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Un-Nooh! Sh6.76m Thai snooker blunder

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A black off the spot proved the undoing of Thepchaiya Un-Nooh as he closed in on a maximum break at the UK Championship. PHOTO/Omni
A black off the spot proved the undoing of Thepchaiya Un-Nooh as he closed in on a maximum break at the UK Championship. PHOTO/Omni

BANGKOK, December 2- What’s worse than fluffing a maximum break in snooker on the very last ball? Discovering that mistake just cost you $66,000 (Sh6,766,340.59).

That was the cruel fate that befell Thailand’s aptly named Thepchaiya Un-Nooh during a tournament in Britain late Tuesday when a rushed final pot saw the black ricochet off the cushion.

Thepchaiya could barely believe his misfortune, returning to his seat crestfallen, his head in his hands.

But the poor player’s disappointment was compounded after the match against Australia’s Neil Robertson when he was informed a successful maximum break would have netted him £44,000 from the tournament organisers.

“£44,000? I wish you’d told me before the black,” Thepchaiya replied. “There was too much pressure.”

In snooker, a maximum break requires a player to pot 15 red balls, each time followed by the black, before finishing the coloured balls in order, ending on the black to give the highest possible score of 147.

It’s an incredibly rare moment in the sport with only a handful of professional players boasting one to their name.

“I think that he had pressure because it was on live with many cameras around,” Borrirak Jongchotchatchawal, manager of the Hi-End snooker club in Bangkok where Thepchaiya often practises told AFP.

“I feel bad for him more that he missed the chance to make a maximum break rather than the money — he can make money later,” he added.

Other Thai snooker fans sent messages of support on Facebook.

“What a shame really on the last ball,” wrote follower Vitoon Sunakerd. “This was a big game for him and we are supporting you.”

Thepchaiya went on to lose his match to world number three Robertson at the UK Championship in York.

“Poor Thepchaiya,” the Australian said after the match. “That prize would have meant a lot to him.”

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