Why the 2019 World Snooker Championship is the most open it’s ever been.

Despite openly expressing that Judd Trump has my backing for this year’s World Championship, it still doesn’t elude from the fact that there seems to be more players than ever in contention for this year’s Crucible crown.

After the China Open concluded yesterday, the top 16 seeding is confirmed heading into Sheffield. In order to decide the other competitors, 128 players will partake in qualifiers, starting this Wednesday and running on to the 17th, three days prior to the main event.

The qualifiers will be hosted at the English Institute of Sport and will also be broadcasted live on the Eurosport player and Bet365.

Tournament favourites

Leading up to the conclusion of the Snooker calendar, betting firms label prices on each player, displaying their likelihood of winning the event.

After taking into account players form and history at the Crucible, the same names are usually listed as favourites with the exception of others who have showed great promise.

*All odds displayed have been sourced from William Hill*

Ronnie O’Sullivan (5/2)

After breaking Stephen Hendry’s triple crown event record, reaching 1000 career centuries and winning numerous other titles this season, there was no doubt that the Rocket would be the bookies favourite heading into Sheffield.

The five-time Crucible Champion has failed to win the World Championship since 2013 and hasn’t got the greatest track record in recent years. In the past, O’Sullivan has openly expressed his discontentment with long form matches however, this season they seem to suit him more than the shorter ties.

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With O’Sullivan needing three more Crucible triumphs to surpass Stephen Hendry’s 7 World Championships, the Rocket will have his eyes set on more Sheffield silverware in aim to secure his spot as the Snooker G.O.A.T.

Judd Trump (9/2)

Breathing down O’Sullivan’s neck is Judd Trump. The Juddernaut broke his Triple Crown duck this season and has proved himself on the big stage, beating the Rocket twice in their three meetings this season, both wins coming in major finals!

After employing brother, Jack as his mentor this season, Trump has openly admitted that his whole game has transformed and is now motivated as ever to leave a legacy in Snooker.

After being to a World final and numerous semi-finals before, Trump is no stranger to the one table setup at the Crucible. In light of this, the boy from Bristol will want to build upon his Masters win earlier in the year, claiming another Triple Crown title this season.

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The Outsiders

Neil Robertson (11/2)

After winning the China Open yesterday, the thunder from down under has appeared in four consecutive ranking finals. In scintillating form, Robertson has won three titles this season despite losing another three finals, two at the hands of O’Sullivan.

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Despite going into Sheffield in the form of his career, Robertson isn’t allowing himself to get carried away, stressing that his aim of this event is to “entertain the crowd and play some attacking snooker that they can enjoy”.

Recognised as one of the greatest break builders on the tour, Robertson will hope to claim his second world title this season, hopefully not running into the Rocket along the way!

Mark Selby (9/1)

As Mark Selby has won the World Championship three times out of the last five years, it is extremely unusual for him to be ranked as low as fourth favourite heading into Sheffield. However, Selby hasn’t had the most enjoyable season of his career, losing his world number one spot, moving down to third in the world.

Despite winning the China Championship early on in the season, the Jester for Leicester has failed to kick on in the 2018/19 season. Since then, Selby has only reached as far as a semi-final of an event, suffering four first round exits along the way.

After leaving the Crucible in the first-round last season, Selby will hope history doesn’t repeat itself on his route to a fourth world title.

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Despite being the defending champion, Mark Williams is priced as joint fifth favourite with Ding Junhui at 14/1. In last year’s post final conference, the Welshman showed his humour by claiming he would “cartwheel to the press conference naked” If he was to defend his title.

Who has your backing for the crown?

Matt Butterworth.

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