World Snooker is delighted to announce Betfair as the new title sponsor of the sport’s biggest tournament, the World Championship.The Betfair World Championship will run from April 20 to May 6 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, with Ronnie O’Sullivan aiming to defend his title against the best players on the planet.

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Betfair has already sponsored the Masters, the Shoot-Out, the German Masters and the European Tour this season, and has now enhanced its portfolio by adding the event which is the pinnacle of the snooker calendar.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “The World Championship is one of the great sporting occasions. It’s a tournament which draws the attention of everyone who loves sport, who loves to see the most talented competitors do battle under the most intense and pressurised conditions.

“We are thrilled to welcome Betfair as title sponsor for the first time. They have shown tremendous support for our events this season and the exposure they have already gained for their brand on a worldwide scale has been phenomenal. The World Championship is guaranteed at least 120 hours of coverage from the BBC and a global audience of 360 million.

“It is building up to be the most fascinating Championship we’ve ever had, so anyone lucky enough to be inside the Crucible cauldron to see the action live should savour every moment. I hope the Betfair team enjoy the 17 days of sporting drama as much as I will.”

Betfair spokesman Barry Orr said: “We are delighted to be extending our partnership with World Snooker, and the opportunity to further increase our commitment to the sport through title sponsorship of this marquee event is an exciting prospect. The return of Ronnie O’Sullivan also means that the line-up is as strong as ever and the stage looks set for a thrilling first ever Betfair World Championship.”

The event will feature the top 16 seeds at the cut-off point after the China Open, which finishes on March 31, plus the 16 players who come through the qualifying rounds, which run from April 4 to 14 at the English Institute of Sport – Sheffield.Tickets for selected sessions of the tournament are still available so BOOK NOW to secure your seats for the greatest snooker show on Earth. Call 0844 6565 147 or visit sheffieldtheatres.co.uk

There are also some incredible VIP packages for the semis and the final which allow fans to see the latter stages unfold in style. For details call Frank on 01277 359 925 or the Crucible Theatre on 0844 6565 147.

thanks to world snooker for the post.