2019 World Snooker Championship

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Betfred
World Snooker Championship
World Snooker Championship 2015 Logo.png
Tournament information
Dates20 April – 6 May 2019
VenueCrucible Theatre
CitySheffield
CountryEngland
Organisation(s)WPBSA
FormatRanking event
Total prize fund£2,231,000
Winner's share£500,000
Highest break
Defending championWales Mark Williams
Final
Champion
Runner-up
Score
2018

The 2019 World Snooker Championship (also referred to as the 2019 Betfred World Snooker Championship for the purposes of sponsorship) is a professional snooker tournament, taking place from 20 April to 6 May 2019 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. It is the 43rd consecutive year that the World Snooker Championship is held at the Crucible and it is the twentieth and final ranking event of the 2018/2019 season. Qualifying for the tournament took place from 10 to 17 April 2019 at the English Institute of Sport, also in Sheffield.

The tournament is broadcast in Europe by the BBC and Eurosport, by DAZN in Canada and the United States, by SKY in New Zealand, by Now TV in Hong Kong and worldwide on Facebook by World Snooker.

Mark Williams is the defending champion, having defeated John Higgins 18–16 in the 2018 final.

Overview[edit]

The World Snooker Championship is an annual cue sport tournament and is the official world championship of the game of snooker.[1] The sport of snooker was founded in the late 19th century by British Army soldiers stationed in India.[2] The sport originated by players from the United Kingdom, and later players from Europe and the Commonwealth. In more modern times, the sport has transferred to being played worldwide, especially in East and Southeast Asian nations, such as China, Hong Kong and Thailand.[3]

The world championship sees 32 professional and qualified amateur players compete in one-on-one snooker matches in a single elimination format, each played over several frames. The 32 players for the event are selected through a mix of the world snooker rankings, and a pre-tournament qualification round.[4][5] The first world championship in 1927 was won by Joe Davis, the final being held in Camkin's Hall, Birmingham, England.[6][7] Since 1977, the event has been held in the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England.[8]

Stephen Hendry is the most successful player in the modern era, having won the championship 7 times.[9] The previous year's championship was won by Wales' Mark Williams, who won the event defeating Scotland's John Higgins in the final 18–16.[10][11] This was Williams' third championship, having won in 2000 and 2003 previously. The winner of the 2019 event earns prize money of £500,000, from a total pool of £2,231,000.[12]

Format[edit]

The 2019 World Snooker Championship will be held between 20 April and 6 May 2019 in Sheffield, England. The tournament was the last of twenty rankings events in the 2018/2019 season on the World Snooker Tour. It will feature a 32-player main draw to be played at the Crucible Theatre, as well as a 128-player qualifying draw which took place at the English Institute of Sport from 10 to 17 April 2019, finishing three days prior to the start of the main draw. This was the 43rd consecutive year that the tournament was held at the Crucible, and the 51st consecutive year the championship was contested through the modern knockout format.[4][5]

The top 16 players in the latest world rankings automatically qualified for the main draw as seeded players.[a] Defending champion Mark Williams was automatically seeded 1st overall. The remaining fifteen seeds were allocated based on the latest world rankings (revision 10), which were released following the China Open, the penultimate event of the season. Matches in the first round of the main draw were played as best of 19 frames. The number of frames needed to win a match increased with each successive round, leading up to the final match which was played as best of 35 frames.[4][5]

All 16 non-seeded spots in the main draw were filled with players from the qualifying rounds. The qualifying draw consisted of 128 players, including 106 of the remaining 112 players on the World Snooker Tour, as well as twenty-two wildcard places allotted to non-tour players. These invited players included the women's world champion, the European junior champion, and all four semi-finalists at the amateur championship. As with the main draw, half of the participants in the qualifying draw were seeded players. Players ranked from 17th to 80th were allocated one of 64 seeds in order of their ranking, while all of the other participants were placed randomly into the draw. In order to reach the main draw at the Crucible, players needed to win three best of 19 frame matches.[13][4]

Participant summary[edit]

Eight former world champions participated in the main tournament at the Crucible. They were Ronnie O'Sullivan (five titles: 2001, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2013), John Higgins (four titles: 1998, 2007, 2009, 2011), Mark Selby (three titles: 2014, 2016, 2017), Mark Williams (three titles, and defending champion: 2000, 2003, 2018), Shaun Murphy (one title: 2005), Graeme Dott (one title: 2006), Neil Robertson (one title: 2010), and Stuart Bingham (one title: 2015).[4] This was O'Sullivan's 27th consecutive appearance in the final stages of the World Championship since his debut in 1993, equaling that of Stephen Hendry's 27 consecutive appearances, and three short of Steve Davis's record of 30 total appearances. Four other former world championship finalists also competed: Ali Carter (twice: 2008 and 2012), Judd Trump (once: 2011), Barry Hawkins (once: 2013), and Ding Junhui (once: 2016).[13][4]

Three former world champions participated in the qualifying rounds: Ken Doherty (1997), Peter Ebdon (2002) and Graeme Dott (2006). Of these, only Dott succeeded in qualifying for the main tournament at the Crucible. Also, four former world finalists participated in the qualifying rounds: Jimmy White (six times: 1984 and 1990–1994), Nigel Bond (once: 1995), Ali Carter (twice: 2008 and 2012), and Matthew Stevens (twice: 2000 and 2005).[13][4] Of these, only Carter qualified for the main tournament at the Crucible.[13]

Tournament summary[edit]

Qualifying rounds[edit]

James Cahill became the first-ever amateur to qualify for the World Championship main stage at the Crucible.

The top sixteen seeds automatically qualified for the main competition.[4] The defending champion Mark Williams is seeded first, whilst other seeds are allocated based on the world rankings following the 2019 China Open.[4] All the other players competed in the preliminary qualifying rounds, and were required to win three best-of-19 matches to reach the finals.[4]

The qualifying rounds took place at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield from 10 to 17 April 2019, with 16 players progressing to the finals. 128 players competed in the qualifying stage, including those tour players not automatically qualified for the main competition and invited amateurs.[14]

James Cahill became the first amateur player ever to qualify for the Crucible main stage of the World Championship, defeating fellow amateur Michael Judge 10–6 in the third qualifying round.[15] Seven players – the highest number since 1999 – made it through the qualifying rounds to make their debuts at the main stage of the tournament. Besides Cahill, they were Scott Donaldson, Michael Georgiou, Li Hang, Luo Honghao, Tian Pengfei and Zhao Xintong.[16]

2006 World Champion Graeme Dott and two-time finalist Ali Carter also qualified for the main stage. In all, eight former world champions and a further four former finalists will compete at the 2019 main stage.

First round[edit]

The draw for the first round of the championship was made on 18 April 2019, the day following the conclusion of the qualifying rounds; before the event began on 20 April, and matches were drawn by World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn, and 1991 winner John Parrott.[17] The first round of the championship is to be played between 20 – 25 April, played over two sessions as best of 19 frame matches.

The tournament began with defending champion Mark Williams (seeded 1) drawing Martin Gould.[18] Gould took the first frame of the match, with a break of 64, before Williams won the next 5 with breaks of 55, 54 and 129 to lead 5–1.[19] Gould won both frames 7 and 8, before Williams took the final frame of the session with a break of 97 to lead 6–3.[19][20] The second session was also played on the opening day of the event. In frame 10, Williams opened up a lead, before Gould made a clearance to force a respotted black, but Williams would pot the black to lead 7–3.[21] Gould won frame 11, to trail 4–7, before Williams won the next two frames to be ahead 9–4.[20] Gould fought back with breaks of 70, 87 and 76 to trail 9–7, before Williams progressed 10–7, winning a "nervy" 17th frame.[20] After his victory Williams accused World Snooker of not allowing his child backstage before the match, which the governing body denied.[22]

The first round saw the only the second 10–0 whitewash ever at the Crucible, and the first since John Parrott defeated Eddie Charlton in 1992. It was Shaun Murphy who inflicted it on debutant Luo Honghao. Luo also set the record for the lowest number of points scored in a World Championship match, as he scored just 89 during the entire match, more than 100 points lower than the previous record low of 191 scored by Danny Fowler when he lost 1–10 to Stephen Hendry in 1993[23]. Michael Georgiou also looked on course to break both records when he came out of the first session of his clash with Neil Robertson trailing 0–9; however, Georgiou took the tenth frame on resumption of play in the second session with a break of 90, to avoid both the whitewash and low points total. Robertson took the next to win 10–1.[24]

Prize fund[edit]

The total purse for the event is higher than any prior snooker event. For the first time, the total prize pool is over £2 million, with the winner being awarded £500,000.[25] [26][b] The breakdown of prize money for this year is shown below:[12]

Main Stage maximum break: £50,000

Main draw[edit]

Seedings shown in brackets following the 16 seeded players.[27]

First round Second round Quarter-finals Semi-finals
Best of 19 frames Best of 25 frames Best of 25 frames Best of 33 frames
                           
20 April            
 Wales Mark Williams (1)  10
26 & 27 April
 England Martin Gould  7  
 Wales Mark Williams (1)  
22 & 23 April
   England    
 England David Gilbert (16)  
30 April & 1 May
 England Joe Perry    
   
24 April
       
 England Barry Hawkins (9)  
28 & 29 April
 China Li Hang    
   
24 & 25 April
       
 England Kyren Wilson (8)  
2, 3 & 4 May
 Scotland Scott Donaldson    
   
21 & 22 April
     
 Scotland John Higgins (5)  8
27, 28 & 29 April
 England Mark Davis  6  
   
23 April
       
 England Stuart Bingham (12)  
30 April & 1 May
 Scotland Graeme Dott    
   
21 & 22 April
       
 England Shaun Murphy (13)  10
25 & 26 April
 China Luo Honghao  0  
 England Shaun Murphy (13)  
20 & 21 April
   Australia Neil Robertson (4)    
 Australia Neil Robertson (4)  10
 Cyprus Michael Georgiou  1  
22 April            
 England Mark Selby (3)  3
25, 26 & 27 April
 China Zhao Xintong  5  
   
20 & 21 April
   England Gary Wilson    
 Belgium Luca Brecel (14)  9
30 April & 1 May
 England Gary Wilson  10  
   
24 & 25 April
       
 England Jack Lisowski (11)  
28 & 29 April
 England Ali Carter    
 England  
23 & 24 April
       
 Northern Ireland Mark Allen (6)  
2, 3 & 4 May
 China Zhou Yuelong    
   
23 & 24 April
     
 England Judd Trump (7)  
27, 28 & 29 April
 Thailand Thepchaiya Un-Nooh    
   
20 & 21 April
   China Ding Junhui (10)    
 China Ding Junhui (10)  10
30 April & 1 May
 Scotland Anthony McGill  7  
   
20 & 21 April
       
 Scotland Stephen Maguire (15)  10
26 & 27 April
 China Tian Pengfei  9  
 Scotland Stephen Maguire (15)  
22 & 23 April
   England    
 England Ronnie O'Sullivan (2)  3
 England James Cahill  3  
Final (Best of 35 frames) Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, 5 & 6 May. Referee: Scotland Leo Scullion.[28]
Session 1
(at most 8 frames)
Session 2
(at least 9 frames)
Session 3
(at most 8 frames)
Session 4
(any remaining frames)
Highest break
Century breaks
50+ breaks

Qualifying[edit]

128 competed in the qualifying competition. There were three qualifying rounds, with the sixteen winners of the third round matches progressing to the main stages of the tournament at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Qualifying took place from 10 to 17 April 2019 at the English Institute of Sport, also in Sheffield, in a 12-table set-up. All matches were best of 19 frames.

The tour players (ranked outside the top-16) were joined by amateur/wildcard players who achieved success through the WPBSA qualifying criteria.

The qualifying criteria were as follows:[13]

Players ranked 17–80 in the world rankings were seeded 1–64 in qualifying.[d] The remaining tour players plus the invited amateurs were drawn randomly.[e]

Round 1[edit]

Round 2[edit]

Round 3[edit]

Winners advance to the main draw.

Century breaks[edit]

Main stage centuries[edit]

20 centuries have been made by 10 players during the main stage of the World Championship.[30]

Qualifying stage centuries[edit]

122 century breaks were made by 57 players during the qualifying stage of the World Championship.[31]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In the event that the defending champion was ranked outside of the top 16, they would have replaced the player ranked world number 16 as an automatic qualifier.[4]
  2. ^ Prior, the highest prize purse was for the 2018 World Snooker Championship, with a total pool of £1,968,000, and £425,000 for the winner of the event.[26]
  3. ^ Zhang Jiankang who withdrew with VISA problem, was replaced by Michael Judge.
  4. ^ Jamie Jones ranked 61 was serving a suspension, and did not compete in the championships.[29]
  5. ^ Li Yuan ranked 97 did not compete in the championships.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Snooker championship". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 11 May 1927. Retrieved 12 March 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  2. ^ Clare, Peter (2008). "Origins of Snooker". Snooker Heritage. Archived from the original on 3 January 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  3. ^ "The Rise Of China – World Snooker". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 19 April 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "2019 Betfred World Snooker Championship – World Snooker". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 12 July 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "Crucible Draw And Format – World Snooker". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 17 April 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  6. ^ Turner, Chris. "World Professional Championship". cajt.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk. Chris Turner's Snooker Archive. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  7. ^ "1927 World Professional Championship". globalsnookercentre.co.uk. Global Snooker Centre. Archived from the original on 10 October 2004. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  8. ^ Historic England. "The Crucible Theatre (1392311)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  9. ^ "World Championship – Roll of Honour". Global Snooker. Archived from the original on 22 February 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  10. ^ Hafez, Shamoon (7 May 2018). "World Championship: Mark Williams beats John Higgins to win title". bbc.com. BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 7 May 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Williams Conquers Crucible". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 7 May 2018. Archived from the original on 7 August 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  12. ^ a b "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 21 September 2018.
  13. ^ a b c d e "Criteria Set For Crucible Qualifiers". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 11 March 2019. Archived from the original on 8 April 2019. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Betfred World Snooker Championship | Official Booking Office". cruciblesnooker.com. Archived from the original on 9 February 2019. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Amateur Cahill To Make Crucible History". World Snooker. 17 April 2019. Archived from the original on 17 April 2019. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  16. ^ "Four Chinese Potters Set For Crucible Debut – World Snooker". World Snooker. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  17. ^ "Betfred World Championship Draw – World Snooker". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 18 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Tale of the Tape: Williams Vs Gould – World Snooker". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 20 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Strong Start For Crucible King Williams – World Snooker". World Snooker. Retrieved 21 April 2019. 55, 54 and 129
  20. ^ a b c "World Championship 2019: Champion Mark Williams into second round with 10–7 win v Martin Gould". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 20 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  21. ^ "Williams Starts Title Defence With Win – World Snooker". World Snooker. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  22. ^ "Mark Williams hits out at officials after World Championship win". the Guardian. Archived from the original on 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  23. ^ "World Championship 2019: Shaun Murphy records 10-0 win at Crucible". 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  24. ^ "World Championship 2019: Shaun Murphy records 10-0 win at Crucible". 22 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  25. ^ "2018/19 Prize Money – World Snooker". World Snooker. Archived from the original on 25 July 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  26. ^ a b "Barry Hearn: "prize money has grown from £3.5 million to £15 million." – SnookerHQ". SnookerHQ. Archived from the original on 14 November 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  27. ^ "The Cruicible Theatre, Sheffield 20 April – 6 May 2019. Provisional order of play" (PDF). worldsnooker.com. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 April 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  28. ^ "Referee Scullion Picked For First World Final – World Snooker". World Snooker. 20 March 2019. Archived from the original on 20 March 2019. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  29. ^ "Independent Appeals Committee Finding: Jamie Jones". World Snooker. 3 April 2019. Archived from the original on 7 April 2019. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  30. ^ "Betfred World Championship 2019 – Centuries". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 20 April–6 May 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  31. ^ "Betfred World Championship 2019 Qualifiers – Centuries". worldsnooker.com. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 10–18 April 2019. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 10 April 2019.