HOUSTON – The United States National Championship of the world-renowned sport of snooker comes to Houston with three days of competition organized by the United States Snooker Association (USSA). Players from the four corners of the country will face off in Houston’s newly established Snooker 147 Bar & Grill located at 14144 Westheimer Rd, Suite 1.
Play will begin Saturday, May 25 and continue through Monday, May 27 when the new United States National Snooker Champion will be awarded.
Alan Morris, the Executive Director of the USSA, said, "We are looking forward to what promises to be an amazing championship played in a terrific new snooker establishment thanks to Mr. Mani Hassan and Mr. Aurangzeb Mahmud, and I would like to thank all of the players who are supporting the event through their participation and wish them all the very best."
In the 22-year history of the United States National Snooker, the championship has never before been hosted outside the states of California, Illinois and New York, a major consideration for USSA in bringing the championship to Houston.
The winner and runner-up of this year's championship will have the opportunity to represent the United States at this year's International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF) World Snooker Championships in the Latvian capital of Riga from November 18-30.
Interested spectators may attend the championship free of charge.
Snooker is a billiard sport invented by the British in 1875. It is historically popular in the countries of the former British Empire (Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, etc.) and is quickly gaining popularity in the Far East, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.
Rules of the Game
To many Americans, snooker will resemble the popular game of pool, however it is played on a much larger table that measures 6ft x 12ft in size and is covered with a green slightly napped cloth. It is played with fifteen red balls and six other colored balls that all have a numeric value. The reds are worth one point each, with the yellow worth two points, green worth three points, brown worth four points, blue worth five points, pink worth six points and the black worth seven points. The balls are slightly smaller than that of pool, measuring 2 1/16 inches in diameter, but the pockets are narrower than that of a pool table, making shots more difficult to make.
The basic object of snooker is that players play in turn to try and pocket balls using a white cue-ball to build-up a winning score. When there is no opportunity to pocket a ball, a player will make it as difficult as possible for their opponent to pocket a ball by playing a defensive stroke, or what is known in snooker as a safety shot.
To build-up a score, a player must first attempt to pocket any of the red balls. Having pocketed a red ball, the player is then free to select and pocket any one of the other six colored balls into any pocket on the table.
Once a colored ball is pocketed however, unlike a red ball which remains in the pocket, it is returned to its respective spot on the table and a player can then attempt to pocket another red ball and continue with the sequence adding to their score. In snooker, the term used for the number of points accumulated during a visit to the table is a “break”.
Once the final red ball has been pocketed, a player again has the option of playing to pocket a colored ball. If the colored ball is pocketed, as usual it is replaced on the table, and then the player must try to pocket the colored balls in ascending numerical order from yellow to black. This time when each ball is pocketed it stays in the pocket.
Even when there are not enough points remaining on the table to overtake an opponent’s score, a player can still win the game by forcing their opponent to commit a foul which is usually achieved by positioning the cue-ball behind another ball, obstructing a clear path to the target-ball. A player committing a foul, which also includes pocketing the cue-ball, will yield a minimum number of four to a maximum number of seven penalty points to their opponent.