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In snooker, a break is the total point score achieved by a player in a single visit to the table. A player's proficiency at building big breaks, particularly century breaks (scores over 100), is widely used as a measure of their overall skill.

The maximum break possible under normal circumstances is 147. This is often known as a maximum, or a 147 (or orally a one-four-seven). The 147 is amassed by potting all 15 reds with 15 blacks for 120 points then all six colours for a further 27 points. Scores above 147 are possible in the case of free balls due to fouling by the opponent.

In six-red snooker, the maximum break is 75 points (83 with free ball), as there are fewer reds and thus fewer black-scoring opportunities. In snooker plus, the maximum is 210 (221 with free ball) due to the additional, high point-value colours.

Highest break following a foulEdit

The highest break possible is 155. This can occur when an opponent fouls but leaves the 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. By potting the free ball followed by a colour, then all the reds with colours, and then the colours up to the pink or black, the player can compile a break of more than 147. If the free ball is followed by a black, and the player goes on to clear the table taking all blacks with the reds and then all six colours, the total score for the break is 155.

Breaks exceeding 147 Edit

At least eight breaks in excess of 147 have been recorded.

  1. 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, Wally took the green as his free ball followed by the brown. He then took 14 red and blacks and a pink off the last red. He then cleared up to make the 151.
  2. In April 1988 Steve Duggan made a 148 in a practice frame against Mark Rowing in Doncaster.
  3. In 1993 Stephen Hendry made a 148 in a practice match against Alfie Burden.
  4. In 1995 Tony Drago made a 149 in practice against Nick Manning in West Norwood, London in 1995, 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 13 reds and 13 blacks, a red and a pink, a red and a blue, then all the colours.
  5. In 1997 Eddie Manning achieved a 149 in a practice match against Kam Pandya at Willie Thorne's in Leicester. Like Drago he took brown, brown, 13 blacks, pink and blue.
  6. 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 blue, 13 reds with blacks and two with pinks, then the six colours.
  7. In October 2004, during qualifying for the UK Championship, Jamie Burnett achieved a 148 against Leo Fernandez, becoming the first player to achieve a break of more than 147 in professional competition. He took the brown as the free ball and then potted the brown again, followed by the 15 reds with 12 blacks, two pinks and a blue, then the six colours.

PrizesEdit

In professional tournaments, there is usually a substantial prize awarded to any player achieving a 147 break, typically was an amount containing "147", e.g. £147, £1,470, £14,700 or £147,000 depending on the prestige of the tournament. As an extreme case, Ronnie O'Sullivan's 1997 maximum earned him £165,000 (£147,000 of this was for making the 147 break and another £18,000 was for achieving the highest break of the tournament).

In six-red snooker only the fastest maximum earns a prize money.

List of official maximum 147s in professional competitionEdit

No Date Player Opponent Event
1 January 11, 1982* Flag of England Steve Davis Flag of England John Spencer Lada Classic
2 April 23, 1983* Flag of Canada Cliff Thorburn Flag of Wales Terry Griffiths Embassy World Championship
3 January 28, 1984* Flag of Canada Kirk Stevens Flag of England Jimmy White Benson & Hedges Masters
4 November 17, 1987 Flag of England Willie Thorne Flag of Northern Ireland Tommy Murphy Tennents UK Championship
5 February 20, 1988 Flag of England Tony Meo Flag of Scotland Stephen Hendry Rothmans Matchroom League
6 September 24, 1988 Flag of Canada Alain Robidoux Flag of England Jim Meadowcroft European Open (Q)
7 February 18, 1989 Flag of Scotland John Rea Flag of Scotland Ian Black Scottish Professional Championship
8 March 8, 1989 Flag of Canada Cliff Thorburn Flag of England Jimmy White Matchroom League
9 January 16, 1991 Flag of Thailand James Wattana Flag of Wales Paul Dawkins Mita/Sky World Masters
10 June 1991 Flag of England Peter Ebdon Flag of England Wayne Martin Strachan Open
11 February 1992* Flag of Thailand James Wattana Flag of Malta Tony Drago British Open
12 April 22, 1992* Flag of England Jimmy White Flag of Malta Tony Drago Embassy World Championship
13 May 9, 1992 Flag of England John Parrott Flag of England Tony Meo Matchroom League
14 May 24, 1992 Flag of Scotland Stephen Hendry Flag of England Willie Thorne Matchroom League
15 November 1992 Flag of England Peter Ebdon Flag of Ireland Ken Doherty Royal Liver Assurance UK Championship
16 September 1994 Flag of England David McDonnell Flag of England Nic Barrow British Open (Q)
17 April 27, 1995* Flag of Scotland Stephen Hendry Flag of England Jimmy White Embassy World Championship
18 November 25, 1995* Flag of Scotland Stephen Hendry Flag of England Gary Wilkinson Royal Liver Assurance UK Championship
19 January 5, 1997* Flag of Scotland Stephen Hendry Flag of England Ronnie O'Sullivan Liverpool Victoria Charity Challenge
20 April 21, 1997* Flag of England Ronnie O'Sullivan Flag of England Mick Price Embassy World Championship
21 September 1997 Flag of Thailand James Wattana Flag of the People's Republic of China Pang Wei Guo Catch China Challenge
22 May 16, 1998* Flag of Scotland Stephen Hendry Flag of Ireland Ken Doherty Doc. Marten's Premier League
23 August 10, 1998 Flag of England Adrian Gunnell Flag of the Netherlands Mario Wehrmann Thailand Masters (Q)
24 August 13, 1998 Flag of Cyprus Mehmet Husnu Flag of England Eddie Barker China International (Q)
25 January 13, 1999 Flag of Northern Ireland Jason Prince Flag of England Ian Brumby British Open (Q)
26 January 29, 1999* Flag of England Ronnie O'Sullivan Flag of Thailand James Wattana Regal Welsh Open
27 February 4, 1999 Flag of England Stuart Bingham Flag of England Barry Hawkins UK Tour – Event 3
28 March 22, 1999 Flag of England Nick Dyson Flag of England Adrian Gunnell UK Tour – Event 4
29 April 6, 1999* Flag of Scotland Graeme Dott Flag of England David Roe British Open
30 September 19, 1999* Flag of Scotland Stephen Hendry Flag of England Peter Ebdon British Open
31 September 21, 1999 Flag of England Barry Pinches Flag of England Joe Johnson Regal Welsh Open (Q)
32 October 13, 1999* Flag of England Ronnie O'Sullivan Flag of Scotland Graeme Dott Grand Prix
33 November 4, 1999 Flag of England Karl Burrows Flag of England Adrian Rosa Benson & Hedges Championship
34 November 22, 1999* Flag of Scotland Stephen Hendry Flag of England Paul Wykes Liverpool Victoria UK Championship
35 January 21, 2000* Flag of Scotland John Higgins Flag of Northern Ireland Dennis Taylor Nations Cup
36 March 24, 2000* Flag of Scotland John Higgins Flag of England Jimmy White Irish Masters
37 March 24, 2000 Flag of Scotland Stephen Maguire Flag of Thailand Phaitoon Phonbun Regal Scottish Open (Q)
38 April 5, 2000* Flag of England Ronnie O'Sullivan Flag of Australia Quinten Hann Regal Scottish Open
39 October 25, 2000* Flag of Hong Kong Marco Fu Flag of Ireland Ken Doherty Regal Scottish Masters
40 November 7, 2000 Flag of England David McLellan Flag of England Steve Meakin Benson & Hedges Championship
41 November 19, 2000 Flag of England Nick Dyson Flag of England Robert Milkins Liverpool Victoria UK Championship
42 February 25, 2001* Flag of Scotland Stephen Hendry Flag of Wales Mark Williams Malta Grand Prix
43 October 17, 2001* Flag of England Ronnie O'Sullivan Flag of Scotland Drew Henry LG Cup
44 November 12, 2001 Flag of England Shaun Murphy Flag of England Adrian Rosa Benson & Hedges Championship
45 October 28, 2002 Flag of Malta Tony Drago Flag of England Stuart Bingham Benson & Hedges Championship
46 April 22, 2003* Flag of England Ronnie O'Sullivan Flag of Hong Kong Marco Fu Embassy World Championship
47 October 12, 2003* Flag of Scotland John Higgins Flag of Wales Mark Williams LG Cup
48 November 12, 2003* Flag of Scotland John Higgins Flag of Ireland Michael Judge British Open
49 October 4, 2004* Flag of Scotland John Higgins Flag of England Ricky Walden Totesport Grand Prix
50 November 17, 2004 Flag of England David Gray Flag of England Mark Selby Travis UK Championship
51 April 20, 2005* Flag of Wales Mark Williams Flag of England Robert Milkins Embassy World Championship
52 November 22, 2005 Flag of England Stuart Bingham Flag of Scotland Marcus Campbell Masters Qualifying Tournament
53 March 14, 2006 Flag of England Robert Milkins Flag of England Mark Selby 888.com World Championship (Q)
54 October 23, 2006 Flag of England Jamie Cope Flag of England Michael Holt Royal London Watches Grand Prix
55 January 14, 2007* Flag of the People's Republic of China Ding Junhui Flag of England Anthony Hamilton Saga Insurance Masters
56 February 16, 2007* Flag of England Andrew Higginson Flag of England Ali Carter Welsh Open
57 September 19, 2007 Flag of Scotland Jamie Burnett Flag of the People's Republic of China Liu Song Royal London Watches Grand Prix (Q)
58 October 14, 2007 Flag of England Tom Ford Flag of England Steve Davis Royal London Watches Grand Prix
59 November 8, 2007* Flag of England Ronnie O'Sullivan Flag of England Ali Carter Northern Ireland Trophy
60 December 15, 2007* Flag of England Ronnie O'Sullivan Flag of England Mark Selby Maplin UK Championship
61 March 29, 2008* Flag of Scotland Stephen Maguire Flag of Wales Ryan Day China Open
62 April 28, 2008* Flag of England Ronnie O'Sullivan Flag of Wales Mark Williams 888.com World Championship
63 April 29, 2008* Flag of England Ali Carter Flag of England Peter Ebdon 888.com World Championship
64 October 2, 2008* Flag of England Jamie Cope Flag of Wales Mark Williams Shanghai Masters
65 October 29, 2008 Flag of the People's Republic of China Liang Wenbo Flag of England Martin Gould Bahrain Championship (Q)
66 November 8, 2008* Flag of Scotland Marcus Campbell Template:Country data OMA Ahmed Basheer Al-Khusaibi Bahrain Championship
67 December 16, 2008* Flag of the People's Republic of China Ding Junhui Flag of Scotland John Higgins Maplin UK Championship
68 April 28, 2009* Flag of Scotland Stephen Hendry Flag of England Shaun Murphy Betfred.com World Championship
69 June 5, 2009* Flag of England Mark Selby Flag of England Joe Perry Jiangsu Classic
70 April 1, 2010 Flag of Australia Neil Robertson Flag of England Peter Ebdon China Open
Table Legend
* Televised
(Q) Qualifying rounds

List of most official 147sEdit

No Player Number Most recent 147
1= Flag of England Ronnie O'Sullivan 13 2013
1= Flag of Scotland Stephen Hendry 11 2012
3 Flag of Scotland John Higgins 5 2004
4 Flag of Thailand James Wattana 3 1997
5= Flag of Canada Cliff Thorburn 2 1989
5= Flag of England Peter Ebdon 2 1992
5= Flag of England Nick Dyson 2 2000
5= Flag of England Stuart Bingham 2 2005
5= Flag of Scotland Stephen Maguire 2 2008
5= Flag of England Jamie Cope 2 2008
5= Flag of the People's Republic of China Ding Junhui 2 2008

List of 147 by nationalityEdit

No Country Players Total 147's
1 Flag of England England 22 34
2 Flag of Scotland Scotland 7 20
3 Flag of Canada Canada 3 4
4 Flag of Thailand Thailand 1 3
5 Flag of the People's Republic of China China 2 3
6= Flag of Australia Australia 1 1
6= Flag of Wales Wales 1 1
6= Flag of Northern Ireland Northern Ireland 1 1
6= Flag of Hong Kong Hong Kong 1 1
6= Flag of Malta Malta 1 1
6= Flag of Cyprus Cyprus 1 1

RecordsEdit

  • The first maximum break was made by E.J. Murt O'Donoghue at Griffith, New South Wales, Australia on 26 September 1934.
  • Joe Davis compiled the first officially recognised 147 against Willie Smith on 22 January 1955 at Leicester Square Hall, London.
  • The first maximum compiled in professional competition was made by John Spencer in 1979, but it was not officially ratified due to oversized pockets.
  • Hendry and O'Sullivan are the only players to have made a maximum break during the World Championships and then go on to win the title – Hendry in 1995 and O'Sullivan in 2008
  • Hendry, O'Sullivan and Mark Williams are the only players who have made maximums to win matches. Hendry compiled a maximum in the final at the 1997 Liverpool Victoria Charity Challenge winning him the title, Williams at the 2005 World Championship, and O'Sullivan at the 2007 UK Championship and 2008 World Championship. Two of these were made in the deciding frame of the match: Hendry's in the 1997 Liverpool Victoria Charity Challenge final and O'Sullivan's maximum at the 2007 UK Championship in the semi-final.
  • Only Hendry and John Higgins have made maximums in finals of tournaments. Hendry has made three, the first in the final of the 1997 Liverpool Victoria Charity Challenge, the second at the 1999 British Open and the third at the 2001 Malta Grand Prix. Higgins made a maximum in the final of the 2003 LG Cup.
  • Higgins became the first and only player to record a 147 in successive ranking events and matches; he made one in his 9–5 defeat by Mark Williams in the LG Cup final at Preston, and then one in his first match at the British Open, both in 2003.
  • Higgins' maximum breaks at the 2003 LG Cup and 2004 Grand Prix made him the first and only player to record maximums in the same tournament in successive years (the LG Cup being the sponsor's name for that year's Grand Prix). Since Higgins made the maximums in the 2003 final and the 2004 first round, he made maximums in successive rounds of the same tournament but not at the same event.
  • The youngest player to make an official 147 in professional competition is Stephen Maguire at the 2000 Scottish Open qualifiers just a week after his 19th birthday. The youngest player to have made a televised 147 is Ding Junhui, who was 19 years and 7 months at the time, in the 2007 Masters. The youngest player to make a 147 in the televised stages of a ranking event was Jamie Cope at 21 years and 1 month old at the 2006 Grand Prix.
  • The oldest player to make a maximum in professional competition is Cliff Thorburn, who was 41 during the 1989 Matchroom League. The oldest player to have made a 147 in a world ranking event is Stephen Hendry, who made his maximum break at the 2009 World Championship at the age of 40.
  • On April 29, 2008 Ali Carter made his first 147 break against Peter Ebdon in their quarter-final match of the 2008 World Championships. This was the first time a 147 break had been made twice in the same professional tournament at the same venue, following O'Sullivan's maximum during the previous day's play. Two maximum breaks were previously compiled by Stephen Hendry and John Parrott during the 1992 Matchroom League but at different venues.
  • Cliff Thorburn is the first player to have made more than one competitive maximum break and Stephen Hendry is the first player to have made more than one televised maximum break.
  • Joe Swail compiled the first competitive maximum break to be made on the Continent, during a Belgian tournament in Brussels in December 1993. He was playing R. Melkenbeek, a local amateur.

List of matches where more than one 147 was compiledEdit

  • Peter Ebdon compiled two maximum breaks during an 11-frame exhibition match at Eastbourne Police Club on April 15, 1996. In 2003 he also compiled two consecutive maximum breaks against Steve Davis in an exhibition match.
  • Jimmy White compiled two maximum breaks during a 6–1 victory over John Virgo in an exhibition at the de Montfort Hall, Leicester, on November 7, 1995. Some 12 years earlier, White recorded two 147s in a 27-frame challenge match against Jim Peck at Peterborough.
  • Jimmy White and Ronnie O'Sullivan compiled consecutive maximum breaks at an exhibition match in Ireland.


External linksEdit

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