March 27, 2019

The China Open – The Crucible countdown begins

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:25 am

The China Open has been staged in the country’s capital every year since 2005 and is the most historic event held in China. In 2018 it became the only snooker event other than the World Championship to hit the £1 million prize money mark, thanks to a new four-year agreement between World Snooker and promoter Star Xing Pai, cementing its place as the top event over there, having been leapfrogged in terms of prize money by a few other, newer events.

Despite this history and because of the timing of it, my reason for taking an interest in it these days is mainly because it provides the setting for players to settle into their places in the World Championship draw. Hence below I’m simply giving a few bets in the outrights based on my reading of the draw and the links you need to follow the changes to the seedings at The Crucible. From the moment this finishes it’s full steam ahead on here with regular World Championship Qualifier and Main Event previews.

It’s a week where we could see the bottom half of the Crucible draw, which at the moment is jam packed with the form players, change. Also, despite the deserved furore that accompanied Ronnie O’Sullivan’s return to the top of the rankings list, he could have it immediately snatched back off him by Mark Selby, making his achievement last week logged in the rankings record books as a return only to ‘provisional number one’ rather than ‘actual number one’ for the briefest of periods. Selby however would have to win the title to get that top slot back.

As usual, it’s covered on Eurosport, some of the sessions not really at a time when most UK and European snooker fans will be awake, but a fascinating week awaits as we approach the best time of the year for snooker fans.    

You can have a play with the draw in advance of the China Open beginning here.

You can view the prize money on offer at The China Open here and you can keep up to date with the changes to the Crucible seedings as they happen here.

Recommended Outrights: Win – John Higgins at 11/1, Barry Hawkins at 20/1. Each way – Jack Lisowski at 33/1, Lu Haotian at 250/1, Yuan Sijun at 160/1.  

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