2016 Champion of Champions snooker preview
There’s a decent sized non-ranking tournament taking place this week, with some of the world’s best players in the world heading to the Ricoh Arena to compete in the Champion of Champions event.
The tournament was revived in 2013 and now has a total prize fund of £300,000, with the majority of players qualifying by virtue of having won an event at some stage in the current season.
Ronnie O’Sullivan is naturally the star attraction and the Rocket is 3.75 with Unibet to claim the honours in this event, with the winner of the 2016 Masters and 2016 Welsh Open being handed a pretty favourable draw.
Ronnie will play Robin Hull in his opening match before a clash against Martin Gould or Mark Davis, with the bookmakers installing him as favourite and it would be a surprise not to see him in the final four.
There are several other lively contenders and John Higgins arrives back in England having won the China Championship, with the Scot competing against Shaun Murphy in this tournament.
This looks to be the pick of the first round matches, with William Hill both going 15.00 about these players winning the tournament, although the winner of that first round encounter is likely to play Judd Trump in the next round.
Trump has won three tournaments this season, including the China Open, the Championship League and the European Masters. He is likely to be hungry for another accolade and you can get 6.50 that he sweeps all before him.
Judd meets Anthony McGill in his opening match which should prove to be an entertaining affair, while another tasty clash will take place between Mark Selby and Liang Wenbo. There should certainly be a difference of styles on show.
Wenbo was the fairly recent winner of the 2016 English Open and the Chinaman is as big as 34.00 to win this tournament, with the winner of this clash going forward to meet either Mark Allen or Joe Perry in the next round.
The top quarter of the draw looks to be the most competitive, with Ding Junhui squaring off against Ali Carter and the former is 10.00 to win this tournament, while the winner of that clash meets Neil Robertson or Stuart Bingham for a place in the semi-final.
Bingham is really coming into form and lost to Higgins in the final of the China Championship, although perhaps fatigue will be a factor against a relatively fresher Robertson who is 11.00 with bet365 to claim the honours here.
In short, it’s an open tournament and the winner could emerge from at least half the field, although we’re having a small bet on Judd Trump to land yet another piece of silverware in what has already been a glittering season.