If snooker fans weren’t already excited enough at the prospect of the 2013 World Championship, then they certainly will be now that Ronnie O’Sullivan has decided to compete.
Having won his fourth World Championship in such impressive style in 2012, O’Sullivan has taken a rest from the sport this season, but now returns for the big one.
Had O’Sullivan been playing regularly, then he would be a shorter price than the 7.50 that is available. No one knows for sure whether Ronnie will be at the top of his game.
As the most natural player to have ever picked up a cue, this break will have less of an effect on him than it would any other player. That said, it’s not ideal preperation and we shouldn’t forget that O’Sullivan has never successfully defended his title. Furthermore, his wins (which are his only final appearances) were quite spaced out, triumphing in 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2012.
If you don’t rate Ronnie’s chances then take advantage of Unibet’s offer, which sees all losing bets of up to £20 repaid if O’Sullivan reaches the final.
Just ahead of O’Sullivan at 7.50, Neil Robertson is priced as the 7.00 favourite. Mark Selby is also at 7.50, while Judd Trump trades at 8.00.
Robertson and Selby are due to clash in the semi-final. Both are in good form, with the Australian taking the recent China Open, while the Jester from Leicester has won the UK Championships and the Masters title.
It’s a toss up as to which one make it, but I’d rank them both of having a better chance of winning the title than O’Sullivan this year.
Trump should be a bigger price. I don’t think that this is the year that he steps up.
Three from the pack
John Higgins is in poor form, but we’re talking about a player that has been in the World Championship final five times and won four of them. Trading at 12.00 to win the tournament, the Scot could be the man to take advantage if O’Sullivan fails to deliver.
Ali Carter is another player in O’Sullivan’s quarter of the draw. The Essex lad beaten in the final by O’Sullivan last season and also lost to the Rocket in 2008. Carter has been in good form this season, reaching the semi-finals of the UK Championship and winning the German Masters. He is 25.00 to win the tournament and a decent value 12.00 to reach the final.
You might notice that I’m picking out players with World Championship experience and another who falls into that category is Graeme Dott. The Pocket Rocket is a three-time finalist and won the title back in 2006. Dott’s form has fluctuated over the years, but the longer format at Sheffield clearly suits him and a semi-final appearance at the Masters suggests that he’s still a contender. Therefore the price of 50.00 for the win and in particular the 25.00 for Dott to reach the final, look too long.
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