The Jester from Leicester, Mark Selby, has written himself into the snooker record books by becoming the first player ever to hit a 147 in the World Snooker Championship Final.
The Number 2 ranked player in the tournament becomes the 10th player to achieve a maximum break in the Championship, but the first to do it in the best of 35 frame final.
It is the second 147 of this years tournament and means that he will share the £40,000 147-prize, plus the £15,000 top prize for the highest break in the tournament along with Kyren Wilson.
Wilson achieved his 147 in a 10-5 victory over Ryan Day in the first round.
The break came in the second session of what is proving to be an exciting final, where both players dominated either afternoon or evening session on Sunday, setting up an intriguing end to the final, which gets back underway at 1pm UK Time today.
Of course, you can enjoy plenty of great In Play betting on the final sessions today with bet365 Sport, so tune in throughout the day to catch all the betting action.
But before we bring you details of how the final has unfolded so far, let’s first give you a recap of what happened in the semi finals.
World Snooker Championship 2023 – Semi Final Review
Last week, we gave you a full rundown of how things had progressed from the first round of the World Snooker Championship through to the semi-finals.
The first of those semi-finals pitted ninth seed Luca Brecel against the 80th ranked player in the world, China’s 21-year-old prodigy Si Jiahui.
The second semi final had gone to form in the bottom half of the draw with third seed Mark Allen taking on second seed Mark Selby.
Here’s how both semi-finals turned out.
Luca Brecel (9) v Si Jiahui
1st Session – Luca Brecel 3-5 Si Jiahui
2nd Session – Luca Brecel 5-11 Si Jiahui
3rd Session – Luca Brecel 10-14 Si Jiahui
4th Session – Luca Brecel 17-15 Si Jiahui
After his remarkable comeback win againsy Ronnie O’Sullivan, Luca Brecel began his semi-final against Si Jiahui a little slowly, trailing 5-3 after the first session, Jiahui extended that lead to 11-5 by the end of the second and then after just three frame of the third session, the qualifier led Brecel 14-5.
That is when Brecel started his record-breaking comeback as he won the final five frames on Friday evening to close the third session 14-10 behind.
The Belgian then continued that great form into Saturday’s session winning the next four frames to level the match at 14-14.
He then moved 16-14 ahead as his opponent’s nerves got the better of him, but Jiahui did take the next frame to close to 16-15 but Brecel held his nerve in the next frame to claim a dramatic come from behind win.
Amazing to think that Brecel had never won a game at the Crucible until his first round win this year and he could repeat Joe Johnson’s feat of winning the World Championship in the same year he wins his first match at The Crucible.
Mark Allen (3) v Mark Selby (2)
1st Session – Mark Allen 5-3 Mark Selby
2nd Session – Mark Allen 6-7 Mark Selby
3rd Session – Mark Allen 10-11 Mark Selby
4th Session – Mark Allen 15-17 Mark Selby
In a tough, tactical battle, Mark Selby held off a Mark Allen fightback in the final session to move into the World Championship Final.
After three long and tough sessions, Selby led by one entering the fourth and final session and the Leicester cuesmith began the session brightly, rattling off five frames in succession to put himself on the brink of victory at 16-10.
However, with little left to lose Mark Allen freed himself up and the Northern Irishman landed five frames in a row to close the gap right up to 16-15.
As we entered the early hours of the morning, Selby landed the winning frame, starting it with a break of 64, before getting back in to put the frame to bed and move into the final 17-15 in a match that took over 13 hours to complete.
The Jester from Leicester drew some unfavourable criticism on Social Media for his perceived negative play, but answered his critics by saying such comments were “water off a duck’s back’ to him.
Can I just say I hate watching Mark Selby, he’s so slow and boring I hope he goes out first round every tournament.
— Coz Mic (@1cozmic1) April 29, 2023
2023 World Snooker Championship Final
Mark Selby (2) v Luca Brecel (9)
There is a real clash of experience v youth in this year’s final. Brecel had not won a game at the Crucible before his first round win this year, while Selby has now reached his sixth World Final, winning four of the previous five.
The final began with the first session on Sunday afternoon and it was the Belgian Brecel that took the early initiative.
Session 1 – Mark Selby 2-6 Luca Brecel
Belgian wizard Luca Brecel took early control of the final after he dominated the opening session against a below par Mark Selby to take a 6-2 lead into the evening session.
The Belgian’s game is based upon attacking snooker and being brave with shots and that braveness was rewarded as he took advantage of a below par Selby early on in the final.
The Leicester ace looked tired and a little jaded in the first session, perhaps due to him not finishing his semifinal until the early hours of the morning.
However, Selby’s instincts as a match-player are honed to perfrection and he showed that in the second session.
Session 2 – Mark Selby 8-9 Luca Brecel
The final nine frames of the day saw Selby roar back into action and in doing so complete a stunning 147 break to make the score 9-7.
It wasn’t so much that Brecel played poorly, but just that Selby had found his rhythm and his poise and when Brecel did make a mistake, Selby punished him which had not been happening in the first session.
After the 147, Selby then secured the last frame of the evening to close right up on Brecel just one frame behind the Belgian ahead of today’s afternoon session.
The afternoon session starts today at 1pm UK Time, with the evening session slated to start at 7pm UK Time.