Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
World Snooker Championship
The first championship was held in 1927, and the legendary Joe Davis helped to organise the event. Matches were held at various venues, and the final took place at Camkin's Hall, Birmingham. Joe Davis won the event, beating Tom Dennis 20-11. His prize money was £6.10s. The highest break of the tournament was 60 by Albert Cope .
In subsequent years, finals were held at various venues. Joe Davis won every year until 1940, when he just beat his younger brother Fred 37-36. No tournaments were organised during the war years, and it only resumed in 1946 when Joe Davis won again for the 15th time, a record that still stands. Joe Davis never contested the world championship again, though he continued to play professional snooker. Some have speculated that he did not want to risk losing his unbeaten record.
In 1952, as a result of a disagreement between the governing bodies (the Billiards Association and Control Council), and some of the players, two tournaments were held. The World Matchplay, organised by the players and widely viewed as the "real" world championship, continued until 1957. The BA&CC event only lasted one year.
Snooker then went into a period of decline, and no tournament was held between 1958 and 1963. In 1964 it was revived on a challenge basis, a format which lasted until 1968. This meant that matches took place on an irregular basis, sometimes more than once a year. John Pulman, who had won in 1957, completely dominated during this period, overcoming all challengers in a total of seven matches.
The championship reverted back to a knockout tournament in 1969. That year it was won by John Spencer, but it was Ray Reardon who was to dominate over the coming years, winning six times between 1970 and 1978.
1976 was the first year the championships were sponsored by Embassy. The following year, the event moved to the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, UK, and the BBC started providing major television coverage. The Crucible provides a unique atmosphere to the tournament, both for spectators and live television viewers. The venue seats less than a thousand people with the front row of seats only a few feet from the players. This was about the time snooker started attracting very large television audiences, and for most fans The Crucible is synonymous with snooker. The most successful players at The Crucible are Steve Davis, who won six times in the 1980s, and Stephen Hendry, who won seven times in the 1990s. Recently, the tournament has been more open, with three different winners in the last three years. The most famous final occurred in 1985, when Dennis Taylor beat Steve Davis 18-17 in one of the most closely contested matches of all time (see 1985 World Snooker Championship final for details).
In 2004, the championship offered a total of £1,378,920 in prize money, including £250,000 for the winner and £125,000 for the runner-up. A further £147,000 was on offer for a 147 break, though no player achieved this.
Recent United Kingdom legislation has placed restrictions on tobacco advertising, including sponsorship of sporting events. Embassy have a special dispensation to continue snooker sponsorship until 2005, but beyond that the future of the tournament is uncertain.
- The greatest number of wins is fifteen, by Joe Davis. This was in an era when there were few professional players, and is unlikely to be beaten. In the modern game, the best record is that of Stephen Hendry, who has won seven times to date. Steve Davis won six times in the 1980s.
- The first 147 in the championship was achieved by Cliff Thorburn in 1983.
- Cliff Thorburn of Canada, who won in 1980 and Ken Doherty of Ireland, who won in 1997 are the only two champions from outside the United Kingdom.
- Surprising wins at The Crucible include Joe Johnson, who won in 1986 against odds of 150-1, and Terry Griffiths, whose 1979 victory was only his second professional tournament.
- Jimmy White has reached six finals, but never won. The closest he got was 18-17 in 1994 against Stephen Hendry.
- bestbetting.com - compilation of latest betting companies odds
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details