Mark King (snooker player)

Mark King (snooker player)
Mark King

Mark King at the 2011 Paul Hunter Classic
Born 28 March 1974 (1974-03-28) (age 37)
Sport country  England
Nickname The Romford Battler
The Royal King
Professional 1991–
Highest ranking 11 (2002/03)
Current ranking 22
Career winnings GB£871,935[1]
Highest break 146 (2006 UK Championship)
Best ranking finish Final (1997 Regal Welsh Open ; 2004 Irish Masters)

Mark King (born 28 March 1974) is an English professional snooker player. He has not yet won a ranking tournament, but came close when he was a beaten finalist in the 1997 Regal Welsh Open [2] and the 2004 Irish Masters.[3]



King turned professional in 1991 and advanced steadily through the rankings, reaching the top 48 by 1996. His 1997 Welsh Open final run lead to a top 32 place in the end of season rankings, and he continued to progress by reaching the top 16 a year later.

He remained in the top 16 the following season without reaching a ranking quarter-final, but dropped out a year later. He made an immediate return in 2000/2001, climbing to a career-high of #11. A poor 2002/2003 season ended with him dropping out of the top 16 again after defeat to Drew Henry 10–5 in the first round of the World Championship. In the post-match interview, King suggested that he had lost patience with the game and would quit because "I've got a wicked wife that I never see because I'm here playing this poxy game."[4] King later retracted this statement and began the following season in the qualifiers.

After the 2004 World Championship, King became involved in a tense battle with Quinten Hann after his friend Andy Hicks eliminated Hann in a controversial first-round clash. Hann had been making provocative gestures during the match and after Hicks took victory, the two players had an altercation, with an angry Hann squaring up to Hicks. Upset by Hann's behaviour, King challenged the Australian to a boxing match,[5] for which King was later criticised, as Hann's behaviour had already put the game into disrepute. Nevertheless, the bout went ahead and Hann controversially won the fight on a points decision.

In December 2004, King beat Mark J Williams, Alan McManus and John Parrott on route to the semi-finals of the UK Championship, losing 9–4 to eventual winner Stephen Maguire. At 8–3, a mobile phone went off in the crowd, prompting King to quip "if that's my missus, tell her I'll be home soon". In 2005, King beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 9–8 at the same event, having fought back from 5–3 down in a match which saw his opponent sitting with a wet towel draped over his head when King was at the table. King would eventually lose 9–6 in the last 16 to Joe Perry, but made a career best 146 break at the 2006 Championships.

Defeat to Neil Robertson (he was trailing 7–2 but only lost 10–9) in the qualifying for the World Championship in 2005 cost him the chance of a top 16 return, but King qualified a year later, resiliently losing 10–6 to Stephen Maguire in the first round. In 2007, King went out to David Gilbert in the qualifying round for the event.

In the 2008 World Championship, King beat six-times runner-up Jimmy White to qualify,[6] then shocked the previous year's runner-up Mark Selby 10–8, having trailed 5–3 overnight. After potting the match ball, King showed his delight by shouting "Get in".[7] He lost to Peter Ebdon in the last 16, but his top-16 place was secure and he would start the 08/09 campaign ranked 15th.[8]

King has reached the last 16 of the World Championship six times, in 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002 2008 and 2009 but never progressed beyond this stage.

A consistent 2008/2009 season saw King retain his top 16 spot.

At the 2009 Grand Prix King needed three snookers in the deciding frame against Ricky Walden to claim a 5–4 victory. He managed to get them and won by potting the final black. In the next round he lost to Robert Milkins.

At the 2010 China Open King defeated Thai qualifier James Wattana 5–4 in the first round after trailing 2–4. He then won his second match 5–3 against Chinese player Tian Pengfei to reach his first Quarter final since the 2007 Malta Cup. A double triumph for King, the win will almost certainly guarantee his Top 16 place for the 2010/11 season.

At the 2010 World championship, King lost his first round match against former 6 times World Champion Steve Davis by 9–10. In the deciding frame, Davis lead 55–37, with only 13 points available. King's attempts at getting the snooker he needed to win ended with him fluking the pink in the pocket.[9]

King made an impressive start to the new season when he reached the Quarter Final of the 2010 Shanghai Masters. King was too strong for qualifier Joe Delaney in the first round, winning 5–3. The same scoreline saw him overcome Peter Ebdon in the next round but King was then beaten comfortably by Mark Selby 5–1. However his lack of form in the following ranking events made him fall out of the top 16 after the 2011 Welsh Open.

At the 2011 Masters, King beat defending champion Mark Selby 6–4 to reach his first quarter-final at the event since 1999. After the match, King suggested that his comeback from 0–2 down was prompted by his opponent's celebration to winning the second frame on the black, when he "put his cue up and it gave me the hump a bit" [10] King then lost in the quarter-finals 1–6 against Jamie Cope.[11].

Since dropping out of the Top 16 King qualified for the second ranking tournament of the new season, the 2011 Shanghai Masters. At the event, King reached the semi-final, his first since the 2005 Welsh Open, before being whitewashed 0–6 by Mark Selby. King's run meant he jumped to 22nd in the new rolling ranking system.

Playing style and record

King is among the most fluent players in the balls when in full fettle and combines this with a solid tactical brain. He may have won a tournament if it was not for a major weakness: his occasional tendency to lose control of the cue ball when looking comfortable during a break, forcing him to play a safety shot.

King has proven his credentials in certain matches, but his extremely defensive mentality has been cited as a hindrance to his game. On 26 April 2009, he and Stephen Maguire shared the longest frame in Crucible history at one hour, fourteen minutes and fifty-eight seconds during their second round World Championship match.

While his temperament was also regarded as a weakness, coach Terry Griffiths has helped King improve this side of his game in recent years. King is one of the most colourful characters on the circuit and enjoys battling it out on the table when behind or out of form. He was one of only three players, along with Marco Fu and John Higgins, to have a winning head to head record with Ronnie O'Sullivan. The pair currently share their meetings 6–6 after O'Sullivan beat King at the 2010 World Open.

In the 1997 Grand Prix, King scored just 11 points in a 0–5 last 16 defeat to John Higgins, a record low in a televised match.[12]

Personal life

He is married with two children. His mother was jailed for life in 2003 for murdering her cousin.[13]

Career finals

Ranking event finals: 2 (2 runner-ups)

World Championship (0–0)
UK Championship (0–0)
Other (0–2)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1997 Welsh Open Scotland Hendry, StephenStephen Hendry 2–9
Runner-up 2. 2004 Irish Masters England Ebdon, PeterPeter Ebdon 7–10


  1. ^ Yahoo! Sport. 2009. Mark King. [Online] Yahoo! UK (Updated 2010) Available at: [Accessed 18 February 2010].
  2. ^ "WWW Snooker – Regal Welsh 1997". 1997. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  3. ^ "2005 Irish Masters Preview". snookerclub. 
  4. ^ Harlow, Phil (20 April 2003). "Crucible diary: Day two". BBC News. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "King sends Selby packing". Sky Sports. 22 April 2008.,19528,12243_3460006,00.html. 
  8. ^ "Ebdon through to quarter-finals of Snooker's World Championship and Hendry threatens to join him". London: Daily Mail. 25 April 2008. 
  9. ^ "Davis Delight". WPBSA. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  10. ^ "King beats defending champion Selby at Masters". BBC. 9 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  11. ^ "The Masters". WWW Snooker. Retrieved 17 December 2010. 
  12. ^ "Chris Turner's SNOOKER ARCHIVE – Records". 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  13. ^ "King breezes past Doherty", BBC, 27 March 2004. URL accessed on 13 November 2006.

External links

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