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World Snooker Championship Betting

The pinnacle of snooker is the World Championships, as it is for most sports. This famous trophy is competed for at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield every year. The position that the tournament now has in the season, sets it up as the big finale. It is the last ranking event of the season and it is one of the richest snooker events going as well as one of the most prestigious.

World Snooker Championship History

The World Snooker Championship goes all the way back to 1927. The first fifteen editions of the event was won by Joe Davis who then retired after winning it in 1946. He only retired from the World Championships, he kept on playing the sport.

The World Championships actually took a break from 1953 until it returned in 1957 because of a lack of support. It’s fair to say that the sport needed a shakeup to become a little more spectator friendly. Some of the finals lasted three or four days. The 1947 event was the best of 145 frames and took twelve days to complete.

In the 1950s frames for the final were returned to 97 over eight days.

Tournament settles in Sheffield

In 1977 the event moved to the Crucible in Sheffield, England and that is where it has stayed since. It is really the turning point in the event’s history because that is when it settled down.

There were 16 players taking part in the first event in Sheffield which was won by John Spencer 25-21 over Cliff Thorburn. The first seven players that won the World Snooker Championship were all at least 40 years old, with Ray Reardon being the last in that sequence with a victory in 1978 at 45 years old.

The modern era of the Snooker World Championship was really ushered in by Steve Davies who totally dominated in the 1980s and took the sport to a whole new level. Then it was the turn of Stephen Hendry in the 1990s. In the first decade of the new century, it was pretty much all Mark Williams, Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins.

The World Snooker Championship Format

The event is one of the longest that there is in the sport, being played over 17 days with the conclusion happening on the first Monday in May. It has been a long time since the tournament really had any big shake-ups. The last big changes happened in 1982 and the 32-player format over 17 days has been in place since then.

Famous Winners

Stephen Hendry was unstoppable through the 1990s. The first title for the Scotsman happened in 1990 and in the ensuing decade he would win it a total of seven times.

It was a remarkable period which immediately came after the Steve Davis period ended. In that 1990 breakthrough for Hendry, it was the first time that Davis had failed to reach the final of the World championship since 1982.

Steve Davis really was a pioneer in the way that he changed the game with his six titles in the 1980s. Ray Readon also won the title six times during his long career.

The Class of ’92

Mark Williams, Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins are collectively called the “Class of ‘92” as that is the year that they all turned pro.

From 2000 through 2013 O’Sullivan won it five times, Williams twice and Higgins got his hands on the title three times in that period and would go on to win it again.

Mark Selby won it three times in four seasons between 2014 and 2017. Other famous names from the history of the sport that got their hands on the World Snooker Championship title include Alex Higgins, Cliff Thorburn, Dennis Taylor and Terry Griffiths.

To this day no player has lost more World Championship finals than Jimmy White. He is still one of the greatest legends of the game, but he lost all six finals that he appeared in during his career.

2019 Review

Judd Trump claimed his first World Snooker Championship title in 2019. The title came his way through the defeat of John Higgins in the final by an 18-9 scoreline. He became the 11th player to collect all three of the Triple Crown titles (the World Championship, UK Championship and the Masters).

That title came in Trump’s second World Snooker Championships Final, his first one happening in 2011 and ending in defeat.

Higgins had made his way past Mark Davis in the first round and then took out 12th seed Stuart Bingham in a tight second-round clash. There was another tough battle for Higgins to navigate as he beat fourth seed Neil Roberston in the quarter-finals 13-10.

He then saw off David Gilbert, who had earlier knocked out defending champion Mark Williams in the second round, in a deciding frame.

So that was quite the bumpy road for Higgins, while Trump was pretty much on cruise control after the first round. The Englishman came through his first-round match against Thepchaiya Un-Nooh by winning a deciding frame. He then had a much easier time seeing off Ding Junhui and Stephen Maguire in subsequent rounds. In the semi-final, Trump beat Gary Wilson 17-11.

Higgins suffers more final heartbreak

In losing the final that left John Higgins with a W4 L4 record from his eight appearances in the final of the tournament throughout his career. The 2019 Snooker World Championship final had 11-century breaks in it, which was the highest tally ever recorded in the final of any of the ranking events.

Mark Williams was the defending champion as mentioned, but his challenge fell a long way short as he lost to David Gilbert in the second round of the tournament.

Ronnie O’Sullivan suffered a shock exit in the very first round as he was beaten by World Snooker Championship debutant James Cahill. Cahill created history in becoming the first-ever amateur to qualify for the tournament.

2020 Preview

Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the 2020 World Championships which were set to be held from April 18th – May 4th were postponed.

More details of rescheduling TBA

For the 44th year running it will again be hosted at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. The tournament will bring the curtain down on another fantastic season of snooker.

Judd Trump will be heading to Sheffield with a title defence on his mind and being one of the most successful players in ranking events during the 2019/20 season, he will have plenty of backing. Trump will likely be the outright favourite come the start of the event.

2020 World Snooker Championship Odds*

Judd Trump 11/4
Neil Roebston 9/2
Ronnie O’Sullivan 9/2
Mark Selby 8/1
Shaun Murphy 16/1
John Higgins 14/1
Ding Junhui 16/1
Mark Allen 18/1
Kyren Wilson 20/1
David Gilbert 28/1
Stuart Bingham 28/1
Mark Williams 28/1
33/1 bar
* (betting odds taken from Bet365 at 08:15 GMT on Saturday, 29th February 2020)

The Crucible Curse

However, there is the “Crucible Curse” that could get in the way of Trump.

Of course, it’s not a real thing, but it’s a trend that has seen no first-time winner of the World Championship successfully defend his title since the tournament moved to the Crucible Theatre in 1977.

Since that move, there have been seventeen first time winners, all of which have failed to defend. We’re not talking one-hit wonders here, the list includes great multiple-title winners like Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins, Mark Willams and Ronnie O’Sullivan. But they all fell to the “Crucible Curse”.

Other contenders

2010 champion Neil Roberston has been the other main man of 2020 in ranking events and the Australian will be one of the big front runners for the 2020 edition. With two wins in the last four editions, Mark Selby will be looking to hit the headlines again and rediscover a bit of form that has fallen away during 2020.

Then there is John Higgins who has lost each of the last three World Snooker Championship finals. Will he be able to snap out of that and get in the winner’s circle for what would be the fifth time in his career? Then there is Ronnie O’Sullivan who hasn’t been crowned World Champion since 2013.

If the Rocket were to win the 2020 edition it would put him on six titles, level with Ray Reardon and the great Steve Davis.

There will be a change in qualification this year, with four rounds and seedings for higher ranking players coming into play. As for the main draw, the top sixteen players in the world rankings will all go straight through to the first round as the seeded players. Judd Trump, as defending champion will be the first seed.