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UK Championship: Format, match schedule, results, odds & how to watch

The UK Championship is one of the most prestigious events on the snooker calendar and, alongside the World Championship and Masters, forms part of snooker's Triple Crown.

The tournament has been a fixture on the snooker calendar since it was first staged as a non-ranking event in 1977.

Ranking points were then introduced for the first time at the UK Championship in 1984 and it has developed into one of the most prestigious tournaments in snooker.

Ronnie O’Sullivan is the most decorated player in UK Championship history after he claimed his eighth title this season at the expense of Ding Junhui, who had also finished runner-up to Mark Allen in 2022.

Here is all you need to know about the UK Championship.

UK Championship dates

The UK Championship is traditionally staged at the end of the calendar year in late November and sometimes into December.

The 2023 tournament was no different, with the event getting underway on Saturday 25th November and reaching its conclusion on Sunday 3rd December.

The 2024 event is reportedly set to take place from Saturday November 23rd until Sunday December 1st and once again will return to the York Barbican, where it was first staged in 2001.

UK Championship format

There was a new format introduced for the 2022 event, with organisers hoping to mirror the same schedule used for World Championship qualifying.

That means the first round, up until the final, were scheduled over best-of-11 frames, while the final would be a best-of-19.

The new format proved to be a success, as the top 16 players in the world were seeded through to the last 32, with 16 qualifiers meeting them at that stage.

The lower-ranked the qualifier, the more matches the player had to win to make the main draw.

For example, 2023 runner-up Ding Junhui, who had gone into the tournament as world number 17, had to win two qualifiers and four main-draw matches to reach the final.

UK Championship location

The UK Championship has been held at the Barbican Centre in York in every year since 2011, except in 2020 when the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes temporarily took over hosting duties.

Prior to moving to the Barbican, numerous venues staged the UK Championship, including Preston's Guild Hall, the Telford International Centre and Tower Circus in Blackpool, where the first event was held.

UK Championship prize money

Along with a new format, there was also a boost to prize money for the UK Championship in 2022, with the total prize fund set at just over £1.2million.

The champion receives £250,000 for winning the tournament, with the runner up pocketing £100,000. Beaten semi-finalists pick up £50,000 and those exiting in the quarter-finals take home a cheque for £25,000.

UK Championship how to watch

The tournament has been traditionally shown on the BBC and Eurosport in recent years, with fans able to access coverage via the BBC's iPlayer and the Eurosport Player.

How many 147s have there been at the UK Championship?

A total of 20 147s have been recorded at the UK Championship.

Willie Thorne achieved the first in 1987, and some of the world's best players have since followed suit. 

Stephen Hendry, Ronnie O'Sullivan, John Higgins and Mark Selby have all hit maximums in the tournament. 

While 17 147s have occurred in the regular tournament, both Andy Hicks and Jack Lisowski recorded one each during qualifying for the 2012 tournament.

In 2023, it was the turn of Xu Si to make a 147 in qualifying, with the Chinese star making his first maximum in a 6-1 win over Ma Hailong. That was the fourth 147 of the season and the 193rd in snooker history.

UK Championship history

England's Ronnie O'Sullivan has won the most UK Championship titles, with eight victories to his name. He has also finished runner-up once, while Steve Davis has two less trophies with six wins. 

O'Sullivan won his first in 1993 and three decades on from being the youngest player to win the UK Championship, aged 17, he repeated the dose in the 2023 final with victory over Ding.

In what was a high-quality final, featuring four centuries, the Rocket ran out a 10-7 winner against his Chinese rival to claim his 22nd Triple Crown event.

Scotland's Stephen Hendry won five UK Championships during his dominating spell, while John Higgins, Ding Junhui and Neil Robertson have all secured three titles.

Allen, who had previously lost two finals at the UK Championship, including to O'Sullivan in 2018, finally got his hands on the trophy last year, beating Ding Junhui 10-7 in the final.

UK Championship odds

The odds for next year’s UK Championship are yet to be revealed, but defending champion and eight-time winner O’Sullivan is expected to be prominent in the betting.

Judd Trump, on the back of a strong 2023, will be keen to build on his semi-final defeat to Ding in the most recent UK Championship and should also be near the top of the betting.

The Ace in the Pack has won the UK Championship only once, which came way back in 2011, but on his day there is a case to be made that he is the second best player on the planet behind the Rocket.

Mark Selby, who is a two-time winner of the event having landed the spoils in 2012 and 2016, is another that will be near the head of the market given his consistency.

2020 champion Neil Robertson has struggled for large parts since winning the Tour Championship in 2022, while John Higgins has not won a Triple Crown event since claiming the World Championship title at Trump’s expense in 2011.

Luca Brecel, Mark Allen, Shaun Murphy, Kyren Wilson, Barry Hawkins and Mark Williams are other seeded stars who will be hoping to make their presence felt at the York Barbican.

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