Peter David Ebdon (born 27 August 1970) is an English retired professional snooker player who is a former world champion and current coach. Ebdon won nine ranking titles during his career, placing him in joint 12th position (with John Parrott) on the all-time list of ranking tournament winners. He won two Triple Crown titles, the 2002 World Snooker Championship and the 2006 UK Championship.
|Born||27 August 1970|
Islington, London, England
|Highest ranking||3 (1996/97 & 2002/03)|
After winning the 1990 IBSF World Under-21 Snooker Championship, Ebdon turned professional in the 1991–92 season. He made his first Crucible appearance at the 1992 World Snooker Championship, reaching the quarter-finals on his debut. Winning his first professional ranking title at the 1993 Grand Prix helped him enter the top 16 in the world rankings for the 1994–95 season; he remained consistently in the top 16 until the end of the 2009–10 season, reaching a career high of third. He made 24 Crucible appearances during his career and reached three World Championship finals, losing 12–18 to Stephen Hendry in 1996, defeating Hendry 18–17 in 2002, and losing 14–18 to Graeme Dott in 2006. He won his last ranking title at the 2012 China Open and reached the last of his 18 ranking event finals at the 2018 Paul Hunter Classic. He retired from the professional tour at the end of the 2019–20 season, aged 49, due to chronic neck and spinal pain.
Known for his intensity and his often controversially slow playing style, Ebdon made 377 century breaks in professional competition, including two maximum breaks. Since retiring as a player, Ebdon has coached and mentored current professionals including Jack Lisowski, Anthony McGill, Elliot Slessor, and Kyren Wilson.
Amateur career Edit
From the mid-1980s, Ebdon took part in various amateur tournaments and became one of the leading amateurs of his era. He won the 1990 IBSF World Under-21 Snooker Championship, defeating Oliver King 11–9 in the final.
Early professional career and World Championship win (1991–2002) Edit
Ebdon turned professional in 1991. Making his Crucible debut at the 1992 World Championship, he defeated Steve Davis 10–4 in the first round and went on to reach the quarter-finals, losing 7–13 to Terry Griffiths. This earned Ebdon the WPBSA's Young Player of the Year award. He won his first ranking title at the 1993 Grand Prix, defeating Ken Doherty 9–6 in the final. He won the 1995 Irish Masters, defeating Stephen Hendry 9–8 in the final, and reached his first Triple Crown final at the 1995 UK Championship, but lost 3–10 to Hendry. He first entered the top 16 for the 1994–95 season, and rose to a career high of third in the 1996–97 season, a position he reached again in the 2002–03 season.
At the 1996 World Snooker Championship, Ebdon defeated Jimmy White in the last 16, Steve Davis in the quarter-finals, and Ronnie O'Sullivan in the semi-finals to reach his first world final, which he lost 12–18 to Hendry. He subsequently won the 1997 Thailand Open, defeating Nigel Bond 9–7 in the final; the 2000 British Open, defeating White 9–6 in the final; and the 2001 Scottish Open, defeating Doherty 9–7 in the final.
Ebdon defeated Michael Judge, Joe Perry, Anthony Hamilton, and Matthew Stevens to reach his second world final at the 2002 World Snooker Championship. He won his only world title, clinching an 18–17 victory over Hendry. Having started the tournament at odds of 33–1, he stated: "It's what I have been working for and dreaming about for the last 17 years... I wasn't ready to win it six years ago, but I've improved as a player and as a person".
Post–World Championship win (2002–2011) Edit
Defending his title at the 2003 World Championship, Ebdon faced Paul Hunter in the quarter-finals. Ebdon came from 10–12 behind to force a deciding frame, but Hunter clinched a 13–12 victory after a match that lasted 8 hours and 4 minutes. Ebdon fell victim to the so-called "Crucible curse," under which no first-time champion has ever successfully defended the world title at the Crucible Theatre.
The slower pace of Ebdon's play after his world title attracted criticism, especially when he played O'Sullivan in the 2005 World Championship quarter-finals. Ebdon began the third session of the match trailing 6–10, but won seven of the last eight frames for a 13–11 victory, despite making a highest break of 60 and having an average shot time of 37 seconds. At one stage, Ebdon took three minutes over a shot, and took five minutes to compile a break of 12. Ebdon stated after the match: "When I'm trying my hardest I seem to go slow. I don't do it intentionally". When The Times described his slow play as "cheating", he sued for libel.
At the 2006 World Snooker Championship, Ebdon led Marco Fu 15–9 in the semi-finals. Fu won seven of the next eight frames to tie the scores at 16–16, but Ebdon won the deciding frame to reach his third world final, where he faced Graeme Dott. Trailing 7–15 before the final session, Ebdon won six successive frames, but Dott won the match 18–14. Later that year, Ebdon won his second Triple Crown title at the 2006 UK Championship, defeating Ding Junhui in the quarter-finals, John Higgins in the semi-finals, and Hendry 10–6 in the final.
At the 2008 World Championship, Ebdon defeated Mark King 13–9 in the second round to reach the quarter-finals. He lost 9–13 to Ali Carter, who made a maximum break during the match. This was the last time Ebdon featured in the later stages of a World Championship; his final seven Crucible appearances all ended in first-round defeats.
In the 2008 Northern Ireland Trophy, Ebdon lost 0–5 to Liang Wenbo, making a highest break of 32. After the match, the Gambling Commission expressed concern about attempts by punters to place unusually large bets for Ebdon to lose 0–5 and not to make a break over 50. However, the WPBSA did not instigate a match-fixing investigation. Ebdon won the 2009 China Open with a 10–8 victory over John Higgins in the final, but lost 5–10 to Bond in the first round of the 2009 World Championship. After a disappointing 2009–10 season, Ebdon lost 5–10 to Dott in the first round of the 2010 World Championship. This result ended Ebdon's 16 consecutive seasons ranked within the top 16 in the world rankings. "I'm bitterly disappointed but also very proud to have been in [the top 16] for so long", Ebdon stated afterwards.
At the 2010 World Open, Ebdon reached the semi-finals, losing 1–3 to O'Sullivan. His first semi-final appearance since the 2009 China Open, it saw him re-enter the top 16. Ebdon lost in the first round of the 2010 UK Championship and lost 8–10 to Stuart Bingham in the first round of the 2011 World Championship. However, Ebdon was ranked number 13 at the end of the season.
Fall from the top 16 (2011–15) Edit
Ebdon fell out of the top 16 again early in the 2011–12 season, meaning he had to qualify for the main stage of ranking events thereafter. He lost his first 2011 UK Championship qualifying match 3–6 to Robert Milkins, meaning that he did not feature at the tournament's main stage for the first time since 1991. He missed the 2012 Masters, the first time he had not featured at the event since 1992. At the PTC series, he played in all 12 events, but won only four matches all season. He finished 98th in the Order of Merit and fell to number 28 in the rankings in March 2012.
Ebdon won the 2012 China Open, defeating John Higgins, Neil Robertson, and Ding before beating Stephen Maguire 10–9 in the final. This boosted his ranking to number 21. During the final, he recorded his 300th century break. At the 2012 World Championship, he recorded a 10–0 whitewash over Alfie Burden in qualifying, but lost 4–10 to O'Sullivan in the first round. He finished the season ranked world number 20.
He began the 2012–13 season by qualifying for the Wuxi Classic, but lost 4–5 to Bingham in the first round. At the Australian Goldfields Open, he defeated Michael Holt, Ding, and Shaun Murphy, all by 5–4 scorelines. His match against Ding provoked controversy, with Ebdon recording an average shot time of 32 seconds in a nine-frame encounter that lasted almost five hours. Judd Trump on Twitter called it a "joke" that Ebdon was permitted to play so slowly. In the semi-finals, Ebdon defeated Fu 6–2, despite his opponent having an over 90 percent pot success, 80 percent long pot success, and 80 percent safety success. Facing Barry Hawkins in the final, Ebdon lost 3–9, admitting afterwards that he had struggled in every department of his game. He lost in the first round of the 2012 Shanghai Masters, but reached the semi-finals of the inaugural 2012 International Championship, where he lost 1–9 to Trump.
By qualifying for the 2013 World Championship, Ebdon equalled Steve Davis's then-record 22 consecutive appearances in the tournament. He faced Dott in a match that lasted seven hours, spread over three sessions, as Ebdon recovered from 2–6 behind to level at 6–6, before losing 6–10. After the match, Dott called for rules to combat slow play. Ebdon fell to world number 30 in the world rankings after the tournament.
Ebdon's run of 22 consecutive Crucible appearances ended at the 2014 World Snooker Championship, when he lost 8–10 to Robin Hull in qualifying, missing the event's main stage for the first time since turning professional. He failed to qualify for the event again in 2015, losing 7–10 to Stuart Carrington in the second qualifying round.
Later career and retirement (2015–20) Edit
At the 2015 UK Championship, Ebdon beat opponents including reigning world champion Bingham to reach the last 16, where he lost 2–6 to David Grace. At 45, he was the oldest competitor at the 2016 World Grand Prix; he defeated Robertson 4–3 before Ding whitewashed him 0–4 in the second round. At the 2016 World Championship, Ebdon defeated James Wattana 10–6 in the first qualifying round. He came from 3–9 behind against Gerard Greene to win 10–9 in the second round, the match ending just after 2:00 a.m. He qualified for the Crucible for the first time in three years by defeating Ian Burns 10–2 in the final qualifying round. However, he lost 2–10 to Fu in the first round.
Ebdon reached the quarter-finals of the 2016 Indian Open, where he lost 3–4 to Bond. He made his 24th and last Crucible appearance at the 2017 World Championship, after beating Holt 10–9 on the final black to qualify. He won the ninth frame of his first-round match against Bingham on a re-spotted black, after having required four snookers, and trailed 4–5 overnight; however, he lost the match 5–10. He ended the season ranked 40th in the world, the first time since 1992 he had finished a season outside the top 32.
Ebdon reached his 18th and last ranking event final at the 2018 Paul Hunter Classic, where he lost 2–4 to Kyren Wilson. He played his last professional match at the 2020 German Masters qualifiers in December 2019, losing 4–5 to Stevens. Following months of chronic neck and spinal pain, Ebdon announced his retirement from professional snooker on 30 April 2020, stating that he was unwilling to undergo spinal surgery in an effort to remain in the sport.
Coaching career (2021–present) Edit
In 2021, Ebdon became mentor and coach to Jack Lisowski, who reached his first world quarter-final at the 2022 World Championship and credited his improved performance to Ebdon. Ebdon also coaches and mentors current professionals Anthony McGill, Elliot Slessor, and Kyren Wilson.
Ebdon was the third player to make two competitive maximum breaks in professional tournament play—at the Strachan Professional and UK Championship, both in 1992. In the same year, he became the first player to make four centuries in five frames. He won World Championship and UK Championship titles but never completed a career Triple Crown; his best Masters performances were semi-finals at the 1995 and 2005 events, which he lost respectively to O'Sullivan and Higgins. Ebdon was criticised by other professionals for his slow play as well as his exuberant outpourings of emotion after winning important frames or matches, with O'Sullivan once calling him a "psycho".
Shortly after his retirement, Ebdon was criticised for promoting conspiracy theories. In a May 2020 interview on BBC Radio 5 Live, he discussed the COVID-19 pandemic, calling government social distancing guidelines "harmful", stating that people were being "brainwashed", and claiming that the public was "facing the greatest psychological operation in history". Ebdon referenced individuals who had promoted unsubstantiated opinions about topics such as the September 11 attacks and the Manchester Arena bombing, prompting Telegraph sports journalist James Corrigan to ask if winning the World Snooker Championship "gives you the right to propagate wild conspiracy theories on a national radio show".
Personal life Edit
Born in Islington, London, Ebdon later moved to Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. He attended Highbury Grove School, where he played oboe in the school orchestra, studied Latin and Greek, and represented North London at cricket. He dropped out of school to pursue his snooker career, after which his father did not speak to him for six months. Ebdon later stated that he regretted not sitting his O levels.
In the early years of his professional career, Ebdon became known for wearing his hair in a ponytail. He is also colour blind. While playing snooker, he often asked the referee for help on distinguishing the brown ball from red balls. In several notable matches, Ebdon played foul shots because he confused the two colours.
He had four children with his first wife Deborah. In 2005, he emigrated to Dubai with his wife and children, stating that the move was due to tax reasons, lower crime rates, and better weather. He lived there until 2009, when he announced that he and Deborah had separated by mutual consent after 16 years of marriage. In 2010, Ebdon married his second wife, Nora, whom he first met at a players' party at a snooker event in Austria. After their marriage, they lived in Nora's home country of Hungary.
Ebdon became known for his focus on fitness, including swimming one mile every day. In 2012, he adopted a vegan diet. He is a devotee of Napoleon Hill's motivational book Think and Grow Rich. In 2018, he became a professional healer at the College of Healing in Malvern. He has a longstanding interest in breeding racehorses. He has released three music singles.
Performance and rankings timeline Edit
|Ranking[nb 1]||[nb 2]||47||21||10||10||3||5||7||13||12||7||3||7||8||7||7||6||9||14||18||13||20||30||25||31||31||40||55||47|
|Riga Masters[nb 3]||Tournament Not Held||MR||LQ||1R||LQ||LQ|
|International Championship||Tournament Not Held||SF||QF||3R||2R||LQ||1R||LQ||1R|
|China Championship||Tournament Not Held||NR||1R||1R||LQ|
|English Open||Tournament Not Held||1R||1R||2R||1R|
|World Open[nb 4]||3R||3R||W||3R||3R||1R||1R||QF||1R||3R||F||2R||2R||3R||2R||RR||QF||2R||QF||SF||LQ||1R||LQ||Not Held||1R||3R||1R||WD|
|Northern Ireland Open||Tournament Not Held||3R||1R||QF||2R|
|Scottish Open[nb 5]||NH||3R||1R||3R||1R||SF||3R||3R||3R||W||SF||2R||SF||Tournament Not Held||MR||Not Held||2R||3R||1R||3R|
|European Masters[nb 6]||1R||2R||LQ||1R||F||QF||NH||2R||Not Held||1R||SF||1R||2R||1R||SF||NR||Tournament Not Held||LQ||2R||1R||LQ|
|German Masters[nb 7]||Tournament Not Held||2R||1R||1R||NR||Tournament Not Held||2R||1R||1R||2R||2R||LQ||1R||LQ||2R||LQ|
|World Grand Prix||Tournament Not Held||NR||2R||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ|
|Shoot-Out||Tournament Not Held||Non-Ranking Event||A||2R||1R||A|
|Players Championship[nb 8]||Tournament Not Held||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||1R||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ||DNQ|
|Gibraltar Open||Tournament Not Held||MR||3R||1R||2R||A|
|Tour Championship||Tournament Not Held||DNQ||DNQ|
|Six-red World Championship[nb 9]||Tournament Not Held||2R||2R||2R||NH||RR||A||A||A||A||A||A||A|
|Championship League||Tournament Not Held||A||RR||RR||RR||RR||RR||RR||RR||A||A||A||A||A|
|World Seniors Championship||A||Tournament Not Held||1R||A||A||A||1R||1R||A||A||A||A|
|Former ranking tournaments|
|Classic||LQ||Tournament Not Held|
|Strachan Open[nb 10]||1R||MR||NR||Tournament Not Held|
|Dubai Classic[nb 11]||1R||3R||QF||F||2R||QF||Tournament Not Held|
|Malta Grand Prix||Not Held||Non-Ranking Event||1R||NR||Tournament Not Held|
|Thailand Masters[nb 12]||1R||1R||QF||QF||SF||W||QF||2R||1R||1R||2R||NR||Not Held||NR||Tournament Not Held|
|British Open||LQ||3R||1R||3R||QF||SF||1R||QF||F||W||QF||3R||3R||2R||Tournament Not Held|
|Irish Masters||Non-Ranking Event||2R||W||1R||NH||NR||Tournament Not Held|
|Northern Ireland Trophy||Tournament Not Held||NR||2R||QF||2R||Tournament Not Held|
|Bahrain Championship||Tournament Not Held||1R||Tournament Not Held|
|Wuxi Classic[nb 13]||Tournament Not Held||Non-Ranking Event||1R||1R||LQ||Tournament Not Held|
|Australian Goldfields Open[nb 14]||Not Held||NR||Tournament Not Held||1R||F||LQ||2R||LQ||Tournament Not Held|
|Shanghai Masters||Tournament Not Held||1R||1R||1R||2R||1R||1R||LQ||LQ||1R||LQ||LQ||NR|
|Paul Hunter Classic[nb 15]||Tournament Not Held||Pro-am Event||Minor-Ranking Event||WD||3R||F||NR|
|Indian Open||Tournament Not Held||1R||2R||NH||QF||LQ||2R||NH|
|China Open[nb 16]||Tournament Not Held||NR||2R||1R||2R||1R||Not Held||1R||2R||1R||2R||W||QF||QF||W||1R||3R||2R||1R||LQ||1R||2R||NH|
|Former non-ranking tournaments|
|Indian Masters||NH||RR||Tournament Not Held|
|Belgian Masters||A||1R||Not Held||A||Tournament Not Held|
|European Challenge||A||QF||Tournament Not Held|
|Tenball||Not Held||QF||Tournament Not Held|
|Malta Grand Prix||Not Held||SF||W||A||A||A||R||A||Tournament Not Held|
|Guangzhou Masters||Tournament Not Held||SF||Tournament Not Held|
|Pontins Professional||A||A||A||W||SF||A||A||A||A||Tournament Not Held|
|German Masters[nb 7]||Tournament Not Held||Ranking Event||1R||Tournament Not Held||Ranking Event|
|Champions Cup[nb 17]||Not Held||1R||SF||SF||1R||1R||A||A||SF||Tournament Not Held|
|Scottish Masters||A||A||A||A||F||W||QF||QF||LQ||A||1R||QF||Tournament Not Held|
|Northern Ireland Trophy||Tournament Not Held||1R||Ranking Event||Tournament Not Held|
|Irish Masters||A||A||1R||W||QF||SF||1R||SF||A||SF||F||Ranking Event||NH||A||Tournament Not Held|
|Pot Black||A||A||QF||Tournament Not Held||A||SF||QF||Tournament Not Held|
|European Open[nb 6]||Ranking Event||Tournament Not Held||Ranking Event||RR||Tournament Not Held||Ranking Event|
|Hainan Classic||Tournament Not Held||RR||Tournament Not Held|
|Wuxi Classic[nb 13]||Tournament Not Held||RR||RR||A||QF||Ranking Event||Tournament Not Held|
|Brazil Masters||Tournament Not Held||SF||Tournament Not Held|
|Premier League[nb 18]||A||RR||A||A||SF||SF||A||A||A||A||A||SF||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||RR||Tournament Not Held|
|World Grand Prix||Tournament Not Held||QF||Ranking Event|
|Shoot-Out||Tournament Not Held||1R||1R||1R||1R||2R||2R||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.|
|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.|
- From the 2010/2011 season it shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
- New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
- The event was called the Riga Open (2014/2015–2015/2016)
- The event was called the Grand Prix (1991/1992–2000/2001 and 2004/2005–2009/2010), the LG Cup (2001/2002–2003/2004) and the Haikou World Open (2011/2012–2013/2014)
- The event was called the International Open (1992/1993–1996/1997) and the Players Championship (2003/2004)
- The event was called the Irish Open (1998/1999) and Malta Cup (2004/2005–2007/2008)
- The event was called the German Open (1995/1996–1997/1998)
- The event was called the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011–2012/2013) and the Players Championship Grand Final (2013/2014–2015/2016)
- The event was called the Six-red Snooker International (2008/2009) and the Six-red World Grand Prix (2009/2010)
- The event was called the Strachan Challenge (1992/1993–1993/1994)
- The event was called the Thailand Classic (1995/1996) and the Asian Classic (1996/1997)
- The event was called the Asian Open (1991/1992–1992/1993) and the Thailand Open (1993/1994–1996/1997)
- The event was called the Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009–2009/2010)
- The event was called the Australian Open (1994/1995) and the Australian Masters (1995/1996)
- The event was called the Grand Prix Fürth (2004/2005) and the Fürth German Open (2005/2006–2006/2007)
- The event was called the China International (1997/1998–1998/1999)
- The event was called the Charity Challenge (1994/1995–1998/1999)
- The event was called the Matchroom League (1991/1992) and the European League (1992/1993–1996/1997)
Career finals Edit
Below is a list of professional finals contested by Ebdon.
Ranking finals: 18 (9 titles) Edit
|World Championship (1–2)|
|UK Championship (1–1)|
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Winner||1.||1993||Grand Prix||Ken Doherty||9–6|
|Runner-up||1.||1994||Dubai Classic||Alan McManus||6–9|
|Runner-up||2.||1995||UK Championship||Stephen Hendry||3–10|
|Runner-up||3.||1996||European Open||John Parrott||7–9|
|Runner-up||4.||1996||World Snooker Championship||Stephen Hendry||12–18|
|Winner||2.||1997||Thailand Open||Nigel Bond||9–7|
|Runner-up||5.||1999||British Open||Stephen Hendry||5–9|
|Winner||3.||2000||British Open||Jimmy White||9–6|
|Winner||4.||2001||Scottish Open||Ken Doherty||9–7|
|Runner-up||6.||2001||LG Cup||Stephen Lee||4–9|
|Winner||5.||2002||World Snooker Championship||Stephen Hendry||18–17|
|Winner||6.||2004||Irish Masters||Mark King||10–7|
|Runner-up||7.||2006||World Snooker Championship (2)||Graeme Dott||14–18|
|Winner||7.||2006||UK Championship||Stephen Hendry||10–6|
|Winner||8.||2009||China Open||John Higgins||10–8|
|Winner||9.||2012||China Open (2)||Stephen Maguire||10–9|
|Runner-up||8.||2012||Australian Goldfields Open||Barry Hawkins||3–9|
|Runner-up||9.||2018||Paul Hunter Classic||Kyren Wilson||2–4|
Non-ranking finals: 6 (4 titles) Edit
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Winner||1.||1995||Irish Masters||Stephen Hendry||9–8|
|Winner||2.||1995||Pontins Professional||Ken Doherty||9–8|
|Runner-up||1.||1995||Scottish Masters||Stephen Hendry||5–9|
|Winner||3.||1995||Malta Grand Prix||John Higgins||7–4|
|Winner||4.||1996||Scottish Masters||Alan McManus||9–6|
|Runner-up||2.||2002||Irish Masters||John Higgins||3–10|
Pro-am finals: 5 (4 titles) Edit
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Winner||1.||1989||Pontins Spring Open||Ken Doherty||7–4|
|Winner||2.||1990||Dutch Open||Tony Knowles||6–4|
|Runner-up||1.||1995||Pontins Spring Open||Mark Williams||4–7|
|Winner||3.||2015||Vienna Snooker Open||Mark King||5–3|
|Winner||4.||2016||Vienna Snooker Open (2)||Mark Davis||5–1|
Team finals: 1 (1 title) Edit
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Team/partner||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Winner||1.||1995||Lowen Sport European Pro-Am||Tim Price|| Willie Thorne
Amateur finals: 1 (1 title) Edit
|Outcome||No.||Year||Championship||Opponent in the final||Score|
|Winner||1.||1990||IBSF World Under-21 Championship||Oliver King||11–9|
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