Iran’s first professional snooker player, Hossein Vafaei made history in January 2022 by becoming the first Iranian to win a world ranking tournament at the Shoot Out in Leicester.
Having made the tournament high break of 123 in the opening round, Vafaei would ultimately defeat three-time world champion Mark Williams in the title match to claim the £50,000 top prize. Victory saw him become the 70th player to win a world ranking event with Iran becoming the 14th country to produce a ranking event champion.
A former world under-21 and world amateur champion, Vafaei joined the World Snooker Tour in 2012 but it was not until the 2015/16 season that he was able to compete on a regular basis following a successful visa application.
He reached he last four of a ranking event for the first time at the 2017 China Open where he defeated world number two Judd Trump before losing out to Mark Williams. Two years later he equalled this performance at both the Welsh Open and China Championship, losing narrowly to Williams again 6-5 in a deciding frame in Guangzhou.
He broke into the world’s top 32 for the first time in 2019 and following his Shoot Out triumph rose to a career-high position of 23.
Vafaei has twice reached the final qualifying round of the World Championship (2017 and 2018) and in qualifying for the 2019 China Open compiled his tournament-high break of 146.
WST Ranking Event Titles (1)