It’s one of the highlights of the spring sporting calendar and the 76th World Snooker Championship once again returns to the Crucible Theatre this year. It is an intriguing field with seven debutants, seven former champions and the return of a man who hasn’t graced the Crucible since 2006.
It’s that time of year again when 32 of the world’s leading snooker players head to Sheffield for the World Snooker Championships. With no one individual dominating the sport it’s as open a field as the Crucible has seen in recent years.
Can the number one seed and reigning champion John Higgins retain his title? Or will a new name be added to the Crucible hall of fame?
With a brand new venue and no Stephen Hendry for the first time in 22 years, this year’s Snooker Masters promises to be an intriguing and open contest.
Even though no ranking points are at stake, the prestige and the prize money on offer – last year’s winner Ding Junhui pocketed £150,000 – will see 16 of the world’s best at Alexandra Palace this January.
There’s been plenty of excitement in the first week of the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible with three of the matches going the full distance and the surprise first round elimination of the reigning champion.
There was always the potential for a giant killing in the opening match with the 2010 champion Neil Robertson facing the in-form Judd Trump. Trump emerged the 10-8 victor and has been cut to 11/1 to win the title; odds which will surely fall again should he beat Marco Fu’s conqueror, Martin Gould in round two.
The fortnight of top quality Crucible snooker action is one of the highlights of the UK’s sporting calendar. And, after Aussie Neil Robertson’s win in 2010, it is now truly a global event.
However, 29 of this year’s 32 Crucible qualifiers are from the UK and it promises to be as intriguing a tournament as we have seen in a long time.
Regards as one of the most prestigious events on the snooker calendar, The Masters gets underway at the Wembley Arena next week with the defending champion Mark Selby (7/1) looking to reach his fourth Masters final in as many years. Another player with a sensational record in The Masters is the worlds greatest ever snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan (7/2). The ‘Rocket’ is a four-time winner of the event and a beaten finalist on five occasions.