Pulman first reached the final of the World Matchplay in 1955, losing to Fred Davis. Davis beat him again in the 1956 final, but after Davis retired Pulman won the title in 1957, after which the event was discontinued. In 1964 the World Championship was resumed and Pulman won the title. He held the title until 1969 fending off six further challenges. In 1969 the World Championship became a knockout tournament (which is generally regarded as the birth of the modern snooker era) and Pulman failed to successfully defend his title. He reached the final in 1970 but lost to Ray Reardon.