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.

"They can be the most fun thing in the world but they can really set you off on the wrong track in your career," Robertson told BBC Radio 5 live.

Robertson beat Noppon Saengkham 10-4 in the first round at the Crucible.

The 35-year-old, who has not reached a ranking final since his win at the Riga Masters in June 2016, said he was "heavily addicted" to a game called Diablo 2.

"It got to the point, back home in Australia, that my mum would have to create an account and log on to see if I was actually on it instead of playing snooker," he said.

"I've got quite an addictive personality and I've decided to just make a clean break from them. I can't play them."

I'm two months 'sober' - Robertson

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," Robertson told Eurosport.external-link

"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."

"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 have 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."

'We need a players association'

Watch O'Sullivan's emotional news conference

Judd Trump is facing a fine from snooker bosses after the pre-tournament favourite did not fulfil his post-match media duties following his loss to Rory McLeod.

"Judd is a great guy but it doesn't matter how much you are hurting, it's important to give feedback to the media," Robertson said.

"It's disappointing he hasn't given some feedback, whether it be on social media or whatever, but he must have been hurting like you wouldn't believe."

Robertson added that snooker players were in need of a representative association, following Ronnie O'Sullivan's recent criticism of World Snooker.

"At the end of the season, the top 32 players have to get together, get a lawyer to represent us and have certain things taken out of players' contracts," Robertson added.

"Basically we just get it in front of us, it's so many pages long, and we just sort of sign it. If we don't sign it, we don't get to play.

"Every other sport has player's representation. We don't really have that officially - I know there's like a little players' committee but there's not a players' association, which is what we really need."

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