August 7, 2011

PTC 2 Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:50 pm

The Pink Army are on High Alert

Whilst the amateurs have been battling hard these last couple of days to get into the first round proper of the Players Tour Championship Event 2 this weekend, tomorrow is where the real big guns come to Gloucester and what a line up it is.

John Higgins, Judd Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Williams, Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy, Ding Junhui, Ali Carter and Neil Robertson are all in the starting line up in what promises to be a great few days snooker from the South West Snooker Academy, supported of course by live streaming of two tables.

It’s the top half of the draw tomorrow which includes MJW and Ding amongst others, whilst all the other names mentioned above will be battling it out in the bottom section of 64 on Tuesday before finals day on Wednesday. As ever it’s a betting minefield to say the least but that doesn’t mean to say that we can’t find a decent bet given that we’re talking basically 9/1 the field from the off, with some huge prices around on some names with live chances of putting a string of wins together in the 128 runner field.

With a field this size sometimes half the battle is actually deciphering the draw, but luckily we have the excellent to help us with that and this is by far the best drawsheet out there.

I usually split these into quarters and look for representation in each for the outright market and this event is no different. Bear in mind that the bookies offer this as one quarter of the odds on the top four, so the each way terms are well worth bearing in mind when betting.

Despite the fact that on paper the top half looks less competitive and therefore in theory easier to predict, to me this is like saying it’s easier to wrestle an alligator than a crocodile. These are all top players and each can turn it on in the blink of an eye so I would always advise keeping stakes to a minimum on these events, I know I do.

So who will be wearing the now legendary Mustard Skippers Jumper of Team SB this week? Well, it may be incredibly predictable but the favourite with all firms and with good reason is the World Number 1 Mark Williams. If you take a look at the draw, Mark has an easier ride than any other player of his current standing in the game and on form he looks a shoo-in to make it to Finals Day. So I have absolutely no hesitation in once again keeping faith with the Welsh Potting Machine and he will be my Skipper again this week. He is best priced 9/1 at Victor Chandler.

MJW is right at the top of the draw so from his section I will work my way down. Martin Gould has a potentially difficult opener against Ben Woollaston but assuming he comes through that I think he will fancy his chances of making the finals day too. But I’m not going to include him in my team this time as I still think he has a slight problem with seeing events out to the end and I don’t think his price represents any value.

I know I know, you can’t spend value.

I prefer to look a little further down the draw and was toying with the idea of including Ryan Day in the team but again, I don’t think his price at around 50/1 is particular value. The same cannot be said of Nigel Bond who at 175/1 at Sportingbet is worth including in your selections given that again he has a fairly decent draw and comes to this in cracking form from the qualifiers last week, having beaten Jimmy White and Marcus Campbell to get through to Shanghai without dropping a frame, that price is far too big for a proven winner like Bond and he is as low as 80/1 in other places.

MJW - Worthy Favourite

The winner of the only PTC held at Gloucester last year was Stephen Lee and at 66/1 with Sportingbet, the old adage of horses for courses I think needs to be followed. Lee is another who came through easily last week and is used to the surroundings having won here, he’s worth including in your selections even though he may face Ding to get through to Finals Day.

Then we come to the bottom half of the draw which is like the first round at the Crucible with a couple of notable exceptions. Mark Selby may play Shaun Murphy in the second round at the top of the draw and the winner of that match should you’d think make Finals Day, but both are short prices and no value given their draw. A better proposition may be SWSA stalwart Mark Davis at 125/1 with Sportingbet. It would be foolish not to include at least one of the Pink Army in your selections given that they play at the venue so regularly, you might even want to just put a couple of quid each way on all of them in the hope that one of the big priced ones has a great couple of days. But our Mavis is my main selection from Paul Mount’s growing stable.

Looking at the bottom of the draw we see Aussie Champ Bingham (who may face our own Allan Taylor – result not yet in), PTC1 winner Ronnie O’Sullivan and World Champion John Higgins, as well as top 8 players Stephen Maguire and Ali Carter. So of course it makes perfect sense for me to avoid all of them and look at a couple of big priced players that are capable of an upset. I backed Jack Lisowski at Skybet the other day at 150/1 and he’s now shortened to 100/1. He’ll win one of these, it might not be this one and it might not even be this season, but he is the type of player that will play mindblowing stuff for a couple of days on the spin and win one in style. Just keep backing him until he does is my advice.

My tailender is the ever reliable Fergal O’Brien who is 125/1 at Victor Chandler. He had two good wins to qualify for Shanghai last week and has a hunger for the game that is undiminished. I think he’ll make Finals Day at least, but after that it’s up to him, but at 125/1 I’m prepared to part with a couple of quid each way.

So that’s that. I don’t usually recommend bets on these but I think I’ll break with tradition on this occasion and put my money where my big mouth is so:

2 points win Mark Williams at 9/1 with Chandlers

0.5 points each way (one quarter of the odds first four) on Jack Lisowski at 100/1 Skybet and Nigel Bond 175/1 Sportingbet.

0.25 points each way Stephen Lee at 66/1 Sportingbet, Mark Davis at 125/1 Sportingbet and Fergal O’Brien at 125/1 at Chandlers.

The best of luck if you are getting involved. I’ll have a look at the match betting in the morning and see if anything takes my fancy.

Urgent Help Needed – Specs Appeal

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:11 am

If I can hold my head high and say one thing about this blog. It is that I have always tried to help people in distress, particularly if their problem involves something to do with our great sport. 

And so it is this morning that I make this URGENT APPEAL for a baize fan in DESPERATE NEED. If you can help, please do.

Thank You

(My PTC2 preview will be up later today – blog just broken into the top 250,000 websites in the world this morning!??)

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