Notable PlayersSee also: List of snooker players by number of ranking titles and List of snooker players with over 100 century breaks
In the professional era that began with Joe Davis in the 1930s and continues up until the present day, a relatively small number of players have succeeded at the top level. Reaching and maintaining a place amongst the snooker elite is a tough task, with the standards of the game being such that it requires many years of dedication and effort as well as natural ability.
Certain players have tended to dominate the sport through the decades. John Pulman is generally regarded as the principal player through the 1960s, Ray Reardon through the 1970s, Steve Davis through the 1980s and Stephen Hendry through the 1990s. Reardon won 6 (1970, 1973–1976 and 1978), Davis also 6 (1981, 1983, 1984 and 1987–1989) and Hendry 7 (1990, 1992–1996 and 1999) World Championships. No one dominated in the 2000s, however Ronnie O'Sullivan won the title on three occasions (2001, 2004 and 2008) and Mark Williams and John Higgins won twice (2000, 2003 and 2007, 2009 respectively). Higgins has four world titles in total, having won his first title in 1998 and his fourth in 2011. O'Sullivan also has four titles in total after winning the 2012 tournament. The last successful title defence was in 1996 when Hendry won the sixth of his seven titles; his fifth in a row.
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