April 2, 2010

Semi Finals Saturday – Will You Ring My Ding a Ling?

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 3:06 pm

No wonder he's happy, but he does like a doze. Ding is now a worthy favourite.

We’re nearly down to the wire now and the matches become slightly longer. Saturday’s two semi-finals being the best of 11 frames.

Another 100% hit rate yesterday in terms of the recommended bets, continuing the winning run.

The first two quarter finals could not have been more different. Ding continuing his really impressive form with a fairly straightforward win over Ebdon, this time he decided to win the first four before having his little nap and losing his customary two frames on the spin. If he stopped doing that he’d be nigh on unbeatable. He is definitely the man to beat now and in my view is now a very worthy favourite for the title.

The other one saw a scrappy and very tense encounter between Mark Allen and Stephen Hendry. Allen (and my quarter and outright bets) looked shot to pieces at 2-4 down but a combination of a cool head and a partial Hendry meltdown meant the Irishman won the last three frames to secure a famous victory, both for himself and for anyone who followed the advice to back him for the quarter on the initial preview at 7/2. A bit too close for comfort but that’s the beauty and agony of betting on snooker.

The afternoon/evening matches saw more of a case of Fu-King Hell. As Marco and Mark failed to overcome Mark Williams and Ali Carter respectively. This landed the 11/2 recommended bet on Mark to win the quarter. Both came through very easily and will have got plenty of rest in time for their meeting later. Williams in particular looked at ease in the balls.

All this means that the 20/1 outright bets on the two Mark’s are still up and running. A dream final perhaps?

So now to the Semi-Finals (Head to Heads in Brackets)

7.30 am (UK Time)

If the phone goes. They answer it. Wherever they are.

Ding Junhui v Mark Allen (2-1)

The head to head statistic includes three round robin matches, so they can largely be discounted, Ding winning two with one draw. The only other time they played each other was over this distance, in China in the final of the Jiangsu Classic in June of last year when Allen fresh from his Crucible semi-final wiped the floor with Ding 6-0. The manner in which the two progressed yesterday was so different, Ding easily, Allen narrowly. Ding is playing brilliantly and has the twelth man behind him in the shape of the camera happy, chatty, clappy, mobile phone answering crowd. Allen managed to finally steady the ship and bring down Hendry, who seems to really struggle to get over the line in the later stages of close matches lately. When Ding is in this form he is as good as anyone in the game, even though I have Allen as an outright bet I have to admit that he will have to improve in leaps and bounds on today to get anywhere near Ding here, he might well do that and if it comes down to the wire Allen doesn’t tend to get the jitters too often, but I think Ding will probably have left him behind by then and at odds against, the handicap bet looks the one to be on here.

Recommended: Ding Junhui minus 1.5 frames (11/10 Boylesports)


Mark Williams v Ali Carter (4-4)

Ali C - Up for it

The last time these two met was at the Masters over the same distance as they play over today. Williams produced some good stuff as he did throughout the tournament and has been doing since and won 6-3, but it has to be said it was a very under-strength Carter in that match and he still managed to nick three. Ali has been quietly making his way through without really being too bothered by opponents and looked very solid indeed against King. He is provisionally world number 3 and you don’t get there unless you are a top quality and highly consistent player. Carter is no pushover. The momentum is with former World Champion Williams and I hope he can pull off the win, but for me this is going to be closer than a lot of readers might think it will be. If it goes to the wire, expect a very very snatchy conclusion, Mark got very nervous in the semi-final of the Masters against Ronnie and probably should have won, he also lost to Ding in the Grand Prix semi-final quite easily, Ali on the other hand has now got the hang of winning semi-finals and has won the last three he has played in at ranking events. While I may have a flutter on him to win this match at what I think are good odds of (7/5 Betfred) I’ll stop short of recommending it.

Recommended: Ali Carter plus 1.5 frames (4/5 generally available)

For any multiple backers out there correct score betting could be the order of the day tomorrow so maybe try combinations of Ding 6-3 or 6-4 with Carter/Williams 6-5 or 5-6. Four cross doubles.

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