Neil Robertson
Main News, Ranking

‘Don’t compare things done in a circus’ – Neil Robertson on Shoot Out 147

Neil Robertson doesn’t think this week’s Shoot Out 147 should be ranked alongside the best in snooker history.

Shaun Murphy produced the magical moment during his first-round victory over Bulscu Revesz in the quick-fire ranking event on Thursday.

The world number seven defied shot clocks of 15 and then 10 seconds to successfully combine 15 reds with 15 blacks, before finally clearing the six colours.

Murphy also had to contend with a boisterous and rowdy crowd inside the Swansea Arena who, as is the norm in the tournament, continued to shout and applaud even when the player was down on his next shot.

While the first half of the 41 year-old’s maximum effort was relatively straightforward, Murphy was forced to rely on his silky cue action more frequently towards the end.

Two shots with deep screw stood out above the rest – one on a difficult 13th red into the yellow pocket and another from blue to pink.

Just before he struck the latter shot with sweet precision, a member of the audience called out: “Don’t bottle it.”

Most would have in this situation, but Murphy held himself together to orchestrate one of the most memorable 147 breaks ever.

Australia’s Robertson, though, was not having any of that as he watched from afar, having not entered the divisive competition.

“Great buzz for Shaun this and a fun tournament,” Neil Robertson wrote on X in response to a post from the World Snooker Tour.

“But don’t compare things done in a circus to that which have been achieved in finals and at the Crucible when things are really on the line.”

“I guess Hendry’s 8 each in a decider in a final is 3rd by this logic,” the Melbourne man sarcastically added.

Robertson is one of those players who have compiled a 147 break in a major snooker final, which like he says, is a completely different kind of pressure-cooker occasion.

At the 2015 UK Championship, the 41 year-old conjured the perfect frame during his 10-5 triumph over Liang Wenbo.

Mark Selby made a World Championship final 147 break earlier this year – the first to be recorded in a Crucible title-deciding match.

The Hendry max he is referring to happened at the 1997 Charity Challenge when the Scot held off a late six-frame burst from Ronnie O’Sullivan to prevail with a 147 in a decider.

O’Sullivan, of course, is widely regarded as having compiled the best maximum 147 break in snooker history.

The Rocket’s rapid contribution at the 1997 World Championship – timed at just five minutes and eight seconds – will take some beating.

Murphy’s effort this week has taken the total number of official 147 breaks made in professional competition to 194.

The first official maximum was compiled the same year Murphy was born, by Steve Davis at the Lada Classic in 1982.


List of official 147 breaks

(Last updated: Dec 8, 2023)

1. Steve Davis – 1982 Lada Classic
2. Cliff Thorburn – 1983 World Championship
3. Kirk Stevens – 1984 Masters
4. Willie Thorne – 1987 UK Championship
5. Tony Meo – 1988 Matchroom League
6. Alain Robidoux – 1988 European Open
7. John Rea – 1989 Scottish Championship
8. Cliff Thorburn – 1989 Matchroom League
9. James Wattana – 1991 World Masters
10. Peter Ebdon – 1991 Strachan Professional
11. James Wattana – 1992 British Open
12. Jimmy White – 1992 World Championship
13. John Parrott – 1992 Matchroom League
14. Stephen Hendry – 1992 Matchroom League
15. Peter Ebdon – 1992 UK Championship
16. David McDonnell – 1994 British Open
17. Stephen Hendry – 1995 World Championship
18. Stephen Hendry – 1995 UK Championship
19. Stephen Hendry – 1997 Charity Challenge
20. Ronnie O’Sullivan – 1997 World Championship

21. James Wattana – 1997 China International Challenge
22. Stephen Hendry – 1998 Premier League
23. Adrian Gunnell – 1998 Thailand Masters (Q)
24. Mehmet Husnu – 1998 China International (Q)
25. Jason Prince – 1999 British Open (Q)
26. Ronnie O’Sullivan – 1999 Welsh Open
27. Stuart Bingham – 1999 UK Tour
28. Nick Dyson – 1999 UK Tour
29. Graeme Dott – 1999 British Open
30. Stephen Hendry – 1999 British Open
31. Barry Pinches – 1999 Welsh Open
32. Ronnie O’Sullivan – 1999 Grand Prix
33. Karl Burrows – 1999 B&H Championship
34. Stephen Hendry – 1999 UK Championship
35. John Higgins – 2000 Nations Cup
36. John Higgins – 2000 Irish Masters
37. Stephen Maguire – 2000 Scottish Open
38. Ronnie O’Sullivan – 2000 Scottish Open
39. Marco Fu – 2000 Scottish Masters
40. David McLellan – 2000 B&H Championship

41. Nick Dyson – 2000 UK Championship
42. Stephen Hendry – 2001 Malta Grand Prix
43. Ronnie O’Sullivan – 2001 LG Cup
44. Shaun Murphy – 2001 B&H Championship
45. Tony Drago – 2002 B&H Championship
46. Ronnie O’Sullivan – 2003 World Championship
47. John Higgins – 2003 LG Cup
48. John Higgins – 2003 British Open
49. John Higgins – 2004 Grand Prix
50. David Gray – 2004 UK Championship
51. Mark Williams – 2005 World Championship
52. Stuart Bingham – 2005 Masters (Q)
53. Robert Milkins -2006 World Championship (Q)
54. Jamie Cope – 2006 Grand Prix
55. Ding Junhui – 2007 Masters
56. Andrew Higginson – 2007 Welsh Open
57. Jamie Burnett – 2007 Grand Prix
58. Tom Ford – 2007 Grand Prix
59. Ronnie O’Sullivan – 2007 Northern Ireland Trophy
60. Ronnie O’Sullivan – 2007 UK Championship

61. Stephen Maguire – 2008 China Open
62. Ronnie O’Sullivan – 2008 World Championship
63. Ali Carter – 2008 World Championship
64. Jamie Cope – 2008 Shanghai Masters
65. Liang Wenbo – 2008 Bahrain Championship (Q)
66. Marcus Campbell – 2008 Bahrain Championship
67. Ding Junhui – 2008 UK Championship
68. Stephen Hendry – 2009 World Championship
69. Mark Selby – 2009 Jiangsu Classic
70. Neil Robertson – 2010 China Open
71. Kurt Maflin – 2010 PTC1
72. Barry Hawkins – 2010 PTC3
73. Ronnie O’Sullivan – 2010 World Open
74. Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon – 2010 Rüsselsheim Open
75. Mark Williams – 2010 Rüsselsheim Open
76. Rory McLeod – 2010 Prague Open
77. Stephen Hendry – 2011 Welsh Open
78. Ronnie O’Sullivan – 2011 Paul Hunter Classic
79. Mike Dunn – 2011 German Masters
80. David Gray – 2011 PTC10

81. Ricky Walden – 2011 PTC10
82. Matthew Stevens – 2011 PTC12
83. Ding Junhui – 2011 PTC12
84. Ding Junhui – 2011 PTC11
85. Jamie Cope – 2011 PTC11
86. Marco Fu – 2012 Haikou World Open (Q)
87. Robert Milkins – 2012 World Championship (Q)
88. Stephen Hendry – 2012 World Championship
89. Stuart Bingham – 2012 Wuxi Classic
90. Ken Doherty – 2012 Paul Hunter Classic
91. John Higgins – 2012 Shanghai Masters
92. Tom Ford – 2012 Bulgarian Open
93. Andy Hicks – 2012 UK Championship (Q)
94. Jack Lisowski – 2012 UK Championship (Q)
95. John Higgins – 2012 UK Championship
96. Kurt Maflin – 2012 Ravenscraig Open
97. Ding Junhui – 2013 Players Championship
98. Neil Robertson 2013 Wuxi Classic (Q)
99. Judd Trump – 2013 Antwerp Open
100. Mark Selby – 2013 UK Championship

101. Dechawat Poomjaeng – 2013 German Masters (Q)
102. Gary Wilson – 2013 German Masters (Q)
103. Shaun Murphy – 2014 Championship League
104. Shaun Murphy – 2014 Gdynia Open
105. Ronnie O’Sullivan – 2014 Welsh Open
106. Aditya Mehta – 2014 Paul Hunter Classic
107. Ryan Day – 2014 Haining Open
108. Shaun Murphy – 2014 Ruhr Open
109. Ronnie O’Sullivan 2014 UK Championship
110. Ben Woollaston – 2014 Lisbon Open
111. Barry Hawkins – 2015 Championship League
112. Marco Fu – 2015 Masters
113. Judd Trump – 2015 German Masters
114. David Gilbert – 2015 Championship League
115. Neil Robertson – 2015 UK Championship
116. Marco Fu – 2015 Gibraltar Open
117. Ding Junhui – 2016 Welsh Open
118. Fergal O’Brien – 2016 Championship League
119. Thepchaiya Un-Nooh – 2016 Paul Hunter Classic
120. Stephen Maguire – 2016 Shanghai Masters

121. Shaun Murphy – 2016 European Masters (Q)
122. Alfie Burden – 2016 English Open
123. John Higgins – 2016 Northern Ireland Open
124. Mark Allen – 2016 UK Championship
125. Ali Carter – 2017 German Masters (Q)
126. Ross Muir – 2017 German Masters (Q)
127. Mark Davis – 2017 Championship League
128. Tom Ford – 2017 German Masters
129. Mark Davis – 2017 Championship League
130. Judd Trump – 2017 China Open
131. Gary Wilson – 2017 World Championship (Q)
132. Liang Wenbo – 2017 English Open
133. Kyren Wilson – 2017 International Championship
134. Cao Yupeng – 2017 Scottish Open
135. Martin Gould – 2018 Championship League
136. Luca Brecel – 2018 Championship League
137. Ronnie O’Sullivan – 2018 China Open
138. Stuart Bingham – 2018 China Open
139. Liang Wenbo – 2018 World Championship (Q)
140. Michael Georgiou – 2018 Paul Hunter Classic

141. Jamie Jones – 2018 Paul Hunter Classic
142. Thepchaiya Un-Nooh – 2018 English Open
143. Ronnie O’Sullivan – 2018 English Open
144. Mark Selby – 2018 Champion of Champions
145. John Higgins – 2018 Scottish Open
146. Judd Trump – 2018 German Masters (Q)
147. David Gilbert – 2019 Championship League
148. Neil Robertson – 2019 Welsh Open
149. Noppon Sanegkham – 2019 Welsh Open
150. Zhou Yuelong – 2019 Indian Open
151. Stuart Bingham – 2019 China Open
152. Tom Ford – 2019 International Championship (Q)
153. Tom Ford – 2019 English Open
154. Stuart Bingham – 2019 Northern Ireland Open
155. Barry Hawkins – 2019 UK Championship
156. Kyren Wilson – 2020 Welsh Open
157. John Higgins – 2020 World Championship
158. Ryan Day – 2020 Championship League
159. John Higgins – 2020 Championship League
160. Shaun Murphy – 2020 German Masters (Q)

161. Judd Trump – 2020 Northern Ireland Open
162. Kyren Wilson – 2020 UK Championship
163. Stuart Bingham – 2020 UK Championship
164. Zhou Yuelong – 2020 Scottish Open
165. Stuart Bingham – 2021 Championship League
166. Gary Wilson – 2021 WST Pro Series
167. John Higgins – 2021 British Open
168. Ali Carter – 2021 British Open
169. Xiao Guodong – 2021 Scottish Open (Q)
170. Mark Allen, 2021 Northern Ireland Open
171. Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, 2022 German Masters (Q)
172. Gary Wilson, 2021 UK Championship
173. Judd Trump, 2022 Turkish Masters
174. Stuart Bingham, 2022 Gibraltar Open
175. Graeme Dott, 2022 World Championship (Q)
176. Neil Robertson, 2022 World Championship
177. Zhang Anda, 2022 European Masters (Q)
178. Hossein Vafaei, 2022 European Masters (Q)
179. Mark Selby, 2022 British Open
180. Marco Fu, 2022 Hong Kong Masters

181. Judd Trump, 2022 Champion of Champions
182. Judd Trump, 2022 Scottish Open
183. Mark Williams, 2022 English Open
184. Robert Milkins, 2023 German Masters
185. Shaun Murphy, 2023 Welsh Open
186. Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, 2023 WST Classic
187. Ryan Day, 2023 Tour Championship
188. Kyren Wilson, 2023 World Championship
189. Mark Selby, 2023 World Championship
190. Sean O’Sullivan, 2023 European Masters (Q)
191. Ryan Day, 2023 International Championship (Q)
192. Zhang Anda, 2023 International Championship
193. Xu Si, 2023 UK Championship (Q)
194. Shaun Murphy, 2023 Snooker Shoot Out


Featured photo credit: WST

8 Comments

  1. Jay brannon

    I’m going to offer my list soon but Murphy will be in the top 10. I’m no lover of the Shootout and its ranking status is nonsense. However, the shot clock is pretty brutal so this was still a special achievement. The crowd initially may have eased the pressure as Murphy was joking with them. Their comments during the colours did add some pressure though. Totally agree about the quality of his deep screw shots.

    Don’t mind Robertson calling it a circus as during my previous experience of watching it I found a lot of the crowd involvement tiresome and the countdown clock irritating.

  2. Jay Brannon

    My Top 10 147 Breaks:

    10. Mark Selby, 2023 World Championship Final – had the pressure of Roy Keane watching in the balcony!

    9. Marco Fu, 2022 Hong Kong Masters semi – One of only three ever in deciders and they’re all in my top 10.

    8.Ronnie O’Sullivan, 2014 Welsh Open.

    7. Shaun Murphy, 2023 Shootout – incredible composure in a chaotic environment.

    6. Ronnie O’Sullivan, 2007 UK Championship semi – This contest was attritional for long periods and O’Sullivan counted dots on a spoon to maintain focus. This added to its brilliance alongside it being the only one made in a decider of a ranking or triple crown event.

    5. Stephen Hendry, 1997 Charity Challenge Final – The first one made in a final.

    4. James Wattana, 1992 British Open – The backdrop to this break is remarkable. It’s also the quickest made apart from a few of Ronnie’s.

    3. Cliff Thorburn, 1983 World Championship- The pressure then for a 147 was even greater as only eight were made in the 1980s. He’s better known for this break than his 1980 World Championship triumph.

    2. Steve Davis, 1982 Lada Classic – Greatest sporting moment in the history of Oldham!

    1. Ronnie O’Sullivan, 1997 World Championship- Anybody who doesn’t have this number one is being contrary for the sake of it. Most players have never made a competitive century on the time it took the GOAT to make this 147 that Dave Hendon had in his top 3 snooker moments ever when he did a list for his old blog.

    • Solid order. As I said to somebody else, after obviously ranking Ronnie in 1997 at #1, a solid case could be made for putting the others in any order really. For me, Ronnie’s in 2010 was slightly more impressive than his one in 2007 though, considering he basically called it.

      • We only differed on in terms of me including 2007. I think the magnitude of a UK semi actually outstrips the occasion of the other 147 deciders and they were included in my list also. Him calling it was the main selling point but his antics later did slightly irk ne and for that it just misses out! My other one to narrowly miss out was Kirk Stevens 147 at the 1984 Masters, wearing the iconic white suit.

  3. I’ve been to watch the Shootout, twice, at Blackpool Tower Circus!

    It is all good fun and nothing wrong with it – as a bit of fun.
    But, no way should it be a ranking event.

    Snooker is a sport 1st and entertainment 2nd, and I don’t agree with Shaun Murphy’s contention that snooker is an entertainment business.

    Also, I believe the Shootout is more of an exhibition than a tournament.

  4. Personally I think the anti-Shootout propaganda is completely pointless. That includes calling it a “divisive competition” within the article. It’s not divisive, that’s in the imagination. I don’t do social media and if I did I would see division on every single subject under the sun. That doesn’t mean the division is real. Top players making negative public comments is silly. The debate over the best 147’s is just a bit of fun, like the event itself. If there was an ‘official’ list of best 147’s then Robertson may have a point. The debate about it being a ranking event is also silly. It makes hardly any difference. It affects 1 or 2 players. I think it’s something like 3% of possible season ranking points. There’s nothing wrong with a variety of events, in or out of the ranking system.

    • The Shootout is an event that divides opinion as many feel it shouldn’t be ranked, including myself, and the general chaos of it is a turn-off for some and a bit of fun for others. You wouldn’t say the World Championship or any substantial ranking event divides opinion.

      Winning a ranking event should be far more challenging than winning seven frames. Head-to-heads often don’t count matches of less than best of 7 so it seems ludicrous that any one frame event is deemed worthy of ranking status. It does matter as ranking positions are altered by it and records in ranking events distorted by it. Mark Selby losing his run of successive ranking finals when he lost to Ryan Day.

  5. Having said that I think there is scope for changing it into a non-ranking event, incentivising the top players to take part, maybe guaranteeing them more than one match. You could also invite retired players and try to get as many big names as possible.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.