2018 UK Championship

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Betway UK Championship
Betway UK Championship.svg
Tournament information
Dates27 November – 9 December 2018
VenueBarbican Centre
CityYork
CountryEngland
Organisation(s)WPBSA
FormatRanking event
Total prize fund£850,000
Winner's share£170,000
Highest breakEngland Stuart Bingham (145)
Final
ChampionEngland Ronnie O'Sullivan
Runner-upNorthern Ireland Mark Allen
Score10–6
2017

The 2018 Betway UK Championship was a professional ranking snooker tournament, that took place from 27 November to 9 December 2018.[1] It was the ninth ranking event and the first triple crown event of the 2018/2019 season. The event was broadcast on BBC One, and Eurosport in the United Kingdom.

Ronnie O'Sullivan, the defending champion, defeated Mark Allen 10–6 in the final, winning his 7th UK Championship and his 34th ranking event overall. In doing so, he became the first player since Stephen Hendry in 1996 to successfully defend the UK title. O'Sullivan broke Hendry's record for the most Triple Crown titles (18), Steve Davis's record of UK Championships (6) and became the second player to defend all Triple Crown tournaments at least once, after Hendry.[2][3]

The event's highest break was made by Stuart Bingham. Bingham made a break of 145 in the first frame of his third round match against David Gilbert.

Prize fund[edit]

The breakdown of prize money and ranking points for this year is shown below:[4]

The "rolling 147 prize" for a maximum break stood at £15,000, but was not claimed.[5]

Tournament summary[edit]

The 2018 UK Championship began on Tuesday 27 November 2018. The tournament featured 128 players with no qualification round. All of the matches, up to and including the semi-finals, were played over single-session best of 11 frame matches, with the final played on Sunday 9 December over two sessions in a best of 19 frame match.

Early Rounds (Rounds 1–4)[edit]

Amateur player James Cahill defeated world number one Mark Selby in the opening round, 6–3

The opening round of the tournament saw the round of 128 play. The round started the event on 27 November.[6] The first round saw upsets - most notably twice champion and World number 1, Mark Selby, fell to unseeded amateur James Cahill, 3–6,[7] and former champion and 9th seed Shaun Murphy lost by the same scoreline to 120th seed Chen Feilong.[8] Also 12th seed Ryan Day lost 2–6 to 117th seed Joe O'Connor, 20th seed Anthony McGill lost 5–6 to 109th seed Lu Ning, and 102nd seed Sam Baird came from 1–5 down to beat 27th seed Liang Wenbo 6–5.[9] Thrice champion and 4th seed John Higgins scraped past unseeded amateur Dechawat Poomjaeng 6–5, however, Higgins then lost in the second round 5–6 to Alan McManus.[10]

The second round was played from Saturday 1 December 2018, and began the televised portion of the event.[6] This round saw defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan defeat Ken Doherty 6–5 despite being behind 1–4.[11] The 8th seed Ding Junhui defeated Matthew Selt 6–5.[11] 2018 Northern Ireland Open winner Judd Trump missed a black at the end of the tenth frame for a 6–4 win against Dominic Dale, but he then triumphed in the deciding frame, 6–5.[11] James Cahill, who defeated world number 1 Mark Selby in the first round, lost to 64th seed Sunny Akani on another 6–5.[12] Elsewhere in round 2, Mark Williams and Barry Hawkins both recorded 6–0 whitewashes of their second round opponents, who were Daniel Wells and Ian Burns respectively. Hawkins' win was his second consecutive 6–0 win, having defeated his first round opponent Jamie Rhys Clarke by the same margin.[13]

Stephen Maguire defeated 2018 world champion Mark Williams despite being behind 0–4.

The third round saw the last 32 players of the competition compete, played from 3 December 2018.[6] The lowest ranked player left in the competition, Joe O'Connor (ranked 117th), was defeated by England's Joe Perry 2–6.[14] However, 109th seed Lu Ning defeated 13th seed Luca Brecel 6–4.[15] Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan defeated Zhou Yuelong in a whitewash 6–0 to progress to the last 16.[16]

The fourth round began on 5 December 2018.[6] Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan progressed to the quarter-finals, defeating Jack Lisowski by a 6−1 scoreline.[17] However, world champion Mark Williams lost to 15th seed Stephen Maguire in a deciding frame, having led 4−0 earlier in the match.[17] Martin O'Donnell (ranked 56th) upset China's 8th seed Ding Junhui by 6−4, while Joe Perry knocked out Judd Trump by the same scoreline.[18] Tom Ford survived a decider with Lu Ning, the lowest ranked player left in the tournament, meanwhile Mark Allen went through with the same scoreline against Neil Robertson, after making two consecutive centuries from being 4−5 down.[19]

This was the second successive year that all quarter-finalists were British, with six of them from England. As the remaining players in the top half of the draw were from England, an English finalist was guaranteed.

Finals (Quarter-final to Final)[edit]

Tom Ford reached his first Triple Crown semi-final.

The event's quarter finals began on 7 December 2018.[6] The afternoon session saw defending champion O'Sullivan defeat Martin O'Donnell 6–1. This was O'Donnell's first triple crown quarter-final; having prior to 2018/19 only reached the semi-finals of the 2018 Snooker Shoot-Out.[20] World number 21 Joe Perry was defeated by Tom Ford 2–6. This would be Ford's first triple crown semi-final; and third semi-final appearance after his players championship semi-final in 2013, and being runner up in the 2016 Paul Hunter Classic.[21]

The second set of quarter-finals took place in the evening, and saw Mark Allen defeat Stephen Maguire 6–1.[22] Maguire commented that the playing conditions were at fault for his loss, stating that "you can't play good snooker" on the table used.[23] Despite the scoreline, Allen stated that he felt as though "he didn't play well".[22] In the final quarter-final, 2015 World champion Stuart Bingham defeated Kyren Wilson 6–2. During the match, Bingham attempted a maximum break; and potted fifteen reds and blacks, before missing the yellow.[6]

The semi-finals were played once again as best of eleven frame matches on 8 December 2018.[6] The first semi saw Tom Ford play Ronnie O'Sullivan. Ford would win the opening frame of the match, with a break of 68, but would lose the remaining six frames of the match, finishing 1–6. O'Sullivan would reach the final; his fourth final in five years, having declined to enter in 2015.[24] The second semi-final would be competed between Stuart Bingham and Mark Allen. The match would finish in favour of Allen, who won 6–5, despite Bingham being ahead 5–3.[25][26]

Ronnie O'Sullivan defeated Mark Allen to win his seventh UK Championship.

The final was played over two sessions on 9 December 2018; as a best of 19 frames match. [6][26] The final was contested between 2011 UK Championship runner-up Mark Allen and 2017 champion Ronnie O'Sullivan. The first four frames of the final were shared, however, the remaining four frames of the first session were all won by O'Sullivan, leaving him 6–2 ahead after the initial session. In the evening session, O'Sullivan would win the first frame, before Allen scored the highest break of the final (105), and enter the interval at 8–4 behind. O'Sullivan would win the next frame, leaving him one frame from winning the tournament. Allen would fire back with the next two frames, including attempting a maximum break, which failed.[27] O'Sullivan would take the championship in the 16th frame, thanks to a break of 78.[27]

On winning the event, O'Sullivan overtook the record for both the amount of UK Championship wins (6), held by Steve Davis, and the total amount of Triple Crown events (18), held by Stephen Hendry.[27][28] O'Sullivan's 2018 win was his seventh UK Championship, and 19th Triple Crown championship overall. On the achievement, O'Sullivan commented "It's amazing to beat my hero Stephen Hendry's record. He was the ultimate player. I've still got eight world titles to get, so I'm chasing that one", referring to Hendry's superior amount of World Snooker Championship victories.[27]

Tournament draw[edit]

Top half[edit]

Section 1[edit]

Last 128
Best of 11 frames
Last 64
Best of 11 frames
Last 32
Best of 11 frames
Last 16
Best of 11 frames
            
1 England Ronnie O'Sullivan 6
England Luke Simmonds 1
1 England Ronnie O'Sullivan 6
65 Republic of Ireland Ken Doherty 5
64 China Yuan Sijun 2
65 Republic of Ireland Ken Doherty 6
1 England Ronnie O'Sullivan 6
32 China Zhou Yuelong 0
32 China Zhou Yuelong 6
97 Iran Soheil Vahedi 1
32 China Zhou Yuelong 6
33 England Mark Davis 4
33 England Mark Davis 6
96 England Sam Craigie 4
1 England Ronnie O'Sullivan 6
17 England Jack Lisowski 1
16 Hong Kong Marco Fu 6
113 England Hammad Miah 0
16 Hong Kong Marco Fu 6
80 China Luo Honghao 2
49 Cyprus Michael Georgiou 0
80 China Luo Honghao 6
16 Hong Kong Marco Fu 3
17 England Jack Lisowski 6
17 England Jack Lisowski 6
112 China Zhang Jiankang 1
17 England Jack Lisowski 6
81 China Mei Xiwen 1
48 Republic of Ireland Fergal O'Brien 5
81 China Mei Xiwen 6

Section 2[edit]

Last 128
Best of 11 frames
Last 64
Best of 11 frames
Last 32
Best of 11 frames
Last 16
Best of 11 frames
            
41 China Lyu Haotian 4
88 China Tian Pengfei 6
88 China Tian Pengfei 6
24 England Jimmy Robertson 2
24 England Jimmy Robertson 6
105 Northern Ireland Jordan Brown 4
88 China Tian Pengfei 4
56 England Martin O'Donnell 6
56 England Martin O'Donnell 6
73 China Xu Si 4
56 England Martin O'Donnell 6
120 China Chen Feilong 2
9 England Shaun Murphy 3
120 China Chen Feilong 6
56 England Martin O'Donnell 6
8 China Ding Junhui 4
40 England Ben Woollaston 6
89 England Alfie Burden 3
40 England Ben Woollaston 3
25 China Xiao Guodong 6
25 China Xiao Guodong 6
104 England Sean O'Sullivan 4
25 China Xiao Guodong 4
8 China Ding Junhui 6
57 England Matthew Selt 6
72 China Zhang Yong 2
57 England Matthew Selt 5
8 China Ding Junhui 6
8 China Ding Junhui 6
121 Poland Adam Stefanow 1

Section 3[edit]

Last 128
Best of 11 frames
Last 64
Best of 11 frames
Last 32
Best of 11 frames
Last 16
Best of 11 frames
            
5 England Judd Trump 6
England David Lilley 0
5 England Judd Trump 6
60 Wales Dominic Dale 5
60 Wales Dominic Dale 6
69 Northern Ireland Gerard Greene 4
5 England Judd Trump 6
28 England Mark King 2
28 England Mark King 6
101 England Elliot Slessor 5
28 England Mark King 6
37 China Li Hang 2
37 China Li Hang 6
92 Wales Lee Walker 3
5 England Judd Trump 4
21 England Joe Perry 6
12 Wales Ryan Day 2
117 England Joe O'Connor 6
117 England Joe O'Connor 6
53 England Andrew Higginson 3
53 England Andrew Higginson 6
76 England Nigel Bond 2
117 England Joe O'Connor 2
21 England Joe Perry 6
21 England Joe Perry 6
108 England John Astley 0
21 England Joe Perry 6
44 England Michael Holt 1
44 England Michael Holt 6
85 China Chen Zifan 1

Section 4[edit]

Last 128
Best of 11 frames
Last 64
Best of 11 frames
Last 32
Best of 11 frames
Last 16
Best of 11 frames
            
45 England Mark Joyce 6
84 China Niu Zhuang 3
45 England Mark Joyce 4
109 China Lu Ning 6
20 Scotland Anthony McGill 5
109 China Lu Ning 6
109 China Lu Ning 6
13 Belgium Luca Brecel 4
52 England Liam Highfield 6
77 Finland Robin Hull 4
52 England Liam Highfield 5
13 Belgium Luca Brecel 6
13 Belgium Luca Brecel 6
116 China Fan Zhengyi 4
109 China Lu Ning 5
36 England Tom Ford 6
36 England Tom Ford 6
93 England Craig Steadman 5
36 England Tom Ford 6
29 England Robert Milkins 5
29 England Robert Milkins 6
100 England Sanderson Lam 1
36 England Tom Ford 6
61 Scotland Alan McManus 3
61 Scotland Alan McManus 6
68 Switzerland Alexander Ursenbacher 1
61 Scotland Alan McManus 6
4 Scotland John Higgins 5
4 Scotland John Higgins 6
Thailand Dechawat Poomjaeng 5

Bottom half[edit]

Section 5[edit]

Last 128
Best of 11 frames
Last 64
Best of 11 frames
Last 32
Best of 11 frames
Last 16
Best of 11 frames
            
3 England Mark Selby 3
England James Cahill 6
England James Cahill 5
62 Thailand Sunny Akani 6
62 Thailand Sunny Akani 6
67 Scotland Eden Sharav 5
62 Thailand Sunny Akani 6
99 Wales Jak Jones 2
30 England Ricky Walden 5
99 Wales Jak Jones 6
99 Wales Jak Jones 6
94 Northern Ireland Joe Swail 5
35 Wales Michael White 5
94 Northern Ireland Joe Swail 6
62 Thailand Sunny Akani 2
14 England Stuart Bingham 6
14 England Stuart Bingham 6
115 Thailand James Wattana 0
14 England Stuart Bingham 6
51 Norway Kurt Maflin 5
51 Norway Kurt Maflin 6
78 China Zhang Anda 3
14 England Stuart Bingham 6
19 England David Gilbert 2
19 England David Gilbert 6
110 England Ashley Carty 3
19 England David Gilbert 6
46 England Peter Ebdon 4
46 England Peter Ebdon 6
83 Scotland Chris Totten 2

Section 6[edit]

Last 128
Best of 11 frames
Last 64
Best of 11 frames
Last 32
Best of 11 frames
Last 16
Best of 11 frames
            
43 England Stuart Carrington 1
86 England Paul Davison 6
86 England Paul Davison 1
22 China Yan Bingtao 6
22 China Yan Bingtao 6
107 Germany Lukas Kleckers 1
22 China Yan Bingtao 2
11 England Kyren Wilson 6
54 England Mike Dunn 6
75 England Allan Taylor 4
54 England Mike Dunn 2
11 England Kyren Wilson 6
11 England Kyren Wilson 6
118 Hong Kong Andy Lee 0
11 England Kyren Wilson 6
6 England Barry Hawkins 2
38 England Gary Wilson 6
91 England Billy Joe Castle 4
38 England Gary Wilson 6
102 England Sam Baird 3
27 China Liang Wenbo 5
102 England Sam Baird 6
38 England Gary Wilson 4
6 England Barry Hawkins 6
59 England Robbie Williams 5
70 England Ian Burns 6
70 England Ian Burns 0
6 England Barry Hawkins 6
6 England Barry Hawkins 6
123 Wales Jamie Clarke 0

Section 7[edit]

Last 128
Best of 11 frames
Last 64
Best of 11 frames
Last 32
Best of 11 frames
Last 16
Best of 11 frames
            
7 Northern Ireland Mark Allen 6
122 Egypt Basem Eltahhan 2
7 Northern Ireland Mark Allen 6
58 England Rory McLeod 2
58 England Rory McLeod 6
71 England Peter Lines 3
7 Northern Ireland Mark Allen 6
39 Iran Hossein Vafaei 2
26 England Martin Gould 6
103 England Harvey Chandler 1
26 England Martin Gould 4
39 Iran Hossein Vafaei 6
39 Iran Hossein Vafaei 6
90 England Ashley Hugill 5
7 Northern Ireland Mark Allen 6
10 Australia Neil Robertson 5
10 Australia Neil Robertson 6
119 Wales Kishan Hirani 2
10 Australia Neil Robertson 6
55 Thailand Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 3
55 Thailand Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 6
74 England Jimmy White 3
10 Australia Neil Robertson 6
23 Scotland Graeme Dott 5
23 Scotland Graeme Dott 6
106 England Oliver Lines 2
23 Scotland Graeme Dott 6
42 Wales Matthew Stevens 2
42 Wales Matthew Stevens 6
87 Scotland Ross Muir 4

Section 8[edit]

Last 128
Best of 11 frames
Last 64
Best of 11 frames
Last 32
Best of 11 frames
Last 16
Best of 11 frames
            
47 England Chris Wakelin 6
82 Wales Duane Jones 1
47 England Chris Wakelin 4
18 England Ali Carter 6
18 England Ali Carter 6
111 Malaysia Thor Chuan Leong 3
18 England Ali Carter 3
15 Scotland Stephen Maguire 6
50 Scotland Scott Donaldson 6
79 China Li Yuan 3
50 Scotland Scott Donaldson 4
15 Scotland Stephen Maguire 6
15 Scotland Stephen Maguire 6
114 Germany Simon Lichtenberg 3
15 Scotland Stephen Maguire 6
2 Wales Mark Williams 5
34 Thailand Noppon Saengkham 6
95 Pakistan Hamza Akbar 1
34 Thailand Noppon Saengkham 6
98 England Rod Lawler 0
31 England Anthony Hamilton 1
98 England Rod Lawler 6
34 Thailand Noppon Saengkham 3
2 Wales Mark Williams 6
63 Wales Daniel Wells 6
66 China Zhao Xintong 5
63 Wales Daniel Wells 0
2 Wales Mark Williams 6
2 Wales Mark Williams 6
England Adam Duffy 2

Finals[edit]

Quarter-finals
Best of 11 frames
Semi-finals
Best of 11 frames
Final
Best of 19 frames
         
1 England Ronnie O'Sullivan 6
56 England Martin O'Donnell 1
1 England Ronnie O'Sullivan 6
36 England Tom Ford 1
21 England Joe Perry 2
36 England Tom Ford 6
1 England Ronnie O'Sullivan 10
7 Northern Ireland Mark Allen 6
14 England Stuart Bingham 6
11 England Kyren Wilson 1
14 England Stuart Bingham 5
7 Northern Ireland Mark Allen 6
7 Northern Ireland Mark Allen 6
15 Scotland Stephen Maguire 1

Final[edit]

Final: Best of 19 frames. Referee: Germany Marcel Eckardt.
Barbican Centre, York, England, 9 December 2018.
Ronnie O'Sullivan (1)
 England
10–6 Mark Allen (7)
 Northern Ireland
Afternoon: 54–63, 101–0 (101), 0–74 (74), 85–0 (85), 120–15 (54, 66), 76–15 (57), 73–12, 73–25 (65)
Evening: 74–25, 4–93 (56), 30–105 (105), 87–1, 63–59 (57), 0–144 (72, 68), 9–93 (59), 78–0 (78)
101 Highest break 105
1 Century breaks 1
8 50+ breaks 6

Century breaks[edit]

A total of 137 century breaks were made by 61 players during the 2018 UK Championship.[29]

Broadcast[edit]

The event was sponsored by betting company Betway, who had sponsored the event since 2015.[27] The event's broadcasters were dependent by country, with the BBC and EuroSport broadcasting across the United Kingdom and Europe respectively.[30] In China, the event was broadcast by Superstars Online, and China Central Television.[30] NowTV simulcasted the event in Hong Kong, alongside additional commentary.

Controversy[edit]

During the event, two players Yu Delu and Cao Yupeng were found guilty of match fixing. The world number 52, Yu was banned for 10 years, and nine months for five matches over a three year period. Cao was banned from Snooker for six years (with three and a half suspended) for fixing three matches.[31]The chairman of World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, Jason Ferguson commented on the bans saying that players caught cheating "risk their careers and they will be caught."[31] World champion Mark Williams commented that players caught cheating "should get banned for life."[32]

Ronnie O'Sullivan who has commented on having too many tournaments in the season, commented that he was ready to start a "breakaway tour, from the World Snooker Tour.[33] O'Sullivan commented that he would get "6 or 7 unhappy players" including Stephen Hendry and John Higgins to start a new "champions league" style tour.[34] O'Sullivan also commented that he would invite players banned from World Snooker, including Cao and Yu.[33] O'Sullivan's plan for a breakaway tour was regarding the amount of tournaments, and the lack of losing prize money for most events.[33]

In response, World Snooker chairman, Barry Hearn called the plan "nonsensical", and "damaging" to the sport.[35][34][36][37] Hearn also fielded comments regarding issues with the current tour schedule from players from all levels of the current tour, including world champion Mark Williams, Stephen Maguire and Neil Roberton.[38]

Aftermath[edit]

During the final, a draw was made for the 2019 Masters in January. The event would see first round matches of Mark Allan against Luca Brecel, and Ronnie O'Sullivan against Stuart Bingham.[39]

The next event of the season, the 2018 Scottish Open would begin the day after the final of the UK Championship on 10 December. O'Sullivan would pull out of the event hours after winning the UK Championship before his first round match with Daniel Wells.[40][41] Having been given a bye through the first round, Wells would reach his first ranking event semi-final, creating a 4–0 lead against Mark Allen, before eventually losing 6–5. O'Sullivan would not compete at the event, but did work on Eurosport's coverage of the event.

Allan, having been runner-up at the UK Championships would win the Scottish Open; despite Allan stating he had "disrespected" the tournament.[42] Allan had consumed alcohol throughout the week, calling his final appearance "undeserved"; having scored just a high break of 24 in the first four frames of his semi-final.[43]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ "Ronnie O'Sullivan beats Mark Allen to secure seventh UK snooker crown". Guardian. 9 December 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Indicative Prize Money Rankings Schedule 2018/2019 Season" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 18 July 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 July 2018. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
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External Links[edit]