The new Champion of Champions snooker tournament gets underway in Coventry on Tuesday afternoon with 16 of the world’s top players vying it out for the £100,000 winner’s prize.
The inaugural running of the event features players that have won tournaments during the 2012/13 season and start of the 2013/14 season.
The players are split into four groups of four and will play their first and second round matches on the same day.
The first round is best of seven frames and for the two players to make it through to the quarter-finals in each group, they will play a best-of-nine match to determine who will make it through to the semis at the weekend.
O’Sullivan Pre-Tournament Favourite
Ronnie O’Sullivan secured his place at the tournament by defending his World Championship crown in dramatic style in Sheffield earlier in the year.
He had taken almost a year out of the professional game to carve his way through the field in April to win the sport’s biggest title for a fourth time.
He’s shown good form going into the tournament too, reaching the final of this weekend’s European Tour event in Antwerp, Belgium.
He faces six-reds World Champion Mark Davis in the first round of Group 1 on Friday afternoon and is 7/2 favourite with Boylesports at winning the tournament on Sunday evening.
After a disappointing start to the season, Mark Selby seems to have hit a rich vein of form. He was the man who beat O’Sullivan on Sunday evening to scoop the Antwerp Open.
The reigning UK and Masters champion faces Shaun Murphy in Group 2 on Tuesday and is priced at 9/1 by a number of outlets, including Bet Victor, to win the event.
But my Bet of the Tournament is on Ding Junhui. The Chinese has sprung to life during the opening stages of this season and has remarkably won the last three ranking events; the Shanghai Masters, Indian Open and International Championship.
He’s also in Group 1 and could face O’Sullivan on Friday evening if he manages to make it past Barry Hawkins. But nobody would fancy themselves against Ding considering the form he’s in, and a number of outlets, including Paddy Power, are offering odds of 7/1 on him winning the tournament.
World number one Neil Robertson is in Group 4 and faces Championship League and Shoot-Out champion Martin Gould in the first round.
Robertson, who won last season’s China Open, is priced at 6/1 with Bet Victor and is second favourite with the bookies as tournament champion.
Judd Trump would be an outside bet after a jittering stat to the season but has impressed of late, making the final of a European Tour event in Gloucester a week ago, before making his first 147 maximum break in Belgium this weekend. Stan James provide the best odds of tournament success at 9/1.
Mark Allen won the event in Gloucester and also the Ruhr Open in October and would be a decent outside bet with Bet 365 at 12/1.
Coverage of the tournament is provided by ITV4 who are broadcasting live every day this week from 12:45pm.
You can also claim free bets with Boylesports by clicking HERE.