Snooker legend dies
January 22, 2003 3:49 PM   Subscribe

Snooker legend dies A very sad day for snooker lovers. Bill Werbeniuk, the only man to split his trousers on live television during a professional snooker match, has died. And he liked a pint or thirty.
posted by skellum (22 comments total)
Snooker, isn't that what Andy Capp, that wife-beating drunk, plays?

What is snooker, anyway?
posted by nyxxxx at 3:58 PM on January 22, 2003

Snooker is, if my recent ESPN 2 Women's Billiards watching holds true, the ultimate prep sport for 9 ball enthusiasts. The top two players in the WBPA are former Snooker champs in their respective home countries of England and Ireland.
posted by jonson at 4:02 PM on January 22, 2003

posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:03 PM on January 22, 2003

That isn't snooker, click about and then rules, in snooker you have 15 reds in a triangle, then a yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black ball. You pot a red then a color, colors have the values 2 thru 7 (in the order stated) and it's all played on a table twice as big as a pool table. When there are no reds left you pot the colors in order. Guy with the biggest score wins the frame and you play a bunch of frames.
posted by zeoslap at 4:11 PM on January 22, 2003

...generally played on 12' tables with very, very small pockets. By contrast, the table at your local bar is probably only 7-8', and the 9-ball they play on ESPN is played on 9' tables.

Don't know much about this player, though...but it sure looks like he could drink.
posted by dragstroke at 4:19 PM on January 22, 2003

Here's some history Thanks for the link zeoslap - hadn't realised that Europe, with former snooker world champ Steve Davis in the team, had beaten USA in the Mosconi Cup last month. In the 9 ball world, that's on a par with Europe winning the Ryder Cup for the first time in '85.
posted by skellum at 4:19 PM on January 22, 2003

We're all snooker loopy ... see you Bill ...
posted by feelinglistless at 4:20 PM on January 22, 2003

"That isn't snooker, click about and then rules..."

Sorry to have offended you, zeoslap. I figured if it said "snooker" it meant "snooker".

Besides, it's all just a bunch of colored balls on green felt, right?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:22 PM on January 22, 2003

the only man to split his trousers on live television during a professional snooker match

Surely he can't be the only one.
posted by jjg at 4:32 PM on January 22, 2003

You're right, dragstroke, the cult status of Werbeniuk amongst my generation was undoubtedly the remarkable drinking ability but Bill did make a 143 break in the world championships - meaning that he potted all the balls on the table in one visit. A 147 maximum (15 reds, 15 blacks and all the colours) may be the holy grail of snooker but 143 is something that you or I can only conceive of watching with our mouths wide open.
posted by skellum at 4:32 PM on January 22, 2003

he was runner-up to Steve Davis in the Lada Classic

now thats what i call an epitath.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:46 PM on January 22, 2003

And another thing, dragstroke...what the hell is the origin of the term 'putting some english on it'? Over here we call 'english', rather dully, 'side'. And being Scottish I wouldn't mind knowing if it's okay to start using 'english'.
posted by skellum at 5:01 PM on January 22, 2003

ach ye muckle toozie skellum ye !

furryboots gadgie ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:17 PM on January 22, 2003

soapdodger, ken fuck barry ken
posted by skellum at 5:34 PM on January 22, 2003

So, just so we have this clear. There's this sport. You can drink gallons of beer while competing in the sport, and that's no problem. But once you start taking something that mitigates the effects of all that alcohol, that gets you banned from the sport.

Dude, that sport rocks!
posted by staggernation at 6:20 PM on January 22, 2003

jonson: yes, Karen Corr and Allison Fisher are in the lead, respectively. I used to play nine ball on a 12' snooker table to tighten my aim before tournaments. I remember when Jeanette Lee brought the sport to a new level, but it's the snooker players raising the bar now. Corr shoots lights out. I'd like to see her play Corey Deuel.

I wish I had cable. Man.
posted by swerve at 7:09 PM on January 22, 2003

"Snooker is, if my recent ESPN 2 Women's Billiards watching holds true, the ultimate prep sport for 9 ball enthusiasts."

At the risk of sounding like a snooker snob, in the UK at least the game is far bigger than pool ever was anywhere in the world. In its heyday (the 80's and early 90s), snooker was arguably the most popular professional sport in the land and the top players were all household names. The 1985 final between Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor was at that time the most-watched TV sports event in history.

Snooker isn't nearly as big today as it was back then, but there is still a healthy professional circuit with extensive mainstream TV coverage. Pool, on the other hand, has never managed to rise above the late-night ESPN2 niche or shake off its slightly seedy bar-room image. And the ex-snooker guys now playing pool tend to be over-the-hill masters who can't cut it any more in today's game.
posted by plenty at 8:36 PM on January 22, 2003

I miss the Hurricane and the Whirlwind.
posted by liam at 11:14 PM on January 22, 2003

From Popbitch's mailout:

Popbitch salutes snooker legend Bill Werbeniuk,
who has died aged 56. We love Bill because:

1. He constantly drank lager through snooker
matches. It was the only thing that
controlled a rare medical condition which
caused his hands to shake.

2. He was thus able to write off the cost
of all the lager against tax.

3. He was the first snooker player to split
his trousers live on TV.

4. When Bill started to suffer the effects of
his lager consumption, doctors prescribed him a
drug, Inderal. Unfortunately Inderal was on the
list of snooker's banned substances, so Bill was
faced with a choice of lager or snooker.

5. So, naturally, Werbeniuk chose to give up
playing snooker.

Bill's last professional match was a 10-1 defeat
by Nigel Bond in 1990. Afterwards he declared:
"I've had 24 pints of extra strong lager and
eight double vodkas and I'm still not drunk."
posted by brettski at 2:20 AM on January 23, 2003

a weegie aye ?
pure dead brilliant n that big man.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:47 AM on January 23, 2003

ah, snooker, the sport of gentlemen.

bill opened up a snooker club in worksop, my home town. he was a local hero and role model.
not, it has to be said, because of his snooker playing, but because of his prolific drinking abilities.

rest (and drink) in peace, bill.
posted by nylon at 5:16 AM on January 23, 2003

Is it true that Neville Chamberlain created the term 'snooker'? A lot of conflicting resources on the web and we, hard drinking snooker fans, want to know.
posted by Dagobert at 6:09 AM on January 24, 2003

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