September 9, 2011

Shanghai Semi Final Saturday

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:08 pm

Will he crack under pressure?

We are down to one table tomorrow in Shanghai as we approach the final weekend of the Shanghai Masters. The remaining four players playing two best of eleven frame matches on Semi-Final Saturday.

Today saw a tense finish to the match between Shaun Murphy and Mark Selby. Neither found top form and it came as no surprise that it went to a decider (I did advise this outcome as an interest bet yesterday). With Murphy 4-2 in front you even had the sense that the Jester was not quite done with and so it proved. He did unto Shaun what Shaun had done unto Dom Dale and Mark Allen and came from 2 down with 3 to play to win. There really can’t be a better deciding frame player in the game at the moment and it just reiterates how strange it is that he has only one ranking event to his name and yet is destined to be World Number One after the next revision.

On the other table a long drawn-out affair ended the Sheriff’s run and put pay to a planned weekend of revelry and sheep-worrying over in the pretty hamlet of Pottingham. Anthony was beaten by Mark King and Kingy is now in his first semi-final for five years. These overseas ranking events are certainly bringing out the best in what might have previously been called journeymen professionals and Mark now lines up against The Jester, who he has beaten in big matches before.

In the second session it was exhibition time again as MJW© whitewashed Matthew Stevens. Mark has now played 16 frames over there and only lost one of them. He was in full float mode and made a 129 that was pure silk. There really is no finer sight in snooker than the King of the Floaters© in full flow and you can forgive Matthew for missing a couple of easy balls as the pressure there must be to take every chance against Mark in that kind of mood must be immense.

In the other match Neil Robertson continued his impressive return to form with a solid win against John Higgins, who had been riding his luck all week if we are honest. Neil appeared to be heading for an absolute coast through at 2-0 when he somehow let John back into it with some uncharacteristically careless play. But after the interval the Aussie took command again and there only looked like one winner from then on. John has obviously had a bit of time off since his exploits at the end of last season and it is a really tough act to follow, but I’m sure we’ll see him back to that kind of form as the season progresses, probably again peaking at just the right time. But for now let someone else have a trophy or two, there’s a good boy.

In terms of the way the bets are going, today saw us come back out on top with a perfect day and only a win for King now will see this go from being a decent winning week to a losing one. Three of the four recommended bets from the preview in the outright market, Selby (15/2), Williams (10/1) and Robertson (16/1) are still there, with only the small punt on Fergal in the section King won biting the dust. It would therefore be highly irresponsible of me not to recommend to anyone that follows the outright staking plans routinely a very small bet on the only losing eventuality. So I will recommend a 0.5 point bet on King in the outrights at 14/1 with Skybet. If you follow that advice you can just sit back, as I will be and enjoy the weekend finale. Job, as they say, done.

7.00am UK Time

Mark Selby v Mark King (H2H 6-3) 

The head to head record between these two is quite odd. Selby either wins easily or gets embroiled in a scrap and loses. Mark has beaten him at two of the biggest stages. In 2008 when Selby was a big hope of many to lift the Crucible crown having been runner-up to Higgins the previous year, he lost 10-8 to King in the first round. Furthermore, who can forget the opening day of last year’s Masters when, despite going 2-0 in front Selby was clawed back and again lost by two frames to the Bald Eagle. They have met twice at this venue and both times the Jester has won with a bit to spare, in 2008, 5-0 and in 2009, 5-1. As regulars know I have a mantra of never betting in a match with Mark King in it and I am not going to break that by recommending a bet here. If I was to make a prediction I’d say Selby will win 6-2 or 6-3 and therefore that the Evens on Selby -2.5 frames at Boyles is probably the bet I would strike if I was having a bet, which I’m not.

12.45pm UK Time

Neil Robertson v Mark Williams (H2H 3-0 with 3 draws)     

I can’t wait for this one. It’s quite rare that you see these two playing each other at this stage in a competition and this is definitely the most important match they have played in their careers against one another. The head to head record is largely irrelevant, Robbo beat MJW© in the World Open semi-finals 3-2 last season before going on to win it and in amongst that they have drawn three times in round robin events. The other two Robertson wins were pretty comprehensive when in 2007 he won 6-0 at the Masters and in 2005 5-1 in the Malta Cup. But as we all know Mark was not the player he is now back then. Again, it’s not a match I need a bet on and financially I would prefer a win for Robbo but I marginally fancy Williams to win, though if it gets close I think Robbo might just nick it. Gun to head I’d say Williams 6-4. But in terms of a bet, again not a recommended one, I think you could do worse than take the over 6.5 50 breaks at 6/5 with Skybet. I’d imagine this will be a high quality affair and so far this week in the balls they have both been scoring consistently heavily.

The Best of Luck if you are getting involved at this late stage.  

Si-Ting Chi-Lee looks ahead to the all Welsh clash

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:33 am

He's been speaking to Matthew

I have received another fax from Si-Ting this morning and I am a little concorned that it appears to have red wine stains on it. But he claims that he has been drinking only organic blueberry juice this week so I have to believe and trust in him as he’s all I’ve got.

Anyway, he appears somehow to have managed to get up close and personal with Matthew Stevens, I hope that he hasn’t led Matthew astray as he needs to concentrate on the job in hand this afternoon and in my experience the last thing he wants to do is start making friends with Si-Ting before a big match.

As ever, I’m sure, at least I hope, some of the phrases in this piece may have been lost in translation. Apologies in advance to Stephen Lee and I’m sure that Si-Ting’s interpretation of the relationship between Matthew and Mark is pure conjecture, at least I hope so for the lovely Mrs Matt’s sake.

I’ll leave you in his incapable hands.

September 8, Ward Bank 2011 World Snooker Shanghai Masters tournament round continues, 5-1 victory over Black Stevens Gould, marking its expansion into the last eight. Stevens said he could have made such progress very much.

  Won the game Stevens in a very good mood, feeling that tonight’s game was his best game since the Kasai. First round 5-2 out fat Stephen Lee, wheel 5-1 beat Glasses Gould, Stevens’s performance in Shanghai masters to see, and for being able to win the game today.

Stevens also Frank recognition of opponents is not very good, but Gould 5-3 incite in the first round defeating Ding Junhui won Stevens must also praise, “each other’s progress very quickly, the top 16 power.” But voice around, Stevens or to not forget to give your own canvassing, “is definitely a place I can 5-1 the win played particularly well. 

  Masters in Shanghai last year Stevens in the one-fourth treasure lost finals Mr Carter, not to be promoted today at once again face the one-fourth finals, an opponent is the first in the world, and his compatriot lover Mark Williams, for the next round is expected.

Stevens is not clear, “the other side is his good friend and teammate, the next round must be very hard. “But broke into the final of the Shanghai Masters tournament one-fourth for two consecutive years, Stevens faith well,” his rapid progress, broke into the one-fourth also proves my progress a lot. If you can win, of course, even better, I’ll be ready. “

  From the great unknown the achievements of this year, Stevens achievement for everyone to see, is still looking forward to World Championship Stevens said some self-deprecation themselves growing old, “ten years ago is not itself well, but now have more opportunities to compete with the better players, their progress. Was happy about his own progress, to return to the top 16 were very happy, this shows that they have been improved. “

Don’t you just love Fridays?

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:49 am

If you only watch one thing on the internet today let it be this. Where some of our favourite baize boys take part in a series of advertisements for Chinese TV. Peter Ebdon and Mark King are particularly memorable.


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