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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Karama to the Crucible

by The Media Office

Mohammed Al Joker

The Dubai suburb of Karama is a long way from England's top snooker venue, the Crucible Theatre, but it is where one aspiring cueist is bidding to fulfil a dream of reaching the hallowed halls of world snooker. Mohammed Al Joker is unquestionably the United Arab Emirates' number one player with a host of titles tucked inside his waistcoat. He also heads the Arab world's hopes of making an impact on the world snooker stage. Joker's natural flair for the game has been nurtured by snooker guru Doug Mountjoy, former Benson and Hedges champion and now coach of the national side. Joker's impeccable potting ability has helped him monopolise the local scene in recent years, despite a speedy improvement in the overall standard of the game. "Compared to six or seven years ago, it is much improved," said the 25-year-old policeman. "There are a lot of good players here now and the standard is getting better all the time." However, Joker is the first to admit he is a big fish in a small pond but is ambitious enough to try and prove himself at the highest level. "I want to become a professional snooker player," he said: "I would like to one day play Stephen Hendry in the final of the World Championship at the Crucible." That last claim may mislead many into thinking Joker is living up to his name, but the dedicated hours he spends training could well lead to him having the last laugh. 

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