Mark Williams Wins Six Red World Championship
Mark Williams is the 2017 six red world champion after an 8-2 victory over Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in Bangkok Today. The 42 year-old adds a third different World Championship crown to a stellar career in which he has also been world champion at the Crucible twice and enjoyed a World Seniors Championship success a couple of years ago too.
The latter triumph represented Williams’ last glory of note after several near misses in ranking events in the last number of seasons on the Main Tour.
The Six Red World Championship isn’t a ranking event but the success does bring with it a healthy winner’s cheque of just over £80,000.
Williams dominated the final showdown against the home favourite, as Un-Nooh was unable to repeat his victory in the competition from 2015.
The Welshman’s nerve had proven suspect on numerous occasions at this stage of events since his last major triumph at the German Masters in 2011, but this time he had no trouble in getting beyond the winning post.
Indeed, Williams was never truly troubled throughout the event, cantering into the knockout stages with a 100% record in the round-robin phase, before comprehensive defeats of Kyren Wilson, Michael Holt and Marco Fu in reaching the final.
Williams previously won a hat-trick of Thailand Masters titles early on in his career so obviously had fond memories of playing in Thailand coming into this week.
It will be interesting to see what kind of confidence the 18-time ranking event winner can take into the remainder of the campaign after finally adding to his collection of silverware.
In the last couple of years, the champions in this tournament have gone on to enjoy further success on the professional circuit.
Two years ago, Un-Nooh followed up his victory with a run to the semi-finals of the International Championship and a rise into the top 32 in the world rankings for the first time in his career, while last year Ding Junhui backed up the triumph with another in the Shanghai Masters.
Williams remains an extremely dangerous player and, even though this format is a variation from the traditional game, winning can become a habit for competitors of this calibre.
All in all, the tournament was well received in Thailand, which continues to thrive as the leading market for six red snooker.
Crowds were good throughout the week and, despite the fact the venue wasn’t particularly big, it was nice to see a packed auditorium – especially at the business end of proceedings.
Interestingly, WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson seemed to suggest in his post-final interview that six red snooker would be the format that would be presented in a future Olympic bid for the sport.
That’s for the future, though, as now is all about congratulating Williams’ latest success.