This past weekend, one of the most intriguing sports events of the year got underway at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield as 32 of the finest cue masters in the world convened to participate in the World Snooker Championships. Last year, Mark Williams defied the odds to earn his third World Championship victory, fifteen years after his second.

Williams famously stated before the tournament began that if he won he’d conduct his post-final interviews with the press in the nude, the Welshman was good to his word too after being handed the trophy and the top cash prize for the tournament, he then addressed reporters in his birthday suit a short time after his win!

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If you fancy a flutter on the World Snooker Championships over the next couple of weeks, then bet365 Sport is the place to head as the site is offering extensive betting across the games. The action starts at 10am each day for most of the tournament and bet365 is offering a wide range of markets across the whole tournament, including extensive betting, both pre-game and also In Play, on all the matches at the Crucible.

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World Snooker Championship – A Potted History

The very first World Snooker Championship was held back in 1927 and was Snooker betting UK bet 365won by the legendary Joe Davis. However, the tournament then was more an exhibition. Davis won. The first 15 of these events and then retired undefeated, The tournament was not contested from 1952 to 1956 but returned in 1957. It then became a knockout event in 1969 when snooker started to gain in popularity.

John Spencer, Ray Reardon and Alex Higgins were the winners from 1969 to 1976 as the game grew enormously in popularity thanks to it being televised. By 1977, the tournament had moved to a new home at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield where it has been contested ever since, John Spencer won his third World Championship in the first year at the new venue.

Over the years a number of great players have won the title on several occasions, Stephen Hendry has the best record in the event winning seven titles, one ahead of Steve Davis and Ray Reardon who both landed six. Ronnie O’Sullivan stands fourth on the list with five wins, one more than John Higgins with four. Mark Williams, John Spencer and Mark Selby each have three wins and the only other player to win it multiple times is the legendary Alex Higgins.

The unluckiest player at the Crucible was Jimmy White. The Whirlwind reached six finals in the 1980s and 90s but never managed to land the title.

2019 World Championship First Round Gets Underway

There have been five matches so far played to a conclusion in the First Round of the World Snooker Championship and as is customary, the current holder was first in action on Saturday with Mark Williams defeating Martin Gould 10-7 in the opening match of the tournament.

Then on Sunday we saw four matches played to a close. Former World Champion Neil Robertson thrashed Michael Georgiou 10-1 to make easy progresss but it was much closer in the other games with Ding Junhui earning a 10-7 win over Anthony McGill while the other two matches went to deciding frames Stephen Maguier defeating Tian Pengfei 10-9 after being 9-7 down, while Gary Wilson defeated Luca Brecel with their final deciding frame being the longest ever single frame in Crucible history, lasting well over an hour before Wilson landed the win with a fine clearance.

First Round Results & Fixtures

All matches are played to a best of 19 format in the first round and the match length increases as the players progress through the tournament.

The times below shown indicate the start time of the first session for each of the games. Players in the first round will play to a conclusion over two sessions, which can be played either in the same day or across successive days.

  • Martin Gould 7-10 Mark Williams
  • Stephen Maguire 10-9 Tian Pengfei
  • Michael Georgiou 1-10 Neil Robertson
  • Ding Junhui 10-7 Anthony McGill
  • Gary Wilson 10-9 Luca Brecel
  • Mark Selby v Zhao Xintong (Mon 22nd April – 10am)
  • Shaun Murphy v Luo Honghao (Mon 22nd April – 10am)
  • Ronnie O’Sullivan v James Cahill (Mon 22nd April – 2.30pm)
  • John Higgins v Mark Davis (Mon 22nd April – 2.30pm)
  • David Gilbert v Joe Perry (Mon 22nd April – 7pm)
  • Stuart Bingham v Graeme Dott (Tue 23rd April – 10am)
  • Judd Trump v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (Tue 23rd April – 2.30pm)
  • Mark Allen v Zhou Yuelong (Tue 23rd April – 7pm)
  • Barry Hawkins v Li Hang (Wed 24th April – 10am)
  • Kyren Wilson v Scott Donaldson (Wed 24th April – 2.30pm)
  • Jack Lisowski v Ali Carter (Wed 24th April – 7pm)

Current World Snooker Championship Odds

*Odds shown were correct as of 8am on Monday 22nd April 2019.

It is perhaps unsurprising to see the brilliant Ronnie O’Sullivan topping the list of players to win the event. The Rocket has been in good form this season, despite not playing in as many tournaments as some of his fellow professionals, but when he has played, he has been in great form. The solid form of Neil Robertson, an easy first round winner, has seen his odds slashed down to 7/2, while Judd Trump’s solid form heading into the tournament make him the 11/2 third favourite. Former world number 1, Mark Selby is one to watch too at 10/1 with the current World Champion Mark Williams a 14/1 chance.

Our Tip – Ronnie O’Sullivan – 11/5

The Rocket is the man to beat at the World Championship this year, as he is almost every year. The five-time World Champion won the last of his titles back in 2013, just one of 36 ranking tournament wins he has amassed in his career, which has also seen over 1000 century breaks and the maximum break of 147 hit 15 times. With career earnings of over £10 million, O’Sullivan has won seven UK Championships and 19 Triple Crown tournament wins, both of which are records in the sport.

O’Sullivan’s recent win at the Tour Championship in March saw him climb back to number 1 in the World Rankings and he gets his quest for a sixth World title underway on Monday when he is the 1/50 priced favourite to beat James Cahill in his first round match.

Outside bet to reach the final – Barry Hawkins – 22/1

If you fancy a flutter as an each way bet on reaching the final, then Barry Hawkins at 22/1 is well worth considering. Hawkins has an excellent record at the Crucible and while his form this season has not been the best, he always seems to go deep in this tournament, where the longer format of the matches suits his particular style of play.