Mark King (snooker player)
Mark King at the 2015 German Masters
|Born||28 March 1974|
|Nickname||The Romford Battler
The Royal King
|Highest ranking||11 (2002/03)|
|34 (as of 17 October 2016)|
|Highest break||146 (2006 UK Championship)|
|Best ranking finish||Runner-up (1997 Regal Welsh Open, 2004 Irish Masters)|
Mark King (born 28 March 1974) is an English professional snooker player.
Having turned professional in 1991, King was ranked within the world's top 32 players between 1996 and 2015, and has reached two ranking tournament finals - the 1997 Welsh Open, where he lost 2–9 to Stephen Hendry, and the 2004 Irish Masters, where Peter Ebdon defeated him 10–7.
King turned professional in 1991 and advanced steadily through the rankings, reaching the top 48 by 1996. His 1997 Welsh Open final run lead to a top 32 place in the end of season rankings, and he continued to progress by reaching the top 16 a year later.
He remained in the top 16 the following season without reaching a ranking quarter-final, but dropped out a year later. He made an immediate return in 2000/2001, climbing to a career-high of #11. A poor 2002/2003 season ended with him dropping out of the top 16 again after defeat to Drew Henry 10–5 in the first round of the World Championship. In the post-match interview, King suggested that he had lost patience with the game and would quit because "I've got a wicked wife that I never see because I'm here playing this poxy game." King later retracted this statement and began the following season in the qualifiers.
After the 2004 World Championship, King became involved in a tense battle with Quinten Hann after his friend Andy Hicks eliminated Hann in a controversial first-round clash. Hann had been making provocative gestures during the match and after Hicks took victory, the two players had an altercation, with an angry Hann squaring up to Hicks. Upset by Hann's behaviour, King challenged the Australian to a boxing match, for which King was later criticised, as Hann's behaviour had already put the game into disrepute. Nevertheless, the bout went ahead and Hann controversially won the fight on a points decision.
In December 2004, King beat Mark J Williams, Alan McManus and John Parrott en route to the semi-finals of the UK Championship, losing 9–4 to eventual winner Stephen Maguire. At 8–3, a mobile phone went off in the crowd, prompting King to quip "if that's my missus, tell her I'll be home soon". In 2005, King beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 9–8 at the same event, having fought back from 5–3 down in a match which saw his opponent sitting with a wet towel draped over his head when King was at the table. King would eventually lose 9–6 in the last 16 to Joe Perry, but made a career best 146 break at the 2006 Championships.
Defeat to Neil Robertson (he was trailing 7–2 but only lost 10–9) in the qualifying for the World Championship in 2005 cost him the chance of a top 16 return, but King qualified a year later, resiliently losing 10–6 to Stephen Maguire in the first round. In 2007, King went out to David Gilbert in the qualifying round for the event.
In the 2008 World Championship, King beat six-times runner-up Jimmy White to qualify, then shocked the previous year's runner-up Mark Selby 10–8, having trailed 5–3 overnight. After potting the match ball, King showed his delight by shouting "Get in". He lost to Peter Ebdon in the last 16, but his top-16 place was secure and he would start the 08/09 campaign ranked 15th.
A consistent 2008/2009 season saw King retain his top 16 spot.
At the 2009 Grand Prix King needed three snookers in the deciding frame against Ricky Walden to claim a 5–4 victory. He managed to get them and won by potting the final black. In the next round he lost to Robert Milkins.
At the 2010 China Open King defeated Thai player James Wattana 5–4 in the first round after trailing 2–4. He then won his second match 5–3 against Chinese player Tian Pengfei to reach his first Quarter final since the 2007 Malta Cup. A double triumph for King, the win helped to maintain his Top 16 place for the 2010/11 season.
At the 2010 World championship, King lost his first round match against former 6 times World Champion Steve Davis by 9–10. In the deciding frame, Davis lead 55–37, with only 13 points available. King's attempts at getting the snooker he needed to win ended with him fluking the pink in the pocket.
King made an impressive start to the new season when he reached the Quarter Final of the 2010 Shanghai Masters. King was too strong for qualifier Joe Delaney in the first round, winning 5–3. The same scoreline saw him overcome Peter Ebdon in the next round but King was then beaten comfortably by Mark Selby 5–1. However his lack of form in the following ranking events made him fall out of the top 16 after the 2011 Welsh Open.
At the 2011 Masters, King beat defending champion Mark Selby 6–4 to reach his first quarter-final at the event since 1999. After the match, King suggested that his comeback from 0–2 down was prompted by his opponent's celebration to winning the second frame on the black, when he "put his cue up and it gave me the hump a bit"  King then lost in the quarter-finals 1–6 against Jamie Cope. He ended the season by losing 7–10 to Graeme Dott in the World Championship and was ranked 26, dropping 11 places during the year. He was therefore out of the top 16 in the end of season rankings for the first time since the 2007/2008 season.
King's ranking meant that he would need to win a match to qualify for the ranking tournaments in the 2011/2012 season. He failed to qualify for four of the eight ranking tournaments during the season and was knocked out in the first round in two. However, he produced an excellent run in the Shanghai Masters where he reached his first semi-final since the 2005 Welsh Open. He required a final frame decider to beat Liu Song in qualifying 5–4 and once in China he won by the same scoreline to knock out defending champion Ali Carter in the first round. Further wins followed over Fergal O'Brien and Anthony Hamilton, before he was whitewashed 0–6 by Mark Selby in the last four. King also reached the quarter-finals of the World Open by beating Mark Williams 5–1 and Tom Ford 5–4, but then lost 1–5 to Mark Allen. King lost to seventeen-year-old Luca Brecel in qualifying for the World Championship and finished the season ranked world number 31, dropping five places during the year.
King began the 2012/2013 season by failing to qualify for three of the first four ranking events. The one he did reach was the Shanghai Masters, where he beat Zhao Xintong 5–3 in the wildcard round and local favourite Ding Junhui 5–4 in the first round, having trailed 0–3. He lost 3–5 to Shaun Murphy in the following round. King saw off Mark Williams 6–3 in the first round of the UK Championship, before surrendering a 3–0 lead against 17-year-old Luca Brecel to lose 4–6. He also reached the second round of the German Masters by whitewashing Stephen Maguire 5–0, but then lost in a deciding frame to Matthew Stevens. King failed to qualify for the World Open and lost in the first round of the Welsh Open and China Open. He faced Mark Allen in the opening round of the World Snooker Championship and produced a big shock by fighting back from 6–8 down to produce his best snooker at the end of the match in a 10–8 win. He raced into a 6–2 lead in the first session of his second round match against Ding Junhui, before falling 7–9 behind in the next session and ultimately lost 9–13. King ended the season ranked world number 29.
King had his best results in the Chinese ranking events during the 2013/2014 season, beginning with the Wuxi Classic where he beat Rory McLeod 5–3 and Marco Fu 5–4, before being thrashed 5–0 by Neil Robertson in the last 16. At the Shanghai Masters he knocked out Graeme Dott, but Robertson was again victorious when the pair met in the last 16 this time winning 5–3. During King's tie with Fergal O'Brien in the last 64 of the UK Championship, he made 15 consecutive foul and misses in the sixth frame and went on to lose 6–3. The match was played in a sports hall as the Barbican Centre itself was too small to accommodate enough tables, with King saying afterwards that the conditions were not good enough and as long as the top players were okay the governing body did not care. At the China Open, King saw off Aditya Mehta 5–4, Fu 5–3 and Jamie O'Neill 5–3 to reach his only quarter-final of the season. He faced Ding Junhui who had already won four ranking events during the season and lost 5–2. King failed to reach The Crucible this year as Jamie Cope beat him 10–7 in the final round of World Championship qualifiers.
King lost in the qualifying rounds of three of the first five ranking events of the 2014/2015 season and was knocked out in the first round of the other two. He defeated Steven Hallworth and Michael White both 5–3 to qualify for the German Masters and eliminated world number five Barry Hawkins 5–3 in the first round. In the last 16 he lost 5–2 to Stephen Maguire. A consistent season in the European Tour events saw King finish 24th on the Order of Merit to make his debut in the Grand Final. King secured another win over Hawkins this time 4–2 and looked like moving 3–2 ahead of Judd Trump in the last 16. However, Trump got the snooker he needed and won the next frame to defeat King. King closed the season with a 5–4 loss to Robin Hull in the second round of the China Open and was narrowly edged out 10–9 by Anthony McGill in the final round of World Championship qualifying. He fell outside the top 32 in the rankings for the first time since 1996 at the culmination of the season as he was 36th.
King was knocked out in the first round of the 2015 Australian Goldfields Open 5–1 by Mark Selby. At the Paul Hunter Classic, King advanced to the semi-finals with the loss of just one frame. He moved 3–0 up on Shaun Murphy with two 123 breaks but then missed multiple chances to win the match, as well as Murphy getting some flukes, to be beaten 4–3. He was also a losing quarter-finalist at the Gibraltar Open and Gdynia Open to finish ninth on the Order of Merit. In the Grand Final he lost 4–2 to Mark Allen in the second round. King overcame Ali Carter 5–2 at the China Open and beat Murphy 5–3 and Martin O'Donnell 5–0 to reach his first ranking event quarter-final in two years. He could not win a frame after being 3–2 up on Judd Trump to lose 5–3.
Playing style and record
Averaging under 5 centuries a season, King's biggest weakness is scoring however he combines this with a solid tactical brain coming from his vast experience. He may have won a tournament if it was not for a major weakness: his occasional tendency to lose control of the cue ball when looking comfortable during a break, forcing him to play a safety shot. He is well known on the circuit for his lack of ability and players often express their astonishment when King is able to construct a century break. However, King appears to expect total clearances from himself in every frame and regularly appears stunned when he loses control of the cue ball. Although critics have noted that King runs out of position multiple times in every frame and therefore this should not be a scenario which surprises him in any way.
King has proven his credentials in certain matches, but his extremely defensive mentality has been cited as a hindrance to his game. On 26 April 2009, he and Stephen Maguire shared the longest frame in Crucible history at one hour, fourteen minutes and fifty-eight seconds during their second round World Championship match.
While his temperament was also regarded as a weakness, coach Terry Griffiths has helped King improve this side of his game in recent years. King is one of the most colourful characters on the circuit and enjoys battling it out on the table when behind or out of form.
He is married with three children. His mother was jailed for life in 2003 for murdering her cousin.
Performance and rankings timeline
|Ranking[nb 1]||UR[nb 2]||209||169||89||52||39||20||16||14||22||13||11||22||23||20||29||21||15||16||15||26||31||29||28||36||36|
|Australian Goldfields Open[nb 3]||Not held||NR||Not held||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||1R|
|Shanghai Masters||Not Held||LQ||2R||1R||QF||SF||2R||2R||LQ||LQ|
|International Championship||Not Held||LQ||1R||LQ||LQ|
|German Masters[nb 4]||Not Held||2R||LQ||LQ||NR||Not Held||1R||LQ||2R||2R||2R||2R|
|World Grand Prix[nb 5]||LQ||LQ||LQ||2R||1R||3R||4R||2R||4R||3R||3R||2R||1R||1R||2R||SF||RR||1R||2R||LQ||QF||LQ||2R||NR||LQ|
|Players Championship Grand Final[nb 6]||Not Held||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||2R||2R|
|China Open[nb 7]||Not Held||NR||2R||1R||1R||1R||Not Held||LQ||LQ||1R||2R||2R||QF||LQ||1R||1R||QF||2R||QF|
|Champion of Champions||Not Held||A||A||A|
|Championship League||Not Held||2R||2R||A||RR||RR||A||RR||RR||A|
|World Seniors Championship||A||Not Held||A||A||A||A||LQ||LQ|
|Variant format tournaments|
|Six-red World Championship[nb 8]||Not Held||A||QF||A||NH||A||A||A||A|
|Former ranking tournaments|
|Strachan Open[nb 9]||LQ||MR||NR||Not Held|
|Dubai Classic[nb 10]||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||Not Held|
|Malta Grand Prix||Not Held||Non-ranking||1R||NR||Not Held|
|Thailand Masters[nb 11]||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||1R||1R||2R||QF||LQ||2R||NR||Not Held||NR||Not Held|
|Scottish Open[nb 12]||NH||LQ||1R||LQ||2R||LQ||2R||1R||5R||3R||3R||3R||3R||Not Held||MR||Not Held|
|British Open||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||LQ||2R||4R||3R||5R||QF||SF||2R||2R||2R||Not Held|
|Irish Masters||Non-Ranking Event||1R||F||LQ||NH||NR||Not Held|
|Malta Cup[nb 13]||LQ||1R||LQ||1R||LQ||LQ||NH||1R||Not Held||1R||QF||LQ||LQ||2R||QF||NR||Not Held|
|Northern Ireland Trophy||Not Held||NR||2R||2R||2R||Not Held|
|Bahrain Championship||Not Held||1R||Not Held|
|Wuxi Classic[nb 14]||Not held||Non-ranking||LQ||3R||1R||NH|
|Indian Open||Not Held||LQ||1R||NH|
|Former non-ranking tournaments|
|Scottish Masters||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||LQ||1R||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.|
- From the 2010/2011 season it shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
- New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
- The event was called the Australian Open (1994/1995) and Australian Masters (1995/1996)
- The event was called the German Open (1995/1996–1997/1998)
- The event was called the Grand Prix (1991/1992–2000/2001 and 2004/2005–2009/2010) and the LG Cup (2001/2002–2003/2004)
- The event was called the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011–2012/2013)
- The event was called the China International (1997/1998–1998/1999)
- The event was called the Six-red Snooker International (2008/2009) and Six-red World Grand Prix (2009/2010)
- The event was called the Strachan Challenge (1992/1993–1993/1994)
- The event was called the Thailand Classic in 1995/1996 and the Asian Classic in 1996/1997
- The event was called the Asian Open (1991/1992–1992/1993) and the Thailand Open (1993/1994–1996/1997)
- The event was called the International Open (1992/1993–1996/1997) and the Players Championship (2003/2004)
- The event was called the European Open (1991/1992–1996/1997 and 2001/2002–2003/2004) and the Irish Open (1998/1999)
- The event was called the Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009–2009/2010)
Ranking event finals: 2 (2 runners-up)
|World Championship (0–0)|
|UK Championship (0–0)|
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Runner-up||1.||1997||Welsh Open||Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry||2–9|
|Runner-up||2.||2004||Irish Masters||Ebdon, PeterPeter Ebdon||7–10|
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- "Centuries". Pro Snooker Blog. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
- "WWW Snooker – Regal Welsh 1997". 1997. Retrieved 2008-07-12.
- "2005 Irish Masters Preview". snookerclub.
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- "Ebdon through to quarter-finals of Snooker's World Championship and Hendry threatens to join him". London: Daily Mail. 25 April 2008.
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- "The Masters". WWW Snooker. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
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- "Haikou World Open (2012)". Snooker.org. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
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- "Mark King 2012/2013". Snooker.org. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Ding Junhui eliminated by Mark King 5-4". CNTV. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Judd Trump stages comeback to reach Shanghai last eight". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- Skilbeck, John (5 December 2012). "Teenager Brecel reaches quarter-finals after coming from behind to see off King". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Allen Falls To Reigning King". World Snooker. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- "Ding Ends King Challenge". World Snooker. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- "Official World Snooker Ranking List For The 2013/2014 Season" (PDF). World Snooker. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- "Wuxi Classic: Neil Robertson thrashes Mark King to set up clash with Cao Yupeng in quarter-finals". Sky Sports. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- "Mark King 2013/2014". Snooker.org. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- "O'Sullivan cruises through". Daily Express. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- "Snooker China Open: Ding eases past King to make last 4". CCTV. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- "Former champ Ebdon fails to reach World Championship for first time in 22 years". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- "Mark King 2014/2015". Snooker.org. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- "Trump and Robertson Enjoy Whitewashes". World Snooker. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- "Stephen Maguire brimming with confidence for German Masters quarter-final". The Herald (Glasgow). Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- "European Order of Merit 2014/2015". Snooker.org. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- "King upsets Hawkins at Players Championship". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- "Williams Fight-Back Floors Selby". World Snooker. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- "World Rankings After 2015 World Championship". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 7 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- "Mark King 2015/2016". Snooker.org. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
- "King Upbeat Despite Semi Defeat". World Snooker. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
- "European Order of Merit 2015/2016". Snooker.org. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- "John Higgins and Judd Trump breeze through, but Shaun Murphy crashes out of China Open". Eurosport. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- "Maguire Secures Crucible Place". World Snooker. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- "Chris Turner's SNOOKER ARCHIVE – Records". 2008. Archived from the original on 28 January 2013. Retrieved 2008-08-07.
- "King breezes past Doherty", BBC, 27 March 2004. URL accessed on 13 November 2006.
- "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
- "Vienna Snooker Open 2014". Archived from the original on 7 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
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