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James Wattana (Thai: เจมส์ วัฒนา; born January 17, 1970, as วัฒนา ภู่โอบอ้อม Wattana Pu-Ob-Orm, then renamed รัชพล ภู่โอบอ้อม Ratchapol Pu-Ob-Orm in 2003) is a Thai professional snooker player who now competes in ranking tournaments with an invitational tour card.

James Wattana
James Wattana at Snooker German Masters (DerHexer) 2013-01-30 05.jpg
German Masters 2013
Born (1970-01-17) January 17, 1970 (age 49)
Bangkok, Thailand
Sport country Thailand
NicknameThai-Phoon[1]
Thai Tornado
Tong Sit Choi (in Thailand)
Professional1989–2008, 2009–
Highest ranking3 (1994/95)
Current ranking 109 (as of 7 May 2019)
Career winnings£1,727,428
Highest break147: (3 times)
Century breaks166
Tournament wins
Ranking3
Non-ranking7

A professional between 1989 and 2008, and again since 2009, Wattana reached his highest ranking position – world number 3 – for the 1994/1995 season. He has won three ranking tournaments, the 1992 Strachan Open and the Thailand Open in 1994 and 1995, and has finished as the runner-up in a further five ranking events. He twice reached the semi-finals of the World Snooker Championship, in 1993 and 1997. When he was defeated in the semi-finals in 1993 by Jimmy White (the eventual championship runner-up), it was only Wattana's second appearance in the final televised stages at the Crucible Theatre, his first being the previous year when he lost in the second round to the eventual winner Stephen Hendry.

Contents

CareerEdit

Wattana won his first major tournament, the Thailand Masters, in 1986, aged only 16. He turned professional in 1989, after winning the 1988 World Amateur Championship. He won £6,000 first prize for winning the 1989 Kent Challenge in Hong Kong. His career peaked in the mid-1990s, when he twice won the Thailand Open and rose to number three in the world rankings. Prior to Wattana becoming a professional, snooker had been dominated by British (and to a lesser extent Irish, Canadian and Australian) players.

He was the eighth professional player to earn more than £1 million in prize money, and with three maximums he is one of only seven players to have scored more than two maximum breaks in competition. He scored his first one in 1991 at the World Masters and the second at the British Open,[2] which was then, at seven minutes and nine seconds, the fastest ever made.[3]

With the help of his PR team fronted by Yorkshire business tycoon Ed Clark, Wattana's success caught the imagination of the Thai public, and he became the most admired sportsman in his home country.[4] He helped raise the profile of the game in the Far East, and has been followed into the game by many players from Thailand, Hong Kong, and China, the most successful being Marco Fu and Ding Junhui. He is a Commander Third Class of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand, only the second sportsman to receive the country's most prestigious civilian honour.

He reached the semi-finals of the World Snooker Championship in 1993 and 1997, losing narrowly in the latter to Stephen Hendry. After a strong 2004/2005 season, he returned to the top 32 of the world rankings, despite being the first player since 1992 to experience a whitewash at the World Championship when he lost 0–10 against Ali Carter in the final round of qualifying at the 2005 tournament. By 2007, his continued poor form meant that he dropped off the main tour in 2008. He continued to play, however, and in 2008 he entered the World Amateur Championships in Wels, Austria, where he lost to eventual champion Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in the last 16. He won the 2009 Asian Championships in Tangshan, China, after beating Mei Xiwen 7–3 in the final.

His position on the current provisional rankings received a huge boost with a run to the venue stage of the China Open thanks to four straight qualifying victories.

The 2011/12 season proved to be relatively good, managing to qualify in 2 of the 8 ranking events, the Shanghai Masters losing to Ronnie O'Sullivan 1–5 and the German Masters, beating Stephen Hendry 5–1 in the qualifiers, but then losing to Graeme Dott in the first round. At the end of the season he finished ranked 63, just inside the top 64.

In 2014, he lost his place on the professional snooker circuit, as he finished outside the top 64 on the official world rankings list at the end of the 2013/2014 season. However, he was one of three players awarded an invitational tour card for the next season – alongside Hendry and Steve Davis – and has since competed fairly regularly in tournaments as an amateur. In 2015, he lost in the first round of the qualifiers for the World Championship 3–10 to Jimmy White. In 2016, he lost in the first round of the qualifiers for the World Championship 6–10 to Peter Ebdon.

Performance and rankings timelineEdit

Tournament 1985/
86
1986/
87
1989/
90
1990/
91
1991/
92
1992/
93
1993/
94
1994/
95
1995/
96
1996/
97
1997/
98
1998/
99
1999/
00
2000/
01
2001/
02
2002/
03
2003/
04
2004/
05
2005/
06
2006/
07
2007/
08
2008/
09
2009/
10
2010/
11
2011/
12
2012/
13
2013/
14
2014/
15
2015/
16
2016/
17
2017/
18
2018/
19
2019/
20
Ranking[5][nb 1] [nb 2] [nb 2] [nb 3] 32 20 7 5 3 5 12 12 15 22 27 32 32 34 33 32 25 33 [nb 2] [nb 3] 66 67 63 63 [nb 4] 123 [nb 4] 73 [nb 4] 82
Ranking tournaments
Riga Masters[nb 5] Tournament Not Held MR A A A A
International Championship Tournament Not Held LQ 2R LQ LQ 3R LQ 1R A
China Championship Tournament Not Held NR A LQ
European Masters[nb 6] A A LQ 2R 1R 1R QF 2R 1R SF NH 1R Not Held 2R LQ 1R 2R 1R LQ NR Tournament Not Held LQ LQ LQ
English Open Tournament Not Held 2R 4R 1R
World Open[nb 7] A A SF LQ 1R 2R 2R 3R 3R QF 2R 1R 3R 1R 1R 3R 3R QF 1R RR LQ A A 1R LQ LQ 2R Not Held WR LQ LQ
Northern Ireland Open Tournament Not Held 1R 1R 1R
UK Championship A A 1R 3R SF QF QF SF 3R 2R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R 1R 3R 1R 2R 1R 1R A LQ LQ LQ LQ 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R 1R
Scottish Open[nb 8] A A 2R Not Held 2R F 1R 1R 2R 2R 1R 2R 2R 1R 2R LQ Tournament Not Held MR Not Held 1R 1R 1R
German Masters[nb 9] Tournament Not Held 2R 1R 2R NR Tournament Not Held LQ 1R LQ LQ A LQ LQ A A
World Grand Prix Tournament Not Held NR DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ
Welsh Open Tournament Not Held QF SF SF 1R 1R 3R 1R QF 3R LQ 1R LQ 1R LQ QF 1R LQ A LQ LQ LQ LQ 3R A 1R 1R 3R 2R
Shoot-Out Not Held NR Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event A 2R 1R
Players Championship[nb 10] Tournament Not Held DNQ DNQ 1R DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ
Gibraltar Open Tournament Not Held MR 1R A A
Tour Championship Tournament Not Held DNQ
China Open[nb 11] Tournament Not Held NR 1R LQ LQ LQ Not Held LQ 2R 1R LQ A 1R LQ LQ LQ 2R LQ 1R LQ LQ 2R
World Championship A A LQ LQ 2R SF QF 1R 2R SF 1R 2R LQ 1R 1R 1R 1R LQ 1R LQ LQ A LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ
Non-ranking tournaments
The Masters A A 1R LQ QF F SF QF 1R 1R QF 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A
Variant format tournaments
Six-red World Championship[nb 12] Tournament Not Held SF QF 3R NH 2R 2R 2R 2R 2R RR QF
Former ranking tournaments
Classic A A LQ 3R SF Tournament Not Held
Strachan Open Tournament Not Held W MR NR Tournament Not Held
Dubai Classic[nb 13] Not Held 2R 2R 2R SF 2R 1R 2R 1R Tournament Not Held
Malta Grand Prix Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event LQ NR Tournament Not Held
Thailand Masters[nb 14] Non-Rank. F 2R 2R QF W W QF 2R 2R 2R LQ LQ 1R NR Not Held NR Tournament Not Held
British Open A A 2R 3R F F F SF 2R 1R 2R 1R 3R 2R 1R 1R LQ LQ Tournament Not Held
Irish Masters Non-Ranking Event LQ LQ LQ NH NR Tournament Not Held
Northern Ireland Trophy Tournament Not Held NR 2R 1R A Tournament Not Held
Wuxi Classic[nb 15] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event LQ LQ A Not Held
Australian Goldfields Open[nb 16] Tournament Not Held Non-Rank. Tournament Not Held LQ LQ LQ A A Not Held
Shanghai Masters Tournament Not Held LQ A LQ LQ 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ Non-Rank.
Paul Hunter Classic[nb 17] Tournament Not Held Pro-am Event Minor-Ranking Event A A A NR
Indian Open Tournament Not Held 1R LQ NH 1R LQ A NH
Former non-ranking tournaments
Thailand Masters 1R W Ranking Event A Not Held A Tournament Not Held
Pot Black A A A A A F A Tournament Not Held A A A Tournament Not Held
World Matchplay Not Held A A A W Tournament Not Held
Scottish Masters A A A A A SF 1R QF A A A A A A A A A Tournament Not Held
Irish Masters A A A A A QF QF QF QF A A A A A A Ranking Event NH A Tournament Not Held
China International Tournament Not Held SF Ranking Event Not Held Ranking Event
Premier League[nb 18] NH A A RR SF RR A A A A A A A A RR A A A A A A A A A A A Tournament Not Held
Shoot-Out Not Held WD Tournament Not Held A 1R A A A A Ranking Event
Performance Table Legend
LQ lost in the qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF lost in the quarter-finals
SF lost in the semi–finals F lost in the final W won the tournament
DNQ did not qualify for the tournament A did not participate in the tournament WD withdrew from the tournament
DQ disqualified from the tournament
NH / Not Held event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Event event is/was no longer a ranking event.
R / Ranking Event event is/was a ranking event.
RV / Ranking & Variant Format Event means an event is/was a ranking & variant format event.
MR / Minor-Ranking Event means an event is/was a minor-ranking event.
PA / Pro-am Event means an event is/was a pro-am event.
VF / Variant Format Event means an event is/was a variant format event.
  1. ^ From the 2010/2011 season it shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
  2. ^ a b c He was an amateur.
  3. ^ a b New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
  4. ^ a b c Players issued an invitational tour card began the season without ranking points.
  5. ^ The event was called the Riga Open (2014/2015–2015/2016)
  6. ^ The event run under different names as the Malta Cup (2004/2005–2007/2008)
  7. ^ The event run under different names as Grand Prix (1990/1991–2000/2001 and 2004/2005–2009/2010), LG Cup (2001/2002–2003/2004), the World Open (2010/2011) and the Haikou World Open (2011/2012–2013/2014)
  8. ^ The event run under different names as International Open (1986/1987–1996/1997) and Players Championship (2003/2004)
  9. ^ The event run under different name as German Open (1995/1996–1997/1998)
  10. ^ The event run under different name as Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011–2012/2013)
  11. ^ The event run under different name as China International (1997/1998–1998/1999)
  12. ^ The event run under different names as Six-red Snooker International (2008/2009) and Six-red World Grand Prix (2009/2010)
  13. ^ The event run under different names as Thailand Classic (1995/1996) and Asian Classic (1996/1997)
  14. ^ The event run under different names as Asian Open (1989/1990–1992/1993) and Thailand Open (1993/1994–1996/97)
  15. ^ The event run under different name as Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009–2009/2010)
  16. ^ The event run under different names as Australian Open (1994/1995) and Australian Masters (1995/1996)
  17. ^ The event was called the Grand Prix Fürth (2004/2005) and the Fürth German Open (2005/2006–2006/2007)
  18. ^ The event run under different names as Matchroom League (1986/1987–1991/1992) and European League (1992/1993–1996/1997)

Career finalsEdit

Ranking finals: 8 (3 titles, 5 runner-ups)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1989 Asian Open   Stephen Hendry 6–9
Winner 1. 1992 Strachan Open   John Parrott 9–5
Runner-up 2. 1992 British Open   Jimmy White 7–10
Runner-up 3. 1993 British Open (2)   Steve Davis 2–10
Runner-up 4. 1994 International Open   John Parrott 4–9
Winner 2. 1994 Thailand Open   Steve Davis 9–7
Runner-up 5. 1994 British Open (3)   Ronnie O'Sullivan 4–9
Winner 3. 1995 Thailand Open (2)   Ronnie O'Sullivan 9–6

Non-ranking finals: 15 (7 titles, 8 runner-ups)Edit

Legend
The Masters (0–1)
Other (7–7)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1986 Thailand Masters   Terry Griffiths 2–1
Winner 2. 1989 Kent Challenge N/A
Winner 3. 1990 Hong Kong Challenge   Jimmy White 7–3
Runner-up 1. 1990 Benson & Hedges Championship   Alan McManus 5–9
Runner-up 2. 1991 Hong Kong Challenge   Stephen Hendry 1–9
Runner-up 3. 1991 European Masters League   Steve Davis Round–Robin
Winner 4. 1992 Belgian Masters   John Parrott 10–5
Winner 5. 1992 World Matchplay   Steve Davis 9–4
Runner-up 4. 1992 Pot Black   Neal Foulds 0–1
Runner-up 5. 1993 The Masters   Stephen Hendry 5–9
Runner-up 6. 1993 Nescafe Extra Challenge   Ronnie O'Sullivan Round–Robin
Runner-up 7. 1993 Kings Cup   Nigel Bond 7–8
Winner 6. 1994 Kings Cup   Darren Morgan 8–3
Winner 7. 2003 Euro-Asia Masters Challenge – Event 1   Ken Doherty 6–4
Runner-up 8. 2007 Euro-Asia Masters Challenge   John Higgins 4–5

Pro-am finals: 1 (1 runner-up)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 2007 Asian Indoor Games   Mohammed Shehab 3–4

Amateur finals: 5 (4 titles, 1 runner-up)Edit

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1986 ACBS Asian Snooker Championship   Gary Kwok 8–1
Runner-up 2. 1987 ACBS Asian Snooker Championship   Udon Khaimuk 6–8
Winner 2. 1988 ACBS Asian Snooker Championship (2)   Kenny Kwok 8–7
Winner 3. 1988 IBSF World Snooker Championship   Barry Pinches 11–8
Winner 4. 2008 Thailand Amateur Championship   Issara Kachaiwong 5–1
Winner 5. 2009 ACBS Asian Snooker Championship (3)   Mei Xiwen 7–3

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "James Wattana". snooker.org. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  2. ^ Turner, Chris. "Maximum Breaks". cajt.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  3. ^ Hodgson, Guy. "O'Sullivan aims to realise maximum potential". The Independent on HighBeam Research. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2012. (subscription required)
  4. ^ Hodgson, Guy (1993-04-18). "Snooker: A storm coming in from the East:... James Wattana might just become one". The Independent. Retrieved 1 Mar 2015.
  5. ^ "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 6 February 2011.

External linksEdit