World Snooker Championship 2022: Tournament Preview & Where to Watch on TV
Snooker fans are in for a real treat, as the World Snooker Championship has returned for another year.
The 2021 edition saw Mark “The Jester from Leicester” Selby win the title and £500,000 prize money in Sheffield. Although it was a close game and could have really gone either way, Selby ultimately defeated rival Shaun Murphy 18-15 for his fourth championship.
Venue, time, prize funds & where to watch
The 2022 World Snooker Championship is a prestigious snooker tournament that is held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England, from 16th April to 2nd May. This will be the 46th consecutive time that the Crucible Theatre has hosted the championship.
The World Snooker Championship features a giant total prize fund of £2,395,000, with the winner receiving a very decent £500,000 for their efforts. Here’s a full breakdown of the prize funds available to participants:
- Winner: £500,000
- Runner-up: £200,000
- Semi-finalists: £100,000
- Quarter-finalists: £50,000
- Last 16: £30,000
- Last 32: £20,000
- Last 48: £15,000
- Last 80: £10,000
- Last 112: £5,000
- Highest break (including the qualifying stage): £15,000
The main tournament bracket will feature 32 players, with the top 16 ranked players in snooker and 16 players who advanced from the qualifying rounds. There will be an interesting mix of both professional and amateur players competing in the 2022 World Snooker Championship.
The first round of the event is the best of 19 frames, while the second round and quarter-finals are the best of 25 frames. The semis are 33 frames and the final of the World Snooker Championship ends with the best of 35 frames. Only the semis and final are played on one table with no other match at the same time.
Fans will be able to watch the event on the BBC or Eurosport, with the full list of times for each day below:
Matches to look out for in Round 1
Round One of the 2022 World Snooker Championship features a genuine who’s who of the snooker world. The round itself lasts from 16th to 21st April, and as qualifications are still ongoing, the top 16 are decided but it’s not yet revealed who they will be playing. The very first match of the day will feature none other than defending champion, Mark Selby, taking on a very nervous opponent at 10:00am.
Surprisingly, Selby isn’t considered the favourite to take home the title this year, with Judd “Juddernaut” Trump topping the list but not playing his first match until the 20th April in Round One.
While Trump tops the list of the favourites for the 2022 World Snooker Championship, Neil Robertson is in second place, with the biggest name, Ronnie O’Sullivan, in third. Selby, John Higgins, and intriguing up-and-comer, Zhao Xintong, round out the next three likeliest winners of the event.
Viewers won’t have to wait long to catch Ronnie “The Rocket” O’Sullivan in action, as the six-time champion hopes to catch Stephen Hendry’s seven titles when he plays his first match on the opening Saturday at 2:30pm.
Predictions for Round One
We know that O’Sullivan, Robertson, and Trump will all cruise through into the next round, but one we’re not sure about is actually Mark Selby. The 2021 champion has admitted to struggling with recent mental health issues, and has even taken long breaks away from the game.
The fact that Selby is still competing in the World Snooker Championship is such a positive sign and we wish him well, but his form of late has been iffy and there are questions about whether his heart is truly in the contest this year.
There has also been little buzz about 2005 champion and last year’s runner-up to the tournament, Shaun “The Magician” Murphy, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him take an early exit. Murphy was furious at the inclusion of amateur players after he was kicked out of the first round of the UK Championship, going on a fresh outburst about the topic in an interview.
“I feel extremely hard done by that I have lost to someone who shouldn’t even be in the building,” said Murphy. “I don’t know why we as a sport allow amateurs to compete in professional tournaments. This is our livelihood. This is our living. The other 127 runners and riders in the tournament, it is their livelihood, too. It is wrong, in my opinion, to walk into somebody who is not playing with the same pressures and concerns as I am.”
There is a considerable amount of hype on the Aussie, Neil Robertson, as he already picked up the Masters, English Open, Players Championship, and also the Tour Championship. His form is on fire right now and there are many that believe that Robertson is the one with the skills and nerve to get the victory in 2022.
Robertson did win the 2010 World Snooker Championship in stunning fashion, but has never played as brilliantly as he did back then in Sheffield. However, as he’s done it before and has the momentum, it would be foolish to ignore Robertson at this time.
We hope for a Trump/Robertson rematch, as the two had a great battle at the Welsh Open in March, with Trump narrowly getting the win, 5-3. There’s every reason to think that Robertson will want vengeance for the loss.
After the big Welsh Open win over Robertson, Trump won his next 16 matches out of 17, but things went a bit haywire after he lost 4-0 to Ricky Walden in the Gibraltar Open.
The 2020 winner of the World Snooker Championship is often considered a favourite in any major tournament, but it’s tough to know if Trump can keep a consistent form during the event. Then there’s also the exit from the Tour Championship after only playing one match, with Trump losing 10-6 to Luca Brecel.
Anytime Trump is being doubted is when he may be at his best, so if he can ignore the bookmakers’ odds and outside noise, he’s got a fantastic chance to improve his play and take the title.
There’s little more to be said about the 46-year-old revered snooker player, as he could certainly go down as the greatest of all time in the sport. However, O’Sullivan cares little for all the G.O.A.T talk, as he revealed in a new interview.
“I do not regard myself as the greatest ever [and] as long as my name is in the conversation, you have to let other people decide that”, said O’Sullivan. “I was never big into records, but if people want to start talking about, ‘is he a great, is he this…’ I suppose you have to look at the record books and as far as World Championships, yes I am one behind Stephen Hendry. Not a bad place to be.”
The Rocket is still performing well, but it’s difficult to know how much longer he’ll be able to compete at a high level. Physically, he looks good, but O’Sullivan has often stated that snooker is just one of his many interests and it doesn’t define his life. Perhaps if he doesn’t win the seventh World Championship here in Sheffield, it is possible O’Sullivan just won’t care anymore.
O’Sullivan and Robertson have played against each other numerous times and there is a strong mutual respect for each other’s games. It will be such a joy to see them compete in a final, but as they are in the same draw during the tournament, the only possible outcome is a semi-final matchup.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, but tell us who is going to win
It just looks like the year of the Aussie boy, Neil Robertson. He’s playing some of the best snooker of his life right now, and with Selby, O’Sullivan, and Trump all looking good but not great, it would come as no shock if Robertson was crowned the winner of the 2022 Snooker World Championship.
One thing is for sure; this is a snooker event with a lot on the line, not just in terms of prize money and exposure, but respect from other players and praise from fans and the media. Winning the Snooker World Championship is not to be taken lightly, as this is a prominent title that remains coveted by every professional and amateur player.
Look for all the action to start on April 16th!
Author: Joe Garland