As a 21-year-old entrant in last year’s World Snooker Championship, Judd Trump surprised everyone by reaching the final in his maiden appearance, and he is 11/2 favourite to come of age by winning this year’s competition.
Trump went on to claim the 2011 UK Championship in the aftermath of his World Championship final defeat to John Higgins, and that performance seemed to prove he has the mental credentials to mount another serious challenge at the Crucible this year.
Dominic Dale is the first hurdle Trump must overcome, and the 1/7 price he is attributed to do so shows that this looks an easily-achievable task for one of the hottest prospects in world snooker.
More experienced competitors come next in the betting to claim the World Snooker Championship, as three-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan is 7/1 second-favourite to score another victory.
He would hold such a success in high esteem after outlining his desire to compete less regularly in upcoming months, but ‘Rocket Ronnie’ has been handed a tough draw to begin with, as he will meet 2002 champion Peter Ebdon in the first round.
Ebdon has twice bested O’Sullivan at the Crucible, and comes into the tournament in decent form, priced at 50/1 to claim a second World Championship.
Meanwhile, defending champion John Higgins appears to have a more straightforward passage to the second round, with inexperienced Liang Webo standing in his way of progression.
Higgins is an 8/1 shot to claim a second consecutive World Championship, which would be his fifth success in the Sheffield competition.
At a longer price, Stephen Maguire could be worth a punt at 14/1, though he faces exciting prospect Luca Brecel in a first round encounter, where his Belgian opponent will become the youngest competitor in the hitsory of the Crucible tournament.
Unkown quantity Brecel is a 150/1 shot for what would be a shock tournament triumph.