Qualifying for the 2023 Snooker World Championship is finally completed, and the draw for the 1st Round was made on Thursday morning. With qualifying being very competitive, the non-seeded players who make it to the opening round of the competition are top quality performers. So with the top 16 seeds now knowing who they will be facing, we take a look at the 1st Round draw and try and find some potential shocks in our latest Snooker World Championship betting picks.
- The 2023 Snooker World Championship starts on Saturday morning with Ronnie O’Sullivan getting the action underway against Pang Junxu
- The competition starts on Saturday, April 15th, and runs until Monday, May 1st. It is being held at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre
- Ronnie O’Sullivan is the favorite to win the title. He is also the defending champion having beaten Judd Trump 18-13 in last year’s final
- The pressure is on Ronnie O’Sullivan to win, as it would give him a record eighth modern era win and with it, snooker immortality
Qualifying is finally over
Anybody who has been following the qualifying for the remaining 16 places of the 2023 Snooker World Championship will know it’s been a marathon process to get this far. The qualifying process was tough. Big names of yesteryear like Jimmy White and Stephen Hendry attempted to make it to the actual finals, and they fell short.
James Cahill has ended Stephen Hendry's @CazooUK World Championship in round one of qualifying.
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) April 5, 2023
But for the 16 players who did make it, they must feel like they’ve already been through the ringer. And now for their reward, they get the chance to have a crack at one of the 16 seeds. And with this chance, comes the opportunity to really make a name for themselves.
All 16 qualifiers will play a seed in the 1st Round. In 2022, out of the 16 qualifiers who made it this far last year, three made it to the 2nd Round. In 2021, two qualifiers made it through, and in 2020, a massive five qualifiers claimed a big name scalp in the opening round.
So the scope is there for some shocks, and this year – with all qualifiers priced up at odds against – the chances of picking out some shocks at good value sports betting odds is too good to miss.
Below, we’ve put together an odds table from BetOnline, one of the best online sportsbooks on this site. You can also read more about this bookie at our BetOnline sportsbook review. All the seeded players are on the left (with their seeding in brackets). And as you can see, there are some good priced bets available to be had.
|2023 World Championship 1st Round|
|Ronnie O'Sullivan (1)||-500||+350||Pang Junxu|
|Stuart Bingham (14)||-138||+110||David Glibert|
|Luca Brecel (9)||-163||+130||Ricky Walden|
|Neil Robertson (6)||-600||+400||Wu Yize|
|Ali Carter (11)||-334||+250||Jak Jones|
|Ding Junhui (16)||-188||+150||Hossein Vafaei|
|Mark Williams (8)||-350||+275||Jimmy Robertson|
|Mark Allen (3)||-400||+300||Fan Zhengyi|
|John Higgins (10)||-700||+450||David Grace|
|Robert Milkins (13)||-138||+110||Joe Perry|
|Jack Lisowski (12)||-188||+150||Noppon Saengkham|
|Gary Wilson (15)||-275||+220||Elliot Slessor|
|Judd Trump (5)||-275||+220||Anthony McGill|
|Kyren Wilson (7)||-225||+175||Ryan Day|
|Mark Selby (2)||-600||+400||Matthew Selt|
|Shaun Murphy (4)||-400||+300||Si Jiahui|
Jack Lisowski -188 vs Noppon Saengkham +150
First up, we’re looking at the matchup between Jack Lisowski and Noppon Saengkham.
Jack Lisowski lost 10-9 to Anthony McGill in the 1st Round in 2020. He beat Ali Carter 10-9 at the same stage in 2021, and in 2022, he defeated Matthew Stevens 10-8.
Lisowski did have his best year ever at the Crucible 12 months ago, where he eventually went out at the quarter-final stage via a final frame decider against John Higgins. But his recent 1st Round performances in the World Championships don’t massively inspire confidence.
At this stage of the competition last year, Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham defeated Luca Brecel 10-5. At the time, Brecel was the 11th seed. As the betting suggests, this wouldn’t be a huge shock. Saengkham is only +150, but we think he has a chance to cause an upset for the second year running.
Kyren Wilson -225 vs Ryan Day +175
Next up is Kyren Wilson against Ryan Day. Welshman Ryan Day hasn’t reached the Crucible since 2018, and even back then, he went out in the 1st Round.
Day does have history at this event though. He’s a three time quarter-finalist here, and despite the last of his appearances in the last eight coming back in 2012, he has still reached the Crucible on five occasions since.
Kyren Wilson has had a good run at the Crucible in recent years. He made the final in 2020, losing 18-8 to Ronnie O’Sullivan. And he made it as far as the semi-finals in 2021. Last year he was disappointing though, going out at the 2nd Round stage to Stuart Bingham.
We think Wilson could be ripe for the taking in the 1st Round this year. So a small wager on Ryan Day is well worthwhile.
Shaun Murphy -400 vs Si Jiahui +300
Finally, we’re going for what may be a bit of a long shot, especially given that Shaun Murphy has been in such great form lately.
But the 2005 champion can be a bit hit or miss at the Crucible. In 2021, Murphy got to his fourth final here, eventually losing to Mark Selby (18-15). But in 2020, and again in 2022, Murphy crashed out in the 1st Round.
This year he faces Si Jiahui, who is +300. Now, we’re not saying the young Chinese player will beat Murphy. But with Murphy’s track record here, we’d certainly rather be placing a small wager on Si Jaihui at +300, as opposed to a large wager on Murphy at -400.
To add further intrigue to the tie, as an amateur, Si Jiahui (as a covid replacement player) beat Murphy 6-5 at the UK Championship a couple of years back. This prompted an uncharacteristic outburst from Murphy that the then 18-year-old shouldn’t even have been in the building.
Wager with caution as Murphy may be determined to get his revenge. But Si Jiahui could be worth a small bet to pull off a shock win.