The Crucible, home to many snooker tournaments, Photo by Gary Butterfield on Unsplash

The Curious Case of the King of Snooker, Ronnie O’Sullivan

There is just something so mesmerizing about watching that guy clear the table.

4 min readSep 21, 2022


In recent months, I’ve taken exercise to heart. Every day, I walk around the neighborhood and I use a little trampoline. When I use the trampoline, I like to put something on YouTube. I’ve tried watching dramas, but then I have to read subtitles, not an easy thing to do on a trampoline. Then I tried tennis, and then golf, both of them disorienting. Then I found snooker.

Hardly anything moves on a snooker table. The table weighs more than 1000 pounds, so it’s not going anywhere. The balls roll for a short time, then stop. The colors are pleasing to the eye. The proportions of the table and the way they’re framed by the camera, give it a sort of golden ratio. I could see how this could work while I bounce up and down.

I didn’t just find snooker to be pleasing and easy to watch while rebounding on a trampoline. I saw Ronnie O’Sullivan, arguably the king of snooker. This is a man who started playing when he was six. He won his first tournament when he was nine, and he just never stopped playing.

He’s like this living fantasy of a snooker player. I’ve seen him win a frame of snooker from 70–0 and he had zero to start. He found an opening and just kept shooting until all the balls were cleared. In tournament play, he has achieved more maximum breaks than any other player alive or dead, with 15 of them. O’Sullivan also holds the record for the fastest maximum break at 5 minutes 20 seconds. You can see that here.

So I’ve become a bit of a fan. I don’t follow the tourneys, but if I just want to settle down from a day of work, I put on whatever snooker game I find on my home page with YouTube, but with Ronnie playing. Then I can rebound on a trampoline without getting disoriented.

I’m also thinking of my family, too. I can’t be watching House of the Dragon and have my kids walk in. I’ve noticed that my wife is sensitive to some of the content I like, so snooker seems about as inoffensive as I can get for content. And my kids find it boring.

I am aware that O’Sullivan has faced addictions, personal problems, and other corners of humanity, just like the…