A 147 in snooker is a magical moment for any snooker player and the fans watching it. At some stage, all snooker players both amateur and professional have dreamt about making a 147 at some point or another. As special as they are is making a 147 in snooker as special as they used to be given the amount we see in tournaments now?
Once upon a time 147’s were rare, really rare! We would be very lucky if we saw one a year and it felt like a really special moment when one occurred. If you haven’t seen it already, check out Cliff Thorburn’s 147 on YouTube which he made in the 1983 World Championships. It was one of the most magical moments captured on live television. The crowd were on the edges of their seats, the commentators were willing every ball into the pocket and play had stopped on the other table.
It’s only been in the last 8-10 years that we have started to see a huge increase in the amount of 147’s being made. Is it because the amount of tournaments played compared to pre 2010? Is it due to table conditions? Or are the players getting better?
There is no doubt about it, the amount of tournaments has a huge impact on the number of 147 in snooker. Obviously the more tournaments, the more big breaks and maximum breaks made. It is a mathematical certainty.
Table conditions have changed a lot over the past three decades. In the older days snooker tables were slower and slightly more unpredictable than today’s tables. On a slower table, a player has to hit the ball harder than on a fast table. It’s well known that the harder a player has to hit a ball, the more chance there is of not delivering the cue straight which can cause more missed pots and harder positional play.
Some professionals would argue against that but i don’t see them lining up asking the authorities to introduce slower tables. They want faster tables because they know the balls open easier making positional play and potting easier despite the smaller pockets sizes.
Players in the 70’s and 80’s had no choice but to learn a good safety game because it was very very hard to make big breaks on slower tables. That’s why Davis, Hendry, McManus etc had killer safety skills.
In today’s game the tables are super fast and the amount of tournaments being played all contribute towards the amount of 147 in snooker. Is it becoming run of the mill news or do they still make you want to rush home and see the replay?
Although there are loads of 147 in snooker, practically in every tournament now, the magic moments still exist in today’s game. For example Ronnie O’Sullivan’s 147 against Ding Junhui in the Welsh Open final in 2014 which you can view below.