Bad luck, fortune and coincidence


Touching numerous reds before going in-off. Terrible feeling! Or when positioned on the black to split the pack and by doing so a red goes in. Can this all be avoided? We at Prosnooker believe we can avoid a lot of situations where players tend to point out bad luck was involved.

We are not claiming there is no such thing as bad luck or luck. But we are only saying it is referred to too often incorrectly. Using ‘bad luck’ too often as an excuse, you are emphasizing things in the wrong way. Instead we invite you not to judge the result, but further all actions that took place and leading to the outcome.

A player with less experience who has to try to pot a color and split a pack of 3 reds will come across difficulties in making the pot and consecutively hitting the pack. When hitting the pack and white gets in-off, you will hear quite often ‘such bad luck’. But is this truly bad luck?

In exact the same situation, an advanced player however, will study the pack. Should I hit it at he left hand side or right hand side? Should I hit it hard or not? He will try to make the pot and hit the pack in such a way it provides an advantage. So he feels and thinks totally differently. That is why professional players usually study packs of reds trying to predict any possible outcome.

With respect to all sorts of levels of players, not controlling the white creates the opportunity for all sorts of things you don’t want to happen.

Nowadays, when snooker is being broadcasted, we see percentages of potting or safety success added on the screen. This is showing their high standard of play.

Whereas the professional player reaches about 90 to 95% of control, an advanced player about 50 to 60%, the amateur player reaches about 20 to 30% of control of the white ball. But what does this mean; controlling the white for 25%? This means that still for about 75% the player has no control over the white ball. Can you imagine all sorts of things going wrong within these 75%? Wrong positional play, bad safeties, going in-off, snookering yourself, fluke-snooker.

Not controlling the white ball can indicate wrong judgement, incompetence or bad preparation. But lots of players are substituting ‘not controlling’ by bad luck. And this is incorrect. Can they fix this? Of course! But you have to be responsible for a start.

About 25 years ago, when Bjorn Haneveer started playing, lots of results were taking down in schemes with percentages. We noticed a growth from 20-30% up to 85-90% within a period of 8 to 10 years. Indicating he controlled the white ball quite well. Never we spoke about luck or bad luck. He simply didn’t want to take part in this kind of conversations because he didn’t want to undergo the situation. Instead he wanted to dictate it. So controlling the white ball, that what it is all about!

Prosnooker clearly have no intention of turning all players into pros. More we would like to see you didn’t hide behind your excuses of bad luck anymore. Try to look at yourself, at your own shortcomings for not controlling the ball, and how you can prevent things from happening. It just might be that you can change ‘bad luck’ by ‘stupid me’.


Have you ever reflected on coincidence? Coincidence it nothing more than a happening, resulting from one or more controlled or non-controlled events.

A white ball touching a red, without intention, then hits another red and goes in-off. Coincidence? No. Predictable? No, because is happened unintentional. Bad luck? Surely not!

What is it then? Nothing. The moment we hand over our control over a situation, the situation will control or dictate us. We are submerged into laws of physics and geometry. (colliding objects, action-reaction, gravity, humidity, speed, etc.) It’s because we find it hard to accept a bad outcome, that each time we are looking for other excuses. We invent them and clinch to saying things like ‘bad luck’ or ‘coincidence’. But in fact, in most cases there is nothing to say. Entirely predicting what is going to happen on a snooker table for all occasions is impossible.

Let us take the example of Ronnie O’Sullivan. An exceptional player. Years ago he was puzzled by the fact why he couldn’t manage a break of 147 every time a chance occurred. ‘How bizarre is that?’ you might think. But for his state of mind, scoring ability and control of the cue ball, it all was quite obvious. In his way of thinking there is no space left for missing a ball, bad luck or coincidence. Total control is what he wants.

He is solving his worst jigsaw puzzle ever in his entire life. The answer however is very simple. You are  a human being and not a robot. Being human implicates mistakes are made, despite what the qualities or abilities are.

What you then need to do is to accept this so you can fit this into your system. When you can’t accept this, problems of behavior occur. It is good to strive and extend your boundaries. But we all have our limits. One day we feel great and unbeatable. The next a bit less. In order to limit your ups an downs you need to practise a lot so that you acquire certain skills. Perfect control can be achieved, but only for a brief moment, and only by a few.

Let us look at the picture again of the truck on that bridge. What do you think this is? Luck? Bad luck or coincidence? When you understood well what we wrote down, you probably know which answer is the right one.