Warren King (snooker player)
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Warren King (born 1 April 1955) is a former professional Australian snooker player who was active during the 1980s and 1990s. He reached his highest ranking position, 35th, for the 1985/1986 season, and was the runner-up in the 1990 Classic, where he lost 6–10 to Steve James.
|Born||1 April 1955|
|Highest ranking||35 (1985/1986)|
|Highest||147 ( NSW state snooker championships 1994|
|Best ranking finish||Runner up (1990 Classic)|
In 1994 King made the 1st 147 break in a tournament in Australia and in doing do became the 1st Australian to make a 147 break in a tournament.
King turned professional in 1982, but first enjoyed success in the 1983/1984 season, when he qualified for the semi-final group in the 1984 International Masters, notably recording a 2–1 victory over Alex Higgins in his qualifying group. In the 1984 World Championship, he defeated Tony Jones 10–9, Mike Watterson 10–8 and Dave Martin 10–8 to qualify for the televised stages at the Crucible Theatre; there, he was drawn against incumbent World Champion Steve Davis, but having held Davis to 2–2, he could not prevent a 3–10 loss.
During the next season, King reached the final of the 1984 Australian Professional Championship, where he also lost 3–10, this time to Eddie Charlton, and followed this with a last-32 finish in the 1984 UK Championship, losing 5–9 to Dennis Taylor. In the 1985 Classic, he overcame Steve Duggan, Dean Reynolds, John Spencer and Jimmy White to reach the quarter-finals; however, he could progress no further, losing there 1–5 to Joe Johnson.
Ranked 35th for the 1985/1986 season, King began it well, with another last-32 finish in the 1985 Matchroom Trophy, but had a quiet season thereafter; he came within one match of returning to the Crucible after beating Dessie Sheehan and Colin Roscoe in World Championship qualifying, but lost in the final round 7–10 to Reynolds.
In the 1986 Australian Professional Championship, King defeated Charlton in the semi-finals and John Campbell 10–3 in the final to record his first tournament win. After a solid season, he managed to qualify for the 1987 World Championship, defeating David Roe, Ken Owers and Charlton all 10–4, but was again drawn to face Steve Davis. On this occasion, Davis raced into a 7–1 lead before King fought back to 8–7, but again Davis prevailed, 10–7.
King recorded his second tournament win in the 1987 Australian Professional Championship; Charlton was again his opponent in the final, and this time King won 10–7. He otherwise performed poorly in the ranking events, but qualified for a third time for the World Championship, notably overcoming Spencer in the final round. His opponent in the last 32 was rising star John Parrott, who beat him 10–4.
A lean period ensued, but in the 1990 Classic, King produced his best form. Entering at the last-96 stage, he defeated Mario Morra 5–3, Terry Griffiths 5–1, Charlton 5–2, John Virgo 5–1, Steve Newbury 5–3 and Silvino Francisco 6–5 - having trailed 3–5 - to reach a ranking event final for the first time in his career. His opponent in the final was Steve James and the match closely run; having at various points led 4–1, 5–2 and 7–6, James pulled away to win 10–6. This performance earned King £36,000, and ensured he finished the season - having started it ranked 55th and in some danger - in a much more secure position, at 39th.
The 1990/1991 season was quiet for King, but finished on a positive note, as he managed to qualify for the Crucible for the fourth time, straightforward wins over Jack Fitzmaurice, Rod Lawler and Barry West sealing his passage to the televised stage; however, he was drawn against a former or future World Champion for the fourth time - on this occasion, Stephen Hendry. King fared no better than in previous years, losing 4–10.
In 1991, the professional game was 'opened' to anybody who could pay a small fee; now in competition against several hundred more players on the main tour, King began to fade, his only last-32 result coming in the Dubai Classic, where Francisco's nephew Peter beat him 5–4. Losing his first match in qualifying for the World Championship 9–10 to Andrew Cairns, he finished the season ranked 67th.
In 1994, playing in the New South Wales Open Snooker Championship, King became the first Australian ever to make a maximum break in a tournament, which was also the first maximum break ever recorded in a tournament in Australia. King won a car for the break, and went on to win the tournament.
By the 1994/1995 season, King's ranking had fallen even further, to 114th. He played in only one tournament, the 1995 World Championship, but his career concluded on a sad note, the unknown Thai player Tai Pichit whitewashing him 10–0. He did not play on the main tour again, deciding to focus more on a career in pool.
King, the youngest of six children, lived during his childhood in Granville, New South Wales.