August 4, 2011

Shanghai Masters Final Night of Qualifying

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:55 pm

Jack struck like lightning earlier

Blimey it’s been a topsy-turvy old week this week. A seemingly routine set of qualifiers was elevated in status on Monday with unannounced live streaming and a brand new channel devoted to streaming snooker, then came the matches themselves and then yesterday the blog got hacked again. I thought this week would be fairly quiet…

In terms of betting on the matches after ‘Black Tuesday’ three big singles were landed yesterday with Watanna, Lisowski and Matt Selt all coming through but it’s fair to say that the results haven’t generally gone as I expected on every occasion. But that’s snooker and that’s betting on snooker, on another week the three deciders lost by Guodong, Lines and McLeod might have gone the other way and we would all be laughing all the way to the bank, but you have to take the rough with the smooth and learn lessons. One thing I will say though is that watching the play always gives you more of an edge and that’s a real plus to take from the week.

As for the latest hack, a few people have asked if it was targeted, the short answer is that I cannot be sure, it might be and it might not be. The blog is climbing steadily up the Alexa ratings and is only a few hundred away from being in the top quarter of a million in the world (yes, I know, I don’t quite understand that either) so perhaps that increases the risks and your vulnerability, I don’t know. But I have good people looking after that side of things so I didn’t go into panic mode like I did last time when I did feel slightly intruded upon personally with my Twitter and Facebook accounts also being hijacked at the same time. But I console and comfort myself as ever with the hope that the person or persons responsible for this slight inconvenience die a slow, lonely and very painful death, preferably at a young age.

Anyway I thought that I’d get back to business again for tonight’s matches as I’m feeling a lot more relaxed now and slightly buoyed by a little bet on the brilliant Jack Lisowski who saw off the challenge of poor old Marco Fu earlier in double-quick time. It is rumoured that Marco lost quite a bit of cash owed to him after the collapse of 110 Sport, he could do with a change of luck. Jack however marches onwards and upwards and joins the other qualifiers from this morning and afternoon on the plane to China next month, including Ryan Day who will get a chance to spend the time with some fellow pandas.

Here’s tonight’s matches and write up:

7pm (Head to Heads in Brackets)

62. Martin Gould (4-0) Matthew Selt (Winner to play Ding Junhui at the venue*)
63. Liang Wenbo (0-1) Kurt Maflin (Winner to play Neil Robertson at the venue*)
64. Barry Hawkins (3-0) Michael Holt (Winner to play Graeme Dott at the venue*)
65. Stuart Bingham (1-1) Tom Ford (Winner to play Judd Trump at the venue*)
66. Mark Davis (2-1) Adrian Gunnell (Winner to play John Higgins at the venue*)

*or a wildcard (don’t get me started on that)

Some bloke in a hat holding a trophy (left) Maggie the Dog (centre) and another bloke (right)

Matt Selt was a comfortable winner last night and is positively oozing self-belief and confidence at the moment. Martin Gould on the other hand, whilst much higher up the rankings has just hit the buffers slightly recently and needs a run in a tournament to turbo boost his campaign this season for a regular top 16 slot in the list that matters. On confidence you’d have to go with Selt but he hasn’t beaten the bespectacled croupier in four attempts, but he’s getting closer and lost in a decider in the first PTC just before Matt’s Australian adventure. Martin lost to Stephen Hendry over in Bendigo in a match he had plenty of chances in. At the prices I’d be prepared to take a chance on Selt again tonight. Much has been made, in terms of speculation at least, of the troubles and tribulations of Liang Wenbo, half of the World Cup winning Chinese team returns tonight to play qualifying specialist Kurt Maflin. Liang still didn’t look himself when losing to Ken Doherty in Australia and if Kurt is on song and playing as he has all week I’d again take him to upset the odds. Their only previous meeting interestingly was a qualifier in 2008 that Kurt won 5-0. Rubberfaced Barry Hawkins and Hitman Michael Holt do battle for the fourth time, Barry hasn’t had a great start to the season after his heartbreaking final frame defeat on his birthday to Mark Allen at the Crucible but his record against Holty is good. Michael has made much of his dislike for the conditions this week, in particular the claustrophobic heat, if you couple this with the fact that he’s never beaten Hawkins and can be a bit temperamental when things aren’t going all his way, I’d say the 4/6 on Barry is about right. King of Bendigo Stuart Bingham plays Tom Ford, who he whitewashed on the way to the title, landing the first maximum recommended bet of the season. Stuart is another oozing confidence at the moment and has positively thrown that ‘no bottle’ tag out of the window in the general direction of Belfast, I think he’ll win again tonight and while the bookies still seem to be underestimating him somewhat I think 4/7 is a great price. Another favourite I expect to come through is The Undertaker, Dark Mavis. Adrian Gunnell has done enough this week to suggest that he still has the game to compete in the qualifiers after a dreadful run and stay on the tour, but I just have Davis on another level to him. Gunnell grinded a result out of The Dentist last night at some ungodly hour and that suggests he doesn’t mind a scrap, but I think when he faces a player with the scoring ability of Davis he’ll probably come unstuck.

Recommended Bets:

5 points win Stuart Bingham at 4/7 at Betfred.

5 points win Mark Davis at 8/13 at Betfred.

2 points win Kurt Maflin at 6/4 with Blue Square

0.5 points Acca: Bingham, Davis, Maflin, Selt and Hawkins pays just on 22/1 almost everywhere. 


Thanks for your Patience

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:33 am

Thanks to everyone for waiting patiently while the blog was rebuilt again after the latest hacking incident. A massive thanks also to the technical people that have helped restore the blog.

The only things that have disappeared are the two most recent posts. Normal service will resume in time for the PTC event which starts with the preliminaries at the weekend and gets underway in earnest at the SWSA on Monday, with two tables being live streamed.

In the meantime feel free to have a natter about today’s final qualifying round for Shanghai below.


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