Brazil's waiting for snooker

21:33:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

If you ask a historian about Brazil, he will probably tell you this country was a Portuguese colony until 1822. If you ask a housewife the same thing, she will share with you all the spicy details from last night Brazilian soap-opera. If you ask a teen-ager, she or he will tell you how incredibly awesome is to take part at the Rio Festival. If you ask a football lover, the response will probably sound something like: “Hey, they've won the World Cup five times!!!”.

But what if you ask a snooker fan to tell you something about Brazil? What will his answer be?

About a year ago, when Barry Hearn announced snooker is heading towards Brazil, I honestly confess that I didn't have the slightest idea about how important this cue sport is for the Brazilian people. However, at a closer look and after some research, I've managed to discover a wonderful world that is so much more than just an important producer and exporter of sugar-cane and the home-country of samba - this world is the perfect ambient that snooker needs in order to enter in South America.

Barry Hearn gives his OK for Brazil Masters
It has a great history with snooker, it even has its own way of playing snooker (of course that I'm talking about sinuca), it has players that made their breakthrough into the Main Tour (see Igor Figuerido) and, finally, it has that warm welcome that the fans give to their beloved sport.

From 15 and 18 of September the Brazil Masters will kick off in Florianópolis, the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina and will feature most of snooker's heavy names: Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, Graeme Dott, Shaun Murphy, Mark Selby, Ali Carter, Peter Ebdon, Martin Gould, Mark Davis, Stuart Bingham, Stephen Lee, Jamie Cope and Ricky Walden along with Brazil's top player - Igor Figueiredo.

Actually, Steve Davis is no stranger from competing in Brazil, as back in the 1980s, the six-time world champion played against one of Brazil's biggest sinuca ambassadors, the grand Rui Chapéu. And what's even more extraordinary is that he lost! Time to take revenge, but by playing classical snooker, huh Nugget?!

Stephen Hendry "smelled" this country's potential to become an important market for snooker also and so, in 1994 he played an exhibition match against today's Chairman of Brazil's Association of Professional Snooker, Marcilio Cavalcanti.

Marcilio was kind enough as to share exclusively for "Snooker, my love" this unique experience, as well as his thoughts about Brazil Masters.
"It was really great and since we both had a lot fun playing, we continued to fight on my professional Riley’s table, at my home. He said I could be a top player, if I went to the UK.

"Since then we've met many times. All I can say is that he was a machine with a bent maple cue."

Snooker has grown so much since 1994, so for Marcilio as well as for the rest of the snooker fans, the Brazil Masters sounds like a dream come true, a dream that should had happen many years ago.

"This event should have been hosted in Brazil a long time ago, exactly in 1995 one year after I played Hendry during an exhibition to promote the World Cup Team – Brazil 1995. Unfortunately due to local politics and money problems, the event was cancelled.", says Cavancanti.

However, this is history now and thanks to Barry Hearn's "snooker revolution", this lovely cue sport will leave the European continent once more, but this time for America.

Is here where all the snooker action will take place
Regardless of some comments which state this event will not be a success, according to Brazil Masters' official website, the tickets demand is constantly raising, many snooker lovers waiting the day when they will be able to see their idols in action.

"I have bet all my coins on this event.", says Marcilio "With the experience I have had from 1990 up to now, I can definitely say that this event will return next year.

"The venue is wonderful, the resort Costão do Santinho is one of world's 10th top resorts with an unbelievable structure (850 rooms and three meeting rooms), surrounded by tropical trees inside an island. The shellfish and Brazilian barbecue will be surely appreciated by all our guests."

With a great line-up of players, line-up that will be complete after the National Qualifiers (8-11 of September) will determine the last two wild cards to take part in the event, the Brazil Masters is ready to share with the entire world how snooker is played in Brazil.

So, when a snooker fan will be questioned about Brazil, the correct answer should be: "They have a great tournament there - the Brazil Masters".