James Wattana, a legend of the game, and a hero in his country, Thailand, has been confirmed to play in the UK Seniors Snooker Championship next October.
James Wattana – Ratchapol Pu-Ob-Orm – was born in 1970, in Bangkog, Thailand.
James Wattana won his first major tournament, the Thailand Masters, in 1986, aged only 16. He turned professional in 1989, after winning the 1988 World Amateur Championship. He played as a professional between 1989 and 2008. Since 2009, he is playing on the main tour thanks to an “invitational tour card” . His highest ranking position was n°3 during the 1994/1995 season.
He made three 147 during his career. The second of them, at the British Open, was back then, at seven minutes and nine seconds, the fastest ever made
He has won three ranking tournaments – the 1992 Strachan Open and the Thailand Open in 1994 and 1995. He reached a ranking final of five more occasions. He also won seven non-ranking events and, notably, was runner-up at the Masters in 1993: he lost 9-5 to Stephen Hendry. He reached the semi-finals of the World Snooker Championship on two occasions, in 1993 and 1997.
James Wattana’s success helped raise the profile of the game in the Asia, and has inspired into the game many players from Thailand, Hong Kong, and China. He is a Commander Third Class of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand, only the second sportsman to receive the country’s most prestigious civilian honour.