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In Loving Memory of Jim Meador



Most  Recent Winners of the Snooker World Championship


On May 6th, Britain's Kyren Wilson etched his name into the history books as the 24th Snooker World Champion as he defeated underdog Jak Jones to secure the grandest prize in the cue-sport world. Heading into the Crucible showpiece, much of the talk had been about his opponent. The Welsh finalist had made headlines the world over for his tactical approach to the game that saw him favor disrupting his adversaries' game rather than focusing on scoring himself.

Despite the criticism he received, Jones' approach worked wonders. The 44th seed knocked off Chinese duo Zhang Anda and Si Jiahui, before beating number three seed and tournament favorite Judd Trump in the quarterfinals. He then beat Stuart Bingham in the semis to punch his ticket to the final, but unfortunately for him, he came up against a resolute Kyren Wilson who was unwilling to be flustered despite his opponent's approach.

At the last-32 stage, online sports betting at Bovada odds made the eventual champion the +1200 fifth favorite for the crown, while Jones was a much longer +6600. But it was a determined Wilson who gained redemption for his lopsided defeat to Ronnie O'Sullivan four years prior, holding his nerve to claim a nervy 18 frames to 14 victory in one of the most compelling World Championship finals in recent memory.

Now, he will forever be remembered as a world champion. But who does he join in the history books? Here are the most recent winners of the tournament, and the closest they have come to glory in the years since.

2023 - Luca Brecel

Since the creation of the tournament back in 1927, mainland Europe has never had a world champion. The competition has been dominated by the British Isles, with the occasional victor from overseas. Australians Horace Lindrum and Neil Robertson have both reigned supreme, with their victories coming over half a century apart. Canada's Cliff Thorburn also shocked the world back in 1980, defeating Northern Irishman Alex Higgins 18-14 to claim the crown.

However, last year, Luca Brecel bucked that trend when he walked out of Sheffield with the title. His aggressive playing style and impeccable cue control dazzled the audience and were too much to handle for some of the planet's finest names. He defeated two of the most successful players of all time in the latter stages, beating Mark Williams in the last-16 and the aforementioned O'Sullivan to secure his spot in the final four.

There, he wiped out a nne frame lead to defeat Chinese qualifier Si Jiahui in perhaps the greatest comeback of all time,, before finally beating Mark Selby in the finale. Unfortunately for him however, his defense of the crown didn't go as he was expecting, and the Crucible Curse - a jinx in which no first-time champion has successfully defended the title at the Crucibal Theater - reared its head once more. He was eliminated in the first round by 2019 semifinalist David Gilbert despite leading by nine frames to six at one point.

2022 & 2020 - Ronnie O'SullivanRonnie O'Sullivan is arguably the finest snooker player that's ever lived. He has been crowned world champion on seven occasions, the fourth most all-time behind Joe Davis, Fred Davis, and John Pulman. However, after winning in back-to-back years in 2013 and 2013, he would embark on a seven-year drought in which he couldn't quite get over the line. That ended in 2020 as he claimed his sixth world title with a resounding 18-8 victory against the recently coronated Kyren Wilson.

The Rocket" further cemented his legacy two years later as he would dominate once again. With his rapid-fire playing style on display for all to see, he managed to defeat Judd Trump in a bad-tempered affair, ultimately triumphing 18-13. At the end of the eighth frame he claimed that the match referee was "looking for trouble" following a decision to issue O'Sullivan a formal warning, but the eventual winner didn't let that distract him as he became the oldest champion in the history of the tournament at the ripe old age of 46.

2021 - Mark Selby

Throughout the early 2010s, Mark Selby embarked on a dominant run unlike anything the snooker world had ever seen. The Jester from Leicester reached the final back in 2007 but was downed by Scotsman John Higgins. He would have to wait seven years for his next shot at glory, and when it came, he flexed his muscles. Not only did he run out victorious in 2014, but he also won the tournament in back-to-back years in 2016 and 2017, meaning that he had been crowned world champion three times in four years.

His most recent triumph came in 2021 when he headed to Sheffield as the fourth seed. He was in blistering form throughout the knockout stages, dropping just 11 frames in three matches en route to the semifinals. In the final four, Stuart Bingham gave Selby all he could handle, but it was the Leicester-born star who eventually triumphed. He then managed to defeat 2005 champion Shaun Murphy in a
nail-biter, eventually winning 18-15.


Glossary of Billiard Terms
8 Ball Rules
9 Ball Rules
14.1 Continuous