Snookerbacker

September 10, 2010

Semi Finals Day Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:27 pm

There were two escapes to victory today.

What a day it’s been today over in Shanghai. It’s not often you see a 4-1 lead turn into a 5-4 defeat but today it happened twice. The escapologists in question being Jamie Burnett and the Captain Ali Carter.

I didn’t see the conclusion of the Burnett match so can’t really comment on that but by all accounts JayBee got his act together after a blistering start from our Mavis. But the match of the day was surely Carter and Matthew Stevens. Matthew really does have a reputation that I’m afraid is well deserved of being a very poor front runner. Ali snatched every opportunity in the final four frames but Matt very nearly pulled the match back, missing a black off it’s spot to win. Carter’s winning black, though a shot with safety in mind was sensational and even made referee Jan Verhaas do a little dance afterwards. Amazing scenes.

In the other two matches Jamie Cope beat Graeme Dott, possibly a bit of a surprise that but we all know how good Jamie is. Indeed, since I exclusively revealed yesterday that before he was ‘Shotgun’ he was simply nicknamed ‘Water Pistol’, Mike Smith at Eurosport elevated him before the match to the altogether more battle hardened ‘Machine Gun’, we should have known then that there was nothing down for poor old Dotty.

Mark Selby continued his march to glory (yep, pocket talk) with a convincing win over Mark King, who spent half his time beating himself whingeing about the table, it can’t have been that bad as the Jester finished off with two centuries to leave sulky Mark still waiting for a tilt at his first title, something tells me he might be waiting through infinity and beyond.

In terms of the betting, the recommended handicap on Selby was landed as well as the quarter bet recommended in the preview. Matthew failed at the final hurdle to land the 12/1 quarter bet but I did manage to back Ali at 11/1 when it stood at 1-4, simply by virtue of the fact that Matthew is never a certainty until he’s putting his cue away with a smile on his face. Recommended 6/1 outright pick Selby is still very much in the mix and tomorrow against Carter should be a cracker, let’s hope it lives up to the billing.

So to tomorrow:

Both Semi Finals are Best of 11 frames

7am start – half an hour earlier according to World Snooker (BST)

Jamie Burnett v Jamie Cope (Head to Heads 2-2)

These two have only ever met in qualifying matches, never at a venue so to find themselves battling out a semi-final in the first ranking event of the season will probably be a surprise to them both. Cope has won both 9 frame matches and Burnett has won both 17 framers. For a long time I’ve thought Cope was never going to win a ranking title as he’s flattered to deceive so often, but I think this year he is one of the players that will benefit hugely from playing more often, he has entered everything so far and I reckon that’s why his match game is improving. He’ll still have the odd sulk but it doesn’t seem to carry over into the entire frame now. I also think a personal hoodoo was beaten in the summer when he managed to beat Ronnie for the first time in the first PTC event. I think he’ll win comfortably here, so much so that I’m going to recommend an odds against bet of Cope (-2.5 frames) at 5/4 with Sportingbet.

March of the Jester

Ali Carter v Mark Selby (Head to Heads 3-6)

There has been a lot of snooker in the last couple of months since Barry came to power, but a match like this is what we’ve been missing, a televised match up between two of the entertaining big hitters. I’m really looking forward to this one and I hope it will be a classic. Selby was clinical today, he is a top quality player and a brilliant tactician, if it wasn’t for the scheduling at the World Championship he might well be entering this as the Champion, in my mind he is snooker’s current number one player. But Ali is the model of consistency, he beats players he should and only very rarely loses to players he shouldn’t. I was reminded this afternoon that I actually recommended a bet on him a few months ago at 28/1 to finish the season as World Number 1, that doesn’t look quite such a ridiculous bet anymore and I must find the post to remember who I placed my £20 with! I’m just going to sit back and enjoy this one, I want Mark to win as I have a fair bit spread around on him in the outrights but I like Ali and he is a friend of the blog, so won’t be too upset if he stops him. In terms of a bet, you could do worse than take a look at the century break market, over 1.5 (so more than 1) is 6/4 at Paddy Power, for a bit of interest in the match I might have a go at that.

Good Luck to each and all if playing.

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