Mark King (snooker player)

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Mark King
Mark King PHC 2016.jpg
Paul Hunter Classic 2016
Born (1974-03-28) 28 March 1974 (age 45)
Romford, Greater London, England
Sport country England
NicknameThe Romford Battler
The Royal King
Highest ranking11 (2002/03)
Current ranking 43 (as of 10 February 2020)
Career winnings£1,648,630
Highest break146:
2006 UK Championship
Century breaks149
Tournament wins

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 won his first ranking event title in 2016, defeating Barry Hawkins 9–8 in the final of the Northern Ireland Open. He has also appeared in two other ranking tournament finals – the 1997 Welsh Open, where he lost 2–9 to Stephen Hendry,[1] and the 2004 Irish Masters,[2] where Peter Ebdon defeated him 10–7.

King has reached the last 16 of the World Championship seven times, in 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2009 and 2013, but has never progressed beyond this stage.[3]


King turned professional in 1991 and advanced steadily through the rankings, reaching the top 48 by 1996. His 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 made his debut at the World Snooker Championship in 1994, losing to Darren Morgan in the first round.

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 just had enough of the game."[4]

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,[5] 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 Robin Hull, Mark 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,[6] 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".[7] 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.[8]

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 led 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.[9]

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" [10] King then lost in the quarter-finals 1–6 against Jamie Cope.[11] 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.[12] He was therefore out of the top 16 in the end of season rankings for the first time since the 2007/2008 season.[13]

2011/2012 season[edit]

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.[14] However, he produced an excellent run in the Shanghai Masters where he reached his first semi-final since the 2005 Welsh Open.[15] 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.[16] Further wins followed over Fergal O'Brien and Anthony Hamilton, before he was whitewashed 0–6 by Mark Selby in the last four.[17] 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.[18] 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.[14][19]

2012/2013 season[edit]

King at 2012 Paul Hunter Classic

King began the 2012/2013 season by failing to qualify for three of the first four ranking events.[20] 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.[21] He lost 3–5 to Shaun Murphy in the following round.[22] 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.[23] 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.[20] King failed to qualify for the World Open and lost in the first round of the Welsh Open and China Open.[20] 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.[24] 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.[25] King ended the season ranked world number 29.[26]

2013/2014 season[edit]

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.[27] 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.[28] 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.[28] 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.[29] 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.[28] He faced Ding Junhui who had already won four ranking events during the season and lost 5–2.[30] King failed to reach The Crucible this year as Jamie Cope beat him 10–7 in the final round of World Championship qualifiers.[31]

2014/2015 season[edit]

Mark King at the 2015 German Masters

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.[32] 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.[33] In the last 16 he lost 5–2 to Stephen Maguire.[34] 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.[35] King secured another win over Hawkins this time 4–2 and looked like moving 3–2 ahead of Judd Trump in the last 16.[36] However, Trump got the snooker he needed and won the next frame to defeat King.[37] 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.[32] 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.[38]

2015/2016 season[edit]

King was knocked out in the first round of the 2015 Australian Goldfields Open 5–1 by Mark Selby.[39] 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.[40] He was also a losing quarter-finalist at the Gibraltar Open and Gdynia Open to finish ninth on the Order of Merit.[41] In the Grand Final he lost 4–2 to Mark Allen in the second round.[39] 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.[42] He could not win a frame after being 3–2 up on Judd Trump to lose 5–3.[43]

2016/2017 season – first ranking title[edit]

King failed to get past the second round in the first eight events of the 2016/2017 season. At the inaugural Northern Ireland Open, King beat Igor Figueiredo, Liang Wenbo, Fergal O'Brien, Kurt Maflin, Hossein Vafaei Ayouri and Kyren Wilson to reach his first ranking event final since 2004.[44][45] He was 5–1 down to Barry Hawkins, before winning six successive frames. King went on to be 8–7 up, with the 16th frame going to a re-spotted black after King had needed a snooker and he missed a double on it to win. King took the deciding frame to win a ranking event for the first time in his 25-year career. He paid tribute to his father who had lent King money for the trip to Belfast.[46][47]

King saw off Stephen Maguire and Ali Carter both 4–3 to progress to the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix, where he lost 4–2 to Marco Fu.[48] For the fourth year in a row King could not play in the World Championship as he was beaten 10–4 by Xiao Guodong in the final qualifying round.[49]

Performance and rankings timeline[edit]

Tournament 1991/
Ranking[50][nb 1] [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 20 21 28
Ranking tournaments
Riga Masters[nb 3] Tournament Not Held MR 1R WD 3R QF
International Championship Tournament Not Held LQ 1R LQ LQ 1R 2R 2R 1R
China Championship Tournament Not Held NR 1R 3R 1R
English Open Tournament Not Held 2R 1R 3R 1R
World Open[nb 4] LQ LQ LQ 2R 1R 3R 3R 2R 2R 3R 3R 2R 1R 1R 2R SF RR 1R 2R LQ QF LQ 2R Not Held 1R 1R LQ LQ
Northern Ireland Open Tournament Not Held W 3R 2R 1R
UK Championship LQ LQ LQ 3R 1R 1R QF 1R 2R 2R 2R 2R 3R SF 3R 2R 2R 2R 2R 1R LQ 2R 2R 1R 1R 1R QF 3R 3R
Scottish Open[nb 5] NH LQ 1R LQ 2R LQ 1R 1R 3R 3R 3R 3R 3R Tournament Not Held MR Not Held 2R 1R 2R 2R
European Masters[nb 6] LQ 1R LQ 1R LQ LQ NH 1R Not Held 1R QF LQ LQ 2R QF NR Tournament Not Held LQ 1R SF LQ
German Masters[nb 7] Tournament Not Held 2R LQ LQ NR Tournament Not Held 1R LQ 2R 2R 2R 2R 2R LQ LQ LQ
World Grand Prix Tournament Not Held NR DNQ QF 1R 1R DNQ
Welsh Open LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ F SF 1R 1R 2R 2R 1R 2R SF 1R 1R 2R 2R 2R 2R 1R 1R 3R 2R 2R 2R 1R 1R 1R
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held Variant Format Event 3R 2R 1R
Players Championship[nb 8] Tournament Not Held DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ 2R 2R 1R DNQ DNQ DNQ
Gibraltar Open Tournament Not Held MR 2R 2R 2R
Tour Championship Tournament Not Held DNQ
China Open[nb 9] Tournament Not Held NR 2R 1R 1R 1R Not Held LQ LQ 1R 2R 2R QF LQ 1R 1R QF 2R QF 1R 2R 2R
World Championship LQ LQ 1R LQ LQ LQ 2R 2R 1R 2R 2R 1R 1R LQ 1R LQ 2R 2R 1R 1R LQ 2R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ
Non-ranking tournaments
Paul Hunter Classic Tournament Not Held Pro-am Event Minor-Ranking Event Ranking Event QF
Haining Open Tournament Not Held MR QF A SF 4R
Champion of Champions Tournament Not Held A A A A 1R A A
Championship League Tournament Not Held 2R 2R A RR RR A RR RR A A RR RR RR
World Seniors Championship A Tournament Not Held A A A A LQ LQ A A A A
Variant format tournaments
Six-red World Championship[nb 10] Tournament Not Held A QF A NH A A A A A 1R RR A
Former ranking tournaments
Classic LQ Tournament Not Held
Strachan Open[nb 11] LQ MR NR Tournament Not Held
Dubai Classic[nb 12] LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ Tournament Not Held
Malta Grand Prix Not Held Non-Ranking Event 1R NR Tournament Not Held
Thailand Masters[nb 13] LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R 1R 2R QF LQ 2R NR Not Held NR Tournament Not Held
British Open LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ 2R 3R 3R 3R QF SF 2R 2R 2R Tournament Not Held
Irish Masters Non-Ranking Event 1R F LQ NH NR Tournament Not Held
Northern Ireland Trophy Tournament Not Held NR 2R 2R 2R Tournament Not Held
Bahrain Championship Tournament Not Held 1R Tournament Not Held
Wuxi Classic[nb 14] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event LQ 3R 1R Tournament Not Held
Australian Goldfields Open[nb 15] Not Held NR Tournament Not Held LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R Tournament Not Held
Shanghai Masters Tournament Not Held LQ 2R 1R QF SF 2R 2R LQ LQ LQ 1R NR
Paul Hunter Classic[nb 16] Tournament Not Held Pro-am Event Minor-Ranking Event 2R 4R 3R NR
Indian Open Tournament Not Held LQ 1R NH 1R SF LQ NH
Former non-ranking tournaments
Scottish Masters A A A A A A A A A A LQ 1R Tournament Not Held
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held QF 1R 1R 3R 1R 1R Ranking Event
Romanian Masters Tournament Not Held 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.
  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. ^ The event was called the Riga Open (2014/2015–2015/2016)
  4. ^ The event was called the Grand Prix (1991/1992–2000/2001 and 2004/2005–2009/2010) and the LG Cup (2001/2002–2003/2004)
  5. ^ The event was called the International Open (1992/1993–1996/1997) and the Players Championship (2003/2004)
  6. ^ The event was called the European Open (1991/1992–1996/1997 and 2001/2002–2003/2004), Irish Open (1998/1999) and the Malta Cup (2004/2005–2007/2008)
  7. ^ The event was called the German Open (1995/1996–1997/1998)
  8. ^ The event was called the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011–2012/2013) and the Players Championship Grand Final (2013/2014–2015/2016)
  9. ^ The event was called the China International (1997/1998–1998/1999)
  10. ^ The event was called the Six-red Snooker International (2008/2009) and Six-red World Grand Prix (2009/2010)
  11. ^ The event was called the Strachan Challenge (1992/1993–1993/1994)
  12. ^ The event was called the Thailand Classic in 1995/1996 and the Asian Classic in 1996/1997
  13. ^ The event was called the Asian Open (1991/1992–1992/1993) and the Thailand Open (1993/1994–1996/1997)
  14. ^ The event was called the Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009–2009/2010)
  15. ^ The event was called the Australian Open (1994/1995) and Australian Masters (1995/1996)
  16. ^ The event was called the Grand Prix Fürth (2004/2005) and the Fürth German Open (2005/2006–2006/2007)

Career finals[edit]

Ranking finals: 3 (1 title, 2 runners-up)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1997 Welsh Open Scotland Stephen Hendry 2–9
Runner-up 2. 2004 Irish Masters England Peter Ebdon 7–10
Winner 1. 2016 Northern Ireland Open England Barry Hawkins 9–8

Pro-am finals: 7 (5 titles, 2 runner-up)[edit]

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2003 Pontins Spring Open England Craig Butler 5–4
Winner 2. 2005 Fürth German Open England Michael Holt 4–2
Winner 3. 2005 Austrian Open England Lee Richardson 5–2
Winner 4. 2013 Vienna Snooker Open England Craig Steadman 5–0
Winner 5. 2014 Vienna Snooker Open (2) England Nigel Bond 5–2
Runner-up 1. 2015 Vienna Snooker Open England Peter Ebdon 3–5
Runner-up 2. 2019 Vienna Snooker Open (2) England Mark Joyce 4–5


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  2. ^ "2005 Irish Masters Preview". snookerclub.
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  4. ^ Harlow, Phil (20 April 2003). "Crucible diary: Day two". BBC News. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  5. ^ Mark King -v- Quinten Hann Boxing match???. Retrieved on 9 April 2017.
  6. ^[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "King sends Selby packing". Sky Sports. 22 April 2008.
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  9. ^ "Davis Delight". WPBSA. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  10. ^ "King beats defending champion Selby at Masters". BBC. 9 January 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
  11. ^ "The Masters". WWW Snooker. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
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  13. ^ "Ranking History". WWW Snooker. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  14. ^ a b "Mark King 2011/2012". Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  15. ^ "King vs Selby: Mark Selby can extract Masters revenge with comfortable Shanghai semi win". Punters Lounge. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  16. ^ "Ali Carter Slumps in Shanghai". Sporting Life. Retrieved 17 May 2012.[dead link]
  17. ^ "Shanghai Masters (2011)". Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  18. ^ "Haikou World Open (2012)". Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  19. ^ "Official World Ranking List for the 2012/2013 Season" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  20. ^ a b c "Mark King 2012/2013". Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  21. ^ "Ding Junhui eliminated by Mark King 5–4". CNTV. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  22. ^ "Judd Trump stages comeback to reach Shanghai last eight". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  23. ^ Skilbeck, John (5 December 2012). "Teenager Brecel reaches quarter-finals after coming from behind to see off King". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  24. ^ "Allen Falls To Reigning King". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 25 April 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  25. ^ "Ding Ends King Challenge". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 2 May 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  26. ^ "Official World Snooker Ranking List For The 2013/2014 Season" (PDF). World Snooker. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  27. ^ "Wuxi Classic: Neil Robertson thrashes Mark King to set up clash with Cao Yupeng in quarter-finals". Sky Sports. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  28. ^ a b c "Mark King 2013/2014". Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  29. ^ "O'Sullivan cruises through". Daily Express. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  30. ^ "Snooker China Open: Ding eases past King to make last 4". CCTV. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  31. ^ "Former champ Ebdon fails to reach World Championship for first time in 22 years". Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  32. ^ a b "Mark King 2014/2015". Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  33. ^ "Trump and Robertson Enjoy Whitewashes". World Snooker. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  34. ^ "Stephen Maguire brimming with confidence for German Masters quarter-final". The Herald (Glasgow). Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  35. ^ "European Order of Merit 2014/2015". Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  36. ^ "King upsets Hawkins at Players Championship". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  37. ^ "Williams Fight-Back Floors Selby". World Snooker. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  38. ^ "World Rankings After 2015 World Championship". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 7 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  39. ^ a b "Mark King 2015/2016". Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  40. ^ "King Upbeat Despite Semi Defeat". World Snooker. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  41. ^ "European Order of Merit 2015/2016". Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  42. ^ "John Higgins and Judd Trump breeze through, but Shaun Murphy crashes out of China Open". Eurosport. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  43. ^ "Maguire Secures Crucible Place". World Snooker. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  44. ^ "Mark King 2016/2017". Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  45. ^ "King Charges to Belfast Final". World Snooker. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  46. ^ "Northern Ireland Open: Mark King ends 25-year wait for ranking title". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  47. ^ "Northern Ireland champ Mark King reveals gambling woes: 'I came here without a tenner in the bank'". RTÉ. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  48. ^ "Ryan Day dumps defending champion Shaun Murphy out of World Grand Prix". Eurosport. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  49. ^ "Yan Secures Crucible Debut". World Snooker. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  50. ^ "Ranking History". Retrieved 6 February 2011.

External links[edit]