The 2018 edition of the UK Championship starts on 27 November at the Barbican Centre in York. It will be a major snooker tournament, due to the “lineup”, prize money and overall history of the event.
The tournament comes third in prize money, after World Snooker Championship and China Open. In terms of prestige, we can only compare it to the World Snooker Championship. The event was first held in 1977 and played ever since, a rare achievement for a snooker event.
This year (2018), all the top players will be present at the start. The top of the draw begins with Ronnie O’Sullivan, and the bottom with Mark Williams. Let’s take a closer look at the sections and players.
The (huge) Draw
In the first section, Ronnie O’Sullivan can meet in the upper stages with Jack Lisowski or Marco Fu, so it is expected that “The Rocket” will reach at least the last 16. Predicted quarterfinalist: Ronnie O’Sullivan.
In the second section we find Shaun Murphy and Ding Junhui, who are likely to play their place in the quarter-finals. Predicted quarterfinalist: Shaun Murphy.
The third section is led by Judd Trump and Ryan Day. Both players are in the super form, so it is very possible to see a game between the two in the last 16. Predicted quarterfinalist: Judd Trump.
The fourth section seems to be dominated by John Higgins, who has high chances of qualifying in the quarters. The problem with Higgins is that he did not perform well this season, perhaps due to the lost final of the World Snooker Championship. Predicted quarterfinalist: John Higgins or Luca Brecel.
The fifth section has Mark Selby’s as the absolute favourite. Along with him, Stuart Bingham and David Gilbert will fight for a place in the quarterfinals. If all goes according to plan, Selby and Bingham will play the match in the last 16. Predicted quarterfinalist: Mark Selby.
In the sixth section we find Kyren Wilson and Barry Hawkins. The best chances for access to the quarters are for Kyren Wilson, but it also depends on the form of Barry Hawkins. Predicted quarterfinalist: Kyren Wilson.
The eighth section is a bit more complicated because it will be disputed among players with roughly equal values. Mark Allen and Neil Robertson seem to be favourites, but Thepchaiya Un-Nooh or Graeme Dott can hurt Robertson’s arrangements. Predicted quarterfinalist: Mark Allen or Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.
In the last eighth section, Mark Williams does not seem to have major problems, while Stephen Maguire may be troubled a little by Ali Carter. Predicted quarterfinalist: Mar Williams.
For additional information, here’s the full draw.
Prize Money & Format
With 128 players present at the start, the tournament has a total prize money of £850,000, from which £170,000 will go to the winner and £75,000 to the runner-up. For reaching the quarterfinals, each player will win £22,500 and the four semifinalists will receive £35,000.
The event will be played best of 11 frames in all rounds except the final, which will be contested by “best of 19 frames” format. To win, a player must go undefeated through 7 games, which might be considered a hard run.
There will be live streaming on the Eurosport Player, but you can catch the UK Championship live on snookermatch.live, also.