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O’Sullivan and Selby Favourites for 2017 World Snooker Championship

The World Snooker Championship is regarded as the most prestigious event in the sport. The 2017 World Snooker Championship will be held once again at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. The championship has been held at this location since 1977. With a total prize money of £1.5 million at stake, it is also among the richest events in the snooker world.

The 2017 Betfred World Snooker Championship will take place between April 5 - May 1.

History

First held in 1927, it went through a period of absence during the late 1950s before being revived once again in 1964. Since then, it has been a regular feature in the snooker calendar. Stephen Hendry remains the most successful player with seven titles. He is closely followed by Steve Davis and Ray Reardon with six titles to their name. Among the current players, Ronnie O’Sullivan has five titles.

Format

The format of the tournament has been similar since 1982. A knockout tournament featuring 32 players, this competition will be contested over 17 days. The 16 players who get to reach the final stages automatically will be meeting up with 16 players who have gone through a qualification competition. The first round will witness 19 frames across two sessions while the second round and quarterfinals will be 25 frames over three sessions. The semifinals and the finals take up four sessions along with 33 and 35 frames respectively.

The Competition

The 2017 edition of the World Snooker Championship will feature Mark Selby as the defending champion. The 33-year-old managed only his second title in 2016 after managing to beat Ding Junhui with a score of 18-14. It would not be surprising to see Selby rated among the favourites to win the title. Yet, Ronnie O’Sullivan is likely to be the clear favourite as ever. One of the names to watch at this tournament could be Jackson Page, who had a surprising breakout at the Welsh Open only in February.

DRAW: 2017 Betfred World Snooker Championship

The first round draw for this year's World Snooker Championship has just been made in the city of Sheffield. Therefore, all matches in the first round will be hosted over the best of nineteen frames with current champion Selby starting his defence on the opening day on April 15 against Fergal O'Brien from Ireland.

5-time Ronnie O'Sullivan will meet Gary Wilson while there is a surprising Chinese clash between Zhou Yuelong and Ding Junhui. Peter Ebdon and Stuart Bingham will fight in a strong battle between 2 former world champions. On the same note, Trump Judd, a huge favourite in this year's championship, will play against Rory McLeod in the first round draw.

The full draw is the following:

    - Fergal O'Brien vs Mark Selby
    - Xiao Guodong vs Ryan Day
    - Noppon Saengkham vs Neil Robertson
    - Luca Brecel vs Marco Fu
    - Yan Bingtao vs Shaun Murphy
    - Gary Wilson vs Ronnie O'Sullivan
    - Stuart Carrington vs Liang Wenbo
    - Zhou Yuelong vs Ding Junhui
    - Peter Ebdon vs Stuart Bingham
    - David Grace vs Kyren Wilson
    - Jimmy Robertson vs Mark Allen
    - Martin Gould vs John Higgins
    - Tom Ford vs Barry Hawkins
    - Graeme Dott vs Ali Carter
    - Stephen Maguire vs Anthony McGill
    - Rory McLeod vs Judd Trump

Conclusion

The 2017 World Snooker Championship is definitely going to be one of the most-watched snooker competitions in history. With so many big names and rising stars clashing in Sheffield, fans will witness amazing moments and historical battles. The first round draw puts face to face huge names such as Higgins and Gould, so we'll see spectacular moments right from the start.

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