Analysis

World Snooker Championship Maximum 147 Breaks

Credit: Getty Images/Paul GilhamCredit: Getty Images/Paul Gilham
Credit: Getty Images/Paul Gilham | Getty Images/Paul Gilham
Full list and information on who has made a maximum 147 break at the Crucible Theatre and in the qualifiers

Snooker perfection on snooker’s biggest stage. It may only win a frame, but compiling a maximum 147 break at the Crucible Theatre etches a player’s name into the history books. 

How many players have made a 147 at the Crucible Theatre? 

Since the final stages of the World Snooker Championship moved there in 1977, the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield has witnessed 14 maximum 147 breaks. These have been compiled by ten different players. 

Players who have made a maximum 147 break at the Crucible Theatre during the World Snooker Championship: 

  • 1983: Cliff Thorburn (Round Two) 

  • 1992: Jimmy White (Round One) 

  • 1995: Stephen Hendry (Semi-Finals) 

  • 1997: Ronnie O’Sullivan (Round One) 

  • 2003: Ronnie O’Sullivan (Round One) 

  • 2005: Mark Williams (Round One) 

  • 2008: Ronnie O’Sullivan (Round Two) & Ali Carter (Quarter-Finals) 

  • 2009: Stephen Hendry (Quarter-Finals) 

  • 2012: Stephen Hendry (Round One) 

  • 2020: John Higgins (Round Two) 

  • 2022: Neil Robertson (Round Two) 

  • 2023: Kyren Wilson (Round One) & Mark Selby (Final) 

(Players in bold denotes it was their first 147 in professional competition)

Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stephen Hendry jointly hold the record for the most 147s made at the Crucible Theatre during the World Snooker Championship with three each. They are the only players in history to have made more than one maximum break at the venue.

Mark Selby is the only player to have made a 147 in a world snooker championship final. Credit: George Wood/Getty ImagesMark Selby is the only player to have made a 147 in a world snooker championship final. Credit: George Wood/Getty Images
Mark Selby is the only player to have made a 147 in a world snooker championship final. Credit: George Wood/Getty Images | George Wood/Getty Images

The Crucible 147: A Potted History 

Cliff Thorburn compiled the Crucible Theatre’s first maximum 147 break in 1983. 

The Canadian’s effort memorably began with a fluke when he rattled an attempted pot and watched the red roll across the top cushion, collide with another red, and knock it into a different corner pocket. It turned out to be the second official 147 in professional competition. 

The second 147 at the Crucible wasn’t until 1992. Jimmy White constructed it, and due to the £100,000 bonus he received (as well as the runner-up and high break prizes) he earned more money in that tournament than the champion Stephen Hendry did. 

Hendry joined the elite club three years later, assembling his during a semi-final with White. It was the first time a 147 had been made there within the one-table set-up. 

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s iconic 147 during his opening round match with Mick Price in 1997 is the fastest in professional competition history at a mind-boggling five minutes and eight seconds. 

O’Sullivan was the first player to make two (2003) and three (2008) maximum breaks at the Crucible. In 2008, Ali Carter made a 147 the day after O’Sullivan did. This was the first time more than one 147 was struck at the Crucible during the same championship.  

Hendry’s third Crucible maximum was made during the 2012 installment, which was his final tournament before retirement. However, Hendry did return to the professional game several years later. 

No live audience was in attendance to watch John Higgins’ effort in 2020 as the event – at that point – was behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

For the second time, two 147s were fashioned during the same Crucible event in 2023. Kyren Wilson produced his in the opening round, while Mark Selby created a piece of history with the first 147 ever made in a World Snooker Championship final. 

Prize Money for a 147 at the Crucible Theatre 

The bonus prize money on offer for piecing together a 147 on the hallowed Crucible carpet has changed throughout the years. 

For several years, the prize was £147,000 (as well as the high break prize), although this stopped at the 2011 edition. 

The richest 147 made at the Crucible was Ronnie O’Sullivan’s contribution in 2003. ‘The Rocket’ would bank £169,000 (£147,000 plus the £22,000 high break prize). 

Due to the increased regularity of maximum 147s across the professional game, the bonus prize at the Crucible has been significantly lower in recent times. In 2023, Kyren Wilson and Mark Selby split the £40,000 reward. 

However, for the 2023/24 season, the World Snooker Tour announced that if a player makes two 147s during the season across the three Triple Crown events (UK Championship, Masters and World Championship), they will win £147,000. In fact, this total bonus pot is £441,000, meaning up to three players can cash in, or if a player (as ridiculous as it sounds) makes six, they would collect the whole kitty. 

The £40,000 147 bonus is still active for the 2024 Championship, alongside the aforementioned bonus. If a 147 is made during the 2024 qualifiers, £10,000 will be won. 

Noppon Saengkham made a 147 break during the 2024 World Snooker Championship qualifiers.

Maximum 147 Breaks made in World Snooker Championship Qualifying 

Not all rounds of the World Snooker Championship are held at the Crucible Theatre; there are several rounds of qualifying to determine the players who will meet the seeds in the main draw. 

There have been six maximum 147 breaks made in qualifying. Robert Milkins constructed the first two. 

Bonus prizes have been on offer for 147s made in qualifying, although only a fraction of what has been available at the Crucible. 

Players who have made a maximum 147 break during the qualifying rounds for the World Snooker Championship: 

2006: Robert Milkins (Milkins’ first 147 in professional competition)

2012: Robert Milkins 

2017: Gary Wilson 

2018: Liang Wenbo 

2022: Graeme Dott

2024: Noppon Saengkham

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