The World Snooker Championship

The World Snooker Championship

The snooker event of the year, the world championship, starts on the 20th of the month and is again being played at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. The venue has attracted some criticism recently for being outgrown by the size of the event but plans were unveiled in 2022 to build an extension which will hold 3000 people for future tournaments. It was thought something had to be done because the name “Crucible” was considered too iconic to lose if the tournament moved.

Ronnie O’Sullivan, snookers biggest name and easily the most well known player to have played the game, will be attracting plenty of attention and rightly so, being the past winner seven times, a record he shares with Stephen Hendry in the modern era.

It may seem that O’Sullivan is the dominant presence at the Crucible and the way he’s playing this year he will undoubtedly start favourite, closely followed by Judd Trump. But it is the current third choice with the bookmakers, Mark Selby, who has been the most successful player in the last decade, and by some distance. He has won the title four times in the last ten years and was only beaten in the final in 2023 by the mercurial and massively talented Belgian, Luca Brecel.

According to the aforementioned bookmaker odds, the winner will most likely come from the O’Sullivan, Trump, Selby trio but there are a host of talented dangers, not least last year’s winner Brecel, who can beat anybody out on his day, as he showed last year against O’Sullivan and Selby. When you add names such as Mark Allen, Neil Robertson, Jack Lisowski and Kyren Wilson into the mix alongside those talented and dangerous evergreens Mark Williams, John Higgins, Sean Murphy and Ding Junhui, I think we have something to really look forward to.

Whoever your idea of the winner is, you can be sure that the talent on show and the electrifying atmosphere at the Crucible will give us another world championship title fight to remember. It looks like snooker fans in Pattaya have got a few late nights coming!

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