Joel Walker (snooker player)

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Joel Walker
Joel Walker at Snooker German Masters (Martin Rulsch) 2014-01-30 01.jpg
Walker at the 2014 German Masters
Born (1994-03-16) 16 March 1994 (age 24)
Sheffield, England
Sport country  England
Professional 2012–2016
Highest ranking 72
Career winnings £57,977[1]
Highest break 129:
2011 Q School Event 2
Century breaks 20[1]
Best ranking finish Quarter-final (2014 Welsh Open)

Joel Walker (born 16 March 1994) is an English former professional snooker player. In 2010 he won the Rileys Future Stars competition and turned professional in 2012 through Q School.


Amateur years[edit]

In 2010 Walker won Rileys Future Stars competition, and won £5,000 and coaching sessions with Ronnie O'Sullivan,[2] the same year he was invited to compete in the World Open.[3] He defeated Julian Logue 3–1 in the first qualifying round, but lost 1–3 against Tony Drago in the next round.[4] Walker also competed at the Players Tour Championship, with his best result coming at the fourth event in Sheffield, where he reached the last 64 and lost 0–4 against Robert Milkins,[5] he finished 137th on the Order of Merit.[6][7][8] He tried unsuccessfully to turn professional through the Q School, with his best result coming in the second tournament, where he reached the last 16, but lost 1–4 against Simon Bedford.[5]

Walker competed at the Players Tour Championship also in the 2011/2012 season, his best result came at the second and third UK event, where he reached the last 128, but lost 1–4 against Stephen Lee and 0–4 against Ding Junhui respectively.[9] He finished 531st on the Order of Merit.[10][11] Walker turned professional in 2012 after coming through Event 3 of the Q School and gained a two-year tour card for the 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 snooker seasons, he won five consecutive matches in the event, culminating in a 4–0 victory against Justin Astley.[12]

Debut season[edit]

Walker's first match as a professional was a 5–4 win over Cao Yupeng, who had reached the last 16 of the World Championship two months earlier. Walker lost to Peter Lines by the same scoreline in the next round,[13] he did not win a qualifying match for a ranking event during the rest of the season.[13] Walker fared better in the minor-ranking Players Tour Championship events as he played in all ten tournaments, with his best result coming in the Scottish Open, where he beat Andrew Pagett and Stuart Bingham, before losing 2–4 to Liang Wenbo in the last 32.[13] He was placed 76th on the PTC Order of Merit,[14] and finished his first year on tour ranked world number 90.[15]

Joel Walker at 2014 German Masters

2013/2014 season[edit]

In his opening match, Walker defeated Ian Burns 5–2 to qualify for the 2013 Wuxi Classic in China; in Walker's first appearance in the main draw of a ranking event, he defeated Alex Davies 5–2 in the first round to progress to the last 32 stage, where he lost 5–2 against Ben Woollaston.[16] Walker failed to qualify for the next four ranking tournaments, and lost in the last 128 match of the UK Championship,[17] he started 2014 by reaching the last 32 of the German Masters, and then went even further at the Welsh Open, defeating Pankaj Advani, Mark Davis, James Wattana and defending champion Stephen Maguire to reach his first ever major quarter-final.[18] He led world number three Ding Junhui 4–2 and missed several chances to wrap up a win which would have doubled his previous career prize money earnings to be defeated 5–4.[19]

After Walker was edged out of the second round of World Championship qualifying 10–9 by Jamie Jones he ended the year ranked world number 80, outside of the top 64 in the rankings and would be relegated from the tour.[20] However, he performed very well throughout the season in the European Tour events, reaching the last 16 of the Kay Suzanne Memorial Cup and the quarter-finals of the Antwerp Open, as a result, he finished 35th on the Order of Merit to claim the second of eight spots which were available to non-qualified players to play on the main tour for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons.[21]

2014/2015 season[edit]

The first ranking event Walker could qualify for during the 2014/2015 season was the International Championship thanks to a 6–4 win over Ken Doherty. Walker drew Martin Gould in the first round and made a century and two further breaks above 50 to level at 4–4 after being 4–1 down, but then lost two frames in a row to exit the tournament,[22] he eliminated Alan McManus 6–1 and Tom Ford 6–3 at the UK Championship and then led world number 11 Stuart Bingham 3–0, but went on to lose in a deciding frame.[23] Walker was knocked out of the first round of the Welsh Open and Indian Open 4–2 by Mark Joyce and 4–0 by Matthew Selt.[24] Before the start of the World Championship, Walker stated his desire to become the first player from Sheffield to play in the event, but he lost 10–6 to Stuart Carrington in the first qualifying round.[23]

2015/2016 season[edit]

Walker made his debut in the Australian Goldfields Open thanks to beating Jamie Cope 5–2, Adam Duffy 5–3 and Gary Wilson 5–3 in the qualifiers, but was thrashed 5–0 by Stephen Maguire in the first round. He was whitewashed in the opening round of two other ranking events, 6–0 by Joe Swail at the UK Championship and 4–0 by Marco Fu at the Welsh Open.[25] Walker entered Q School as he dropped off the tour at the end of the season by being placed 80th in the world rankings,[26][27] he only won one match during the two events to confirm his relegation.[25]

2016/2017 season[edit]

In the second event of 2017 Q School, Walker was two victories away from rejoining the professional tour, but lost 4–3 in the fifth round to Joe Swail.[28]

Performance and rankings timeline[edit]

Tournament 2012/
Ranking[nb 1] [nb 2] 90 [nb 3] 87
Ranking tournaments
Australian Goldfields Open LQ LQ LQ 1R
Shanghai Masters LQ LQ LQ LQ
International Championship LQ LQ 1R LQ
UK Championship LQ 1R 3R 1R
German Masters LQ 2R LQ LQ
Welsh Open LQ QF 1R 1R
World Grand Prix[nb 4] LQ LQ NR DNQ
Players Championship Grand Final[nb 5] DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ
China Open LQ LQ LQ LQ
World Championship LQ LQ LQ LQ
Former ranking tournaments
Wuxi Classic LQ 2R LQ NH
Indian Open NH LQ 1R NH
Performance Table Legend
LQ lost in the qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament 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
NH / Not Held means an event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Event means an event is/was no longer a ranking event.
R / Ranking Event means an event is/was a ranking event.
MR / Minor-Ranking Event means an event is/was a minor-ranking event.
  1. ^ It shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
  2. ^ New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
  3. ^ Players qualified through European Tour Order of Merit started the season without prize money ranking points.
  4. ^ The event was called the World Open (2010/2011) and the Haikou World Open (2011/2012–2013/2014)
  5. ^ The event was called the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011–2012/2013)


  1. ^ a b "Career-total Statistics for Joel Walker – Professional". CueTracker Snooker Results & Statistics Database. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Starlet Walker books place on main tour". Eurosport Asia. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "Brecel And Walker Handed World Open Slots". World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "2010 World Open qualifying rounds results". Global Snooker. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Joel Walker 2010/2011". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Order of Merit" (PDF). World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 22 November 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "Order of Merit". Global Snooker. 17 July 2010. Archived from the original on 29 April 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  8. ^ "Order of Merit". 17 October 2010. Retrieved 17 October 2010. 
  9. ^ "Joel Walker 2011/2012". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "PTC Order of Merit after PTC12" (PDF). World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "Order of Merit". 8 January 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Qualifying School – Event Three". Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c "Joel Walker 2012/2013". Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "Issued after Munich Open 2013 (ET6)" (PDF). World Snooker. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 7 January 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Official World Snooker Ranking List For The 2013/2014 Season" (PDF). World Snooker. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 June 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Sports Lottery Cup Wuxi Classic (2013)". Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  17. ^ "Joel Walker 2013/2014". Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "Welsh Open: Ronnie O'Sullivan wins, Maguire suffers shock exit". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  19. ^ "Ding Junhui sees off top teen to claim semi-final spot in Newport". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "World Snooker Rankings After the 2014 World Championship" (PDF). World Snooker. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "European Order of Merit 2013/2014". Archived from the original on 8 April 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  22. ^ "Chinese upset for Sheffield snooker star Joel Walker". Sheffield Star. Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  23. ^ a b "Snooker: Joel Walker's Crucible dream as Sheffield potter exits UK Championship". Sheffield Star. Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  24. ^ "Joel Walker 2014/2015". Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  25. ^ a b "Joel Walker 2015/2016". Retrieved 2 May 2016. 
  26. ^ "Q School Order of Merit". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 5 May 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016. 
  27. ^ "Historic Seedings After 2016 World Championship". Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  28. ^ "Joel Walker 2016/2017". Retrieved 22 May 2017. 

External links[edit]