Michael Holt
Michael Holt PHC 2016-1.jpg
Paul Hunter Classic 2016
Born (1978-08-07) 7 August 1978 (age 41)
Nottingham, England
Sport country England
NicknameThe Hitman
Professional1996/1997, 1998–
Highest ranking20 (September 2013–March 2014)[1][2]
Current ranking 37 (as of 4 November 2019)
Career winnings£1,104,943
Highest break145:
2005 UK Championship
Century breaks203
Best ranking finishRunner-up (2016 Riga Masters, 2019 Shoot-Out)
Tournament wins

Michael Holt (born 7 August 1978) is a professional snooker player from Nottingham, England. A former world top 20 player, he has won two minor-ranking tournaments and has reached two ranking event finals- the Riga Open and the Snooker Shootout - as well as five further quarter-finals and the Shanghai Masters semi-final.


He lost in the final qualifying round of the World Snooker Championship in 2001 and 2002. Holt almost qualified for the 2004 event – he was 9–5 ahead in his final qualifying match against Anthony Hamilton, before losing the next five frames to lose the match.

In the 2005 World Snooker Championship, he beat his friend Paul Hunter in the first round. In the second round he faced Steve Davis, losing 10–13 after having led 8–2. For the 2005 tournament he used eBay to auction the sponsorship space on his waistcoat to Cabaret, a Nottingham nightspot.

He qualified for the 2006 World Championship, and lost in the first round to eventual runner-up Peter Ebdon 10–8, earning Ebdon's applause as a result of his performance. He won the non-ranking German Open in 2006, and reached the final in 2005. His 5–3 victory over Ronnie O'Sullivan in the 2007 Malta Cup was his first in five attempts against O'Sullivan. He then lost to Mark King in the last 16 there. He lost to eventual champion John Higgins in the first round in 2007 [3] The rest of 2007 was unspectacular, barring victory in the minor Dutch Open, which featured 7 of the top 32 of the time,[4] including wins over Nigel Bond and Barry Pinches. He missed out on the 2008 World Championship after losing to Michael Judge, causing him to drop out of the top 32 after 4 seasons there, after a season in which he failed to reach the last 16 of a ranking event.

Holt's results improved in 2008/2009. He reached the last 16 of the 2008 Grand Prix, defeating Jimmy White and Michael Judge to qualify and scored a 5–1 defeat of Mark Allen at the venue, before losing 2–5 to Ding Junhui. In the subsequent Bahrain Championship Holt scored a 5–0 victory over David Morris in which his Irish opponent scored just 10 points, the lowest total in a best-of-nine world ranking match since 1992.[5] He then beat Jamie Cope to reach the last sixteen and commented that he was in the best form of his life.[6] He then lost 4–5 to Robert Milkins in the last 16, having led 3–0. He defeated Mark Davis and Dominic Dale to reach the 2009 World Championship, guaranteeing his return to the top 32. He summarised the change in his game by commenting "This year, people have had to beat me. I haven't given matches away" [7]

Holt qualified for three of the six ranking tournaments in the 2009/2010 season, but lost in the first round in each.[8] The 2010/2011 season saw the introduction of Players Tour Championship (PTC) events. At the Prague Classic, Holt won six matches to reach the first final of the career which included victories over Stephen Maguire, Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy. He faced John Higgins who he had failed to beat in 13 previous meetings, but produced a superb performance to win 4–2. Holt dedicated the title to his father who had suffered a stroke two months previously.[9] The result ensured he would qualify for the PTC Finals as he finished 13th on the Order of Merit and he saw off Marco Fu 4–1 and Barry Pinches 4–3 to match his best result in a full ranking event. In the quarter-finals he lost 4–2 against Martin Gould.[10] Despite his late season surge in form he ended it ranked world number 45, the lowest he had been in ten years.[11]

Holt reached the second round of ranking events three times during the 2011/2012 season, but lost on each occasion.[12] He saved his best performances for the minor-ranking PTC events for the second season in a row most notably at the 10th event where he won the title by beating Dominic Dale 4–2 in the final. Holt said afterwards that the shorter matches suit him as there is not enough time for him to lose his head and stated that if he could maintain a consistent temperament he could achieve more success in the game.[13] He was also a losing quarter-finalist in three other events to finish fourth on the Order of Merit and qualify for the Finals again where he was beaten 4–1 by Stephen Lee.[12]

Holt qualified for four of the first six ranking events in the 2012/2013 season, but could not advance beyond the first round in any of them.[14] At the German Masters he beat Mark Williams 5–1 and Kurt Maflin 5–3 to reach the quarter-finals where he lost 5–2 to Ali Carter.[14]

At the 2013 Shanghai Masters, Holt reached the semi-finals of a ranking event for the first time in his 17-year career.[15] He began the event by outplaying Judd Trump in a 5–1 win with breaks of 115 and 97.[16] His second round match against Martin Gould went to the colours in the deciding frame with Gould missing the final blue, before Holt potted the blue and pink to triumph 5–4.[17] He then swept past world number 100 Kyren Wilson 5–1 to face home favourite Xiao Guodong in the semis.[18] Holt was beaten 6–3 by Xiao in a high quality encounter.[19] His form continued into the following week's Zhangjiagang Open by winning six games to reach his third minor-ranking final where he lost 4–1 to Ju Reti.[20] At the German Masters, Holt played Trump in the quarter-finals, with Trump exacting some revenge from his defeat earlier in the season by whitewashing Holt 5–0.[21] Holt qualified for the World Championship, losing 10–4 to Mark Allen in the first round, but his successful season saw him finish it as the world number 22, the highest he had been in eight years.[11]

Holt began the 2014/2015 season by advancing to the final of the Yixing Open, but he was beaten 4–2 by Ding Junhui.[22] He eliminated Rory McLeod and Sam Baird at the Wuxi Classic, before losing 5–1 to Neil Robertson in the last 16. A second last 16 ranking event appearance followed at the Shanghai Masters after Holt overcame Ricky Walden 5–2, but he was ousted by reigning world champion Mark Selby 5–2.[23] Holt made a 138 break during his 6–1 victory over Zak Surety in the opening round of the UK Championship, before losing 6–3 to Dechawat Poomjaeng.[24] He lost his first six ranking matches in 2015, but qualified for the PTC Grand Final by finishing sixth on the Asian Order of Merit.[25] There, Holt defeated Jimmy Robertson 4–2 and held on against Stephen Maguire to win 4–3 having been 3–0 up.[26] In his only quarter-final in a ranking event this season, Holt was knocked out 4–1 by Joe Perry.[23]

The 2015/2016 season was a solid but unspectacular year for Holt as he qualified for every ranking event he entered, but was unable to make a single quarter-final appearance. However, he did have a number of significant wins during the campaign. He reached the semi-finals of the minor-ranking Paul Hunter Classic by beating Judd Trump 4–1, but lost 4–2 to Ali Carter.[27] Holt played Ronnie O'Sullivan in the opening round of the World Grand Prix and he made breaks of 88 and 119 in going 3–0 up. O'Sullivan responded to make it 3–3, before a 76 from Holt saw him advance to the second round, where he was knocked out 4–2 by Liang Wenbo.[28] In the first round of the World Championship he scored his first win at the Crucible for 11 years by beating 2010 winner Neil Robertson 10–6.[29] In the second round Holt lost 13–8 to Mark Williams, but hoped the defeat would be a turning point in his career and that next year he would arrive at the tournament as a ranking event winner.[30]

Holt almost delivered on this statement straight away as he reached the final of the Riga Masters, the first ranking event of the 2016/2017 season. He got past reigning world champion Mark Selby 4–1 and then beat Ian Burns and Stuart Bingham both 4–3 and Anthony McGill 4–0.[31] His semi-final with Mark Williams was decided on the final brown in a deciding frame. In Holt's first ranking event final he took a slender 2–1 lead over Neil Robertson, but was defeated 5–2.[32] Holt beat Ronnie O'Sullivan for the second time in a row when he knocked him out 5–2 in the second round of the Shanghai Masters.[33] He had a chance to force a deciding frame in the quarter-finals against Ding Junhui but a missed black off the spot saw him lose 5–3.[34] Another win over O'Sullivan came in the third round of the International Championship, before narrowly losing 6–5 to Stuart Bingham in the quarter-finals.[35][36] Holt lost in the second round of the UK Championship, German Masters and China Open.[31] He was one win away from qualifying for the World Championship and his tie with Peter Ebdon went to a final frame decider. Holt went in-off on the final blue and Ebdon potted the final three balls to win 10–9.[37]


Analysis of his body language at the 2006 World Championships found apparent flaws in his attitude and temperament.[38] Holt finds it difficult to re-focus after playing a bad shot. This can lead to dips in form that may last for two to three frames.[39]

Personal life

Holt stated during the 2016 World Championship that he regrets leaving school early and that he was studying for a business degree from the Open University. He got married in June 2017 and now has a son, born in March 2018.[40] Holt supports his local side Nottingham Forest.[41]

Performance and rankings timeline

Tournament 1996/
Ranking[42][nb 1] [nb 2] [nb 3] [nb 2] 74 62 45 35 39 29 24 21 24 34 24 24 45 33 26 22 25 29 23 31 44
Ranking tournaments
Riga Masters[nb 4] Tournament Not Held MR F LQ 2R 2R
International Championship Tournament Not Held LQ LQ LQ 2R QF 1R 2R 1R
China Championship Tournament Not Held NR 1R LQ 1R
English Open Tournament Not Held 1R 1R 1R 3R
World Open[nb 5] LQ A LQ LQ LQ 1R 3R QF 1R QF RR RR 2R LQ LQ 2R 1R 2R Not Held 2R 2R 2R QF
Northern Ireland Open Tournament Not Held 2R 3R 3R 2R
UK Championship LQ A 3R QF LQ 1R LQ 1R 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R 1R LQ LQ 1R 3R 2R 3R 2R 2R 2R
Scottish Open[nb 6] LQ A LQ LQ LQ LQ 2R 1R Tournament Not Held MR Not Held 2R 3R 2R
European Masters[nb 7] LQ NH LQ Not Held LQ 1R LQ 1R LQ 2R NR Tournament Not Held 1R 1R LQ
German Masters[nb 8] LQ A NR Tournament Not Held LQ LQ QF QF 1R 2R 2R LQ LQ
World Grand Prix Tournament Not Held NR 2R 1R DNQ DNQ
Welsh Open LQ A LQ LQ 1R LQ 2R 2R 1R 2R 2R 2R LQ LQ 1R 1R LQ 3R 1R 2R 1R 2R 1R
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event 2R 2R F
Players Championship[nb 9] Tournament Not Held QF 2R DNQ 1R QF 1R DNQ DNQ DNQ
Gibraltar Open Tournament Not Held MR 2R WD 1R
Tour Championship Tournament Not Held DNQ
China Open[nb 10] NH NR 1R LQ 1R LQ Not Held 1R 2R 1R LQ WR LQ LQ WR 1R 1R LQ 2R 2R 2R 2R
World Championship LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ LQ 2R 1R 1R LQ 1R 1R LQ LQ 1R 1R LQ 2R LQ LQ LQ
Non-ranking tournaments
Paul Hunter Classic Tournament Not Held Pro-am Event Minor-Ranking Event Ranking Event 1R
Haining Open Tournament Not Held MR A A 3R 3R
Championship League Tournament Not Held RR A RR A A A RR RR RR RR RR A
Variant format tournaments
Six-red World Championship[nb 11] Tournament Not Held SF 2R QF NH A A 1R 1R QF QF RR A
Former ranking tournaments
Dubai Classic[nb 12] LQ Tournament Not Held
Malta Grand Prix Non-Ranking Event 1R NR Tournament Not Held
Thailand Masters[nb 13] LQ A LQ LQ 1R 1R NR Not Held NR Tournament Not Held
British Open LQ A 3R LQ 1R LQ LQ 2R 3R Tournament Not Held
Irish Masters Non-Ranking Event LQ 1R LQ NH NR Tournament Not Held
Northern Ireland Trophy Tournament Not Held NR 1R 1R 2R Tournament Not Held
Bahrain Championship Tournament Not Held 2R Tournament Not Held
Wuxi Classic[nb 14] Tournament Not Held Non-Ranking Event WR LQ 3R Tournament Not Held
Australian Goldfields Open Tournament Not Held LQ 1R 1R 1R 2R Not Held
Shanghai Masters Tournament Not Held 1R LQ 1R LQ 2R LQ SF 2R 2R QF 1R Non-Rank.
Paul Hunter Classic[nb 15] Tournament Not Held Pro-am Event Minor-Ranking Event 3R 1R A NR
Indian Open Tournament Not Held 2R LQ NH LQ 3R 1R NH
Former non-ranking tournaments
World Grand Prix Tournament Not Held 1R Ranking Event
General Cup[nb 16] Tournament Not Held A Tournament Not Held A NH A A A A RR Not Held
Shoot-Out Tournament Not Held 1R 1R SF 2R QF 1R Ranking
China Championship Tournament Not Held QF Ranking
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
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.
PA / Pro-am Event means an event is/was a pro-am event.
VF / Variant Format Event means 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. ^ a b New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
  3. ^ He was not on the Main Tour.
  4. ^ The event was called the Riga Open (2014/2015–2015/2016)
  5. ^ The event was called the Grand Prix (1996/1997–2000/2001 and 2004/2005–2009/2010), the LG Cup (2001/2002–2003/2004) and the Haikou World Open (2011/2012–2013/2014)
  6. ^ The event was called the International Open (1996/1997) and the Players Championship (2003/2004)
  7. ^ The event was called the Irish Open (1998/1999) and Malta Cup (2004/2005–2007/2008)
  8. ^ The event was called the German Open (1996/1997–1997/1998)
  9. ^ The event was called the Players Tour Championship Grand Finals (2010/2011–2012/2013) and the Players Championship Grand Final (2013/2014–2015/2016)
  10. ^ The event was called the China International (1997/1998–1998/1999)
  11. ^ The event was called the Six-red Snooker International (2008/2009) and the Six-red World Grand Prix (2009/2010)
  12. ^ The event was called the Asian Classic (1996/1997)
  13. ^ The event was called the Thailand Open (1996/1997)
  14. ^ The event was called the Jiangsu Classic (2008/2009–2009/2010)
  15. ^ The event was called the Grand Prix Fürth (2004/2005) and the Fürth German Open (2005/2006–2006/2007)
  16. ^ The event was called the General Cup International (2004/2005–2011/2012)

Career finals

Ranking finals: 2 (2 runners-up)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 2016 Riga Masters Australia Neil Robertson 2–5
Runner-up 2. 2019 Snooker Shoot-Out Thailand Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 0–1

Minor-ranking finals: 4 (2 titles, 2 runners-up)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2010 Prague Classic Scotland John Higgins 4–3
Winner 2. 2011 Players Tour Championship – Event 10 Wales Dominic Dale 4–2
Runner-up 1. 2013 Zhangjiagang Open China Ju Reti 1–4
Runner-up 2. 2014 Yixing Open China Ding Junhui 2–4

Non-ranking finals: 3 (1 title, 2 runners-up)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 1997 UK Tour – Event 2 Scotland Paul McPhillips 5–6
Winner 1. 2001 Merseyside Professional Championship England Rod Lawler 5–3
Runner-up 2. 2009 Pro Challenge Series – Event 5 England Barry Hawkins 5–6

Pro-am finals: 6 (3 titles, 3 runners-up)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 2005 Fürth German Open England Mark King 2–4
Runner-up 2. 2005 Dutch Open Belgium Bjorn Haneveer 1–6
Winner 1. 2006 Fürth German Open England Barry Hawkins 4–2
Winner 2. 2007 Dutch Open England Barry Pinches 6–4
Winner 3. 2010 Pink Ribbon England Jimmy White 6–5
Runner-up 3. 2011 Pink Ribbon England Mark Joyce 0–4

Team finals: 2 (2 titles)

Outcome No. Year Championship Team/partner Opponent(s) in the final Score
Winner 1. 2009 World Mixed Doubles Championship England Reanne Evans England Joe Perry
England Leah Willett
Winner 2. 2017 CVB Snooker Challenge  Great Britain  China 26–9


  1. ^ "World Rankings after the Zhangjiagang Open (AT2) 2013" (PDF). World Snooker. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  2. ^ "World Rankings after the Dongguan Open (AT4) 2014" (PDF). World Snooker. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  3. ^ BBC Nottingham: Holt's tough Crucible test.
  4. ^ World Snooker News
  5. ^ World Snooker News: Walden Earns Bahrain Berth
  6. ^ BBC Sport: Seeds crash out in Bahrain event
  7. ^ Holt Wants to Fulfil Potential
  8. ^ "Michael Holt 2009/2010". Snooker.org. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Michael Holt dedicates Euro Players Tour win to father". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Michael Holt 2010/2011". Snooker.org. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  11. ^ a b "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Michael Holt 2011/2012". Snooker.org. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Holt Downs Dale For PTC Success". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 2 January 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Michael Holt 2012/2013". Snooker.org. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  15. ^ "Shanghai Masters: Nottingham's Michael Holt into semi-final". Sky Sports. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  16. ^ "Hitman Holt Floors Trump". World Snooker. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  17. ^ "Shanghai Masters: Michael Holt continues good run; John Higgins and Shaun Murphy beaten". Sky Sports. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  18. ^ "Arnold potter sweeps into Shanghai Masters semis". Nottingham Post. Archived from the original on 17 April 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  19. ^ "Xiao Powers Into Final". World Snooker. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  20. ^ "Ju-bilation For Chinese Amateur". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 30 September 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  21. ^ "Michael Holt 2013/2014". Snooker.org. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  22. ^ "Ding The King In Yixing". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 22 June 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  23. ^ a b "Michael Holt 2014/2015". Snooker.org. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  24. ^ "Michael Holt happy with performance in first round UK Snooker Championship win". Nottingham Post. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  25. ^ "Asian Order of Merit 2014/2015". Snooker.org. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  26. ^ "Williams Fight-Back Floors Selby". World Snooker. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  27. ^ "Michael Holt 2015/2016". Snooker.org. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  28. ^ "Ronnie O'Sullivan exits Grand Prix on first day in Llandudno". Sky Sports. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  29. ^ "Nottingham's Michael Holt now 'feeling comfortable' at World Snooker Championship". Nottingham Post. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  30. ^ "Michael Holt hopes World Championship exit could prove a positive turning point in his career". Nottingham Post. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  31. ^ a b "Michael Holt 2016/2017". Snooker.org. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  32. ^ "Robertson Rules in Riga". World Snooker. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  33. ^ "Ronnie O'Sullivan loses to Michael Holt in last 16 of Shanghai Masters". Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  34. ^ "Ding sees off Holt 5–3 to reach last four of Shanghai Masters". CCTV. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  35. ^ "International Championship: John Higgins through to last eight but Ronnie O'Sullivan out". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  36. ^ "Stuart Bingham sets up Shaun Murphy semi-final, Mark Allen to face John Higgins". Eurosport. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  37. ^ "Yan Secures Crucible Debut". World Snooker. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  38. ^ Bet Finder: 888.com World Snooker Championship Player Guide & Wallchart (search for Michael Holt) Archived 25 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ "Living snooker: The thinker". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  40. ^ "Michael Holt: 'Leaving school early to play snooker remains a huge regret in my life'". Eurosport. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  41. ^ https://twitter.com/hitmanholt/status/130256351329918976
  42. ^ "Ranking History". Snooker.org. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  43. ^ "Reanne Evans carried world No 34 Michael Holt to victory in the mixed pairs". womensportreport.com. Retrieved 19 August 2018.

External links

  • Michael Holt at worldsnooker.com
  • Michael Holt at CueTracker: Snooker Results & Statistics Database