This year’s World Snooker Championship begins in earnest at the weekend with 32 of the world’s best players competing in the first round. The top 16 seeds will be joined by 16 qualifiers from an extensive qualification process, which saw players required to win three best-of-19 matches in order to make the first round proper.
Such a big sporting event always takes place at this time of the year and it always attracts plenty of interest from punters too, with plenty of money wagered prior and during the event. The outright winner market is always a popular bet and that is no different this year, especially if you are a punter at Coral Sport.
If you are not yet a member, then don’t worry as now is the perfect time to join. New customers can sign up using any of Coral’s sites great value promotional offers, we recommend the fantastic New Player Offer at Coral Sports for starters. Once you have a Coral account with any site then you can use your deposited cash to place bets at Coral Sport as everything is accessed from a single account.
Let’s begin our look ahead to the World Snooker Championship by taking a quick look at the history of the event together with some information about the 2018 tournament.
World Snooker Championship A Potted History
The very first World Snooker Championship was held in 1927 but it was a tiny event, which featured just a small number of players competing in the first few years. Joe Davis won every event from 1927 to 1946 and retired from the event undefeated, his brother Fred then dominated the event until the mid 1950s when John Pulman won an event before a hiatus saw the tournament not competed for between 1957 and 1963.
In April 1964 the tournament began again with Pulman winning the next seven events, which were challenge games between a number of top players but it was clear the tournament needed to develop and in 1969, the WPBSA took over the event and turned it into a knockout format.
From then on the World Snooker Championship began to grow in popularity and became a firm favourite on our TV screens from 1977 onwards, John Spencer, Alex Higgins and Ray Reardon were the main players in the early days of the 70s before Steve Davis came to the fore in the 80s, followed by Stephen Hendry in the 1990s.
There have been several popular one-time winners too during this era including Terry Griffiths, Cliff Thorburn, Dennis Taylor, Joe Johnson, John Parrot and Ken Doherty.
From the year 2000 onwards the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins, Mark Williams and Mark Selby have won multiple titles, though several other players have also claimed one win including Peter Ebdon, Graeme Dott, Neil Robertson and Stuart Bingham.
2018 World Snooker Championships Stats
- Venue – The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield – host since 1977
- Total Prize Money – £1,968,000
- Winners Cheque – £425,000
- 147 Maximum Break Prize – £40,000 (from Round 1 onwards), £10,000 in the qualifiers.
- Highest Break Prize – £10,000
- Current Holder – Mark Selby
- Broadcasters – BBC TV and Eurosport
The top 16 seeds are drawn against one of the 16 players that qualified from the qualifying tournament preceding the World Championships for he First Round making a total of 32 players starting the tournament.
- First Round – Best of 19 (16 matches)
- Second Round – best of 25 (8 Matches)
- Quarter Finals – Best of 25 (4 Matches)
- Semi Finals – Best of 33 (2 Matches)
- Final – Best of 35 (1 Match)
The Seeded Players
The top 16 players in the tournament are based on the official World Rankings and the current rankings used for the tournament are as follows:
- Mark Selby (England)
- Ronnie O’Sullivan (England)
- Ding Junhui (China)
- Judd Trump (England)
- John Higgins (Scotland)
- Barry Hawkins (England)
- Mark Williams (Wales)
- Shaun Murphy (England)
- Kyren Wilson (England)
- Neil Robertson (Australia)
- Marco Fu (Singapore)
- Stuart Bingham (England)
- Luca Brecel (Belgium)
- Anthony McGill (Scotland)
- Ali Carter (England)
- Mark Allen (Northern Ireland)
Of the 16 players seeded, seven are former World Champions (Selby, O’Sullivan, Higgins, Williams, Murphy, Robertson and Bingham. Four others in the top 16 have been runner up in a World Final (Junhui, Trump, Hawkins and Carter). Only Kyren Wilson inside the top ten has never competed in a World Championship final previously.
In addition to this there are three former World Champions trying to earn a place in the First Round through qualifying, Peter Ebdon, Graeme Dott and Ken Doherty.
How do Coral see the World Championships going?
Coral have already published their list of odds for the World Championship and it is clear who they feel stands the best chance of winning the event this year:
- Ronnie O’Sullivan – 15/8 favourite
- Mark Selby – 4/1
- Judd Trump – 8/1
- John Higgins – 9/1
- Ding Junhui, Neil Robertson, Mark Williams– 14/1
- Barry Hawkins, Shaun Murphy – 22/1
- Mark Allen, Stuart Bingham – 25/1
- Kyren Wilson – 33/1
- Luca Brecel – 40/1
- Marco Fu, Ali Carter, Ryan Day – 50/1
- 66-1 Bar
Is O’Sullivan really that good?
There’s no doubting that the Rocket Ronnie O’Sullivan is amongst the greatest players ever to pick up a cue. He is a genius at the table and his return of five World titles is actually fewer than his talent should have seen him pick up.
Over the years, Ronnie has been distracted by a number of issues that have affected his performances in Sheffield including physical fitness, mental wellbeing and off the table issues with the WPBSA in particular.
However this year, Ronnie has cleverly hand-picked which tournaments to play in and he has been in outstanding form. Keeping his energy levels up by playing in fewer events has worked wonders as he has landed five top ranking events this season, improving his World Ranking from 14th up to 2nd and he is only the third player in history to win five events in a season. He has a chance now to make that six in Sheffield.
The longer format may test his stamina and mental fortitude but having played lightly over the season, O’Sullivan should be in great shape to win here and he would be our choice to win if betting on the Outright Winner market with Coral.
Each Way tips for value?
If you want a value bet then betting on the Outright Market with an each way bet will pay you out half the odds with Coral should your player make the final but be beaten. There’s any number of talented players that could make the final, but assuming O’Sullivan comes through the bottom half of the draw, that narrows it down to the 16 players in the top half and you can narrow that still further by focusing on the top seeds and proven quality players.
Mark Selby is the obvious pick here but at 4/1, I don’t think he represents good value. Instead I think the 22/1 on offer for Shaun Murphy, a former champion and losing finalist here, is a great bet. Murphy’s form is good, he prefers longer matches and his even temperament keeps him focused for longer periods. If Selby falls, then Murphy would be my pick to reach the final.