Guides

Can Anyone Stop Rocket Ronnie at the World Snooker Championship?


Fancy a flutter on the forthcoming World Snooker Championships? Well why not check out the latest betting with Coral Sport (don’t worry if you are not a member, you can get a great value deal here with the Coral New Player Bonus at Coral Vegas and still use your account to enjoy fabulous sports betting at Coral Sport).

Once you are signed in at Coral Sport and you head on over to the Snooker section, you will be able to have a look at the latest odds for the massive event at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and what you will find is that one player in particular is dominating the betting ahead of the event.

Coral World Snooker Championship 2018 Odds

  • Ronnie O’Sullivan – 15/8 favourite
  • Mark Selby – 4/1
  • Judd Trump – 8/1
  • John Higgins – 9/1
  • Ding Junhui, Neil Robertson, Mark Williams– 14/1
  • Barry Hawkins, Shaun Murphy – 22/1
  • Mark Allen, Stuart Bingham – 25/1
  • Kyren Wilson – 33/1
  • Luca Brecel – 40/1
  • Marco Fu, Ali Carter, Ryan Day – 50/1
  • 66-1 Bar

As you can see, Ronnie O’Sullivan is the clear favourite to win what would be a sixth World Snooker Championship. The Rocket has been in superb form this season becoming only the third player in history to win five of the top-ranking events in a single season (following Stephen Hendry and Mark Selby) and he has the opportunity to make that an unprecedented sixth in Sheffield over the next few weeks.

Such is O’Sullivan’s form at the moment that the bookies have him a very short-priced favourite but is it really a foregone conclusion that the Rocket will win the event this year? We already know he is in outstanding form, but what could be the main obstacles to O’Sullivan winning a sixth crown this year?

Fatigue

One of the reasons that O’Sullivan has been so sharp in the events he has played this year is that the 42-year old has been judicious in selecting which events to participate in. His non-participation in some of the lesser events has ensured that he remained fresh throughout the season in the main events he chose to participate in.

However, the World Championships is played over a far greater number of frames than a standard tournament with even the first round matches requiring a number of sessions in order to be completed.

  • Tournament Structure

  • First Round – Best of 19 (16 matches)
  • Second Round – best of 25 (8 Matches)
  • Quarter Finals – Best of 25 (4 Matches)
  • Semi Finals – Best of 33 (2 Matches)
  • Final – Best of 35 (1 Match)

What has been notable in previous years is that as the rounds have worn on for O’Sullivan he has suffered from fatigue at times. That was most apparent in his last finals appearance in 2014 when he played Mark Selby, taking a 10-5 lead but then lost 10 of the next 12 frames to trail 12-15 eventually losing the final 14-18.

Inconsistency

Although O’Sullivan has been a mark of consistency this season in the events he has played in, his career is littered with episodes where he has suddenly and inexplicably lost his form. This allied to a more fragile mental state of mind has seen him secure the help of sports psychologists in the past to help him develop greater mental fortitude and improve his consistency.

There is plenty of evidence that this has worked wonders this season, but with O’Sullivan you never know when he is going to hit a tipping point.

Controversy

Ronnie is also no stranger to controversy, like at last year’s World Championships where he claimed that he was being “bullied” by the WPBSA, who were accused of sending him a threatening letter on the eve of the World Championships.

He has also been warned after failing to attend mandatory press conferences after matches, refusing to speak with the press and also when he has spoken to the press in the past, some of his comments have been inflammatory and have also seen him sanctioned.

Like some of the greatest players in the history of the game, O’Sullivan and controversy are rarely too far apart and it will be interesting to see what transpires over the next few weeks in Sheffield and whether they detract from O’Sullivan’s attempts to land a sixth World Title.

Opposition

Last but not least, the World Championships attracts the very best of the best from the world of snooker, with many players timing their conditioning to ensure that they are in peak shape for this huge event.

While all the distractions outlined above could derail O’Sullivan’s hopes of a sixth win, in truth it is far more likely that the Rocket will run into a player who hits top form at the right time and has the game to knock him out of the tournament.

Although O’Sullivan’s first round opponent is not yet finalised (the last 16 players that qualify will do so through the final stage of qualifying which is being played in Sheffield over the next two days) assuming that O’Sullivan makes it past the qualifier, he could then face the following players on his way to the final.

  • Round 2 – Ali Carter (former finalist)
  • Quarter Finals – Mark Williams or Neil Robertson (both former World Champions)
  • Semi Finals – Barry Hawkins or Ding Junhui (both of whom are former finalists)
  • Final – Mark Selby (current holder), John Higgins, Shaun Murphy (both former Champions), Judd Trump (former finalist)

Of course, we are assuming here that the top players will win through and that doesn’t always happen at the World Championships, but the longer format of the event does tend to favour the top players progressing more so than the outsiders.

Will O’Sullivan win it?

Coral certainly feel that the Rocket will land his sixth World Snooker title and in truth, we agree with them. Certainly, compared to previous years, Ronnie is in better form and a better state of mind and also better health than in the past. Add to that a hunger to win what would be his first World title in five years and it is easy to see why Coral have him as the clear favourite.

While his odds don’t make him too enticing a bet for punters, I do feel that you can gleam some great value from Coral’s Each Way market. To land this bet you need to place an each way bet on one of the players in the event to win it, and if they reach the final, Coral will pay out the place part of your bet at half the stated odds.

Assuming O’Sullivan will get through the bottom half of the draw, you can then focus on which player will come through the top half and while Mark Selby is an option at 4/1, I think Shaun Murphy at 22/1 is a great value bet. He’s in decent form, his game suits the longer format of the game at Sheffield and he is a former World Champion. He has won this season but hasn’t won a huge amount, but has finished runner up on several occasions. For me, he is a great value each way option.