World Championship 2017: Neil Robertson admits he was 'hooked' on gaming
|2017 World Snooker Championship|
|Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 15 April – 1 May|
|Coverage: Live on BBC One and Two, Red Button, BBC Sport app, Connected TVs and online. List of times and channels|
Neil Robertson says he is focused on his snooker again after getting “hooked” on computer games.
Australian Robertson, world champion in 2010, has revealed he would sit up all night playing games, which affected his ability to practise the next day.
“You can’t win professional snooker matches when you are tired,” the 35-year-old told Eurosport.
Robertson leads Noppon Saengkham 8-1 in the first round at the Crucible and they play to a finish on Thursday.
‘I’m two months sober’
Robertson, who has won 12 career ranking titles and is a former world number one, says at one stage computer games threatened to become “more important than the snooker”.
“I’ve had really good application in my practice after dragging myself away from playing too many video games,” said Robertson, who has not reached a ranking final since his win at the Riga Masters in June 2016.
“I’m two months sober, if you like, from playing them. And the multi-play online ones I can’t touch because I just get too hooked on them.”
Robertson described an incident during a tournament in China when he was left “furious for four or five days” after being unable to get an internet connection to play online.
“All I was thinking about was getting back home for a connection,” he said. “All of a sudden that became more important than the snooker, which is absolutely crazy.”
He added: “Those kind of games are designed to take over your life really. You find yourself sitting in front of the computer screen for six, seven or eight hours straight, which is obviously not healthy.
“I’ve been playing some video games through the night. All of a sudden, it is 6am, the birds are tweeting and I’m thinking: ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to get up in a couple of hours to take my son Alexander to school. Then I’ve got to practise.
“If you are a single guy, and work in a normal job, you can get around it. But you can’t win professional snooker matches when you are tired.”
Robertson also revealed that his obsession with gaming was a problem during the 2013-14 season, when he famously scored 100 centuries.
“The years I had the 100 centuries, I should probably had around 120 because I got addicted like hell to Fifa 14,” he said.
“I was obsessed with winning the title against other players. That really affected the second half of my season.
“I wouldn’t say I would have won a lot more tournaments if it wasn’t for video games, but I think I would have given myself more opportunities to go further in other events.”