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Snooker’s best of format refers to matches played as a best of 20 frames – or first to 11. In snooker tournaments players compete to win a set amount of frames to win matches and this will depend on the competition as well as what stage or round the match is played.
After snooker became more popular thanks to television coverage in the 1970s and 1980s there were repeated attempts to attract even more fans to the sport by changing the formats of the competitions and tournaments. It was thought that the longer games were not interesting to the wider public so an idea of shortening matches was put forward.
Although the formats of some of the bigger tournaments, such as the World Championship, still remained the same, newer competitions were regularly introduced with shorter frame formats. The best of format can be seen as midway point between the best of 35 frames World Championship final and the best of seven frame tournaments that are popular today.
The way snooker is played means that there is a lot of scope for sports markets – and the in-play odds on snooker betting are particularly popular. Best of format allows snooker fans to bet on outright winners as well as all the other areas of the game during a best of 20 match.
In possibly the biggest upset in the history of snooker Joe Johnson won the 1986 World Snooker Championship at odds of 150/1. Johnson had never won a single match before that year but he went on to beat Steve Davis 18-12. Even when Davis was trailing 13-11 going into the final evening, most fans and pundits still expected the then world number one to be victorious.