Just nine days until tickets go on sale for the Betfred.com World Snooker Championship.

Nine...is for maximum breaks

There have been nine maximum breaks in the World Championship at the Crucible. The 147 is the ultimate example of snooker perfection and generates intense exhilaration for players and fans. There's also the small matter of a £147,000 bonus at stake.

The first at the Crucible was in 1983 by Cliff Thorburn. The break famously started with a fluked red, and ended with the Canadian sinking to his knees before being bear-hugged by opponent Terry Griffiths and countryman Bill Werbeniuk

The next came in 1992 when crowd favourite Jimmy White raised the roof by potting 15 reds with blacks and clearing the colours. White was on the receiving end three years later when Stephen Hendry made a 147 against him in the semi-finals - the only maximum made on the one-table stage at the Crucible.

In 1997 Ronnie O'Sullivan set the tournament alight with an incredible 5-minute 20-second maximum, easily the fastest ever made in professional competition. The Rocket registered that magic number again in 2003 - though he lost the match against Marco Fu.

Mark Williams was the next to join the club, making the first and only official 147 of his career to date by nonchalantly rolling home the final black.

The 2008 World Championship was the first ever pro tournament to feature two 147s at the same venue, as O'Sullivan scored his third Crucible maximum, and Ali Carter added his name to the record books.

And Stephen Hendry joined O'Sullivan, as the only players to make more than one, when he fired in a 147 against Shaun Murphy in 2009 - though he, like O'Sullivan in 2003, ended up losing the match.

Of course there have been many near misses over the years - most memorably in 2002 when Stuart Bingham did all the hard work but failed on the final pink.

Will there be a 147 in 2011? If you've never witnessed one first hand, then Sheffield is the place to do it.

World Snooker has changed the way that tickets are sold for the greatest snooker show on Earth, which runs from April 16 to May 2, 2011. Booking forms, postal and priority bookings are no longer in use. Instead, phone and online sales will be open to everyone from 9am on October 30.

Don't miss the unique, thrilling atmosphere of Sheffield's Crucible Theatre, and the best players on the planet battling for the coveted trophy and a top prize of £250,000.

BOOK YOUR SEATS BY CALLING 0844 6565 147 or visiting www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk