At All Bets, we are potty about snooker. We’re also very sorry for using that phrase, a phrase which we can only imagine has been used 568,907 times this year so far. Anyway, we’re getting really geared up for the 2019 World Snooker Championship Semi-Final and Final, taking place over the next few days.
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The 2019 World Snooker Championship has been a bit of a rollercoaster, hasn’t it? If you haven’t kept up with the drama, we’ll give you a brief summary of what’s been going on.
James Cahill has cemented his name in the snooker hall of fame after being the only amateur player to make it to a World Championship. And that’s not the only reason his trip to the Crucible was legendary. He knocked out world number one (and legendary snooker bad boy) Ronnie O’Sullivan in the first round. He himself was defeated in the round of 16 by Stephen Maguire, but his gallant efforts made it clear that this isn’t the last we’ll hear from him.
Another upset came in the second round, where Mark Williams (the defending champion) was beaten squarely 9-13 by David Gilbert. However, the 2018 title holder was taken to hospital after suffering chest pains post session, so that might have something to do with his impaired performance.
A lot of smart people were backing Chinese superstar player Ding Junhui to go all the way in the 2019 World Snooker Championship, so the fact that he was knocked out in the second round by Judd Trump, who is a formidable player himself, came as quite a disappointment to many.
Yes there is! For the first time in the tournament’s history, the prize pool is tipping over £2,000,000. The lucky winner will get £500,000, while the runner-up will earn a cool £200,000.
And the rest of the prizes aren’t too shabby either. Semi-final players can expect to net £100,000, while quarter finalists got £50,000.
If a player left the competition in the Last 16, Last 32, Last 48 or Last 80, they will have been awarded between £30,000 and £10,000.
But that’s not all. The player who has highest break captured on camera for TV gets £10,000. And if you manage the highest break that happens to have not been televised, you get a cool £1,000 for your troubles.
The first snooker player in the running for the 2019 World Snooker Championship title is David Gilbert.
Players beat since the first round: Joe Perry, Mark Williams and Kyren Wilson
Main stage centuries: He’s got four under his belt so far, ranging from 139 to 100
Career highlights: He’s been runner up in three ranking finals, including this year’s German Masters and was the champ in one non-ranking final, the 2002 Challenge Tour Event 4
Former taxi driver Gary Wilson is next up to compete to be the champ at the 2019 World Snooker Championship.
Players beat since the first round: Jack Lisowski, Zhou Yuelong and Ali Carter
Main stage centuries: With an impressive seven centuries under his belt, Wilson’s top scores range from 134 to 100
Career highlights: He’s only been the runner up in one ranking final, the 2015 China Open against Mark Selby. However, he does have a non-ranking final championship title under his belt: the 2004 Challenge Tour Event 4
Scotland’s John Higgins is also in the running to win the 2019 Snooker World Championship. He must be dying to get a chance, after losing out to Mark Williams in the finals last year.
Players beat since the first round: Mark Davis, Stuart Bingham and Neil Robertson
Main stage centuries: He’s got six main stage centuries under his belt in this tournament so far, ranging from 100 up to 134
Career highlights: He’s won the Crucible’s main tournament four times, starting in 1998 and his last victory was back in 2011.
The final contender for this year’s tournament crown at the Crucible is Judd Trump.
Players beat since the first round: Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Ding Junhui and Stephen Maguire
Main stage centuries: With five main stage centuries under his belt so far, ranging from 101 to an impressive 141, Trump is a threatening opponent.
Career highlights: Judd Trump got to the finals of this tournament once, back in 2011, facing off against John Higgins.
The semi-finals battles start today and will rage until Saturday. Here’s who’s facing off against each other:
Judd Trump is many people’s favourite to inherit the main title. He’s played a solid tournament so far and has an impressive track record, so it’s not hard to see his emerging as victor.
But you also shouldn’t overlook John Higgins. He’s predicted to easily take the lead against David Gilbert and then perhaps he’ll go on to triumph.
However, as it’s been such a whirlwind of a competition so far, David Gilbert or Gary Wilson just might manage to struggle to a win in the end. We probably won’t bet on them, but we just might be kicking ourselves if one of them grinds his way to the top spot.