We now have the top 16 seedings in place for the Betfred.com World Championship, which means the draw is taking shape.

If the top 16 all come through the first round then the last 16 will look like this:

John Higgins v Stuart Bingham
Stephen Maguire v Graeme Dott
Shaun Murphy v Stephen Lee
Judd Trump v Ali Carter
Mark Williams v Ronnie O’Sullivan
Neil Robertson v Martin Gould
Ding Junhui v Mark Allen
Mark Selby v Matthew Stevens

What do you make of that lot, then?

Of course there is no way of knowing who will play who in the first round but some early predictions can be made about how the Crucible marathon will pan out.

The last player to defend the world title was Stephen Hendry in 1996 but Higgins could have had a worse draw.

Trump could meet him in the semi-finals, although former champions Dott and Murphy could be dangermen in the top half.

Williams won’t be best pleased with a likely second round meeting with O’Sullivan bearing in mind it’s ten years and counting since he beat him in a ranking event.

Robertson v Gould would of course be a rematch of their second round tie from two years ago when the Aussie recovered from 11-5 down to win 13-12.

The bottom quarter looks particularly tough. Ding v Allen would be a cracker and Selby could face the Chinese no.1 in the quarter-finals for a second successive year.

It’s early days yet but the qualifying draw is being made today and the final stages begin two months tomorrow.

The greatest snooker show on earth isn’t that far away.


Anonymous said...

So Higgins, Selby, O Sullivan, Murphy, Robbo and Trump are in the quarters then.
Other two matches could go any way though.

jamie brannon said...

I'd plump for Higgins v Murphy semi in top section, and Selby v Robertson in the second.

Selby to beat Murphy in the final.

I hope I'm wrong as this is by no means the four semi-finalists I want to be watching come May 3RD.

However, these players are playing some of their best stuff at the Crucible in recent years, and possess the right mental state needed for this most demanding of tournaments.

Anonymous said...

Ding-v-Selby in the quarters - the winner of that one is likely to win the event.

Anonymous said...

for the 2nd time only

i fully agree with Jamie

mouth watering

NewsBrain said...

robbo v trump final for me. Love watching Trump but would love to see the Thunder thumping Juddward.

RM said...

Have a feeling Judd may go out earlier than expected, like Selby did in 2008.

Of course if I'm wrong feel free to rub it in.:)

Johan said...

And meanwhile: Ronnie O'Sullivan has pulled out of next week's Star Xing Pai Haikou World Open for medical reasons, having been diagnosed with glandular fever.

All the best Ronnie :-)

Anonymous said...

More likely diagnosed with top 16 place assuredalitis

Anonymous said...

Higgins/Trump vs O'Sullivan/Robertson

Robbo for the title.

Anonymous said...

RM said...
Have a feeling Judd may go out earlier than expected, like Selby did in 2008.

Of course if I'm wrong feel free to rub it in.:)

10:28 PM
we need to know what round you think "we" expect him to get to, first.

RM said...

A lot of people think he has an easy run to the semi finals (clearly they underrate Murphy).

Anonymous said...

The hand of fate is clearly sweet on Robertson/Gould ties in the Crucible second round. This will be the third year on the trot that they have been seeded to meet at that stage.

Anonymous said...

Worst case scenario:
SF1: Murphy - Dott
SF2: Robertson - Selby
Absolutely nobody will want to watch the last whole week of the tournement.

Best case scenario:
Trump loses the final 14-18 to O'Sullivan.
All square with Higgins on world titles again.

Most realistic case scenario:
Trump exit in QF, Higgins wins his 5th world title, beating Ding Junhui in the Final.

Anonymous said...

Higgins has a pretty proper poor record in defending titles, and unless he gets going over the next couple of tournaments I don't really fancy him for it. The UK Championship is usually the best guide to who would do well at the WC, but in truth I don't know how well that correlation will hold up now. I think it will be one of the younger players, so realistically: Selby, Robertson, Murphy, Maguire, Trump and Ding. I don't really see Selby or Maguire winning this thing which leaves four possible candidates. Out of Robertson, Murphy, Ding and Trump I think I would slightly favour Robertson as the best all-round player out of the four; with a semi-final finish at the UK and winning the Masters he's going to take some stopping.

Anonymous said...

O'Sullivan has a good chance this year. 2 PTCs, first ranker for a long time, and would have made it 2 in a row only for Selby boring him out of it.
Forget about Higgins and Maguire. Selby bottles it near the end and Ding is dodgy at the worlds too.
Robertson, Trump and Ronnie are the most likely winners.
I hope for the sake of the game that Trump, Allen or Ronnie make the final or at least the semis.
Would wreck the tournament to have 4 snails in the semi.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what's up with Joe Swail? Quit his match today for medical reasons. Great memories of him at the Crucible.

Anonymous said...

His health problems couldn't come at worse time, since he is perilously close to dropping off the tour. Terrific player, really wished he had won something. He did bag a Strachan title though, the PTC of its day.

Anonymous said...

Yes to last poster Swail magnificent. Here my top 10 moments ever in snooker

1. Swail WC semi 2000
2. Swail beat Williams 2001 WC R2
3. Dave commentating on World Open 2010 on Eurosport world class commentating back then
4. Robidoux disrespect by RoS 1996
5. Ebdon crying 2002 beat Lee
6. Parrott admires RoS nations cup 2000
7. Clive playing billiards
8. Willie thorne book double or quits made me too emotional
9. Nick Dyson century break 2001 qualifiers
10. David gray trolley naked china

Witz78 said...


i agree, Double or Quits also made me emotional at the plight of my old chum WT. Had to chuckle at the last part where he said hed beaten the demons though ;)


fair enough the worlds are on the horizon but i feek we could do without over hyping it up too much yet as there are 3 big tournaments to come before the WC qualifiers are even played.

To be honest the refusal by WS to keep the rankings cut off for the WC till after the China Open is a trick majorly missed. Not only would the rankings then actually be truly rolling, they would guarantee full interest in these 3 events, 2 of which are in China instead of the inevitable shock results, Ronnie withdrawls, players coming out with the "im saving myself for Sheffield" nonsense etc.

Anonymous said...

That video of David Gray was just so weird. Could you just imagine if the NHS put you on a trolley naked and let the local news crew film you?

Anonymous said...

1122 youve hit the nail on the head why the last cut off was when it was ;)

jamie brannon said...

That has to be the most peculiar list of great snooker moments ever!

Richie Segal said...

Ronnies first round match on in the afternoon for both sessions, there's a shock........

Anonymous said...

jamie brannon said...
That has to be the most peculiar list of great snooker moments ever!

1:27 PM
no 7 isnt even a snooker moment.

surprised you never spotted that when checking the type.

Anonymous said...

Rodney Yeung here my list is very good no 7 is snooker related as Clive is snooker scene manager thank u

Anonymous said...

Final should be Bingham vs Allen ... Fight! :-P

I don't think Higgins can win it twice in a row.

Ding has a good chance. So do Neil and Judd.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Rodney Yeung here my list is very good no 7 is snooker related as Clive is snooker scene manager thank u

10:31 PM

dont talk absolute drivel.

if youd put michael owen, horserace owner on there, you couldnt argue that hes a keen snooker player.

billiards is totally different to snooker.

if youd put efren reyes there itd still be wrong.

but, just try and educate us that you were right. you will bang your head off a wall all day!

Anonymous said...

My snooker top 10 (no specific order):

Alex Higgins crucible king
'85 black ball finish
O'Sullivan 147 in final frame of semi against Selby
Ding in tears + Ronnie comforting him
Ebdon in tears
Hendry vs Williams black ball in the masters
Jamie Brannon driving me to tears on this great blog
Streaker at that match between Steve and Ronnie
W. Thorne not commenting on any match
Dave H. commenting on any match

Anonymous said...


1 - Ronnie walking out V Hendry
2 - see above