This year's snooker World Championship, currently taking place at The Crucible in Sheffield looks like being one of the most open tournaments in years.

Four-time champion, John Higgins has fallen in the first round, losing 10-6 to qualifier Mark Davis.  Hotly fancied number three seed and 2010 Champion, Aussie Neil Robertson has also been shocked in the first round, beaten 10-8 by another qualifier, Robert Milkins.

With current champ Ronnie O'Sullivan having spent most of the season away from the game, after deciding not to compete on the circuit, many fans feel it will be too much for him to come straight back and win the tournament after such a long break.  

O'Sullivan has made it through the first round but the bigger tests lie ahead.

Judd Trump, another of the fans favourites, has also made it through the first round and will surely be champion one day.

Shaun Murphy, the number five seed, is another attacking player who promised much after winning the title in 2005 but has not been able to win it again since.

Dechawat Poomjaeng, the Thai qualifier, won many fans with his first round victory over the number six seed, Stephen Maguire.  Poomjaeng went the wrong way twice on his entrance into the arena, then spilled his water on the floor, leading to many people to compare him to Manuel from Fawlty Towers.  But on the table Poomjaeng excelled and despite only being number 70 in the world shocked Maguire to win 10-9.  

China's Ding Junhui has gone largely unnoticed in the build up to this year's tournament.  He has been tipped in the past many times to take the title but always disappointed, so perhaps with less pressure this could be his year.

Mark Selby, the jester from Leicester, and number two seed is another of the favourites who has never really lived up to his promise when at the Crucible.

Long gone are the days when one man, such as Steve Davis or Stephen Hendry, dominated the game and won successive world titles, which is probably a good thing for the game.

This year any one of Selby, Trump, O'Sullivan, Ding or Murphy could win the title, but with the shocks so far there could also be a complete outsider come through and surprise us all.

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