The Jester’s Winning Gesture

Mark Selby may have lost his place in the top eight this season but by capturing a second Masters title and advancing to the last four of the World Championship, the Jester from Leicester ensured that it was nevertheless a good campaign for him. Click below to read an interview with him courtesy of Tiberiu Iacomi…

1. Given the fact that snooker is played at a professional level in a few countries, how much do you think that the World Championship is truly a global one?

I don’t believe that it is truly global because we haven’t conquered USA or South America, however there is a lot of interest elsewhere.

2. Taking into consideration your rise to fame through the 2007 World Championship final and Ronnie O’Sullivan’s recent comments, how much do you feel that winning the World Championship has become a burden and an additional pressure for you?

Obviously, winning the World Championship is my ultimate ambition, but there is no pressure. I will continue to work and prepare hard to give myself the best chance.

3. What new elements did your manager, Mr. Mukesh Parmar, bring to your game and your attitude toward the game?

Management, coaching, organization and his positive attitude. He gives me belief. Also he is a friend and companion. Travelling can become quite lonely!

4. You proved along the last years to be a master of exceptional comebacks and cool nerves. Is this a feat that young players are not used to have while you have it as a gift or is it psychologically trained?

It’s a question of inner belief and never giving up, the match is never over until the last ball is potted!

5. How do you envisage yourself in the future years of snooker? Opening a snooker academy, investing in snooker promotion or being a trainer and a mentor for young players?

Yes, having my own club and academy is definitely a goal of mine, but coaching and mentoring – I’ll leave that to Mukesh!

6. How profitable is now and will be in the future, in your opinion, to invest in snooker?

Well, with the appointment of our new chairman Barry Hearn, hopefully he will generate more tournaments that may bring more sponsors into the game.

7. What mental qualities do you think snooker can induce into young children? What impact did snooker have on your childhood and personality?

I started playing pool at 7 and snooker at 9 years old. It instantly gave me an interest and a hobby, but it kept me off the streets and any chance of getting into trouble! Also it surrounded me with adults so I grew up quicker.

8. Even though your are only 26, you are playing professional snooker for 10 years now. How much experience do you think you accumulated and how did you combine it with your intuition and talent along the years?

You cannot take away the experiences that I have learned, you grow stronger and wiser through the years, doesn’t mean that the game gets easier! But I am managed well now and more focussed in achieving my goals.

9. Taking into account the effort, the long hours of training and the tiresome concentration during the matches, do you think that snooker can grow in prize money so as to level other sports?

I don’t think it will ever reach the same levels as golf and tennis, but hopefully we will have more events in the next few years.

10. How much do you think that confidence increases your tactical and technical capabilities?

Confidence is everything! When your levels of confidence are high then you feel that you can achieve anything, when it’s low everything seems a struggle!

11. How much have fans raised up the level of popular finals?

Fans are everything. It’s harder for me to play in front of a low audience then it is in front of a full arena.

12. If you were to be chosen a snooker ambassador in which country would you first promote snooker?

Apart from the UK, possibly China because of the interest and the commitment they have shown for snooker.

13. Which is the best present you have ever received?

The gift to play snooker!!!