Maximum break

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Ronnie O'Sullivan's maximum at the 1997 World Championship. This holds the record for the fastest 147.

The maximum break in snooker is also known as a maximum, a 147, or orally, a one-four-seven is the highest possible break in a single frame. A player compiles a maximum break by potting all 15 reds with 15 blacks for 120 points, followed by all six colours for a further 27 points. A maximum break is regarded as the highest possible achievement in a single frame of snooker, and is often compared to a nine-dart finish in darts or a 300 game in ten-pin bowling.

The first officially recognised maximum break was made by Joe Davis in a 1955 exhibition match in London. At the Classic in January 1982, Steve Davis achieved the first recognised maximum in professional competition, which was also the first maximum to occur during a televised match. The following year, Cliff Thorburn became the first player to make a maximum at the World Snooker Championship. At the UK Championship in December 2013, Mark Selby achieved the 100th recognised maximum break in professional competition, while David Gilbert made the 147th 147 in the Championship League in January 2019. Ronnie O'Sullivan holds the record for the most maximum breaks in professional competition, with 15. He also holds the record for the fastest competitive maximum break, at 5 minutes and 8 seconds, which he achieved at the 1997 World Championship.

Maximum breaks have gradually become more frequent in snooker. Only eight recognised maximum breaks were achieved in the 1980s, but 26 were attained in the 1990s, 35 in the 2000s, and 86 in the 2010s. In the 1980s and 1990s, some players received £147,000 for making a maximum break, but as the frequency of maximums increased, the reward for a maximum break was changed to a rolling prize pot that began at £5,000, leading to some discontent among players. In 2019, World Snooker Tour chairman Barry Hearn replaced the rolling 147 prize with a £1 million bonus if 20 maximums were made over a single season. If triggered, the bonus would be shared among the players who attained the maximums. This change was criticized by some players, including O'Sullivan, who stated that 20 maximums in a single season was unlikely ever to happen.

In theory, breaks of up to 155 are possible if the referee awards a free ball before any of the reds have been potted. In practice, breaks above 147 are extremely unusual, having occurred only once in professional competition, when Jamie Burnett made a break of 148 in the qualifying stages of the 2004 UK Championship.

History[edit]

Joe Davis compiled the first officially recognised maximum break on 22 January 1955, in a match against Willie Smith at Leicester Square Hall, London.[1] The Billiards Association and Control Council initially refused to accept the break since the match was not played under their rules. At the time, the professional game used a rule (now standard) whereby after a foul a player could compel the offender to play the next stroke. It was not until a meeting on 20 March 1957 that the break was officially recognised, and Davis was presented with a certificate to commemorate his achievement.[2] The match between Davis and Smith was played as part of a series of events marking the closure of Leicester Square Hall; known as Thurston's Hall until 1947,[3] the venue had hosted many important billiards and snooker matches since its opening in 1901, including twelve World Snooker Championship finals.[4]

John Spencer compiled a maximum break in the 1979 Holsten Lager International. This did not count as an official maximum, however, as the break was made on a non-templated table used during the event.[5] The first official maximum break in professional competition was compiled by Steve Davis in the 1982 Classic at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in Oldham, against John Spencer.[6] This was also the first televised maximum break.[7] Davis won a Lada car (provided by the event's sponsors) for his achievement.[8] The following year, Cliff Thorburn became the first player to make a maximum at the World Championship in the fourth frame of his second round match against Terry Griffiths.[8]

Before the 1994–95 season, the maximum break remained a rare feat, with only 15 official maximums compiled altogether. However, beginning in the 1994/95 season, at least one maximum break has been achieved every season thereafter; the 13 maximums scored in the 2016–17 season is the highest number to date. Mark Selby made the 100th officially recognised maximum break in professional competition on 7 December 2013 in the seventh frame of his semi-final match against Ricky Walden at the UK Championship.[9][10] As of December 2019, a further 55 maximum breaks have been officially recorded in professional competition.[11] Englishman Ronnie O'Sullivan has compiled 15 official competitive maximum breaks, the most achieved by any professional player.[12] Following him are Stephen Hendry with eleven, John Higgins with ten, and Ding Junhui and Stuart Bingham with six. O'Sullivan also holds the record for the fastest competitive maximum break at just over five minutes, which he set at the 1997 World Championship.[13]

At least seven players have missed the final black on a score of 140: Robin Hull, Ken Doherty, Barry Pinches, Mark Selby,[14] Michael White,[15] Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (twice in the 2015–16 season),[16][17] and Liang Wenbo in a qualifying match at the 2018 World Championship, after he had already made a maximum earlier in the same match.[18] Breaks above 147 are possible when an opponent fouls and leaves a free ball with all 15 reds still remaining on the table. A break greater than 147 has happened only once in professional competition, when Jamie Burnett made a break of 148 at the qualifying stage of the 2004 UK Championship.[19][20] Jamie Cope compiled a break of 155 points, the highest possible free-ball break, during practice in 2005.[21] Alex Higgins is said to have attained the same feat.[22]

Official list[edit]

Table legend
(Q) Qualifying rounds
Official maximum breaks achieved in professional competition[11][23][24]
No. Date Player Age Opponent Event Video
001 11 January 1982 Steve Davis 24 years, 142 days John Spencer Classic [video 1]
002 23 April 1983 Cliff Thorburn 35 years, 97 days Terry Griffiths World Championship [video 2]
003 28 January 1984 Kirk Stevens 25 years, 164 days Jimmy White Masters [video 3]
004 17 November 1987 Willie Thorne 33 years, 258 days Tommy Murphy UK Championship
005 20 February 1988 Tony Meo 28 years, 139 days Stephen Hendry Matchroom League
006 24 September 1988 Alain Robidoux 28 years, 61 days Jim Meadowcroft European Open (Q)
007 18 February 1989 John Rea 37 years, 75 days Ian Black Scottish Professional Championship
008 8 March 1989 Cliff Thorburn (2) 41 years, 51 days Jimmy White Matchroom League
009 16 January 1991 James Wattana 20 years, 364 days Paul Dawkins World Masters
010 5 June 1991 Peter Ebdon 20 years, 282 days Wayne Martin Strachan Open (Q)[25]
011[26] 25 February 1992 James Wattana (2) 22 years, 39 days Tony Drago British Open [video 4]
012 22 April 1992 Jimmy White 29 years, 356 days Tony Drago World Championship [video 5]
013 9 May 1992 John Parrott 27 years, 364 days Tony Meo Matchroom League
014 24 May 1992 Stephen Hendry 23 years, 132 days Willie Thorne Matchroom League
015[27] 14 November 1992 Peter Ebdon (2) 22 years, 79 days Ken Doherty UK Championship
016[28] 7 September 1994 David McDonnell 22 years, 331 days Nic Barrow British Open (Q)
017 27 April 1995 Stephen Hendry (2) 26 years, 104 days Jimmy White World Championship [video 6]
018 25 November 1995 Stephen Hendry (3) 26 years, 316 days Gary Wilkinson UK Championship [video 7]
019 5 January 1997 Stephen Hendry (4) 27 years, 358 days Ronnie O'Sullivan Charity Challenge [video 8]
020 21 April 1997 Ronnie O'Sullivan 21 years, 137 days Mick Price World Championship [video 9]
021 18 September 1997 James Wattana (3) 27 years, 244 days Pang Weiguo China International
022 16 May 1998 Stephen Hendry (5) 29 years, 123 days Ken Doherty Premier League [video 10]
023 10 August 1998 Adrian Gunnell 25 years, 351 days Mario Wehrmann Thailand Masters (Q)
024 13 August 1998 Mehmet Husnu 26 years, 19 days Eddie Barker China International (Q)
025 13 January 1999 Jason Prince 28 years, 210 days Ian Brumby British Open (Q)
026 29 January 1999 Ronnie O'Sullivan (2) 23 years, 55 days James Wattana Welsh Open [video 11]
027 4 February 1999 Stuart Bingham 22 years, 259 days Barry Hawkins UK Tour – Event 3
028 22 March 1999 Nick Dyson 29 years, 93 days Adrian Gunnell UK Tour – Event 4
029 6 April 1999 Graeme Dott 21 years, 329 days David Roe British Open
030 19 September 1999 Stephen Hendry (6) 30 years, 249 days Peter Ebdon British Open [video 12]
031 21 September 1999 Barry Pinches 29 years, 70 days Joe Johnson Welsh Open (Q)
032 13 October 1999 Ronnie O'Sullivan (3) 23 years, 312 days Graeme Dott Grand Prix [video 13]
033 4 November 1999 Karl Burrows 31 years, 322 days Adrian Rosa Benson & Hedges Championship
034 22 November 1999 Stephen Hendry (7) 30 years, 313 days Paul Wykes UK Championship [video 14]
035 21 January 2000 John Higgins 24 years, 248 days Dennis Taylor Nations Cup [video 15]
036 24 March 2000 John Higgins (2) 24 years, 311 days Jimmy White Irish Masters [video 16]
037 28 March 2000 Stephen Maguire 19 years, 15 days Phaitoon Phonbun Scottish Open (Q)
038 5 April 2000 Ronnie O'Sullivan (4) 24 years, 122 days Quinten Hann Scottish Open [video 17]
039 25 October 2000 Marco Fu 22 years, 291 days Ken Doherty Scottish Masters [video 18]
040 7 November 2000 David McLellan 30 years, 302 days Steve Meakin Benson & Hedges Championship
041 19 November 2000 Nick Dyson (2) 30 years, 336 days Robert Milkins UK Championship
042 25 February 2001 Stephen Hendry (8) 32 years, 43 days Mark Williams Malta Grand Prix [video 19]
043 17 October 2001 Ronnie O'Sullivan (5) 25 years, 316 days Drew Henry LG Cup [video 20]
044 12 November 2001 Shaun Murphy 19 years, 94 days Adrian Rosa Benson & Hedges Championship
045 28 October 2002 Tony Drago 37 years, 36 days Stuart Bingham Benson & Hedges Championship
046 22 April 2003 Ronnie O'Sullivan (6) 27 years, 138 days Marco Fu World Championship [video 21]
047 12 October 2003 John Higgins (3) 28 years, 147 days Mark Williams LG Cup [video 22]
048 12 November 2003 John Higgins (4) 28 years, 178 days Michael Judge British Open [video 23]
049 4 October 2004 John Higgins (5) 29 years, 139 days Ricky Walden Grand Prix [video 24]
050 17 November 2004 David Gray 25 years, 282 days Mark Selby UK Championship
051 20 April 2005 Mark Williams 30 years, 30 days Robert Milkins World Championship [video 25]
052 22 November 2005 Stuart Bingham (2) 29 years, 185 days Marcus Campbell Masters Qualifying Event
053 14 March 2006 Robert Milkins 30 years, 8 days Mark Selby World Championship (Q)
054 23 October 2006 Jamie Cope 21 years, 41 days Michael Holt Grand Prix
055 14 January 2007 Ding Junhui 19 years, 288 days Anthony Hamilton Masters [video 26]
056 15 February 2007 Andrew Higginson 29 years, 64 days Ali Carter Welsh Open [video 27]
057 19 September 2007 Jamie Burnett 32 years, 3 days Liu Song Grand Prix (Q)
058 14 October 2007 Tom Ford 24 years, 58 days Steve Davis Grand Prix
059 8 November 2007 Ronnie O'Sullivan (7) 31 years, 338 days Ali Carter Northern Ireland Trophy [video 28]
060 15 December 2007 Ronnie O'Sullivan (8) 32 years, 10 days Mark Selby UK Championship [video 29]
061 29 March 2008 Stephen Maguire (2) 27 years, 16 days Ryan Day China Open [video 30]
062 28 April 2008 Ronnie O'Sullivan (9) 32 years, 145 days Mark Williams World Championship [video 31]
063 29 April 2008 Ali Carter 28 years, 279 days Peter Ebdon World Championship [video 32]
064 2 October 2008 Jamie Cope (2) 23 years, 20 days Mark Williams Shanghai Masters [video 33]
065 29 October 2008 Liang Wenbo 21 years, 238 days Martin Gould Bahrain Championship (Q)
066 8 November 2008 Marcus Campbell 36 years, 47 days Ahmed Basheer Al-Khusaibi Bahrain Championship
067 16 December 2008 Ding Junhui (2) 21 years, 259 days John Higgins UK Championship [video 34]
068 28 April 2009 Stephen Hendry (9) 40 years, 105 days Shaun Murphy World Championship [video 35]
069 5 June 2009 Mark Selby 25 years, 351 days Joe Perry Jiangsu Classic
070 1 April 2010 Neil Robertson 28 years, 49 days Peter Ebdon China Open [video 36]
071 25 June 2010 Kurt Maflin 26 years, 321 days Michal Zielinski Players Tour Championship – Event 1
072 6 August 2010 Barry Hawkins 31 years, 105 days James McGouran Players Tour Championship – Event 3
073 20 September 2010 Ronnie O'Sullivan (10) 34 years, 289 days Mark King World Open (Q) [video 37]
074 22 October 2010 Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon 16 years, 312 days Barry Hawkins Rhein–Main Masters
075 23 October 2010 Mark Williams (2) 35 years, 216 days Diana Schuler Rhein–Main Masters [video 38]
076 19 November 2010 Rory McLeod 39 years, 238 days Issara Kachaiwong Prague Classic
077 17 February 2011 Stephen Hendry (10) 42 years, 35 days Stephen Maguire Welsh Open [video 39]
078 26 August 2011 Ronnie O'Sullivan (11) 35 years, 264 days Adam Duffy Paul Hunter Classic [video 40]
079[29] 22 November 2011 Mike Dunn 40 years, 2 days Kurt Maflin German Masters (Q)
080[30] 27 November 2011 David Gray (2) 32 years, 291 days Robbie Williams Players Tour Championship – Event 10 (Q)
081[31] 29 November 2011 Ricky Walden 29 years, 18 days Gareth Allen Players Tour Championship – Event 10 [video 41]
082[32] 15 December 2011 Matthew Stevens 32 years, 95 days Michael Wasley FFB Snooker Open
083[32] 15 December 2011 Ding Junhui (3) 24 years, 258 days Brandon Winstone FFB Snooker Open
084[33] 17 December 2011 Ding Junhui (4) 24 years, 260 days James Cahill Players Tour Championship – Event 11 [video 42]
085[34] 18 December 2011 Jamie Cope (3) 26 years, 97 days Kurt Maflin Players Tour Championship – Event 11
086[35] 14 January 2012 Marco Fu (2) 34 years, 6 days Matthew Selt World Open (Q) [video 43]
087[36] 11 April 2012 Robert Milkins (2) 36 years, 36 days Xiao Guodong World Championship (Q) [video 44]
088[37] 21 April 2012 Stephen Hendry (11) 43 years, 99 days Stuart Bingham World Championship [video 45]
089[38] 1 July 2012 Stuart Bingham (3) 36 years, 41 days Ricky Walden Wuxi Classic [video 46]
090[39] 24 August 2012 Ken Doherty 42 years, 342 days Julian Treiber Paul Hunter Classic
091[40] 23 September 2012 John Higgins (6) 37 years, 128 days Judd Trump Shanghai Masters [video 47]
092[41] 16 November 2012 Tom Ford (2) 29 years, 91 days Matthew Stevens Bulgarian Open [video 48]
093[42] 21 November 2012 Andy Hicks 39 years, 103 days Daniel Wells UK Championship (Q)
094[43] 22 November 2012 Jack Lisowski 21 years, 150 days Chen Zhe UK Championship (Q)
095[44] 5 December 2012 John Higgins (7) 37 years, 201 days Mark Davis UK Championship [video 49]
096[45] 14 December 2012 Kurt Maflin (2) 29 years, 128 days Stuart Carrington Scottish Open
097[46] 16 March 2013 Ding Junhui (5) 25 years, 349 days Mark Allen Players Tour Championship – Finals [video 50]
098[47] 28 May 2013 Neil Robertson (2) 31 years, 106 days Mohamed Khairy Wuxi Classic (Q) [video 51]
099[48] 15 November 2013 Judd Trump 24 years, 87 days Mark Selby Antwerp Open
100[9] 7 December 2013 Mark Selby (2) 30 years, 171 days Ricky Walden UK Championship [video 52]
101[49] 11 December 2013 Dechawat Poomjaeng 35 years, 153 days Zak Surety German Masters (Q)
102[50] 12 December 2013 Gary Wilson 28 years, 123 days Ricky Walden German Masters (Q)
103[51] 8 January 2014 Shaun Murphy (2) 31 years, 151 days Mark Davis Championship League [video 53]
104[52] 9 February 2014 Shaun Murphy (3) 31 years, 183 days Jamie Jones Gdynia Open [video 54]
105[53] 2 March 2014 Ronnie O'Sullivan (12) 38 years, 87 days Ding Junhui Welsh Open [video 55]
106[54] 22 August 2014 Aditya Mehta 28 years, 295 days Stephen Maguire Paul Hunter Classic
107[55] 23 October 2014 Ryan Day 34 years, 214 days Cao Yupeng Haining Open [video 56]
108[56] 23 November 2014 Shaun Murphy (4) 32 years, 105 days Robert Milkins Ruhr Open [video 57]
109[57] 4 December 2014 Ronnie O'Sullivan (13) 38 years, 364 days Matthew Selt UK Championship [video 58]
110[58] 12 December 2014 Ben Woollaston 27 years, 212 days Joe Steele Lisbon Open
111[59] 5 January 2015 Barry Hawkins (2) 35 years, 257 days Stephen Maguire Championship League [video 59]
112[60] 11 January 2015 Marco Fu (3) 37 years, 3 days Stuart Bingham Masters [video 60]
113[61] 6 February 2015 Judd Trump (2) 25 years, 170 days Mark Selby German Masters [video 61]
114[62] 10 February 2015 David Gilbert 33 years, 243 days Xiao Guodong Championship League [video 62]
115[63] 6 December 2015 Neil Robertson (3) 33 years, 298 days Liang Wenbo UK Championship [video 63]
116[64] 11 December 2015 Marco Fu (4) 37 years, 337 days Sam Baird Gibraltar Open [video 64]
117[65] 19 February 2016 Ding Junhui (6) 28 years, 324 days Neil Robertson Welsh Open [video 65]
118[66] 25 February 2016 Fergal O'Brien 43 years, 354 days Mark Davis Championship League [video 66]
119[67] 27 August 2016 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 31 years, 131 days Kurt Maflin Paul Hunter Classic [video 67]
120[68] 20 September 2016 Stephen Maguire (3) 35 years, 191 days Yi Chen Xu Shanghai Masters
121[69] 28 September 2016 Shaun Murphy (5) 34 years, 49 days Allan Taylor European Masters (Q) [video 68]
122[70] 11 October 2016 Alfie Burden 39 years, 302 days Daniel Wells English Open
123[71] 16 November 2016 John Higgins (8) 41 years, 182 days Sam Craigie Northern Ireland Open [video 69]
124[72] 27 November 2016 Mark Allen 30 years, 279 days Rod Lawler UK Championship
125[73] 8 December 2016 Ali Carter (2) 37 years, 136 days Wang Yuchen German Masters (Q)
126[73] 8 December 2016 Ross Muir 21 years, 63 days Itaro Santos German Masters (Q)
127[74] 10 January 2017 Mark Davis 44 years, 151 days Neil Robertson Championship League [video 70]
128[75] 1 February 2017 Tom Ford (3) 33 years, 168 days Peter Ebdon German Masters [video 71]
129[76] 2 March 2017 Mark Davis (2) 44 years, 202 days John Higgins Championship League [video 72]
130[77] 30 March 2017 Judd Trump (3) 27 years, 222 days Tian Pengfei China Open [video 73]
131[78] 6 April 2017 Gary Wilson (2) 31 years, 238 days Josh Boileau World Championship (Q)
132[79] 18 October 2017 Liang Wenbo (2) 30 years, 227 days Tom Ford English Open [video 74]
133[80] 31 October 2017 Kyren Wilson 25 years, 312 days Martin Gould International Championship [video 75]
134[81] 12 December 2017 Cao Yupeng 27 years, 46 days Andrew Higginson Scottish Open [video 76]
135[82] 26 January 2018 Martin Gould 36 years, 134 days Li Hang Championship League [video 77]
136[83] 26 March 2018 Luca Brecel 23 years, 18 days John Higgins Championship League [video 78]
137[84] 3 April 2018 Ronnie O'Sullivan (14) 42 years, 119 days Elliot Slessor China Open [video 79]
138[85] 4 April 2018 Stuart Bingham (4) 41 years, 318 days Ricky Walden China Open [video 80]
139[86] 12 April 2018 Liang Wenbo (3) 31 years, 38 days Rod Lawler World Championship (Q) [video 81]
140[87] 24 August 2018 Michael Georgiou 30 years, 218 days Umut Dikme Paul Hunter Classic
141[88] 24 August 2018 Jamie Jones 30 years, 191 days Lee Walker Paul Hunter Classic
142[89] 16 October 2018 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (2) 33 years, 181 days Soheil Vahedi English Open [video 82]
143[90] 17 October 2018 Ronnie O'Sullivan (15) 42 years, 316 days Allan Taylor English Open [video 83]
144[91] 8 November 2018 Mark Selby (3) 35 years, 120 days Neil Robertson Champion of Champions [video 84]
145[92] 12 December 2018 John Higgins (9) 43 years, 208 days Gerard Greene Scottish Open [video 85]
146[93] 21 December 2018 Judd Trump (4) 29 years, 123 days Lukas Kleckers German Masters (Q) [video 86]
147[94] 22 January 2019 David Gilbert (2) 37 years, 224 days Stephen Maguire Championship League [video 87]
148[95] 12 February 2019 Neil Robertson (4) 37 years, 1 day Jordan Brown Welsh Open [video 88]
149[96] 14 February 2019 Noppon Saengkham 26 years, 214 days Mark Selby Welsh Open
150[97] 28 February 2019 Zhou Yuelong 21 years, 35 days Lyu Haotian Indian Open
151[98] 3 April 2019 Stuart Bingham (5) 42 years, 317 days Peter Ebdon China Open
152[99] 17 June 2019 Tom Ford (4) 35 years, 304 days Fraser Patrick International Championship (Q) [video 89]
153[100] 17 October 2019 Tom Ford (5) 36 years, 61 days Shaun Murphy English Open
154[101] 12 November 2019 Stuart Bingham (6) 43 years, 175 days Lu Ning Northern Ireland Open
155[102] 27 November 2019 Barry Hawkins (3) 40 years, 218 days Gerard Greene UK Championship [video 90]
156[103] 11 February 2020 Kyren Wilson (2) 28 years, 50 days Jackson Page Welsh Open
157[104] 6 August 2020 John Higgins (10) 45 years, 80 days Kurt Maflin World Championship [video 91]
158[105] 13 September 2020 Ryan Day (2) 40 years, 175 days Rod Lawler 2020 Championship League (2) [video 92]

Statistics[edit]

Below is a list of maximum breaks by player, and by sporting country.[23][24]

Total maximum breaks[edit]

Multiple maximum breaks during a tournament[edit]

Table legend
(Q) Qualifying rounds

Tournaments with multiple maximum breaks
No. Tournament Player(s) Venue(s) Year
1 Matchroom League John Parrott Jimmy White Snooker Lodge, Aldershot 1992
Stephen Hendry Rhondda Sports Centre, Rhondda
2 British Open Jason Prince (Q) Hazel Grove Snooker Club, Stockport 1999
(Spring)
Graeme Dott Plymouth Pavilions, Plymouth
3 Scottish Open Stephen Maguire (Q) A.E.C.C, Aberdeen 2000
Ronnie O'Sullivan
4 Grand Prix Jamie Burnett (Q) World Snooker Centre, Prestatyn 2007
Tom Ford A.E.C.C, Aberdeen
5 World Snooker Championship Ronnie O'Sullivan Crucible Theatre, Sheffield 2008
Ali Carter
6 Bahrain Championship Liang Wenbo (Q) World Snooker Centre, Prestatyn 2008
Marcus Campbell Bahrain International Exhibition Centre, Manama
7 Rhein–Main Masters Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon Walter Kobel Sporthalle, Rüsselsheim 2010
Mark Williams
8 Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 10 David Gray (Q) World Snooker Academy, Sheffield 2011
Ricky Walden
9 FFB Snooker Open Matthew Stevens World Snooker Academy, Sheffield 2011
Ding Junhui
10 Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 11 Ding Junhui English Institute of Sport, Sheffield 2011
Jamie Cope
11 World Snooker Championship Robert Milkins (Q) English Institute of Sport, Sheffield 2012
Stephen Hendry Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
12 UK Championship Andy Hicks (Q) World Snooker Academy, Sheffield 2012
Jack Lisowski (Q)
John Higgins Barbican Centre, York
13 German Masters Dechawat Poomjaeng (Q) Barnsley Metrodome, Barnsley 2013
Gary Wilson (Q)
14 German Masters Ali Carter (Q) Barnsley Metrodome, Barnsley 2016
Ross Muir (Q)
Tom Ford Tempodrom, Berlin 2017
15 Championship League Mark Davis Ricoh Arena, Coventry 2017
Mark Davis
16 Championship League Martin Gould Ricoh Arena, Coventry 2018
Luca Brecel
17 China Open Ronnie O'Sullivan Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium, Beijing 2018
Stuart Bingham
18 Paul Hunter Classic Michael Georgiou Stadthalle Fürth, Fürth 2018
Jamie Jones
19 English Open Thepchaiya Un-Nooh K2 Leisure Centre, Crawley 2018
Ronnie O'Sullivan
20 Welsh Open Neil Robertson Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff 2019
Noppon Saengkham

Match-winning maximum breaks[edit]

Tournament games are won when one of the players manages to win more than half of the scheduled frames. For example, if a match is scheduled to have a maximum of seven frames, a player wins the game when winning a fourth frame, regardless of how many frames the other player has.

Table legend
(Q) Qualifying rounds
(D) Deciding frame

Match-winning maximum breaks
No. Player Tournament Year Round Ref.
01 Stephen Hendry Charity Challenge 1997 Final (D) [106]
02 Mark Williams World Championship 2005 Last 32 [107]
03 Ronnie O'Sullivan UK Championship 2007 Semi-final (D) [108]
04 Ronnie O'Sullivan World Championship 2008 Last 16 [109]
05 Barry Hawkins Players Tour Championship 2010/2011 – Event 3 2010 Last 32 [110]
06 Ronnie O'Sullivan World Open 2010 Last 64 (Q) [111]
07 Matthew Stevens Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 12 2011 Last 128 [32]
08 Ding Junhui Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 11 2011 Last 128 [33]
09 Andy Hicks UK Championship 2012 Last 80 (Q) [42]
10 Shaun Murphy European Tour 2013/2014 – Event 8 2014 Last 16 [52]
11 Ronnie O'Sullivan Welsh Open 2014 Final [112]
12 Ryan Day Asian Tour 2014/2015 – Event 2 2014 Last 32 [55]
13 Ronnie O'Sullivan UK Championship 2014 Last 16 [57]
14 John Higgins Northern Ireland Open 2016 Last 64 [71]
15 Mark Davis Championship League 2017 Group Final (D) [74]
16 Mark Davis Championship League 2017 Winners' Group (D) [76]
17 Martin Gould Championship League 2018 Group 6 (D) [82]
18 Luca Brecel Championship League 2018 Group 7 [83]
19 Ronnie O'Sullivan English Open 2018 Last 64 [90]
20 Tom Ford International Championship (Q) 2019 Last 128 (Q) [99]
21 Tom Ford English Open 2019 Last 16 (D) [100]
22 Ryan Day Championship League 2020 Group 2 (D) [105]

Records[edit]

First maximums[edit]

The first known maximum break in practice was made by Murt O'Donoghue at Griffith, Australian Capital Territory, Australia, on 26 September 1934.[5][113][114] Joe Davis compiled the first official 147 against Willie Smith in an exhibition match on 22 January 1955 at Leicester Square Hall, London.[7][115] Rex Williams made the first maximum break in a competitive match against Manuel Francisco, Professionals v. Amateurs, on 23 December 1965 in Cape Town.[114][116]

John Spencer made the first maximum compiled in professional competition on 13 January 1979 at the Holsten Lager Tournament against Cliff Thorburn, but it was not officially ratified due to oversized pockets.[5] The break was not caught on video as the television-crew were away on a tea-break.[114][117] The first official maximum break in professional competition was made by Steve Davis in the 1982 Lada Classic against Spencer.[5] This was also the first televised 147.[7] Cliff Thorburn became the first player to make a maximum break at the World Snooker Championship, a feat that has since been repeated by Jimmy White, Stephen Hendry (three times), Ronnie O'Sullivan (three times), Mark Williams, Ali Carter and John Higgins.[37][118]

In March 1989, Cliff Thorburn also became the first player to make two competitive maximum breaks. In November 1995 Stephen Hendry became the first player to make two televised maximum breaks.[23][24] Thai female snooker player Nutcharut Wongharuthai made a 147 break during a practice match in March 2019, which is believed to be the first maximum break achieved by a woman in any match.[119]

Multiple maximums[edit]

More than one official maximum break has been compiled in the same event on twenty occasions. The 2008 World Snooker Championship was the first event where two maximum breaks were televised.[120] Two maximum breaks were also televised at the 2019 Welsh Open.[121] Three official maximums at the same WPBSA (World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association) event have been achieved twice: at the 2012 UK Championship, when Andy Hicks and Jack Lisowski both compiled one each in qualifying and John Higgins compiled one at the last 16 of the televised stages.[122] Similarly, at the 2017 German Masters, Ali Carter and Ross Muir both compiled one each during qualifying and Tom Ford during the televised stages.[75]

Mark Davis became the only player to make two official maximum breaks in professional competition at the same event when he compiled two 147s at the 2017 Championship League.[123] The 2012 FFB Snooker Open, 2017 German Masters and 2018 Paul Hunter Classic are the only WPBSA events where two maximums were made on the same day.[32][73] Three maximum breaks were compiled on 8 February 1998 during the Buckley's Bitter Challenge, an unofficial event, by Matthew Stevens, Ryan Day and Tony Chappel.[124] There have been at least five non-tournament matches where more than one maximum was compiled. Peter Ebdon compiled two maximum breaks during an 11-frame exhibition match at Eastbourne Police Club on 15 April 1996. In 2003 he also compiled two consecutive maximum breaks against Steve Davis in an exhibition match.[5][114] In 2009 Jimmy White and Ronnie O'Sullivan compiled consecutive maximum breaks at an exhibition match in Ireland.[125]

The only player known to compile more than two maximum breaks on a single occasion is Adrian Gunnell, who compiled three maximums in four frames at a club in Telford in 2003 while practising against Ian Duffy.[126][127] Higgins and O'Sullivan are the only players to record maximum breaks in consecutive ranking events. Higgins made one during his defeat by Mark Williams in the LG Cup final, and then one in his second round match at the 2003 British Open.[128][129] O'Sullivan made one at the Northern Ireland Trophy and another at the UK Championship in 2007.[108][130]

Final frames and matches[edit]

Hendry, Mark Williams, O'Sullivan (on six occasions), Barry Hawkins, Matthew Stevens, Ding Junhui, Andy Hicks, Shaun Murphy, Ryan Day, John Higgins, Mark Davis (on two occasions), Martin Gould, Luca Brecel and Tom Ford (on two occasions) have all made maximums to win matches. Only six of these have come in final-frame deciders, however: Hendry's at the 1997 Charity Challenge, O'Sullivan's at the 2007 UK Championship, both of Davis' at the 2017 Championship League, Gould's at the 2018 Championship League and Ford's at the 2019 English Open.

Only Hendry, John Higgins, Stuart Bingham, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Shaun Murphy and Neil Robertson have made maximums in finals of tournaments. Hendry has made three: the first at the 1997 Charity Challenge,[106] the second at the 1999 British Open[131] and the third at the 2001 Malta Grand Prix.[132] Higgins has made two, at the 2003 LG Cup,[128] and the second at the 2012 Shanghai Masters.[133] Bingham at the 2012 Wuxi Classic.[134] O'Sullivan in the final frame of the 2014 Welsh Open;[112] Murphy at the 2014 Ruhr Open[56] and Robertson at the 2015 UK Championship. Robertson's maximum is the only one to be compiled in the final of a Triple Crown event.[63]

Fastest[edit]

O'Sullivan's first 147 break against Mick Price in their second round tie at the 1997 World Snooker Championship set the record for the fastest maximum in the history of the game. Guinness World Records recorded the time of the break at 5 minutes and 20 seconds.[135] However, an investigation undertaken by Deadspin in 2017 revealed that the time recorded by Guinness is incorrect because the timer was started too early on the BBC footage.[136] Breaks are not officially timed in snooker and the official rules of snooker do not specify how they should be timed, instead leaving the timing to the discretion of the broadcaster.[13] The only timing methodology World Snooker sanctions in its events is the one employed in shot clock events where timing for a player's shot begins when the balls have come to rest from his opponent's previous shot. Under this convention the break would have been timed at 5 minutes and 15 seconds.[13] However, World Snooker has since suggested that a break starts when the player strikes the cueball for the first time in a break which would result in a time of 5 minutes and 8 seconds,[13] and this is the time that World Snooker now officially acknowledges.[137]

Youngest and oldest[edit]

Sean Maddocks is the youngest player to make a maximum break in competition, which he achieved at the LiteTask Pro-Am series, in Leeds, UK, on 9 July 2017, at the age of 15 years and 90 days.[138][139] O'Sullivan previously held the record as the youngest player to achieve a maximum break in any recognised competition, a feat he achieved at the 1991 English Amateur Championship when he was 15 years and 98 days old.[140][141] However, despite being the official world record-holder, Maddocks may not actually be the youngest player to have made one; Judd Trump is on record as having compiled a 147 at the Potters Under-16 Tournament in 2004 at the age of 14 years and 206 days, but not recognised by Guinness World Records.[142]

The youngest player to make an official 147 in professional competition is Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon at the 2010 Rhein–Main Masters at the age of 16 years and 312 days.[142] The youngest player to have made a televised 147 is Ding Junhui at the age of 19 years and 9 months in the 2007 Masters.[143][144] The oldest player to make an official maximum in professional competition is John Higgins, who compiled one in the 2020 World Snooker Championship at the age of 45 years and 80 days.[104]

Prize money[edit]

In professional tournaments there was usually a substantial prize awarded to any player achieving a 147 break. For example, Ronnie O'Sullivan's maximum at the 1997 World Championship earned him £165,000. Of this, £147,000 was for making the 147 break and £18,000 was for achieving the highest break of the tournament.[145]

In the 2011–12 season World Snooker introduced a roll-over system for the maximum break prize money, the "rolling 147 prize".[146] A maximum break is worth £5,000 in the televised stages and £500 in qualifying stages of major ranking events. There is a £500 prize in the Players Tour Championship events from the last 128 onwards.[147] If a maximum is not made then the prize rolls over to the next event until somebody wins it.[146]

At the 2016 Welsh Open, Ronnie O'Sullivan defeated Barry Pinches 4–1 in the first round. In the fifth frame of the match, O'Sullivan declined the opportunity to make a maximum break, potting the pink off the penultimate red and completing a break of 146. He stated afterwards that the prize money of £10,000 was not worthy of a 147. World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn called the decision "unacceptable" and "disrespectful".[148] Individual prizes for a maximum break were phased out at the beginning of the 2019–20 snooker season, with a £1 million bonus on offer for the season if 20 or more were made during the season.[149] The prize would be split between players who made a qualifying break.[149]

Breaks exceeding 147[edit]

A break higher than 147 can be achieved when an opponent fouls before any reds are potted, and leaves the incoming player snookered on all 15 reds. The player can nominate one of the other colours as a red, known as a free ball, which carries the same value as a red for just that shot. If the free ball is potted, the referee places this coloured ball back on its original location, de facto creating a setup as if there were 16 reds in total, thus creating a potential maximum break of 155 if a player starts from a free ball position.[150]

In October 2004, during qualifying for the UK Championship, Jamie Burnett became the only player to record a break of more than 147 in tournament play, when he scored 148 against Leo Fernandez. He took the brown as the free ball, then potted the brown again followed by the 15 reds with 12 blacks, two pinks and a blue, then the six colours.[5][19][20]

Some breaks exceeding 147 have been reported in non-tournament settings:

  • A 151 is reported to have been compiled by Wally West against Butch Rogers in West London's Hounslow Luciana snooker club during a club match in 1976. After Rogers fouled, West took the green as his free ball followed by the brown. He then took 14 reds and blacks and a pink off the last red. He then cleared up to make the 151.[5][151][152]
  • In April 1988 Steve Duggan made a 148 in a practice frame against Mark Rowing in Doncaster.[5][153]
  • In 1993 Stephen Hendry made a 148 in a practice match against Alfie Burden.[5]
  • In 1995 Tony Drago made a 149 in practice against Nick Manning in West Norwood, London, that was recorded by the Guinness Book of Records as the highest in this category. In that match Drago nominated the brown as the free ball, to score one point. He then potted the brown again, for four more points, before potting the 15 reds with 13 blacks, a pink and a blue, then all the colours.[5][153]
  • In 1997 Eddie Manning achieved a 149 break in a practice match against Kam Pandya at Willie Thorne's Snooker Club in Leicester. Like Drago he took brown, brown, 13 blacks, pink and blue.[5]
  • In April 2003 Jamie Cope made a 151 break at The Reardon Snooker Club during a practice game with David Fomm-Ward. After a foul by his opponent, Cope was snookered behind the brown ball. He took the brown as the free ball and then potted the blue, 13 reds with blacks and two with pinks, then the six colours.[5]
  • In the middle of 2005, Jamie Cope made snooker's first 'highest possible' 155 break in a witnessed practice frame.[21]
  • In November 2010 Sam Harvey made a 151 break in a practice match against Kyren Wilson at his home club in Bedford. Harvey potted the brown as the free ball and then the black, 12 reds with blacks, two with pinks and one with blue, then the six colours.[5][154]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Videos[edit]

  1. ^ Steve Davis 147 1982 Lada Classic Snooker 'First Televised 147' on YouTube
  2. ^ Cliff Thorburn, World Championship, 1983 on YouTube
  3. ^ Kirk Stevens, Masters, 1984 on YouTube
  4. ^ James Wattana, British Open, 1992 on YouTube
  5. ^ Jimmy White, World Championship 1992 on YouTube
  6. ^ Stephen Hendry, World Championship, 1995 on YouTube
  7. ^ Stephen Hendry, UK Championship, 1995 on YouTube
  8. ^ Stephen Hendry, Charity Challenge, 1997 on YouTube
  9. ^ Ronnie O'Sullivan, World Championship, 1997 on YouTube
  10. ^ Stephen Hendry, Premier League, 1998 on YouTube
  11. ^ Ronnie O'Sullivan, Welsh Open, 1999 on YouTube
  12. ^ Stephen Hendry, British Open, 1999 on YouTube
  13. ^ Ronnie O'Sullivan, Grand Prix, 1999 on YouTube
  14. ^ Stephen Hendry, UK Championship, 1999 on YouTube
  15. ^ John Higgins, Nations Cup, 2000 on YouTube
  16. ^ John Higgins, Irish Masters, 2000 on YouTube
  17. ^ Ronnie O'Sullivan, Scottish Open, 2000 on YouTube
  18. ^ Marco Fu, Scottish Masters, 2000 on YouTube
  19. ^ Stephen Hendry, Malta Grand Prix, 2001 on YouTube
  20. ^ Ronnie O'Sullivan, LG Cup, 2001 on YouTube
  21. ^ Ronnie O'Sullivan, World Championship, 2003 on YouTube
  22. ^ John Higgins, LG Cup, 2003 on YouTube
  23. ^ John Higgins, British Open, 2003 on YouTube
  24. ^ John Higgins, Grand Prix, 2004 on YouTube
  25. ^ Mark Williams, World Championship, 2005 on YouTube
  26. ^ Ding Junhui, Masters, 2007 on YouTube
  27. ^ Andrew Higginson, Welsh Open, 2007 on YouTube
  28. ^ Ronnie O'Sullivan, Northern Ireland Trophy, 2007 on YouTube
  29. ^ Ronnie O'Sullivan, UK Championship, 2007 on YouTube
  30. ^ Stephen Maguire, China Open, 2008 on YouTube
  31. ^ Ronnie O'Sullivan, World Championship, 2008 on YouTube
  32. ^ Ali Carter, World Championship, 2008 on YouTube
  33. ^ Jamie Cope, Shanghai Masters, 2008 on YouTube
  34. ^ Ding Junhui, UK Championship, 2008 on YouTube
  35. ^ Stephen Hendry, World Championship, 2009 on YouTube
  36. ^ Neil Robertson, China Open, 2010 on YouTube
  37. ^ Ronnie O'Sullivan, World Open, 2010 on YouTube
  38. ^ Mark Williams, Rhein-Main Masters, 2010 on YouTube
  39. ^ Stephen Hendry, Welsh Open, 2011 on YouTube
  40. ^ Ronnie O'Sullivan 147 Maximum Break @ PTC4 Paul Hunter Classic 26.08.2011 on YouTube
  41. ^ Ricky Walden, PTC Event 10, 2011 on YouTube
  42. ^ Ding Junhui, PTC Event 1, 2011 on YouTube
  43. ^ Marco Fu, World Open Qualifying, 2012 on YouTube
  44. ^ Robert Milkins, World Championship Qualifying, 2012 on YouTube
  45. ^ Stephen Hendry, World Championship, 2012 on YouTube
  46. ^ Stuart Bingham, Wuxi Classic, 2012 on YouTube
  47. ^ John Higgins, Shanghai Masters, 2012 on YouTube
  48. ^ Tom Ford, Bulgarian Open, 2012 on YouTube
  49. ^ John Higgins, UK Championship, 2012 on YouTube
  50. ^ Ding Junhui, PTC Finals, 2013 on YouTube
  51. ^ Neil Robertson, Wuxi Classic Qualifying, 2013 on YouTube
  52. ^ Mark Selby, UK Championship, 2013 on YouTube
  53. ^ Shaun Murphy, Championship League, 2014 on YouTube
  54. ^ Shaun Murphy, Gdynia Open, 2014 on YouTube
  55. ^ Ronnie O'Sullivan, Welsh Open, 2014 on YouTube
  56. ^ Ryan Day, Haining Open, 2014 on YouTube
  57. ^ Shaun Murphy 147 Break 2014 Ruhr Open Final on YouTube
  58. ^ Ronnie O'Sullivan, UK Championship, 2014 on YouTube
  59. ^ Barry Hawkins, Championship League, 2015 on YouTube
  60. ^ Marco Fu, Masters, 2015 on YouTube
  61. ^ Judd Trump, German Masters, 2015 on YouTube
  62. ^ David Gilbert, Championship League, 2015 on YouTube
  63. ^ Neil Robertson, UK Championship, 2015 on YouTube
  64. ^ Marco Fu, Gibraltar Open, 2015 on YouTube
  65. ^ Ding Junhui, Welsh Open, 2016 on YouTube
  66. ^ Fergal O'Brien, Championship League, 2016 on YouTube
  67. ^ Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Paul Hunter Classic, 2016 on YouTube
  68. ^ Shaun Murphy, European Masters, 2016 on YouTube
  69. ^ John Higgins, Northern Ireland Open, 2016 on YouTube
  70. ^ 147 Maximum Break by Mark Davis v Neil Robertson | Champions League Snooker 2017 on YouTube
  71. ^ Tom Ford, German Masters, 2017 on YouTube
  72. ^ Snooker Champ League 2017 Final group Mark Davis 147 break on YouTube
  73. ^ Judd Trump, China Open, 2017 on YouTube
  74. ^ Liang Wenbo, English Open, 2017 on YouTube
  75. ^ Kyren Wilson, International Championship, 2017 on YouTube
  76. ^ Cao Yupeng, Scottish Open, 2017 on YouTube
  77. ^ Martin Gould 147 Vs Li Hang – Champions League 2018 on YouTube
  78. ^ Luca Brecel vs John Higgins Championship League 2018 (Group-7) on YouTube
  79. ^ Ronnie O'Sullivan, China Open, 2018 on YouTube
  80. ^ Stuart Bingham, China Open, 2018 on YouTube
  81. ^ Liang Wenbo, World Snooker Championship Qualifying, 2018 on YouTube
  82. ^ Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, English Open, 2018 on YouTube
  83. ^ Ronnie O'Sullivan Century Break #956 (147 Or Not?) on YouTube
  84. ^ Mark Selby 147 Maximum Vs Neil Robertson – Champion of Champions 2018 on YouTube
  85. ^ John Higgins Century Break 147 Point on YouTube
  86. ^ Judd Trump 147 Maximum Vs Lukas Kleckers – German Masters 2018 – Qualifiers on YouTube
  87. ^ David Gilbert (BREAK 147) vs Stephen Maguire Championship League 2019 on YouTube
  88. ^ "VIDEO – Watch Neil Robertson's brilliant maximum 147 break at the Welsh Open". Archived from the original on 13 February 2019. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  89. ^ Tom Ford 147 International Championship 2019 Qualifiers on YouTube
  90. ^ Barry Hawkins. Maximum 147 points. UK Championship 2019 on YouTube
  91. ^ 147! John Higgins Makes Maiden Crucible Maximum Break! on YouTube
  92. ^ 147! Ryan Day Makes A 147 At BetVictor Championship League Snooker on YouTube