Snookerbacker

September 23, 2010

World Open Day Six: Expect the Unexpected

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:10 am

Let's Get Ready to Rumble

Day Six is upon us and the highlight of the day today is surely the first match between the Whirlwind or ‘The Wind’ as he now prefers to be called and the Rocket.

Anyone who is thinking about having a bet on this match might want to have a quick flick through the Yellow Pages and look under ‘C’ for Counselling or perhaps ‘L’ for Lunatic Asylums, this ain’t a betting match for me and I’m even forsaking my daily doubles bet on this one, anything could happen and probably will.

There were plenty of talking points yesterday and not just on the baize. The Scottish flies in the Glasgow area aren’t having a great week, with big burly Dutch hunk and nemesis of the airborne insect world Jan Verhaas throwing his weight around again and swatting everything that comes within touching distance of the players.

He’d better watch himself in this great nation of animal lovers or he’ll be on the next ferry home, they come over here, steal our jobs, our women, swat our flies….

Jan was in the news the other day too having told Ronnie to get on with it and pot his black for the 147, the official line is that he said ‘for the fans’, but I can exclusively reveal that this is only half the story. If you read his lips what he actually says is ‘pot the f*****g thing or I’ll swat ya’ or words to that effect in his native tongue. No wonder Ronnie did as he was told.

Talking of Ronnie and flies for that matter, the Rocket continues to fly in the face of the establishment and yesterday claimed in the Daily Mail that there have only ever been eight players that possessed ‘a snooker brain’, his elite list throws up one surprise to me as he names himself, Jimmy, Alex Higgins, Ding, Hendry, the late Paul Hunter, Steve Davis and ‘probably’ Mark Selby. It seems even the Rocket is determined to just twist that knife a bit more into his old rival John Higgins’s back, a glaring omission from ‘The Ron List’, don’t think Ray Reardon, Mark Williams or Mick Price will be too amused either.

STOP PRESS: The Mail article now includes John, so that means there are nine, Ronnie obviously having difficulty once he gets past multiples of eight.

Oh hang on a minute it says ‘eight rivals’, I give up, wish I hadn’t written all that now….oh well.

Yesterday we were also treated to the spectacle of the live draw and I have to say Rob Walker continued his magnificent accent to the peak of his profession with a top drawer performance. When I switched it on I thought ‘isn’t that nice involving the locals like that’ as I assumed that the man standing next to him had just been picked at random from a local boozer, but it turned out that he was a top athlete in his chosen profession, darts (there’s that link again…) and was greeted as something of a celebrity.

There was much talk on Twitter prior to the draw of hands in bowls of iced water and draw balls being microwaved, indeed by chance the two balls mentioned were Hendry’s and White/O’Sullivan’s and what do you know? They only go and draw each other. I think I’ll have to hire that guy as a guest tipster as he obviously knows his (microwaved) onions.

As for the snooker, the day started with another rather low key display but a win nevertheless for the World Champion Neil Robertson who beat a nervous Davy Morris, but at least Mozza managed to nick a frame and he’ll be a better player for the experience. Barry Hawkins again played very well in disposing of Kendo, who very nearly had them rolling in the aisles by falling down the stairs on entering the bear-pit. Hawkins is very unlucky to have been drawn against Mark Williams.

Don't put your balls in the Microwave.

Ricky Walden nearly beat James McBain without us even seeing if the Scot could actually pot a ball. Then in the evening Stephen Maguire despite performing grievous baizeily harm on the poor table more than once managed to beat Judd Trump with a break of 132 to boot. Trump again proving that he still has a bit to learn in the shot selection department. Mags again conceding a frame early, which is becoming something of a trademark now, watch the fines roll in!

Finally last night for anyone that stuck with it we saw another fantastic display of potting from Martin Gould, when he’s in the mood he just doesn’t miss. With his next round draw he could be a dark horse for this, if they both get through expect the microwave to be revved up again for him to face his Sheffield nemesis and comeback king Neil Robertson.

In terms of the betting, it was another decent day. Four from five with only Judd letting me down for the clean sweep. I did end up having a treble on Robertson, Hawkins and Gould, but also I managed 3 from 5 correct scores so the hubbly bubbly doubles came to fruition again. I still can’t get that four figure odds accumulator out of my mind though….

12.30pm

RESULT: Ronnie O’Sullivan 3-1 Jimmy White

No. No. No. Just don’t have a bet on it. Logic says Ronnie will win 3-0, but since when has logic played any part in a match involving O’Sullivan, particularly this week when he seems determined to steal the limelight. Ron would argue with some justification that he is raising the profile of the sport with his antics, if this is his intention then he’s doing a very good job. But the real story here would be a win for Jimmy, these are the sorts of matches that should just be watched as a spectacle. That’s what I’ll be doing. No bet, you hear me, no bet. Goooooo on Jimmy!!!

RESULT: Marco Fu 1-3 Andrew Higginson

After what promises to be a breathtaking start to the day what better person to calm things down than the robotic, trance-like figure of Marco. Higginson leads the head to head meetings 2-0, both pretty easy wins. But I’m going to side with Marco here and I’ll take the 3-1 scoreline at 15/4 with Hills.

RESULT: Marcus Campbell 0-3 (110) Ding Junhui

It’s 2-0 to Ding in the head to heads, including a meeting back in 2004 when Ding had just taken his first steps and at the tender age of 18 months beat Campbell 10-3 in a World Championship qualifier. Marcus o’the dump played well in bursts first match and I don’t think Ding will have this all his own way, but I think he’ll win so I’ll take the 3-2 scoreline which is 4/1 at Stan James.

7pm
RESULT: Mark Williams 3-2 Barry Hawkins

Two of the best players this week are pitted against each other too early, one of the downsides of the random draw for me. Interestingly these two have played each other at this distance 4 times, 3-1 to Williams. Drum Roll…..I’m going to recommend my second match bet of the week 1 point on Williams at 4/7 with Extrabet. As for a score, I’ll take the 3-1 again which is 3/1 at Corals.

Liu Song

RESULT: Peter Ebdon 3-2 Liu Song

Ebdon is becoming the insomniacs pin up boy and after his coma inducing match with Fergal he’s back to finish you off tonight. These two have met once with Pete winning 4-3. Liu reminds me of a crazy Chinese professor, Ebdon is just barking mad. I don’t like betting on matches involving Peter as he’s very unpredictable, a clown, even, but I’ll take him to win here, a late one though which could well result in the Fall of Paradise, 3-2 at 7/2 generally.

More conservative odds today of 347/1 on the correct score fourfold at William Hills. But the tasty accumulator on the four winners flagged up pays just over 4/1 almost everywhere so I’ll recommend 0.5 points on that too.

Tomorrow:

12.30pm
Jamie Cope v Ricky Walden
Stephen Hendry v Ronnie O’Sullivan
Alan McManus v Stephen Maguire

7pm
Neil Robertson v Andrew Higginson
Stephen Lee v Martin Gould

Finally I would like to congratulate a real stalwart of the game and the blogosphere Matt at Pro Snooker Blog who racked up his 1 millionth hit yesterday. Anyone who isn’t a regular visitor should bookmark it now, it’s an Aladdin’s Cave of information, news and facts and figures and a must for any snooker anorak like myself.

Visit Matt here.

Good Luck to anyone venturing ‘down the bookies’ today.

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