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2015 UK Snooker Championship
The Barbican Centre in York stages the UK Snooker Championship for the fifth consecutive year with Betway taking over sponsorship from Coral last year. The UK Championship is the second biggest ranking tournament of the year after the World Championships and as such is highly competitive.
With the best players from the world of snooker in attendance, there are plenty of good betting opportunities to be had throughout the tournament and it is not uncommon for a heavy favourite to suffer an early exit, as was proven in 2010 when Ronnie O’Sullivan was dumped out in the first round by Stuart Bingham.
A host of snooker’s biggest stars have won the tournament in the past including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry. There have also been some sensational finals, such as Ding Junhui’s 10-8 win over John Higgins in 2009 and last year’s amazing 10-9 between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump.
O’Sullivan made the best start and went 5-1 ahead in the first session, before Trump pulled two frames back to stay within touching distance. He then fell 9-4 behind but would not give in and a superb revival with breaks of 120 and 127 saw Trump level the contest at 9-9. But having done all of that hard work to set up a deciding frame, Trump fouled from a snooker in the last and allowed O’Sullivan to claim a fifth UK Championship title.
Ronnie O’Sullivan made the 109th official maximum break during his last 16 match against Matthew Selt en route to the final. It was O’Sullivan’s 13th official 147 break and also the fourth maximum break in the 2014/2015 season. You can watch Ronnie’s amazing 147 break below;
O’Sullivan will be looking to retain his title in 2015, something that hasn’t been done since 1996 when Stephen Hendry won back to back UK Championships. Nevertheless, online bookmakers understandably want to have ‘The Rocket’ on side and as such he is a short priced favourite, with last year’s beaten finalist Judd Trump and 2013 winner Neil Robertson considered to be his main contenders.
Over the past 15 years there have been 12 different winners of the UK Championships, with the Ding Junhui and Ronnie O’Sullivan among only a few players still on the circuit who can claim to won the title on multiple occasions; highlighting how wide open the 2015 UK Championship is likely to be.
It’s a far cry from the 1980’s when Steve Davis won the tournament six times, while Stephen Hendry won five titles in eight years between 1989-1996. Ronnie O’Sullivan’s dramatic triumph last year brings him level with Hendry as the most successful player in the competitions history since it was given ranking status in 1984, the pair now tied on five titles each. Steve Davis has won the tournament four times since 1984 and also won it twice before that when it was still a non-ranking even, meaning overall he has six UK Championships to his name.
Most UK Championships Titles (since achieving ranking status in 1986)
5 Titles – Stephen Hendry & Ronnie O’Sullivan 4 Titles – Steve Davis 2 Titles – Ding Junhui, Mark Williams & John Higgins
With the field as competitive as it is, it would be very hard to pick a winner for the 2015 UK Championships. But with memorable moments stitched into the fabric of the competition, the one thing that is a sure bet is exciting and dramatic snooker throughout the tournament.