Ronnie the favourite as Snooker World Championships arrive
This weekend sees the World Snooker Championship get underway at Sheffield’s Crucible theatre, with Rocket Ronnie O’Sullivan bidding for a sixth world title.
O’Sullivan has continued his recent tradition of being selective about the events he participates in, and claimed the Welsh Open title earlier this season in addition to a sixth Masters success.
A finalist in just his second Crucible entry in 2011, the 26-year-old arrives in Sheffield in great form having won the China Open.
What about reigning champion Stuart Bingham? Well the Essex man will have to go some to break the Crucible Curse.
No first-time champion has ever successfully defended his title at the venue, and Bingham has been handed a dangerous opening round clash, with the world number two up against two-time finalist Ali Carter.
The Essex man was a popular winner last year, especially for those who backed him pre-tournament at 40/1, and this time around Bingham is sure to be well supported again at 14s.
Ding Junhui has been playing some of his best snooker too of late, and the Chinese star is 20/1 to achieve a historic first world championship.
The likes of Stephen Maguire and Ricky Walden meanwhile will be hoping to repeat Bingham’s success last year and come out of nowhere.
Both men can beat anyone on their day, and each can be backed at 40/1, with Walden in particularly good form recently, reaching the Players Tour Championship and China Open finals.
There are plenty of plots and sub-plots set to play out over the next fortnight, but as ever, only one man can become champion.
The question is, who will it be and can you call it?
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.