2022 World Snooker Championship: Everything you need to know about the BBC-televised event

The world’s best 32 players will descend on the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield for the biggest cue sport extravaganza of the year - the 2022 World Snooker Championship.

The showpiece event in the snooker calendar kicks off this weekend with the world's best players set to compete for the £500,000 prize. 

Here, Planet Sport takes a look at everything you need to know ahead of the tournament, including the draw, prize money, format and favourites.

Where is the tournament held?

Crucible Theatre in Sheffield

For the 45th consecutive year, the World Snooker Championship will be held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

This has been the tournament's home since 1977 when John Spencer defeated Canada's Cliff Thorburn 25-21 in the final.

When is it on?

The event is scheduled to start on Saturday, April 16. First round games will last until April 21 while the second round will run until April 25.

Quarter-final matches will be contested across April 26 and 27, while the semi-finals will take place on April 28, 29 and 30.

The final of the World Snooker Championship will begin on Sunday, May 1.

What's the format?

The world championship trophy

The format of the 2022 World Snooker Championship is a 32-player knockout tournament.

First round matches will be a race to 10 frames, while second round and quarter-final games will be played in a best-of-25-frames format.

The semi-final will be a race to 17 frames, while the final will be contested in a best-of-35-frames format - the same as it has been since 1980.

Who is the defending champion?

England's Mark Selby celebrates after winning the the Betfred World Snooker Championships 2021 at The Crucible, Sheffield.

Mark Selby arrives at the Crucible as the defending champion. The Jester from Leicester will be targeting his fifth world crown, which would take him above John Higgins in the all-time record books.

The 38-year-old beat Shaun Murphy 18-15 to claim the 2021 title and will begin the defence of his title against Welshman Jamie Jones.

Who are the main contenders?

Neil Robertson won the Final of Masters 2022

Having won four tournaments this season, including the Masters and the recent Tour Championship, Neil Robertson is without doubt the big favourite for the worlds.

The 40-year-old is in scintillating form and kicks off the tournament against world number 77, Ashley Hugill.

Judd Trump also arrives with form under his belt, having won the recent Turkish Masters and reached the final of the Welsh Open. Trump also won the Champion of Champions tournament earlier this season and reached the semi-finals of the Masters.

The 2019 world champion is without doubt one of the key players in this year's event, but does face a tricky opener against Iran's Hossein Vafaei.

Ronnie O'Sullivan at the table

Another man who you can never count out is six-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan. The 46-year-old won the World Grand Prix earlier this season and also reached the final of the European Masters.

The Rocket also has three semi-final appearances under his belt, including one from the recent Tour Championship event.

John Higgins is also worth a mention. The Scotsman won the 2022 Championship League and has made five finals this season alone, including the Tour Championship.

While the 46-year-old did lose all five of them, the fact he is repeatedly getting to that stage shows he cannot be underestimated.

How much prize money is on offer?

The full prize fund for the 2022 event is a massive £2,395million. Here's a breakdown of the funds ahead of the tournament:

Winner - £500,000

Runner-up - £200,000

Semi-finalist - £100,000

Quarter-finalist - £50,000

Last 16 - £30,000

Last 32 - £20,000

Last 48 - £15,000

Last 80 - £10,000

Last 112 - £5,000

Highest break - £15,000

Maximum break - £40,000

Where can I watch it?

BBC and Eurosport will cover the event in 2022. BBC Two is the tournament's traditional home, although BBC One and BBC Four will also broadcast the tournament.

Fans can also follow the action on BBC iPlayer and the Eurosport Player.

First round draw

Mark Selby vs Jamie Jones

Yan Bingtao vs Chris Wakelin

Barry Hawkins vs Jackson Page

Mark Williams vs Michael White

Kyren Wilson vs Ding Junhui

Stuart Bingham vs Lyu Haotian

Anthony McGill vs Liam Highfield

Judd Trump vs Hossein Vafaei

Neil Robertson vs Ashley Hugill

Jack Lisowski vs Matthew Stevens

Luca Brecel vs Noppon Saengkham

John Higgins vs Thepchaiya Un-Nooh

Zhao Xintong vs Jamie Clarke

Shaun Murphy vs Stephen Maguire

Mark Allen vs Scott Donaldson

Ronnie O'Sullivan vs David Gilbert

READ MORE: Ronnie O'Sullivan's ten greatest achievements, including the fastest 147 and most memorable 146

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