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With the 2023 World Snooker Championship draw, schedule and dates set, it’s time to see how the seeded players fall in the draw. The draw gives punters the chance to size up potential routes to the Final for fans and punters.
The tournament kicks off on April 15th for two weeks of thrilling action from The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. But who will come out on top? What do you need to know about the draw, schedule, and dates?
Let’s take a look at this year’s World Snooker Championship Main Draw.
2023 World Snooker Championship Draw
The 2023 World Snooker Championship draw has the top seed Ronnie O’Sullivan in the top slot as the top seed. The second and third seeds can be found in the bottom half of the World Snooker Championship draw, potentially giving O’Sullivan an easier route to the final.
But it’s a lot more complicated than that because these are the best players in the world and anyone is capable of beating anyone. There is also the current form and tournament history of players to size up.
Here is this year’s World Snooker Championship Main Draw.
Ronnie O’Sullivan (1) v Pang Junxu
Ding Junhui (16) v Hossein Vafaei
Luca Brecel (9) v Ricky Walden
Mark Williams (8) v Jimmy Robertson
Judd Trump (5) v Anthony McGill
Jack Lisowski (12) v Noppon Saengkham
Robert Milkins (13) v Joe Perry
Shaun Murphy (4) v Si Jiahui
Mark Allen (3) v Fan Zhengyi
Stuart Bingham (14) v David Gilbert
Ali Carter (11) v Jak Jones
Neil Robertson (6) v Wu Yize
Kyren Wilson (7) v Ryan Day
John Higgins (10) v David Grace
Gary Wilson (15) v Elliot Slessor
Mark Selby (2) v Matthew Selt
The Early Rounds
The draw will be split into four sections, each made up of 8 players. Punters can place bets on the winners of those quarters, perhaps easier than making a full outright winner prediction.
The top 16 players in the world ranking automatically took their place in the draw, and each will face a player that came through the qualifiers, in the First Round. So it’s not until the Second Round that we start to see seeded players come together.
But the higher seeds still have something of an advantage. Ronnie O’Sullivan for example, could meet 16th seed Ding Junhui in the Second Round, but 8th and 9th seeds Luca Brecel and Mark Williams respectively could have a tough showdown at that stage.
2023 World Snooker Championship Schedule and Viewing
There is non-stop snooker action from the first day of action on April 15th, to the final section of the Snooker World Championship Final on May 1st. The sessions and matches come thick and fast in the first couple of rounds before the tournament slows down a bit with longer matches.
Viewers in the UK can watch the 2023 World Snooker Championship on TV as broadcasts are available on the BBC. Their iPlayer service has uninterrupted coverage of all matches across this year’s tournament from Sheffield.
Here’s the World Snooker Championship dates:
First Round – April 15 – 19
Second Round – April 21 -24
Quarter-finals – April 25 – 26
Semi-finals – April 27 -29
Final – April 30 – May 1st
Who Could Win It?
There has been a lot of focus on the return of defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan ahead of the 2023 World Snooker Championship. That’s because he could pass Stephen Hendry’s total of seven World Championship titles.
But O’Sullivan hasn’t had a great 2023 calendar. His form reads very poorly compared to others favourites in the field and only once before has he won it in back-to-back years (2012, 2013).
It’s O’Sullivan at the World Snooker Championship and he can’t be dismissed. But ‘The Rocket’ perhaps looks a little more vulnerable in the draw than he did last year.
Top Half Of The Draw
If O’Sullivan slips out that would blow the top half of the draw wide open. The next highest seed in the top half is a former champion, Shaun Murphy. The 2005 winner has been sounding confident going in and won April’s Tour Championship with some blistering form.
He’s in the second quarter where another former winner, Judd Trump lies. Trump, who was runner-up last year hasn’t quite been at his best this season. He’s been a slightly frustrating figure for punters to follow in the World Championship too.
If Trump and Murphy come together that should be a great match. On his current form, Murphy may have a big shout of making it through that challenge to reach the semi-finals.
Bottom Half Of The Draw
The bottom half of the draw looks to be far more competitive. Second Seed and four-time World Champion Mark Selby is a big threat in the field. He’s one of the greatest in the game at the longer format and looks to have got his form back on track nicely with victories at the English Open and World Snooker Tour Classic.
On paper, there may not be too much to stop an in-form Selby from marching through to the semi-finals. It’s the third quarter of the draw that piques a lot of interest. The top seed there is 3rd seed Mark Allen who has had a career season.
He’s up to his highest-ever world ranking, thanks to success earlier this year at the World Grand Prix, adding to ranking titles at the Northern Ireland Open and UK Championship. Allen has only been past the Second Round of the World Championship once in his previous 11 attempts, but this could be a fascinating dark horse in snooker predictions.
But there is also the challenge of Neil Robertson in that third quarter. Robertson is another of the former champions in the field. The Australian took the 2010 crown but hasn’t made a return to the Final. He’s never a player to write off, however, despite not having made it past the quarter-finals since 2014.
The World Snooker Championship odds see Ronnie O’Sullivan as the favourite, followed by the chasing pack of Selby, Trump, Robertson and Murphy. Follow our daily World Championship snooker predictions, offering insights into some of the biggest fixtures.
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4/1
Mark Selby 5/1
Judd Trump 13/2
Neil Robertson 15/2
Shaun Murphy 8/1
These odds from Ladbrokes were correct at the time of writing.
Concerning who might go all the way in the World Snooker Championship main draw, we would lean towards a couple of names. Mark Selby, a four-time winner could be peaking at the right time to make a charge, and he knows what it takes to win at The Crucible.
The other is Shaun Murphy, potentially offering some great pre-tournament snooker odds given his renaissance.
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