At the recent Partypoker.net German Masters tournament I got a chance to speak to German EuroSport commentator Rolf Kalb.
As well as having to commentate on every match he had to be the master of ceremonies for the event, a role which he does at every professional event in Germany.
Amongst many other things I asked him about snooker in Germany, his role in the commentary box and much more, read on for the full interview.
How did you first get involved in snooker?
I first got started with snooker as a journalist as I had to do a job on it. Later on I got offered the commentating job on EuroSport as none of the other journalists knew anything about snooker so it was perfect for me.
What unique challenges do you face in your job?
My job is quite challenging at times, having to commentate on all the matches, being master of ceremonies but I love it all.
I love snooker, I get to watch and talk about the best players in the world and get to be paid for it, I have the best job in the world.
What is your favourite snooker match you have commentated on?
I can't call that. There are so many different matches, which delivered different stories, all of which were brilliant. I can't say which match individually was my favourite.
How did the German public receive Snooker when it first started?
At first the German public did not know much about snooker so it was difficult. I had to explain the the basic rules all the time as people maybe first came in to it by accident, possibly zapping through the channels.
It was a development step by step but it was great as the popularity increased all the time and now we have thousands of fans across the country.
How are the grass roots and the game of snooker developing in Germany?
There are many more players and tables in Germany than there was 10-15 years ago.
The main problem is that we don’t have the same structures in snooker here that they have in the UK which makes it very tough to develop and educate talents to bring them to the same level.
Who are the favourite Snooker players in the country?
All of the snooker players are greatly appreciated by the German fans. Plenty of them like O'Sullivan, Hendry and many also love Davis who had a great reception for his exhibition today.
Shaun Murphy is also very popular here, he was so surprised that when he had a day off sightseeing in Berlin he got stopped several times for autographs and photos!
Do you think there is demand for tournaments in Germany?
The German Masters is working well so you need to be careful with bringing too many events in. I'm not sure what the possibilities are, at the moment we have a healthy structure already with the Masters and the two PTC's.
There was real hunger for top snooker and you shouldn't overdo it as we have a nice balance.
Are there any good young German players to look out for in the future?
There are a few players doing well, if they will really make they way it is too early to say. They don't have these tough opponents in Germany which junior players in the UK have to make them sharper.
It is also difficult to tell a talented junior player to go over to the UK and learn as he has to take care of his education. We all know players that can break through and challenge the top but only a few can do that.
Any last words about snooker in Germany?
In terms of viewing figures, snooker in Germany is on the up. In terms of the playing and the interaction we will have to see. Hopefully it will increase as time goes on.
Big thanks again to Rolf who gave up a couple of minutes straight after the final to be interviewed and all the best for the rest of his career.