Michael Holt (snooker player)

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Michael Holt
Michael Holt at Snooker German Masters (Martin Rulsch) 2014-01-30 04.jpg
Born (1978-08-07) 7 August 1978 (age 36)
Sport country  England
Nickname The Hitman
Professional 1996–
Highest ranking 20 (Sep 2013–Mar 2014)
Current ranking 23 (as of 25 August 2014)
Career winnings £ 679,279[1]
Highest break 145 (2005)
Century breaks 139[2]
Best ranking finish Semi-final (2013 Shanghai Masters)
Tournament wins
Minor-ranking 2

Michael Holt (born 7 August 1978) is a professional snooker player from Nottingham, England. He has won two minor-ranking tournaments and has reached one semi-final of a ranking event (the 2013 Shanghai Masters) as well as five further quarter-finals.


He lost in the final qualifying round of the World Snooker Championship in 2001 and 2002. Holt almost qualified for the 2004 event – he was 9–5 ahead in his final qualifying match against Anthony Hamilton, before losing the next five frames to lose the match.

In the 2005 World Snooker Championship, he beat his friend Paul Hunter in the first round. In the second round he faced Steve Davis, losing 10–13 after having led 8–2. For the 2005 tournament he used eBay to auction the sponsorship space on his waistcoat to Cabaret, a Nottingham nightspot.

He qualified for the 2006 World Championship, and lost in the first round to eventual runner-up Peter Ebdon 10–8, earning Ebdon's applause as a result of his performance. He won the non-ranking German Open in 2006, and reached the final in 2005. His 5–3 victory over Ronnie O'Sullivan in the 2007 Malta Cup was his first in five attempts against O'Sullivan. He then lost to Mark King in the last 16 there. He lost to eventual champion John Higgins in the first round in 2007 [3] The rest of 2007 was unspectacular, barring victory in the minor Dutch Open, which featured 7 of the top 32 of the time,[4] including wins over Nigel Bond and Barry Pinches. He missed out on the 2008 World Championship after losing to Michael Judge, causing him to drop out of the top 32 after 4 seasons there, after a season in which he failed to reach the last 16 of a ranking event.

Holt's results improved in 2008/2009. He reached the last 16 of the 2008 Grand Prix, defeating Jimmy White and Michael Judge to qualify and scored a 5–1 defeat of Mark Allen at the venue, before losing 2–5 to Ding Junhui. In the subsequent Bahrain Championship Holt scored a 5–0 victory over David Morris in which his Irish opponent scored just 10 points, the lowest total in a best-of-nine world ranking match since 1992.[5] He then beat Jamie Cope to reach the last sixteen and commented that he was in the best form of his life.[6] He then lost 4–5 to Robert Milkins in the last 16, having led 3–0. He defeated Mark Davis and Dominic Dale to reach the 2009 World Championship, guaranteeing his return to the top 32. He summarised the change in his game by commenting "This year, people have had to beat me. I haven't given matches away" [7]

Holt qualified for three of the six ranking tournaments in the 2009/2010 season, but lost in the first round in each.[8] The 2010/2011 season saw the introduction of Players Tour Championship (PTC) events. At the Prague Classic, Holt won six matches to reach the first final of the career which included victories over Stephen Maguire, Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy. He faced John Higgins who he had failed to beat in 13 previous meetings, but produced a superb performance to win 4–2. Holt dedicated the title to his father who had suffered a stroke two months previously.[9] The result ensured he would qualify for the PTC Finals as he finished 13th on the Order of Merit and he saw off Marco Fu 4–1 and Barry Pinches 4–3 to match his best result in a full ranking event. In the quarter-finals he lost 4–2 against Martin Gould.[10] Despite his late season surge in form he ended it ranked world number 45, the lowest he had been in ten years.[11]

Holt reached the second round of ranking events three times during the 2011/2012 season, but lost on each occasion.[12] He saved his best performances for the minor-ranking PTC events for the second season in a row most notably at the 10th event where he won the title by beating Dominic Dale 4–2 in the final. Holt said afterwards that the shorter matches suit him as there is not enough time for him to lose his head and stated that if he could maintain a consistent temperament he could achieve more success in the game.[13] He was also a losing quarter-finalist in three other events to finish fourth on the Order of Merit and qualify for the Finals again where he was beaten 4–1 by Stephen Lee.[12]

Holt qualified for four of the first six ranking events in the 2012/2013 season, but could not advance beyond the first round in any of them.[14] At the German Masters he beat Mark Williams 5–1 and Kurt Maflin 5–3 to reach the quarter-finals where he lost 5–2 to Ali Carter.[14]

Michael Holt at the 2014 German Masters

At the 2013 Shanghai Masters, Holt reached the semi-finals of a ranking event for the first time in his 17-year career.[15] He began the event by outplaying Judd Trump in a 5–1 win with breaks of 115 and 97.[16] His second round match against Martin Gould went to the colours in the deciding frame with Gould missing the final blue, before Holt potted the blue and pink to triumph 5–4.[17] He then swept past world number 100 Kyren Wilson 5–1 to face home favourite Xiao Guodong in the semis.[18] Holt was beaten 6–3 by Xiao in a high quality encounter.[19] His form continued into the following week's Zhangjiagang Open by winning six games to reach his third minor-ranking final where he lost 4–1 to Ju Reti.[20] At the German Masters, Holt played Trump in the quarter-finals, with Trump exacting some revenge from his defeat earlier in the season by whitewashing Holt 5–0.[21] Holt qualified for the World Championship, losing 10–4 to Mark Allen in the first round, but his successful season saw him finish it as the world number 22, the highest he has been in eight years.[11]

Holt began the 2014/2015 season by advancing to the final of the Yixing Open, but he was beaten 4–2 by Ding Junhui.[22]


Analysis of his body language at the 2006 World Championships found apparent flaws in his attitude and temperament.[23] Holt finds it difficult to re-focus after playing a bad shot. This can lead to dips in form that may last for two to three frames.[24]

He has been docked frames for swearing during matches.[citation needed] Holt is also infamous for conceding the deciding frame (while level at 4–4) in a China Open match in 2005 against Joe Perry, while there were still 13 reds left available to pot.[citation needed] On a similar theme, his nickname "The Hitman" comes from his penchant for hitting the table in anger, which once resulted in a broken knuckle.[citation needed]

He also DJs in Greece as a hobby during the close season,[citation needed] and is a qualified personal trainer.[citation needed]

Performance and rankings timeline[edit]

Tournament 1996/
Ranking[25][nb 1] UR[nb 2] UR[nb 3] 193 74 62 45 35 39 29 24 21 24 34 24 24 45 33 26 22
Ranking tournaments
Wuxi Classic[nb 4] Tournament Not Held Non-ranking WR LQ 3R
Australian Goldfields Open Tournament Not Held LQ 1R 1R 1R
Shanghai Masters Tournament Not Held 1R LQ 1R LQ 2R LQ SF
Indian Open Tournament Not Held 2R
International Championship Tournament Not Held LQ LQ
UK Championship LQ A 3R QF 3R 1R LQ 1R 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R LQ LQ 1R 3R
World Open[nb 5] LQ A LQ 1R LQ 1R 3R QF 1R QF RR RR 2R LQ LQ 2R 1R 2R
German Masters[nb 6] LQ A NR Tournament Not Held LQ LQ QF QF
Welsh Open LQ A LQ LQ 1R LQ 2R 2R 1R 2R 2R 2R LQ LQ 1R 1R LQ 3R
Players Championship Grand Final[nb 7] Tournament Not Held QF 2R DNQ 1R
China Open[nb 8] NH NR 1R LQ 1R LQ Not Held 1R 2R 1R LQ WR LQ LQ WR 1R 1R
World Championship LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ 2R 1R 1R LQ 1R 1R LQ LQ 1R 1R
Non-ranking tournaments
Championship League Tournament Not Held RR A RR A A A RR
Variant format tournaments
Six-red World Championship[nb 9] Tournament Not Held SF 2R QF NH A A
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held 1R 1R SF 2R
Former ranking tournaments
Dubai Classic[nb 10] LQ Tournament Not Held
Malta Grand Prix Non-ranking 1R NR Tournament Not Held
Thailand Masters LQ A LQ LQ 1R 1R NR Not Held NR Tournament Not Held
Scottish Open[nb 11] LQ A LQ 1R LQ LQ 2R 1R Tournament Not Held MR Not Held
British Open LQ A 3R 1R 1R LQ LQ 2R 3R Tournament Not Held
Irish Masters Non-ranking Event LQ 1R LQ NH NR Tournament Not Held
Malta Cup[nb 12] LQ NH LQ Not Held LQ 1R LQ 1R LQ 2R NR Tournament Not Held
Northern Ireland Trophy Tournament Not Held NR 1R 1R 2R Tournament Not held
Bahrain Championship Tournament Not Held 2R Tournament Not Held
Performance Table Legend
LQ lost in the qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF lost in the quarter-finals
SF lost in the semi–finals F lost in the final W won the tournament
DNQ did not qualify for the tournament A did not participate in the tournament WD withdrew from the tournament
NH / Not Held means an event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Event means an event is/was no longer a ranking event.
R / Ranking Event means an event is/was a ranking event.
MR / Minor-Ranking Event means an event is/was a minor-ranking event.
  1. ^ From the 2010/2011 season it shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
  2. ^ New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
  3. ^ He was not on the Main Tour.
  4. ^ The event was called the Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009-2009/2010)
  5. ^ The event was called the LG Cup (2001/2002–2003/2004) and the Grand Prix (1996/1997–2000/2001 and 2004/2005–2009/2010)
  6. ^ The event was called the German Open (1996/1997–1997/1998)
  7. ^ The event was called the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011-2012/2013)
  8. ^ The event was called the China International (1998/1999)
  9. ^ The event was called the Six-red Snooker International (2008/2009) and the Six-red World Grand Prix (2009/2010)
  10. ^ The event was called the Asian Classic (1996/1997)
  11. ^ The event was called the Players Championship (2003/2004)
  12. ^ The event was called the European Open (1996/1997, 2001/2002–2003/2004) and the Irish Open (1998/1999)

Career finals[edit]

Minor-ranking event finals: 4 (2 titles, 2 runner-ups)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2010 Prague Classic Scotland Higgins, JohnJohn Higgins 4–3
Winner 2. 2011 Players Tour Championship – Event 10 Wales Dale, DominicDominic Dale 4–2
Runner-up 1. 2013 Zhangjiagang Open China Ju Reti 1–4
Runner-up 2. 2014 Yixing Open China Ding Junhui 2–4

Team events[edit]


  1. ^ "Prize Money - All-time, Professional". CueTracker - Snooker Database. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Centuries". Pro Snooker Blog. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  3. ^ BBC Nottingham: Holt's tough Crucible test.
  4. ^ World Snooker News
  5. ^ World Snooker News: Walden Earns Bahrain Berth
  6. ^ BBC Sport: Seeds crash out in Bahrain event
  7. ^ Holt Wants to Fulfil Potential
  8. ^ "Michael Holt 2009/2010". Snooker.org. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "Michael Holt dedicates Euro Players Tour win to father". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Michael Holt 2010/2011". Snooker.org. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Michael Holt 2011/2012". Snooker.org. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  13. ^ "Holt Downs Dale For PTC Success". World Snooker. Retrieved 21 June 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Michael Holt 2012/2013". Snooker.org. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "Shanghai Masters: Nottingham's Michael Holt into semi-final". Sky Sports. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  16. ^ "Hitman Holt Floors Trump". World Snooker. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  17. ^ "Shanghai Masters: Michael Holt continues good run; John Higgins and Shaun Murphy beaten". Sky Sports. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  18. ^ "Arnold potter sweeps into Shanghai Masters semis". Nottingham Post. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  19. ^ "Xiao Powers Into Final". World Snooker. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  20. ^ "Ju-bilation For Chinese Amateur". World Snooker. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  21. ^ "Michael Holt 2013/2014". Snooker.org. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  22. ^ "Ding The King In Yixing". World Snooker. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  23. ^ Bet Finder: 888.com World Snooker Championship Player Guide & Wallchart (search for Michael Holt)
  24. ^ http://www.livingsnooker.com/blogs/michael-holt/2012/09/the-thinker
  25. ^ "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  26. ^ "Hall of Fame". World Ladies Billiards & Snooker Association. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 

External links[edit]