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.