October 6, 2010

PTC5 Preview: Mustard Cashmere To Take Centre Stage Again?

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:37 pm

Nice: The Unmistakeable Team SB Colours (as modelled by Betty's handsome grandson Bernard).

Betty and the old girls have been busy again in the wool shop on the high street preparing fresh team outfits for this week’s PTC hopefuls. Never has the mustard cashmere shone so brightly than our last previewed event when team captain Judd Trump landed the 33/1 odds flagged up by winning over in Germany.

The bad news is that Judd got so over-excited at the win, he spilt some of his celebratory warm milk down the front of his jersey leaving rather a pong, the smell of milk on finest goat’s hair is enough to have anyone reaching for the sick bucket.

But ever the trooper, brave Betty subsequently secured more wool, rallied the girls, Ethel, Mildred and Doris and got cracking in preparation for a new skipper to take to the baize in Sheffield this week. Top Drawer.

We have not done too badly at these events with three winners flagged up out of six in Mark Williams (7/1), Mark Selby (9/1) and Judd (33/1), as well as a few decent priced each way shots from the team of hopefuls on the benches.

In fact, now that word has got around many of the players are fleeing the venues in terror if they turn up to a booth only to be confronted by the now famous woollens, particularly if their opponent has the word ‘SKIPPER’ emblazoned across his back.

Anyway, enough of this chit-chat and let’s have a look at who might be challenging come teatime on Sunday. I have to recoup the outlay on Custard Creams to keep Betty and co. focused somehow.

There has been a right old to-do today between the bookies who I’ve been badgering to get this priced up for us poor snooker punters, it seems to have worked though and we have much better options already this week than last, when apparently, in the absence of a preview all of them bar Paddies and Sportingbet decided not to bother pricing it up. Who says pester power doesn’t work? A big thanks to Thorpy and Nick at Skybet and Sportingbet who are also promising match betting throughout the event. Lucky us.

Right, let’s see how much we can take them for shall we?

The draw (click here) as ever is a minefield with top players names dotted in amongst lesser lights and just when you think you’ve spotted someone with a plum draw you find a danger man a couple of matches away.

My usual tactic is to look through a shortlist of proven or potential winners and see who has the best draw before plumping for the chosen one and on this occasion I’m going to plump for a new name to the Team SB line up as a likely winner in Ding Junhui (12/1 Sportingbet)

Ding looks to be finding his form after visa issues stopped him from competing in the earlier events, only Mark Williams has recently been getting the better of him but their match in Bruges last weekend looked like a real blow for blow affair. He would not meet Mark in this until the final and although he has the likes of Judd, Ebdon and Shaun Murphy in his quarter I’m prepared to give him the skippers jersey this time around. May he wear it with pride.

I believe that this format suits his style of play for as we all know he likes a little nap in the longer matches after he usually flies out of the traps with a strong start; a massive plus over the shorter format in this more relaxed setting.

Ding often disappears to the Land of Nod

It’s then time to have a look around at who might be a good team player and make a pitch for the each way terms of 1/4 odds on a semi final spot.

The first name I’m looking at is someone we all know prefers to be a captain but on this occasion has to play second fiddle to Ding in blog favourite Ali Carter (25/1 Sportingbet).

Assuming he turns up, Ali has Mark Davis first up but if he wins that one to me he has an excellent chance of progressing further in one of the more lenient sections of the draw and potentially has a winnable route right through to the quarter-finals, when he might come up against Mark Selby or Neil Robertson.

To make up the picks in the bottom half of the draw I’m going to take another chance on young Scot Anthony McGill (150/1 Sportingbet), who admittedly may need to cause a couple of big upsets to make it to Sunday, but he is one I am going to keep on the right side of to small stakes while he is still priced high in the hope that I’ll catch him when and if he comes good. A bit like people who do the same lottery numbers every week, I feel duty bound to back him. I’ll also flag up a player that has been getting some decent results lately Alfie Burden at 150/1 with Skybet.

The top section of the draw looks easier for the big names on paper but there are still plenty of if’s and but’s when considering team candidates. One player who I think might have a decent run if he turns up with his A game is the Sheriff of Pottingham, Anthony Hamilton (a generous 150/1 Sportingbet) who looks to have a winnable route to Sunday. Ant is a fine player on his day, if a bit of an underachiever given his talent for breakbuilding, he was narrowly beaten in the final of the event that Judd won and somehow I can also imagine him wearing the team woollens as an outfit of choice, if you close your eyes and picture it perhaps you’ll see what I mean.

Just below him in the draw I’ll also take a chance on Ricky Walden (33/1 Skybet) who is showing glimpses of form and is a class act on his day, if increasingly looking a little nervy at the business end of things.

To complete the motley crew for this event I’m going to go for another name that is ruffling feathers already this season in the improving Martin Gould (40/1 Sportingbet). He is yet to appear on any winners podium of note and before he does he may have to work a bit on his positional play, but they don’t call him the Pinner Potter for nothing and he’s earned his claim to a mustard jersey with recent displays.

So there’s me for this one. Good luck if you’re having a go, obviously the more that do the greater the likelihood of these events taking off as a betting spectacle when live streaming is introduced.

Remember there is still time to enter the prediction contest here to win a £50 free bet with Betfred.

Your opinions or bets struck are welcome as ever in the comments section.

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