Which was the fastest frame in the history of professional snooker?

Which was the fastest frame in the history of professional snooker?  The fastest frame in the history of professional snooker was recorded during a best-of-nine frames first round match between Maltese former professional Tony ‘The Tornado’ Drago and English former professional Danny ‘The Dustman’ Fowler at the Fidelity Unit Trusts International Open at Trentham Gardens, Stoke-on-Trent on August 31, 1988. In the fifth frame, Drago needed just three minutes to establish a 62-0 lead and went on to win the match 5-3.

Born in Valletta in September, 1965, Drago turned professional in 1985 and became known for his flamboyance, speed around the table and occasionally volatile temperament, hence his nickname. In his heyday, he was clocked at between 11 and 14 seconds per shot. In 1988, Drago beat Alex Higgins 10-2 and Dennis Taylor 13-5 en route to the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship, where he lost 13-4 to eventual champion Steve Davis.

Eight years later, at the Guild Hall in Preston, Drago set another record that has yet to be broken. In the fourth frame of his last-16 match against a youthful John Higgins in the 1996 UK Championships, he compiled a break of 103 in just 3 minutes and 31 seconds to set a record for the fastest century break in the history of televised professional snooker. Having led that match 4-0, Drago eventually lost 9-8, but the following year, 1997, he beat Higgins in the semi-final of the International Open at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre en route to the only and only ranking final of his career, which he lost 9-1 to Stephen Hendry.

Interestingly, until April, 2019, Danny Fowler also held a long-standing, if unwanted, record. In 1993, he lost 10-1 to Stephen Hendry in the first round of the World Snooker Championships and his points total of 119 ranked as the lowest ever recorded at The Crucible until Luo Honghao scored just 89 points in his 10-0 defeat by Shaun Murphy.

How are snooker balls made?

Modern, high quality snooker balls are made from phenolic resin, a synthetic polymer formed by the reaction of phenol, a.k.a. carbolic acid, an aromatic organic compound derived from benzene, and formaldehyde, a colourless, but highly reactive, gas derived from methane. Phenolic resin is a strong, durable material, offering high abrasion impact and shearing resistance, and can easily be polished to the required lustre. Snooker balls are made by pouring liquid phenolic resin, pre-coloured at the production stage, into moulds without the application of pressure – or, in other words, by casting – followed by thermal curing, at temperatures up to 180°C, to stabilise the material and polishing.

The standard diameter of a snooker ball is 2.07″ and high-end grade snooker balls are manufactured within a tolerance of +/- 0.003″, which is less than than the +/- 0.002″ specified in Section 1, 2(b) of ‘The Official Rules of the Games of Snooker and English Billiards’. Furthermore, the tolerance of roundness, or sphericity, which determines balance and rolling characteristics, of such balls is just +/- 0.0012″. Inevitably, snooker balls vary in weight, albeit only slightly, such that a maximum tolerance of 0.11oz, between the heaviest and lightest ball in a set is permitted. Again, high-end grade snooker balls are matched into sets with a maximum tolerance of 0.04oz per set.

How much was first prize money in the inaugural World Snooker Championship?

Nowadays, the World Snooker Championship is the most prestigious, and valuable, tournament in professional snooker, with the 2022 winner, Ronnie O’Sullivan, receiving £500,000 in prize money. It is also the oldest, having been established, as the Professional Snooker Championship, in 1927.

The Professional Snooker Championship was the brainchild of professional billiards player Joseph ‘Joe’ Davis and billiard hall manager William ‘Bill’ Camkin. Recognising the growing popularity of the 22-ball game, the pair persuaded the governing body, the Billiards Association and Control Council (BACC), to sanction a professional snooker tournament.

The snooker was intended an auxiliary attraction to existing billiard matches, played at various venues across the country, with a single frame of snooker played at the end of each billiards session. Nevertheless, the championship attracted ten entries, including most of the leading billiards players of the day and all bar three of them paid the five-guinea entry fee for the Professional Snooker Championship.

The best-of-31 frame final was staged at Camkin’s Hall in John Bright Street, Birmingham between May 9 and May 12, 1927, with Camkin himself acting as referee. Joe Davis proved far too good for his opponent, Thomas ‘Tom’ Dennis, winning the first seven frames on his way to establishing a winning 16-7 lead, which became 20-11 after the remaining ‘dead’ frames.

Davis received the distinctive silver World Championship trophy – which is still in use today – and first prize money of £6/10/–, from gate receipts, for his trouble. He would go on to dominate professional snooker, winning the Professional Snooker Championship, or World’s Professional Snooker Championship, as it became in 1935, on 15 consecutive occasions between 1927 and 1946 – no tournament was held between 1941 and 1945 – before retiring unbeaten.

Which player won the first World Snooker Championship staged at the Crucible Theatre?

Having previously been staged in various locations, mainly in Great Britain, but also in Australia, the World Snooker Championship moved to its current venue, the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, in 1977. On that occasion, the winner was the late John Spencer who, alongside six-time world champion Ray Reardon, dominated professional snooker during the seventies.

Seeded eighth of eight seeded players, and thereby exempted into the last 16, Spencer faced qualifier John Virgo, who was making his World Championship debut, in his opening match. Virgo led 4-1 and 7-4, but Spencer eventually won 13-9. Following a pillar-to-post 13-6 victory over Reardon in the quarter-finals, Spencer met John Pulman in the semi-finals. In the best-of-35 frame match, played over five sessions, Spencer again trailed 0-3 and 3-7, before recovering to win 18-12.

The best-of-49 frame final, played over eight sessions, was a protracted affair, with Spencer and his opponent, Cliff ‘The Grinder’ Thorburn, locked together for most of the match. It was not until the first session on the third, and final, day that Spencer edged ahead 22-20 and, although Thorburn reduced his lead to 22-21, he won the next three frames to take the title 25-21.

Spencer was, in fact, winning the World Snooker Champion for the third time. He had previously done so, at the first attempt, in 1969 and again in 1971. The 1969 world championship, which reverted to a knockout format for the first time since 1957, is generally considered to be the first of the ‘modern’ era. The best-of-73 frame final was staged at Victoria Hall, London, with Spencer beating Gary Owen 37-24. The 1971 world championship was actually staged in September, October and November, 1970, in Australia. In the final, again over 73 frames, at the Chevron Hotel, Sydney, Spencer was never behind and eventually beat Warren Simpson 37–29.

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