September 30, 2011

PTC 6 Day One

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:48 am

Yes, this weekend's theme is famous Polish people. The fact that this happens to be girl is purely coincidental, she's a famous singer apparently.

Good Morning all. The PTC 6 kicks off early this morning with matches involving some familiar faces, blog favourite Allan Taylor and three players that it’s fair to say would probably win you the World Scrabble Championships, if you were ever competing in it.

It remains to be seen how this event will go, will we see a rip-roaring success like Germany or will it be one man and his dog watching like much of Brazil? We can only wait and see.

I only know one proper Polish person and when I say know, I mean that loosely as I must admit I try to keep her at arms length. She works where I do and to be honest I find her a little bit odd. She has a very serious face and tends to say quite inappropriate things now and again both in meetings and to colleagues, she tends to be forgiven as she’s from Poland much like Manuel in Fawlty Towers ‘He’s from Barcelona’. She once described to a male colleague in far too much detail a blind date she had been on where she ended up back in a strange house having what can only be described as deviance with her fellow blind dater. The poor lad didn’t know where to put himself but she thought nothing of it.

Anyway, not all the firms are pricing up the matches and some are being more selective than others in the ones they are pricing up, making it all a bit confusing. Apollobet tend to keep up with the day’s events better than the others and I’d expect that they will be pricing matches up after the first round as the day goes on. Remember that if you don’t have an account with them you can take advantage of their introductory matched £20 bet offer by clicking through straight from the blog and signing up here. You can view all their snooker prices here.

I’m going to start the day with a treble of Marco Fu, Barry Hawkins and Liang Wenbo 1 point recommended at just over 2/1 over at Paddies.  

I also quite strongly fancy Sam Craigie to beat Matthew Couch in the first set of matches so I’ll recommend 2 points on that too at 10/11 with Apollobet. 

For anyone that missed my preview last night click here. The Best of Luck with your bets.

Round 1

8.30 am (UK Time)

2. Mark Joyce 3-4 Tian Pengfei
3. Ryan Day 1-4 Alfie Burden
4. Andrew Pagett 4-1 Vladyslav Vyshnevskyy
5. Matthew Selt 4-2 Allan Taylor
6. Marcus Campbell 4-3 Krzysztof Wrobel
7. Tom Ford 4-0 Ryan Causton
8. Kurt Maflin 3-4 Marco Fu
13. Tony Drago 4-0 Grzegorz Biernadski
14. Sam Craigie 2-4 Matthew Couch
15. Simon Bedford 4-0 Piotr Murat

10 am

16. Martin Gould 3-4 Liu Chuang (with Gould losing Mark Davis needs to win 3 matches for the last top 16 slot)
17. Barry Hawkins 4-0 Sean O’Sullivan
19. Andy Hicks 2-4 Mitchell Travis
20. Alan McManus 4-2 Rod Lawler
21. David Grace 4-0 Krzysztof Kubicki
22. Rory McLeod 3-4 Chen Ze


18. Steve Davis 4-2 Jaroslaw Kowalski
23. Dave Harold 4-2 Ashley Wright
24. Mark King 4-3 Barry Pinches
25. Jack Lisowski 4-2 Kyren Wilson


41. Stephen Lee 4-0 Phan Quoc Binh
42. Andrew Higginson 4-0 Karol Szuba-Jablonski
43. Sam Baird 3-4 Ian Burns
44. Dominic Dale 2-4 Stephen Craigie

12 noon

1. Judd Trump 4-0 Rafal Gorecki
27. Yu Delu 3-4 David Singh
28. Gary Wilson w/o Robin Hull
29. Liang Wenbo w/o David Morris


26. Stuart Bingham 4-0 Tomasz Skalski
30. Michael White 4-0 Alex Taubman
31. Mark Davis 4-3 Gareth Allen (From 3-1 down. Two more wins and Mavis is in the top 16)
32. Nigel Bond 4-1 Maciej Relich

I think the bet I’ll look at next is in the Steve Davis v Barry Hawkins match. Hawkins is in fine fettle and the Nugget played the last round with a borrowed cue. 1 point on Hawkins -2.5 frames at Apollobet is 7/4.

I will also recommend a further 1 point treble on Hawkins -1.5 frames, Liu Chuang and Alfie Burden that pays over 7/2 at Apollobet.

Round 2 


65. Judd Trump 4-3 Tian Pengfei
66. Alfie Burden 4-3 Andrew Pagget
67. Matthew Selt 4-3 Marcus Campbell
68. Tom Ford 2-4 Marco Fu
71. Tony Drago 4-1 Matthew Couch
72. Simon Bedford 3-4 Liu Chuang
73. Barry Hawkins 3-4 Steve Davis
74. Mitchell Travis 3-4 Alan McManus
75. David Grace 1-4 Chen Zhe
76. Dave Harold 1-4 Mark King


77. Jack Lisowski 3-4 Stuart Bingham
78. David Singh 4-3 Gary Wilson
79. Liang Wenbo 4-3 Micheal White
80. Mark Davis 3-4 Nigel Bond (Davis stays in 17th and Martin Gould gets into the top 16 for the first time) 
85. Stephen Lee 4-1 Andrew Higginson
86. Ian Burns 2-4 Stephen Craigie

Round 3


97. Judd Trump 4-1 Alfie Burden
98. Matthew Selt 4-2 Marco Fu
100. Tony Drago 1-4 Liu Chuang
101. Steve Davis 4-2 Alan McManus
102. Chen Zhe 3-4 Mark King
103. Jack Lisowski 4-0 David Singh
104. Liang Wenbo 4-1 Nigel Bond
107. Stephen Lee 4-1 Stephen Craigie

September 29, 2011

PTC 6 Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:09 pm

Another first for the baize this weekend as the players, well some of them at least, make the trip to Warsaw in Poland to compete in PTC6. 

It’s fair to say that this initiative to broaden snooker’s horizons has not been met with overwhelming or unanimous enthusiasm from some of the top boys. There is only a smattering of top 16 players including ever-presents Shaun ‘Man in a Suitcase’ Murphy and Stuart ‘Wherever I Lay My Corked Hat’ Bingham, as well as the much travelled Neil Robertson, Ali Carter, Stephen Maguire and Judd Trump.

All eyes however will be on the four competitors for the three places still available in the top 16, those being Matthew Stevens, Stephen Lee, Martin Gould and Mark Davis who currently occupy places 14-17 on the list with only this event left before the first revision which decides who will and won’t be at the Masters in January as well as seeded through to the last 32 in York in December for the UK Championships. If Davis loses first round to SB Classic entrant Gareth Allen then he is the player that will miss out, but if he wins, it could get interesting.

Now a lot of the comments from regulars this week when learning of the scale of the non-entries was of greater earning potential from those nasty old bookies. I’m not entirely sure that I see the logic there. What we are left with is less players that are proven winners and a whole host of players that can beat each other depending on which way the wind is blowing. Maybe for once, sticking with previous proven winners may be the key rather than looking for a first timer?

Andrew Higginson, last week’s PTC winner made a very observant point in his World Snooker diary when he said that one of the reasons he likes the PTC’s is that they suit him because the matches are closer together and you don’t get time to ponder and overthink things and you can just get on with it. An interesting point which could explain why we have seen so many first time winners in these events.

Anyway, in terms of betting on this, the usual strategy will be adopted for the outrights, a Team Skipper and a supporting cast of hopefuls will be the order of the day for me. It only serves for me to introduce a new partner to the blog in the shape of the newly established firm Apollobet, who will have a presence on here throughout the PTC’s this season as they try and become the PTC bookie of choice. From speaking with them they seem like a decent crew and are based just up the road from me. I know that they are particularly keen to expand and devise new snooker markets so are open to ideas from us on how to do this. They are also ploughing in £200 worth of free bets to be grappled over in tipster contests, the first of which will be on PTC7 at the SWSA next week.

To open an account with them please click here or any of the banners and fill in your details. Whatever your first bet is, up to a value of £20 will then be matched automatically by Apollobet. If you have any problems claiming your free bet just get in touch with me and I’ll speak to them. 

Now, that’s the pleasantries out the way, let’s go and take them for a few quid.

So to the event itself and all the information you need can be found at World Snooker here (if you can get it to load properly, it continues to frustrate the life out of me through Google Chrome) including the draw, match schedule and Eurosport broadcast times.

The top section of the draw is set up for Judd Trump to make Finals Day. It all depends on how he takes to the conditions of course as he can still be a little erratic and inconsistent if things aren’t to his liking, if he takes to them and enjoys the whole experience he’ll win through. But having said that, I am still prepared to take him on here as he doesn’t seem to be enjoying life on the road as much as he was when it was still a novelty for him. I’m also getting the feeling that low attendances and not being watched and adored don’t do much for him either and it is telling that the PTC he did win this year was the best attended one at home in the comfort of the SWSA. I’ll take him on in the top section with a PTC winner last season in Germany, Marcus Campbell.

Slightly further down I’m going to take a punt on Dave Gilbert who posted three solid wins last week including a 4-3 defeat of Ding, before losing to Jack Lisowski in the last 16. He again has a highly winnable route to Finals Day and takes on homeboy Kacper Filipiak in his opener, I think Kacper is a little out of his depth at this level personally. At the price and with the draw he has Dave is worth a small wager.

A familiar sight.

The last player that I am going to take a chance on in the top half is Stuart Bingham who, while 9/1 favourite with Apollobet is 14/1 over at Skybet. Although he may have to negotiate Jack Lisowski in Round 2 and contend with the fact that his daughter sat on his already sore toe last night, other than that he has a half decent draw and is worth a couple of quid at 14’s as he always gives it his best shot.

Next up, I am going to side with one of the players that is going there with something more than the prize money to play for and I am going to plump for Stephen Lee. Big Stevie may come up against last weekend’s winner Higginson in Round 2 but he beat him 4-1 in the first PTC this season and has more to play for than Andrew does at this stage of the season. My guess is that he won’t be even entertaining the idea of not being at the Masters. He has plenty of nerve and to me will want to hammer home his ranking with a good performance here, he is due another good run.

Next, another punt. Anthony McGill from Scotland is a player that regulars will know I’ve been banging on about now for nearly two years and here he can take advantage of a favourable draw into Finals Day, again at the price he’s worth a small dabble.

That leaves me with the difficult choice of who I would like to select as this weeks Team Skipper. After much deliberation and tossing of coins I have decided to award this week’s Mustard Jumper with a big S on it to Shaun Murphy over Neil Robertson who to me has a slightly trickier draw. Smurf can benefit from a section of the draw that features Ali and Matthew Stevens who have Premier League exploits tonight before they have to get over to Poland, down at the bottom of this mini-section the main challenges to Shaun making Finals Day are PTC3 winner Ben Wollaston and the unpredictable Joe Jogia, but with Shaun’s record in tournaments overseas, he takes the Skipper’s Jumper once again.

Finally, I hope that Matthew Stevens winning his opener will be enough to secure his Masters place, he is currently the safest of the four in contention and it would be a bit of a sickener were he to be the one that ermm, nearly, made Wembley…

Recommended Bets with Live Links to Apollobet Snooker Markets (outrights and highest break markets are at the bottom of the page):

2 points win Shaun Murphy at 12/1 with Apollobet

1 point win Stuart Bingham at 14/1 with Skybet

0.5 points Each Way Stephen Lee at 20/1 with Apollobet

0.5 points Each Way Marcus Campbell at 40/1 with Apollobet 

0.25 points Each Way Dave Gilbert and Anthony McGill both at 100/1 with Apollobet 

The Best of Luck if you are having a bet.

To celebrate the arrival of Apollobet why not play this classic in the background while placing your bet? Or maybe not…

Snookerbacker Classic: A Gentle Reminder

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:06 am

Good Morning all. I am currently holding reserve places for the Snookerbacker Classic for a number of people pending the payment of entrance fees. I did originally only hold the reservations for Gloucester until the 16th September but I have extended this until the end of this month.

If you have reserved a place at the South West Snooker Academy I will need your payment before the end of the month or I can no longer guarantee your place. It’s basically first come, first served and I think this event may end up with a waiting list. In terms of entries for the other venues that are reserved I can hang on for a few more weeks.

To contact me about forwarding a direct entrance payment email me at [email protected]

To find out more about the Snookerbacker Classic click here 

If you are interested in helping out at any of the events or just have a general question please get in touch. 

The preview for PTC6 will be up shortly.

September 27, 2011

The Month Ahead: October

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:59 am

It’s time once again to look ahead to another month on the baize as we are only a few days away from the beginning of October. The month that signals the beginning of the dark nights closing in and the heating being turned up that extra notch as the first signs of frost appear. It is also the month when horrible chavvy kids start scrounging for money on the streets under the guise of that great tradition of Halloween; a dreadful Americanised non-event which apparently gives the little monsters the right to scare the living daylights out of frail pensioners in the name of fun and frolics, without fear of prosecution.  

Given the darker nights it is always a month where I begin to look forward to the big events and some snooker on the TV. But disappointingly for me at least, despite the extensive changes to the calendar this season, October is again dominated by short match PTC’s and quickfire Premier League snooker.

Oh what I wouldn’t give for a good old fashioned best of 17 all the way tournament with a best of 25 frame final wrapping up on a chilly Sunday afternoon in front of the fire. We must wait until November for the next ‘proper’ event when the UK qualifying matches get under way. But of course even these have now been shortened in this seemingly endless crusade to make every match the best of 1 with a shotclock to pander to the lowest form of snooker fan. That’s why they invented pool.

I think a ‘WE DEMAND LONGER MATCHES’ campaign is long overdue. Anyone wishing to join me please sign the comments section below.

After the conclusion of this weekend’s PTC6 in Poland the main talking point for all us snooker anoraks will be the ranking list changes, which kick in on 3rd. It is then that we will discover which three from Matthew Stevens (37,815 points), Stephen Lee (37,470), Martin Gould (37,210) and Mark Davis (36,500) will book their top 16 slot in time for the UK and the Masters. Mavis currently in 17th and needing a run and results to go his way this weekend.

The South West Snooker Academy plays host once again to a PTC and the 7th event which kicks off with the amateur stages on the 5th and runs through to the 9th is sure to be another successful one at a venue far better suited to these tournaments than Sheffield is. We will also be treated to the sight of the players in pink as the tournament is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness, a cause close to Academy owner Paul Mount’s heart. The event has been renamed The Kay Suzanne Memorial and you can buy tickets here.

A rare free week follows before the players hotfoot over to Killarney for PTC8 which has also been renamed, this time in honour of the most exciting unpredictable player ever to grace the game, the Alex Higgins International Trophy takes place from 20th-23rd and is sure to have a unique feel. It’s a fitting tribute to a fabulous snooker player and a legendary hellraiser.

Alex: Nutcase.

It remains to be seen if we will ever see his like again, but in these days of political correctness, acting nice in case it upsets the Chinese sponsors and fines for breathing out of place, I’m not sure we ever will. But I for one will be hoping that the players leave their etiquette at the airport departure lounge, get tanked up and start pissing in plant pots and abusing referees for just a few short days. What more could Alex ask for?  

Premier League dates in Weston-Super-Mare, Stoke and Exeter are dotted around the PTC’s and the official calendar still lists a mystery event as being scheduled between 27th-30th, but with no further news on that we can probably assume that it will not happen.

In terms of the blog there is one notable event on the horizon and after the first ranking revision you will have exactly one month to enter a major new Tipster Competition which will be based on the UK Championship, the Masters and the China Open. In it, you will have the chance to win £300 worth of free bets on the World Snooker Championship courtesy of the blog’s new bookmaker partner for the main events, Boylesports. There will be more details of this to follow and the only stipulation for entering is that you must have an account with them online. But if you don’t have one yet, hang fire! There will be a great introductory offer to anyone that doesn’t and logs one straight from the blog. More to follow on that.

I’m also hoping to tie up a deal this week with a sponsor for the PTC events so hopefully there will also be a chance for you all to win prizes in those events aswell.

A brief update on the Snookerbacker Classic; there are now just 4 places left for the Gloucester event and the only event happening before Christmas in Leeds has 11 places left to fill. An advertisement for the tournament will be appearing in Snooker Scene this month and Clive Everton himself has assured me that they will give the event some coverage in there, which is a great honour for me personally as I grew up reading it. I have also been speaking with an odds compiler who is no stranger to the blog who will be looking to get some prices up on the tournament in the near future.    

That’s October in a nutshell.

September 26, 2011

Rankings Q&A – Ask Matt

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 12:26 pm

Just a quick post to let you know that Matt over at Pro Snooker Blog will be doing a questions and answers session tonight for any posers you may have about the rankings as we approach the next cut-off point. Whether it be a general ranking list question or a query about a specific player, he will be on hand from 7pm UK time tonight to dispel the myths and tell it like it is.

Do you think it’s too early to let Andrew Higginson know that he isn’t, at least on the next revision ‘in the mix’ for a top 16 spot as he claimed after his win last night?

Well, someone had to say it.

Join Matt tonight here.

September 25, 2011

PTC 5 Finals Day: The Day of the Rookie?

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:01 am

Barry and Michael haven't had much sleep

It’s Finals Day in Sheffield and it took until 2.30am to complete the line up with Barry Hawkins beating Stuart Bingham to claim the final place in this morning’s line up. Bingo of course is used to sleepless nights at the moment but Barry and his young opponent Michael White who finished a few minutes earlier are likely to resemble the cast of The Living Dead this morning as they resume their campaign to win this. It’s clear that the format of these has to change.   

The line up itself with the exception of John Higgins, the only remaining member of Team SB, Neil Robertson and with a nod to former top 8 player Ryan Day can be quite reasonably described as a mixture of journeymen and rookies.

However, Martin Gould proved he has what it takes to get into the top 16 yesterday and took full advantage of Mark Davis’s slip up and even qualified to play today. With every match Mavis can see his place in the Masters disappearing before his increasingly  bespectacled eyes.

If Martin can win a couple more it’s going to take a huge effort from Mavis in Poland to get 16th place back, it does now look to be between the two of them with only a PTC win from Jamie Cope over there coupled with disasters for Gould and Davis that can upset the applecart. Stephen Lee, Ronnie and Matthew Stevens can all put their feet up now safe in the knowledge that they are Masters bound and seeded for the UK.

As ever there are eight tough calls to start off the day and you could probably do worse than have a small interest on a few of the odds against shots. Jamie Burnett has to have a chance at 11/8 to beat the Sheriff of Pottingham, the unpredicatble Ian McCulloch can be backed at 6/4 to beat the inconsistent Andrew Higginson, Big Bananas Dave Harold is the same price to beat Joe Perry, all of these matches could go either way in my opinion. Perhaps today may be the day we get to see Jack Lisowski with a trophy in his hands, typically it will be, as this is one of only a couple of PTC’s that I didn’t have at least an interest on him such was my misguided one-off and it’s fair to say never to be repeated fancy for Ronnie in this.

As I write none of the firms have the bottom set of matches priced up, so when they do I’ll probably stick a bet up. Been let down by one player on both multiple bets put up so far, but fingers and toes are still crossed for the 20/1 outright bet on Robbo to get out of jail, though a possible clash with Higgins in the quarter finals awaits.

Recommended Morning Bets:

2 point double on Lisowski and Gould pays over 7/4 with Skybet.

1 point win Jamie Burnett to beat Anthony Hamilton at 11/8 with Chandlers

Skybet have now also put outright prices up, will probably have an interest on Jack at 14/1, better late than never. John Higgins is 11/4 favourite before play begins. Click here for the market.


Round Four

113. Jack Lisowski 4-3 Dave Gilbert
114. Jamie Burnett 4-2 Anthony Hamilton
115. Joe Perry 2-4 Dave Harold
116. Ian McCulloch 0-4 Andrew Higginson
117. Li Yan 3-4 Neil Robertson
118. John Higgins 4-2 Ryan Day
119. Michael White 3-4 Barry Hawkins
120. Martin Gould 1-4 Michael Holt

Not before 1pm

Recommended Bet: 2 points on Michael Holt to beat Barry Hawkins at 6/5 with Blue Square. (Hawkins has to start flagging soon surely)


121. Jack Lisowski 4-3 Jamie Burnett
122. Dave Harold 2-4 Andy Higginson
123. Neil Robertson 1-4 John Higgins
124. Barry Hawkins 4-2 Michael Holt

Not before 4pm

Oh well, in for a penny….recommended bet 3 points on Lisowski to beat Higginson at 6/5 with Apollobet


125. Jack Lisowski v Andy Higginson
126. John Higgins v Barry Hawkins

Not before 7pm

127. Winner of match 125 v Winner of match 126

September 24, 2011

PTC5 Day 2

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:23 am

Day two gets under way at 9am UK time and given that Rory and Rod also commence their slogfest first thing you have to wonder whether they will be finished before the clash of the titans kicks off at 3 o’clock between The Assassin and The Ferginator.

The qualifiers from last night ended up being Jack Lisowski, Dave Gilbert, Jamie Burnett, Anthony Hamilton, Joe Perry, Dave Harold, Ian McCulloch and Andrew Higginson.

There were a couple of talking points, Ronnie secured his place in the Masters by a mixture of beating MJW fairly comfortably and other results going his way, in particular Mark Davis getting a hammering which has given Martin Gould a real shot of the top 16 and a place at Ally Pally in January. One win from Gould in this and he’ll leapfrog Mavis into 16th place, given his opponent at 1pm you have to say that this is a golden chance for the bespectacled one that he must grasp. Anyway, once Ronnie was told he was OK he came up with a pretty lame performance against Peter Lines and got off home as quick as a flash.

The other talking point was the petulant behaviour of the Cuebanger General Stephen Maguire, who at 3-2 down to Peter Ebdon with ten reds on the table conceded the match. Poor Mags didn’t like the table, ahh diddums, and ran off to get his dummy and have a little tantrum off camera. Absolutely shameful behaviour from a player who still incredibly holds a top 8 ranking though a good run in this from Judd Trump will at last knock him out of that elite group at the next revision. To behave in such a way in a match that people are betting on is totally out of order and I’m told he was fined for his behaviour so at least Haven House will make a bit from his immature antics.

I’m out and about today so won’t have a great deal of time to catch up with things for the first part of the day at least, but bettingwise, despite Ronnie fizelling out, yesterday went quite well. It would have been a lot better had Marcus Campbell managed to beat Ian McCulloch who as far as I am concerned is now squarely in the ‘DO NOT TOUCH’ box alongside Mark King and Barry Pinches. The Preston Potter was on the verge of jacking the game in not long ago yet yesterday turned back the clock with three solid wins to qualify for Finals Day. Anyway, decent bets on Hamilton and O’Sullivan earlier in the day to win their openers as well as a last ditch big bet on Graeme Dott to beat Joe Jogia ensured a healthy start, even though Graeme made me sweat a bit.

Today I’ll start off with a 2 point treble over at Paddy Power which pays around 10/3 on Judd Trump, Ryan Day and Matthew Selt. I’ll also recommend 2 points on Andrew Pagett to beat Jimmy at 6/5 generally.

The Best of Luck if you are getting involved and the best of luck to Allan as he attempts to face the Ferginator.


33. Judd Trump v Marco Fu
34. Mark King v Adrian Gunnell
35. Tony Drago v Liu Chuang
36. Li Yan v Kacper Filipiak
45. Mark Allen v Tian Pengfei
46. Rory McLeod v Rod Lawler
47. Matthew Stevens v Kyren Wilson
48. Ryan Day v Kurt Maflin

Not before 11am

37. Craig Steadman v Scott MacKenzie
38. Dominic Dale v Joe Swail
39. Ali Carter v Aditya Mehta
40. Neil Robertson v Eden Sharav
49. Michael White v John Sutton
50. Anthony McGill v James McGouran
51. Dechewat Poomjaeng v Daniel Wells
52. Sam Baird v Zhang Anda

Not before 1pm

41. John Higgins v David Grace
42. Ken Doherty v Michael Wasley
43. Liam Highfield v Mitchell Travis
44. Alan McManus v Alfie Burden
57. Jimmy White v Andrew Pagett
58. Jamie Jones v Matthew Couch
59. Luca Brecel v Mitchell Mann
60. Martin Gould v Ashley Wright

Not before 3pm

53. Fergal O’Brien v Allan Taylor
54. Stuart Bingham v Stuart Carrington
55. Barry Hawkins v Douglas Hogan
56. Matthew Selt v Liang Wenbo
61. Steve Davis v Sean O’Sullivan
62. Adam Duffy v David Morris
63. Michael Holt v Christopher Keogan
64. Mark Selby v Rob Milkins

Keep up with all the results here.

September 22, 2011

PTC 5: Day 1

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:05 pm

……with apologies to the amateur players that have been qualifying to this stage for the last 2 days including our very own Allan Taylor, the Albino Assassin, who has won through with two solid wins and a century thrown in for good measure to square up to play Fergal O’Brien on Saturday.   

The highlight of Friday is without doubt the match up between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Williams which is due to take place at 1pm UK time on the live streaming. I’ll be updating this post in the morning with a bit of match betting, but in the meantime the best place to view the match ups is here.

The usual suspects have match betting up and feel free to post your fancies below.


09:00 James Wattana v Ian Burns
09:00 Stephen Maguire v Peter Ebdon
11:00 Ding Junhui v David Gray
11:00 Stephen Hendry v Anthony Hamilton
13:00 Ronnie O’Sullivan v Mark Williams
13:00 Yu De Lu v Liu Song
15:00 Graeme Dott v Stephen Craigie
15:00 Stephen Lee v Adam Wicheard

My first bet of the day will be an accumulator paying 5.25/1 at Paddy Power

1 Point Accumulator on Craigie to beat Yu Peng, Ronnie to beat MJW, Higginson to beat Meara and Campbell to beat McCulloch 

I’ll also plump for

2 Points win on Anthony Hamilton to beat Hendry at 11/10 with Apollobet


 6. David Gilbert 4-1 Mike Hallett
7. Sam Craigie 4-1 Cao Yupeng
8. James Wattana 2-4 Ian Burns
17. Joe Perry 4-0 Kishan Hirani
18. Stephen Maguire 2-4 Peter Ebdon
19. Mike Dunn 3-4 Gerard Greene
20. Ricky Walden 4-0 Duane Jones

 Not before 11am 

5. Ding Junhui 4-3 David Gray

9. Passakorn Suwannawat 4-3 Paul Davison
10. Robbie Williams w/o Lucky Vatnani
11. Jamie Cope 0-4 Antony Parsons
12. Jamie Burnett 4-1 Martin O’Donnell
13. Mark Joyce 1-4 Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon
14. Gary Wilson 3-4 Shaun Murphy
15. Simon Bedford 4-3 Barry Pinches
16. Stephen Hendry 3-4 Anthony Hamilton

 Not before 1pm 

1. Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-1 Mark Williams
2. Peter Lines 4-1 Sam Harvey
3. Andy Hicks 2-4 Jack Lisowski
4. Mark Davis 0-4 Andrew Norman
29. Xiao Guodong 4-1 Rob James
30. Andrew Higginson 4-0 Joe Meara
31. Ben Woollaston 4-0 Patrick Wallace
32. Yu Delu 2-4 Liu Song

Not before 3pm 

21. Graeme Dott 4-0 Stephen Craigie
22. Joe Jogia w/o Robin Hull
23. Dave Harold v Chris Norbury
24. Stephen Lee v Adam Wicheard
25. Marcus Campbell 1-4 Ian McCulloch
26. Nigel Bond 4-0 Les Dodd
27. Tom Ford 4-2 David Hogan
28. Jimmy Robertson 4-2 Jak Jones

Keep up with the rest of today’s action here.

It’s gone OK today so I will recommend

1 point win Xiao Guodong to beat Andrew Higginson at 11/8 with Apollobet

4 points win Graeme Dott to beat Joe Jogia at 1/2 with Apollobet


September 21, 2011

PTC 5 Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:52 pm

(L to R) MJW, Footie Shirt Man and Ronnie.

The Players Tour Championship gets under way again in earnest on Friday as the professionals join the amateurs in Sheffield to fight out yet another wall to wall snooker event behind closed doors.

For some of the top boys and big names including Mark Selby, Mark Williams and Ronnie O’Sullivan this represents the last chance they have to add to their ranking points before the first cut-off point, this being because all three of them and a whole lot more have decided against making the trip to Warsaw in Poland next week for PTC 6 which is the last event that will accumulate points.

This is less of an issue for Selby and MJW but potentially a crucial decision as far as Ronnie is concerned considering he has drawn Williams in round one and could conceivably drop out of the top 16 if he loses and other results don’t go his way. If he does drop out at the next cull he will of course, by merit at least, miss the Masters at Ally Pally in January. For Ronnie fans, this could turn out to be his biggest match for a few seasons in terms of keeping his ranking. Expect more as the season progresses.

For anyone interested in the ins and outs of the rankings as we near this crucial point of the season, the place to be as ever, is Pro Snooker Blog, where Matt has outlined the whole situation very succinctly here.

The match schedule for the PTC is on World Snooker here, but if you, like me, choose to browse through Google Chrome you are probably growing increasingly irate at the fact that the site hardly ever loads properly and cuts the screen in half so why not instead keep up to date with the matches at the excellent here.

Ok, to the event itself. We’ll stick to the usual method of selecting a likely winner to be accompanied by a proud Mustard Army of men who will be carrying the hopes of the blog. In the last two events we have found a 125/1 semi-finalist and a 66/1 runner-up so it isn’t going too badly at all as the outrights go. Let’s see if we can do the same or better, again.

The fact that Ronnie has drawn MJW does add a bit of spice to this and I’m sure that the live stream on Friday at 1pm will be swamped with fans of both wanting to see their man triumph. Now then, here’s a statistic to blow your socks off, Ronnie has won the last 10 meetings between the pair, yes, you read that right, the last 10 meetings.

(Edit: It’s been pointed out to me that I’ve gone all tabloid there, bloody snooker geeks. Williams won a couple of matches at Crondon Park a few months back in the Championship League. But this doesn’t alter the fact that Ronnie beats him in the big ones).

Mark has not beaten Ronnie in a major competitive match (see above) since March 2002, almost a decade ago. Before that time they were about level, but something has happened since that has given Ronnie a distinct psychological advantage over Mark. The fact that this match does not really mean anything to Mark who is set to be World Number 2 at the next revision whatever happens and that Ronnie may need a run in this to secure a Masters spot, to me says there will only be one result here.

You have to fancy the winner of this match having a very good run in this and therefore I have no hesitation in breaking with tradition and making Ronnie O’Sullivan my Team SB Skipper for the very first time in history. He can be backed at 11/1 with Victor Chandler to win PTC5 and I think he just might, it’s a fair price given that he has already won an event under these conditions this season when he won PTC1.

But what would a skipper be without a reliable crew? Well nothing that’s what, so therefore I’m going to look further into the draw to see who else I think could have a run in this.

In the second quarter, one name that leaps out to me is Marcus Campbell; a PTC winner last year and not in bad form so far this season, he will have benefitted from a couple of weeks off with the family before going back to the day job. He’s another that did well in PTC1 here and he has a winnable looking draw into Finals Day and to me, with one firm at least, he is overpriced.

A more familiar name who sits just below him in the first quarter of the second half is Neil Robertson. Robbo as regulars will know is a player that I think is coming back into form. Compared to some of the others he hasn’t been that busy and has had something of a summer break and I think that shows in his general demeanour and in the way he is beginning to play. Despite being in a tricky quarter including Judd and Ali, I’m prepared to give him a Mustard Jumper, in spite of the fact that it clashes with his hair a bit and may dazzle spectators.

Rory and Rod before the match.

There will be plenty that will fancy John Higgins to have a run in this looking at his draw but I still think he’s a bit rusty and in typical fashion I’d expect him to come good as we approach the BBC events. Of more appeal to me is Matthew Stevens who again despite a tough draw is capable of beating those around him.

Just a note that Matthew is in the same section as the first round clash between Rory McLeod and Rod Lawler which actually started last Tuesday in a cunning bit of scheduling by the organisers. The current score is 54-47 in Frame One with them locked in a safety battle on the green. Rory is currently snookered so Rod has gone for his evening meal.

For the last two members of Team Snookerbacker I am taking the usual outside punts. Both in the bottom section of the draw and call me foolish, gullible or just simply a love crazed fool but I’m going to let Fergal O’Brien back into the team again after his 125/1 heroics in PTC3. He is the same price again and may benefit perhaps from Stuart Bingham’s recent travels if they both win their first matches. To me this is the weakest quarter of the lot on paper and fans of young up and comers Michael White or Anthony McGill might want to have a little interest on them, but at a huge price again, strangely bigger than McGill and White in places, it has to be the in-form and vastly more experienced Ferginator for me.

My last Team SB member and someone that has actually had a Mustard Jumper before is Jamie Jones. A promising player who is no stranger to Finals Day as he has already made two this season and made the Final of the corresponding event last year losing to Ding Junhui, at the price he’s worth an interest, particularly as I can’t see Mark Selby doing much in this (he says casually).

Recommended Bets:

2 points win Ronnie O’Sullivan to win PTC5 @ 11/1 with Victor Chandlers

1 point Each Way Neil Robertson 20/1 @Skybet

0.5 points Each Way Marcus Campbell 80/1 Skybet and Fergal O’Brien 125/1 Apollobet

0.25 points Each Way Matthew Stevens 40/1 Apollobet and Jamie Jones 150/1 Apollobet

Remember the each way terms are 1/4 odds 1234 EXCEPT for Chandlers who are only paying the two finalists so my advice is take lower prices at other firms on the Each Way markets.

The best of luck with your bets.

(Top photo courtesy of World Snooker)

It’s Not Like The Old Days: The World Seniors Returns

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 12:21 pm

Always getting in our way.

They are the type of people who get onto a train and stare at you until you give up your seat, even though they are only going one stop and you have been on your feet all day. They are the type of people who get to the bakery at the crack of dawn much to the annoyance of the staff, as if they had a busy schedule when in reality they don’t really have anything else to do. They are the type of people that insist on driving very slowly to do their supermarket shopping at the weekend and always end up in front of you in the queue when they have had all week to do it. They are the type of people that use their bus pass all day just to get a warm, that moan about the price of everything, hit anyone that gets in their way with a stick and claim that every single person under 20 is evil and should be enrolled in the army.  

I am talking of course about old people.  

All this is my way of introducing the annual get together that is The World Seniors Championship whose qualifying rounds are being held at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester on October 10-11th.

Jimmy White is the reigning champion after taking the innaugural event last year but this year the age restriction has been raised to 45 rather than 40 to keep the likes of Stephen Hendry and Ken Doherty out of it and to ensure that the older generation get the chance to bump up their winter fuel allowance payments with a share of the £50,000 pot on offer.

Early entrants into the qualifiers include the likes of Mike ‘Has Anyone Got a Rope’ Hallett, The Silver Fox and part-time Housemartin fancier David Taylor and the legend that is Mr Frilly Shirt and Oversized Dickie himself, Mr Doug Mountjoy.

They are all hoping to win through to the main event which this year is being held at the East of England Showground, Peterborough, on the weekend of November 5 and 6 and will feature a field of 16 players, with 12 invited including amongst others, Jimmy, The Nugget, Cliff, Dennis, Neal Foulds and more bizarrely Kiwi Dene O’Kane with four more to come through the qualifying event. To learn more about the main event click here

Rather cruely or rather amusingly depending on your level of humour, they have decided to make this a shot-clock event and every shot will be limited to 30 seconds, which is about the time it usually takes Cliff to chalk his cue, but I can exclusively reveal that the thinking behind this was simply that it will stop Dennis from breaking off to tell a joke for half an hour in the middle of a frame. The original master of gamesmanship was our Den.

Joe: Hijacked.

Bazza, who has stolen the event off Joe Johnson says “We introduced the World Seniors Championship last year and it was a great success so we’re delighted to keep it on the calendar this season. And we’re particularly thrilled that Sky Sports have decided to televise the whole event live, as well as showing highlights over the Christmas period.” 

“This tournament is about celebrating the great names of the past 30 years. Last year I was particularly impressed by the way the players interacted with the crowd and enjoyed the fun and banter. The atmosphere was a joy for anyone who was lucky enough to have a seat. And make no mistake – the players are still extremely competitive and there was some very high quality snooker played, particularly by the champion Jimmy White.” 

“We’ve moved the event to an excellent venue in Peterborough with 430 seats. I would strongly recommend fans to get their seats booked for what is a unique event on the calendar.”  

The closing date to enter the qualifiers is next Monday (September 26).  

The final stages will be televised live on Sky with total prize money of £50,000, with the winner to pocket £18,000. There’s also prize money at the qualifiers with the four losing quarter-finalists to win £750. 

If you are an ex-tour player or member of World Snooker that wants another shot at the big time, haven’t yet entered and is not incredibly offended by the contents of this post. CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTRY PACK.

To donate to Help the Aged click here.

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