From Oldham Civic Centre to the Barbican in York with many stops in between it has taken just under 32 years since Steve Davis made the first official 147 break for Mark Selby to compile the 100th.

Fittingly, it was dramatic. Selby played a great shot to go round the table from brown to blue but was left needing the rest for the pink. He potted it but was left with a tough black, which he dropped in dead weight to the left middle.

It was a moment of magic and a moment of history, a milestone that was thankfully achieved in a televised match.

Selby had missed the final black on 140 in last season’s China Open but, with the pressure on and £59,000 available for the maximum, was cool and deadly accurate in sinking the final ball.

When Davis made his 147 at the 1982 Lada Classic in Oldham it was a significant first. The maximum has enlivened many an event since.

Of the 100, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O’Sullivan have each made 11. John Higgins has made seven.

A total of 52 players from 13 different nations are on the list of 100 maximums. Selby’s was the 50th on television.

Maximums became more common as the professional game expanded with more players, became more attacking and playing conditions more conducive to heavy scoring.

There were eight compiled in the 1980s, 26 in the 1990s, 35 in the 2000s and 31 so far in this decade.

But when you consider the thousands and thousands of frames that have been played – from World Championship finals down to the lowliest qualifier – 100 isn’t that many.

There were 11 in 2012 but for all the snooker played this year there have been four in 2013.

It is still an achievement worth celebrating, as Selby and the Barbican crowd did with sheer joy.

The maximum break, made under the pressure of tournament play, is that rare thing – perfection in a very exacting sport. 


Peter FR said...

He didn't use the rest for the pink, it was what looked like a very dangerous very long bridge! Brown and black exceptional pots.

The Blog said...

It was a wonderful 147 - the final black to middle is a shot Mark Selby will never forget.

It's a pity the post match interview mentioned Selby's alleged poor form. Ken Doherty said something like he's never seen Selby play so bad. Quite surreal given the fact he made a 147!

kildare cueman said...

There was a bit of added pressure on the black in that he'd have been the only player ever to myss the final black on 140 twice/

kimball144 said...

Alway thought that John Specer made the first max, what was wrong with that one?

Dr Tim Sandle said...

Why is it for many years the Joe Davis and Rex Williams maximum breaks were considered 'official' (and the first and second to be ratified as world records)and now they do not count?
I appreciate that Steve Davis' break was the first compiled in a tournament on a templated table (where John Spencer's was not).
I'm curious as to who writes the 'record books' and why the Davis & Williams maximums have fallen from favour.
Tim Sandle

Chris said...

Tim, I'm pretty sure the list on which Selby's was the 100th is the 'tournament' 147s and as such Williams's and Davis's have never counted.

They do remain, though, the first two maximums officially made - but you would then have a larger list because (for example) O'Sullivan's in the Legends event at Croydon would have to count, along with lots of others. (On second thoughts, the Croydon table appeared much more generous than the official templates would allow, but even so the point stands.)

kildare cueman said...

Davis and Williams' breaks were made in exhibitions, so do not count.