Ken Doherty

Ken Doherty (born 17 September 1969) is an Irish professional snooker player, commentator and radio presenter.

Ken Doherty
Born (1969-09-17) 17 September 1969 (age 51)
Ranelagh, County Dublin, Ireland
Sport country Ireland
  • The Darlin' of Dublin
  • Sneaky Ken
Highest ranking2 (2006/07)
Current ranking 103 (as of 4 May 2021)
Career winnings£3,643,193
Highest break147:
2012 Paul Hunter Classic
Century breaks352
Tournament wins
World Champion1997

As an amateur, Doherty won the Irish Amateur Championship twice, the World Under-21 Amateur Championship and the World Amateur Championship. Having turned professional in 1990, Doherty has won a total of six ranking tournaments, including the 1997 World Snooker Championship in which he defeated Stephen Hendry, inflicting Hendry's first loss in a world final. This made him the first and only player in the history of the game to be the world amateur, world under–21 and the world professional champion. The following year, he came very close to breaking the Crucible curse, reaching the 1998 final where he lost out to John Higgins. He reached the third final in 2003, in which he was defeated by Mark Williams. In other triple crown events, he is a three-time UK Championship runner-up and a two-time Masters runner-up.

An intelligent tactician and prolific break-builder, Doherty has compiled more than 300 century breaks in professional competition. Since 2009, he has combined his playing career with commentating and punditry work.


After two semi-finals in the 1991/92 season (his second as a professional), Doherty reached the final of the 1992 Grand Prix, narrowly losing 10–9 to Jimmy White. In the same event a year later, he lost 6–9 to Peter Ebdon. His first ranking title was the 1993 Welsh Open, enough to take him into the top 16 in the world, where he remained until the 2007/08 season. In the 1994 World Championship he reached the quarter-finals, his only run past the second round before 1997.[citation needed]

Doherty became only the third player from outside the United Kingdom (after Australian Horace Lindrum in 1952 and Canadian Cliff Thorburn in 1980) to win the World Championship when he beat Stephen Hendry 18–12 in the 1997 final. Ken also reached the World Championship final in 1998 (losing to John Higgins) and in 2003, losing narrowly to Mark Williams. The latter run was noted for some outstanding comebacks, including final-frame wins over Graeme Dott and Shaun Murphy, a 13–8 win over John Higgins in a match where Doherty raced ahead 10–0 but Higgins fought back to 10–7, and a semi-final fightback from 9–15 to beat Paul Hunter 17–16. In that championship, he played more frames than anyone before or since. In the final, Williams led 11–4 but Doherty fought back to 12–12 and 16–16. In frame 33, Doherty missed the penultimate red with a clearance easily available. Williams won that crucial frame and the next to prevail 18–16.[citation needed]

He is one of the few players to have won back-to-back ranking events—the Welsh Open and Thailand Masters in 2001—and also reached the final of the next, the Regal Scottish Open.[1]

He narrowly failed to achieve a maximum break when he missed a routine final black off its spot in the 15th frame of the 2000 Benson & Hedges Masters final against Matthew Stevens, which he eventually lost 10–8. This one pot would have seen him win an £80,000 sports car. However, his 140 break at least brought him the consolation of the £19,000 highest break prize.[citation needed]

In the 2005 World Championship, Doherty beat Barry Pinches in the first round 10–5, winning the last 8 frames, but was knocked out in the second round by Alan McManus 13–11.[citation needed]

Following an average start to the 2005–06 season, Doherty won the Malta Cup in February 2006, beating John Higgins in the final. Doherty had trailed 8–5 at one stage but managed a stirring comeback, winning four frames in a row. Doherty called the victory, which bridged a five-year gap, his "most important tournament win since the World Championship".[2][3]

Doherty started brightly in the 2006 World Championship, winning his first match and defeated Barry Hawkins 10–1 and then he beat Matthew Stevens 13–8, playing superbly to win the last five frames. He was favourite in his quarter-final match against Marco Fu but lost 13–10. It was 8–8 as the final session started, but Doherty struggled despite winning a frame in which he required three snookers. Although he led 7–6, 8–7, 9–8 and 10–9, he could never quite take decisive advantage to win the match. Doherty admitted afterwards that he "blew it" but that he still had "a couple more years" to come back and win the title.[4] He ended the 2005/06 season as the world Number 2, his highest ranking ever.

He made a solid start to the 2006/07 snooker season by reaching the quarter-final at what is the closest thing to a home tournament for him, the Northern Ireland Trophy at Belfast's Waterfront Hall. He followed this up with a last-16 defeat at the Grand Prix in Aberdeen and the UK Championship in York. He reached the quarter-finals of the next two tournaments, the Masters and the Malta Cup. He lost in the first round of the World Championship and, although clearly disappointed, the Dubliner vowed to continue.[5] He was provisional world Number 1 for most of 2006/07 but finished the season at Number 4.[citation needed]

In October 2006, he won the Irish Professional Championship for a second time (having previously captured the title in 1993), an invitational event, beating Michael Judge 9–4 in the final. A year later he defended his title with a resounding 9–2 victory over Fergal O'Brien. He followed this up a week later by becoming the first Irishman to win the Pot Black invitational tournament, beating Shaun Murphy 76–31 in the one-frame final.[citation needed]

Doherty did not start the 2007–08 season well, winning only one match during the first four ranking tournaments. However, he did reach the semi-finals of the Masters with victories over Mark Williams and Shaun Murphy,[6] before losing to eventual champion Mark Selby. He then reached the final of the Malta Cup for a record fifth time, defeating John Higgins in the semi-finals, before losing to Murphy in the final. Unfortunately for Doherty, neither of these events are ranking events, meaning his performances did nothing to keep him in the Top 16 for 2008/09. Defeat to Liang Wenbo in the first round of the World Championship ensured that he dropped out of the Top 16 after 15 years, and he started the new season 32nd on the provisional (one-year) list. A run of qualifying defeats saw him drop as low as 38th before the UK Championship.[citation needed]

Doherty's poor run of form continued during the 2008–09 season during which he won only two matches. For the first time since 1993, he failed to qualify for the World Championship having been beaten in the final qualifying round by Gerard Greene.[citation needed]

Doherty's form saw an upturn in the 2009/2010 season, with a rise back into the top 32 (at 30) in the rankings, up from 44th; this was thanks to a quarter-final appearance in the 2009 Shanghai Masters, and a last-16 appearance in the 2009 Grand Prix. Doherty defeated six-time World Championship finalist Jimmy White 10–3, and two-time Crucible semi-finalist Joe Swail 10–1 to mark his return to the World Championship for the first time since 2008. In an amusing moment, Doherty got down on his knees and kissed the carpet upon his return to the venue. However, he lost his first-round match 10–4 to reigning Masters champion Mark Selby.[citation needed]

The 2010–11 season proved to be a mixed campaign for Doherty, who made the last 32 of the 2010 World Open, yet missed out on qualifying for the 2011 German Masters, 2011 Welsh Open (snooker) and crucially, blowing a 6–3, losing 10–6 Jimmy Robertson in the final stage of qualifying for the 2011 World Snooker Championship, meaning he had only reached the Crucible in one of his previous three attempts.[citation needed]

2011 Paul Hunter Classic

Doherty had an excellent start to the 2011–12 season as he qualified for the Australian Goldfields Open, where he reached his first ranking event semi-final since 2006. He beat Mark Selby 5–3 in the quarter-finals, sealing the match with a clearance which he described as the best of his career. Doherty also stated that he almost quit the game in 2009, following his downturn in form which saw him drop to world number 55.[7] He failed to replicate his form in the semi-finals, however, as he was beaten 2–6 by Mark Williams.[8] In the remainder of the season Doherty qualified for the German Masters and the Welsh Open, but was defeated in the first round to Williams and Mark Allen respectively, without picking up a frame.[9] He also reached the final of the non-ranking Irish Classic, losing 2–5 to Fergal O'Brien.[10]

2012 Paul Hunter Classic

He was ranked 32nd in the world going into the World Championship qualifiers, where he faced Anthony Hamilton. The match went into a deciding frame with Doherty 40 points behind, but he profited from a Hamilton error to produce a match-winning clearance to win 10–9 and earn a first-round match against Neil Robertson.[11] He lost 4–10 and finished the season ranked world number 35.[12][13]

Doherty began the 2012–13 season by losing 4–5 to Stuart Bingham in the second round of the Wuxi Classic and 3–5 to Martin Gould in the first round of the Australian Goldfields Open.[14] He finally compiled the first official 147 break of his career at the minor-ranking 2012 Paul Hunter Classic in Germany during a first round win against Julian Treiber.[15] He went on to reach the quarter-finals of the event, losing 0–4 to Mark Selby.[14] Doherty was defeated in qualifying for the Shanghai Masters and the 2012 UK Championship and failed to advance beyond the wildcard round of the International Championship.[14] At the fifth European Tour Event, the Scottish Open, he saw off the likes of Luca Brecel and Ryan Day to reach the semi-finals where he lost 2–4 against Ding Junhui.[16] Doherty was eliminated in the first round of the German Masters by Peter Lines, but then had his best run of the season at the Welsh Open.[14] He beat four-time world champion John Higgins 4–1 and Tom Ford 4–3 to make it through to the quarter-finals.[17] He led Stuart Bingham 2–0, but a series of missed pots saw Doherty lose his confidence and he went on to lose 3–5.[18] His aforementioned run to the semi-finals of the Scottish Open helped him finish 16th on the PTC Order of Merit to qualify as one of the top 26 players for the Finals, but he lost 2–4 to Kurt Maflin in the first round.[19] Doherty almost pulled off one of his trademark comebacks against Matthew Selt in the final round of World Championship qualifying as from 4–9 down he levelled at 9–9, but lost the deciding frame.[20] The result meant that this was the first season where Doherty had not featured in any of snooker's Triple Crown events. Doherty increased his ranking by eight spots during the season to finish it ranked world number 27.[21]

Doherty qualified for all but two of the ranking events in the 2013–14 season, but couldn't advance beyond the second round in any of them.[22] In April, he qualified for the World Championship after a 10–5 win against Dechawat Poomjaeng in the final qualifying round.[23][24] Doherty was the oldest player in the draw in his 19th Crucible appearance and after trailing Stuart Bingham 5–4 in the opening session of their first round match, Doherty produced his best snooker to take all six frames in the next session and win a match at the Crucible for the first time since 2006.[25] He then lost 13–8 to Alan McManus, the second oldest player in the event.[26]

Doherty defeated three players to qualify for the 2014 Shanghai Masters and met Mark Selby in the first round after coming through a wildcard round in China, losing 5–2.[27] The only other tournament Doherty could advance to the last 32 in this season was the 2014 UK Championship by overcoming Mitchell Mann and Michael White, but he was beaten 6–1 by Ricky Walden. He was knocked out of the semi-finals of the World Seniors Championship by Fergal O'Brien.[28] He reached the final round of World Championship qualifying following wins over Reanne Evans and Lee Walker, and was thrashed 10–3 by Mark Davis.[29] Doherty was placed 45th in the world rankings at the end of the season, the lowest he had been since 1991.[30]

A 6–0 thrashing at the hands of Peter Ebdon ended Doherty's International Championship at the first round stage and he lost 6–3 to Mark Davis in the second round of the 2015 UK Championship, having whitewashed Tony Drago 6–0 in the opener. His best runs of the season were a pair of last 32 exits at the German Masters and Welsh Open, 5–1 to Stephen Maguire and 4–2 to Joe Perry respectively.[31] His end of season ranking of 57 was the lowest of his 26-year professional career.[32] He had two last 16 showings during the 2016–17 season and would have dropped off the tour at the end of the season as he was outside of the top 64 in the world rankings.[33] However, the day before the 2017 World Championship started it was announced that Doherty would receive an invitational tour card for the next two years.[34]

In 2018 Doherty played against Ronnie O'Sullivan the defending champion in the second round of the UK Championship, few could have predicted it would be a very close match. Doherty was sharp throughout the first half of the first session, leading 3–1, he extended his lead further to 4–1 but O'Sullivan fought back well to win the next 4 frames, Doherty was able to force a decider but ultimately just a few errors from himself was enough for his opponent to finish the frame to prevent him from causing a considerable upset in the tournament where many seeds fell to lower-ranked players already and more would follow. Doherty would be the only player that came close to defeating the eventual champion, besides the final the other matches produced very one-sided results.[citation needed]

Doherty's loss in the 2020 World Championship Qualifying meant that he finished the season outside the top 64 and fell out of the tour. However, he was given an invitational tour card to continue playing professional snooker in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 season.[citation needed]

Playing style

Despite being most renowned as an intelligent tactician, he is a heavy scorer when amongst the balls at close quarters.[35] This relatively cautious approach has led to the nickname "Crafty Ken".[citation needed]

Doherty has played his entire career with a warped cue randomly selected from the cue rack in Jason's, a club where he practiced. He humorously revealed that the club manager originally wanted £5 for it, but Doherty haggled him down to £2. In his words, "It's warped. I must be one of the few professionals playing with a warped cue, but I wouldn't dream of changing it. I have got used to holding it in a certain way, with my eye trained on a piece of grain."[36]

Media work

Doherty works on TV coverage of snooker matches with the BBC snooker coverage team.

He became a regular commentator for the BBC starting with the 2009 Masters Tournament, following the sidelining of veteran expert Clive Everton.

Doherty guested as a presenter on the Morning Show on East Coast FM. He presents a sports programme on Sunshine 106.8FM on Saturday mornings,[37]

Personal life

Doherty resides in Rathgar and is married to Sarah. Their first child, a son named Christian, was born in 2007.[38]

Doherty is a Manchester United fan and he paraded his trophy at Old Trafford in front of 55,000 spectators following his World Championship triumph.[citation needed]

Doherty was nearly blinded in 2002 in a bathroom accident; after slipping, he struck an ornament, which narrowly missed his left eye. However, the distinctive scar on his right cheek dates back to his seventh birthday, when he fell off a shed roof on to a metal dustbin.[36][39]

Doherty made a 147 break in a public exhibition in Ireland, in 2002. He made light of his prize on television shortly afterwards, which was allegedly €300, a BMX bicycle and a toy Ferrari car.[citation needed]

In May 2007, Doherty appeared on RTÉ's spoof show Anonymous, heavily disguised as a priest. Ostensibly he was a beginner at snooker and received some tips from Alex Higgins, who was initially fooled by the make-up and Doherty's hopeless play. However, as "Fr Donoghue" began to clear the table, Higgins' suspicions were aroused and Doherty was eventually rumbled. Doherty's disguise was enough to fool his mother and wife.[citation needed]

He currently[when?] represents an Irish poker site, appearing on radio commercials, and regularly playing in tournaments, where the players on the site receive a bonus for knocking him out.[citation needed]

In partnership with Sean Francis O'Donoghue and Karl Leon Paul, Doherty set up an online Cue Sports equipment-marketing company.[40]

Doherty has been a WPBSA player director since 2012.[41]

Performance and rankings timeline

Tournament 1990/
Ranking[42][nb 1] [nb 2] 51 21 11 7 9 7 3 4 7 7 4 5 6 7 11 2 4 18 44 30 29 35 27 33 45 57 [nb 3] 65 56 [nb 3]
Ranking tournaments
European Masters[nb 4] 3R LQ 1R 2R QF 2R SF NH QF Not Held SF 2R 1R 2R W QF NR Tournament Not Held LQ 2R 1R LQ 2R
English Open Tournament Not Held 1R 1R 1R 1R 1R
Championship League Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event 3R
Northern Ireland Open Tournament Not Held 2R 3R 1R 4R 2R
UK Championship LQ LQ 2R 3R F QF SF 2R 3R 3R 2R F F 2R 2R QF 3R 1R 1R LQ 1R LQ LQ 1R 3R 2R 1R 2R 2R 1R 1R
Scottish Open[nb 5] Not Held SF 2R 3R 1R 2R QF SF 3R F 2R SF SF Tournament Not Held MR Not Held 1R 1R 1R 1R 1R
World Grand Prix Tournament Not Held NR DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ
German Masters[nb 6] Tournament Not Held F 2R SF NR Tournament Not Held LQ 1R 1R 1R LQ 1R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event 4R 1R 2R 2R 3R
Welsh Open NH 2R W 3R 1R 2R 3R 1R 1R 3R W F QF 3R QF 3R 3R 3R LQ LQ LQ 1R QF 2R 2R 3R 1R 1R 2R 2R 2R
Players Championship[nb 7] Tournament Not Held DNQ DNQ 1R DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ
Gibraltar Open Tournament Not Held MR WD 4R 3R 1R 2R
WST Pro Series Tournament Not Held RR
Tour Championship Tournament Not Held DNQ DNQ DNQ
World Championship 1R LQ LQ QF 1R 2R W F QF 2R QF QF F 1R 2R QF 1R 1R LQ 1R LQ 1R LQ 2R LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ
Non-ranking tournaments
World Seniors Championship NH A Tournament Not Held QF A A A SF 1R A A NH A F
The Masters LQ 1R 1R QF 1R 1R SF SF F F QF 1R SF QF 1R 1R QF SF LQ LQ A A A A A A A A A A A
Championship League Tournament Not Held 2R RR A A A A A A A A A A A A
Variant format tournaments
Six-red World Championship[nb 8] Tournament Not Held 2R 2R RR NH 1R 1R 1R 1R A A A RR NH
Former ranking tournaments
Classic QF 3R Tournament Not Held
Strachan Open[nb 9] NH SF MR NR Tournament Not Held
Dubai Classic[nb 10] 1R 2R 2R QF QF 1R SF Tournament Not Held
Malta Grand Prix Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event W NR Tournament Not Held
Thailand Masters[nb 11] LQ 2R 2R 2R 2R F 2R SF QF SF W QF NR Not Held NR Tournament Not Held
British Open 1R SF QF 3R 2R 3R 1R SF 2R 3R 2R 3R 2R 2R 3R Tournament Not Held
Irish Masters Non-Ranking Event 1R SF 2R NH NR Tournament Not Held
Northern Ireland Trophy Tournament Not Held NR QF 3R 2R Tournament Not Held
Bahrain Championship Tournament Not held 1R Tournament Not held
Wuxi Classic[nb 12] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event 2R 1R 1R Tournament Not Held
Australian Goldfields Open[nb 13] Tournament Not Held NR Tournament Not Held SF 1R 1R LQ LQ Tournament Not Held
Shanghai Masters Tournament Not Held 1R LQ QF 1R LQ LQ LQ 1R LQ LQ A NR NH
Paul Hunter Classic[nb 14] Tournament Not Held Pro-am Event Minor-Ranking Event A 3R A NR NH
Riga Masters[nb 15] Tournament Not Held MR 3R SF A A NH
Indian Open Tournament Not Held 1R 1R NH LQ 3R LQ Not Held
China Open[nb 16] Tournament Not Held NR QF LQ 2R QF Not Held SF SF QF 2R LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R 1R 1R LQ LQ LQ 2R Not Held
China Championship Tournament Not Held NR 1R 1R WD NH
International Championship Tournament Not Held WR LQ LQ 1R 1R A 1R 1R NH
World Open[nb 17] LQ 2R F F 3R 3R 3R 1R 2R QF QF 2R 2R SF 2R 2R 2R RR LQ 2R 1R LQ LQ 2R Not Held LQ 1R LQ 1R NH
Former non-ranking tournaments
World Masters 2R Tournament Not Held
Top Rank Classic Tournament Not Held RR Tournament Not Held
Red & White Challenge Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held
Superstar International Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held
German Masters[nb 6] Tournament Not Held Ranking Event SF Tournament Not Held Ranking Event
Pontins Professional A A W W F W SF SF QF QF Tournament Not Held
Malta Grand Prix Tournament Not Held A SF QF W F R RR Tournament Not Held
Champions Cup[nb 18] Tournament Not Held 1R SF QF SF SF RR RR SF Tournament Not Held
Scottish Masters A A A W W QF QF QF 1R QF SF QF 1R Tournament Not Held
Euro-Asia Masters Event 1 Tournament Not Held F Tournament Not Held
Euro-Asia Masters Event 2 Tournament Not Held W Tournament Not Held
World Champions v Asia Stars Tournament Not Held RR Tournament Not Held
Northern Ireland Trophy Tournament Not Held 1R Ranking Event Tournament Not Held
Irish Masters QF F QF 1R QF SF 1R W QF 1R 1R SF Ranking Event NH QF Tournament Not Held
Premier League[nb 19] A A A A F W SF W RR A A A A A A A RR A A A A A A Tournament Not Held
Euro-Asia Masters Challenge Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held
Irish Professional Championship NH 1R W Tournament Not Held F W W Tournament Not Held
Pot Black A A A 1R Tournament Not Held A SF W Tournament Not Held
European Open[nb 4] Ranking Event NH R Not Held Ranking Event F Tournament Not Held Ranking Event
World Series Jersey Tournament Not Held QF Tournament Not Held
World Series Warsaw Tournament Not Held F Tournament Not Held
World Series Grand Final Tournament Not Held 2R Tournament Not Held
World Series Killarney Tournament Not Held SF Tournament Not Held
Masters Qualifying Event[nb 20] 3R W MR A A A A A A A A A A A NH A A A SF 1R Tournament Not Held
Legends of Snooker Tournament Not Held F Tournament Not Held
Irish Classic Tournament Not Held A W RR A F Tournament Not Held
Shoot-Out[nb 21] 4R Tournament Not Held 3R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R Ranking Event
Paul Hunter Classic Tournament Not Held Pro-am Event Minor-Ranking Event Ranking Event 1R NH
Performance Table Legend
LQ lost in the qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
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
DQ disqualified from the tournament
NH / Not Heldevent was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Eventevent is/was no longer a ranking event.
R / Ranking Eventevent is/was a ranking event.
RV / Ranking & Variant Format Eventmeans an event is/was a ranking & variant format event.
MR / Minor-Ranking Eventmeans an event is/was a minor-ranking event.
PA / Pro-am Eventmeans an event is/was a pro-am event.
VF / Variant Format Eventmeans an event is/was a variant format event.
  1. From the 2010/2011 season it shows the ranking at the beginning of the season.
  2. New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
  3. Players issued an invitational tour card began the season without ranking points.
  4. The event ran under different names as the European Open (1992/1993–1996/1997), Irish Open (1998/1999) and Malta Cup (2004/2005–2007/2008)
  5. The event run under different names as International Open (1992/1993–1996/1997) and Players Championship (2003/2004)
  6. The event run under different name as German Open (1995/1996–1997/1998)
  7. The event run under different name as Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011–2012/2013)
  8. The event run under different names as Six-red Snooker International (2008/2009) and Six-red World Grand Prix (2009/2010)
  9. The event run under different name as Strachan Challenge (1992/1993–1993/1994)
  10. The event run under different names as Thailand Classic (1995/1996) and Asian Classic (1996/1997)
  11. The event run under different names as Asian Open (1990/1991–1992/1993) and Thailand Open (1993/1994–1996/97)
  12. The event run under different name as Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009–2009/2010)
  13. The event run under different names as Australian Open (1994/1995) and Australian Masters (1995/1996)
  14. The event was called the Grand Prix Fürth (2004/2005) and the Fürth German Open (2005/2006–2006/2007)
  15. The event was called the Riga Open (2014/2015–2015/2016)
  16. The event run under different name as China International (1997/1998–1998/1999)
  17. The event run under different names as Grand Prix (1990/1991–2000/2001 and 2004/2005–2009/2010), LG Cup (2001/2002–2003/2004), the World Open (2010/2011) and the Haikou World Open (2011/2012–2013/2014)
  18. The event run under different name as cham (1994/1995–1998/1999)
  19. The event run under different names as Matchroom League (1990/1991–1991/1992) and European League (1992/1993–1996/1997)
  20. The event was also called the Benson & Hedges Championship (1990/1991–2002/2003)
  21. The event run under different name as Shoot-Out (1990/1991)

Career finals

Ranking finals: 17 (6 titles, 11 runners-up)

World Championship (1–2)
UK Championship (0–3)
Other (5–6)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1992 Grand Prix Jimmy White 9–10
Winner 1. 1993 Welsh Open Alan McManus 9–7
Runner-up 2. 1993 Grand Prix (2) Peter Ebdon 6–9
Runner-up 3. 1994 UK Championship Stephen Hendry 5–10
Runner-up 4. 1995 German Open John Higgins 3–9
Runner-up 5. 1996 Thailand Open Alan McManus 8–9
Winner 2. 1997 World Snooker Championship Stephen Hendry 18–12
Runner-up 6. 1998 World Snooker Championship John Higgins 12–18
Winner 3. 2000 Malta Grand Prix Mark Williams 9–3
Winner 4. 2001 Welsh Open (2) Paul Hunter 9–2
Winner 5. 2001 Thailand Masters Stephen Hendry 9–3
Runner-up 7. 2001 Scottish Open Peter Ebdon 7–9
Runner-up 8. 2001 UK Championship (2) Ronnie O'Sullivan 1–10
Runner-up 9. 2002 Welsh Open Paul Hunter 7–9
Runner-up 10. 2002 UK Championship (3) Mark Williams 9–10
Runner-up 11. 2003 World Snooker Championship (2) Mark Williams 16–18
Winner 6. 2006 Malta Cup John Higgins 9–8

Minor-ranking finals: 1 (1 runner-up)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1993 Strachan Challenge – Event 3 Tony Drago 7–9

Non-ranking finals: 31 (17 titles, 14 runners-up)

The Masters (0–2)
Premier League (2–1)
Other (15–11)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1991 Benson & Hedges Championship Darren Morgan 9–3
Runner-up 1. 1992 Irish Masters Stephen Hendry 6–9
Winner 2. 1993 Irish Professional Championship Stephen Murphy 9–2
Winner 3. 1993 Pontins Professional Darren Morgan 9–3
Winner 4. 1993 Scottish Masters Alan McManus 10–9
Winner 5. 1994 Pontins Professional (2) Nigel Bond 9–5
Winner 6. 1994 Scottish Masters (2) Stephen Hendry 9–7
Runner-up 2. 1995 European League Stephen Hendry 2–10
Runner-up 3. 1995 Pontins Professional Peter Ebdon 8–9
Winner 7. 1996 European League Steve Davis 10–5
Winner 8. 1996 Pontins Professional (3) Nigel Bond 9–7
Winner 9. 1997 Malta Grand Prix John Higgins 7–5
Winner 10. 1998 Premier League (2) Jimmy White 10–2
Winner 11. 1998 Irish Masters Ronnie O'Sullivan Disqualified [nb 1]
Runner-up 4. 1998 Malta Grand Prix Stephen Hendry 6–7
Runner-up 5. 1999 The Masters John Higgins 8–10
Runner-up 6. 2000 The Masters (2) Matthew Stevens 8–10
Runner-up 7. 2003 Euro-Asia Masters Challenge – Event 1 James Wattana 4–6
Winner 12. 2003 Euro-Asia Masters Challenge – Event 2 Marco Fu 5–2
Runner-up 8. 2005 Irish Professional Championship Joe Swail 7–9
Winner 13. 2006 Irish Professional Championship (2) Michael Judge 9–4
Winner 14. 2007 Irish Professional Championship (3) Fergal O'Brien 9–2
Winner 15. 2007 Pot Black Shaun Murphy 1–0
Runner-up 9. 2008 Malta Cup Shaun Murphy 3–9
Winner 16. 2008 Irish Classic Fergal O'Brien 5–2
Runner-up 10. 2008 World Series of Snooker Warsaw Ding Junhui 4–6
Runner-up 11. 2009 Legends of Snooker Stephen Hendry 3–5
Runner-up 12. 2011 Irish Classic Fergal O'Brien 2–5
Runner-up 13. 2017 UK Seniors Championship Jimmy White 2–4
Winner 17. 2018 UK Seniors Championship Igor Figueiredo 4–1
Runner-up 14. 2020 World Seniors Championship Jimmy White 4–5

Variant finals: 1 (1 title)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2009 Pro Challenge Series – Six-red Event Martin Gould 6–2

Team finals: 2 (2 runners-up)

Outcome No. Year Championship Team Opponent(s) in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1996 World Cup  Ireland  Scotland 7–10
Runner-up 2. 2001 Nations Cup  Ireland  Scotland 2–6

Pro-am finals: 13 (6 titles, 7 runners-up)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 1988 Pontins Spring Open Colin Morton 7–5
Runner-up 1. 1989 Pontins Spring Open Peter Ebdon 4–7
Winner 2. 1996 Pontins Spring Open (2) Darren Morgan 7–3
Winner 3. 1997 Pontins Spring Open (3) Paul Bunyard 7–6
Winner 4. 2003 Liam O'Connor Memorial Ian McCulloch 6–2[43]
Winner 5. 2003 Barry McNamee Memorial Trophy Joe Swail 6–5[44]
Runner-up 2. 2005 Swiss Open Ricky Walden 3–5[45]
Runner-up 3. 2006 Pontins Pro-Am - Event 1 Jamie Cope 2–4[46]
Winner 6. 2006 Pontins World Series Grand Final Ricky Walden 4–2[47]
Runner-up 4. 2007 Paul Hunter Classic Barry Pinches 0–4
Runner-up 5. 2007 Swiss Open Dave Harold 0–5[48]
Runner-up 6. 2009 Pontins Pro-Am - Event 4 Michael White 4–5[49]
Runner-up 7. 2009 Pontins World Series Grand Final Stuart Bingham 1–3[47]

Amateur finals: 5 (4 titles, 1 runner-up)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1985 Irish Amateur Championship Gay Burns 6–11
Winner 1. 1987 Irish Amateur Championship Richard Nolan 8–7
Winner 2. 1989 Irish Amateur Championship (2) Anthony O'Connor 8–5
Winner 3. 1989 World Under-21 Amateur Championship Jason Ferguson 11–5
Winner 4. 1989 World Amateur Championship Jonathan Birch 11–2


  1. Having won 9–3, Ronnie O'Sullivan was subsequently stripped of his title and disqualified from the tournament, for failing a drugs test. Doherty was awarded the title.
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Further reading