Which player holds the record for the highest single-frame in professional snooker?

Of course, barring fouls, the maximum number of points available in a single frame of snooker is 147. However, since the ‘miss’ rule was introduced to professional snooker, in September, 1995, players can, at the discretion of their opponent, be made to replay a shot indefinitely, conceding penalty points each time they do so. Thus, the potential for single-frame scores in excess, or well in excess, of 147 points is inherent to modern professional snooker.

For example, during a best-of-19-frame, first-round match in the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield in April, 1999, Welsh professional Dominic Dale accrued a single-frame score of 167 points. His total consisted of a single red, 44 penalty points conceded by his opponent, Nigel Bond, and a break of 122. Bond, though, won the match 10-6, before being beaten 13-11 by Ken Doherty in the second round.

Dale set a record that would last over 22 years, until it was finally broken by English professional Jimmy Robertson in what turned out to be the final frame of a best-of-seven-frame, last-64 match against former Welsh professional Lee Walker in the re-arranged Scottish Open at Venue Cymru, Llandudno in December, 2021. After potting a long red, Robertson rolled the cue ball tight behind the brown and Walker subsequently made nine unsuccessful attempts to hit a red, conceding 40 penalty points in the process. Later in the frame, Walker conceded another four penalty points, such that he trailed 45-6, but Robertson made a clearance of 133 to close out the match 4-1 and set a new single-frame record of 178 points. Robertson was subsequently beaten 4-3 by eventual runner-up Anthony McGill in the last 32.

Which snooker player holds the record for the fastest win at the World Snooker Championship?

Until August 3, 2020, Sean Murphy held the record for the fastest win at the World Snooker Championship. In 2019, Murphy needed just 149 minutes, or two hours and 29 minutes, to whitewash Chinese qualifier Luo Honghao 10-0 in his first-round match; Luo set another, less desirable record, for the fewest points scored in a match since the Championship moved to the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield in 1977, just 89.

However, a year later, then-five-time World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan put in a similarly dominant performance against Thepchaiya Un-Nooh of Thailand at the equivalent stage of the Championship. ‘The Rocket’ required just 82 minutes, or one hour and 22 minutes, to establish an 8-1 overnight lead at the end of the first session – in which he recorded an average shot time of 13.41 seconds, and another 26 minutes to win the first two frames of the second, thereby dispatching his opponent 10-1. His overall winning time, of 108 minutes, or one hour and 48 minutes, was fully 41 minutes faster than the previous record. Nevertheless, O’Sullivan said afterwards, ‘I’m not really bothered by records…they’re overrated in many ways.’

As a matter of interest, O’Sullivan also holds the record for the fastest 147 break, clocked at five minutes and eight seconds, in the fourteenth frame of his first-round match against Mick Price in the World Snooker Championship in 1997. He also came agonising close to breaking the record for the fastest televised century break – three minutes and 31 seconds, set by Tony Drago at the UK Championship in 1996 – at the Scottish Open in 2022. In the second frame of his first-round match against the susbequently disgraced Bai Langning, compiled a century break in what appeared to be a new record time but, on review, the time was corrected to three minutes and 34 seconds, just three seconds shy of the record.

What is the highest break in the history of professional snooker?

Of course, under normal circumstances, the ‘maximum’ break possible in a frame of snooker is 147, consisting of 15 reds, 15 blacks and the six colours in sequence. The first such break, officially ratified by the world governing body, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), was compiled by Steve Davis in a quarter-final match against John Spencer in the Lada Classic at the Civic Centre in Oldham, Greater Manchester in January, 1982. According to the WPBSA, at the last count, 185 ‘maximum’ breaks had been made in professional tournament play.

However, if, after a foul, the cue-ball is snookered – that is, no ball ‘on’ can be hit on both extreme edges without obstruction by a ball, or balls, not ‘on’ – the striker may nominate any ball, other than the ball ‘on’, as a ‘free ball’. If this situation occurs with all 15 reds remaining on the table, it effectively creates an ‘extra’ red, such that a maximum break of 155 is theoretically possible.

No professional snooker player has compiled a 155 break in tournament play, but Scottish former professional Jamie Burnett did complete 16-red clearance during his second round qualifying match against Leo Fernandez in the UK Championship at Pontins in Prestatyn, North East Wales in October, 2004. Early in the fourteenth frame, Burnett was snookered after a foul and hence nominated brown as a free ball, followed by brown again, and went on to complete a total clearance – 15 reds, 12 blacks, two pinks and one blue plus, of course, the colours in sequence – for a total of 148. His remarkable feat remains the highest break in the history of professional tournament play and seems unlikely to be beaten any time soon.