March 31, 2011

China Open Quarter Final Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:36 pm

All will be revealed in the morning.

This week seems to have flown by. We are now approaching the weekend with just the small matter of sorting each of the quarters out tomorrow to see who will be contesting the semi-finals on Saturday.

Before I go on I must just let everyone know that the secret that I have been bursting to tell everyone on Twitter but have been sworn to secrecy will be revealed tomorrow, so tune in to the blog for a baize world exclusive. I think I got to know about it because someone took pity on me after the hacking incident last Saturday, but you won’t get this particular story anywhere else. I can promise you that.

So to summarise the last 16 today, from a betting point of view it went ok, we had a faller in the outright selections this morning as Peter Ebdon produced some impressive stuff to continue the hold he seems to have over Robbo in China. But for anyone that believes in history repeating itself, Robbo now goes into the World Championship in almost an identical situation to last year. He has won one ranking event this season, this being the World Open which replaced the Grand Prix that he won going into last year. His final result going into Sheffield last year was a 5-1 defeat in the China Open to Ebdon, the same score as today. Spooky Dooky or Hocus Pocus?

In the other early matches Shaun Murphy finally granted my wish to rid the world of wildcards, but only just, as he edged the impressive Li Hang out in a decider. On the other tables, Juddly continued his good late season form to beat the tricky Dark Mavis who can now have a couple of months off and the man the Chinese have adopted as their very own ‘Fat Goal Machine’ Stephen Lee justified support in beating Ryan Day.

Then came the hyped up ‘match of the day’ between Ding and Hendry which in truth was quite scrappy and once Ding took a foothold in the game he didn’t really struggle. Hendry again showing the frailties that are beginning to become increasingly evident in his game on a regular basis. John Higgins had ‘that look’ again, you know, the one he had in the UK and the Welsh Open in dispensing with Ricky Walden in clinical fashion. Can anyone stop him on his quest to pack his house with trophies? At this rate Denise will need a new duster.

On the two outside tables, Ali proved that his form is on the up and accounted for Marcus Campbell, who I am sure will take positives out of his form recently going to Sheffield, which he will need to seeing as he’s up against Smurf. Mark Selby then either won 5-1 or is still waiting for Mill Hopkins to break off in frame 5, depending on who you believe. But someone is happy, my guess being someone who was at the venue as no sooner had it become apparent that the scoreboard had frozen as the lumps were placed on the Jester at Betfair. We always seem to get a match like that in China, strange that…

So to tomorrow and a cracking line-up with three mouth-watering ties and Peter Ebdon’s match:

First Session:

Judd Trump v Peter Ebdon (H2H 1-2)

Dave Hendon used a phrase on Eurosport that I have often used about Ebdon and said he ‘Did a Job’ on Robbo earlier today. For European readers and those unfamiliar with working class dialect who are busy eating their prawn sandwiches this means that Ebdon just came out, played the player, used his head and won the mental game. The mental part of the sport cannot ever be underestimated and the fact that this is the strongest part of Peter’s armoury is the reason he is still up there at the top of the sport, despite sometimes playing the strangest shots. But to give him his due, he played very well earlier and it was a good win for him. The ‘Most Fanciable Player of the Tournament’ (you’ve just got to love the Chinese) Juddly started like a rocket against Mavis with two 69’s (oo-er missus), and then slowed down a bit by the look of the scoring. It’s hard to know if he became a tactical genius overnight or whether, like his last match, he needed a few chances to put frames to bed. This match is like chalk playing cheese, like black playing white, like pea playing pod (ok that last one doesn’t work). These two are polar opposites and the only thing you can predict is that if either of them can make it ‘their type of game’ they will win. Expect Ebdon to put colours safe, play deep screws back to baulk and frustrate Judd. Judd still for me goes for too many pots that he can’t get at this level, but tomorrow that might be his best bet. The only way he can win this match is to outpot Ebdon, which is why I fancy Ebbo.

Recommended Bet: 2 points win Peter Ebdon at 10/11 with Skybet

Great Pals

Shaun Murphy v John Higgins (H2H 4-7)

What a match in store here. Murphy coming back to his best and seemingly a bit more stable around the table than he has been for a while and John looking like he would rip the heart out of a lion to win. John’s interview after his first match was telling, he hinted that before his ban he was not that bothered if he won or lost, but that now he was going to give 100% to every match and indeed every shot. If he is true to his word on that then there are only a few players that can beat him, an on-form O’Sullivan, Mark Williams and Shaun are the three that spring to mind. This is one to enjoy, Murphy is a half decent price at Betfred for anyone that fancies him and 6/4 is not to be sniffed at in a player that is coming back to his best and who, at the end of the day is a great match player. But John for me is the man to beat in this event and I have to stick with him, though I’ll stop short of recommending it. This could be a real classic however and there is one bet that I think we have a duty to blog charge on in a big way. My advice is to hurry. I’ve had what I could on it.

Recommended Bet: 5 points win over 0.5 centuries (4/7 Blue Square and 888 Sport).

Second Session:

Ali Carter v Mark Selby (H2H 4-5)

Another great match in prospect here though you would be forgiven for thinking that Ali wasn’t there this year as we have seen nothing of him. But that seems to be how he likes it, he is the ultimate ‘shy away from the limelight’ player who then just turns up in the later stages without anyone noticing. His Captain’s Log on here is about as ‘famous’ as he wants to get, quite refreshing in this day and age.  He seems to be scoring well and reports from the camp are good. It’s difficult to know anything about the Selby v Hopkins match as I write as it is still showing 3-1 on the scoreboard, but from the first four frames it looked to be quite a close affair and not a runaway for the Jester. Though for all we know he might have hit two 147’s to clinch it. These two are both playing with one eye on Sheffield and I’ll say again that I believe Ali will go there very fresh after an in and out season regardless of the result in this match. He is peaking at the right time and I think he might just upset the odds here. If I was backing correct scores I’d say 5-4 either way, but I just have a slight leaning towards the Captain. He has won the last two meetings between the pair including the Shanghai semi-final in September so I’m going to back him for the hat trick.

Recommended Bet: 2 points win Ali Carter at 5/4 with Betfred

Stephen Lee v Ding Junhui (H2H 1-4)

The Rolls Royce is in full flow this week and again I expect this to be a cracker. I think we will be spoilt for snooker tomorrow and I can’t wait (now watch Ebdon’s match be the thriller). It’s Ding’s birthday tomorrow of course and much will be made of that I’m sure. But one person you don’t want at your party sharing the cake is Lee. He was absolutely awesome against MJW of course and though his scoring wasn’t quite as high against Day you just feel he is oozing confidence at the moment. He really is a joy to watch. I think the 6/4 at Betfred is a decent price on him if I am honest, particularly if you also fancy Smurf as that is a decent double at the odds but I can’t dessert (in the abandon, not the cake way) Ding as I have him in the outrights. But what I will say is that I am not as confident as I was that he will get through, but if he loses, at least he’ll have his cake to go back to, unless of course Stevie eats it while he isn’t looking.

Recommended Bet: 1 point on Stephen Lee (+1.5 frames) at 10/11 with Stan James

For Multiple backers I’d go with a 1 point double on Ebdon and Carter which pays near 10/3 at Betfred


Please make me some new images. How naff is this? I'm a professional.

China Open: Last 16 In-Running

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:48 am

Good Morning Everyone, another day, another eight matches. If you feel low today and need cheering up it might be an idea to click here for a special snooker-based episode of The Fast Show.

Feel free to have a natter below.

Stephen Lee 5-2 Ryan Day
Li Hang 4-5 Shaun Murphy
Mark Davis 2-5 Judd Trump
Peter Ebdon 5-1 Neil Robertson

Stephen Hendry 2-5 Ding Junhui
Ali Carter 5-3 Marcus Campbell
Mill Hopkins 1-5 Mark Selby
John Higgins 5-2 Ricky Walden

March 30, 2011

More from Si-Ting: Gould v Walden Match Report

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:42 pm

Off the Booze

At last Si-Ting Chi-Lee is following my brief. I asked him to go and watch a match that wasn’t covered on TV and he’s delivered.

YORK, March 30, 2011 Snooker China Open Day, held in the evening’s first round, world number 15 Ricky Walton 2-4 reversal of a situation behind the rankings Martin No. 21 – China Open 16 Gould advance.

First game, they feel bad, mistakes frequently. Gould red ball into the first fight, to get started after 32 minutes to walk is not ideal for defense, can be a serious mistake on defense, leaving Wharton opportunities. Walton also received 33 points in the attack after the break, the two fall into a long defensive war. Gould eventually break the deadlock with a free kick, you can attack the two men behind the ball does not enter there simple mistakes, then seize the opportunity to clear the table Gould ,103-34 received on his first China Open Bureau of victory.

Second innings, Walton seek a combination of defensive ball to use, destroyed 11 red balls scored 70 points over Taiwan, although Gould did not give up but could not reverse, the Council points 1-1.

Third game, Luke Walton scored 40 points in the two to get started after the termination of offensive, Gould single shot 71 points to win, once again leading a bureau.

Fourth game, Gould into the red ball to get started the first fight, 59 points will be scored in this game if crucial mistakes, mistakes in trying to shift the bar who knows that victory in hand over hand. To distinguish between single-shot 64 to get started Wharton won the Bureau of Taiwan, both 2-2 entering intermission.

The fifth game, after intermission Gould suddenly angry, and similar 2 innings, but this is the class of red balls Gould destroyed 11 single shot 71 points over Taiwan. Similarly, the powerless people into the Wharton ,3-2, Gould lead.

The sixth game, Walton made two to get started to 55-6 lead, this time table for the remaining of the six spherical red ball bite each other around a pocket without scoring, the two tangled into a paste, anti- war among the.Wharton eventually find a chance, far crisp sets, it can attack the black ball unfavorable Gould 32 minutes after a single shot clear ball, hit the pink ball in the break, when the score 56-52 Walton lead. Walton hit the powder to achieve a snooker ball, the ball hit the black solution Gould ball penalty 7 points, Gould after the fight in the defense of Taiwan into the far, knock down the pink ball, black ball, to 65:63 into the match point to win tough.

Seventh game, Little man Big Man holding a match point in the Gould will start to find opportunities to get 30-point lead. Walton hard work under great pressure to the two compete for the final black ball, Gould inadvertently when defending the black ball to the pocket, pulled one hard Wharton Bureau, the Bureau points behind 3-4 . Big Man Murphy young to this but well so as heavy ball bag for hang Li nest place,

The eighth game, Walton had 20 points to get started first, followed by a 69 Youyi seal the victory, the match into deciding game.

Tiebreak, Wharton a red ball in the offensive end without further lucky bags into the bag, and then a single shot 33 points, made 37-5 lead. Then hit a single shot 22 points, eventually winning 71-6 this Board, successfully reversed Gould.

In this connection, Gould stop at the China Open first round, while the 2008 Shanghai Masters champion Wharton last 16 games of 16 into 8 and the world number one will be John – Higgins compete for a seat .

China Open Last 16 Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:53 pm

I think there is something wrong with our Rocket???

Wednesday decided the Last 16 line-up in the China Open and Thursday will half the field again down to the Quarter Finalists on Friday.

I chose to concentrate in the first session today on Judd Trump against Marco Fu which was an entertaining match. Marco again looked as if the long season had taken it’s toll on him and missed some inexplicable pots, while Judd did his usual; deadly in the balls and carefree, but at times with questionable shot selection. He’s getting better though, has age on his side as we are never tired of being told and I’m sure will fancy his chances to progress again in this round.

John Higgins had a scare against Bond but came through. The performance and demeanour he showed around the table reminded me a lot of his match against Jack Lisowski in Wales. He looked to be struggling but when pressed he produced just about enough to win. We all know what happened after that and John continues in my book to be the one to beat in this.

On the two outside tables the Captain was cleared for take off with his easiest career win yet over Stuart Bingham. Michaela described it as an ‘attacking match’ and Ali seemed to be scoring well. He is now firmly my idea of the right profile of player to do well at Sheffield, which I know he would hate me saying as he prefers to lurk in the shadows. In the other match Peter Ebdon came through against Gerard Greene who’s season ended there, but at least he can have a break and be refreshed for an even busier (is that possible?) one next cycle.

Then came the Rocket, who performed to his usual standard of late in fizzling out to Ryan Day, who despite a few unexpected misses took his chances well in the end and after the interval always looked like the winner. This display immediately led to those brave bookies to push our Ron out to a miserly 7/1 best price for the Crucible (the sponsors Betfred). Come on bookies, man/woman/human up will you? 7/1? Where you actually watching the match? He was bloody rubbish. Double that and it’s a bet but only a fool would back him at those odds over a 17 day marathon. But talking of fools, it was once again like shelling peas over at Betfair on Ronnie’s match and I hope a few of you followed my advice to just go over and trade on there this afternoon. There’s gold in them thar’ hills when Ronald Antonio is in town.

On the other table, Mark Selby impressed me in getting a result against Tian Pengfei who must surely be the world’s best player outside of the main tour (apart from The Assassin of course, who will be giving you all an update soon on his preparations for Q-School). Selby again looked great when attacking but less so when he got defensive. I know he needs to mix his game up but he seems to often ‘play the player’ rather than the table, though it never did Ray Reardon any harm and he was another that used to adjust his game to the setting and the opponent. I still think Mark should be playing to win more than he does, rather than playing not to lose. I’m being hyper-critical there as I know he has the game to be World Champion and I would love to see him win it. I just like the Selby of two seasons ago that had that game a lot more.

On the outside tables, Jamie Cope’s good record in China was smashed to smithereens by Robert Milkins, or Mill Hopkins as he seems to be known over there. Mill also managed to hit a tournament high of 142 in his 5-3 victory so well played there. This just left a routine decombustulation© from the Patron Saint of Decombustulators (also ©) Martin Gould, who managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in losing to the Rickster, Ricky Walden who progresses on to a tie with Higgins. There were rumours that Gouldy was a bit tired, I seem to remember this happening a few times with him, perhaps he needs to try some sleeping techniques, counting matches he’s lost that he should have won perhaps? Or just switching off Facebook? That should send him to the Land of Nod eventually.

So let’s see what we have for the Last 16:

Don't let him get to you.....

First Session

Stephen Lee v Ryan Day (H2H 1-1)
Li Hang v Shaun Murphy
Mark Davis v Judd Trump (H2H 0-1)
Peter Ebdon v Neil Robertson (H2H 2-0)

Looking at this line up I hope they have the good sense to put Day v Lee on a TV table. It is easily the most attractive tie of the morning (or afternoon if you are Mike Smith) and whilst I recognise that Robertson should be the main focus, if they favour the wildcard that is just nonsense. Anyway, both come fresh from wins against more illustrious opponents and on paper this should be a close one. But I have to say having watched both their first matches, Lee’s long game is better, he is better in the balls, he handles pressure better and has more experience. So for me there is only one winner in this one, yes, the man the Chinese have christened the ‘Fat Goal Machine’ (are they getting mixed up with Wayne Rooney?) should win if he plays like he did the other day and to some extent like he’s been playing all season.

As a lot of you will know I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Shaun Murphy. I love taking the mickey out of him and he hates me. But tomorrow there will be nothing but love, fluffy things and a tickle under his little pink chin coming from the blog in the direction of our Shauny as he attempts to distinguish the wildcards from the tournament, just for me. OK Dave Hendon, I heard all the arguments about there might not having been a tournament here if Ding hadn’t won as a wildcard in the good old days of Sir Rodders negotiating, as well as the fact that World Snooker are powerless to change it. But why? Call the sponsors bluff I say, Dotty reckons they get it on the cheap anyhow. People Power! It worked for Barack Obama. Ban the Wildcards and Save the Whale while you’re there.

Mark Davis looked very sharp and now comes up against Judd, who is, well, Judd. Surely the alarm bells should have started to ring in Trump’s head when Robbo claimed he was pleased with the draw for Sheffield as he ‘knew what he was going to get’ (Robbo is in line for headworker of the year this year, he has previous). He needs to change his shot selection, he is far too attacking and just needs another side to his game. I can’t call this one and I’m quite surprised that Judd is such a heavy favourite with some. I might back Davis but I’m not too sure yet.

Then comes the Master Headworker against the Apprentice, Ebdon v Robbo. Last year of course Ebdon won their match here 5-1 but in the one frame that Robbo won he made the season’s only 147 which you can actually watch here accompanied by some soft porn music circa 1976. I was very impressed with the World Champion in his first match and he looked as sharp as I’ve seen him all year and attacked like the player of last season. But he was also beaten by Ebbo in Shanghai 5-4 in September and his price is too short for a bet to win the match. In fact you can get slightly better odds on Ebdon with a 2.5 frame start so rather than back Robbo to win which I hope and think he will, perhaps take a chance on Ebdon’s handicap price instead. History dictates that this won’t be one way traffic for the Aussie.

Mill 'Robert' Hopkins

Second Session

Stephen Hendry v Ding Junhui (H2H 4-7)
Ali Carter v Marcus Campbell (H2H 3-1)
Mill Hopkins v Mark Selby (H2H 1-1)
John Higgins v Ricky Walden (H2H 1-2)

The obvious eye-catcher here is Hendry against Ding. Considering Ding is still only just out of nappies you would think these two were the biggest rivals in the history of the game if you believed the Chinese media hype. Stevo looked solid against Matthew Stevens who might as well have withdrawn from the event as he resembled a zombie at times. such was his level of tiredness.

Ding played with his adoring audience and with Keith Maflin in the first round like a cat with a small dying insect at the height of summer and the interesting thing for me is if he chooses to have his customary nap at the start or at the end of the match here. These two in my book are the two strongest starters to a match in the game, Hendry even now can be seen opening up with a century more often than not which leads me to think that the 100 break markets may be worth a look tomorrow. I think Ding will win but if there is anywhere offering daft prices on big breaks, my advice would be take them to small stakes. Indeed Paddy Power are offering 5/1 on either of them making a century in the first frame, if there was ever a match up where my life depended on that happening, this would be it. I’m backing it and at 5/1 it is a throwaway bet to good returns.

Ali has won his last three meetings against Marcus Campbell and despite Marcus’ good form of late I think this one, being on an outside table will come down to who has the best all round game. I sense that Ali is determined to do well here and as I said above, regardless of how he does I think he has a chance in Sheffield of making the business end of things. I feel similarly about Mark Selby as long as he can learn from last year and possibly deal better with the mental fatigue at the Crucible, something that I think Ali may handle better. I would seriously advise him to read Graeme Dott’s book, well not the bit about the chess set, just the snooker bits. He faces Mill Hopkins who is having a good tournament but I just think Selby’s all round game is too good for our Rob.

This leaves Higgins against Walden and there aren’t many (any?) current top 16 players that can boast a positive head to head with the Wizard. Both Ricky’s wins over John came in 2004 and John won the last over the longer distance in 2009. Despite struggling today, I still think John has a bit left in the tank but I wouldn’t take the odds here having backed him in the outrights. It could be close, but if it goes close, who would you back? I rest my case m’lud.

Recommended Bets:

2 points win Stephen Lee to beat Ryan Day (10/11 Blue Square)

2 point treble Murphy, Carter and Selby (Just over 6/4 at Paddy Power)

2 points win Walden (+2.5 frames) 8/13 at Corals

1 point accumulator Ebdon (+2.5 frames), Ding, Murphy, Carter and Selby (Just under 4/1 at Blue Square)

My Man in China: The Latest Report

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 3:55 pm

Keeping us Informed

My man in Beijing, Si-Ting Chi-Lee has filed another report. This time he has summarised Ding’s match yesterday and also taken a look at John Higgins v Nigel Bond from earlier. I’m still not sure it’s quite up to the standard I was expecting but I sense at least he is trying.

His first report came without a headline, unlike the second one:

WASHINGTON slow in 2011, and the word Ding destined to fight. Last night, in the China Open first round, Ding Junhui of 1 to 4 players Ma Fulin behind the wild card, the ultimate adventure to win 5 to 4, with the audience to open a joke. Before the game, Ding said the state is not in their best last night, low-level error has confirmed his statement, and good luck to help calm and Ding Junhui the cut.

Equal promotion plus luck calm 1 to 4 behind, which is a lot of snooker players is a difficult moment. Ding Junhui of China many times before because of slow heat to their impasse, bureau, such as the 11th of this month, Hainan Ding Junhui in the international snooker tournament loss to compatriots on the mainland in Germany, but also to many fans surprise. Ding Junhui happy return birthday but man steel plate Ma Fulin will not so be pool any more.

Fortunately, the state did not affect Ding bad attitude towards competition. Last night, when behind in the 1 to 4, Ding still has not lost confidence in the Board 6, he hit a single shot 133, and his superb skills but also deter the opponent, the tempo was Ding grasp. Ding also some luck, of course promotion rivals pocket the cue ball first, then Taiwan is a long attack errors, the chance to send. It is worth mentioning that, after the first round of the contest, a major rival King Ding Mark Williams and Maguire left are out of the game, even if they’re not the best condition, but fat goal machine perfect cue Lee on game. Ding Junhui to win at home is not too much difficulty.

Rank 91 trouble-maker Ma Fulin against Ding Junhui in the field is a good trouble maker. From the top point of view, significant difference in strength between the two sides, Ding ranked fifth in the world, and Ma Fulin ranked No. 91, but the 27-year-old Ma Fulin’s storms may have experienced less than Ding.

According to media reports, 3 years, Ma Fulin left the pool because he can not find the motivation and direction, the native of London, even to the Norwegian settlement. If a sponsor promised Ma Fulin single shot in the game than a hundred, he sponsored Ma Fulin. Results Ma Fulin in the back opener to do, since he gave up the idea of ​​Hermitage. However, he suffered an accident in Norway, in the left shoulder, 15 cm long piece of metal plate and seven screws. Pain for Ma Fulin with Ding in game pool. Game decides the plate.

This before the game, the goal is to beat Ding Junhui Ma Fulin, then stay in Beijing a few days. Traveling light in the first half of his game, hitting a high success rate, but perhaps because the cut the first race in China, Ma Fulin under the weight of the carrying capacity in general, and ultimately play a disorder, suffered irreversible.

Higgins: Beijing has not adapted too hot to wear vests

YORK, March 30, 2011 China Open first round of the fierce battle to continue in the morning of the game, against the veteran by the Scottish wizard Higgins Bond, after a bitter fight after eight innings, Higgins Bond 5-3 win in the final, successful round of 16.

Competition began, Higgins rapidly into the state, a gain of 27 points, but one to walk in place, and did not make the attacks continue, into the defense, after a brief defense, Higgins fight again into the red ball to create opportunities get 29 points again, but then a simple red ball stay in the pocket mistakes, Bond scored 24 points to seize this opportunity and then seize the opportunity to get started again, and then 14 points, but still a simple red ball stay in the pocket, leaving the opportunity to Higgins, Higgins made only 8 points, followed by the closing stages of the situation into the ball, scoring two off the final ball after Higgins fight to the coffee and ended 82-46 triumph. Higgins Bond score 1-0.

Second innings, the defensive after Higgins get the upper hand again, a belted 49 points, but Higgins then be applied as a spell in general, again the same error the first game ball will be a simple library. The red ball in the bottom left pocket, then take the opportunity to get started Bond belted a narrow 41 points to points difference, followed by the closing stages of ball, the ball fired into the Bond after the powder to 64 – 50 won the Council. The score 1-1.

After the two Councils to adapt to the ball, Bond played his hand completely, a third set, Bond received the first phone, one red and one color, at every step, demonstrate a strong skill around the ball. China Open a blasted the highest score since the start of the completion of 138 hours to clear the table, and ultimately to zero Higgins 138-0. Higgins 2-1 lead.

Fourth inning, the two played some tangled, funny Wizard thumbs in crowd, but no vest. They do not form a continuous score, and then a white ball fell to James Bond ballbags Higgins left an excellent opportunity to face a good situation, Higgins a belted 76 to clear the table to complete the final to 93-21 ​​to tie the score 2-2, two breaks into the Bureau.

Half back, the fifth, the two entered the marathon start into the defense, in defense, Bond to find opportunities, access to 19 point lead, then after several rounds of defensive battle, the Bond to seize the hope Hopkins mistakes for shots, the Bond regained 46 points and ended 70-7 down this Council, Higgins, a 3-2 lead.

Sixth, Bond will once again be the first mobile phone made only 8 points to break attack, followed by Higgins to find opportunities to get a 47 points to lead 60-8 Bond, followed by Higgins Bond to seize the The defensive mistakes scored again, followed by Bond have the opportunity to comeback, but a simple mistake, after the ball, take the initiative to throw in the towel, the score 3-3.

Crucial seventh game, and the Bureau of Competition is very similar to the defensive after a long period, the Bond will be very difficult to stick a ball into the side after the library, with 19 point lead, and then a simple After the ball mistakes, Master Higgins to show chaos in the style, one made 44 points to 51-19 before zero Bond. The ball then the closing stages, Higgins shot again, and then 20 points, and ultimately lead to 78-23 entering their match point. Army failed the attempt Higgins shot once.

The eighth game, Higgins once again demonstrated the quality of a good heart, to get started 41 minutes after a belted determine lead, then get started Bond made a narrow 31 points to points difference, but then a red ball in the low-level errors , so Higgins seize the opportunity to once again achieved a 31 points to 72-31 victory virtually certain, but Bond is still unwilling to give up, an extremely beautiful Higgins snooker to embarrass, but Bond and did not seize this great opportunity to comeback and eventually scored in basketball and pink ball Higgins after the 56-84 defeat. Chief fat man waits for you and Ding Junhui.

Higgins, after the cut, will face the winner of the Wharton vs Gould.

More from Si-Ting Chi-Lee tomorrow.

China Open Day Three In-Running

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:16 am

Good morning all. Day Three gets under way at 7.30am UK time. Hopefully we will see some matches to live up to yesterday. Feel free to have a chat below.

9. John Higgins 5-3 Nigel Bond
14. Marco Fu 3-5 Judd Trump
5. Ali Carter 5-1 Stuart Bingham
15. Peter Ebdon 5-2 Gerard Greene

Second Session

2. Ronnie O’Sullivan 2-5 Ryan Day
8. Mark Selby 5-3 Tian Pengfei
7. Jamie Cope 3-5 Rob Milkins
10. Ricky Walden 5-4 Martin Gould

March 29, 2011

China Open Day Three Match Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:06 pm

Another Day. Another Record.

Day Two of the Bank of Beijing China Open produced thrills and spills aplenty as the tournament was lit up by yet another record book entry. This time by another Welshman but this time for very different reasons.

The match between Mark Williams and Stephen Lee produced an absolutely sensational spectacle with Williams becoming the first player ever in a best of nine match to hit 4 centuries and lose. Stephen Lee produced one of the best clearances I have ever seen to snatch the final frame 72-70 from 63 points behind. I really can’t speak highly enough about the match, it was truly spectacular from start to finish from surely the best two cueists outside of a fully flowing Rocket that the game has. To watch some of it please visit my friend’s blog here and click on the match title. It’s well worth it I promise.

Spookily, given that the match received an immediate nomination for a Willie Award, apparently the closest anyone has got to this is none other than Willie Thorne himself, who produced a top drawer performance to hit three centuries and an eighty odd back in the day when losing 5-4 to Murdo McLeod. The main man Ronnie has topped both these though with a 5-2 victory over the Captain in the 2007 Northern Ireland Trophy which consisted of 5 centuries, with the small matter of a 147 thrown in for good measure. Remember when he used to be good?

Back on earth meanwhile, in the other first session matches, Dark Mavis recovered from a recent slump in form to send Maguire packing and Robert Milkins and Gerard Greene survived their wildcard challenge.

Then in the second session came more drama. Kurt ‘Call me Keith’ Maflin looked to be about to cause the upset of the tournament when 4-1 up on Ding. But the local hero was just toying with his adoring crowd and eventually woke up, got into gear and in truth never really looked like losing from 2-4 down. My man over in China had headlined before the match began that Ding was ‘half dead’ so with this level of insight I have renewed confidence in his opinions and observations. He will be very hard to stop this week, Ding that is, not Chi-Lee.

Then came two more deciding frames with both fancied players on the wrong end of things. Marcus Campbell continued his impressive recent form and beat Mark Allen, who must wait longer for his first ranking event win. I wonder if he can follow in the footsteps of Graeme Dott and Shaun Murphy and make his first one the big one?

Smurf himself recovered from the news that his cat had been run over and his feelings about the local coffee to come back from 3-1 down and beat Joe Perry. Showing glimpses towards the end that his game is in good shape for Sheffield. He now faces Li Hang, who beat Graeme Dott 5-4 and advanced to the last 16 in a tournament he shouldn’t be in. I hope Shaun puts a stop to this wildcard’s run. Just don’t get me started again, right?

Thanks by the way to World Snooker who kindly included the link to my review of Dotty’s book on their website today. To win a copy of it follow the links in this story.

So to tomorrow, can it possibly live up to today?


9. John Higgins v Nigel Bond (H2H 1-1)
14. Marco Fu v Judd Trump (H2H 1-1)
5. Ali Carter v Stuart Bingham (H2H 4-3)
15. Peter Ebdon v Gerard Greene (H2H 1-1)

It’s amazing that two old warhorses like Higgins and Bond have only met twice. In 1996 they contested the Castella Classic British Open Final which Nige won 9-8 and waited over a decade later to meet again in the round robin stages of the Grand Prix, where John gained a revenge of sorts. Higgins is one of my picks in the outrights and while I rate Nigel as a dangerous opponent he doesn’t strike me as one that might end John’s winning run so I’ll take the Wizard to advance with a little to spare.

Marco Fu has been a little out of sorts since he finished runner-up in the Masters and will be looking to have a decent run in this, but he hasn’t had a great deal of success these last few seasons over in China and faces Juddly, who has not really done much there either. This is very much a coin toss match this one and in those circumstances I’m always happy to take the favourite on. Who knows? Judd might be so lifted by his qualification for the Crucible after such a long time he may have a run in this.

The Captain takes on Ballrun Bingham for a place in the last 16 and their head to head record makes interesting reading. They have all been in ranking events or the Masters and Stuart won the first three but since then Ali has had the upper hand and won the last four. This includes a win in his Shanghai Masters triumph back in September. They do like a tussle though and the matches are never one sided, possibly as a result of their practice regimes. Expect another close one here but I have to side with Ali, who you feel needs a run in this to get his game together for Sheffield.

We then come to the enigma that is Peter Ebdon (look out for an exclusive about him in a couple of day’s time by the way) against Gerard Greene, let’s just say I don’t think this will be on a TV table. Greene to me is a scrappy scorer and a grappler and rarely wins frames in one visit, these type of players can become like a small, yet slow and much appreciated snack to Ebbo if he’s in the mood; he came from nowhere to win this two seasons ago of course. I would not have a bet on the result in this one but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ebdon grind a result out in about four hours or so.

Recommended Bet:

1 point win Judd Trump at 5/4 with Boylesports

2 points win Ebdon v Greene (over 7 frames) at 4/5 with Blue Square

I'm a lover not a fighter.


2. Ronnie O’Sullivan v Ryan Day (H2H 4-1)
8. Mark Selby v Tian Pengfei
7. Jamie Cope v Rob Milkins (H2H 1-1)
10. Ricky Walden v Martin Gould (H2H 4-1)

Ronnie’s there then, we have his holiday snaps to prove it and he lines up against Ryan Day after spending two days wrestling for his visa, eating out with the Grove Snooker boys and going on a sightseeing trip. The one thing we don’t have a photo of him doing is practising of course so it remains to be seen how sharp he is against a player who is apparently not missing anything in practice and beat Ronnie just a few short weeks ago quite convincingly. I watched the first ‘Rocky’ film the other night on TV where the champion Apollo Creed spends his preparation time for the fight pleasing the media while Rocky punches raw meat in a freezer. OK, Rocky ended up losing to the classier fighter but he could easily have won had the classy Creed not had some reserves in the tank. That’s a round about way of saying that if Ronnie isn’t on top or very near top form here I think he will lose as Ryan will punish his mistakes should they happen. The key word for this match as ever is ‘trade’, you will probably not lose if you are not too greedy and may even make enough to put away for a small house if things go really close. Seriously though, Ronnie’s matches continue to trade like no other and those with their heads screwed on correctly should not end up out of pocket regardless of the result.

Then comes The Jester Selby against Tian the Danger Man. Tian is a huge price for this match given his pedigree in this event and beyond. I really hope Selby wins as, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, I don’t agree with the wildcards. It would be silly not to have an interest on the home man here at the price, but just an interest, not a bet. That said, he’s a half decent price to win three frames so I’ll have some of that I think.

Jamie Cope for some reason seems to play very well in China and comes into this on the back of a Hainan Classic final where he lost to Higgins. Rob Milkins is a dangerous opponent on his day and the sheer pace he plays the game can frighten opponents, but personally I think Rob is the type of player that Jamie prefers playing and I’d take him to win this one with his superior scoring power and experience over there.

Finally, another potfest beckons between Martin Gould and Ricky Walden, two players that don’t like hanging around. Another coin toss and on the day job this for me but Gould is a terrifying potter in short spells when he’s in form and he is obviously peaking now after a bit of a lean spell which makes him a dangerous opponent. At Evens he’s the bet here I reckon, even if he can’t play position.

Recommended Bets:

Take 5-10 points off to a betting exchange and trade on Day v O’Sullivan and post your genuine profit tomorrow.

2 points win Tian Pengfei (+2.5 frames) at 5/6 with Stan James

1 point double on Cope and Gould at just over 2/1 almost everywhere


Si-Ting’s Latest Update from Beijing

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 12:30 pm

Very Busy Today

Despite my express instructions to watch Mark Williams and Stephen Lee this morning it appears that Si-Ting preferred instead to watch Robert Milkins, or as he appears to refer to him Mill Hopkins against someone called Miss Rozi.

I am beginning to fear that his errant ways have not changed but I’ve paid him now so in the hope that his reports get better I will persevere.

He has also supplied a preview to Ding’s match this afternoon and a rather unflattering summary of Stephen Lee’s excellent win.

Here is his latest fax:

Miss Rozi in Germany defeated wild card round only Lixing Tian Pengfei of China customs clearance

Tencent YORK, March 29 message, Snooker China Open 2011. The second game, the last two players to win the wild card round is also released in the afternoon, they are easily defeated Rozi 5-1 Mamat Robert England players – Mill Hopkins, and the 5-2 defeat in the land of the Northern Ireland star Steven Gerrard DS – Green. Thus, the wild card round of the China Open have all ended and the remaining terms of Lee (microblogging), and Tian Pengfei (microblogging) to enter the race, the other, Ding Junhui and Marco Fu (microblogging) will be held today evening and tomorrow afternoon debut.

Milkins in the previous qualifying defeat Higginson into this Open wild card round of the England players in 2006, has created a history – he became the first in the World Championship qualifying play players out of . His opponent was the dark horse of last year’s China Tour Rozi Mamat, who beat last year’s race in a row Xiao Guodong, the DS Lu, Cao Yupeng, who won a career first national championship.

Rozi Mamat first game almost did not get any chance to get started, Milkins a 52 min head start to 93-1, second game of the two sides after a long defensive war, Rozi Mamat seize Milkins the ball left a loophole, the Board points to 109-12 equalizer. Rozi Mamat third game in the leading case of hitting errors occurred, was Milkins seize the opportunity to once again Bureau points 60-38 lead. The fourth inning still very close but both of you come to me to lead changes, and ultimately superior, 64-54 Milkins Bureau clinch a first half 3-1 lead Rozi Mamat.

Milkins played the second half and then another single shot 72 points and 52 points, 85-8 and 88-2 to seal the victory with a total score of 5-1 out of Rozi Mamat, who was race an opponent would be “shotgun” Kopp.

DS land in good form recently, Classic in Hainan, Wharton and continuous beat Ding Junhui in the final battle in the group stage 1-2 loss to more special, sorry pass with the semi-finals. In the just-concluded China Tour event, the President finally got rid of the 147 second millennium of the title, to obtain the final winner, he is overwhelmed by the face of Northern Ireland star Green.

Start the first game, 90-8 Green took the lead before the next game, after the Second Board is still no improvement in the German land, Green to 65-16 and 62-29 and then the next two cities, General Administration of points 3-0. The fourth, hit a single shot at the German continental 52 points to regain a 78-16 Bureau, the first half 1-3 behind Green.

The second half, made a good start in the German land, single-shot 107 points to win the fifth, sixth and once in Germany and the mainland to 41-17 lead, but do not hit the ball into the critical moment, to be Green to get the game point 71-52. Seventh key stroke errors in the German land again, Green to get started a full match 60 points to win the victory, the race will face Ebdon Green strong challenge. (Love Xin Jue radish)

Ding Junhui half dead Open defending champion Sword District Tour

Ticker on March 29, 2011 World Snooker China Open.

First of most concern are undoubtedly the most attractive Ma Fulin game against Ding Junhui. Balance of power from both sides point of view, Ma Fulin little chance of winning, Ding clearance should not be a problem, and people most want to see this game is whether the state Ding restore the current game, because after winning at Wembley earlier, Ding Junhui state has been unsatisfactory. Competition from China, the draw of this situation can be described into the death of Ding half area, defending champion Mark – Williams, “Rocket” O’Sullivan, “billiards Emperor” Hendry, Carter and Selby in the semi-area , the cut can be described as full of dangerous roads. Far do not say, after the first round of pass the state will face great Hendry, a war is inevitable, though the emperor has been old, but still has first-class, not long ago in Wales is a good proof of the 147 race , Ding need to be taken seriously in order to go far each game, home court advantage by playing the best.

Secondly, the defending champion Stephen Lee Williams and fat people are also looking forward to the game. Last year’s China Open, Williams returned a strong out of the doldrums, with a return winner to the world declared their peak season has always kept a good hand. Stephen Lee came in the state is also good, with Higgins Welsh tournament was staged exchange that war, to the wizard created no small pressure, but also demonstrates a strong offensive firepower. When the “most accurate man in the world” to come across the most fat goal machine, gorgeous exchange that war believed to have tempt the appetite of fans, people full of hope.

Several other first round matches, Maguire will face Mark – Davis, 05 world champion Murphy, Perry will meet the challenge. Maguire Hendry emperor under the tutelage of billiards, with first-class platform technology and around the ball much skills, good continuous score, however, the instability of its status as the world’s leading masters of his create a lot of obstacles, against Mark Davis competition, the strength of dominant play Maguire as long as normal, should pass the test successfully. Murphy said the ferocity of the offensive firepower, but tenacious, through the World Championships after winning the test, has stabilized in the masters ranks, the only lack is the lack of technical detail around the ball, but only the strength of this defect is difficult to disadvantage the wear find a breakthrough, to upset, unless go for it.

In addition, the melancholy prince will face Lee Chinese players, cutting-edge Mark Allen of Northern Ireland will play Campbell. This is the difference between two relatively poor strength of the competition. Lee faced 06 world champions, the gradual increase in the state this season, there is no chance of winning the Duo Teji, while Allen’s firepower and momentum are also likely to neutralize Campbell’s play, the strength of the party if you want bad upset, difficult. But these two games should be a very different style and rhythm, and more particularly the game with Lee may be more emphasis on sound, refined rhythms, and young, good enough to open fire exchange that I believe will match Allen with the attack mode. (Fat lose weight)

More insightful views from Si-Ting Chi-Lee throughout the week.



China Open Day 2 In-Running

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:21 am

Good Morning All. Should be a decent morning with MJW looking to start off his defence with a win over in-form Lee and Mags looking to heap even more misery onto Dark Mavis.

Feel free to chat away below throughout the day.

First Session

Mark Williams 4-5 Stephen Lee (Match of the Season so far)
Stephen Maguire 3-5 Mark Davis
WC. Rob Milkins 5-1 Rouzi Maimaiti
WC. Gerard Greene 5-2 Yu Delu

Second Session

Ding Junhui 5-4 Keith/Kurt Maflin
Shaun Murphy 5-3 Joe Perry
Graeme Dott 4-5 Li Hang
Mark Allen 4-5 Marcus Campbell

March 28, 2011

China Open: Si-Ting Chi-Lee’s First Report

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:14 pm

He's filed his first report

As long term readers will know, the man on the right has been ‘my man in China’ since the beginning of the blog.

He was recommended to me by a Glaswegian who said he knew the business. Although I haven’t seen the man who put me onto him again, Si-Ting Chi-Lee has been on the SB payroll ever since on the strength of his strong recommendation and firm handshake. I don’t see any reason why anyone from that region would wish me any harm.

Anyway, despite a few previous episodes and against legal advice and my better judgement I have agreed that he can cover the China Open again this year on behalf of the blog.

As I had an early start this morning and I’m feeling quite tired tonight I have given his report below as he filed it a few minutes ago (4am Beijing time). Unedited.

He has promised me he’s off the booze and I gave him strict instructions to cover the event in full. I therefore trust and assume that this is the beginning of a rebirth, where the Si-Ting/SB partnership  is concerned.

I’ll leave you in his incapable hands.

Soho YORK, March 28, 2011 afternoon, the annual China Snooker Open kicked off in Beijing University Students Gymnasium.

From 2005 to 2010 have a Ding Junhui, Williams, and more especially, Maguire, Ebdon, Williams received the tournament championship. This year, including Ding Junhui, Marco Fu in China, including a total of 10 players participating, the Chinese Army a strong lineup.

In the afternoon game, three off-card race were lost to Ma Fulin Cao Yupeng 3:5, 2:5 Li Yan lost to Joe – Perry, Mei Xiwen 3:5 loss to Campbell, has three players ahead of the Chinese Army out.

Night game, against the young Chinese teenager Lee 1997 world champion Ken – Doherty. Competition seems surprising, Lee brave state, four 60 + easily beat Ken cut.

First game, they just feel slow to get started, mistakes frequently. Lee made four times to get started leading 30:4, Doherty fight into the distant station, in the attack on 11 points after the break, the two into a defensive battle, with the ultimate precision Lee Yuan-tai to break the deadlock, and then twice to get started 63:15 get the first game victory.

Second innings, Lee Yuan-tai and accurate with the first use, single-shot scored 68 points, Doherty did not give any opportunity to get a good start 2-0.

Third game, Lee’s failure to seize the Doherty defense again took the lead to use, single-shot 78 points gain another victory, for two consecutive Bureau does not have to have the opportunity to fight back world champion Doherty.

Fourth game, Ken seems to have changed attitude, Lee 37:1 lead inadvertently when the offensive ball powder pink ball stay in the pocket, Ken actually attack a simple mistake when the red ball, then row, he hit the ball hard a few shots, it seems very unhappy with their play, scored 22 points in the qualifying again after a fatal mistake.Lee sets to distinguish between single-shot 63 to 100:23 to win, with a perfect 4-0 advantage into the intermission.

The fifth game, Doherty scored the first red ball, the ball in the bombing attack on the black powder red ball, but unfortunately not into the black ball left to chance to Lee, Lee made a single shot after 32 minutes to walk the ball is not ideal for coffee defense, and while the coffee side of the ball to the library. Ken free hand at the crucial moment, the two single-shot 43 points into defensive war. Lee Bank into the red ball fight scored a key green ball, a very favorable situation in the table under the ball began to clear, but the simple mistakes on the green ball, the final black ball to clear the table Ken, 62:39 regain a bureau.

The sixth game, Doherty took the lead to get started, but unfortunately still feel bad, in the lost 22 points after playing a simple red ball, Lee single-shot 61 to get started again and select powder ball defense. Finally, find a chance to once again win the sixth game to 84:22 victory, 5:1 victory over Ken advance the race.

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