UK Championship Snooker: New champion guaranteed in 2015
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | November 23, 2015
2015 UK Championship Snooker
- Tuesday, November 24th to Sunday December 6th
- Barbican Centre, York
- Live on the BBC and Eurosport
Rocket misses defence of UK crown
Snooker’s UK Championship takes on a new format this season, and the straight knockout set-up will already result in a different player lifting the trophy.
Enigmatic baize genius Ronnie O’Sullivan remains the cue sport’s star attraction, but the defending champion has again opted against entering this tournament that takes place at York’s Barbican Centre on health grounds due to chronic insomnia.
Making headlines for not being in something is a shame, but the outright betting on this edition of the UK Championship has as open a feel to it as there’s been for many years.
Trump or Robertson to step into Ronnie’s shoes?
Although there is no Rocket to whizz around the table, young pretender Judd Trump is invariably a market leader in O’Sullivan’s absence and that pattern doesn’t change here, as Coral make the Bristol break-builder their 9/2 UK Championship favourite.
The Juddernaut was runner-up in York last year, putting in a memorable second session comeback, forcing Rocket Ronnie into a final frame decider to take the title.
Awesome feeling picking up my 1st major title since switching to a Vegan diet. So happy I made the choice
— Neil Robertson (@nr147) November 16, 2015
Australia’s Neil Robertson, meanwhile, picked up his first major tournament victory since adopting a vegan diet at the recent Champion of Champions event.
The Thunder from Down Under romped to victory over County Antrim’s Mark Allen 10-5 at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, so starts as 5/1 second-favourite to regain the UK crown Robertson won in 2013.
Selby and Murphy best of rest
Snooker world number one Mark Selby tops the rankings through maintaining a high level of consistency, and every now and then that results in a title. The Jester from Leicester is a dangerous 7/1 shot for a second UK triumph with an easy path on paper to the quarter-finals.
Masters champion Shaun Murphy could easily top and tail 2015 with titles at 15/2, while China’s two-time UK winner Ding Junhui (10/1) will hope to slip under the radar after the exploits of his compatriots at the Champion of Champions.
Veteran Scottish potter John Higgins is 14/1 for a fourth tournament triumph here after two ranking titles this term already, while the aforementioned Allen of Northern Ireland is a 16/1 shot to go one better in York than Coventry. Current Crucible king and World Snooker champion Stuart Bingham completes the list of likely candidates for the UK crown at 20/1.