Mark Allen (snooker player)

Mark Allen (snooker player)
Not to be confused with Mark Johnston-Allen
Mark Allen
Born 22 February 1986 (1986-02-22) (age 25)
Antrim town, Northern Ireland
Sport country Northern Ireland Northern Ireland
Nickname "All-in",
"The Pistol"
Professional 2005–
Highest ranking 10 (5 months)
Current ranking 12
Career winnings £218,260[1]
Highest break 146 (twice)
Century breaks 120
Tournament wins
Non-ranking 1

Mark Allen (born 22 February 1986) is a Northern Irish professional snooker player. He won the World Amateur Championship in 2004.[2] The following year he turned professional and took only three seasons to reach the elite top 16. Entering the 2010/2011 season, he was ranked 10.

Allen has reached five ranking semi-finals: the 2007 Northern Ireland Trophy, the 2008 Bahrain Championship, the 2009 World Championship, the 2010 China Open and the 2010 UK Championship. In June 2009 he won his first professional title, the invitational Jiangsu Classic in China.[3]

A left-hander, Allen's highest break to date is a 146 which he has achieved twice, once in the 2007 UK Championship qualifiers and at the 2010 World Snooker Championship.[4] His break-building style is a little unorthodox in the modern game, in that he rarely goes into the pack of reds early in a break, preferring to pick off loose reds and establish a lead.


Career history

Early career

Before turning professional for the 2005/2006 season, Allen won the European Championship and the IBSF World Championship, plus Northern Ireland Championship at under-14, under-16, and under-19 levels. His early career was aided by National Lottery funding.[5]

By chance, an invitational Northern Ireland Trophy was staged shortly after Allen turned professional.[6] As a local player, he was invited and made an immediate impact, defeating Steve Davis and John Higgins to reach the quarter-finals, before losing to Stephen Hendry.[7] In his first year on the tour, he reached the last 32 of the 2005 UK Championship and the 2006 Welsh Open, losing 2–5 to the then World Champion Shaun Murphy after leading 2–0. He also got to the final qualifying round of the 2006 World Championship, losing 7–10 to Andy Hicks, after leading 7–4.

In March 2007 he qualified for the World Championship for the first time, winning 3 matches culminating in a 10–4 win over Robert Milkins. In April 2007 he beat former world champion Ken Doherty 10–7 in the first round held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield,[8] but lost to Matthew Stevens 9–13 in the second round. This was his first run to the last 16 of a tournament and helped him into the top 32 of the rankings (at no. 29).

In the 2007 Grand Prix, in a match with Ken Doherty, he was involved in an incident that led to his opponent branding him 'a disgrace'. Unhappy that the black would not go back on its spot after potting it, Allen struck the side cushion with his fist. The referee told him that he would be warned if he did that again. Allen was not warned, and ended up winning the match. Doherty said, "He was a disgrace. For such a relative newcomer to the pro game, he's got a serious attitude problem". Mark later commented: "It was entirely my own fault and if there are going to be any repercussions then so be it."[9] Allen did not reach the knockout stage of the tournament.

In the 2007 Northern Ireland Trophy he gave his home supporters plenty to shout about, by beating Graeme Dott 5–3, Ryan Day 5–3 to reach his first ever quarter-final. In it he defeated Gerard Greene 5–3 to reach the semi-final, where he lost 3–6 to Fergal O'Brien. In the following UK Championship he defeated Stephen Hendry in the last 32. He opened his last-16 match against Mark Williams with two centuries in the first three frames, building a 5–1 lead, but Williams fought back and he lost 5–9. He then reached the quarter-finals in the 2008 China Open before losing to Shaun Murphy. At the 2008 World Championship he led Stephen Hendry 6–3, 7–4 and 9–7 before losing 9–10. However, first-round defeats for all his rivals for a top 16 place ensured that he finished the season at number 16 in the rankings.


After a consistent season Allen was back at the Crucible the following year where he beat Martin Gould in his opening match. He faced Ronnie O'Sullivan in the second round and confident and unaffected by his opponent's reputation, Allen beat the defending champion, 13–11 for a quarter-final place in the 2009 World Championship.[10] He then defeated Ryan Day by the same scoreline to reach the semi-finals,[11] where he lost 13–17 to John Higgins, despite making a determined fightback from 3–13 down.[12] Soon after his run in the World Championship, Allen won his first professional tournament, the 2009 Jiangsu Classic beating home favourite Ding Junhui 6–0 in the final.[13]

During the 2010 Masters, Allen beat the World Champion, John Higgins, by 6–3 in the last 16. He lost out 5–6 to eventual champion Mark Selby in the quarter-finals.

On the first day of the 2010 World Championship on 17 April 2010, Allen came close to recording his first ever maximum break in his first round match against Tom Ford after potting 15 reds with blacks, and the yellow, before breaking down on the green.[14] Five days later, Allen made the first 146 break in World Championship history, and the second of his career after defeating Mark Davis 13–5 in the second round.[15] He was defeated 12–13 in the quarter-final by Graeme Dott, having led 12–10.[16]

At the 2010 UK Championship, Allen reached the semi-finals for the first time, where he was beaten 9–5 by eventual champion John Higgins. In the Masters, Allen again reached the semi-finals, and led Marco Fu 4–1 before Fu reeled off five frames in a row to win 6–4. At the 2011 World Championship, Allen entered as the 11th seed and played Matthew Stevens in the first round, recovering from 9–6 down and seeing Stevens miss a pot on the final pink to win the match 10–7, before winning 10–9. In the second round, Allen defeated Barry Hawkins 13–12. He reached the semi-finals for a 2nd year in a row but lost to Mark Williams 11–5.

Personal life

Mark has a daughter called Lauren, from a previous relationship with female snooker player Reanne Evans.

Performance and rankings timeline

Tournaments 2005/
Rankings UR[nb 1] 61 29 16 11 10 12
Ranking tournaments
Australian Goldfields Open Not Held QF
Shanghai Masters Not Held LQ LQ 1R 1R 2R
World Open[nb 2] 1R RR RR 1R QF LQ
UK Championship 2R LQ 2R 2R 1R SF
German Masters Not Held 1R
Welsh Open LQ 1R 2R 1R QF 2R
China Open LQ LQ QF 1R SF 1R
World Championship LQ 2R 1R SF QF QF
Non-Ranking Tournaments
The Masters A A A QF QF SF
Wuxi Classic[nb 3] Not Held A W SF
Championship League Snooker Not Held RR 2R F 2R
Former Ranking Tournaments
Malta Cup[nb 4] 1R LQ NR Not Held
Northern Ireland Trophy NR 1R SF QF Not Held
Bahrain Championship Not Held SF Not Held
Performance Table Legend
LQ lost in qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF advanced to but not past the quarterfinals SF advanced to but not past the semifinals
F advanced to the final, tournament runner-up W won the tournament
DQ disqualified from the tournament A did not participate in the tournament
NH / Not Held means an event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Event means an event is/was no longer a ranking event.
  1. ^ New players on the tour do not have a ranking.
  2. ^ The event run under different name as LG Cup (2003/2004) and Grand Prix (2004/2005-2009/2010)
  3. ^ The event run under different name as Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009-2009/2010)
  4. ^ The event run under different name as European Open (2001/2002-2003/2004)

Tournament wins


  • Jiangsu Classic, 2009


  • IBSF World Amateur Championship – 2004
  • EBSA European Championship – 2004
  • EBSA European Under-19 Championship – 2005


  1. ^ Yahoo! Sport. 2009. Mark Allen. [Online] Yahoo! UK (Updated 2009) Available at: [Accessed 28 January 2010]. Archived at
  2. ^ "Allen pockets world title" BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  3. ^ "Allen cruises to first pro title", BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 June 2009
  4. ^ World Snooker. 2007. Player List – Mark Allen. [Online] World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (Updated 2010) Available at: [Accessed 28 January 2010]. Archived at
  5. ^ "Lottery Funding – Mark Allan" (sic)., National Lottery. Retrieved on 26 April 2009.
  6. ^ Northern Ireland Trophy 2005", WWW Snooker, 25 August 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2009
  7. ^ Northern Ireland Trophy 2005", WWW Snooker, 25 August 2008. Retrieved on 26 April 2009
  8. ^ Doherty the fall guy as Allen tries to keep pace with his partner" The Guardian, 25 April 2007. Retrieved on 26 April 2009.
  9. ^ Doherty appalled by Allen's poor behaviour", The Independent, 18 October 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2009.
  10. ^ Awesome Allen shocks O'Sullivan", BBC Sport, 25 April 2009. Retrieved on 26 April 2009
  11. ^ Allen sees off Day to reach semis, BBC Sport, 29 April 2009. Retrieved on 2 May 2009.
  12. ^ Higgins downs Allen to make final, BBC Sport, 2 May 2009. Retrieved on 2 May 2009.
  13. ^ "Allen cruises to first pro win". BBC Sport. 2009-06-07. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  14. ^ "Mark Allen beats Tom Ford 10–4 in Crucible opener". BBC Sport (BBC). 2010-04-18. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  15. ^ "Mark Allen completes impressive win over Mark Davis". BBC Sport (BBC). 2010-04-23. Retrieved 2010-04-27. 
  16. ^ "Graeme Dott beats Mark Allen 13–12 at the Crucible". BBC Sport (BBC). 2010-04-28. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 

External links

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