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…

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