FIVE players to watch at this year’s UK Snooker Championships
128 players will begin qualifying for one of the most prestigious snooker tournaments this week – the Betway UK Championship.
York’s barbarican theatre will host some of the usual suspects, such as Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump.
But here, we look at five potential candidates to defy the odds.
5. Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
The Thai has never been past the third round – but has been tipped to go further on the back of his shootout victory last campaign.
Ranked 21 in the world, Uh-Nooh may have to overcome either John Higgins or Stuart Bingham to reach the quarter finals, but has the backing of former world champion Stephen Hendry.
4. David Gilbert
Gilbert still remains in search for his first ranking title, despite being vastly experienced on the circuit.
Having made the English Open final this year, The Angry Farmer will look to keep the momentum going and will offer a problem to one or two over the next fortnight.
Along with a World Championship semi-final to his name, Gilbert has proven he is capable on the big stage.
3. John Higgins
May seem surprising, but Higgins has never been past the quarter-final at this tournament since its move to York in 2011.
The Wizard of Wishaw is not in the form of his life, but has proven over the years that he can never be written off.
Higgins has not won a title since the 2018 Welsh Open, but still remains a strong contender amongst many bookmakers.
2. Joe Perry
Perry is one of only two men to have beaten tournament favourite Judd trump this season – with victory at the China Championship.
The 2008 Masters winner will be hoping to go one better than his semi-final showing at the Northern Ireland Open earlier in the year.
The Fen Potter can be backed at odds of a staggering 100/1 at some bookmakers.
The Tyneside Terror had an incredible run at the World Championships earlier in the year by reaching the semi-finals and overcoming the odds.
Wilson comes into the tournament in the form of his life, and now has the feel for it on the big stage.
The world number 18 now finds himself amongst the big boys, and has another chance to prove his worth.