Mark Anthony Selby (born 19 June 1983) is an English professional snooker player from Leicester. He is the reigning World Snooker champion, having won the title for a third time in 2017, and is the current world number one.
BORN: 19 June 1983
SPORTS COUNTRY: England
NICKNAME: The Jester From Leicester / Sat Nav Selby
PRO: 1999 -
HIGHEST BREAK: 147 (2 Times)
CENTURY BREAKS: 474
WORLD CHAMPION: 2014 • 2016 • 2017
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, the UK Championship in 2012, and the World Championshipin 2014, he became the ninth player to win all of snooker's Triple Crown events at least once. His other ranking titles include the Welsh Open in 2008, the Shanghai Masters in 2011, the German Masters in 2015, , China Open in 2015 and the International Championship in 2016.
Known as a tough competitor, Selby is also a prolific break-builder and has compiled more than 400 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.
Selby is also a pool player. He is the 2006 WEPF eight-ball pool world champion and the 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 practice every day after school. His father died of cancer when he was 16, two months before he joined the main professional tour.
He 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.
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, Mark 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 F.C., 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.
Mark'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 Mexicoon 24 May 2011. Their first daughter Sofia Maria was born on 11 November 2014. The family live in South Wigston.
Source: Wikipedia 2016
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