Snooker ace Judd Trump would love to become a genuine multi cue sports star.
The former world champion ventured into the nine-ball pool world last season at the US Open in Atlantic City, losing in the fourth round to Scottish veteran Jayson Shaw. It was an enjoyable first splash for the Juddernaught and he has a craving for more.
The bright lights of the USA suit the 33-year-old and why wouldn’t they? Over the past few years he has been the sport’s shining star.
He has taken it upon himself to be the biggest advocate to drag the green-baize game towards younger viewers, pioneering ideas to have less stringent dress codes and fresher faces in the commentary box.
Trump has also been vocal about wanting to crack the American market and has played exhibitions around the country. The dream is to one day be the face of snooker’s first tournament on the other side of the Atlantic.
America holds a special piece of his heart and his annual summer pilgrimage to Las Vegas is one of the first things in the diary once the snooker season ends.
And the Juddernaught has his eyes set on one day leading Europe in the Mosconi Cup and playing more regularly across the pond.
Renowned cue-maker John Parris has been tasked with making Trump a specialist pool cue so he can master the arts of the nine-ball game, including the jump shot, after his first experience of the sport last year.
Snooker’s world No 2 insisted: “Pool is something I’d love to get involved with more. The first time was super fun, super enjoyable. With the venues we have in snooker I’d love to be playing more in America and with a strong dollar it looks a bit better as well!
“Hopefully the tournaments don’t clash in 2023 and I can do both. I’d love to be back playing in the US Open this year. With the way the rankings work you need a certain amount of ranking points to play in the bigger events.
“I’m still waiting for John Parris to make me a cue because I don’t want to go back into pool unless I feel like I can win events. If I can practice now then there’s no reason I can’t be [Mosconi Cup] captain one day.”
Trump wouldn’t be the first snooker player to feature in the Mosconi Cup. The likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Alex Higgins and Jimmy White have all played for Europe in years gone by.
And six-time world snooker champion Steve Davis was a regular foe for the mighty Americans, playing in each of the first 11 editions of the event.
The Nugget, who won the famous trophy in 1995 and 2002, ranked the second victory as one of the proudest moments of his glittering career and that’s saying something given everything he achieved on the green baize.
After being hammered 12-1 the year before at Bethnall Green’s York Hall, Davis beat legend Earl Strickland — an eight-time world champion — to secure a famous victory.
Davis recalled: “The crowd erupted as I shook hands with Earl – and then the rest of the European team descended upon me. We were in a huddle, jumping for joy. Six years of humiliation had evaporated in one shot.
“This wasn’t even my sport but I was caught up in it all. We were all in tears. It was one of the best moments of my career – regardless of the fact that this wasn’t even my career.”
A number of snooker’s top potters have signed up for pool competitions this season due to a lack of events early in the campaign.
Four-time world champion Mark Selby competed in the Ultimate Pool doubles, where he won an event last year, with brother-in-law Gareth Potts.
Former Masters champion Mark Allen impressed on his Ultimate Pool debut, losing in the group final to all-time great Mick Hill. And the Pistol didn’t rule out another crack if the opportunity presents itself once again.
The world No 14 said: “If the calendar allows it, then I’d definitely play in more events. I’m a realist and I know that I’m not going to pull up too many trees in the pool world in the long run, so I’ll have to stick to what I know best – and that’s snooker.
“But as long as the calendar allows it, then there’s no reason why I can’t dip my toe in the water and play again.”
And triple Crucible King Mark Williams signed up as a wildcard for the entire season, although he is yet to make his highly-anticipated debut.
At the British Open earlier this week, Williams said: “I’ve been playing more pool than snooker recently at home if I’m honest. I’ll have to start getting the snooker cue out more now with lots of events coming up.”
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