It’s Day 6 of the Betfred World Snooker Championship – and the claps may be fake, but as always the action and the drama is real

Betfred TV’s Mark Pearson (above), with the inside track

As Round One draws to a close, once again we’ve been treated to some top-quality action. Ronnie O’Sullivan was superb, and is now the joint favourite at 5/2. One punter was suitably impressed and had £33,000 on the Rocket at 3/1.

There’s no greater sight than watching Ronnie in full flow, but he’s got a match on his hands against Ding Junhui.

But the story of the round is Jamie Clarke. Ranked 89 in the world he needed to win in the qualifiers to keep his tour card. Not only did he do that, he then beat the World number 4 Mark Allen on his Crucible debut.

The scoreline does not tell the full story. Jamie from Llanelli won 10-8, but Mark Allen incredibly hit five centuries and was still on the losing side!

And talking of centuries, we’ve had 39 and we’ve promised £200 to Jessie May snooker’s official charity each time the ton goes in.

And – if we reach 80, we’ll round it up to £25,000.  Think it’s odds-on that cheque will be written, after having a record number of tons in the first round.

Jamie Clarke now plays Anthony McGill, and although the Scot has far more Crucible experience, I think it will be close.

Day 7 sees John Higgins versus Kurt Maflin to a finish, and although the Norwegian leads 5-3 don’t forget John has seen everything in his time at the Crucible. Basically, don’t write off the 4-time World Champion, especially now the second round is over three sessions.

And kicking-off Thursday morning is 3-time world champ Mark Selby. After getting past Jordan Brown in the first round, I believe the Jester from Leicester will grow into this tournament.

As I’ve written so many times you can’t beat course and distance winners here at the Crucible. And talking of course and distance winners, you’ll see our current champion at 2.30pm, Judd Trump. Judd will relish this longer format and will grow into this marathon campaign too.

So only six days gone, and already the Crucible is living up to its name. However it won’t be metal melting, but the players, as we crank up the temperature in the second round.

Whenever you bet Snooker, Betfred

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