Aussie Neil Robertson just won a big snooker tournament in the UK. Are we snooker experts? We are not. Are you? Perhaps, but we bet the person sitting next to you isn’t. Well unless you’re reading this in a snooker hall.
So then. Here are a few quick facts to put us all in the picture.
Who won what again?
A 33-year-old Aussie called Neil Robertson won a snooker tournament called the UK Championship for the second time. His first victory was in 2013.
And this is a big tournament?
It is. Just as golf and tennis have four so-called Majors, snooker has three biggies known as the Triple Crown. In order of prestige, they are the World Championship, the UK Championship and the Masters. So Robertson basically just won the second biggest tournament in the world. For this he earned 150 thousand pounds. That’s more than 300 thousand Aussie dollars. Which is probably more than you ever won playing pool in the pub.
What’s this about a perfect 147 break?
A 147 break is where you clear every ball off the table without a miss. There’s a bit more to it than that, but the guts of the issue is that it’s incredibly difficult, and a mixture of good management and good luck. Never has anyone nailed a 147 in the final of one of the Triple Crown tournaments. In fact only 115 perfect breaks of 147 -- or “maximums” -- have ever been completed in professional snooker. If you want to win with a giant exclamation mark, that’s how you do it.
So who is this blonde Aussie who the Brits say looks like Shane Warne but who in truth, more closely resembles Shane Watson?
Neil Robertson is regarded as Australia’s best ever snooker player. Yes, better even than Eddie Charlton, who those of you as old and/or bald as this reporter will remember from watching Pot Black as kids, but who never actually won one of the big UK tournaments. Speaking of Pot Black, how good was the Pot Black theme? Here you go, Australia. Some snooker nostalgia for you.
What’s his back story?
In short, Robertson grew up in Melbourne, dropped out of school and chased the snooker dream. At times he couldn’t afford to sleep anywhere but a car, but the results and the ranking points eventually accrued. Robertson is regarded today as one of the world's best long potters. That means he routinely makes the sort of shots you make after six or seven beers and a hail Mary or two. Robertson is renowned for his calm temperament, which makes comparisons with Shane Warne all the more erroneous.
What else should we know about him?
He’s a Game of Thrones, Seinfeld and Larry David fan, which makes us like him. He supports Collingwood, which makes us think again. He’s a vegan, which makes us like him again. And his favourite movie is the Shawshank Redemption, which makes us go, dude, you and every one else on the planet. He’s really into video games, which is how he winds down after a big snooker win, apparently. Oh, and he’s a left hander.
What an Awesome feeling. UK Champion and making a 147 in the final is a dream come true!🏆 pic.twitter.com/ZqsJOSHqqz— Neil Robertson (@nr147) December 6, 2015
Was it a drama-packed final or did he obliterate his opponent?
Robertson won the best of 19 frame final 10-5. A “frame” means one game, or one table full of balls. His opponent, Liang Wenbo, is one of 11 Chinese players in the world’s top 100. Robertson is the only Australian.
Onya Robbo. Oi. Oi. Oi.