World Snooker Launch New Format For williamhill.com UK Championship
To celebrate the start of the williamhill.com UK Championship snooker, a tournament which is inviting the best 128 players in the world, the sponsors invited last year's winner, Mark Selby and amateur cueist, Antony Parsons to come head to head to preview the event.
Antony Parsons, who is 1000/1 to win the tournament said, "It's a dream come true to play at a venue like the Barbican. I still can't believe I qualified and to get the chance to play against a player like Ding is unbelievable. I've got a tough draw and I have to go out and enjoy it and not worry about what Ding does. Touch wood, with a good run of the balls, anything could happen."
Parsons, who works full time as a warehouse manager in his native Middlesbrough said, "I practise as much as I can on the table in my Mam and Dad's house after work. I have a little lad of 19 months who takes up a lot of my time."
"Six weeks ago, my form was terrible, but I have put a lot of work in these last six weeks and the hard yards seem to be paying off - winning the Snookerbacker Classic in Derby on Sunday."
Selby, whose career earnings total nearly £2m said of the new format, "It makes it just that bit harder but obviously I'll be trying my best to defend it. I remember it really well from last year and I suppose I always will with this being the second biggest date in the calendar."
"There are a lot of great players around playing fantastic snooker. Ronnie, Ding and Neil Robertson look like the ones to beat in York. Some of the others may be struggling but the top players always seem to raise their game for the big tournaments."
To fit in with the new format, williamhill.com will be donating £128 for every century break scored in the tournament to Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice. www.bluebellwood.org
williamhill.com UK Championship winner (sponsors betting): 4/1 Ronnie O'Sullivan; 7/1 Ding Junhui; 7/1 Neil Robertson; 8/1 Mark Selby; 9/1 Judd Trump; 14/1 John Higgins; 14/1 Mark Allen; 20/1 Shaun Murphy; 22/1 Marco Fu; 22/1 Stephen Maguire; 25/1 BAR
PICTURE CAPTION: williamhill.com UK Championship York Preview. l-r Current Champion UK Snooker Mark Selby along with amateur Antony Parsons help promote the UK Championship in York
Selby seeded No1 along with Parsons who is among the 128 Players who will be competing in the Snooker UK Finals in York. (Picture supplied by Steve Welsh Photography Tel: 07768530664. Picture is free to use with no reproduction fee.)