The Betway UK Snooker Championship gets underway today with records looking to be broken.
The Man of the Moment, Judd Trump, will be looking to take the first ‘Triple Crown’ event of the season in an attempt to hold all three at the same time. And, possibly more importantly, hold all three this season.
Ronnie O’Sullivan, the current holder, will be looking to stop him and lift his 37th ranking title which will topple Stephen Hendry’s record at the same time.
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Trump will only face O’Sullivan if they both reach the final due to the seeded draw for this event. A system much maligned for the way that it normally removes the lesser players early on.
Shocks do happen though. Last year, for example, James Cahill, an amateur at the time, took out Mark Selby in the first round. This year’s only amateur entry is Ross Bulman, courtesy of his No 1 ranking on the Q School Order of Merit. Ross faces O’Sullivan in round 1. Enough said?
Judd Trump will play tour newcomer Amine Amiri from Morocco.
Many believe the tiered system, whereby lower ranked players are drawn against each other in the early rounds, is better and fairer and rewards the players who have earned their high rankings.
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It’s a guessing game!
I won’t be doing any predictions this time as, to be honest, there’s just too much talent throughout the professionals.
The longer format does tend to lend itself to the better players though so if I have to guess I would say the top 8 seeds will be featured at the latter end of the tournament. I don’t think I will get good odds against that!
I will be making the trip myself for just the one day in the middle of the event. The York Barbican is, in my opinion, a far superior venue to The Crucible and makes for a much better snooker experience.
Eurosport will of course be covering the matches from the start and another broadcaster will join in later. You can still get a bargain with the Eurosport Player at £19.99 for a year.