Much is made in snooker about the ‘curse of the Crucible’ – the fact that no first-time winner of snooker’s World Championship has retained his title, dating back to the first tournament held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in 1977. That particular curse continued this year, with last year’s winner Stuart Bingham knocked out in the first round by Ali Carter.
But what if there was a second, different curse affecting players at the Crucible? Peter Ebdon alluded to this on commentary of this year’s championship, during Judd Trump’s second round match against Ding Junhui. Just two weeks prior to the start of the World Championship, Trump had beaten Ricky Walden 10-4 to seal his second China Open title; but now, Trump was about to be knocked out at the last 16 stage of snooker’s most prestigious event. Ebdon speculated – is there a curse affecting winners of the China Open?