January 30, 2011

The German Masters Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:18 pm

The German Girls are Back! But hang on, haven't I seen that pretzel somewhere before?

After all the madness and hullaballoo of Blackpool, this Wednesday sees the start of the first completely new ranking event since Bazza came to power, if you discount the PTC’s. The players are heading to Berlin; the Tempodrum in Berlin to be precise, to compete for the German Masters. This tournament will also give an excuse for gratuitous pictures of German ladies which I know are very popular with the regulars and have even led to calls from some quarters for the World Championship to be shipped over there.

I’m delighted that Germany has an event like this in such a rich and vibrant city, I love Berlin. The level of interest in snooker over there is evidenced by the amount of traffic the blog gets from that region. Nearly 10% of visitors to this particular blogger are from Germany.

The event itself looks like it’s a multi-table format which means that as well as the coverage we will get to see on Eurosport it will doubtless involve a few days glued to the World Snooker scoreboard, which now seems to be working perfectly.

Wednesday sees a wildcard round where we have German players, Luca Brecel from over the border and the top amateur from the PTC list in Welshman Daniel Wells, who was the only amateur ahead of our own Allan Taylor, who might have got to wear his snookerbacker waistcoat over there had things turned out differently. There will be more news next week about the man they call ‘The Pretzel Liking Albino Assassin’ and any of you that may have a few quid spare might be quite interested.

Anyway, the full draw can be viewed by clicking here.

After a Masters to forget, I hope we can steady the ship a little here and get back to the winning ways of previous tournaments. After all, there won’t have been many that came out of Wembley in good shape. Snooker is undoubtedly getting a lot harder to read now that there is an event almost every week, but that won’t stop me trying. So here goes:

Quarter 1: Banana Skin City.

As with all the quarters there are any order of permutations and possibilities here. This quarter is headed by World Champion and number one seed Neil Robertson who is likely to face the Sheriff of Pottingham, Anthony Hamilton in the first round. Also involved are World Championship runner up Graeme Dott, the dangerous Ricky Walden and Jack Lisowski, the potential banana skins of Luca Brecel, Liu Song and the superbly named Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon and to top all that off, waiting at the bottom of the quarter is Stephen Maguire. Whilst there are trip wires a plenty for the more established players here, in particular Lisowski, I would be surprised if any of the lesser lights made it through to the semi-finals. On balance I favour Robbo as to me he looks in decent shape lately, he has a good record against Dotty, who he will probably face in round two assuming he takes care of Hamilton and I’d back him every time against Walden or Maguire, whose attacking instincts can play right into the Aussie’s hands.

Recommended Bet: 2 points win Neil Robertson to win the German Masters at 7/1 with Boylesports.

Partial to a Sausage.

Quarter 2: A Euro Specialist to Prevail?

Mark Selby and Ding Junhui are the headline names in this quarter and Selby will be eager to get his season back on track after his disastrous Masters defence. The winner Ding will be attempting to do something that is becoming increasingly rare these days and win two events on the spin. But Ding is capable of shutting this type of thing out and is not someone that I would advise taking on lightly. He has a tough opener in Matthew Stevens who will be desperately scrambling around for sufficient ranking points to lift him into an automatic Crucible spot. That could be a tight match although in four attempts, the Welshman is yet to beat Ding. At the top of the quarter Selby should secure a place in the last 16 safely enough to play either Judd Trump or Stephen Hendry. Lots has been written about Hendry’s form and I don’t want to kick a man when he’s down, Judd will be hoping to do that. Trump has won two events in this neck of the woods in the past year so obviously enjoys the travel and playing to a European audience. I’m a big believer in horses for courses and if someone shows improved form when on the road I think it’s silly to ignore it so I’ll be having a small interest on young Juddly Von Trumpton at huge odds.

Recommended Bets: 1 point win Judd Trump to win Quarter 2 at 9/1 with Boylesports and 0.5 points each way Judd Trump to win the German Masters at 66/1 with Betfred.

Partial to a Sausage Roll

Quarter 3: Will he stay or will he go?

This is the quarter that Ronnie is supposed to play in. If he decides to turn up he will play Dominic Dale (who has never beaten him) in the first round before a possible tie with Mark Williams who should face another potential banana skin in Ginger Scot Anthony McGill first up. It’s the first time in a while that Ronnie isn’t stand out favourite for an event but you have to factor in too many things with him these days before backing him with any confidence and as you know I am always happy to take him on. There are also four strong players below the top four in this quarter in Masters semi-finalist Jamie Cope, Gentleman and part time Nookie Bear impersonator Joe Perry, The Captain Ali Carter and the in-form Stephen Lee. It’s wide open with any one of 5 or 6 that could secure a semi-final spot. I’m going to plump for Williams as he is another who travels well and wins abroad, but I’m also going to have a small interest on Lee as he’s in tremendous form and comes to this having won an event over in India. He is also a player teetering on the brink of a return to the top 16 just in time for Sheffield so has the incentive to do well here, but on the minus side he doesn’t have a great record against either Williams or O’Sullivan, so he’d need to put that right to progress further in this.

Recommended Bets: 2.5 points win Mark Williams to win German Masters at 14/1 with Betfred and 0.5 points each way Stephen Lee to win German Masters at 66/1 with Betfred. 0.5 point win Stephen Lee to win Quarter 3 at 12/1 with Boylesports.

Never won a Sausage.

Quarter 4: Can Mark lose the monkey?

It doesn’t get any easier with Shaun Murphy, Mark Allen, John Higgins and Masters Runner up Marco Fu all involved in the bottom quarter. Smurf faces Ryan Day in the first round and the pair seem to exchange blows and beat each other so that one could go either way. It may be worth giving the match prices a look when more firms have priced them up to see if there is any value in backing Ryan. The winner should face Mark Allen who is still awaiting that elusive first big title after being clawed back from a commanding semi-final lead by Marco in the Masters. That monkey is still on his back and until he gets rid of it is likely to get heavier and heavier. Fu himself faces the player previously known as Mark King, who has turned into a regular century break maker having spent years trying to make more than one a season, the winner of that may face Higgins, who will have to account for Rob Milkins or the second best name in the tournament in Lasse Munstermann in the first round. I’m going to take another chance on young Ketchuphead here, it can’t be long until he wins something. He has everything in his armoury to suggest it could be before the end of the season and when he finally does, it might just take him up that final notch in his career and more will follow.

Recommended Bet: 2 points win Mark Allen to win German Masters at 16/1 with Betfred.

If you are having a punt on this the very best of luck. I will be previewing matches as the tournament commences with head to head statistics and the odd recommended bet.

Anyone that fancies any of the prices or bets at Betfred but doesn’t have an account there should click the banner below to take advantage of the £50 matched bet introductory offer.

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