The 2023 Snooker World Championship is just over a week away from starting, and although qualifying is still taking place, the majority of the talk in the build up is about whether Ronnie O’Sullivan can win his eighth world crown and put to bed any dispute about who is the greatest player to ever pick up a cue.
- The 2023 Snooker World Championship starts on Saturday, April 15th, and finishes on Monday, May 1st
- ‘Rocket’ Ronnie O’Sullivan is looking to win his eighth title and move one clear of Stephen Hendry
- O’Sullivan is the favorite at +400, having moved clear of Judd Trump who had previously been joint favorite after his win in the Masters last January
Who is the greatest in Snooker?
In the modern snooker era, both Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stephen Hendry have won seven World Championships. Most observers will argue that O’Sullivan is the greatest player to have ever picked up a cue. But there are still plenty out there who think Hendry would have ground the Rocket down and overpowered him if they had both played in the same era.
Both O’Sullivan and Hendry sit way behind Joe Davis, who has 15 titles, and Fred Davis and John Pulman (both with 8 titles). But that trio played in a previous era.
What is regarded as the modern era of snooker started in the 1969 World Championships, with the reintroduction of a knockout competition. Since then, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O’Sullivan have won the most titles (seven).
He's done it! Ronnie O'Sullivan! 🏆
He's won the World Snooker Championship and equals Stephen Hendry's record seven world titles 🙌#BBCSnooker
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 2, 2022
So the best way for O’Sullivan to confirm he is the greatest player ever is to win a record eighth modern era World Championship. That would surely put an end to the Hendry/O’Sullivan debate once and for all.
Who is favorite to win the 2023 World Championship?
Ronnie O’Sullivan is the betting favorite to win the 2023 Snooker World Championship. The top sportsbooks make Ronnie O’Sullivan their +400 favorite. This puts him just ahead of Judd Trump, who – until recently – was sharing the joint favorites tag with the Rocket.
Trump (+450) sits ahead of Australia’s Neil Robertson (+650) and Mark Selby (+800) in the latest betting. Behind the leading four is Mark Allen and the in-form Shaun Murphy, both at +1000. Murphy has seen his odds shrink in recent weeks after he won both the Players Championship and Tour Championship. He’s also reached the final of the Welsh Open recently.
World Grand Prix, Players Championship, Tour Championship.@Magician147's won the lot! 🏆#DuelbitsSeries pic.twitter.com/9rCPZtqGuG
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) April 2, 2023
Behind Allen and Murphy there is then something of a gap in the betting. Next is 2018 champion Mark Williams, and 2020 beaten finalist Kyren Wilson. Both have the skill and pedigree to beat O’Sullivan, and both are +1800.
Four times winner, and four times beaten finalist, John Higgins is next at +2000. Higgins has been in three of the last six finals, and at the same age as O’Sullivan (47), the Scotsman is far from over the hill.
More betting can be found below. These odds are taken from the best sports betting sites, and you can read more about them on our best online sportsbooks page. Our best sports betting apps page is also worth a read if you plan to bet on the snooker using your mobile.
|2023 Snooker World Championship Betting|
Who can stop the Rocket?
Earlier this week, the order of the 16 seeds and the 1st Round draw was announced. And despite the identity of the 16 qualifiers still not being known, what we do now know is which seeds will be in O’Sullivan’s half of the draw.
Top Half of Draw
- Ronnie O’Sullivan (Eng) (1) v qualifier
- Ding Junhui (Chn) (16) ) v qualifier
- Luca Brecel (Bel) (9) ) v qualifier
- Mark Williams (Wal) (8) v qualifier
- Judd Trump (Eng) (5) v qualifier
- Jack Lisowski (Eng) (12) v qualifier
- Robert Milkins (Eng) (13) v qualifier
- Shaun Murphy (Eng) (4) v qualifier
Bottom Half of Draw
- Mark Allen (NI) (3) v qualifier
- Stuart Bingham (Eng) (14) v qualifier
- Ali Carter (Eng) (11) v qualifier
- Neil Robertson (Aus) (6) v qualifier
- Kyren Wilson (Eng) (7) v qualifier
- John Higgins (Sco) (10) v qualifier
- Gary Wilson (Eng) (15) v qualifier
- Mark Selby (En) (2) v qualifier
Ronnie is the number 1 seed, and in the top half of the draw. But it’s Mark Selby who has been named number 2 seed, and this gives him a clear run to the final in the bottom half of the draw.
It’s fair to say that Ronnie O’Sullivan’s half of the draw looks trickier. He has 2023 Masters winner Judd Trump, and the in-form Shaun Murphy in his half of the draw.
As well as two of the top in-form players in his half of the draw, O’Sullivan will face 16th seed, Ding Junhui in the Round of 16 should both men win their 1st Round matches. Is this significant? You bet, Ding defeated Ronnie 6-0 in the UK Championship last November.
Going in the Rocket’s favor is that Trump and Murphy will meet in the quarter-final should they both progress. But O’Sullivan would then have to face the winner in the semi-final.
Regardless of draws, seedings, or who is in form, the bottom line is that in the World Championship format, if Ronnie turns up and is on his game, it’s going to be one hell of a job to stop him.
In that event, the biggest obstacle to O’Sullivan winning an eighth title, is the man himself. If he’s on song, he wins. If he isn’t, he probably fails to win a record eighth title.
It’s hard to make a sports betting pick regarding Ronnie without first seeing which version of him turns up. But the facts are if you want to back Ronnie, his odds aren’t going to get any shorter. So it’s worth getting on him now.