Snookerbacker

November 25, 2010

UK Qualifiers Round 2 Preview: Friday Morning Starts

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:59 pm

I've completed my investigations for Friday.

I thought now was as good a time as any to bash the preview up for tomorrow morning’s starts. Whilst the qualifiers always get more difficult as the gap in ability diminishes and the event goes on, I do think there are a couple of live betting matches tomorrow having looked at the odds.

As ever, the prices listed below are correct at time of posting, some might not last I reckon, so be quick. Remember that if you fancy any of the bets at Paddy Power you can take advantage of the introductory free bet offer by clicking the link to the price and joining up or by clicking the right hand sidebar link.

Unfortunately, I have been informed today that for legal reasons the offer at Paddy Power is limited to UK and Ireland punters, which is a shame as I know there is a decent following from Sweden, Russia and Germany amongst other countries on here. I’m afraid that this is something even my bargaining skills with the bookies can’t get around. Sorry (hangs head in shame).

But the good news is that there are no restrictions on the bets that can be won from any of the firms in the Festive Sack so please feel free to use the link to open accounts in case you win one of those.

In fact (I’m thinking as I write), to compensate I may have a couple of spot prize competitions for people outside of the UK and Ireland, it’s only fair. We are a global sport after all and I’m sure the generous regulars from these shores would not begrudge the likes of Philip, Teo, Mignon, Epure, Dani Martinez, Kimball,  Liggandestolen and I dare say a few others their own European competition for one of the prestige prizes (if they do I’ll kick them out, it’s bloody Christmas). I reckon a non-UK/Ireland Prediction Contest for the UK is the way forward. I’m working on it.

Anyway, oh yes, the preview. Shall we bash the bookies Ladies & Gentlemen? We haven’t had a communal flight to the beautiful village of Payout for a while now. Oh come on, let’s, it’s nearly Christmas after all. Just don’t get too greedy, all that turkey and stuffing can backfire.

2pm Starts

Jimmy Robertson v James Watanna

Jimmy Robertson is an improving player and he proved that his consistency in the early PTC’s, of which he has been close on an ever present, was no flash in the pan when beating namesake Neil in Prague on Saturday. He faces the veteran Watanna who came through in his own way against Kurt Maflin. The thing I have picked up on with James is that he very rarely these days wins frames in one visit, which can get you so far if you can hit consistent fifties but will get you found out eventually. The days of Perrie Mans winning an event without hitting a half century are long gone. He is still a capable player though but I’d say an on form Robertson has his measure so I’ll plump for Jimbo, not James.

Andy Hicks v Dave Gilbert (H2H 1-0)

I’m surprised given the length of these two’s respective careers that they haven’t met more than once. Hicks won their only encounter in the Shanghai Masters qualifying of two years ago 5-2. He isn’t in bad form judging by his results in the PTC’s and is a full 30 places ahead of Gilbert in the latest ranking list. With the odd exception, recently it normally takes a higher ranked player to beat Hicks whereas Gilbert can lose to anyone on any given day. I’ve already pointed out that he was on a dreadful losing streak until a couple of weeks ago but his first round performance seemed like he might have returned to a bit of form and as we know, sometimes it’s all in the mind. A difficult one to call as I rate Gilbert much higher than his current ranking of 80, but there are too many doubts about him and Hicks will be hard to beat. I’ll go for Slaphead.

Recommended Bet: Andy Hicks (4/5 at Sportingbet)

Alfie Burden v Mark Joyce

Cockney wide boy Alfie Burden returned to the professional ranks after a two year gap in time for the PTC’s, in which he has performed consistently enough. This is reflected in his immediate rise to 57 in the first revision of the ranking list. Mark Joyce made hard work of his first round match against an opponent that he should really have taken care of easier than he did. I think Burden is a bet here but not the bet of the day.

Recommended Bet: Alfie Burden 8/13 (widely available)

Is it time to form an orderly queue?

Michael Judge v Xiao Guodong (0-2)

Michael Judge has lost ten of his last twelve competitive matches. He has also lost the only two times that these two have met, most recently 4-1 in a PTC event. Guodong had a warm up match against Reanne in Round One, a match he was never likely to lose and I think all these facts add up to one thing. A win for Guodong, I can’t think of a single reason to oppose him here. A win for Judge for me would be a big shock. This is the bet of the day in my humble opinion. If anyone would like to join this train it’s leaving at 10am sharp from Platform 3.

Recommended Bet: 3 points win Xiao Guodong at 4/7 (widely available)

Ian McCulloch v Kyren Wilson

Wilson had a very good win over a more experienced opponent in Round 1 and it’s not altogether surprising that he now lines up against another seasoned campaigner in McCulloch. There is no doubt that at his best the Preston potter is a very good player but realistically he hasn’t reached the heights of a few years back for quite a while now. He’s a bit unpredictable too and not a player I like backing for or against. This is a watching brief for me and I have no strong feelings about either of them. There are more attractive propositions on show today, leave this one alone is my advice.

Jack Lisowski v Matt Selt (H2H 1-0)

Aaah, my pension plan Jack Lisowski, winner of last season’s ‘One to Watch’ Willie Award, who comes fresh from his impressive win over Zhang Anda to face Matt Selt. They met in a recent PTC when Jack won 4-2 but that won’t really bear any significance here I don’t think. Selt to me is a bit like McCulloch and you never really know how he’s going to play. At his best he is a top 50 player but at his worst he could lose to anyone. But he, like Jack has been busy over the summer taking advantage of the PTC events like all good lower ranked pro’s should. Now I know Jack is not yet the finished article, he won’t win anything this year but I’m not ready to throw the towel in at this event just yet and I think he’ll win again here.

Recommended Bet: Jack Lisowski 5/6 at Paddy Power

For Multiple Punters:

I’ll stick with what I consider to be the best two recommended above and go for a 2 point double on Guodong and Burden which pays just over 6/4 at Paddy Power. Oh go on then, I’ll also have a 1 point treble and throw Lisowski in too, this pays over 7/2 at Paddy Power.

Good Luck to everyone having a go. Drinks are on me if this Snokheist comes off.

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