As the snooker hots up in York, six videos that show what a brilliantly bonkers sport this is

Ronnie O'Sullivan prepares for another extraordinary shot at the York Barbican. Photograph: YouTube

This year’s snooker festival is underway in York and will run through until the final on December 9.

Sponsored by Betway, the UK Snooker Championship returns to the York Barbican for the eighth consecutive year, to the delight of sports fans.

Betway UK Snooker 2018

You won’t see anything quite like this at the Barbican though – an epic game of Crazy Snooker.

It was created to celebrate this year’s championship, and sees West Ham stars take on snooker legends over a series of snooker stunts, including the Helter Skelter, the Water Wheel, the Loop-the-Loop, the Runaway Train, the See Saw and the Trap Door.

The UK Championship was first staged in 1977 and has been conquered by many of snooker’s greatest players including last year’s winner Ronnie O’Sullivan.

He’s the favourite to take the £170,000 first prize with the bookmakers having him at 7/2. However, last year’s runner up John Higgins is fourth favourite to win, currently standing at 12/1.

Here are some of the most interesting moments caught on video over the last eight years…

1. The Barbican transformed

A great deal of preparation goes into making sure the Barbican is set up to the highest standard for the snooker championships. As this 2016 behind-the-scenes film shows, the interior reconstruction includes creating the right seating for the audience, setting up the snooker tables and building a TV studio.

2. A maximum in the final

Over the years, spectators have been spoilt with some world class snooker and very memorable moments. In the 2015 final Neil Robertson claimed victory with a 147-maximum break against Liang Wenbo who graciously applauded Robertson’s brilliance.

3. The top shots of 2011

The BBC puts together some great compilations of the championship. This one from 2011 includes some stunning pots, eyebrow-raising flukes and fun interviews.

4. Ten-year-old’s starring role

A magical moment from last year, as this young fellow does a “walk on” and gets to sit in Ronnie O’Sullivan’s seat at the Barbican.

5. The weirdest frame

Some cat and mouse snooker from 2016, starring Liam Highfield and Mark Williams. As the YouTuber put it: “The two players have to hit the red ball or it’s a foul. The two players can’t knock any of the other colour balls into the pockets unless they knock the red ball into a pocket first. They’re both playing a game of ‘try and force the other person to knock the yellow ball into the pocket because they have to hit the red ball’.”

6. Top ten shots

Just some top potting from the superstars last in 2016.