Previously, being able to achieve what’s known as the perfect break would result in 6 figure prize rewards. If you go back further in time, sometimes cars were offered as compensation for hitting that magical 147. Nowadays, a player would be lucky to even get over £10,000 for achieving one of snookers greatest feats. Is something wrong here?
Certain players (I’m not naming names) are notorious for either questioning prize money, or intentionally taking on a pink instead of a black during the middle of a maximum. As opposed to (significant) fixed sums being rewarded to a player, nowadays (since 2011 or so) a maximum break is rewarded via a rolling system where as each tournament goes on and no maximums are made, the prize pot increases. Once a 147 is made, the prize pot is reset.
Clearly, if we look at things from the perspective of World Snooker, they can’t afford to dish out £147,000 every time a maximum gets made. And maximums get made quite frequently, relatively speaking. For context, from the early 80s to late 90s only a handful of 147’s were made each year (2-3). This average has progressively increased over the years. From 2008, this has risen to roughly 7-8 maximums per year.
The only way World Snooker would be able to finance this would be to siphon funds from top prize winnings from various tournaments. And it’s no small amount that would be taken away. If it ever got to a point where prize money for winning tournaments were so low, then players would just enter tournaments to try and just get a single 147 as opposed to win any tournaments – reducing the standard of play across the board.
Obviously, the other view to look at is from the player’s side (and in a way, the audience’s as well). Hitting a 147 is by no means an easy feat at all. Being able to string together 36 precise shots definitely warrants a considerable reward for that player. Does Barry Hearn’s proposed changes following his recent press conference make any strides in going forward with 147 prize money? Check out part 2 of this short – coming soon.