Ronnie O’Sullivan has been stuck on five World Snooker Championship titles since 2013 but is fancied to add to his tally of Crucible triumphs this year.
The Rocket may now be a veteran performer at the age of 42, but he has had one of his best ever campaigns, picking up a handful of ranking-tournament victories.
O’Sullivan will become the first player to earn more than £1million in prize money in a single season if reaching the final in Sheffield.
That would equal the total secured by Steve Davis and take O’Sullivan to within one of Stephen Hendry’s modern-day record.
Third favourite Judd Trump told the World Snooker website: “Ronnie wants to break every record and over the next three or four years I think he’s likely to get them, the way he is playing.
“He’s getting a bit older and he wants to target those records and beat them before he retires. He says he’s not really bothered, but I think that’s the only aim he has left in snooker.”
Recent World Snooker Championship finals
2017: Mark Selby bt John Higgins 18-15
2016: Mark Selby bt Ding Junhui 18-14
2015: Stuart Bingham bt Shaun Murphy 18-15
2014: Mark Selby bt Ronnie O’Sullivan 18-14
2013: Ronnie O’Sullivan bt Barry Hawkins 18-12
2012: Ronnie O’Sullivan bt Ali Carter 18-11
2011: John Higgins bt Judd Trump 18-15
The draw has been kind to O’Sullivan, who should only be concerned about 2016 runner-up Ding Junhui in the bottom half.
Trump, the hat-trick seeking Mark Selby, 2015 star Stuart Bingham, Mark Allen, Shaun Murphy and John Higgins all feature in the top section.
“Ronnie has been on a different level to anyone else this season,” added Trump, whose best Crucible effort was reaching the 2011 final as a 21-year-old.
“A lot of players have collapsed against him. With the way he’s playing, the confidence he has and the mood he is in, he will be a massive favourite at the Crucible, even more so than any other year.”
Selby is an obvious danger after prevailing three times in the past four years and showed his well-being with a recent China Open success.
However, the Jester from Leicester must overcome a series of proven Crucible performers and 7/2 is a touch short for us.
Instead, we’re having a saver on Trump at 8/1 to finally fulfil his enormous potential on the biggest stage.
The Bristol potter has been in solid form all season, winning the European Masters and reaching six other ranking semi-finals, as well as the last four of the Masters.
Join bwin today and receive up to £10 money back as a FreeBet if your first wager at odds of 1/1 (2.0) or greater is a loser! Terms and conditions apply.
Stay close to the action with the bwin app. Access more markets than any other betting provider and scan our in-depth football statistics menu to find and make your bet selections fast. Download now the best betting app.