September 8, 2011

Shanghai Masters Quarter Final Friday

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:17 pm

Shooting from the Hip

Another day of drama over in Shanghai has left us with our eight quarter-finalists and looking at the matches you would be a brave person indeed to predict the outcome of the four with any degree of certainty, all the matches look quite evenly matched.

So how did today go then? Well it kicked off with the man of the moment Stuart Bingham having a tilt at John Higgins. Unfortunately the match didn’t quite live up to expectations as Bingo didn’t play anywhere near his best and Higgins didn’t have to. At 2-2 Bingo still had a shot but the second session was pretty awful and Higgins was the less turgid of the two. I always said that Bingham had no bottle, he’s all talk, ask Mark Allen.

On the other televised table there were familiar scenes for all Mark Williams fans as the Laid Back Welshman© produced another nonchelant display to dispose of the clearly overwhelmed Rob Milkins, who never looked like troubling MJW©.

The two outside tables saw Mark Selby presumably play better than he did in the first round to send Jamie Cope packing 5-0 and Fergal O’Brien’s run in the event come to an end as despite a mini-fightback he lost to Mark King, who makes his first ranking quarter final since losing to Mark Selby at this stage here last year, but he hasn’t made a semi-final since 2006.

Then this afternoon Ronnie O’Sullivan faced Pottingham’s finest Anthony Hamilton. The Sheriff produced a brilliant display to oust the Rocket, who rather ungraciously shook hands prematurely at the end. But let’s not dwell on that as it was a fine performance from Anthony who should grab every headline and was more than worthy of a celebration back in Pottingham this evening.

In fact I actually spoke personally to the Mayor of Pottingham just a moment ago who declared himself ‘F*****g Chuffed as F**k’ and then decreed that tomorrow be a day of celebration for the villagers and all their sheep. In preparation for Anthony’s match with Mark King they will be playing traditional Pottingham games such as ‘Guess the Sheep’, ‘Name that Sheep’ and ‘Pin the Tail on the Sheep’. They certainly know how to enjoy themselves, even with the great sheriff not there to look after them all.

On the other TV table the impressive run of Matthew Stevens continued as he gave Martin Gould a good beating. Matthew is a very dangerous player when he’s feeling confident and now sets up an all valleys clash against MJW.

On the outside tables there was a cracking match going on between Mark Allen and Shaun Murphy. Allen looked to have gained a winning initiative when making one of three centuries in the match to draw clear at 4-2, but he couldn’t get over the line (what? who mentioned bottle?) and Shaun won the last three to pull off another Houdini act and set up a clash with the Jester first thing in the morning.

Neil Robertson saw off Michael Holt 5-2 in what seemed fairly clinical fashion and he’s into his first ever quarter final in China. Quite amazing John, as Dennis might say.

You can call me Pal

In terms of betting it was a much brighter day but would have been a lot better had Allen won. The lunatic 10 point double obliged as big doubles should, with the minimum of fuss and I did have a bit on top of my ten points but didn’t want to be accused of desperately chasing by regulars. I noted a comment from an odds compiler who likened me to 80’s film icon Chevy Chase, he may regret those ill-chosen words at some point…. But suffice to say that the day was a goodun. It’s also good to have the three main outright bets still fighting in Selby at 15/2, MJW at 10’s and Robbo at 16’s. I’d now be very disappointed not to have at least one finalist.

So to tomorrow and the first two matches previewed are the 7.30 UK time ones with the second two starting at 12.45pm.

Mark Selby v Shaun Murphy (H2H 3-7)

So let’s start with a nice easy one then. These two are about as evenly matched as snooker players get in terms of temperament and ability and no result here would be a surprise. Two 5-4 wins from seemingly hopeless positions must be a real boost to how Shaun is feeling and clearly against Allen he got going and knocked in a 143, the highest of the tournament so far. But I’ve backed Selby in the outrights as my main bet and I see little point in deserting him given his comprehensive win, albeit against the unpredictable head-dropper Jamie Cope today. I think he might prove just one challenge too far for Smurf and he won’t buckle under pressure, but minimum stakes on this one, for interest why not pick who you think will win and back 5-4.

Mark King v Anthony Hamilton (H2H 4-1)

The last time these two met Mark gave Ant a really good beating, 9-2 in the UK in 2009. But you have to go back 7 years before that to when they last met. Anthony usually follows a good performance with a bad one but not so far this week and he is making some very positive noises. I have a feeling that he is in ‘Bingham mode’ and just seems to have found a venue he is enjoying to coincide with a good run of form. But this is Mark King we are talking about and whatever you think of him as a player his style of play does get the necessary results to keep him in the higher echelons of the game. I can’t call this and I am glad I can’t because then I would be tempted to have a bet but…..

Recommended Bet: Never bet in a match with Mark King in it (that’s called discipline) 

Friends will be Friends

Mark Williams v Matthew Stevens (H2H 7-6)

Whatever happens they (whoever they are) will be singing in the valleys at the outcome of this. The great friends and sparring partners square up to each other for the 14th time and Matthew needs one to draw level. MJW© is not a player I ever back against, I think I can actually say that if I don’t fancy him to win I just don’t bet on the match, he’s probably the only player that I can say that about. I do think MJW© will win here though and I’m beginning to think he will win the tournament but it’s one I’d rather watch than bet on to be honest, but I will probably throw it in a double.

John Higgins v Neil Robertson (H2H 4-4)

The battle of the last two World Champions could not be better poised. Higgins not at his best and seemingly jaded and Robbo is, in my eyes at least looking very much like the player that won at Sheffield for the first time since. Victor Chandlers had a price up earlier on that was just too good to miss, I know that at least one blog follower got on the 6/5 on Robertson to win with a 1.5 frame start, when I think that’s actually a fairly decent price for him to win anyway without the start (UPDATE: still available at Skybet). It will be interesting to see if this is honoured. There is no doubt who the form horse is here and despite the fact that you can never, ever write John Higgins off, you have to go with the momentum and a player who is himself a proven winner. At odds against you have to back Robertson here.

Recommended Bets:

4 points win Neil Robertson to beat John Higgins with a 1.5 frame start at 6/5 with Skybet (settled at 8/13)

2 points double Mark Selby and Mark Williams at 6/4 with Skybet 

Si-Ting Chi-Lee reports from Shanghai…….

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:58 am

I've finally tracked him down

Regular readers of the blog will be more than familiar with my roving, rather unpredictable reporter over in China, none other than Si-Ting Chi-Lee. Well, I have been waiting to hear from him all week and today a fax popped through to Snookerbacker Mansions from him, the contents of which are contained below.

I should warn readers in advance that Si-Ting has a unique style when it comes to reporting, but he’s my only option over there. He is also a recovering alcoholic, drug, peanut and sex addict and is doing his best to walk the straight and narrow line. But as we all are, he is human and occasionally relapses, sometimes taking the players with him. But I have been assured that the person seen staggering out of a brothel last Saturday evening on the outskirts of the city was simply a lookalike.

His first report centres on Ronnie ‘Big Balls’ O’Sullivan, who he has obviously been following around, here are his observations…

September 6 night, Ward Bank 2011 World Snooker Shanghai Masters first round continued with rocket O’Sullivan played against Thailand more conscientious than Watanna, rocket didn’t waste too many time 5-1 just finished the race, winning state of Ronnie relaxed, feeling very well he expressed himself to enjoy competition.

  Won today of competition rocket mood obvious good, words also more has up, this rocket again concern competition Hou of first field World contest, Ronnie first show performance does good, site from time to time attracted audience were of bursts applause, Ronnie said today own play good, but also courtesy to certainly has own of opponent is excellent, “performance out own of best level, tried to do best”. Ronnie summing up their today’s match. Although won the game he still was not satisfied with places, Ronnie big balls, “some very simple also does not address the ball well today, but next time will avoid to win more games.”

 Obviously into Ronnie gain desired results big gain fools, field-watching fans to feast. For today the audience’s enthusiasm, Ronnie look cheerful, so many fans support made him feel very excited, very happy, “today is a great game, many fans watching the games, I am very happy, feel very lucky. “But obviously for its massive fan base in mind to wonder what Luo Niting clear, just got his 11th career pole out of 147 Ronnie knew many people hope that he can hit 147, but Ronnie bluntly 147 opportunities would not have been there, can he or will continue to play. Although not making 147, but two shots over the hundred was still lacking-let fans fill the palate, a 111-110 min, Ronnie today firepower, much gain and the game because Ronnie hot feel soon ended, watana 1-5 lost to soon. Watana feel waste and not to ronnie carpet moment. The feast was his own.

The feast was his own.

Ronnie had been stressing the enjoyment of the game after the game, now more when it is for him to contest a relaxed enjoyment. Ronnie also said the hotel stadium near to Shanghai to live, let yourself relax a lot has to a certain extent. Today of competition Ronnie 5-1 beat has Watana, and in this year March of China open Shang Ronnie is to 5-2 eliminated watana of, reporter asked Ronnie is think in Shanghai playing competition than Beijing more easy, Ronnie said actually playing China open difficulty will more large some, “China open and World Championship apart is near, time Shang is not is good, but future own in competition arrangements Shang will do adjustment. ”

  Although PTC Ronnie performs strongly in recent station, great momentum of reunification and poles, Ronnie is absent at the beginning of the game of the season, no less, the credits are out a lot, now return to the game so good back Ronnie destruction remains very strong. For future events, large and small, Ronnie said is still in fact is a tough choice, “ranked races and points races will take part in more, but some small game may have cannot be discharged into the schedule. “Ronnie can hardly cover up excitement came to Shanghai,” Shanghai game is important, there are many great players to compete, the win will be difficult, but I will fight for the win. “Back to join the competition’s Ronnie attitude determined. And Ronnie said it will continue to make more of the events in the future, but also greater efforts, continue to enjoy the game.

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