The unique Six-red World Championship starts on the 4th of September in Bangkok, Thailand. With big names like Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy and Neil Robertson not taking part, it looks wide open. It also sees the several lower ranked local talents given their opportunity on the big stage.
Last year’s winner, Ding Junhui is the favourite at 5/1 to repeat again this year and as low as 3/1 in some places.
England’s Mark Davis is a two time winner of this event (in 2012 and 2013) and usually enjoys a good run in this tournament. He went undefeated in the round robin stage last year, but ran in to the tournament winner Ding Junhui in the first round to send him home early. He is in group D along with Liang Wembo, who has had a slow start to the season and Michael Holt; he is 33/1 to win this year.
Thepchaiya Un-nooh, the 2015 winner was dumped out in the last 16 last year by Stephen Maguire. He is in group C with Kyren Wilson and Ricky Walden; he is 25/1 to win.
I was tempted to side with Stuart Bingham, who has made two finals of this event, but he has had a poor start to the season, making the last 64 of two tournaments being the highlight of the season so far. Instead I will take a swing at two local long-shots, Noppon Saengkham at 80/1 and Akani Songsermsawad at 100/1. Saengkham is in group A with Ding Junhui and Luca Brecel; he made the last 16 in 2014 and 2016.
Songsermsawad made the quarter-finals last year, losing out to Stuart Bingham 7-4, Bingham lost out to Ding in the final 7-8. He is in group E with Bingham this year along with Stephen Maguire who won this in 2014.
Noppon Saengkham 80/1- Group A
Thepchaiya Un-nooh, 25/1 – Group C
Mark Davis 33/1 Marathonbet – Group D
Akani Songsermsawad 100/1 – Group E
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