It seems like a long time since millions of us in Ireland and the UK stayed up half the night to watch the closing frames of the snooker world championships, but in spite of snooker falling somewhat from its peak of popularity over recent years there are still a large number of sports gambling fans who enjoy gambling on snooker. This year’s championship at the Crucible has the added spice of the return of Ronnie O’Sullivan to competitive snooker after almost a year of self-imposed exile from the game. The game of snooker is of course a perfect platform for sports gambling enthusiasts, particularly the major tournaments with long matches and full television coverage. Snooker gambling provides an enormous range of gambling options and is perfect for fans of in-play gambling when one loose shot can change the outcome of a frame and even the match. Sports gambling enthusiasts need only look at the range of snooker gambling options listed on most of the online bookmaker’s sites to appreciate how popular the game of snooker is among real sports gambling fans. Most commentators would in fact argue that gambling is the prime reason for the huge rise in popularity of snooker in the Far East, where gambling is almost a national pastime. This year’s tournament has already seen a number of surprises and some results may well indicate a changing of the guard in terms of rankings, but the tournament favourites are mostly still in the game. Currently both Ladbrokes and Paddy Power have Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump as the most likely winners at odds of 9/4 or 5/2, with Ding Junhui and Shaun Murphy the closest challengers although it has to be said that Murphy at 10/1 looks an outside bet in the eyes of these two bookmakers. Snooker gambling fans may just think otherwise and see Murphy as the best outside bet. We’ll wait and see because this tournament more than any other snooker tournament does not throw up many real surprises in the final rounds as more frames are required to win.