World Championship facts
We've looked back through the archives to bring you 15 interesting facts about snooker's World Championship.
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The fastest 147 maximum break in snooker history came at the World Championship and was achieved by Ronnie O'Sullivan in 1997. O'Sullivan made his perfect clearance in just five minutes and 20 seconds, against Mick Price. Price, who was making his third Crucible appearance, never qualified for another World Championship, but the frequent replays of that frame during television coverage means he has an established place in the tournament's history.
There have been 10 147 maximum breaks in the televised stages of the World Championship. Two players have made three of those each, with Stephen Hendry and O'Sullivan the men responsible. Hendry made the most recent on day one of the 2012 tournament.
Scottish players have won 12 of the last 24 World Championship titles, with Hendry claiming seven (1990-92-93-94-95-96-99), John Higgins four (1998-2007-2009-2011) and Graeme Dott one (2006)
Derbyshire player Joe Davis was the first world champion in 1927 and won all 15 editions of the tournament he entered. His last title came in 1946 when he retired unbeaten from the World Championship but kept playing in other tournaments.
The first event, staged in Birmingham, offered prize money of £6 10s.
Only two players entered the 1931 World Championship. Tom Dennis, in whose pub the event was staged, lost 25-21 to Joe Davis.
Fred Davis, who won eight world titles, reached the 1978 semi-finals at the age of 64. His brother, the great Joe Davis, sadly collapsed while watching the match and died two months later.
The youngest world champion was Hendry in 1990. The Scot was just 21 when he beat Jimmy White 18-12.
In 2005 Shaun Murphy became the first player to come through qualifying and win the world title. Judd Trump almost matched him in 2011 but lost out to John Higgins in the final.
A British television audience of 18.5million watched Dennis Taylor beat Steve Davis on the final black in the 1985 final. Viewing figures in China for Ding Junhui's matches routinely dwarf that figure.
Jimmy White, Walter Donaldson and Fred Davis have each lost six finals - a record. White, unlike Donaldson and Davis, has never been a world champion.
There has been only one whitewash in a match at the World Championship. It came in the first round in 1992, when 62-year-old Australian Eddie Charlton was beaten 10-0 by defending champion John Parrott.
The Crucible Theatre has a maximum seating capacity of 980.
O'Sullivan lifted the so-called 'Crucible Curse' when defending his title last year. It made him the first player to stage a successful defence since Hendry won his five in a row from 1992 to 1996.
Ken Doherty is the only player to have won the amateur and professional world titles, registering his win in the unpaid ranks in 1989 before pocketing £210,000 for triumphing at the Crucible in 1997.