I’m sceptical about ‘burnout’ in snooker but one player who will never cite it as a reason for poor results is Stuart Bingham.
Why? Because he loves playing. He really, really loves playing.
Bingham is the sort of guy who can’t pass a snooker club without going in if there’s a competition in progress.
In the dark old days when there were hardly any tournaments and ‘burnout’ would have been welcome – four years ago, in fact – Bingham was plugging away in pro-ams below the radar to fill his time between the big events.
Now he’s winning the big events. He’s won the Australian Open. He’s won the Premier League. He’s won two Asian Players Tour Championship titles. He was also runner-up in the Wuxi Classic.
It looked like he may have missed the boat against Ding Junhui in the Welsh Open semi-finals yesterday but finished brilliantly to come through in a decider.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to love their job as much as Stuart. This is one of the reasons so many in the game are happy to see him doing so well. Every sport needs its superstars but just as important are the dedicated foot-soldiers who are dedicated to the game and genuinely grateful for the opportunities it has given them.
Stephen Maguire has never sought the limelight but is back in a big final after his 6-4 victory over Judd Trump.
Trump led 2-0 but looked flat for the next five frames and only started playing well when on the brink of defeat, which eventually arrived in the tenth frame.
Maguire is looking for his first full ranking title victory since the 2008 China Open, a long time for him considering he had won four in four years up to that point.
I tipped him for the recent German Masters, which hardly did him any favours, but he seemed to me to be playing some good stuff, certainly toughened up by the Championship League and, on the law of averages, had to win one eventually.
Perhaps it will be today. Bingham, of course, will have other ideas.