September 9, 2010

Shanghai Quarter Finals Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:50 pm


Don't Panic! I'm leaving co-pilot Onestep in temporary charge of the blog tomorrow.

I think I’ve discovered the secret of winning at this game, just stay away from the favourites and back the odds against shots.

Seven out of the nine odds against boys flagged up this week so far have won, the odds on shots haven’t fared quite as well, but that’s snooker and that’s punting and that’s what this blog is all about. It’s always nicer to spot value than to just go with the odds.

Mark Davis justified my protest punt at the ludicrously generous odds of 9/4 to beat Maguire this morning whilst Matthew Stevens also justified support with his continued resurgence against the increasingly unreliable Shaun Murphy, who is not right at the moment. Another odds against shot Jamie Cope turned over local favourite Ding, which was really to be expected the way they have both prepared for this event and the outright pick Selby just squeezed past Martin Gould, who again displayed fearless potting but not the safety game to match the Jester.

For some this might seem an unlikely quarter final line up, but all of them have earned their way here with good performances, you’d think the top half was now between the two protagonists tomorrow in Dott and Cope, but it might not be so simple and wouldn’t it be ironic if, on the week the Higgins verdict is announced, Jamie Burnett went and won this?

The bottom half is a little less of a surprise and I can’t pretend I’m not at least quietly confident that Selby will make the final. But the match of the day for me tomorrow is the Carter/Stevens clash.

Just as a note on the blog, the hits continue to be mental and I’m not around for some of the middle chunk of the action tomorrow. I’ll leave the live links first thing in the morning as it’s now just two tables, but my faithful co-pilot Onestep will be keeping people in touch with the scores in the comments section for those that can’t watch the livestream.

So let’s see if we can get a bit more from those nasty old bookies.

7.30am BST starts

Jamie Burnett v Mark Davis (Head to Heads 0-2)

The head to head statistic here spans two matches over 6 years, the first in 2002 and the second in 2008. Davis won 5-0 and 5-2. These are two players that have been described in the past as ‘journeymen’, but that’s a little unfair as they have both occupied top 32 places and Mark improved his ranking more than any other player last season and is now breaking into the elite top 16. Jamie came up against a very poor Andrew Higginson earlier but absolutely slaughtered him, which is all you can do. I think this will be tight so in terms of the outcome it’s not really worth a bet, but one that might be worth a look is the 11/10 about Burnett making the highest break of the match at Sportingbet. He is a very very good breakbuilder and usually obliges with a decent break when he’s in form.


Jamie hasn't always been so grown up

Graeme Dott v Jamie Cope (Head to Heads 2-1)

This is a repeat of the 2007 China Open final when Graeme rode out a 9-5 winner against a wet-behind-the-ears Shotgun, or as he was known back then ‘Water Pistol’. So what happened Jamie? Why has it taken so long to get back to the final stages? Regular readers know how much I rate Cope but also how bloody frustrated I get with him, I think he’s a fabulous player with a poor attitude. But Graeme’s performance earlier against Mark Williams was also top drawer. I seriously can’t split them and I think this will be a dazzling display of potting if they are both on song, if that is the case it will come down to temperament rather than ability, so it’s Dotty for me at 9/10 with Stan James.

12.45pm BST starts

Ali Carter v Matthew Stevens (Head to Heads 0-0)

It’s not that surprising to me that these two have never played each other. Their careers have gone in opposite directions for the last decade, like passing ships in the night, or when you try and avoid someone you once knew at the petrol station because they are now ‘a bit of a loser’. Matthew hit the heights but never quite reached the top and Ali is currently trying to go one better. In many ways they are very similar players at their best. They both routinely beat players they should but sometimes lose to their equals by virtue of a couple of poor or twitchy shots. They both seem too nice to be winners really don’t they? In terms of a bet I have Matt to win the quarter so effectively have 12/1 on him to win here, not bad odds. I will cover some of that with a bet on Ali however as I think he’s probably the steadier of the two and water pistol to head, I’d back the Captain.    

Mark King v Mark Selby (Head to Heads 2-3)

I remember 2008. That was the year after Selby reached the World Final against John Higgins, having backed him for that at very decent odds each way I was convinced he’d kick on and win it the following year. He didn’t, he lost to King in Round One and his blog entry after the match made for pretty depressing reading. He wanted revenge and he wanted it bad. Since then he hasn’t lost to him, including two whitewashes. He did a fist pump today when he beat Gould, my hand is half-clenched. Selby, Selby, Selby. I might back him at minus 2.5 frames at 5/4 with Blue Square but in terms of the blog I’ll recommended Selby -1.5 frames (4/6 Betfred)

I don’t really think there is a multiple out there and it’s a day to count the single bets up. But for those of you that just want a bet at decent odds I’d go for the roll up on Davis, Dott, Selby and Carter which pays just over 6/1 at Stan James.

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