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Barry Hearn's Biography

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Barry Hearn was one of the main figures responsible for making snooker a mainstream popular sport in the 1980s and in so doing turning Steve Davis into a legend.

Hearn has also been responsible for promoting big boxing fights including Frank Bruno v Joe Bugner and Chris Eubank v Michael Watson.

Hearn became owner and chairman of Orient in April 1995. Steve Davis is on the board of directors. Barry Hearn's company, Matchroom, only gets involved in sports that he himself plays.

Before founding Matchroom he qualified as a chartered accountant and worked in accountancy before becoming finance director of Kensal House Investments.

He became chairman of Lucania Snooker Clubs in 1974. Two years later Steve Davis joined there and that would change the face of snooker.

In 1982 Lucania was sold and Matchroom was established.

In 2000, Barry Hearn organised a poker tournament with a £1 million first prize - at the time the largest winner's prize in tournament poker. Another original aspect of the tournament was that it was televised. It was the first Ladbrokes Poker Million. Poker is now the leading sport for Matchroom both as a promoter and as a television distributor. Barry Hearn plays poker and although his results include third in Celebrity Poker Club and runner-up in PartyPoker.com European Open, nevertheless The Hendon Mob do not seem impressed with Hearn's poker skills stating: "If you're gonna back him you may as well have a double up with Orient for the World Cup!"

Barry Hearn was not impressed with the 2006 World Championship final between Peter Ebdon and Graeme Dott. According to the BBC, he commented: "I hear Peter Ebdon swims a mile every day. That means that in a year he could be 365 miles away. That is the best that we can hope for after this. If this was a boxing match it would have been stopped on Sunday night to spare the fans any more punishment."

Barry Hearn is also the Chairman of the Professional Darts Corporation and in an interview with the BBC he criticises the rival British Darts Corporation. In December 2009, it was revealed that he looked likely to be the new chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association following the departure of Sir Rodney Walker from the role.

In January 2010, the BBC reported that Barry Hearn had already had an impact in his new role as chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, having secured "new sponsorship for the Masters and introduced walk-on music for the Wembley tournament".

On 2 June 2010, it was revealed that Barry Hearn had won control of World Snooker after winning 35-29 in a vote by the world's top snooker 64 players. As a result, Barry Hearn would resign as World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association chairman to take a 51% share in the commercial business.

In 2020, he was awarded the OBE.

In 2022, he released his autobiography entitled My Life.

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