The snooker world rankings give us a picture of the best players in the world at a given time.
While these are generally a good judge of how players have performed recently, they do not always tell us who will be the snooker betting favourite for a match or tournament.
Snooker World Rankings - Guide:
World rankings take a given period of time and put players in order based on their results. It is perhaps best to view this as a way of evaluating player form rather than their overall quality.
These rankings are used to determine seeding and qualification for tournaments on the World Snooker Tour. The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association oversee the rankings.
Getting the most snooker prize money might be the aim for some, but the pinnacle (outside of lifting a trophy) is to reach the status of number one player in the world.
World Snooker Rankings History
Snooker world rankings were introduced for the 1976-77 season. Prior to the rankings, seeding for tournaments was much more straight forward.
The winner and runner-up of the World Championship were awarded the one and two seed for the following season’s competition.
This became an insufficient system in the 1970s. More players and more tournaments created further variables and required a more complex means to seed players.
It began as an overly simplistic judgement on a player’s last three World Championship efforts, but this soon evolved through necessity.
By the early 1980s, other tournaments became relevant to a player’s world ranking. This started with the Professional Players Tournament and International Open before the Classic carried ranking points in 1983.
The UK Championship and British Open achieved ranking status ahead of the 1984-85 campaign.
This new system was only revised after the World Championship each year, and only took into account the performances in the last two seasons.
What started being used in the 80s was pretty much maintained until 2009. Updates became more frequent at this point to give a greater indication of form rather than an annual outlook.
How Are The Snooker World Rankings Calculated?
Up until 2014-15, the snooker world rankings were calculated using a points-based system. This evolved over the decades, having initially started as allocating points depending on where a player finished in the tournament.
As snooker grew in popularity and the number of players competing in ranking events grew, they had to devise various tiebreakers using frame and merit points.
Even as new events carried ranking status, the World Championship always had the highest points tariff. The UK Championship had the second-highest points tariff.
When more events became recognised under the ranking system, there was more variation in the number of ranking points on offer.
It all changed in 2014-15. The ranking point system was replaced by a prize money list. Prize money earnings in ranking events contribute to a players ranking – this is how rankings have been worked out since 2014.
Not all prize money counts towards the rankings, however. Prize money won at invitational events like the Champion of Champions is not relevant to the rankings. The same goes for high break and maximum break prizes.
The Coral series events and Shoot Out first round losers’ prize money does not impact the rankings, and seeded losers at major tournaments (including the World Championship) fall into the same category.
Since rolling rankings were introduced for 2010-11, players can fall down the rankings despite a strong performance. Covering a two-year time span, a player could fall in the rankings if they are runner-up at an event that they won two years ago.
World Snooker Rankings TODAY:
Ronnie O’Sullivan might have fallen at the quarterfinals of the 2023 World Championships, but The Rocket is still atop the snooker world rankings.
A perennial online betting favourite for the biggest events, O’Sullivan has been ranked number one at the start of eight separate seasons, but never more than twice in a row.
Since the rolling format was introduced, Mark Selby holds by far the record for the most days at the top of the rankings, and for the most successive days.
Selby, however, is down in fifth in the world rankings today after losing the World Championship final to Brecel, who places second in the world.
Mark Allen is at a career-high number three in the world with £837,500 in earnings to his name. Allen defeated world number four Judd Trump in the final of the 2023 World Grand Prix.
As of 18th September 2023, these are the top 30 players in the snooker world rankings…
Snooker World Rankings:
- Ronnie O’Sullivan - £883,000
- Luca Brecel - £878,000
- Mark Allen - £837,500
- Judd Trump - £586,000
- Mark Selby - £564,000
- Neil Robertson - £542,000
- Shaun Murphy - £480,000
- Kyren Wilson - £435,000
- John Higgins – £409,000
- Mark Williams - £316,500
- Ali Carter - £296,000
- Robert Milkins - £294,500
- Barry Hawkins - £284,500
- Jack Lisowski - £282,000
- Ding Junhui - £243,500
- Ryan Day - £238,500
- Hossein Vafaei - £237,000
- Gary Wilson - £215,000
- Anthony McGill - £219,000
- Ricky Walden - £188,500
- Tom Ford - £188,500
- Stuart Bingham - £186,000
- Noppon Saengkham - £176,000
- Joe Perry - £170,500
- David Gilbert - £170,000
- Chris Wakelin - £165,000
- Zhou Yuelong - £165,000
- Jimmy Robertson - £160,500
- Matthew Selt - £144,500
- Si Jiahui - £143,500
Best Snooker Players
A quick look at Ronnie O’Sullivan net worth will show he’s the wealthiest snooker player around and the Rocket remains among the best players in the world.
O’Sullivan, regardless of form, is usually the favourite to win any major tournament even as he enters the twilight stage of his career.
Mark Selby is always there or thereabouts, though the Jester from Leicester missed out on another world title in 2023. Luca Brecel, one of the sport’s ascendant stars, got the better of Selby at the Crucible, claiming his fourth ranking title.
Former world number one Judd Trump remains among the best snooker players in the world. Trump has the second-most days at world number one since the rolling format was introduced, but he’s lost his last three ranking finals.
With 483 days at world number one to his name since 2010, Neil Robertson is fifth in the world. The Aussie is yet to reach a ranking final in 2023, however.
*Credit for the photos in this article belongs to AP Photo*