Best of 2012: The Best Player

Having considered what was the best match played during 2012, today I turn to the matter of who has been the best player, a category which for me is very difficult to call this year. Click below for my thoughts and to vote in the poll…

Please note that the suggestions are merely my nominations and that you can vote for any other player by selecting ‘other’ in the above poll and entering your selection. The following players are listed in no particular order.

Judd Trump

The clear winner of this award in 2011, Judd Trump is again one of the players who has impressed the most during 2012, notably winning the International Championship in November to become just snooker’s tenth world number one.

In addition, Judd also reached the final of the Shanghai Masters and UKPTC4 events, where he lost out narrowly to John Higgins on both occasions, before he gained a measure of revenge when he defeated the Scot to win the ET4 event in Sofia.

Judd also reached the semi-final of the Masters for the first time in January, before a series of quarter-final runs during full-ranking events secured a useful haul of ranking points.

Ronnie O’Sullivan

Though he has barely picked up his cue (in competition at least), since the World Championship back in May, having triumphed at the Crucible, as well as the German Masters back in February, this was the year that Ronnie O’Sullivan reaffirmed his status as the man to beat when he is fully motivated.

Other than those tournaments there is little to add, but the way that he played at times during his Crucible run was worthy of his inclusion in this poll alone.

Mark Selby

For Mark Selby, it was not a year without difficulty as he battled the effects of a neck injury which would ultimately derail his ambitions of a first world title at the Crucible Theatre.

Despite that however, 2012 proved to be another successful year for the Leicester man as he was able to retain top spot in the rankings for the majority of it, as well as lift the biggest tournament of his career at the UK Championship in York earlier this month.

Add to that the successful defence of his Paul Hunter Classic title in Furth earlier this season, as well as a run to the final of the Welsh Open in Newport and overall it was another strong year for the man ending it ranked where he began, in top spot.

Neil Robertson

The other major winner of 2012, Australia’s Neil Robertson reaffirmed his position as one of the game’s leading competitors this year, following a disappointing campaign after his world title victory in 2010.

The obvious highlight was of course his triumph at the Masters back in January, while he also reached the final of the International Championship later in the year, his strongest result yet in China.

Though the World and UK Championships eluded him, he heads into 2013 with a real chance of re-capturing the number one ranking at some stage.

Stuart Bingham

While he did not win one of snooker’s major events in 2012, Stuart Bingham enjoyed a terrific year as he added the Premier League title to the Australian Goldsfield Open tournament that he won a year earlier, as well as two of the three APTC events to make sure of his place at the PTC Grand Finals next year. Stuart also won the Pink Ribbon pro-am in the summer months, as well as reaching the final of the Wuxi Classic during which he made a maximum 147 break.

What stood out most for Stuart was not just his results, but his demeanour and confidence around the table, never more so than during his Premier League success, which included back to back whitewashes of Mark Selby and Neil Robertson during the group stage, as well as wins against John Higgins and Judd Trump to emerge from the play-offs victorious.

Having spent so many years fighting to get into the top 16, Stuart not only cemented his place among that bracket in 2012, but showed that he now very much deserves to be there.


Who was your player of 2012?