Top Ten: List of Snooker Players by Number of Ranking Titles
One of the best ways to determine the best players in snooker history is by the number of ranking titles won.
World rankings in snooker were first devised in 1975 when the results of the World Snooker Championship were used to determine the list.
In 1982, a second ranking tournament was added to the calendar for the first time, and nowadays there can be upwards of 20 ranking events on the annual schedule.
For more information on the history of the world snooker rankings, go to our other article by clicking here.
But for now, here is a list of the top ten snooker players by the number of ranking titles won. (Updated: July, 2023)
1. Ronnie O’Sullivan
Ronnie O’Sullivan, born on December 5, 1975, is a highly regarded and immensely talented professional snooker player from England.
Widely considered one of the greatest players in the sport’s history, O’Sullivan has had a remarkable career filled with numerous accolades and records.
Known for his incredible natural talent and fast-paced playing style, O’Sullivan has achieved an impressive number of snooker ranking titles,
His tally of 39 makes him one of the most successful players in snooker history.
Nicknamed the “Rocket” for his speedy and aggressive approach to the game, O’Sullivan’s break-building skills are second to none.
He holds the record for the fastest maximum 147 break in just five minutes and eight seconds, a testament to his exceptional cueing ability and shot-making precision.
Throughout his career, O’Sullivan has faced personal challenges and has been open about his struggles with mental health issues.
Despite these obstacles, his love for the game and dedication to improvement have been evident in his consistently high-level performances.
Off the table, Ronnie O’Sullivan has authored several books and remains a charismatic figure in the world of snooker, attracting a large following of fans.
His impact on the sport has been immense, and he continues to be an inspiration to aspiring players and a crowd favorite at tournaments worldwide.
2. Stephen Hendry
Stephen Hendry, born on January 13, 1969, is a Scottish former professional snooker player who is widely regarded as one of the all-time greats in the sport.
Hendry’s impact on snooker has been profound, and his achievements have solidified his place as one of the most successful players in history.
Hendry burst onto the scene at a young age and turned professional in 1985, quickly making his mark by becoming the youngest World Snooker Champion in 1990, a record that still stands to this day.
Throughout his illustrious career, he dominated the sport with incredible consistency, exceptional break-building skills, and a remarkable ability to handle pressure.
Nicknamed the “King of the Crucible,” Hendry’s legacy includes a record seven World Championship titles, an achievement that cemented his status as one of the most successful players in the modern era.
First retiring from professional snooker in 2012, Hendry remained involved in the sport as a commentator and coach, passing on his knowledge and expertise to the next generation of players.
His influence on the game continues to be felt, and he remains an iconic figure in the history of snooker, inspiring countless fans and players alike.
3. John Higgins
John Higgins, born on May 18, 1975, is a Scottish professional snooker player widely acclaimed for his exceptional skill and achievements in the sport.
With a career spanning over three decades, Higgins is regarded as one of the greatest players to have graced the green baize.
Higgins turned professional in 1992 and quickly rose to prominence, winning his first World Championship title in 1998.
He soon established himself as a dominant force, known for his superb tactical play, break-building prowess, and ability to remain composed under pressure.
Over the years, Higgins has amassed an impressive collection of trophies, including four World Championship titles, putting him in an elite group of players with multiple Crucible victories.
His remarkable consistency is further highlighted by his numerous ranking titles, firmly solidifying his status as a legend of snooker.
Off the table, Higgins is known for his sportsmanship and professionalism, earning him immense respect from his peers and fans alike.
He has been an integral part of many memorable matches and rivalries, contributing to the popularity and growth of snooker as a global sport.
Higgins continues to compete at the highest level, demonstrating his enduring passion for the game and remaining a formidable opponent for any player.
His legacy in snooker is secure, and his impact on the sport will be celebrated for generations to come.
4. Steve Davis
Steve Davis, born on August 22, 1957, is an English retired professional snooker player who is regarded as one of the sport’s true legends.
Davis dominated snooker during the 1980s, earning the nickname “The Nugget” for his unflinching style of play and composed demeanor on the table.
Davis’s illustrious career saw him clinch six World Championship titles, making him one of the most successful players in the history of the sport.
He also held the world number one ranking for a record-breaking seven consecutive seasons, showcasing his unmatched consistency and skill.
Known for his methodical approach and clinical break-building ability, Davis revolutionized snooker with his dedication to sports science and mental conditioning.
His influence extended beyond the game as he helped raise its popularity during the peak of his career, earning him a dedicated fan base.
After retiring from professional play in 2016, Davis remained connected to snooker as a commentator, pundit, and promoter of the sport.
He continues to contribute to snooker’s growth and development, ensuring that his legacy endures both on and off the table.
Throughout his career, Steve Davis set high standards of excellence, and his impact on snooker has been immeasurable, inspiring generations of players to pursue greatness in the sport he loves.
5. Mark Williams
Mark Williams, born on March 21, 1975, is a Welsh professional snooker player known for his natural talent, flair, and contributions to the sport.
With a career spanning several decades, Williams has firmly established himself as one of snooker’s finest players.
Williams first burst onto the scene in the 1990s and quickly gained recognition for his single-ball potting skills and stylish playing approach.
He won his first World Championship title in 2000, defeating Matthew Stevens in a memorable all-Welsh final.
He followed up with two more World Championship victories in 2003 and 2018, showcasing his longevity and enduring competitiveness at the highest level.
Throughout his career, Williams has secured numerous ranking titles, earning him a place among snooker’s most successful players.
His unique combination of tactical astuteness, solid safety play, and ability to produce brilliant long pots has earned him a devoted fan base and respect from fellow players.
Off the table, Mark Williams is known for his sense of humor and laid-back personality, making him a popular figure among snooker fans.
He has also shown versatility by competing in other cue sports, further highlighting his talent and passion for the game.
As a veteran of the sport, Mark Williams continues to be a force to be reckoned with on the professional circuit, setting an example for aspiring players and proving that dedication and skill can lead to sustained success in the world of snooker.
6. Judd Trump
Judd Trump, born on August 20, 1989, is an English professional snooker player widely recognized for his explosive and attacking style of play.
Nicknamed “The Ace in the Pack,” Trump is known for his flair, exceptional potting ability, and fearless approach to the game.
From a young age, Trump displayed immense talent and potential, and he turned professional in 2005.
He quickly rose through the ranks and achieved his breakthrough in 2011 when he won his first ranking title, the China Open, announcing himself as a major contender in the sport.
In 2019, Trump achieved a career-defining moment by winning his first World Championship title, defeating John Higgins in a thrilling final.
This victory solidified his status as one of the game’s top players and marked him as a favorite in major tournaments.
Trump’s attacking style and aggressive shot-making have earned him a legion of snooker fans and have contributed to his impressive collection of ranking titles.
He has reached world number one status and has become one of the leading figures in modern snooker.
With his natural talent and a hunger for success, Judd Trump continues to be a dominant force in the world of snooker, captivating audiences with his electrifying performances and ensuring that his legacy in the sport will be long-lasting.
7. Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson, born on February 11, 1982, is an Australian professional snooker player widely regarded as one of the sport’s most accomplished and talented players.
With a successful career spanning over two decades, Robertson has left an indelible mark on snooker with his exemplary cueing, break-building prowess, and remarkable consistency.
Robertson turned professional in 1998 and rose to prominence, becoming the first Australian to win a ranking event in 2006.
He further solidified his reputation by claiming the ultimate prize in snooker, the World Championship, in 2010, defeating Graeme Dott in the final.
Known for his meticulous approach to the game and analytical mindset, Robertson has consistently showcased his ability to compete at the highest level.
His cue ball control and ability to construct high-scoring breaks make him a formidable opponent, earning him a host of ranking titles and prestigious tournament victories.
Beyond his on-table success, Neil Robertson has been a great ambassador for the sport, using his platform to raise awareness about mental health issues and advocate for positive change.
He has been open about his own family’s battles with depression and has become an inspiring figure for many in the snooker community.
As a former world number one and a major force in the game, Neil Robertson continues to be a prominent figure on the professional circuit, maintaining his status as one of snooker’s finest players and leaving a lasting impact on the sport’s global appeal.
8. Mark Selby
Mark Selby, born on June 19, 1983, is an English professional snooker player renowned for his exceptional tactical acumen, mental fortitude, and tenacious playing style.
With a successful career spanning over two decades, Selby has earned a place among the sport’s elite and is often referred to as the “Jester from Leicester.”
Selby turned professional in 1999 and steadily climbed the rankings, showcasing his skill as a dominant match player and a brilliant break builder.
He achieved his first World Championship victory in 2014, defeating Ronnie O’Sullivan in a dramatic final.
He went on to claim three more World Championship titles in 2016, 2017, and 2021, solidifying his position as one of the top players of his era.
Known for his strategic approach to the game, Selby is a master of safety play and possesses remarkable composure under pressure.
His ability to grind out tough matches and produce clearances in crucial moments has earned him numerous ranking titles and prestigious tournament wins in snooker.
Off the table, Mark Selby is widely respected for his sportsmanship and dedication to the sport.
He has been a role model for aspiring players and has contributed significantly to the growth of snooker worldwide.
As a multiple-time world champion and a world number one, Mark Selby’s legacy in snooker is secure, and his contributions to the game continue to shape its future.
He remains a fierce competitor and a celebrated figure in the world of snooker.
9. Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui, born on April 1, 1987, is a Chinese professional snooker player celebrated for his remarkable skill, versatility, and significant contributions to the sport’s global popularity.
Ding’s success on the professional circuit has made him a national sporting hero in China and a respected figure in the international snooker community.
Ding turned professional in 2003, and his rise to stardom was swift and impressive.
In 2005, he became the first Asian player to win a ranking title by being crowned the China Open champion, an achievement that garnered attention worldwide.
Although he has narrowly missed out on winning the World Snooker Championship, Ding’s exceptional talent has been undeniable, and he has collected numerous ranking titles and major tournament victories.
Known for his fluent and stylish playing style, Ding possesses remarkable cueing technique and break-building ability.
He has set a high standard for snooker in China and has played a significant role in promoting the sport’s growth in the country.
Ding Junhui’s impact on snooker reaches beyond his playing achievements.
He has become a symbol of excellence in his homeland, elevating the sport’s profile in China and paving the way for a new era of international talent.
His dedication, skill, and affable personality have made him a respected ambassador for snooker on the global stage.
10. Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy, born on August 10, 1982, is an English professional snooker player known for his dynamic style of play, captivating break-building, and his 2005 World Championship victory, which announced him as a major force in the sport.
Nicknamed “The Magician,” Murphy has charmed fans with his entertaining shot-making and impressive performances on the green baize.
Murphy turned professional in 1998, and his talent quickly caught the attention of snooker enthusiasts.
His breakthrough came in 2005 when he won the World Championship, defeating Matthew Stevens in a thrilling final.
This victory propelled him into the upper echelons of the sport, and he has since built a successful snooker career with numerous ranking titles and notable tournament wins.
Known for his positive and determined approach, Murphy’s attacking style of play makes him an exciting player to watch.
He has a natural flair for crafting high-scoring breaks and excels in pressure-cooker situations.
Off the table, Shaun Murphy is respected for his sportsmanship and dedication to the game.
He remains approachable and has become a fan favorite, especially for his interactions with supporters and engagement on social media.
As a former world champion and a consistent performer on the professional circuit, Shaun Murphy’s impact on snooker is significant.
He continues to be a formidable competitor and a beloved figure in the snooker community, inspiring fans and aspiring players alike with his skill and passion for the game.
Photos: Wikipedia Commons