The Players Championship 2019: Ronnie O’Sullivan looks to defend his title as Trump chases a treble
Ronnie O’Sullivan heads to Preston looking to defend his title while Judd Trump chases a lucrative treble at The Guild Hall as the Players Championship begins on Monday…
Big names in contention
16 of the best players in the world will contest the 2019 Players Championship at Preston’s Guild Hall this week with some of the most recognisable names in snooker battling it out for the top prize of £125,000.
Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen is the Number 1 seed for the second-leg of the inaugural Coral Cup, having accrued the most earnings from ranking events so far this season to the tune of a cool £350,000.
With the International Championship and Scottish Open titles already in the cabinet this season all eyes will be on Allen once more when he takes on Number 16 seed Stephen Maguire and can be backed at 51.00* to add this title to his collection.
Only three members of the current top 16 in the official world rankings won’t be at this year’s Players Championship with Ding Junhui, Shaun Murphy, and Luca Brecel all missing out, but world number one Mark Selby, and the in-form Judd Trump will both be in the mix.
Judd can Trump the rest
There’s all to play for Judd Trump, who claimed the first tournament of the Coral Cup series a few weeks ago when he beat Ali Carter to win the World Grand Prix trophy, and he now faces European Masters champion Jimmy Robertson in the opening round.
And should the 29-year old emerge victorious in both the 2019 Players Championship and the upcoming Tour Championship, he would take home an additional £125,000 bonus so it’s not surprising that Trump is seen as a 4.20* chance to win this one.
Reigning champion Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Selby both find themselves in the same quarter of the draw and could meet each other in a mouth-watering second round clash if they overcome their First Round ties with Barry Hawkins and John Higgins.
Ali Carter’s reward for reaching the final of the World Grand Prix trophy in Cheltenham is an attractive looking matchup with world champion Mark Williams while Kyren Wilson faces Jack Lisowski, Neil Robertson comes up against his pal Joe Perry, and Stuart Bingham plays David Gilbert.
The Rocket looking to make history
As well as looking to defend the title he won 12 months when he beat Shaun Murphy 10-4 in Llandudno, Ronnie O’Sullivan will be looking to secure something of a personal milestone at this year’s Players Championship as he chases the 1000th century break of his long and illustrious career.
The Rocket is currently on 994 so far having made 29 centuries in his debut season back in 1992 and has been a regular scorer of three-figure totals ever since, quickly becoming known as one of the best break-builders in the game.
And the fact that the great Stephen Hendry sits some 219 century breaks behind him on the all-time list with 775 shows just how dominant O’Sullivan has been over the past quarter of a century with few betting against him reaching the magic number this week while he is also the tournament favourite here and can be backed at 3.40* to go all the way.
*all odds are subject to change