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   Thursday, 12 December, 2002, 12:24 GMT
Sex or space invaders?

Life as a snooker player can be mentally exhausting.

All that time spent watching your opponent sink ball after ball can get you down.

Which makes those moments to yourself in the latter stages of a lengthy event like the UK Championship all the more important.

Here is a look at how some of the players spend their time when they are not at the table.


Paul Hunter

Hunter has become as well known for his activities away from the table as for his potting skills.

After winning the 2001 Benson and Hedges Masters the Englishman revealed the inspiration behind his triumph.

He had been popping back to his dressing room for regular love-making with his girlfriend in between sessions.

Hunter then came from behind to beat Fergal O'Brien 10-9 in the final and afterwards referred to his methods as "Plan B".


Steve Davis

The Golden Nugget may have been harshly branded boring during his time at the top, but away from the table it seems Davis could live it up with the best of them.

"During the mid-session interval I would go down to the foyer where they would have the latest space invader or Pacman game when they were all the rage," he said.

"I even had a hotel room full of them one year at the World Championship just to occupy the dead hours during the tournament.

"But we had to issue passes on the door as all the players wanted to get in."

The six-time winner of the UK Championship added: "I don't think I have ever really put Plan B into operation to the same level as Paul Hunter.

"In the long matches when you have an overnight perhaps Plan B might be a natural progression, but certainly not mid-session - that's a bit different.

"But that's the new breed of player - they are always changing the rules."


Peter Ebdon

When the 2002 world champion is not at the table, he is dreaming of life at the stable.

"I generally have my head in a pedigree book," he said. "I breed racehorses and do matings on a computer programme.

"So I spend a lot of my spare time studying blood lines.

"I'm doing it on a very small scale now, laying the foundations but it is something I will do in the future.

"I'm going to breed horses to sell as yearlings. I'm fascinated by the bloodlines so I need to make sure the pedigrees are right."


Terry Griffiths

For the popular Welshman, apparently you can never have too much of a good thing.

"The time between matches was always the most difficult to fill," he said. "But I was a rare bird in that I used to love watching my fellow pros play.

"I would spend a lot of my time watching at the venue. Most of them will browse around the practise room or perhaps watch a bit on television, but don't tend to go into the arena."

Griffiths revealed that Hunter may not have been the first to turn to Plan B.

He added: "I dare say Plan B has been done by other people. They just didn't come out and say it.

"It's not the normal thing you talk about, but Paul is young, a very nice looking lad and speaks his mind.

"It worked for him but obviously it doesn't work for everyone."


Bill Werbeniuk

The big Canadian used to drink several pints of lager before taking to the table in order to help relax himself for a big game.

"I can recall him having a pint of lager for breakfast one day," said Griffiths.

"It wasn't the prettiest sight in the world but that's what he had to do as he had a shake in his cue hand and that used to help stop it.

"He never used to get drunk because he used to drink so many pints that he'd get used to it.

"It helped him in the later part of his career. But he wasn't drinking just for the sake of it."

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 Steve Davis
"I don't think I ever put Plan B into operation to the level of Paul Hunter"

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