Snooker Information Sources

Information Sources

Everything else you need to do in order to maximise your potential for profit in snooker would apply to any other sport.

Put simply, you must do your homework. Study, study, then study some more. Devour every piece of snooker information that you can get your hands on, whether it be from press cuttings or the internet, personal visits to competitions or sitting in front of the TV.

Actually, you won't find a great deal when it comes to press cuttings because the vast majority of newspapers pay only lip service to the sport. You will rarely find anything other than a few paragraphs when the big names are in action.

However, there are alternatives, with one of the best of these the WSA's own website,

There may be some notable omissions, like a yearly money-list table (probably too embarrassing to put on show), but otherwise it is jam-packed with most of the information you need.

Snooker Scene, edited by Clive Everton and with reports from the excellent Phil Yates, who often commentates for Sky Sports, is the best of the magazines, but the problem with periodicals is that you often receive the reports after another tournament has already started.

The web is the best place to go, but don't waste your time on individual player sites as they rarely tell you anything other than what starry-eyed fans want to hear.

There is no substitute for watching the action unfold, whether it is at the venue or on TV. Actually, in the days of interactive digital services, TV makes more sense (nowadays the atmosphere is roughly the same anyway, regardless of the arena).

Particularly relevant on are the results and reports, especially for the qualifying stages, which appear pretty much as and when the action finishes. It is wise to keep cuttings, or at least refer back to the website, for players' quotes, etc, as they give some idea of how the victor or vanquished will approach the rest of the season or even their next match. Are they on borrowed time after a lucky win or are they full of confidence?

It's an important point as you will find that a player performing poorly is more likely to remain vulnerable for the rest of their stay in any single tournament.

An obvious example of this would be David Gray at the Crucible in April 2004. Never will a professional play so badly and reach a World Championship quarter-final. In the last eight he faced Graeme Dott, an opponent whom the rankings and, just as importantly, the bookies, said was roughly the same player. Dott had clearly played the better snooker of the two, but was still rated the underdog by some layers. The Scot won 13-7 and anyone who had watched the two in action would have considered Dott at evens as buying money.

Also on is the provisional rankings list, which will give you an idea who the players are that are facing a desperate struggle to retain their status in the top 16, 32, etc.

Confidence can make a huge difference in a game where the class differential between a top player and a qualifier is narrowing all the time, especially when you allow for the fact that most matches are contested over the best of nine frames. Usually there are a handful of players who can rightly be considered different class to the chasing pack, but the gulf in ability between players ranked from, say, ten-32, is not so great.

Chinas Ding Junhui