Name: Robin Hull
DOB: 16th August 1974
Turned Pro: 1992
Highest Ranking: #32 (2003/4)
Highest Break: 145 (1994 Grand Prix)
Career Highlights: 2003 Welsh Open quarter-finalist, 2006 Malta Cup quarter-finalist, 2002 World Championship last 32, 1992 IBSF World U-21 champion, 1997 EBSA European champion, 8x Finnish National champion
A talented player who but for health problems could have achieved so much more, Robin is one of just three players to have made over 100 century breaks in professional competition having not been a member of the top 16 and will now be hoping to make up for lost time having earned a place on the main tour once again.
Born in Helsinki, Finland’s Robin Hull enjoyed a successful amateur career, taking both the European Championship as well as the IBSF World U-21 Championship. He first turned professional back in 1992, entering the rankings at 128 in 1995 and remaining ranked outside of the world’s top 100 at the end of the decade.
There was however to be improvement during the 2001/2 campaign as Robin’s performances saw him leap up to 39th in the rankings, thanks in part to a victory against Steve Davis to qualify for the final stages of the World Championship for the first time.
Robin in action at the 2011 UK Championship qualifiers
Although he lost out at the Crucible to Graeme Dott, he continued his improved form into the following season, reaching his first ranking event quarter-final at the 2003 Welsh Open, gaining revenge over Dott at the last 32 stage before overcoming John Higgins in the next round.
His second quarter-final was to come three years later at the Malta Cup but during the intervening years he was to suffer from a potentially fatal viral infection which prevented him from climbing higher than 31st in the rankings.
Robin was to struggle with further health issues during 2007/8 when he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and was thus unable to compete, resulting in his relegation from the tour and subsequent decision to retire from snooker.
Return to snooker
Despite this decision, Robin did enter the Finnish national championship in 2009, defeating compatriots Ville Pasanen and Kimmo Lång on his way to the title. He subsequently entered the EBSA European Championship later that year before taking the decision to enter this season’s Q School.
Robin takes on Yu Delu at the 2011 UK Championship qualifiers
Situated in the bottom section of the Event One draw, it always appeared plausible that the main tour place on offer to the winner would come down to a clash between Robin and former top 48 player David Gilbert and that is exactly as it transpired, Robin defeating the likes of Gary Wilson to make it that far.
It appeared for a while as though it would be Gilbert who would come through the winner as he forged a 3-1 lead but Robin to his credit dug deep and with breaks of 56, 48 and then 69 in the decider, won the match to confirm his return to the big time.
Robin was to make a solid start to the 2011/12 season, winning his opening qualifying matches at both the Australian Goldfields Open and Shanghai Masters tournaments following a PTC1 defeat to Jamie Burnett.
Unfortunately however, Robin was forced to withdraw from the season’s subsequent PTC events, his only other competitive appearance coming at the 2011 UK Championship qualifiers where he defeated Lucky Vatnani and Yu Delu before losing out to Peter Lines in the third round.
Unfortunately that was to prove Robin’s final match on the professional circuit as he withdrew from the following PTC11 and German Masters qualifiers.
Returning to the main tour following victory at the 2013 European Championship in Poland, Robin’s participation during the 2013/14 was unfortunately to prove relatively limited, just two victories coming prior to the season-ending World Championship.
It was at the biggest tournament of the campaign where he would remind people of his talent however, with victories against Tony Drago, Tian Pengfei, Ian Burns and most notably Peter Ebdon, who had previously made 22 consecutive appearances at the Crucible, to secure a return to the famous Sheffield theatre for the first time in 12 years.
Though Robin could not seriously trouble two-time defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan on the opening day of the tournament, eventually losing 10-4, the £12,000 earned from the tournament was enough to see him finish 95th in the end of season rankings.