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Trump kickstarts maiden World Championship bid

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‘The Ace in the Pack’ starts off his World Championship bid at the Crucible in his first round encounter with Crucible debutant Stuart Carrington

Bristol-born potter Judd Trump kicks off his attempt to become world champion at the Crucible for the first time in clinical career, as he faces tournament debutant Stuart Carrington in their first round encounter.

‘The Ace in the Pack’ has already secured four ranking event victories since bursting on to the stage at the Crucible in 2011, when he rampantly rallied into the final with his fearless blend of snooker, only to be toppled by stubborn Scot John Higgins.

Prolific potter Trump is a best priced 5/1 chance with Bet365 to lift his maiden world title this year, having been drawn against a relatively inexperienced opening round opponent, with Carrington available at 10/3 with BetFred to cause an upset over the world number six. World number 69 Carrington’s best ever finish in a ranking event is the last 32 stage, with his superior opposition aiming to win his second tournament of the calendar year, having overcome Ronnie O’Sullivan in a thrilling Grand Prix final last month.

Meanwhile, reigning Masters champion Shaun Murphy is vying to follow up his recent Triple Crown completion by adding a second Crucible crown, amazingly a decade on from his maiden world title triumph as a qualifier in 2005.

‘The Magician’ is odds-on 1/6 with Boylesports to topple Robin Hull in his opening clash in Sheffield, while 40-year-old ‘Roope’ is available at 5/1 with Bet365 to shock the five-time ranking event winner. World number eight Murphy is aiming to become just the fifth player ever to clinch both the Masters and World Championship in the same year, with Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, Ray Reardon and Mark Williams having only having done so.

Elsewhere, ‘the Gentleman’ Joe Perry opens his World Championship attempt in a meeting with Chinese potting prospect Zhang Anda. The 23-year-old, nicknamed ‘Mighty Mouse’, made his Main Tour debut in 2009 and is a 5/1 shot with BetFred to topple world number nine ‘Fen Potter’ in this interesting Crucible first round matchup.

Experienced cueist Perry has secured a single ranking event title in his long career, having turned professional back in 1991, and he is odds-on 1/6 favourite with Bet Victor to ease past his Chinese opposition.

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