The world’s top snooker players are at the Barbican Theatre in York this week, battling it out for one of the sport’s most prestigious titles, the williamhill.com UK Championship.
The tournament actually began back on Tuesday afternoon but this weekend sees the big hitters begin their first round matches.
O’Sullivan Pre Tournament Favourite
Ronnie O’Sullivan comes off the back of victory in last week’s Champion of Champions event, where he beat Stuart Bingham 10-8 in the final to win snooker’s newest tournament.
The reigning World Champion looked almost unstoppable in Coventry last week and will be a serious contender for the title this week.
He’s already won the tournament of four occasions, the first coming way back in 1993 when he was just 17.
He faces amateur player Rhys Clark on Saturday afternoon. Seven amateurs will compete in the tournament which is made up of 128 players, because only 121 professionals entered.
Paddy Power provide the best price on O’Sullivan winning a fifth UK Championship at 7/2.
Ding Junhui in Form
Ding Junhui is another man to look out for this week, as the Chinese has lifted the last three major ranking events; the Shanghai Masters, Indian Open and International Championship.
He was only stopped at the Champion of Champions last week by an excellent performance from O’Sullivan in the Quarter-Finals.
The two-times UK Champion also begins his campaign against an amateur player, Anthony Parsons, on Saturday afternoon.
He’s me Bet of the Week to win a fourth consecutive title, with Stan James offering the best odds of 8/1.
Mark Selby is the defending champion at the UK Championship after he beat Shaun Murphy 10-6 in the final last year.
After a slow start to the season, his form has improved of late and he reached the semis in Coventry last week.
He’s against amateur Shane Castle on Saturday evening and is priced at 9/1 with Boylesports on winning the tournament again this year.
World number one Neil Robertson begins his tournament against 15-year-old Dylan Mitchell, also on Saturday evening.
The Australian has been there or there abouts in recent tournaments and William Hill provide the best odds on him winning the competition at 7/1.
2011 UK Champion plays his first match of the tournament against Bradford amateur player Gareth Green this evening.
Trump has struggled for form so far this season and hasn’t won a title since November 2012 at the International Championship.
A number of bookies, including Stan James, are offering odds of 12/1 on Trump triumphing next Sunday.
Other players to look out for this week, include Mark Allen, who is available at 14/1 with William Hill and John Higgins who is priced at 18/1 with Betfred.
Coverage on the BBC and Eurosport begins on Saturday but you can follow the action on liveworldsnooker.tv or the streaming available on betting sites.
Don’t forget, you can also claim free bets with William Hill by clicking HERE.