The snooker world was left stunned when Luca Brecel came from behind to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Wednesday. But what shocked fans, even more was Brecel’s revelation that heavy drinking was the secret behind his success.
In a throwback to the days of snooker legends like Alex Higgins and Jimmy White, the 28-year-old Belgian admitted that he had been “drunk as hell” and out partying until 6am before the tournament began.
Brecel’s unorthodox approach to preparation saw him spend just 15 minutes on the table before his first-round game, which he won in a thrilling 10-9 victory over Ricky Walden. With a remarkable comeback, he overcame the defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan by capturing seven consecutive frames, ensuring his progression to the semi-finals.
Despite his unconventional tactics, Brecel believes that his heavy drinking has kept him mentally fresh and relaxed throughout the tournament. He declared, “It’s a whole different kind of preparation that made me so mentally alert for this tournament. And it helped that I was also playing really well.”
Brecel will now face Si Jiahui in the semi-finals at the Crucible, and he is confident that his unorthodox approach to the game will continue to pay dividends. He expressed his intention to maintain the same course of action.
Although Brecel’s heavy drinking has raised eyebrows in the snooker community, his victory over O’Sullivan has earned him significant praise from the Rocket himself. “He performed brilliantly,” commented O’Sullivan. “Brecel is an incredible player and it is a pleasure to watch him. His playing style is so energetic and overflowing with potential.”
O’Sullivan proclaimed his admiration for Brecel, not solely because of his outstanding abilities but also because of the fresh and original style he employs while playing the game. He commented, “I’d jump at the chance to witness Brecel take the title – that’s how the game of snooker should be played.”