Mark Selby is undoubtedly one of the greatest players to pick up a snooker cue and simply has to be in any discussion for the GOAT of the baize.
At four-time world championSelby has been a dominant force for over a decade now, winning a plethora of ranking titles and a bagful of Triple Crown events.
He conquered the world for the first time in 2014 when he downed long-term rival Ronnie O’Sullivan, before making it back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017 to make it a hattrick at the Crucible. His fourth and most recent triumph came only last year when he joined John Higgins on four crowns.
The 20 time ranking winner also has three triumphs at the prestigious Masters for the top 16 players in the world along with a further two triumphs at the UK Championship in York.
His ability with a cue is unrivaled, with the Leicester born cueist also winning the world title in eight ball pool, showing just how talented he is.
Recently, The Jester From Leicester has opened up about his struggles with mental health after never really coming to terms with the trauma of losing his father at a young age among other things.
Back in 2016 when he won the World Championships, he admitted he was in a really bad place at the time and how his wife said to him she could tell he wasn’t really with it. She came to the table with their daughter Sofia for the trophy presentation and he looked through them as if they weren’t there.
The fact he can achieve the toughest feat in the sport whilst struggling so badly is testament to him as a character. He is absolutely granite and never shies away from a battle, his tenacity will be an inspiration to so many who also struggle that they can still achieve despite their illness.
Although a granite safety player, always making the right decision at the table, Selby can do anything on the 12×6 table, something he showed off at the 2015 UK Open.
He lost in the semi-final that year to an unplayable eventual champion, Neil Robertsonbut he did win the title the following year to make up for the semi-final heartbreak.
Selby took on Oliver Lines in the second round, fresh from a 6-0 whitewash over Joe O’Conner, The Jester repeated the feat over Lines, winning 6-0.
During the third frame, Selby had it in the bag and well out of reach of his opponent, however the clearance looked near on impossible, with the yellow tied up and Selby on the black.
He manages to screw the cue ball incredibly, arcing it around the pink, blue and brown in a line down the middle of the table. Selby then see the cue ball bounce off the baulk cushion and flick the yellow over the middle pocket, leaving it potable to see him clear the table.
The late, great Willie Thorne was on commentary for the BBC, swooning over the shot, saying: “He’s playing the arc shot here, has he got enough on it? Hello! Put that down as Shot of the Championship please.”
Stephen Hendry backs that up, saying: “You won’t see many better shots than that this season, that’s phenomenal.”
To have two greats laud the shot and for Thorne to say it’s shot of the championship in only the second round proves to us the obscene ability Selby showed to make that shot.
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