James Wattana

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James Wattana
James Wattana at Snooker German Masters (DerHexer) 2013-01-30 13.jpg
James Wattana at 2013 German Masters
Born (1970-01-17) January 17, 1970 (age 47)
Bangkok, Thailand
Sport country  Thailand
Nickname Thai-Phoon[1]
Thai Tornado
Tong Sit Choi (in Thailand)
Professional 1989–2008, 2009–
Highest ranking 3 (1994/95)
Current ranking 88 (as of 2 May 2017)
Career winnings £1,720,928[2]
Highest break 147 (3 times)
Century breaks 160[3]
Tournament wins
Ranking 3
Non-ranking 7
James Wattana
Medal record
Men's Snooker
Asian Games
Bronze medal – third place 2010 Guangzhou Team
Asian Indoor Games
Silver medal – second place 2007 Macau Individual

James Wattana (Thai: เจมส์ วัฒนา; born January 17, 1970, as วัฒนา ภู่โอบอ้อม Wattana Pu-Ob-Orm, then renamed รัชพล ภู่โอบอ้อม Ratchapol Pu-Ob-Orm in 2003) is a Thai former professional snooker player who now competes with an invitational tour card.

A professional between 1989 and 2008 and again from 2009 to 2014, Wattana reached his highest ranking position - 3rd - for the 1994/1995 season. He has won three ranking tournaments - the 1992 Strachan Challenge and the Thailand Open in 1994 and 1995 - and has finished as the runner-up in a further five. He twice reached the semi-finals of the World Snooker Championship, in 1993 and 1997. His defeat in the semi-finals of the World Championships in 1993 to Jimmy White, the eventual tournament runner up, came on only his second appearance at the final televised stages in the Crucible Theatre. His first being in the previous year where he only managed the second round in which he was defeated by the eventual tournament winner, Stephen Hendry.


Wattana won his first major tournament, the Camus Thailand Masters, in 1986, aged only 16. He turned professional in 1989, after winning the 1988 World Amateur Championship. He won £6,000 first prize for winning the 1989 Kent Challenge in Hong Kong. His career peaked in the mid-1990s, when he twice won the Thailand Open and rose to number three in the world rankings. Prior to Wattana becoming a professional, snooker had been dominated by British (and to a lesser extent Irish, Canadian and Australian) players.

He was the eighth professional player to earn more than £1 million in prize money, and with three maximums he is one of only seven players to have scored more than two maximum breaks in competition. He scored his first one in 1991 at the World Masters and the second at the 1992 British Open,[4] which was then, at six minutes and nine seconds, the fastest ever made.[5]

Wattana's success caught the imagination of the Thai public, and he became the most admired sportsman in his home country.[6] He helped raise the profile of the game in the Far East, and has been followed into the game by many players from Thailand, Hong Kong, and China, the most successful ones being Marco Fu and Ding Junhui. He is a Commander Third Class of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand, only the second sportsman to receive the country's most prestigious civilian honour.

He reached the semi-finals of the World Snooker Championship in 1993 and 1997, in the latter losing narrowly to Stephen Hendry. After a strong 2004/2005 season he returned to the top 32 of the world rankings, despite being the first player since 1992 to lose a World Championship match 10–0. He did this in the final qualifying round against Allister Carter. By 2007 his continued poor form meant that he dropped off the main tour in 2008. He continued to play, however, and in 2008 he entered the World Amateur Championships in Wels, Austria where he lost to eventual champion Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in last 16. He won the 2009 Asian Championships in Tangshan, China after beating Mei Xiwen 7–3 in the final.

His position on the current provisional rankings received a huge boost with a run to the venue stage of the China Open thanks to four straight qualifying victories.

The 2011/12 season proved to be relatively good, managing to qualify in 2 of the 8 ranking events, the Shanghai Masters losing to Ronnie O'Sullivan 1–5 and the German Masters, beating Stephen Hendry 5–1 in the qualifiers, but then losing to Graeme Dott in the first round. At the end of the season he finished ranked 63, just inside the top 64.

In 2014, he lost his place on the professional snooker circuit, as he finished outside the top 64 on the official world rankings list at the end of the 2013/2014 season. However, he was one of three players awarded an invitational tour card for the next season - alongside Hendry and Steve Davis - and has since competed fairly regularly in tournaments as an amateur. In 2015, he lost in the first round of the qualifiers for the World Championship 3-10 to Jimmy White. In 2016, he lost in the first round of the qualifiers for the World Championship 6-10 to Peter Ebdon.

Performance and rankings timeline[edit]

Tournament 1985/
Ranking[7][nb 1] UR[nb 2] UR[nb 2] UR[nb 3] 32 20 7 5 3 5 12 12 15 22 27 32 32 34 33 32 25 33 UR[nb 2] UR[nb 3] 66 67 63 63 75 123 103[nb 4] 88
Ranking tournaments
Riga Masters[nb 5] Tournament Not Held MR A A
China Championship Tournament Not Held NR A
Paul Hunter Classic[nb 6] Tournament Not Held Pro-am Event Minor-Ranking Event A
Indian Open Tournament Not Held 1R LQ NH 1R
Shanghai Masters Tournament Not Held LQ A LQ LQ 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ
European Masters[nb 7] A A LQ LQ LQ LQ 2R QF 1R SF Tournament Not Held 2R LQ 1R 2R 1R LQ NR Tournament Not Held LQ
English Open Tournament Not Held 2R
International Championship Tournament Not Held LQ 2R LQ LQ 3R
Northern Ireland Open Tournament Not Held 1R Tournament Not Held 1R
UK Championship A A LQ 2R SF QF QF SF 3R 2R 3R 3R 3R 5R 1R 1R 3R 1R 2R 1R 1R A LQ LQ LQ LQ 2R 1R 1R 1R
Scottish Open[nb 8] Tournament Not Held 2R F 1R 1R 2R 3R 1R 4R LQ 1R 2R LQ Tournament Not Held MR Not Held 1R
German Masters[nb 9] Tournament Not Held 2R 1R 1R NR Tournament Not Held LQ 1R LQ LQ A LQ LQ
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held Variant Format Event A
World Grand Prix Tournament Not Held NR DNQ DNQ
Welsh Open Tournament Not Held QF SF SF 1R 1R 3R 1R QF 3R LQ 1R LQ 1R LQ QF 1R LQ A LQ LQ LQ LQ 3R A 1R 1R
Gibraltar Open Tournament Not Held MR 1R
Players Championship[nb 10] Tournament Not Held DNQ DNQ 1R DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ
China Open[nb 11] Tournament Not Held NR 1R LQ LQ LQ Not Held LQ 2R 1R LQ A 1R LQ LQ LQ 2R LQ 1R LQ
World Championship A A LQ LQ 2R SF QF 1R 2R SF 1R 2R LQ 1R 1R 1R 1R LQ 1R LQ LQ A LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ
Non-ranking tournaments
The Masters A A 1R LQ QF F SF QF 1R 1R QF 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ A A A A A A A A A A A A A
Variant format tournaments
Six-red World Championship[nb 12] Tournament Not Held SF QF 3R NH 2R 2R 2R 2R 2R
Former ranking tournaments
Classic A A LQ 3R SF Tournament Not Held
Strachan Open Tournament Not Held W MR NR Tournament Not Held
Dubai Classic[nb 13] Not Held 2R 1R 1R 3R 1R QF 2R 1R Tournament Not Held
Malta Grand Prix Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event LQ NR Tournament Not Held
Thailand Masters[nb 14] Non-Ranking Event 2R QF W W QF 2R SF 2R LQ LQ LQ NR Not Held NR Tournament Not Held
British Open A A 2R 3R F F F SF 2R 1R 3R 1R 2R 2R 3R 1R LQ LQ Tournament Not Held
Irish Masters Non-Ranking Event LQ LQ LQ NH NR Tournament Not Held
Northern Ireland Trophy Tournament Not Held NR 2R 1R A Tournament Not Held
Wuxi Classic[nb 15] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event LQ LQ A Not Held
Australian Goldfields Open[nb 16] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Tournament Not Held LQ LQ LQ A A Not Held
World Open[nb 17] A A SF LQ 1R 2R 2R 3R 3R QF 3R 1R 5R 1R 1R 3R 3R QF 1R RR LQ A A 1R LQ LQ 2R Not Held LQ NH
Former non-ranking tournaments
Thailand Masters 1R W A A Ranking Event A Not Held A Tournament Not Held
Scottish Masters A A A A A SF 1R QF A A A A A A A A A Tournament Not Held
Irish Masters A A A A A QF W QF QF A A A A A A Ranking Event NH A Tournament Not Held
China International Tournament Not Held SF Ranking Event Not Held Ranking Event
Premier League[nb 18] NH A A RR SF RR A A A A A A A A RR A A A A A A A A A A A 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
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.
RV / Ranking & Variant Format Event means an event is/was a ranking & variant format event.
MR / Minor-Ranking Event means an event is/was a minor-ranking event.
PA / Pro-am Event means an event is/was a pro-am event.
VF / Variant Format Event means an event is/was a variant format event.
  1. ^ From the 2010/2011 season it shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
  2. ^ a b c He was an amateur.
  3. ^ a b New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
  4. ^ Players issued an invitational tour card began the season without ranking points.
  5. ^ The event was called the Riga Open (2014/2015–2015/2016)
  6. ^ The event was called the Grand Prix Fürth (2004/2005) and the Fürth German Open (2005/2006–2006/2007)
  7. ^ The event run under different names as the Malta Cup (2004/2005–2007/2008)
  8. ^ The event run under different names as International Open (1986/1987–1996/1997) and Players Championship (2003/2004)
  9. ^ The event run under different name as German Open (1995/1996–1997/1998)
  10. ^ The event run under different name as Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011–2012/2013)
  11. ^ The event run under different name as China International (1997/1998–1998/1999)
  12. ^ The event run under different names as Six-red Snooker International (2008/2009) and Six-red World Grand Prix (2009/2010)
  13. ^ The event run under different names as Thailand Classic (1995/1996) and Asian Classic (1996/1997)
  14. ^ The event run under different names as Asian Open (1989/1990–1992/1993) and Thailand Open (1993/1994–1996/97)
  15. ^ The event run under different name as Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009–2009/2010)
  16. ^ The event run under different names as Australian Open (1994/1995) and Australian Masters (1995/1996)
  17. ^ The event run under different names as Grand Prix (1990/1991–2000/2001 and 2004/2005–2009/2010), LG Cup (2001/2002–2003/2004), the World Open (2010/2011) and the Haikou World Open (2011/2012–2013/2014)
  18. ^ The event run under different names as Matchroom League (1986/1987–1991/1992) and European League (1992/1993–1996/1997)

Career finals[edit]

Ranking finals: 8 (3 titles, 5 runner-ups)[edit]

World Championship (0–0)
UK Championship (0–0)
Other (3–5)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1989 Asian Open Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry 6–9
Winner 1. 1992 Strachan Open England Parrott, JohnJohn Parrott 9–5
Runner-up 2. 1992 British Open England White, JimmyJimmy White 7–10
Runner-up 3. 1993 British Open (2) England Davis, SteveSteve Davis 2–10
Runner-up 4. 1994 International Open England , John ParrottJohn Parrott 4–9
Winner 2. 1994 Thailand Open England Davis, SteveSteve Davis 9–7
Runner-up 5. 1994 British Open (3) England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 4–9
Winner 3. 1995 Thailand Open (2) England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 9–6

Non-ranking finals: 13 (7 titles, 6 runner-ups)[edit]

Masters (0–1)
Premier League (0–0)
Other (7–6)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1986 Thailand Masters Wales Griffiths, TerryTerry Griffiths 2–1
Winner 2. 1989 Kent Challenge N/A
Winner 3. 1990 Hong Kong Challenge England White, JimmyJimmy White 7–3
Runner-up 1. 1990 Benson & Hedges Championship Scotland McManus, AlanAlan McManus 5–9
Runner-up 2. 1991 Hong Kong Challenge Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry 1–9
Winner 4. 1992 Humo Masters England Parrott, JohnJohn Parrott 10–5
Winner 5. 1992 World Matchplay England Davis, SteveSteve Davis 9–4
Runner-up 3. 1993 The Masters Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry 5–9
Runner-up 4. 1993 Nescafe Extra Challenge England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan RR 1
Runner-up 5. 1993 Kings Cup England Bond, NigelNigel Bond 7–8
Winner 6. 1994 Kings Cup Wales Morgan, DarrenDarren Morgan 8–3
Winner 7. 2003 Euro-Asia Masters Challenge - Event 1 Republic of Ireland Doherty, KenKen Doherty 6–4
Runner-up 6. 2007 Euro-Asia Masters Challenge Scotland Higgins, JohnJohn Higgins 4–5

1 Round Robin format.

Amateur finals: 5 (4 titles, 1 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1986 ACBS Asian Snooker Championship Hong Kong Gary Kwok 8–1
Runner-up 2. 1987 ACBS Asian Snooker Championship Thailand Udon Khaimuk 6–8
Winner 2. 1988 ACBS Asian Snooker Championship (2) Hong Kong Kenny Kwok 8–7
Winner 3. 1988 IBSF World Snooker Championship England Pinches, BarryBarry Pinches 11–8
Winner 4. 2008 Thailand Amateur Championship Thailand Kachaiwong, IssaraIssara Kachaiwong 5–1
Winner 5. 2009 ACBS Asian Snooker Championship (3) China Xiwen, MeiMei Xiwen 7–3

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "James Wattana". snooker.org. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "Career-total Statistics for James Wattana - Professional". CueTracker Snooker Results & Statistics Database. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Centuries". Pro Snooker Blog. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  4. ^ Turner, Chris. "Maximum Breaks". cajt.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  5. ^ Hodgson, Guy. "O'Sullivan aims to realise maximum potential". The Independent on HighBeam Research. Retrieved 27 May 2012.  (subscription required)
  6. ^ Hodgson, Guy (1993-04-18). "Snooker: A storm coming in from the East:... James Wattana might just become one.". The Independent. Retrieved 1 Mar 2015. 
  7. ^ "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 

External links[edit]