2016 World Snooker Championships gets Underway this Week
Ponds Forge in Sheffield is the host venue for this years World Snooker Championship Qualifiers that start tomorrow at 11am.
The draw for the qualifiers was completed yesterday and the preliminary draw for the televised stages has also been completed (you can see both below).
> World Championship Qualifiers Draw (link to World Snooker PDF)
One of the biggest interest points this year is that China's Ding Junhui failed to make it into the top 16 at the last seeding cut off meaning he is now faced with three matches to reach the Crucible in the now open draw format. He opens his challenge against Greg Casey and the rest of his draw (on paper at least) does look fairly routine especially over the longer format of the World Championships.
The quality of the players lower down the rankings has seriously improved in the Barry Hearn era as there are now more opportunities to play professional snooker. This means that there are a number of good players that can do some damage in the qualifiers.
Add to this the ranking event winners and former World Champions in the draw and you have a very exciting tournament indeed.
Ali Carter, Ryan Day, Liang Wenbo, Steve Davis, Jimmy White, Graeme Dott, Ken Doherty, Mark Davis, Matthew Stevens and Peter Ebdon are some of the more well known names that are going to have to battle through three rounds of qualifying to reach the Crucible this year.
Another player who has been in good form since Christmas is young Belgian Luca Brecel, he starts against Steven Hallworth and if he has a good run through the qualifiers will be one to watch at the Crucible.
Last 32 Televised Draw
Stuart Bingham v Qualifier
Stephen Maguire v Qualifer
Ricky Walden v Qualifer
John Higgins v Qualifer
Judd Trump v Qualifer
Martin Gould v Qualifer
Mark Williams v Qualifer
Neil Robertson v Qualifer
Shaun Murphy v Qualifer
Marco Fu v Qualifer
Barry Hawkins v Qualifer
Ronnie O'Sullivan v Qualifer
Mark Allen v Qualifer
Joe Perry v Qualifer
Michael White v Qualifer
Mark Selby v Qualifer
The draw is in order so should they get through Bingham would meet Maguire in round 2 and so on.
Who is your favourite for the title in 2016?