Snooker World Championship Betting

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The world’s leading professional snooker tournament in terms of both ranking points and prize money is the betfred.com World Snooker Championship, also known more simply as the World Snooker Championship. Since 1977, the event has been conducted annually in early spring at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England.

The game of Snooker dates back to 1875. British officers of the Devonshire regiment stationed in Jubbulpore, India devised the billiards-style game to pass the time during the monsoon season. Credit goes to Sir Neville Chamberlain for adding the various coloured balls from which the basic form of Snooker evolved: 15 reds, yellow, green, pink and black. The blue and brown balls were introduced prior to 1880, when the game became the rage back in England.

The first World Championship was held as a single elimination tournament in 1927, won by Joe Davis who earned just £6.10s.0d for his victory over Tom Dennis 20-11. By contrast, the winner’s purse was worth £250,000 by 2008, when Ronnie O’Sullivan emerged as champion.

It was not, however, a steady rise for Snooker during those eight decades. Joe Davis dominated the table in the early years, winning 14 championships before World War II interrupted play in 1941. In 1946, he won for the 15th time, and then handed the cue over to his brother Fred Davis, who took the title in 1948, 1949, and 1951.

Squabbles between some of the profession players and Snooker’s governing body, the Billiards Association and Control Council, started in 1952. For a while, two separate championships were held, causing a decline in interest that led to no top tournament at all from 1958 to 1963. In fact, the last “official” World Championship in 1957 was contested by only two entrants, with Horace Lindrum of Australia defeating Clark McConachy of New Zealand.

The World Championship was reorganized as a challenge from 1964 to 1968, and John Pullman proved unbeatable during that period. The modern era began in 1969 with the resumption of the knock-out format. Since then, the best record posted belongs to seven-time titlist and 1999 champion Stephen Hendry of Scotland, followed by six-time winners Ray Reardon from Wales and Steve Davis of England, who played their best Snooker in the 1970s and 1980s, respectively.

In the new millennium, Scotland’s John Higgins and England’s Ronnie O’Sullivan have been the powers to beat, with three titles apiece. Welsh Snooker pro Mark Williams trails them with two victories, and the 2011 World Snooker Championship will be defended by 2010’s winner Neil Robertson of Australia.

Wagering on the betfred.com World Snooker Championship typically gets underway early in the year, in January, as players show their form in the Masters at London’s Wembley Arena and the World Snooker Shoot-Out at Circus Arena in Blackpool, followed by the Welsh Open held in February. The completion of the latter serves as the cut off for seeding the World Championship, based upon whatever the world rankings are at that time.

Betting begins in earnest when the World Championship Qualifiers take place in March, and by the time the brackets have been filled in April, a full range of markets is available. They include Player to win 1st Quarter, Player to win 2nd Quarter, Player to win 3rd Quarter, and Player to win 4th Quarter; Winning Quarter and Winning Half; Total Centuries, Winning Nationality, Furthest Progressing Qualifier, and First Time Winner.

Some of the more exotic markets offered are The Century Record To Be Beaten, To Make A 147, Total 147 Breaks, What Will The Highest Break Be, Will The Final Go To A Re-Spotted Black, Will There Be A 147 Break, and Who Will Make The Highest Break. Other options are wagers on Player to Make the Final and Name the Finalists, in which case both players selected must make it to the final showdown. Accumulators can be structured, too, to allow for even greater payout possibilities.

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