March 23, 2010

The Winner Takes It All – The Winners League

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:19 pm


It Could Be You - I have sought specialist advice on the outcome of this from the only one who really knows

It Could Be You - I have sought specialist advice on the outcome of this from the only one that really knows.

So it is now time for us to see who will qualify from this elite bunch and join the razzmatazz of the Premier League.

Joe Perry and Judd Trump have previously won the grandly and rather pompously named ‘The Winners League’.  So where’s ‘The Losers League’ then? Joe and Steve are still there ready to give it a go for a fiver a frame, loser pays for the meat pies. Damn, there’s another idea for the Pantomime arch-villain Hearn, I must stop giving these away so easily, I’m partly responsible for this revamp.

Nowadays, nothing is certain apart from Ronnie’s participation in the Premier League and his subsequent token entry into this event (just making a point of beating Selby and getting hammered by everyone else) and the self-deluded Bazza’s assertion that it is snooker’s ‘marquee event’.

But the only other certainty is that the boys will be trying to win for the next two days as this is a big earner for them these days, one or two of them perhaps more than the others.

The lads also all have a date in China from Monday and with the British Airways strike ongoing you can expect hastily packed suitcases by the final four, resulting in ill-fitting and mismatched outfits once they take to the baize in Beijing, hope Denise is on hand for John to help with the packing. However, word has it that they are flying BazzAir, a new airline that has stepped in at the last minute to ferry the players to their ultimate destination. It’s a long way to China and he knows some amazing methods for sending you to sleep while under the influence. Derren Brown has nothing on our Baz.

Anyway, I digress. I’ll be sad to see the end of the sedate pace and feel of the Championship League for another year, it’s at odds with the enlarged pool tournament it gains qualification to. As you might have gathered, I’m not a fan of the Premier League and Mr Hearn would have to talk to me solidly for several days to convince me to plug it on here, or fly me around the world on BazzAir or bribe me with loads of dosh and promises. It’s rubbish. As was Noel’s House Party by the way, I never liked that either.

This is as ever, a tough event to call as any of them are capable of beating any of the others, but I’ve given very tentative predictions of how it will all finish. But it really is crystal ball stuff is this.

So let’s look at the runners and riders:

Group 1 Winner: Stephen Maguire

Nickname: ‘On Fire’

Alternative Nickname: ‘The Bloke that beat Burnett who wants to see Ronnie covered in slime”

Odds: 5/1

Chances: Top 4. Possible overall winner as it may be the only way he’ll get in the PL.

Group 2 Winner: John Higgins

Nickname: The Wizard of Wishaw

Alternative Nickname: Hide the Marks and Spencer Sandwiches it’s…..

Odds: 3/1

Chances: Top 4. Will be invited to PL anyway, would not back him at the odds in such an unpredictable event.

Group 3 Winner: Judd Trump

Nickname: Haircut 100

Alternative Nickname: Juddly Trumpton from Toytown.

Odds: 7/1

Chances: Likes this format, if he’s on his game he’s in with a shout. Semi-Finalist.

Group 4 Winner: Marco Fu

Nickname: Marco Fu

Alternative Nickname: Marco Fu

Odds: 10/1

Chances: Surprise Top 4, losing semi finalist.

Group 5 Winner: Neil Robertson

Nickname: The Thunder from Down Under

Alternative Nickname: Curly Wurly Shirley Temple from under the Hair Dryer.

Odds: 5/1

Chances: Like Higgins, should expect an automatic invite anyway. Has bigger fish to fry than this in the coming weeks.

Group 6 Winner: Mark Allen

Nickname: The Pistol aka Hawkeye

Alternative Nickname: The Ketchup Kid and Nickname Thief

Odds: 5/1

Chances: Possible winner but regardless of this he’ll be invited anyway. The cheeky little imp.

Final Group Winner: Jamie Cope

Nickname: The Stoke Potter aka The Other Nickname Thief.

Alternative Nickname: I wouldn’t like to say but the best looking player got through last year too.

Odds: 7/1

Chances: He’s the new Judd and Bazza likes the girl bait. Only chance to justify a place in the PL next year bar a ranking event win. Possible Winner.

The two I’ll take against the field then are Maguire at 5/1 with SkyBet and Cope at 7/1 with Sportingbet. Good Luck to anyone playing in this particular lottery.

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