Date of Birth: 5 March 1987
Nickname: The Fearless, Wenbo Selecta, “Should he stay or should he go”
Highest Break: 147
Liang Wenbo (Chinese: 梁文博, pinyin: Liáng Wénbó; born 5 March 1987 in Zhaodong, Suihua, Heilongjiang) is a Chinese professional snooker player.
He is left-handed and ranked as China’s number 2 player, after Ding Junhui. Liang is based at the Grove Snooker Academy in Romford, England, United Kingdom.
As an amateur, Liang’s major feats were as follows:
-2003 IBSF World Snooker Championship, men’s division, quarter-finalist
-2004 IBSF World Snooker Championship, under-21 division, semi-finalist
-2005 International Open Series, under-21 division, no. 4 runner-up
Liang built on the positive start to his snooker career, winning an individual silver medal and a team gold medal at the 2006 Asian Games.
During the 2004/05 snooker season, he began his professional career by playing Challenge Tour, the tier below the World Snooker Association Main Tour. He finished a lowly 104th out of 168 competitors, having only accumulated 2150 points.
Despite not qualifying for the Main Tour directly, Liang received a wildcard nomination to the Main Tour; this was because he won the 2005 IBSF World Under-21 Championship and because not all the players that were eligible for the Main Tour took their places. In his first ranking tournament, the Grand Prix, Liang lost in the first qualifying round to Rory McLeod 2–5.
In the next ranking event, the UK Championship, he fared better, nearly whitewashing Alfred Burden in the first qualifying round 9–1; he lost in the second qualifying round to Marcus Campbell by the narrowest of margins, 8–9.
It was to be at the Welsh Open where Liang would qualify for his first ranking event; he beat Sean Storey, Jamie Burnett and Rory McLeod to get into the main draw. His first opponent in the main draw he beat Nigel Bond 5–0. His run was halted by Graeme Dott, when he lost 3–5.
However at the Malta he lost in the first qualifying round to Paul Davies 3–5. At the China Open he beat David McDonnell and Matthew Couch before losing against Adrian Gunnell 3–5 in the third qualifying round. He ended the season, falling at the first hurdle at the World Championship losing to Joe Delaney 5–10 in the first qualifying round.
He ended his debut season on the professional tour ranked 78th on the tour, which did not guarantee a place in next season’s tour; however he just finished inside the top 8 of the one year list, qualifying him for a place in next season’s main tour.
During the 2006/07 season, Liang reached at least the second round of qualifying in every ranking event. At the Northern Ireland Trophy he beat Robert Stephen 5–0 before falling to David Gilbert 0–5 in qualifying. However, at the Grand Prix, Liang came top of his qualifying group, above more experienced players such as Gerard Greene and Barry Pinches.
He finishing fourth in the group, and although he did not qualify for the next round, he did beat former world champion and world number one Stephen Hendry 3–0. At the UK Championship, he lost in the second round of qualifying to Jamie Burnett 7–9.
In the following ranking event, the Malta Cup, he lost to Joe Jogia 3–5, again in the second round of qualifying. He qualified for his third ranking tournament, at the Welsh Open by beating Dene O’Kane, Joe Jogia and Mark Davis. In the Last 48, he met Nigel Bond again, this time he lost only 3–5.
He continued his run of reaching the second round of qualifying in every ranking tournament at the China Open, beating Robert Stephen before losing to Finland’s Robin Hull. At the World Championship he beat Jeff Cundy before losing to Mike Dunn. After a modest season, he improved on his tour ranking by finishing in 66th place, just outside the top 64; he topped the one year ranking list to ensure his place on the WSA Tour for next season.
Liang’s 2007/2008 season started brightly; he nearly qualified for the Shanghai Masters, however again Nigel Bond beat him 5–3 in the last qualifying round preventing him from appearing in his home tournament. At the Grand Prix, he could not repeat the success of last season and failed to qualify, finishing third on frame difference.
The next tournament the Northern Ireland Trophy brought more luck; he won through the qualifying beating Fraser Patrick, Joe Delaney and Rory McLeod on the way. In the last 48, he faced Gerard Greene, but lost 2–5. He did not do as well in the UK Championship; he lost in the second qualifying round to David Roe 2–9.
He also failed to qualify for the Welsh Open, falling at the last hurdle losing to Andrew Norman 2–5. At his other home tournament, the China Open he fell at the first hurdle, losing in the first qualifying round to Steve Mifsud, who at the end of this season was ranked 54 places below him.
At the World Championships, Liang was the third Chinese player to qualify for the event, with victories over Ben Woollaston, Rod Lawler, David Gilbert and Ian McCulloch.
At the championship itself, he drew a first round meet with Ken Doherty, whom he defeated 10 frames to 5. Before the start of this match, Liang accidentally entered the arena with the match officials and had to scurry back. He subsequently got a warm ovation when he entered the arena for a second time after being introduced by MC Rob Walker.
For every session thereafter, Walker introduced him as “Should he stay or should he go… Liang Wenbo”, despite the rhyme occurring because of a mispronunciation of his name (“bo” is pronounced “boo-a” in Chinese).
Liang faced Northern Ireland’s Joe Swail in the last 16 of the tournament. In a humorous incident, Liang fluked a red after scattering the balls, but failed to notice and went back to his seat. To laughter, Swail pointed out his mistake and the referee called Liang back to the table. In the 23rd frame, Liang, with a 12–10 lead, prematurely celebrated winning after potting match ball, only to go on to lose the frame due to a snooker. Swail came back to level the match at 12–12.
In the final frame, Liang made breaks of 34 and 30 early on. He missed the final yellow but snookered Swail, leaving the white in the jaws of the pocket. Liang played a safety and Swail snookered him behind the blue, but Liang failed to hit the ball and Swail had the white replaced. Liang then hit the yellow directly. This incident proved controversial as the referee replaced the white in the wrong position, giving Liang a better sight of the yellow.
At the time, Swail nodded his assent to the referee, but in a post-match interview, complained and accused Liang of unprofessional behavior for not pointing out the referee’s error. Commentators countered that Swail should have queried the placement of the ball before Liang took his shot, and given the tension of the situation Liang could be forgiven for not thinking clearly. Liang went on to win the frame 74–34, and thus, the match 13–12.
In the quarter final Liang faced eventual champion Ronnie O’Sullivan. Liang took the first two frames with a break of 80 in the first. O’Sullivan levelled the match 4–4 by the end of the first session. In the second session O’Sullivan eased ahead, and went on to win 13–7.
Liang’s run to the quarter-finals gained him 5000 ranking points, boosting his final ranking to number 40 in the world. This guaranteed that he would only have to play two qualifying matches to get into the main draw of the ranking tournaments.
More about Liang Wenbo- Wikipedia