The 23/24 snooker season continues, with the third ranking event taking place in the form of the British Open. We’ve previewed this tournament and given you our two selections for your perusal.
History, Location and Format
The British Open dates back to 1985 and has been a ranking event since its inception. It wasn’t held from 2005 to 2022, until it finally returned to the schedule.
The 2023 edition will be held at the Centaur, at Cheltenham Racecourse and will run from 25th September, to the final on the 1st October. TV coverage will be broadcast by ITV in the United Kingdom.
Welshman Ryan Day is the defending champion, having beaten Mark Allen 10-7 in the 2022 final.
Due to it’s absence from the calendar over the last 17 years, the majority of former winners are no longer playing on the tour, with Steve Davis a five-time winner and Scots Stephen Hendry and John Higgins one back, on four titles.
The format is an unusual one, with a new random draw at the end of every round. Early rounds are played as a best-of seven format, before the quarter finals (nine), semi-finals (11) and final (19). The winner of the tournament gains an automatic qualification to the Champion of Champions event.
There is a £478,000 total prize fund with the money distributed as follows:
Neil Robertson Each-Way (1/2, 2 places) – 12/1
The Aussie had one of the worst seasons of his career in 2023, didn’t win a single event and failed to even reach a final.
However, he started the 2023/24 season in good form and is hopefully getting back to something like his best.
The 2010 World Champion and former number one is a devastating potter and break-builder when on form and I’m counting on that this week.
The 41-year-old reached the semi-finals at the recent Shanghai Masters, beating the likes of Ding Junhui and Fan Zhenghi, before losing to Luca Brecel (more on him shortly).
Here, he has a qualifying match against Wales’ Jamie Clarke, before a potential first round match against China’s Si Jiahui.
Obviously from there, it’s difficult to predict, with a random draw at the end of each round, so I am picking purely on recent form.
Luca Brecel Each-Way (1/2, 2 places) – 25/1
Another man bang in form is the Belgian Bullet, Luca Brecel.
The current World Champion is in the prime of his career right now and will be looking to go from strength to strength.
After a disappointing 3rd round exit at the European Masters, Brecel fired back and got to the finals of the Shanghai Masters, where he lost to five-time champ Ronnie O’Sullivan.
On his way to the final, the 28-year-old disposed of Mark Williams, Robert Milkins and the aforementioned Robertson.
I find it staggering that such a talented player can be 25/1 pre-tournament and I can’t let that go unchecked.
First up is Junhui, before another talented Chinese player, Liu Hongyu. From there, your guess is as good as mine but if Brecel plays like he did in Shanghai, he could go very deep again.