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Top 10 Best Snooker Players Ever

top 10 snooker players of all time

Snooker is a cue sport played on a rectangular billiards table with six pockets, one at each corner and one in the middle of each long side.
It originated in the second half of the 19th century in India and was first played by British Army officers stationed there.
Over the years, many players have honed their abilities to become the best in the sport.
Legends like Steve Davis and Ronnie O’Sullivan have elevated the sport with their immense abilities.
Today, we will look at the best snooker players of all time, analyzing their careers, achievements, and legacies.
From the legends of the past to the current champions, these players have made their mark on the game and continue to inspire the next generation of snooker players.
Here are the top 10 best snooker players of all time:

10. Jimmy White

best snooker player ever

Jimmy White is an English senior snooker player who has won three World Seniors Championships, a record he shares with Steve Davis.
White’s total record places him at the top of the list of the most successful snooker players despite never winning the World Championship in the professional division.
He reached six World Championship finals between 1984 and 1994 but lost them all, most notably to Stephen Hendry in a final-frame decider in 1994 (the closest he got).
White is known for his fluid, swift, and attacking style of play, which earned him the nickname The Whirlwind.
He is also one of the few players to have made over 300 century breaks in professional competition and the first left-handed player to record a maximum break at the World Championship.
White spent 21 consecutive seasons in the top 16 of the world rankings, from 1981 to 2002, and has won 23 ranking and non-ranking titles.
He is currently ranked 124th in the world but still competes on the main tour and the seniors tour.
White is widely respected and admired by his fellow players and fans and has been described as a “legend” by the BBC.

9. Mark Selby

best snooker player of all time

Mark Selby is a four-time World Snooker Champion and the current World Snooker Champion from England.
He is the current world number one and has won a total of 20 ranking tournaments, putting him sixth all-time among ranking tournament winners.
Selby is also a pool player (specifically blackball), having won the World Eight-ball Pool Federation title in 2006 and finished second in the Chinese Eight-ball World Championship in 2015, making him the only man to have won world titles in both snooker and pool.
His world championship wins, longevity at the top level, and tactical approach make him one of the best snooker player ever.

8. Mark Williams

greatest snooker player of all time

Mark Williams is a Welsh professional snooker player who won the world rankings in snooker three times and has made over 450 century breaks, including two maximums, during his career.
Since turning professional in 1992, the Welshman has won 23 ranking events, placing him fifth on the all-time list of ranking event winners.
Williams, the first left-handed player to win the World Championship, was one of just three players to win all three of snooker’s ‘triple crown’ titles in the same season, alongside Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry.

7. Ray Reardon

best snooker players of all time

Ray Reardon, sometimes known as “Dracula,” is a retired professional snooker player from Wales.
He went professional in 1967 and dominated the sport in the 1970s, winning the World Snooker Championship six times and more than a dozen additional tournaments while competing against Cliff Wilson in a fierce rivalry.
He was a six-time world champion and the 1982 event runner-up.
When global rankings were created in the 1976–77 season, he was the first player to be ranked number one, and he remained there for the following five years.
In 1982, he reclaimed the top spot, but his form deteriorated after that, and he slipped out of the top 16 players after the 1986–87 season.
In 1985, Reardon won two more professional sessions, victories both against Jimmy White and reached the world championship semi-finals.
In 1988, he had one of his most memorable moments.
He beat Steve Davis 5-0 in the British Open when he was 56 years old; Davis had already won five world titles at the time.
Reardon was awarded the MBE in 1985, and he most recently guided O’Sullivan to the world title in 2004.

6. John Higgins

famous snooker players

John Higgins, MBE is a Scottish professional snooker player who has won nine Triple Crown2 titles, ranking him fourth on the all-time list behind Ronnie O’Sullivan3 (22), Stephen Hendry (18) and Steve Davis (15). 
Higgins turned professional in 1992 and has since won 31 ranking events, including four World Championships (1998, 2007, 2009, 2011), three UK Championships (1998, 2000, 2010) and two Masters (1999, 2006).
He has also reached three consecutive World Championship finals between 2017 and 2019 but lost each time.
Higgins has been ranked world number one four times in his career, most recently in 2011.
John Higgins has compiled 965 century breaks in professional competition and 12 maximum breaks putting him second only to O’Sullivan on both stats.
He is known for his tactical and break-building skills, as well as his ability to play under pressure.
Higgins is one of the three players, along with O’Sullivan and Mark Williams, who are collectively known as the “Class of ’92”, as they all turned professional in the same season and have dominated the sport for over two decades.
Some fans and experts consider him to be the best snooker player of all time, given his consistency, versatility, and longevity in the sport.

5. Joe Davis

best ever snooker player

Joe Davis was a professional English snooker and billiards player.
From the 1920s through the 1950s, he was the dominating figure in snooker and is credited with creating elements of the modern game, such as break-building.
Joe Davis remained unbeaten for 20 years, winning four world billiards championships and 15 world snooker championships.
Davis began playing billiards professionally at 18 and won the World Billiards Championship four times between 1928 and 1932.
He was the first person to win both billiards and snooker world titles.

4. Alex Higgins

snooker rankings all time

Alex Higgins was a professional snooker player from Northern Ireland who won two World Championships in 1972 and 1982 and finished runner-up in 1976 and 1980.
He was widely regarded as one of the best-ever snooker players, not only for his achievements but also for his charisma and popularity.
He was nicknamed “Hurricane Higgins” and became known as the “People’s Champion” because of his fast and flamboyant style of play, which attracted millions of fans to the sport in the 1980s. Higgins is credited with revolutionizing snooker with his natural talent, creativity, and unpredictability.
He could pot balls from seemingly impossible angles and produce stunning comebacks.
He is also remembered for his emotional and controversial behavior, which often landed him in trouble with the authorities and the media.
Higgins had a turbulent personal life, marked by problems with gambling, drugs, alcohol, and health. He was a heavy smoker who developed throat cancer in 1998.
He also suffered from financial difficulties and depression and died in poverty in 2010. Despite his tragic decline, Higgins remains a snooker icon and a legend of the game.
He is widely respected and admired by his fellow players and fans and has been described as a “genius” by Ronnie O’Sullivan and a “snooker god” by Steve Davis.

3. Steve Davis

legend snooker players

Steve Davis is a retired professional snooker player from England who dominated the sport in the 1980s.
He was one the famous snooker players who reached eight World Snooker Championship finals in nine years, winning six world titles and holding the world number one position for seven seasons.
Davis won the UK Championship six times and the Masters three times, giving him 15 Triple Crown championships.
He became the first player to win all three Triple Crown titles in a single season during the 1987–88 season, a record only Hendry and Mark Williams have since repeated, and he has a lifetime total of 28 ranking championship positions.
Davis also played in nine-ball pool events when he wasn’t playing snooker.
In 2002, he defeated pool legend Earl Strickland in global championships to win the cup for Europe, putting an end to six years of American supremacy in Nine-ball.

2. Stephen Hendry

best snooker players ever

Stephen Gordon Hendry is a professional snooker player from Scotland who also works as a BBC and ITV commentator.
In his long and successful career, Hendry has done it all.
He has virtually every record in the book, including more world titles, ranking event titles, and centuries than any other player.
He is the most successful player in the recent history of the World Snooker Championship, having won seven times.
He also holds the record for holding the title for most seasons as world number one.

1. Ronnie O’Sullivan

who is the best snooker player in the world

Ronnie O’Sullivan, OBE is an English professional snooker player who is widely recognised as the greatest snooker player of all time
He has won the World Snooker Championship seven times, a modern-era record he holds jointly with Stephen Hendry.
He has also won a record seven Masters titles and a record eight UK Championship titles for a total of 22 Triple Crown titles, the most achieved by any player.
He holds the record for the most ranking titles, with 40, and has held the top-ranking position multiple times.
He is currently ranked number one in the world, as of December 2023.
O’Sullivan is recognized for his speed, power, and flair on the table, which earned him the nickname “The Rocket.”
He is also renowned for his natural talent, creativity, and unpredictability, potting balls from seemingly impossible angles and producing stunning breaks.
He has made the highest number of officially recognized maximum breaks in professional competition, with 15, and holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest competitive maximum break, compiled in a time of 5 minutes and 8 seconds at the 1997 World Championship.
He is the only player to have achieved 1,000-century breaks in professional competition, a milestone he reached in 2019 and which he has since extended to over 1,200 centuries.
O’Sullivan is a snooker icon and a legend of the sport.

The game of snooker has seen some truly remarkable players throughout its history.
From Steve Davis to Ronnie O’Sullivan, each player has left their mark on the game and inspired many others to pick up a cue and try their hand at a snooker table.
These top 10 best snooker players of all time are true legends of the sport, and coming generations will remember their skills, achievements, and records.
As the sport continues to develop and grow, it’s exciting to think about the players who will join this list in the future and leave their indelible mark on the game.

1 thought on “Top 10 Best Snooker Players Ever”

  1. Great article, I have been a follower of snooker for many years and followed my favourite players : Steve Davis, Jimmy White and of course the Rocket,
    Great sport which gives me hours of pleasure in my retirement years

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