got to play my last group stage game against a new comer (hat off to this kid who will probably turn to be a good player in the near future). I made an impressive start winning the first frame which was probably my best single frame of this year. I don’t know what happened next, maybe I just relaxed more than I should have done it but, very quickly I found myself leveled at 1-1 and with the pressure on me because my opponent was coming from behind. The next frame was crucial in the way of qualifying to the last 16, but luckily I managed to calm myself and provide a decent last frame which help me pass through.

In the last 16 I have encountered one of my best friends so it was a very nice game in which we both played relaxed. Although I could have snatched at least one frame and probably made my best game of the tournament  he won 3-0. I gave my best not missing easy shots, but he was a class above me. No wonder he is in the top 16 players from our country.

In conclusion: It was a very nice event and I am happy with the way I have played so I am looking forward to a good snooker year.

Snooker, a new year…

For those that are not aware what snooker is, it can be described as a game similar to billiards/pool but on a bigger table and with smaller balls. Sounds difficult? It really is. The thing that makes it so difficult, but exciting in the same time, is that it is also a mental game. You can have a good aim and pot balls but without mastering your emotions you can never be good at snooker.

I have been playing snooker for about 4 years and had lots of high and lows but this year I am expecting to be a better one and I am saying that because I proposed myself to practice more and have a different thinking at the table. The things changed in the last two years because I did not practice as much I should and there are more and more new players that come from behind. In fact, there were times when I was playing so bad that I tough it will be better if I just quit playing but, fortunately, I never did:).

This weekend is taking place the local league’s first snooker tournament (of a series of ten). I have finished on the 12th position last year and have been practicing more in the past few weeks so I expect a good first event.  I have already had a good start at this event with a narrow win (2-1, potting the last black ball) in the first match from a group in which I have three competitors, one of which is the local coach and current number one.

Tomorrow  morning I am going to do a final training session so I can be as ‘in form’ as I can be on Saturday.