As Neil Robertson and Mark Selby prepare to contest the 2013 Masters title, the pair enjoy 11/2 joint-favouritism for this year’s World Snooker Championship.
The Crucible tournament, widely regarded as the most prestigious within the sport, kicks off in April, and a large number of potential winners currently appear very backable.
In addition to the aforementioned Robertson and Selby, the latter of whom has won the past four meetings between the pair, two more players are afforded an 11/2 price for the competition.
Judd Trump, who claimed the International Championship last year, is one of those, having been eliminated at the semi-final stage of this year’s Masters.
Still only 23, Trump was runner-up at the Crucible in 2011, and many a punter will be tempted to invest in the exciting young prospect going one better in this year’s renewal.
The fourth player regarded as an 11/2 hope, meanwhile, is four-time tournament winner John Higgins.
The Scot’s most recent success in Sheffield came two years ago, when he conquered Trump in the final, and the legendary cue-man will be well backed again this year.
It is unlikely that such lengthy prices will remain for the aforementioned four players, with the outcome of the Masters final likely to dictate slight fluctuation in the market.
And so it may be wise to invest early on one of these prospects, particularly considering that there is no guarantee that the reigning champion will defend his crown.
Ronnie O’Sullivan, a four-time World champion, is 8/1 to retain the title, but has yet to confirm his appearance at the Crucible, as his sabbatical from the game continues.
Elsewhere, Ding Junhui comes next in the betting as a 12/1 chance along with Shaun Murphy, as the Chinaman hopes to make a mark on this competition for the first time.
Junhui is a two-time UK champion but has yet to reach the final of the showcase Sheffield event, and will be hopeful that this is the year that that changes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.