Mark Selby made Snooker history on Saturday, as he made the 100th official 147 maximum break during his UK Championship semi-final with Ricky Walden at the York Barbican Centre.
The Jester from Leicester completed the century with a tricky black into the middle pocket under immense pressure, to bag himself a total of £59,000.
Selby was ironically on the receiving end of the 99th 147 as he watched Judd Trump from his chair at the Antwerp Open last month, while he agonisingly missed the final black against Mark King at the China Open earlier this year.
World number one Neil Robertson went close at the Champion of Champions event in Coventry two weeks ago, as he missed the 15th black. However the Australian would not have been too disappointed on missing out as there was no official prize on offer there for the 100th maximum in professional competition.
Since Steve Davis made the first official 147 break at the 1982 Lada Classic, a total of 52 players have achieved the feat with Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stephen Hendry both way in front with 11 each.
The Rocket also made the fastest recorded at five minutes and 20 seconds during his match with Mick Price at the 1997 World Championship earning him £165,000 – one of three he has made at the Crucible along with Hendry, who also became the oldest player to compile a 147 against Stuart Bingham during the 2012 tournament aged 43 years and 99 days.
John Higgins and Ding Junhui are the nearest challengers with seven and five respectively, while Jamie Burnett is the only player to have exceeded 147 in tournament play as he made 148 off a free ball during his match with Leo Fernandez at the 2004 UK Championship Qualifiers.
There used to be a substantial reward in every tournament for making the maximum but this was abolished at the start of the 2010/11 season as the standard of the game improved, and a roll-over system was introduced where the prize money would increase with each tournament until one was made.
O’Sullivan famously refused to pot the black during the 2010 World Open as there was no prize on offer, before having to be persuaded by referee Jan Verhaas during his match with Mark King.
Whether there is prize money on offer or not, the 147 still remains the most exciting event you can witness in the sport.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU