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Part 3

We carry on with your many interesting questions on this page. Keep them coming in, and we'll all learn something, including me! (I often have to make external enquiries to find out snooker-related information, so we all learn).

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Question 37: Date: 29/03/00 12:31:22 GMT Daylight Time From: trev_d@hotmail.com (Trev D)

Hi, I've just bought a 2nd hand snooker cue but it was very sticky as there was a heavy coating of varnish on it........I sanded it down and applied varnish to it but it is still very sticky. Have you any helpful tips for re-varnishing your cue. What steps should I follow?....such as What Varnish do I use????etc........I would be very grateful if you could reply to my email as I have asked a few people and noone seems to know. Many thanks in advance. Cheers, Trev.

Answer: Hi, Trev, I'm probably on my own as regards most 'snooker buffs' in this respect, but I always use a cue without varnish, as I find with varnish it remains sticky. I always tell my players to sand off the varnish and leave it 'plain'. It makes the cue much less sticky, and you can use talc, patent cue glide sprays, or even a cloth to keep it smooth. So, I would suggest you remove the second coat, and not reapply any, as it's almost impossible for the layman to get the coat uniformly applied. I have already addressed the question of cue smoothness in one of the answers on my website. Have a look through them! You might also look at the www.cues.com/cuemaking.htm (see below).

Question 38: Date: 30/03/00 06:56:44 GMT Daylight Time From: gerradw@tasfreight.com.au (Gerrad Wicks)
How do I make a hand spliced cue ?

Answer: (Perhaps the most challenging question we have been asked so far!)
Hi, Gerrad! As they say in the trade, I don't make 'em, I just use 'em! But, since we don't like to be beaten on questions at Cornwall Snooker Scene, I've done a bit of research, and found a few sites that are quite interesting. The best site I found was:
www.cues.com/cuemaking.htm
which deals with pool cues, but it must be the same in essence. You might also e-mail:
dloss@viperbilliards.com
martin@chesworth.fsnet.co.uk
or visit the john parris site at:
www.parris-cues.co.uk
I hope you find out something worthwhile at these sites or e-mail addresses.

Question 39: Date: 01/04/00 20:04:41 GMT Daylight Time From: heres_jonnay@yahoo.com (Hue Janus)
Hi, I found out that I should sight with my right eye the other day when someone told me to point to a spot and close each eye to see which eye is in line with both finger and spot. Is there a picture on the net or can you explain how to sight right eyed surely you dont close your left eye?? Thanx John p.s love the site.

Answer: Hi, John! Thanks for your p.s. about the site, it's nice to know that it's appreciated. As regards your question, a lot of people favour one eye or the other, as opposed to being 'even-sighted'. The technique for discovering which eye, if any, is the master eye, is to point at an object a few feet away, such as a block of chalk. Then close your right eye. If you are still pointing at the block of chalk, your left eye is your master eye. Try the same test closing the left eye. If you are still pointing at the chalk, you are even sighted. Often the finger is pointing to one side or other of the chalk, which indicates that the closed eye is the master eye. Hope that's not too complicated. This means, if your right eye is the master, you need to run your cue under the right side of the chin, adjusting your stance as necessary. Players such as Graham Miles used to have his cue to one side of his chin altogether. You can find details of this in the video 'Snooker Basic Skills' from the WPBSA, which I think is still available from some video stores. Try a search from my main page at Amazon Co UK, or do a web search on videos from the Altavista link, also on the main page. There is a section with images on sighting on this video. Personally, I have always cued centrally under my chin, even though I have just discovered I am left-eyed!

Question 40: Date: 06/04/00 04:47:27 GMT Daylight Time From: denysean@worldnet.att.net (Denyse Apong Ngmon) To: snookermag@aol.com Hello Dear Sir I have been reading some of your questions and answers and found it to be very informative . My question to you sir concerns break building,what are the Goldern rules if any of do's and don't around the black I am in need of answers thanking you in advance. Colin

Answer: Hi, Colin! I'm afraid I can't go into a long answer to this question on the Questions page. The best thing I can suggest is that you buy one of the books recommended from our Amazon Co UK page, especially Clive Everton's book "Techniques, Tactics, Training" or Stephen Hendry's "Masterclass". You can also pick up a number of tips from the three Question pages and the various other pages on this site. Sorry I can't be more specific. I will be putting up a page on this subject later on the site.

Question 41: Date: 24/04/00 23:11:40 GMT Daylight Time From: heather.fyfe@ntlworld.com (heather.fyfe) Reply-to: heather.fyfe@ntlworld.com To: snookermag@aol.com
Hi, I.m thinking of buying a full size snooker table, as it will work out cheaper than the £5 per hour fees at my club (in the long run). However how big is full size? 10ft or 12ft or bigger? What size tables do the snooker players use in the World Championships, and what table do you recommend to buy? Thanks for your help. Richard Richardson rich0370@mailcity.com

Answer: Hi, Richard! Thanks for visiting Cornwall Snooker Scene and asking your question. I gather that there are two standard sizes of table, but you can get a full size one measuring 11ft 8 1/2 inches by 5ft 10 in. You must also take into account the need for several feet of space all around the table to allow comfortable cueing near cushions. £5.00 per hour sounds a bit expensive, as many commercial clubs charge around £2.00 an hour, and in my own club (members) it is only 80p. It will take you a few years to get your money back, as I think you can pay around £4000 for a good quality new table. Depends how many hours you play on average. Riley provide top quality tables, and can be contacted at www.rileyleisure.com, but there are many table and accessory suppliers around in the UK. Look in your Yellow Pages. (I assume you are in the UK). You can also search for suppliers from our Altavista Search Page. If you need any more help, let me know.

Question 42: Date: 02/05/00 13:55:27 GMT Daylight Time From: whatever@tlti.tokem.fi (Milla Kangas) To: snookermag@aol.com Hi! I'd like to know who has earned most money by playing snooker. I couln't find that information anywhere although your page is very informative. Keep up the good work! -Milla-

Answer: I've had to do some research on this one, and Chris Turner has kindly given the following reply: "The only figures I have come from the World Championship programme. Up to and including the recent Thailand Masters Hendry had career prize money of £6,575,887. Others high on the list include Steve Davis £4,845,143: Jimmy White £3,717,394: John Parrott £2,770,715 and John Higgins £2,172,151. Of course they have all added a few thousand since the Thai Masters". If anyone can update these figures further, please let me know.

Question 43: Date: 06/05/00 11:31:05 GMT Daylight Time From: ngdc@pacific.net.sg (Ng Kailin) Reply-to: ngdc@pacific.net.sg To: snookermag@aol.com Hi! I was very delighted to see that you have a page which really answers people's questions. Finally there will be someone to answer my questions. My question--- When can i ask my opponent to play again a)when he misses compleletly(without touching a ball on the table) b)when he fouls(any type of foul e.g not hitting the 'on' ball, the cueball entering the pocket,etc..) I'll be very grateful to you for answering my question, Thank You!!!

Answer: Hi, Ng! (I assume it's Ng) The answer to your question is very straightforward and is: You can ask your opponent to play again after any foul shot - going in off, hitting the wrong ball, knocking in the wrong ball, etc, etc. If the referee calls a miss, you can do one of these: ask your opponent to play from the original position, ask him to play from where the balls ended up, play yourself from the position left, or take a free ball if one is awarded. Hope this answers your question.

Question 44 (multiple): Date: 16/05/00 05:37:59 GMT Daylight Time From: khlau@bnm.gov.my To: snookermag@aol.com Firstly, thank you for providing a very informative website on snooker. As a beginner, I find your site an excellent choice in learning more about this game. However, there are a few questions I could not find answers to after going thru your faqs. I do hope you could help me out on these questions.
Qu. 1: Say the ball 'on' is a red ball. I make my shot, pot the red ball. However, the cue ball (the white ball) also pots a colored ball after the red ball is potted. (eg. I hit the white ball, the white ball hit's a red ball, which is potted, then the white ball rolls and hits a colored ball, which is also potted). Is this a foul shot?
Qu. 2: What if it is a reverse? Say the ball 'on' is a blue ball, I pot the blue ball followed by a red ball rolling into the hole? Is this a foul too?
Qu. 3: If I am snookered, say the ball 'on' is the blue ball, I accidentally pot the cue ball, which is a foul. However, the blue ball cannot be seen in the whole (ie. left and right side) from the "D". Does my opponent get a free ball or can he hand over the turn to me again? Also is this a 5 point penalty or a four point penalty? Thanx :o) Regards, low

Answers: Qu.1 You may not pot a ball on and a ball not on in the same stroke. So, if you pot a red, which is on, but also pot the blue, this is a foul, penalty - value of the blue (five) in this case. The lowest penalty possible is four, so, if you pot the yellow, green or brown, it is four away, the blue five, pink six, or black seven. This applies of course even when you don't pot the red. By the way, you don't get the one point if you pot a red and foul at the same time.
Qu.2 The reverse is also true: if the ball on is blue and you pot any other ball, the penalty is the HIGHEST VALUE of the balls involved. So, if you pot a red at the same time, it is five away, but if you pot the pink it is six, and black seven. The minimum foul value is still four, of course. If you pot more than one ball not on, say pink and black at the same time, this would be seven away, even if you potted pink first and black second.
Qu. 3 I think this has been answered somewhere on these pages, but here goes again. If you go in off, and your opponent is snookered, or partially snookered, from the D (in hand) on all the balls on, then it is a free ball, and any other colour can be played (counting the value of the ball on). For instance, if the ball on is any red, then blue can be taken and count as a red (value one) followed by a colour. Your opponent always has the right to make you go again after any foul shot, so that would also apply in this case. You would of course have to play a red as your next shot. In your question, since you went in off the blue, the value of the foul is five. Hope this helps.

Questions 45-51: (all from one reader)

In a message dated 16/05/00 16:57:50 GMT Daylight Time, tanaka_t@hotmail.com (Tommy Tanaka) writes:
Qu. 45: I have some questions in regard to cues, and I hope you can give me some advices. I have been using my cue for the past four years. It is a Powerglide Galaxy Silk. It is about 54" long with plain ebony on the butt section. The cue weight approx. 17-18 oz (I think), and it has a 10mm tip. At the time I brought this cue, it is not a straight cue (test by rolling the cue on table), but when I look at it with one eye by holding it up to the air, I find the shaft and everything looks quite okay. So I didn't border to straighten it,and anyway I didn't find it affect me (or maybe I didn't find out). Do you think I need to straighten it?

Answer: There's a popular myth that rolling a cue on the table will tell you if it's straight. This is not the case. The only way to tell is to look down it. If you can't see any bends, then it is pretty straight. In any case, many players, including three times World Champion John Spencer, used a cue shaped like a dog's hind leg. The important thing is whether you are confident with it.

Qu. 46: Secondly, I know that it is entirely up to a player about the length and the weight of the cue, but is that good to hold a heavier cue? I want to change the cue to 19-20oz so that I hope it can be more stable when I pot and hopefully more power.

Answer: Again, it is up to you. Many players prefer a heavier cue, because it may give them more power on screw shots, etc, but this is largely a matter of technique, not weight. My cue is probably about 18 oz, but I haven't weighed it. The average weight used is 16 - 17 oz.

Qu. 47: Third, I am 174cm (5 foot 9) height, and as I told you my cue is only 54", I know it is a bit short for me, but I find that I really like to play with short cue rather than normal size for me(i.e. just over my shouler). Is there anything wrong or disadvantage? Do you think a longer one should make me play better?

Answer: This depends on you. I am the same height as you, but use a full-length cue. If you find that a short cue makes your cueing better, use one, by all means. I like a longer cue, but this is because I have tried shorter ones and find it more difficult to aim consistently (I seem to be closer to the ball on address). Having a shorter cue can also affect your stance, as you may have to adjust your standing position to accommodate the cue length. This in turn may affect your delivery of the cue.

Qu. 48: Fourth, I want to know what does the balance of the cue means? What does it do/help? Is it important to know where the balance is?

Answer: I'm not an expert on balance, but when you pick up a cue, you can tell whether it feels heavy towards the butt end. The idea should be that it doesn't tend to tip up when you are holding it in your normal grip. It should feel balanced somewhere towards the top of the splice.

Qu. 49: Fifth. I often heard that people say the cue has lot of power. Do some cues have better power than other when playing? What cues give more power?

Answer: I think I have covered this above. Weight can add power (a light cue does not help with power shots), but this is largely a question of the way the player performs the shots.

Qu. 50: Sixth, I am actually looking at buying another piece of cue although my cue is a good cue too I think. But I just find that it doesn't following through or screw back as much as I want. What is your advice? I am looking at two differnt brands of cue only at the moment cause I saw many good players using them. It is the "Hunt" and "John Parris". what do you think about them? Which one should I choose? Should I order one exactly the same size as mine or different? I don't think I will go to England in foreseeable future, so I probably need to order it by fax or mail only. is that risky? And finally, do you think their cue can give better power than mine?

Answer: I have never used either of these, although John Parris has an excellent reputation (and prices to match!). Many of the top pros use these cues. No doubt you have found the website for John Parris cues - I think it is on one of these question pages - in fact, see Question 38 on this page. You should not have any trouble with mail order if you have a credit card, and the firm is a reputable one, which Parris undoubtedly is. The only problem is that you should really try a cue personally before buying one. You cannot do this by mail order, and you may not like it when you receive it! But there is no doubt that a good cue can improve your game, and therefore your confidence, but that largely depends on your own ability and technique.

Qu. 51: Example of screw: When I put the cue ball on brown spot, and blue ball on its spot and play a straight screw back shot, the best I can do with my cue is to screw the cue ball back to almost the bualk line. Is that alright? Will the above mentioned cues do better?

Answer: Screwing back is a matter of timing. Some professionals (e.g White, Lee, O'Sullivan) have enormous ability in this department. The average player can do much less. The important thing is to follow through smoothly, keep the cue parallel to the table (horizontal) and don't hit too low, as you will scoop the ball. Smoothness, avoiding a jerky action or tensing up are very important. I am not a great screw player, although I have improved by following the above and practising it. The cue again may make a difference if used correctly.
Hope this answers your questions, Tommy.

Question 52: Date: 02/06/00 10:47:40 GMT Daylight Time From: RogerBucknall@FyldeGuitars.com (Roger Bucknall) To: snookermag@aol.com
Hello Snooker mag, Around 1986 or so I saw a snooker magazine with a questions to the referee column. The question was about maximum breaks. We all know about 147, and even 155, but the column said there was a theoretical (not possible in practice, but at least in theory) way of making a higher break than that, and invited readers to think what it was. I never did work it out. Do you have any idea ??? Roger

Answer 1: Hi, Roger, Thank you for your question about highest possible breaks. Certainly if a free ball is awarded, a high break of 155 is possible (which I believe has never been done). You have me stumped as to a possible higher break than this. I will make enquiries and come back to you if I find out anything.
Answer 2: I haven't had much success with the 155+ break, either on the 147 club or with former referee John Street. However, I got one amusing reply from a friend, Andrew Symons, but it probably doesn't constitute a genuine 'break' : The silly answer is 162. Handicap game - give opponent 155 start. Give free ball away - 16 reds 16 blacks colours =155. Draw. Therefore re spot black - win toss of coin - elect to go in - pot black off spot = 162 'break'. Silly and illegal!>> That's the best I can do, but thanks for your interest.
Answer 3: With thanks to Jan Struys (147 club): "A possibility to compile a 155+ break: Starting the frame with a free ball, the player pots, for example, his 7th black. The referee is a bit confused and respots a red instead of the black. Before anyone notices the mistake, the player pots THAT red ball. Than both the player and the ref see the mistake. If the red was not involved in the shot, they could just replace it with the black. But you can not claim that the red just potted was a black because you can not blame a player for a mistake the referee made! A possible 163 break!"
I think this would be quite legal under the rules, and, of course, in theory could be repeated with every red, until someone noticed! Interesting, eh? You can see that we really make an effort to answer your questions! Graham

Question 53: Date: 05/08/00 14:09:15 GMT Daylight Time From: eileen@powergen.fsnet.co.uk (Eileen Taylor) To: Snookermag@aol.com Hi, Can you please help settle our dispute. My partner plays a foul shot and the cue ball ends up behind a colour, i.e. the blue ball, which snookers me on all reds. I thus have a choice of a free ball. Can I nominate the blue ball and snooker my partner on all reds by playing the blue ball off the cushion and back on to the white cue ball? I would be most grateful if you could help solve our problem. It is interesting to read what other snooker players have to say on your internet site. Thankyou, Ernie.

Answer: Dear Ernie (or is it Eileen?), Thanks for visiting the website and your question. It's been a while since someone asked a question and it's nice to know that snooker interest is still alive. In answer to your question, it would be a foul to do as you suggest, as you may not snooker behind a free or nominated ball irrespective of how you do it. In other words, you may have no intention of snookering behind the free ball, but even if it goes right around the table and comes back for a snooker, it is still a foul. The only time you may snooker behind the free ball is when only pink and black remain on the table, when you may snooker behind the black.

Question 54: Date: 23/08/00 18:39:46 GMT Daylight Time From: tanaka_t@hotmail.com (T. Tanaka) To: snookermag@aol.com
Dear Sir,
1. It is a foul shot when the cue ball jump over another ball according to the rules. But I wonder whether when the cue ball has touch a object ball before jumping over that ball (or another ball), would that be also a foul shot?
2. Also, if there is an situation that the cue ball has absoultely no way to escape from a snooker (e.g. near the cushion when a few colours preventing it to strike a cushion), then would that be a foul stroke if I strike the cue ball very hard and cause it to jump after hitting the cushion and hit the red ball... (Sound like pretty stupid, but I am quite interesting in finding the answer) Thank you very much. Regards, Tommy
P.S. please keep up with your good work, another great season has started. Your site is great... (This was an unsolicited comment ... Editor)

Answer: Dear Tommy, Thanks for your question, and it's nice to hear from you again. In answer to your questions:
1. This is interesting, as when you are touching the object ball, you are considered to have played that ball when you play away. Therefore, it would in my opinion not be a foul shot if you were touching a red, played away from it and then jumped over another ball. The rule states that you may jump over a second ball after contacting an object ball fairly, so therefore I would assume this to be a fair shot. I do not see how you could jump over a ball that you are touching, except by first contacting a cushion, but I would consider this also to be a fair shot, as you are deemed to have already contacted the object ball when playing the shot. I would be interested to hear other people's opinions on this.
2. In this position, it would have to be considered a foul shot even if you make the ball jump off a cushion, as jumping over any ball is considered a foul, whether off a cushion or not (except when jumping over a second ball, as in Answer 1 above). In this position, you would have to make a deliberate foul, as it is impossible to escape. Once, when playing in a doubles match, my partner potted a red and ended up completely encircled by reds! He nominated yellow, but had to make a foul. This would be one situation where the referee would have to accept a deliberate foul without calling a miss. I hope this helps. Regards, Graham

Question 55: Date: 31/08/00 04:35:07 GMT Daylight Time From: el@brighterimage.com.sg (Eddie Luen) To: LAllen1622@aol.com Dear Sir, I have read your article of "Snooker Coaching" publishes on http://hometown.aol.com/snookermag/coaching.htm. Having try on the table for an hour and noticed that lots of defect have been with me during the last 20 years! I am 45 years old living in Singapore with very poor skill in snooker, may be too old to improve my skill in snooker but it is my only hobby since I was 18. I have followed your practice routine, "head & body movement" significantly improved and also centre cueing has been improved to my own expectation. Would you allow me to ask a few questions because I could not have opportunities like Englishmen who have first class coach in London:
1. When plotting a color, shall I aim direct on the Object ball? or, aim at the imaginery "cue-ball contact" centre?
2. When potting the blue (from blue spot) into the top-left pocket while the cue ball is on the yellow spot. Taking centre cueball stunning as reference, shall I compensate my aiming "thicker" if I apply "outside" to the cue ball? I would be much appreciate if you could advise me on these 2 points. Thank you very much, Eddie Luen

Answer: Dear Eddie, Apologies for the delay in replying to your questions. I was pleased to see that the articles on our site had produced some improvement in your game, and hope that there are others who have also benefited. In answer to your questions:
1. In potting any ball, the first address should be to the cue ball, making sure that you are striking it through the centre. If using side (not recommended except on very easy shots), the contact should still be parallel to the line of striking i.e. do not point diagonally through the ball. Once you are satisfied that you are striking the cue ball correctly, you should line up the object ball, and, after a final look to see where you are striking the cue ball, the eyes should be fixed only on the object ball at the moment of delivery. Any movement of the head or eyes at this point can result in the cue ball not striking the correct spot.
2. When using side, there is some throw-off of the cue ball. Its first movement is a slight swerve in the opposite direction to the side, and then a slightly more pronounced movement the other way. In other words, if using right-hand side, you will tend to strike the object ball slightly more to the right than with centre ball striking. Therefore, a slightly thicker aim on the object ball (towards the left) should be made if any distance is involved. The amount of compensation needed can only be found by experience, and I recommend you try this shot many times to get the feel of it. Hope this helps.
Regards, Graham
P.S. I do not have a first-class coach in London. All my play is based on hard-earned experience!

Question 56: Date: 16/09/00 18:16:53 GMT Daylight Time From: fleeceskipton@lineone.net (Bob Williamson) To: snookermag@aol.com Why was the 1971 World Championship Played in 1970?

Answer: (Please note our comment that we do not normally answer 'historical' questions, but will try to if possible. -Ed.) Hi, Bob! Thanks for your question, to which I am still trying to find an answer. I have asked Chris Turner, who is one of the most authoritative sources, but he has not yet found an answer. I have accessed several sources, including books by John Spencer himself, Ray Reardon and a History of Snooker and Billiards, by Clive Everton, none of which give a complete answer. It looks as though, after Reardon won the 1970 championship in April, the Australian federation offered to stage the 1971 event in November 1970. Perhaps it was more convenient for them to hold it at that time. What usually happened was that the event started its knockout stages in October/November of one year and finished in March/April of the following year. Obviously as it took place in Australia, it would not be convenient for the non-Australian competitors to shuttle back and forth for the various rounds. I hope this helps, and will pass on any other information which is forthcoming.

Question 57: Date: 23/09/00 22:22:07 GMT Daylight Time From: alji@lineone.net (Alan Harwood) To: snookermag@aol.com
Can you explain to me the most up to date " miss" rule in depth as there is some disagreement at my club.

Answer: Hi, Alan! Now you've asked a question. Let me start by saying that I am not a professional referee, and probably all the clauses of the miss rule and the various interpretations are known only by the professionals. However, I will deal with the most important points as I see them. If there are other aspects, I would be delighted to hear some feedback. I would not suggest that all the clauses below should apply at all amateur levels. Indeed, many Leagues do not insist on the miss rule being implemented at all.
1. A miss may not be given if either player needs snookers to win the frame. Therefore, if a player is, say, 29 behind (or in front) on the yellow, then a miss may not be called.
2. If a player can see any part of a 'ball on' and fails to make contact, then a miss is called automatically.
3. If a snookered player fails to make a reasonable attempt to hit an object ball, then a miss is called. This is the most controversial aspect, as what is a 'reasonable attempt' is open to debate. Obviously a lesser amateur player would be allowed much more latitude than a top professional. Many professional referees seem to give a miss regardless of the nearness of the attempt. However, sometimes this is for other reasons. (See Nos.4 and 5)
4. If a player has an 'easy way' out of a snooker and chooses a more difficult alternative, then a miss is called at the top level. Many professionals choose a more difficult route for purposes of safety.
5. Usually if a snookered player fails to reach an object ball, a miss is also called automatically.
6. If a player can 'see' an object ball and fails to contact it twice, the referee should warn the player after the second failed attempt that the frame will be awarded on a third miss. If he/she then fails to contact an object ball on the third attempt, then the frame is awarded to the opponent. This does not apply if the player is fully snookered on all object balls. In this case a player may take as many attempts as necessary. The current professional record is twelve consecutive misses by Mark King.
7. The opponent's options after a miss are as follows:
a. Play the next shot himself.
b. Ask the player to play again from the position left.
c. Take a free ball if one has been awarded.
d. Ask for the balls to be replaced as they were before the previous stroke. The referee often has to be a 'memory man' for this one, as other balls may have been moved. However, balls which are not considered an integral part of the stroke do not have to be replaced. This is often difficult to interpret, but, for instance, a ball which might be interfering with a player's path off a cushion to strike the object ball should be replaced if moved.
I hope I have given you the main points of the miss rule. Please ask again if a point is unclear.
I should emphasise that these are my own interpretations, and that I have not reproduced the actual written Rules in the above. Graham.

Question 58: Date: 19/10/00 05:28:16 GMT Daylight Time From: samdbj@hotmail.com (Sam Duncan) To: Snookermag@aol.com
Mr Graham Allan, Thank you for replying to my guestbook entry. I have a question for the questions page, two questions actually. Did any of today's professionals start playing the game in their late teens or early twenties? Is it possible to play to a high standard having started so late? Also, I live in Sydney, Australia, and while there are a few very good players around, snooker has a very small, but loyal, following here. Hence it is extremely difficult to find snooker merchandise, books, videos, etc. Are videos of snooker sold in the UK, if so, are they sold by anyone who would ship them to Australia. Thank you. Your site is great, the practise routines that you have listed have been extremely beneficial to my game. Sam Duncan

Answer: Dear Sam, Thanks for your questions and complimentary comments. I have asked the 'guru', Chris Turner, for any information, but it is not something which may be easily ascertained without personal contact with the players or their autobiographies. I feel sure that your compatriot, Eddie Charlton, started playing very late, but I am not certain of his age. I'll see what I can find out. As regards your second question, you can get some snooker videos by contacting Amazon.co.uk from this site, or Amazon.com. I would recommend that you go to a search engine, such as http://www.altavista.com or similar, and type in snooker+videos as your search item. This should throw up some sites. Sorry not to be more specific at this time. Best wishes, Graham

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