The 2019 UK Championship returns to York this week, with Ronnie O’Sullivan seeking to secure victory for the third successive year.
The action starts on Tuesday, returning to its home in the Barbican Centre in York after spells at Preston, Bournemouth and Telford.
The well-established event continues its proud tradition as one of the Triple Crown events, along with the World Championship and the Masters.
Judd Trump holds the Masters and World Championship titles, but it’s O’Sullivan who is looking to retain his UK Championship trophy.
The 43-year-old does, however, boast the most wins across the three tournaments with 19, one more than Scotland’s Stephen Hendry.
O’Sullivan also holds the record for the most UK Championship titles, having won the tournament seven times. A win over Mark Allen secured his latest victory last year, having comfortably beaten Shaun Murphy in 2017.
It’s very much O’Sullivan’s tournament, and he will be keen to get off to a good start from the very first break.
He’s currently 7/2 to make it three wins from three attempts.
But world number one Trump will undoubtedly have something to say about that. The 30-year-old will be aiming to get back to his best in York, and he’s available at 3/1 to come out on top.
Trump will certainly be full of confidence heading into the tournament, having beaten old foe O’Sullivan in Sunday’s Northern Ireland open final.
World number one Trump led from the start in a hugely entertaining final as he picked up a 9-7 victory in Belfast.
But he won’t be the only one looking to edge past O’Sullivan at the Barbican.
Other top players that will be aiming to knock the top stars off their perch include Neil Robertson and Mark Selby.
The Australian can be backed at 11/2 to win the event, with the Englishman available at 10/1.
Veteran John Higgins will also be in contention.
The Scot is 14/1 to clinch his first UK Championship since 2010. Ding Junhui won it the year before, and he’s currently 40/1 to win it again.
Mark Allen and Mark Williams will also be ready to upset the status quo with a victory in the tournament. The former is available at 14/1, with the latter currently 22/1.
Significant others include Shaun Murphy at 16/1 and Kyren Wilson at 22/1.
It’s the second biggest ranking tournament after the World Championship, but many will be watching on with intent as the action gets underway in just a couple of days.
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