The UK Championship kicks off

05:36:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

This year the UK Championship turns 33. It` a beautiful age for one of the most important tournaments that snooker has on its professional circuit. I wasn’t there in 1977, I don’t know how it all started, I didn’t witness the big final between Patsy Fagan and Doug Mountjoy, but I can tell you that over the years this competition has become one of the most entertaining and loved of all snooker competitions.

It wasn’t a ranking event at the beginning; seven years had to pass so players will get ranking points by playing their hearts out in this emblematic tournament. But people have felt in love with it for it captured the "Golden Days" of snooker, it witnessed the legends on their period of glory, the future stars made their first steps here, won their first titles and ... well, you can’t buy stuff like that. :-)
No wonder that until this moment, Steve Davis holds the record, by winning six UK Championship titles and being runner-up for four times, Stephen Hendry has reached the final ten times, winning five titles and Ronnie O`Sullivan cashed four of his own. The three mighty snooker players that have dominated snooker made a spectacular impression in this tournament as this was a perfect way of expressing their talent, ambition and tenacity.

Ding Junhui, the defending champion
After being moved from Blackpool to Preston and from Bournemouth to York, the UK Championship has a new home, this year being the forth one that Telford opens its arms to receive top quality snooker.

Last year China’s Ding Junhui and Scotland’s John Higgins were the finalists, the mighty knights that were fighting for that shiny trophy, the prize money and the precious ranking points. Ding wasn’t for the first time in the final, in 2005 he beat "The Nugget" Steve Davis 10-6 to rise the trophy over his head, as for Higgins, he was feeling at home with two UK Championship titles under his belt (1998 and 2000).
However, it seemed like life felt the need to bring some balance in winning, so Ding beat John 10-8 to collect his second UK Championship title.

So time has come for us the viewers to have our share of televised snooker, as today the UK Championship kicks off with some spectacular matches for you all to follow. From this day on, until 12 of December we shall witness the clash of titans playing awfully good snooker, entertaining the public with their magic shots and making the rest of us jealous for not having the opportunity to be there and see them. :-))

With "the best of 17" playing rule (excepting the final for which "the best of 19" rule applies) and with outstanding names on the run, this week will definitely be a very, very hot one - snooker hot!
All these being said, let’s see who plays who today and at what hour, shall we? ;-)

From 12:30 pm and from 7:00 pm (UK time)
Ding Junhui v. Matthew Stevens
Mark Allen v. Tom Ford
Stephen Maguire v. Ken Doherty
Mark Selby v. Ricky Walden

Not before 2:00 pm (UK time)
Graeme Dott (3-5) Martin Gould
John Higgins (4-4) Stephen Lee
Peter Ebdon (4-4) Andrew Higginson
Neil Robertson (7-1) Rory McLeod

TV coverage
13:30 - 17:00 (British EuroSport 2)
13:40 – 16:30 (BBC1)
16:30 – 17:55 (BBC2)
17:15 - 18:30 (British EuroSport 2)
19:00 - 22:00 (British EuroSport 2)
00:55 – 01:44 (BBC2)
01:45 – 03:45 Snooker Extra (BBC 2)