Free tips World Snooker Championship could be a shocker!
With snooker results lacking in consistency there is every reason to believe 2016 could be another year when we witness a treble-digit winner of the World Championships, joining Joe Johnson (150/1 winner, 1986), Shaun Murphy (150/1 in 2005), John Parrot (100/1 in 1991) in the history books.
In fact last year’s winner, Stuart Bingham, although generally recorded as a 50/1 shot, could have been backed at 100/1 leading up to the start of the competition.
Until the qualifiers are completed on April 13th we know only half of the 2016 Betfred World Championship line-up; that being the top-16 ranked players which are listed below with their form figures.
These results are from all the ranking tournaments staged this 2015/16 season in order: The Australian Open, Shanghai Masters, International Championship, UK Championship, German Masters, Welsh Open, World Grand Prix, Players Championship Final, China Open
- Stuart Bingham (1) 1R-SF-1R-3R-2R-1R-F-DNQ-QF
- Mark Selby (2) 2R-WD-SF-SF-2R-QF-1R-WD-WD
- Shaun Murphy (3) 1R-2R-3R-4R-1R-3R-W-SF-2R
- Neil Robertson (4) 1R-1R-QF-W-DNQ-F-1R-DNQ-1R
- Judd Trump (5) QF-F-DNQ-3R-QF-4R-2R-2R-W
- Ronnie O’Sullivan (6) DP-DP-DP-DNQ-W-1R-DNQ-DP
- Mark Allen (7) 1R-SF-QF-3R-1R-SF-2R-W-DNQ
- John Higgins (8) W-2R-W-QF-DNQ-4R-2R-DNQ-SF
- Ricky Walden (9) 2R-WD-DNQ-2R-DNQ-2R-DNQ-F-F
- Joe Perry (10) QF-1R-QF-2R-DNQ-SF-SF-DNQ-1R
- Barry Hawkins (11) DP-1R-2R-2R-2R-4R-1R-SF-1R
- Martin Gould (12) F-QF-1R-QF-W-4R-2R-1R-1R
- Mark Williams (13) DP-QF-2R-2R-1R-4R-1R-1R-DNQ
- Marco Fu (14) 1R-1R-QF-QF-1R-4R-1R-2R-3R
- Michael White (15) QF-1R-3R-1R-DNQ-QF-1R-2R-1R
- Stephen Maguire (16) SF-1R-DNQ-4R-QF-1R-1R-DNQ-SF
DQ: Didn’t Qualify
DP: Didn’t Play
It’s difficult to read much into these form figures so here’s the final table results from the same tournaments:
EVENT / WINNER / RUNNER-UP / SCORE
The Australian Open / John Higgins / Martin Gould / 9-8
Shanghai Masters / Kyren Wilson / Judd Trump / 10-9
International Championship / John Higgins / David Gilbert / 10-5
UK Championship / Neil Robertson / Liang Wenbo / 10-5
German Masters / Martin Gould / Luca Brecel / 9-5
Welsh Open / Ronnie O’Sullivan / Neil Robertson / 9-5
World Grand Prix / Shaun Murphy / Stuart Bingham / 10-9
Players Championship Final / Mark Allen / Ricky Walden / 10-6
China Open / Judd Trump / Ricky Walden / 10-4
This still looks a clouded picture so let’s throw in the three other major tournaments that have taken place this season but do not carry ranking status.
EVENT / WINNER / RUNNER-UP / SCORE
Champion of Champions / Neil Robertson / Mark Allen / 10-5
The Masters / Ronnie O’Sullivan / Barry Hawkins 10-1
Championship League / Judd Trump / Ronnie O’Sullivan / 3-2
…and it is all still as clear as mud.
Higgins has won two events early in the season, so has Robertson while Ronnie O’Sullivan shows why he is the 15/8 favourite with two wins and a second from just four events.
Ronnie O’Sullivan’s overall World Championship record, which dates back to the 1992/93 season reads:
Great O’Sullivan may be, but five wins from 23 World Championship appearances does not make him a 15/8 favourite, a price which equates to 34.8 percent ‘probable’, judged on stats alone.
Of course he has played infrequently this year and returned from a prolonged spell away from the sport to win the Welsh Open. 2013/14 was a similar season for him and another year that he won the Welsh event. He started a very short favourite for the World’s that year but lost out to Neil Robertson in the final. Could history repeat itself?
Unquestionably O’Sullivan’s best ever form came when winning the 2013 World Championship, it was a year where he played no snooker apart from this event.
So the big question… is Ronnie fresh or has he peaked too soon this year? The last time we saw him was exactly one month ago when he was eliminated from the first round of World Grand Prix by Michael Holt who landed the victory (4-3) in a final frame shoot-out. No one saw it coming.
At the prices Ronnie O’Sullivan has to be avoided but where does the value, amongst the 16 confirmed players lay?
The bookmaker’s clearly like Judd Trump. He is a top-priced 7/1 with the sponsors despite being drawn close to Neil Robertson. The pair could clash as early as the quarter finals in their top half of the draw. As Robertson is William Hill’s clear second favourite, the firms believe it is one of this pair that will make it to the final for a potential face-off with Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Trump would have to be our pick of the three, again at the prices. He won the most recent ranking tournament and has a recent victory over O’Sullivan in the Championship League. He also got within a frame of winning the Shanghai Masters.
But the overwhelming feeling that this year’s event will be a turn-up remains. It may sound silly calling victory for a top-16 ranked player a ‘turn-up’ but the No. 15 seed, Michael White is an unconsidered 125/1 shot (Bet365).
Just 24-years-old and like so many good players, from Wales, White won last year’s Indian Open (when it was still a ranking event). Unquestionably he has been disappointing since but there have been glimpses of brilliance and he recently eclipsed 100 career century breaks – some achievement for such a young player.
Surely common sense says you would back him ahead of the veteran Mark Williams who is clearly a shadow of his former self yet priced up at just 80/1.
50/1 about Ricky Walden? Would victory for him constitute a major upset? He has just made back-to-back major finals after all. Surely he is worthy of a bet. John Higgins, Stephen Maguire or an out-of-form Stuart Bingham are the three seeded players that stand between him and a place in the semi-finals.
It is all about opinions and so much will depend on which players make it through three qualifying matches. Amongst those hoping to join the party from those qualifiers is Ding Junhui (just 28/1 to win the tournament outright) and the games latest shooting star, Kyren Wilson (125/1 Paddy Power).