During the course of a snooker season there are 20 competition’s which are described as ‘ranking tournaments’. As the name suggest these reward the most successful players with ranking points and the more points a player has, the higher his official ranking.
The point scoring system is based on prize-money and so the deeper run a player enjoys in the most prestigious events, the better their ultimate world ranking position. The top-16 in the world rankings enjoy guaranteed entry into a number of competitions and an automatic spot in The Masters, which is a valuable select-field competition. It has a £600,000 (c$790,000) prize-pool but it is not the most valuable competition – the China Open has a £1 million (c$1.3 million) purse and the UK Championship £850,000 ($1.1 million).
However, the World Championship is the daddy of them all with almost a $3 million purse of which the winner will £500,000 ($653,000). It takes place every spring in the British city of Sheffield when the world’s top-16 meets 16 qualifiers.
The World Snooker Championship Format
A field of 32 players means 16 first-round matches. Each features a top-16 player and a qualifier. On average the record books show around 10 of these 16 matches will be won by the seeded player.
But it is no easy task beating a higher ranked rival as the World Snooker Championship features the longest matches on the calendar. First round games are the ‘best of 19 frame’ contests, second-round games and quarter-finals are ‘best of 25 frame’ confrontations while the two semi-finals are ‘best of 33’ and the final is the ‘best of 35 frames’.
In essence the eventual winner will not only need to overcome five rivals to win, they will need to accumulate 71 frame victories. Opening round games are staged over two days but the semis and final are played over three days of competition.
The Leading Contenders
Snooker is actually not a young man’s sport. Statistic show snooker players peak from the age of 30 onwards and top-class players remain at the top of their game for years on end. In 2018 the World Championship winner was Mark Williams who is 43 years of age and also won the competition in 2000 and 2003. Mark Selby, 35, has won this competition three times – in 2014, 2016 and 2017. John Higgins has taken it four times between 1998 and 2011 an the player recognised as the ‘greatest of all time’, Ronnie O’Sullivan (43), has won it five times.
All four are still playing snooker professionally and all four men remain in the world’s top-16. But there are a few younger players set to etch their name on the World Championship trophy in the foreseeable future. They include Judd Trump (29) who has over $4 million in career earnings (and was a World Championship finalist in 2011) and Mark Allen (33) who has amassed $3 million in winnings.
Snooker’s World Championship Betting Strategy
There’s loads of ways to tackle the Wold Championships. The outright betting market for it is open throughout the 12 months prior to the competition and as the season unfolds you can support players that catch you eye.
Unquestionably snooker is a form and confidence game and the winner of the China Open, the competition that precedes the World Championship has been a very fruitful source of winners in recent years. Backing in-form players is highly recommended and you can normally forget those who have been out of form regardless of their previous results and back-class. Similarly only once in every ten years or so does a non-seeded qualifier go on to win the competition.
The draw is vital in the World Snooker Championship. Some years, such as 2019, it can be very ‘heavy’ in the top or bottom half and one in-form player can find themselves house against and around a number of lesser lights.
Snooker betting is an ideal in-play betting medium. The action unfolds slowly and matches can take several hours, days in the case of the World Championship, to complete. Betting in-running in snooker is highly recommended and it is a very helpful tool to lay off pre-match win and handicap bets.
You can bet on the number of 100+ beaks during the course of the World Championships and the likelihood of a 147 ‘maximum’ break – these are markets to consider. But a backing player to win his quarter of the draw is a nice starting point for those that like to devise a full portfolio.
Where US Bettors can play Snooker Betting Markets
Most betting sites which legally accept bets from US bettors (BetAmerica, Intertops etc) have snooker betting markets. Our recommendation is to shop around for the best prices amongst them while Bet365 is the ideal place to watch the action for free – as no qualifying bets are required to see the action live.