The biggest event of the world snooker calendar gets underway at the spiritual home of the sport, at the Crucible in Sheffield, for the World Snooker Championship.
First held all the way back in 1927, the tournament is the showpiece competition of a packed international snooker playing calendar and with £500,000 of prize money on offer for the winner, it is by far the most lucrative event on the tour.
All of the all-time greats of the game have clinched the famous title, with the likes of Stephen Hendry, Steve Davies, Ronnie O’Sullivan, and John Higgins all having claimed the trophy on multiple occasions and this year’s tournament looks to be one of the most open and unpredictable in recent times.
As is the case every year, all of the biggest names in world snooker descend on Sheffield in an attempt to etch their names into snooker folklore and it promises to be an incredible fortnight of snooker action at the Crucible.
Starting the event as favourite is Australian Neil Robertson, who last won the World Snooker Championship back in 2010 but his recent form has been excellent, and he could be a very difficult man to stop here in favourable conditions at the Crucible at 4/1.
Becoming World Champion in 2019 was the fulfilment of a lifetime ambition for Judd Trump, who remains one of the most notorious players in the world and he always enjoys performing at the biggest events on tour and he looks in good nick at 11/2 in 2022.
Few athletes transcend their sport in the same way six-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan does and although he has struggled for form in 2022 but his game is still the very best out there and he could be a decent shout at 6/1 this year.
2021 championMark Selby is a pillar of consistency at the very top of world snooker and he will be desperate to clinch his 5th World Snooker Championship title at improved odds of 8/1 if you bet with the bet365 bonus for UK punters.
Considered by many as one of the best ever snooker players of all time, Scot John Higgins continues to defy his aging status on the World Snooker Tour, and he can never be discarded in any competition he plays – making him a decent bet at 10/1.
After losing in the final of this event in 2020, many felt Kyren Wilson would always come back stronger and whilst the Englishman hasn’t been in electric form this season, he is more than capable of enjoying a run this week, making him a player to keep an eye on at 11/1.
Young Chinese prodigy Zhao Xintong is seen as being at the forefront of the next generation of international snooker players and the defending UK Championship winner will be feared by many players in the pack this week at 16/1.
Fellow Chinese starlet Yan Bingtao is still coming of age on the World Snooker Tour and his win at the UK Masters last season was a real marker in the sand and he could go well at the cut and thrust of the Crucible – especially at odds as enticing as 20/1.
Big tournament experience can often be hugely helpful when playing in the cauldron like atmosphere of the Crucible and Scot Stephen Maguire has that in spades and with some strong early round showings under his belt, he looks a solid outside punt for the title at 33/1.