|Sport country England|
Name Mark Selby
Marriage location Cancun, Mexico
Highest break 147 (2 times)
Spouse Vikki Layton (m. 2011)
|Career winnings £3,028,941|
Height 1.83 m
Role snooker player
Highest ranking 1
|Born 19 June 1983 (age 38), Leicester, England (1983-06-19) |
Nickname The Jester from LeicesterSat-Nav SelbyThe Torturer
Current ranking 1 (as of 1 December 2015)
Parents David Selby, Shirley Selby
Similar People Ronnie O'Sullivan, Neil Robertson, Judd Trump, John Higgins, Shaun Murphy
Similar Shaun Murphy (snooker player), Judd Trump, Stuart Bingham
Mark Anthony Selby (born 19 June 1983) is an English professional snooker player from Leicester. He is the reigning World and UK snooker champion and is the current world number one.
- Early years
- Pool career
- Personal life
- Records against top 16 players
Selby joined the main professional snooker tour in 1999 at the age of 16, having played on the UK Challenge Tour in 1998. In 2007, he was runner-up to John Higgins at the World Snooker Championship. After winning three Masters titles in 2008, 2010, and 2013, two UK Championships in 2012 and 2016, and three World Championships in 2014, 2016 and 2017, he became the sixth player to win all of snooker's Triple Crown events at least twice. His other ranking titles include the Welsh Open in 2008, the Shanghai Masters in 2011, the German Masters in 2015, the China Open in 2015 and the International Championship in 2016.
Known as a patient, tough competitor with strong safety play, Selby is also a prolific break-builder and has compiled more than 450 century breaks in his professional career. His nickname, "The Jester from Leicester", was given to him by snooker compere Richard Beare after Willie Thorne came up with it during commentary. In recent years, some pundits and fans have viewed this nickname with some irony.
Selby is also a pool player. He is the 2006 WEPF eight-ball pool world champion and a 2015 Chinese Pool World Championship finalist.
Selby was born in Leicester, England. Malcolm Thorne, the brother of Leicester-born snooker player Willie Thorne, spotted Selby's snooker ability and provided Selby practice so he could practise every day after school. Selby's father died of cancer when Mark was 16, two months before he joined the main professional tour.
Selby showed potential as a teenager, but did not consistently shine until his twenties. He began his career on the UK Tour in 1998, at the time the second-level professional tour. He reached his first ranking final aged 19, the Regal Scottish in 2003, where he finished runner-up to David Gray, losing 9–7 in the final. Before that, he had also already reached the semi-finals of the 2002 China Open, despite leaving his hotel room at 2 a.m. instead of 2 p.m. for one match due to jetlag.
Selby reached the final qualifying round of the World Snooker Championship in 2002 and 2003, losing both times. Early in the 2005/06 season he began to be managed by former snooker professional and fellow Leicester resident Mukesh Parmar and reached the final stages of the World Snooker Championship, at the Crucible Theatre, for the first time. Selby went out in the first round, losing to John Higgins, but has qualified for the final stages every year since, including in 2006 despite a 147 from his final qualifying round opponent Robert Milkins. In that tournament, Selby once again faced Higgins in the first round and this time caused a huge upset by defeating the reigning Grand Prix and Masters champion 10–4, before being eliminated in the next round by Mark Williams.
In the 2007 World Championships, Selby beat Stephen Lee 10–7 in the first round, having won eight successive frames from being 5–0 behind. He then defeated former World Champion Peter Ebdon 13–8, with five centuries (including three-in-a-row) to reach the quarter-finals. In the quarter-final, he beat Ali Carter 13–12, from 11–8 up and 11–12 down, in a match that lasted well over nine hours. He went on to reach the final by beating Shaun Murphy 17–16 from 14–16 down, in another deciding frame which he won thanks to a 64 break. Against Higgins in the final, Selby trailed 4–12 after the Sunday sessions, but won all six frames played in the third session on Monday afternoon before the players ran out of time due to the length of the frames. Thus he entered the final session only 10–12 down and closed to within one frame at 13–14, but eventually succumbed 13–18.
His performances earned him £110,000 (not far off half of his pre-tournament all-time earnings). It was noted by eventual world champion John Higgins, amongst others, in his victory speech, that Selby was the most improved player on the tour. These performances in the 2006/07 season earned Selby a place in the top 16 for the very first time for the 2007/08 season, where he was ranked 11th.
Selby's wins over Lee, Ebdon, Carter and Murphy at the 2007 World Championships also won him the inaugural 888.com Silver Chip award for outstanding performance, awarded by the Snooker Writers' Association at the post-championship ball.
After a moderate start to the season, Selby had a strong run in the second highest ranking tournament, the UK Championship, reaching the semi-finals of the event. He led eventual winner Ronnie O'Sullivan 7–5, fell 7–8 behind, before levelling the match at 8–8. In the deciding frame, however, O'Sullivan made a 147 break to win 9–8.
On 20 January 2008, Selby won his first major tournament – the Masters at Wembley. En route to the final, he had edged out Stephen Hendry, Stephen Maguire and Ken Doherty, all on a 6–5 scoreline (having been 5–3 behind against both Hendry and Maguire). In the final against Stephen Lee, after leading 5–3 at the break Selby took control and reeled off five consecutive frames (eight-in-a-row overall from 2–3 behind) to win convincingly 10–3. Selby's play in the final was of the highest standard, with four century breaks and two consecutive tons to cross the winning line. His final-frame effort, a total clearance of 141, equalled the tournament's highest break and was Selby's best in competitive play.
On 17 February 2008, he won a close-fought Welsh Open final, overcoming Ronnie O'Sullivan 9–8 from 5–8 down. However, he could not reproduce his Crucible success from the previous season. Despite going into the World Championships as one of the bookmakers' favourites for the title, Selby was defeated 10–8 in the first round by Mark King.
The following year in the Welsh Open quarter-final, he was handed a writ by a member of the audience, supposedly his former manager George Barmby. Selby reached the final of the Masters again where he was runner-up to Ronnie O'Sullivan, and also reached the quarter-finals of the 2009 World Championship, losing 12–13 to Higgins, who again went on to win the title.
He opened the 2009/10 season with two first round defeats, before coming from 4–8 down to beat Jamie Cope 9–8 in the first round of the UK Championship, scoring 6 breaks over 40 in those five frames.
On 17 January 2010, Selby won his second Masters title after reaching the final for the third time in as many years in a repeat of the previous year's final, where he lost to Ronnie O'Sullivan. O'Sullivan took a commanding lead at 9–6 leaving him just one frame from victory, but Selby played some of his best snooker of the season to overcome the three-frame deficit, taking the championship 10–9 and the £150,000 winner's cheque.
At the 2011 China Open, Selby beat Tian Pengfei, Robert Milkins, Ali Carter, and home favourite Ding Junhui, but was defeated 8–10 by Judd Trump in the final.
At the 2011 World Championship, Selby set the record for the most century breaks compiled in a world championship match when he made six in his second round tie with Stephen Hendry. It was also a record for a best-of-25 match and took Selby's century tally for the season to 54, setting a new record for the most centuries compiled in a season.
Selby's 2011/2012 season began by winning the non-ranking Wuxi Classic with a 9–7 victory over Ali Carter. He continued his form at the Shanghai Masters, where he won his second major ranking event by defeating Mark Williams 10–9 in the final, having trailed 9–7. The win also meant Selby usurped Williams as the world number one, making him the ninth player to hold the top spot and the first to do so without having previously won the World Championship. He also won the minor-ranking PTC Event 4 (also known as the Paul Hunter Classic) with a 4–0 whitewash over Mark Davis, having edged out Ronnie O'Sullivan 4–3 in the semi-finals. Selby would later finish 5th on the Order of Merit and therefore qualified to the last 16 of the Finals. He beat Ding Junhui in the Finals in Galway before losing 0–4 to eventual winner Stephen Lee in the quarter-finals.
Selby reached the quarter-finals of the German Masters and then got to the final of the Welsh Open, where he lost 6–9 to Ding. Another semi-final followed in the World Open and despite seeing a 5–2 lead slip to a 5–6 defeat against Mark Allen, he looked to be in form at just the right time in the season.
However, Selby was forced to withdraw from the second round of the China Open with a neck injury. His withdrawal was also a precautionary measure to be ready for the upcoming World Championship, which Selby declared himself fit for the week before the event. He played Barry Hawkins in the first round and was beaten 3–10. After the match Selby admitted he had only managed nine hours of practice in the lead up and that there were certain shots he was physically unable to play. Despite the disappointing end to the season Selby was guaranteed to end it ranked number one following Judd Trump's early exit from the tournament.
Selby announced he was 90% fit just before the start of the 2012/2013 season as he continued his recovery from the disc bulge in his neck. His first event was the Wuxi Classic where, ironically, he played Hawkins in the last 32. Selby this time won 5–2 and then breezed past Jamie Cope 5–0 to set up a quarter-final match with in-form Stuart Bingham, which Selby lost 4–5. Selby then won seven matches in a row in reaching the quarter-finals of the Six-red World Championship, but there he lost 5–7 by Judd Trump. He then suffered a shock 3–5 first round defeat to Jamie Burnett in the Australian Goldfields Open.
Selby lost his world number one spot to Judd Trump after the latter's victory in the inaugural International Championship in China. However, just five weeks later, Selby won his third ranking title and largest of his career, the UK Championship, to regain the top spot. He defeated Michael White 6–3, Ryan Day 6–4 from 3–0 down, and Neil Robertson 6–4 from 4–0 down to reach the semi-finals, where he beat Mark Davis 9–4 to progress to the final. Already assured of overtaking Trump regardless of the result, Selby beat his good friend Shaun Murphy 10–6 to win the tournament.
Selby also participated at the Players Tour Championship. He successfully defended his Paul Hunter Classic title with a 4–1 win over Joe Swail in the final. He then lost in the final of the Antwerp Open 1–4 against Mark Allen, and won the Munich Open by defeating Graeme Dott 3–4 in the final. He then finished number one on the Order of Merit, and qualified for the Finals, where he lost 3–4 against Jack Lisowski.
Selby then went on to win his third Masters title, beating Stuart Bingham 6–5 from 5–1 behind in the first round, Mark Williams 6–1 in the quarter-finals, and Graeme Dott 6–5 from 4–1 and 5–4 down in the semi-finals. He then defeated defending champion Neil Robertson 10–6 in the final. He reached the quarter-finals of the German Masters, but lost 1–5 against Barry Hawkins. He lost in the last 32 of the Welsh Open 0–4 against Joe Perry, and lost his number one position to Trump. Selby then reached the quarter-finals of the World Open, but lost 3–5 against Neil Robertson.
At the China Open, Selby became only the fourth player in history to miss the final black on a 147 attempt, and only the second – after Ken Doherty – to do so in a televised match, in a 5–1 defeat of Mark King. He then reached the final by defeating Ricky Walden 5–2, Mark Williams 5–1 and Murphy 6–2, but lost 6–10 against Neil Robertson. After the event he regained the number one spot from Trump. He finished off the season at the 2013 World Snooker Championship, where he beat Matthew Selt in the first round before losing to eventual runner up Barry Hawkins in the second round.
Selby's 2013/2014 season began with a shock 3–5 defeat to Andrew Pagett in the qualifying rounds of the 2013 Wuxi Classic. The tournament was the first to use a new format that required top-16 players to compete in qualifiers. In minor-ranking tournaments, Selby was runner-up in the Yixing Open, where he lost 1–4 to Joe Perry, and the Rotterdam Open, where he lost 3–4 to Mark Williams. He won the Antwerp Open, defeating Ronnie O'Sullivan 4–3 in the final.
In December, in the seventh frame of his UK Championship semi-final against Ricky Walden, Selby compiled snooker's 100th officially recognised maximum break in professional competition. He received £55,000 for the achievement, in addition to the tournament's highest break prize of £4,000. The next day, he lost 7–10 to Neil Robertson in the final, having led 5–1 and 6–3.
In the Masters, Selby began his title defence by beating Mark Davis in the first round and John Higgins in the quarter-finals, winning both matches by a scoreline of 6–5 and extending his unbeaten record in deciding frames at the Masters to 11. He defeated Shaun Murphy 6–1 in the semi-finals to reach the final against Ronnie O'Sullivan. Selby fell 1–7 behind in the first session of the final and went on to lose the final 4–10, receiving the runner-up prize of £90,000. In the World Open, Selby defeated Alan McManus 5–1 in the quarter-finals and Marco Fu 6–4 in the semi-finals, but lost 6–10 in the final to Shaun Murphy.
At the World Championship, Selby beat Michael White 10–9, Ali Carter 13–9, and Alan McManus 13–5 to reach his first semi-final at the Crucible since 2010. He played world number one Neil Robertson in a repeat of the UK Championship final, and this time came out a 17–15 winner in a match described by commentators as one of the best matches ever played in the tournament's history, to reach his second world championship final and first for seven years. Selby played Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final, who previously had won all five of his finals and was the two-time defending champion. O'Sullivan led 3–0, 8–3, and 10–5, but Selby then won six frames in a row to lead for the first time and went on to seal an 18–14 victory for his first world championship title. With the victory, Selby became the ninth player to win the Triple Crown of World, UK and Masters titles (and second of the season after Robertson), and also the twelfth player to win the World and UK Championship double in their career. In winning the world title, Selby also retook the world number one spot.
In the first ranking event of the season, the Wuxi Classic, Selby lost 3–5 to Liang Wenbo in the last 32. He won the minor-ranking Riga Open, defeating Mark Allen 4–3 in the final, but lost 5–6 to Allen in the semi-final of the ranking Shanghai Masters. He suffered a surprise early exit in the last 128 of the ranking International Championship when 19-year-old tour rookie Oliver Lines came from 0–4 behind to defeat him 6–4. In the invitational Champion of Champions tournament, he reached the quarter-finals, but lost 1–6 against Judd Trump. He suffered another early exit at the UK Championship when he lost 4–6 to David Morris in the last 64. Playing Shaun Murphy in the first round of the Masters, Selby fell 1–5 behind before recovering to 5–5, but lost the match 5–6 on the deciding frame.
At the German Masters, Judd Trump made his second career 147 and second against Selby in their quarter-final match, but it was Selby who edged it 5–4. It was the fifth maximum break Selby has witnessed against him, the most of any player in the history of the game. He then beat Stephen Maguire 6–2 to play in his first ranking event final of the season. He came from 5–2 down to defeat Murphy 9–7 to win the title. He became the first player this season to claim two ranking titles in April at the China Open. Selby advanced to the final without facing a single player inside the world's top 16 and then outplayed world number 56 Gary Wilson to win 10–2. He therefore entered the defence of his world title with two statistics against him as no first time world champion and no winner of the China Open has then gone on to win the tournament. He led Kurt Maflin 8–4 in the first round, only for the Norwegian to reel off five frames in a row. However, Selby responded to take the final two frames, but saw his reign end in the next round against Anthony McGill with a 13–9 defeat. Despite this he finished the season as the world number one for the fourth year in a row.
Selby's first semi-final of the season came at the International Championship courtesy of knocking out Neil Robertson 6–4, but he lost 9–4 to John Higgins. Selby did not drop a frame in reaching the third round of the UK Championship and saw off Jamie Jones 6–5, admitting later that his opponent had deserved to win the match. He then eliminated Dechawat Poomjaeng and Matthew Selt both 6–1, before being whitewashed 6–0 by Robertson in the semi-finals. Selby lost in the quarter-finals of both the Masters and Welsh Open to Ronnie O'Sullivan, but won the Gdynia Open with a 4–1 victory over Martin Gould.
Before the World Championship Selby withdrew from the PTC Finals and China Open due to personal reasons. He beat Robert Milkins 10–6, Sam Baird 13–11 and Kyren Wilson 13–8 to face Marco Fu in the semi-finals. Selby drew level at 12–12 thanks to winning a 76-minute frame, the longest in Crucible history and went on to win 17–15 with an excellent snooker on the brown in the final frame. He took a 6–0 lead over Ding Junhui in the final and eventually won 18–14. His second World Championship crown saw him finish at number one in the world rankings for the fifth year in a row.
Selby won his first title of the season at the Paul Hunter Classic by beating Tom Ford 4–2. His semi-final with Stuart Bingham at the Shanghai Masters was a meeting between the top two ranked players in the world and Selby won 6–5, having been 5–3 behind. After taking an early 3–1 advantage over Ding Junhui in the final, Selby was ousted 10–6. He was beaten 6–2 by Judd Trump in the semi-finals of the European Masters. Selby saw off Bingham 9–3 to reach the final of the International Championship and won the event for the first time by thrashing Ding Junhui 10–1 in the final in Daqing, China. Selby dominated the contest, winning the last seven frames in a row, in the most one-sided ranking event final since the 2012 Haikou World Open when Mark Allen beat Stephen Lee by the same scoreline. Selby made seven breaks over 50 while Ding managed a top run of just 47.
In a high quality quarter-final match lasting five hours against John Higgins at the UK Championship, Selby won 6–5 on the colours and then had a more routine 6–2 semi-final victory over Shaun Murphy. In the final he had a 7–2 advantage over Ronnie O'Sullivan, but it was reduced to 7–4, before four breaks of 130 or more were made in a span of five frames, two by each player. Selby then finished the match with a 107 break to win his second UK title and mean he has completed the Triple Crown twice in his career. Selby could not get to a semi-final in the next seven tournaments, before winning through to the final of the China Open and he took the final three frames against Mark Williams to claim the his fourth ranking event title of the season 10–8.
No one came close to Selby as he progressed through to the semi-finals of the World Championship, which included a 13–3 thrashing of Marco Fu in the quarter-finals with a session to spare. He next faced Ding Junhui who closed the gap to 16–15, after Selby had been 16–13 ahead. Selby won the 32nd frame to reach his third world final in four years. Selby had an incredible run of winning 12 out of 14 frames after being 10–4 behind John Higgins and closed out the match 18–15 to win his third World Championship and become the fourth player after Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan to retain titles at the Crucible. He made a record £932,000 during the season. It was also Selby's fifth ranking title of the season after he had previously never won more than two titles in a campaign before. This tied him with Hendry and Ding as the only players to have won five ranking events in one season.
In July 2006, he won the WEPF World Eight-ball Championship, beating Darren Appleton 11–7 in the final at Blackpool.
On 2 February 2015, Selby played in the 2015 Chinese Pool World Championship, but lost to Darren Appleton 19–21 in the final.
He is a fan of Leicester City, whom he has supported since childhood. His 2014 World Championship victory came on the same day as City celebrated their promotion to the Premier League with an open-top bus parade, while his 2016 World Championship victory came on 2 May 2016, which he won just 11 minutes after the team sealed their first Premier League title.
He is also known to be a fan of darts, beating Eric Bristow in an exhibition leg of 301 in 2007, and taking on Raymond van Barneveld in exhibition matches.
Selby's wife Vikki Layton, who often attends his major matches, is a former Irish international pool player born in Ipswich. They announced their engagement in August 2010, and were married in Mexico on 24 May 2011. Their first daughter Sofia Maria was born on 11 November 2014. The family live in South Wigston in Leicestershire.
Records against top-16 players
Selby's professional match records against players who have been ranked at world number 16 or higher are below.
Players who have been ranked number one are in bold.As of 1 May 2017