January 12, 2011

Masters Day 4: Sanity Returns?

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:47 am

Virgo: Bully.

Six matches down and six favourites out. Day 3 of the Masters produced another couple of results which to some may have raised an eyebrow but in truth, neither could be described as a shock of epic proportions.

Mark Allen again showed that he has the bottle against the big players and there will be plenty now that will fancy him to go that step further and turn it into a major trophy. As for Ronnie, well, come on let’s just say it. He just isn’t as good as he used to be is he? His provisional ranking is about right and unless his attitude towards the game improves he is only going one way on the list and it ain’t up.

He was gracious in defeat and paid compliment to Allen (watch here) and despite seemingly giving it a go late on he just missed one too many balls when the pressure was on. The fact that he didn’t play for snookers in an earlier frame that he could easily have snatched was an indication again that there are things that are more important to our Rocket these days than winning at snooker and being seen as the world’s best player, which now he clearly isn’t. Will he win another major event? Not unless he changes and to do that, he has to want to. I’m not sure he does.

Then last night we were treated to another characteristic cue-banging display from Mr Maguire. He routinely lost his rag in the early stages as he always does and let himself down badly to go 5-1 down to the consistent and almost hypnotic Marco Fu, who hit two centuries back to back to drum home the advantage. Only then did we get a glimpse that this guy can actually play a bit when he puts his mind to it as he hit the tournament high break, to cries and rattle throwing from Mark King’s playpen in the players room, which is now covered in wet rusks. In the end Marco was forced to lay a nigh on impossible snooker to win courtesy of the miss rule and ‘fall over the line’ 6-4.

But for me the highlight of last night was the almost venemous commentary of John Virgo (aka Dave Lee Travis aka The Hairy Cornflake), who seemed at times to be so angry with Marco’s shot selection that you’d think the diminuitive, quiet Hong Kong man had just finished rogering his wife and butchering all his known family before calmly taking to the baize to play his own game. Even Ken Doherty stopped giggling for a minute when old JV began to foam at the mouth as Marco played another deft little dump shot rather than trying to blast his easily frustrated opponent off the table. It’s called playing the player rather than the table, always a shrewd move against the potentially volcanic Mags.

He may not have won that UK title you are always going on about yourself winning JV, largely because Smurf fluked match ball to beat him in the final a couple of years back, but he’s better than you ever were. Leave him alone you big bully. 

No Laughing Matter

Talking of Crafty Ken, rumours are abound that some kid in his bedroom has stolen his identity and is now posting as him on Twitter and even managed to fool a few people that should know better and shall remain nameless. I think his first message of ‘F**k off Ebdon’ should really have given the game away but some still thought it was him. Well it isn’t anyhow, but poor old Ken, the second time he had to stop giggling yesterday.    

Anyway, today sees what may be a semblance of sanity returning to proceedings as we reach the end of this massacre masquerading as the first round when Shaun Murphy seeks to restore a bit of order against the talented but sulky Jamie Cope later this evening after this afternoon’s match between the current World Champion Robertson and Stephen ‘No Eyes’ Hendry. Surely Hendry can’t play as badly as he did in the UK? Can he?

Bettingwise, a bit of a brighter day yesterday, even though I foolishly u-turned from the preview and was duped into uncharacteristially taking a chance that Ronnie fancied it, I quickly saw the error of my ways and laid off on Allen when he was 2-1 up. Allen’s win also keeps the preview’s 5/1 Quarter bet alive which may even bring about a dramatic rise from the ashes for the Great Blog Bet Pot, which, if Allen wins his next match will give us enough to have a good old punt on the winner in an attempt to get it back up for the next event. Fingers crossed.

I also found an alternative bet, well bets, to the current tricky proposition of picking winners and that came to fruition last night so I think I’m going to try it again today. All the matches so far have been 6-4 or above, indeed 5 out of 6 them have been that very score, I think this reflects the tension out there and the problems that the players have actually crossing the line.

So the bet that I will again recommend means that you are happy to break even if both players win more than 2 frames in the match and that if they both win more than 3 frames you collect. Seems like a good proposition to me in the current climate.


Recommended Bets:

Robertson v Hendry 3 points win over 9 frames at 11/8  (Bet365) and 1 point win exactly 9 frames at 3/1 (Ladbrokes)

Murphy v Cope 3 points win over 9 frames at 6/5  (Bet365) and 1 point win exactly 9 frames at 3/1 (Ladbrokes)

Good Luck Today. 

REMEMBER: For anyone backing single match bets, the insurance policy at Betfred is running all week, if they lose on a decider they will refund all single stakes up to £100 click here for details

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