Rocket's the favourite

O'Sullivan returns to the Crucible as Sky Bet's tournament favourite as he bids to defend his title.

By Jamie Casey - Twitter: @skyjamiecasey.   Last Updated: 18/04/13 11:56am

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Ronnie O'Sullivan: Winner of the tournament in 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2012

Ronnie O'Sullivan: Winner of the tournament in 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2012

Sky Bet

Ronnie O'Sullivan returns to the Crucible to defend his World Championship title ranked 28th in the world having taken a break from the game.

The Rocket is a 6/1 price boost with Sky Bet to win it for a fifth time, but he faces stiff competition from the likes of 2010 champion Neil Robertson and world number one Mark Selby.

O'Sullivan, who is 11/4 to reach the final, will open the tournament on Saturday and has been pitted with world number 27 Marcus Campbell and is 1/2 on to win his first session back in Sheffield.

Selby, meanwhile, has a habit of getting to the latter stages of major tournaments before falling foul when the going gets tough, but last year he was involved in one of the shocks of the tournament as Barry Hawkins sent him packing in round one.

Snooker Odds

Who will rack up the highest break of the 2013 Snooker World Championship? Click here to see Sky Bet's latest odds.

He's been paired against Matt Selt this time around and is the favourite at 1/10 on to defeat him, with the underdog an 11/2 shot, but the Jester from Leicester looks good value at 3/1 to make the final for the first time since 2007, when he lost to four-time winner John Higgins (12/1).

However, after triumphing at the UK Championship last December, Selby added the Masters title the following month and there's a genuine buzz about his current game, with no shortage of wagers placed on him to end his Crucible curse at 6/1.


World number three Judd Trump, who reached the final in 2011, will be determined not to suffer another early exit this year after being dumped out by Ali Carter in the second round last time around, and is 100/30 to make the last two while he's 7/1 to win it for the first time.

Inexperience may stand in the 23-year-old's way, though, but he has the talent to push the stalwarts to the last, with a Selby-Trump final an excellent value bet at 17/1.

Of the outsiders, Shaun Murphy's price is long at 18/1 as he's failed to win a major honour in two years, but as a former winner he can't be ruled out of the equation.

Indeed, when Murphy won it in 2005 he was a qualifier and it's an 8/1 shot that the eventual winner of the 2013 Snooker World Championship entered through the qualifiers.

Sky Bet also offer a range of specials such as the nationality of the winner to be Scottish or Welsh (7/2), two or more 147s (11/2) and many more. New customers can claim a free £10 bet.

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2013 World Snooker Championship

After winning the UK Championship aged 17, Ronnie went to Gartree Prison to show the trophy to his father Ronnie Snr

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We take a look back at the career of five-time world snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.

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