||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (July 2012)|
Peter Ebdon at the 2010 Brugge Open
27 August 1970 |
Islington, London, England
|Highest ranking||3 (1996/97 & 2002/03)|
|24 (as of 3 March 2014)|
|Career winnings||UK£ 3,195,543
|Highest break||147 (2 times)|
Peter Ebdon (born 27 August 1970) is an English professional snooker player and former world and UK champion, renowned for his remarkably focused, meticulously slow and determined style of play. He has compiled more than 300 century breaks during his career
Ebdon turned professional in 1991, and, sporting a ponytail, made an impact by beating Steve Davis 10–4 in the first round of the 1992 World Championship; he went on to reach the quarter-finals of the event, losing 13–7 to a resurgent Terry Griffiths. However, it was a run which earned him the WPBSA Young Player of the Year award as a result. His first ranking title was the 1993 Grand Prix. He climbed the rankings rapidly to reach a career-highest position of number three in 1996; he again reached world number three status at the close of the 2002 season.
Perhaps Ebdon's greatest achievement, thus far, was his 18–17 defeat of Stephen Hendry in the 2002 World Championship final, having started the tournament at odds of 33–1. He had previously reached the final of the tournament in 1996, which he lost 18–12 to Hendry, and was also runner-up at the 2006 event to Graeme Dott in which, at 15–7 down coming into the final session, Ebdon won six successive frames before Dott prevailed 18–14. In the semi-final before the final he led Marco Fu 15–9 before being pegged back to 16–16 before Ebdon took the decider, at the end of which he shed tears of relief.
Ebdon is a remarkably focused and determined player. Until recently, his shot times had slowed down considerably; this attracted some criticism – particularly, in his match against Ronnie O'Sullivan in the 2005 World Championship. Resuming at 10–6 down, Ebdon won the first six frames of the evening session, at one stage taking three minutes over a shot, and five minutes to compile a break of 12. Ebdon nevertheless won the match 13–11. Such performances, though lacking fluency, often appear to break his opponent mentally. Ebdon stated after his victory over O'Sullivan, "When I'm trying my hardest I seem to go slow. I don't do it intentionally". When The Times described his slow play as 'cheating', he attempted to sue them for libel and lost.
Among Ebdon's other career highlights was winning the UK Championship in 2006, beating Stephen Hendry 10–6 in the final  – in doing so, becoming only the ninth player to have won both the World and UK Championship. Ebdon's shot times were markedly quicker, and this fluency served him well in defeating the defending champion Ding Junhui and John Higgins en route to the final, and compiling eight century-breaks over the course of the tournament. However, he failed to reach a ranking quarter-final in 2007. His poor form continued into 2008; in the Northern Ireland Trophy he lost 0–5 to Liang Wenbo with a highest break of 32, a result which lead to an investigation of suspicious betting patterns by the Gambling Commission. The WPBSA, of which Ebdon is a board member, has yet to announce an investigation of its own.
In 2009, Ebdon beat John Higgins 10–8 to win the China Open. However, in the subsequent World Championship, Ebdon lost 10–5 to Nigel Bond in the first round. A year later, after a disappointing season, Ebdon once again lost 10–5 in the World Championship, this time to Graeme Dott. This result meant Ebdon dropped out of the top 16 in the world rankings after an uninterrupted 16-year stay.
At the start of the season Ebdon issued a statement announcing that he would not be able to play to the best of his ability in the last round of the Shanghai Masters qualifiers. He reached the second round of the tournament though by winning his qualifying match by 5–1 against Michael White, and then his last 32 match against Neil Robertson 5–4 before losing against Mark King 3–5. He enjoyed a good return of form in the World Open, where he beat Steve Davis 3–1, Fergal O'Brien 3–2, Liu Song 3–2, and Martin Gould 3-1 before losing against Ronnie O'Sullivan 1–3. This was his first semi-final since the 2009 China Open and saw him retake a place in the top 16. He also reached the quarter-finals of the China Open and the last 16 of the German Masters and Welsh Open. However, he was knocked out in the first round of both the UK Championship and World Championship, but was still ranked as number 13 at the end of the season.
Ebdon lost in the first round of the first two ranking events of the year, the Australian Goldfields Open and the Shanghai Masters, to make a low key start to the season and as a result drop out of the top 16 at the first cut-off in October, meaning he now had to win a qualifying match to reach the main draw of the ranking events. He lost his first qualifying match in an attempt to reach the UK Championship as he was defeated 3–6 by Robert Milkins. The result meant that Ebdon would not play in the tournament since his first year as a professional in 1991. He also missed the Masters for the first time since 1992 due to being ranked outside of the top 16, but did manage to qualify for the German Masters and the Welsh Open, losing in the first round upon reaching the venue in both events.
He had a disastrous run of form in the PTC series, as he played in all 12 events but could only win 4 matches all season. He finished 98th in the Order of Merit and these results contributed to Ebdon being ranked world number 28 in March.
Ebdon put his indifferent form behind him at the China Open where he won the ninth ranking event title of his career. He whitewashed Liang Wenbo 5–0 to qualify and once in China beat Matthew Stevens 5–3 to set up a last 16 meeting with John Higgins. He came back from 1–3 down and, despite Higgins finding a snooker he needed in the final frame, he held his nerve to take the match 5–4 and his reach his fourth successive China Open quarter-final. There he beat Neil Robertson 5–3 to play local favourite Ding Junhui in the semi-finals. Ebdon again came back from 1–3 down, this time winning five successive frames to take the match 6–3 and make it to his first ranking event final since winning the same tournament three years earlier. In the final he played Stephen Maguire and built a 5–1 lead in the first session, which was cut by three frames due to slow play. However, Maguire won seven of the next ten frames to level the match at 8 frames apiece. The final three frames were error strewn and slow, but with the clock approaching 01:00am Beijing time, Ebdon clinched the frame he required to win the eight-hour match 10–9. The result saw him rise seven places in the rankings to number 21 and during the final he recorded the 300th century break of his career. He made six century breaks during the tournament, the most of any player - four of which were in the final.
He continued his recent surge of form into the World Championship by recording a 10–0 whitewash over Alfie Burden in qualifying. However, his season was ended when he drew Ronnie O'Sullivan in the first round and lost 4–10, meaning he has failed to beat The Rocket since their infamous 2005 quarter-final. Despite his win in China, Ebdon finished the season ranked world number 20 meaning he had dropped 7 places during the year.
Ebdon began the season by qualifying for the Wuxi Classic and lost 4–5 to an in-form Stuart Bingham in the first round. He then played in the Australian Goldfields Open, beating Michael Holt, Ding Junhui and Shaun Murphy all by 5–4 scorelines. The match against Ding caused a degree of controversy as Ebdon had taken an average of 32 seconds a shot in a nine frame encounter lasting almost 5 hours. In the semi-finals he defeated Marco Fu 6–2, despite his opponent having over a 90% pot success, 80% long pot success and 80% in his safety game success. He faced Barry Hawkins in the final and succumbed to a 3–9 defeat, admitting afterwards that he had struggled in every department of his game. Ebdon lost in the first round of the Shanghai Masters, but continued his good start to the season at the inaugural International Championship. He received a bye through the first round as Stephen Lee had been suspended due to match fixing allegations, and only conceded one frame in beating Stephen Maguire and Ricky Walden to advance to the semi-finals. There he was thrashed 1–9 by Judd Trump. In the rest of the season Ebdon lost in qualifying for three ranking events and in the first round of the World Open and the China Open. He has qualified for the World Championship by coming back from 6–8 to beat Kurt Maflin 10–8 and played Graeme Dott in the first round, a repeat of the 2006. His place in the main draw meant Ebdon equalled Steve Davis by featuring in 22 consecutive appearances in the tournament, second only to Stephen Hendry's record of 27. His match against Dott lasted seven hours, spread over three sessions as Ebdon battled back from 2–6 to level at 6–6, before losing the last four frames to succumb to a 6–10 defeat. Dott called for new rules to be brought in to combat slow play after the match. Ebdon fell 10 places in the end of season rankings to world number 30.
Ebdon began the 2013/2014 season by qualifying for the Wuxi Classic, beating Chris Wakelin 5-1 in qualifying. However he lost 3-5 to Xiao Guodong in the Last 64. He then lost his opening qualifying matches in the Australian Goldfields Open and Shanghai Masters to Mike Dunn and Xiao Guodong respectively. He did however qualify for the inaugural Indian Open, beating Ashley Carty 4-1 in qualifying. He also qualified for the International Championship, beating Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon 6-2.
Ebdon was only the second player to have made two competitive maximum 147 breaks in professional tournament play — these coming at the Strachan Professional and UK Championship, both in 1992. In the same year, he became the first player to make four centuries in five frames.
Ebdon is renowned for his strict fitness regime in order to condition himself for snooker, such as swimming one mile every day. In 2012 he adopted a high-carbohydrate, vegan diet, partly to improve sporting performance. In his first year of following the diet he lost two and a half stone and for September aimed to eat only raw food. He is a devotee of Napoleon Hill's classic motivational book Think and Grow Rich.
Ebdon has been criticised in the past for his exuberant outpourings of emotion after winning important frames or matches. However, since one particular outburst after potting the match ball against Stephen Lee during their 2001 World Championship second round encounter — repeatedly punching the air and shouting "Come on!" at the top of his voice — he has toned down his celebrations significantly.
Ebdon is also colour blind. In a frame in which the brown ball is in close proximity to a red, he usually asks the referee for help on which ball is which. During a match against Simon Bedford in the 2008 Grand Prix, Ebdon inadvertently potted the brown believing it to be a red. He made the same mistake again in the final of the 2012 Australian Goldfields Open.
During the 2012 Australian Goldfields Open world number two Judd Trump labelled Ebdon's playing style as "a joke" after his second round 5–4 win over Ding Junhui took almost 5 hours to be completed. The average time between shots was over 30 seconds and the average frame time was 32 minutes.
Ebdon was born in Islington, before moving to Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. He started his career while at Highbury Grove School, resulting in him not taking his O levels – a decision he now regrets. In 2005, he emigrated with his wife Deborah and four children to Dubai and lived there until 2009. On 22 January 2009 it was revealed that Ebdon had split with his wife by mutual consent. In 2010 he remarried to Nora, who comes from Budapest, and has since become a vegan.
In 1996, Ebdon recorded a version of the David Cassidy song "I Am A Clown", and it was released as a single. He has also released a second single, "Fall of Paradise", with a video filmed at Burnley's Afterlife Club.
Performance and rankings timeline
|Ranking[nb 1]||UR[nb 2]||47||21||10||10||3||5||7||13||12||7||3||7||8||7||7||6||9||14||18||13||20||30|
|Wuxi Classic[nb 3]||Not held||Non-ranking||1R||2R|
|Australian Goldfields Open||Not held||1R||F||LQ|
|Shanghai Masters||Not Held||1R||1R||1R||2R||1R||1R||LQ|
|International Championship||Not Held||SF||QF|
|German Masters[nb 4]||Not Held||2R||1R||1R||NR||Not Held||2R||1R||1R||2R|
|World Open[nb 5]||3R||3R||W||3R||3R||1R||1R||QF||1R||2R||F||1R||1R||3R||2R||RR||QF||2R||QF||SF||LQ||1R||LQ|
|Players Tour Championship Finals||Not Held||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ|
|China Open[nb 6]||Not Held||NR||2R||2R||2R||1R||Not Held||1R||2R||1R||2R||W||QF||QF||W||1R|
|Premier League[nb 7]||A||RR||A||A||SF||SF||A||A||A||A||A||SF||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||RR||NH|
|Former ranking tournaments|
|Dubai Classic[nb 8]||1R||3R||QF||F||2R||QF||Not Held|
|Malta Grand Prix||Not Held||A||A||A||A||A||1R||A||Not Held|
|Thailand Masters[nb 9]||1R||1R||QF||QF||SF||W||QF||2R||1R||1R||2R||NR||Not Held||NR||Not Held|
|Scottish Open[nb 10]||NH||3R||1R||3R||1R||SF||3R||3R||3R||W||SF||1R||SF||Not Held|
|British Open||LQ||3R||1R||3R||QF||SF||1R||QF||F||W||QF||2R||2R||1R||Not Held|
|Irish Masters||Non-Ranking Event||2R||W||1R||NH||NR||Not Held|
|Malta Cup[nb 11]||1R||2R||LQ||1R||F||QF||NH||2R||Not Held||1R||SF||1R||2R||1R||SF||NR||Not Held|
|Northern Ireland Trophy||Not Held||NR||1R||QF||1R||Not Held|
|Former non-ranking tournaments|
|Scottish Masters||A||A||A||A||F||W||QF||QF||A||A||1R||QF||Not Held|
|Irish Masters||A||A||1R||W||QF||SF||1R||SF||A||SF||F||Ranking Event||NH||A||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|
|DQ||disqualified from the tournament|
|NH / Not Held||event was not held.|
|NR / Non-Ranking Event||event is/was no longer a ranking event.|
|R / Ranking Event||event is/was a ranking event.|
|MR / Minor-Ranking Event||event is/was a minor-ranking event.|