The BBC begin their coverage of the UK Championship on Saturday from York. It’s always an occasion these days when we get to see snooker on the BBC so I for one will be tuning in there to be talked down to rather than watch a far more informative and incisive set-up on Eurosport, where Ronnie and Jimmy are joining Colin Murray in the studio, presumably not wearing V-Necks.
Ronnie of course, even when he isn’t playing is never far away from the headlines and today he’s apparently backtracked on his statement last week in Romania that he was coming back to play in The Masters in January. He’s now saying he won’t be playing and that he has set no timetable for a comeback.
He also uses this opportunity to tell us:
- what he has for breakfast (poached eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and porridge, presumably not all in the same bowl).
- what he has for his dinner (Laila’s curry, but he likes fish too and chicken, oh and grilled stuff, he likes grilled stuff too, oh yes and salad, he likes that aswell – we all eat too much pasta and bread in the UK he says).
- what time he gets up (4am apparently, that’s a bit too early in my opinion for a young person. I understand old people getting up that early as they’re running out of days and want to get to the cake shop first but Ron is still only 40. I’d have a lie-in if I was him and get up at 6.30am like I do, though that’s usually because the dogs wake me up for their breakfast and their morning deposit, anyway I digress).
- what he watches on TV (I’m a Big Celebrity Brother Get Me Out of Dancing on Ice or some such mind-numbing social conditioning twaddle and some sport, as he likes sport, just not snooker).
- when he has a shower (it’s fucking fascinating stuff this, I promise you).
- what time he goes to bed (9pm is an early night for him, pretty standard for me but each to their own and this is about him not me).
- what book he’s reading (it’s about stopping smoking, by someone who I assume has stopped smoking and decided to write a book about it to tell everyone how he did it, if everyone did that every time they gave something up I think the market might become a little saturated so obviously the way this fellow gave it up was a lot better than the way others gave it up, but the results were the same I assume i.e. they all gave up)
- what he keeps in his ermm ‘handbag’ (‘my pens’ – obvs, who doesn’t? He also keeps everything in there that can lead to identity theft if anyone fancies a crack when they see him next eating grilled stuff in a restaurant).
He stops short of telling us how many times he goes for a shit and at what time this usually occurs, which may of course depend on the porridge to egg/mushroom/tomato ratio of his breakfast or the intensity of the curry he has for his dinner, but hopefully that will form an integral part of the next article. Stay tuned for that, I know I won’t.
But for those who are getting rather weary of Ronald’s insistence that he doesn’t want to be the centre of attention anymore, whilst choosing to say stuff like this when a major championship is on and becoming the centre of attention, there is a major championship on and he shouldn’t be the centre of attention until he decides to start playing again.
Let’s draw a line under this now.
I’m not going to once again go into the devalued status of this great championship as I’m sure that will form a lot of the focus of the TV and social media debates for the next 9 days and I have said more than enough about it already. It’s not as good as it was but it’s still better than 90% of the other tournaments on the calendar so let’s just enjoy it for what it is.
Bettingwise with regards to Round 1 it was a tale of what might have been. We were 2 deciding frames away from a hugely profitable first round. The 15/2 acca was let down by Mark King, who long-standing readers/sufferers will remember I used to have a saying about. I only wish I’d remembered this phrase when I’d put the bet on.
The other was Andy Hicks, the 14/1 from William Hills still in my book being the most ridiculous price of this or for that matter any season and but for an incredibly unlucky in-off on match ball yellow, the compiler would have been joining the Job Seekers Allowance queue come Monday morning. Bullet – Dodged. Incidentally, it’s worth checking out Barry Hawkins press conference after the match where he mentions his thoughts on the amateurs playing in this, particularly when they are as experienced as Hicks is.
We did land an acca on Thursday though so that clawed some of it back and I remain confident in the outright picks and still harbour hopes about the 63/1 quarter betting Christmas present to the ever faithful. I’ve seen nothing yet to suggest that this might not go very very close to landing, we can dream, after all, it’s nearly Christmas, the time when Baby Jesus makes all dreams come true, or is that Santa Claus? Anyway, schedule and bets below.
VIEW ALL THE HEAD TO HEADS FOR THIS ROUND ON THIS HANDY PAGE AT CUE TRACKER
Second Round (Best of 11 frames)
Stuart Bingham (Eng) v Anthony Hamilton (Eng)
Graeme Dott (Sco) v Jack Lisowski (Eng)
Mark Williams (Wal) v Tom Ford (Eng)
Gary Wilson (Eng) v Martin Gould (Eng)
Yu De Lu (Chn) v Marco Fu (HK)
Liang Wenbo (Chn) v Jimmy Robertson (Eng)
Tian Pengfei (Chn) v John Higgins (Sco)
Dark Mavis (Eng) v Ken Doherty (Ire)
Recommended Session Bet: 2 point double on Lisowski (+1.5) and Doherty (+2.5) pays almost 5/2. 2 points on Lisowski at 2/1.
Joe Swail (NI) v Adam Duffy (Eng)
Kyren Wilson (Eng) v Mike Dunn (Eng)
Zhou Yuelong (Chn) v Shaun Murphy (Eng)
Gerard Greene (NI) v David Gilbert (Eng)
Li Hang (Chn) v Ricky Walden (Eng)
Ross Muir (Sco) v Ben Woollaston (Eng)
Joe Perry (Eng) v Robbie Williams (Eng)
Jamie Burnett (Sco) v Alan McManus (Sco)
Recommended Session Bet: 2 points on Li Hang at 7/2.
Sunday 29 November
Second Round (Best of 11 frames)
Michael Georgiou (Eng) v Mark Allen (NI)
Chris Wakelin (Eng) v Michael Holt (Eng)
Judd Trump (Eng) v Stuart Carrington (Eng)
Daniel Wells (Wal) v Ali Carter (Eng)
Mark Joyce (Eng) v Sydney Wilson (Eng)
Matthew Selt (Eng) v Sean O’Sullivan (Eng)
Oliver Lines (Eng) v Mark Selby (Eng)
Dechawat Poomjaeng (Tha) v Ryan Day (Wal)
Recommended Session Bet: 1 point double pays almost dead on 4/1 at Paddy Power on total frames in these two matches being over 9.5 – Holt v Wakelin and Selt v O’Sullivan.
Robert Milkins (Eng) v David Grace (Eng)
Dominic Dale (Wal) v Peter Ebdon (Eng)
Neil Robertson (Aus) v Aditya Mehta (Ind)
Fergal O’Brien (Ire) v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (Tha)
Stephen Maguire (Sco) v Jamie Cope (Eng)
Anthony McGill (Sco) v Luca Brecel (Bel)
Barry Hawkins (Eng) v Robin Hull (Fin)
Xiao Guodong (Chn) v Jamie Jones (Wal)
Recommended Sunday Bet: 2 point Acca pays over 5/1 at Marathon Bet on Allen, Carter, Day, Hawkins, Maguire and McGill.
Recommended Acca: 3 points acca pays best odds over 5/2 at Marathon Bet on Bingham, Mark Williams, Higgins, Gilbert and Carter. Add Swail and McGill for a 2 point acca pays almost 17/2 at the same firm.
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