Stephen Maguire is hopeful a home venue will provide the inspiration he needs to win the World Open in Glasgow next month.

In truth, home advantage can also be home disadvantage.

Yes, an audience that includes family and friends can be a spur but it can also place a player under pressure, as Maguire himself found in the Grand Prix in Glasgow two years ago when he so desperately wanted to impress his grandfather, Paddy, the man who knocked down a wall between two rooms at his house to give young Stephen a place to practise, who was sat in the crowd.

Maguire lost 5-1 to Jamie Cope. He didn’t fare much better last year.

Some players do use home turf to their advantage. Joe Johnson, a proud Yorkshireman, did so at the Crucible in 1986.

John Higgins won the 2008 Grand Prix in Glasgow. Stephen Hendry has won a number of titles in Scotland although, to be fair, he’s won titles everywhere.

James Wattana reached the final of his first professional event, the 1989 Asian Open, when it was staged in his native Bangkok. He would go on to win his home ranking title twice.

Ding Junhui won the China Open in Beijing in 2005 but Ken Doherty never won the Irish Masters (he was awarded the trophy in 1998 after Ronnie O’Sullivan was stripped of the title, but this doesn’t count as a win).

Most of us would prefer to sleep in our own beds rather than in a hotel if we spend a lot of time in hotels, as snooker players do.

But being at home during a tournament takes you out of your routine and leaves you open to everyday realities you would otherwise avoid which can affect your mental preparation: your child is poorly, it’s your wife’s birthday, the dog needs taking to the vet etc.

Snooker players are, by the nature of their sport, solitary individuals who need high levels of concentration. That focus can be broken by normal life whereas at tournaments they exist in a bubble.

As for Maguire, he produced one of the best performances of last season when he beat Mark Williams 5-1 in the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open.

It was the ultimate in foot on the throat snooker. He completely shut Williams – who was playing superbly himself – out of the game and took his own chances effectively without taking undue risks.

It was a masterclass in match snooker and worth watching for new tour pros. You don’t have to go for everything. You don’t have to try and pot every long ball. Play the percentages, play to your strengths.

Maguire’s problem is not his game but his temperament, specifically that he often gets very down on himself very early.

Players giving themselves a gee up for motivation is fine but if you have a negative frame of mind, negatives things tend to happen.

Despite all this, Maguire had a consistent year, reaching a slew of semi-finals without landing a title.

Playing in Glasgow may work to his advantage but only if he treats it the same as every other tournament and does not put himself under to much pressure to perform for his loved ones.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Can we have your thoughts on which other matches will be held over. There doesnt look to be a big choice, I guess they will wait to see if Jimmy White gets through, but who else?

Anonymous said...

Dave, good article enjoyed reading it,your insight into the game is interesting.

My own inkling on the world open if I had to pick a winner I'd go for Williams (Then again O'Sullivan is looking focused lately)

Now the world open being best of 5 is a bit of a lottery,there's probably 20 or more likely winners instead of the usual maby 7 or 8.

The reason I'd pick Williams is his track record of winning scrappy frames and his single ball potting. I think the format will produce more tighter frames.

Betty Logan said...

My money is going on Hendry and Matthew Stevens each way.

kildare cueman said...

There is definitely an added pressure to winning a tournament in your home country.

The more patriotic players, like Stevens and Doherty, have looked extremely twitchy at times, while playing in relatively minor events in their home countries.

Indeed, they actually look more relaxed playing in the World and UK championships than they do, playing at home.

Other players, like Hendry and Williams, don't seem to struggle as much, perhaps because their single minded desire to win, overrides any patriotic twinges that might affect their game.

Ding has won in China but has been whitewashed by Allen in a final and more recently, lost to Murphy after holding a large lead.

The Irish Masters, despite the host country producing a UK and three world champions, failed to produce a winner until Alex Higgins, well past his peak, on one leg and playing a deadly young Hendry, perversely won it from 2 down with 3 to play in the final.

I think its probably harder for players who are the only representative for that country. The pressure of expectation, the realisation that victory will make you a national hero, not to mention the financial spin offs, are all factors that can detract from a players concentration.

Anonymous said...

Maguire is frustrating. At his best he is as good as anyone out there but usually throws a bad performance in the mix every tournament which does for him.

Does anyone know if this saga of the 9-3 scoreline is ever going to be dealt with? It's been nearly 2 years. Saddam Hussein had quicker justice.

kildare cueman said...

I don't see how a guilty verdict can be reached.

Barring a confession or a money trail leading to the players, its impossible to prove anything.

Regardless of how it looks, there is always a possibility that it was played straight, and its better that the guilty escape than to have an innocent player condemned.

Betty hold onto your dough. Apart from the fact that Hendry and Stevens are both struggling and devoid of confidence, they are both players who tend to shine in longer matches.

If they struggle over 9, they'll definitely struggle over 5.

O'Sullivan(quick starter) and Selby(deciding frame specialist) are the ones that jump out for me.

jamie brannon said...

I don't see why Doherty's win shouldn't count as in Athletics if a medal is taken away the other athlete who finished behind is awarded the medal, rightly so in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Mr X @ 10:27 am Hello Dave
The speed of justice for that tyrant Sir was only a “World Political” problem and nothing to do with the “Conspiracy of Silence” within the present Snooker Establishment.

The Dave Hendon blog along with many other blogs “Act Shy” of that disciplinary subject as there is a kind of “No comment” or “Closed Shop” policy that must be observed.

The simple truth Sir is; There has been (wrongly) a precedent laid down concerning the awards given to alleged wrong doers in the past that must for ever apply to all alleged wrong doers now and in the future.

The real problem Sir is nobody wants the “Subject” aired for a chat and possible conclusion but hope foolishly that it will melt away without trace.
The first time a disciplinary hearing is disputed and heard in court the “Conspiracy of Silence” fellowship will be recorded and explained in full. Mr Hey You.

Dave H said...

Answers on a postcard...

Executor said...

Anyone calling Jamie biased ROS lover should be labeled 'ignorant' after that post... :-)

Anonymous said...

I would count his win and i guess Doherty would too. Does WPBSA?


Dave H said...

Ken doesn't count it

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Mr Hendon
Thanks for the posts! My being merely an adult student to this “Computer Lark” is there some significance in your personal remark “Replies on a postcard”?

Was there a message there lad to me or to the other blog members? Though aged and not to old to learn, I am definitely Not (as Oscar said) young enough to know everything. Mr hey you.

jamie brannon said...

True, I think he would if Ronnie had taken performance enhancing drugs.

There is a book mentioned in Snooker Scene, called the pool bible. Anyone know where I can access a copy? As I am interested in bettering myself at a game I am half-decent at.

Bad news for snooker fans - Peter Drury commentating on Powerball snooker.

Good news - Clive Everton is commentating.

I am guessing there will be a couple of others as they are both lead commentators and Everton may think Willie Thorne is irritating, but that is nothing compared to Drury attempts at darts commentary, he is a little less annoying on football.

kildare cueman said...

O'Sullivan won the Irish Masters fair and square.

The net effect of wsa's decision that year was a fine of about £30,000 that went to Doherty instead of the board.

Nice windfall for Ken and anyone who backed him, but cash aside, its not a real title.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

I asked in the first post on this thread if you have any ideas on which matches from those left will be held over to the venue. If not exactly who, what do you think they are looking at, and making the announcement after qualifiers on Monday, means some players may have made an unnecessary journey to Sheffield.

Anonymous said...

To Mr Hey you @ 3:47pm

Your posts dont generally bother me,each to their own and all that.

But I dont respect you playing complete dumbo as to who Dave's post was directed to. Unless you really want to turn more people against you.

Take care lad.

Dave H said...

They are going to decide on Monday night depending on who has got through to the final qualifying round

Anonymous said...

3.47 now i know u are full of crap. the (Oscar qoute)was in the sun newspaper yesterday. How sad to pinch other peoples lines you fraud. Also the fact you make out you are a clever fellow and read the sun lol.(yes i read the sun) sometimes i look at the pictures.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Dave and Mr X @ 11:29pm.
How are you both kind Sirs!
I assure you I have no idea why Dave’s remark “on postcards”. I should be really candid and enlighten you both that my recent medical record described me as “Slow”. This official assessment I hope justified my “ignorance” of your remarks.

Your remark Mr X “Take care lad” sounded more like a threat than “Good wishes” is made without reason or purpose, therefore I also find perplexing.

I apologise Sir if my posts seem “Dogmatic” in the seriousness of “Snooker Coaching” but being the author of the worlds only copyright on “Snooker Coaching” and the only alternative to “The Joe Davis Method” of 19-36 I feel pride.

Personally kind Sirs my greatest accomplishment is “Out living” by a month my beautiful pin striped demob suit gratefully received in 19-45. Mr Hey you

jamie brannon said...

Dave, is the pool bible available through order on Snooker Scene? It didn't seem to be advertised on the books list.

Dave H said...

I'll see if I can find out

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Mary Eli @ 12:31 am Hello Dave.
How are you both! You are wrong Mary to accuse me of stealing the Oscar Wild quote from the “Sun” newspaper.
My preference of daily paper was motivated by the introduction of Mr Peter O Sullivan as Horse racing corresponding many years ago; therefore unaware of the Sun quote.

The capacity to memorise “Relevant Rubbish” along with some wonderful quotes is the knack of registering .001% of possible all the rubbish I manage to read daily.
In early days Mary I found “The Hotspur” Rover and Wizard compulsive reading, but sadly no longer published.

By the way Mary, Peter O Sullivan is no relation to snookers wonder boy Ronnie O. In fact Peter O Sullivan the worlds greatest TV commentator will be remembered with distinction as the Irish gentleman that took the adjective “Penultimate” out of the dictionary and made it a “Real Word” and world wide popular. Mr Hey you

Anonymous said...

Regular blog readers might be interested to see this:


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the world open is sponsored? If not, where is the prize money coming from?

Anonymous said...

Errm... 6.42pm, why would regular blog readers be interested in the website of a particular commmercial club.

Is this a new way of getting free advertising?

Inman said...

Hey you, I enjoy your posts and look forward to each one. While I am not a fan of coaching, I nevertheless have picked up many pearls of wisdom that may have been intended for snooker but can be applied accordingly to real life.
I am appalled at some of the abuse that you have taken, from mary, mister X and others who are the product of a dysfunctional society that encourages individualism, intolerance and greed.
Keep up the good work lad and listen not to the naysayers. Long live the fine art.

Anonymous said...

8:43pm - why not try the link before passing comment?

Anonymous said...

9.09pm. I have done-twice, just in case I missed something. Its an ad for Thorne snooker centre and I still can't see any connection with regular bloggers on this site.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear brother Inman Hello Dave
Thanks for the family support brother; I presume your published Post is word perfect and at dear mother’s request.
All kidding aside lad! Thanks. This proves that there could be “Others” out there with an open mind to “Others” opinions

To reflect back Inman to “Make be leave”: When disappointed or dissatisfied with “Gods Ration”

I cried because I had no shoes
Till I saw the man who had no feet
All the best Lad and thanks for “Long live the Fine Art”. Mr hey you

Betty Logan said...

Dave, you have to include this in your links section if you don't want your blog to lose its credibility:


Anonymous said...

Has anyone here actually coughed up the £100 for the Fine Art DVD? I'm interested to see it so if anyone has a torrent...

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Betty Logan and Hello Dave
How are you dear friends! There are no secrets in snooker Betty. The “Fine Art” method is and always will be free to anyone that wants to read and practice snookers only alternative to the Joe Davis method first published by Joe in October19-36.

The “Fine Art” only condition Dave is “Not for Commercial use”. Putting this copyright proviso naturally inhibits the many “Coaching Bandits” there unlawful income from coaching and selling off “Coaching Diplomas”.
David H and the complete snooker establishment are fully aware that the “Fine Art” was offered with DVDs to W/S before the Sheffield Academy was opened and was rejected.

Dave the Brave did not invite my website to his blog Betty and I intentionally didn’t ask My website has never been sheltered and to the establishment always open to offers with the same copyright conditions.

The revenue from “Fine Art” publishing books, DVDs and an annual 5% payment to W/S from all registered coaches would equal the tobacco subsidy of by gone days. Mr Hey you.

Dave H said...

Right, I've heard enough of the Fine Art method now. I've heard enough about it and I've heard enough of people having a go at it.

This is not the Fine Art blog. I have never once written a post about it.

Any further comments with the words 'Fine Art' in them will be deleted.

Anonymous said...

About time too!

jamie brannon said...

Thanks Dave, I will ask at local libraries too.

Anonymous said...

Snookers ©nly Copyright method.
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Dave
How are you! Sorry about any discord you may be having lad with your superiors especially Betty Logan, I presume Dave she (BL) is one of the business employers that must be obeyed.

I presume Dave my choice of name for Snookers first copyright method was too meticulous and attractive in packaging as well as in coaching content.
The vanity habit of seeing your name splashed about is really hard to resist, though often a detriment and very deceitful; like a hidden promise from a champions name.

Miz Logan was wrong Dave to volunteer my website to the public. The three wonderful Snooker Academies in Wales, Sheffield and the new one will positively double or treble there coaching ability under the copycat pretext of: “I’ve always known that but just forgot”. Mr hey you

Dave H said...

No it's boring and repetitive. If you want to comment on the various subjects discussed on this blog feel free. If you want to spam your coaching method go somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

thanks Dave i was getting to the stage where i wasnt going to even use this blog anymore .DR

Anonymous said...

ive been on holiday for 2 weeks dave, but ive been catching up on all the posts and i have to say that i am glad youve taken this stance against the guy i used to refer to as fine farty....

well done for finally seeing that he was spoiling the comments section by continually.....

thanks again dave.