Stuart Bingham’s time to shine on the big stage in Sheffield
Stuart Bingham’s seasonal form has caught the eye, and having forced his way into the top ten of the world rankings, he’s one to watch out for at this year’s World Championship.
With three event victories to his name in 2012/2013, including a Premier League triumph, ‘Ball-Run’ has been making headlines.
The second of those crowns came in the opening tournament of the Asian PTC series at the beginning of the campaign, an event Bingham recorded three centuries in on the way to collecting the winners’ cheque.
His 16-match hot streak was only halted by Ricky Walden in the final of the Wuxi Classic last year, a run that encompassed a defeat of world number one Mark Selby.
The man from Essex is an enticing 25/1 to feature prominently in the upcoming World Championship.
Even in defeat to Ricky Walden in the Wuxi decider, the lively Bingham nailed a 147 maximum break.
A subsequent trip to the final of the Welsh Open in February, followed by a quarter-final appearance in the China Open, suggests the world number eight isn’t ready to end the season with a limp finish.
Although the progressive cuesmith is yet to make a major impression at the Crucible, there are plenty of reasons to suggest he can surpass his second round best.
Defeating the world’s premier players on a more regular basis, including three of the top four in the betting this season, highlights Bingham’s appeal.
That he’s done so while whitewashing two of those opponents (Mark Selby and Neil Robertson on the way to the Premier League title), is also noteworthy despite the markedly different conditions he’ll face in Sheffield.
The co-favourite quartet of Selby, Robertson, Judd Trump and defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan are likely to attract the most interest at 6/1.
However, Bingham’s increasing profile is wholly justified and he could prove to be a worthwhile each-way punt for value backers.