January 4, 2011

Championship League Group 2: Enter the Rocket?

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:04 pm

Is he bovvered?

A fine performance in Group 1 from one of the game’s true battlers. Mark Selby warming up nicely for his tilt at Wembley glory with a win in the all more sedate surroundings of Crondon Park to go through to the Winners Group later in the season.

The Captain was a bit annoyed after the final and a particularly bad kick that put paid to his chances. I’m hoping to get a quote from him before he starts out on Sunday at Wembley but fear I may need to stand a few paces back to avoid the hairdryer treatment. Watch this space.

Tomorrow sees the expected appearance of the Rocket as well as World Champ Robbo. The two meet at 11.45 which gives Robbo the chance to have a lie in and get the hair straighteners out as well as giving Bazza the chance to wake Ron up at an early hour to try and convince him to turn up.

There is no rest for the wicked however as Ali, John, MJW and The Smurf are all on parade at 10.30am, no doubt fresh from Bingham’s Belly Busting Breakfast Buffet.

Making up the magnificent seven is Jamie Cope, who might just be the surprise package amongst the big boys. He played superbly here last season to win Group 7 and is capable of defying what I expect to be decent odds. But as ever this is a guessing game and anyone wanting a decent bet on snooker should really wait until the weekend.

Schedule for Wednesday and Thursday:

Group Two

TABLE 1 (all times are approximate)
10.30am – Ali Carter 1-3 John Higgins
11.45am – Neil Robertson 0-3 Ronnie O’Sullivan
NB 1.30pm – John Higgins 3-2 (137)Mark Williams
2.45pm – Ronnie O’Sullivan 3-0 Jamie Cope
NB 5.30pm – John Higgins 3-2 Shaun Murphy
6.45pm – Mark Williams 3-0 Jamie Cope

TABLE 2 (all times are approximate)
10.30am – Mark Williams 3-0 Shaun Murphy
11.45am – Jamie Cope 0-3 Ali Carter
NB 1.30pm – Shaun Murphy (101) 3-2 Neil Robertson
2.45pm – Ali Carter 1-3 Mark Williams
NB 5.30pm – Neil Robertson 3-2 Jamie Cope
6.45pm – Ronnie O’Sullivan (113,138) 3-2 Shaun Murphy


TABLE 1 (all times are approximate)
10.30am – Ali Carter v Ronnie O’Sullivan
11.45am – Shaun Murphy v Jamie Cope
NB 1.30pm – John Higgins v Jamie Cope
2.45pm – Mark Williams v Neil Robertson
5.30pm – Play-off – first v fourth
6.45pm – Final

TABLE 2 (all times are approximate)
10.30am – John Higgins v Neil Robertson
11.45am – Mark Williams v Ronnie O’Sullivan
NB 1.30pm – Ali Carter v Neil Robertson
2.45pm – John Higgins v Ronnie O’Sullivan
4pm – Ali Carter v Shaun Murphy
Not before 5.30pm – Play-off – second v fourth

Championship League and ‘Integrity Issues’

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 2:40 pm

Once again bookmakers Betfair have cited what they believe to be ‘integrity issues’ as the reason for not offering their usual service during the tournament to those wishing to place a bet.

A have to say that I find this very odd and would love to know where the evidence for the statement below has come from:

‘Due to integrity concerns with the group stages of this tournament we will not be offering a full suite of match markets, we will however be loading Group winner markets and match markets for the semi finals’

Championship League Group One Day Two

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:06 am

The Captain: Flying Start.

Captain Carter is flying high this morning at the top of the midway leaderboard and yesterday he looked to have got some of his rhythm back in preparation for his first match in the Masters on Sunday against Peter Ebdon.

Ali has nearly reached his first bag of sand after just three matches with wins over Maguire, Selby and Dotty.

It’s going to be a tight finish to see who ends up in the semi-finals later on today and frequently things do change markedly on Day 2. You would have to say that one more win should assure the Captain a place but any of the other six, including Mark Williams who is currently bottom could end up in a top 4 spot which is what makes day two of any group quite watchable.

A few people have been asking when my Masters preview will be up. I am aiming for Thursday evening for this and in the meantime will hopefully find a bit of a window to post up a prediction contest for the tournament and revitalise the Betfred ‘Top of the Pots’ Order of Merit Contest where you will get the chance to knock Deco off the top of the Christmas Tree.

Also for anyone that missed it yesterday, take a look at the new year initiative ‘Great Blog Bet Pot’ proposal by clicking here or diverting your gaze to the saucy Scouse blonde holding a pint of beer on the sidebar – who could ask for more eh? Anyway, this is your chance to get involved with fellow blog readers on a crusade to riches for a very small outlay.

But for today it’s the conclusion of the first elite group and I have included the table after the opening day below along with the match schedule for today which I will update throughout the day.

Today’s Schedule

Table 1
10.30am – John Higgins (133) 3-1 Stephen Maguire
11.45am – Mark Selby 3-1 Graeme Dott
NB 1.30pm – Mark Williams (141) 3-0 Graeme Dott (Dott eliminated)
2.45pm – Shaun Murphy 1-3 Ali Carter
5.30pm – Play-off – John Higgins (109) 2-3 Mark Selby


Table 2
10.30am – Mark Williams 3-0 Ali Carter
11.45am – Shaun Murphy 3-0 Stephen Maguire
NB 1.30pm – John Higgins 3-1 Ali Carter
2.45pm – Mark Williams 3-1 Stephen Maguire (Mags eliminated)
4pm – John Higgins (142) 3-2 Mark Selby
NB 5.30pm – Play-off – Mark Williams 1-3 (117) Ali Carter


1. Higgins
2. Williams
3. Carter
4. Selby
5. Murphy
6. Maguire (Eliminated)
7. Dott (Eliminated)

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