Snookerbacker

October 30, 2011

The Month Ahead: November

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 1:26 pm

Another month has passed since my last month ahead post, which means that it is time for another month ahead post as the last month ahead post has now become the month passed and we now need to look to a different month ahead. Next month this month will have passed and we will have to look ahead to another month. That’s just the nature of month ahead posts I’m afraid, no sooner have you finished digesting the month ahead than it has become a month passed and you must digest a new month ahead.

The headline news in November is the return of some proper snooker! At last! OK, not everyone, including me is happy with the shortening of matches for the UK Championship both in the qualifiers and at the venue but they are still best of 11 for a bit which is enough for me to get excited about having a bet.

First up though we have a Premier League date in Southampton this week followed by the World Seniors from Peterborough next weekend which is being covered by Sky. Nigel Bond goes into the event as favourite with the likes of holder Jimmy White, Steve Davis, John Parrott, Neal Foulds, Dennis, Cliff and The Bolton Stud all competing both against each other and the shot clock. It should be a fun event and I’m sure the old competitive streaks will be on show as we get down to the wire.

While the Bus Pass brigade are finishing off on Sunday the UK Qualifiers get under way at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester and run until Wednesday when we will find out which 16 players will be competing with the top 16 in York in early December. I’m hoping to get down there for at least a day, possibly the final day to catch some of the action.

The day after the qualifiers there is Premier League action from Banbury and the 9th PTC event gets under way from Antwerp in Belgium. It will be interesting to see how it goes down there, I’ll hazard a guess it will be well-attended as it’s at least in an accessible location and I’m sure Monique Limbos will be pestering the life out of her fellow countrymen and women to attend, she’s a difficult lady to ignore when she’s on a mission is Monique, trust me. The event looks well-organised and even has it’s own website here. Let’s hope it’s one of the better PTC’s and isn’t once again dominated by the moaners and groaners whingeing about how much they’ve spent.

Then folks after another Premier League night in Grimsby it’s the event you have all been waiting for. Yes, it’s the return of Power Snooker, which is this year being held in a shopping centre in Manchester. To add to the class and elegance of the event it is backed by The Sun newspaper, that last bastion of truth in our corrupt press. It will feature ‘The Power Girls’ who are just a poor imitation of the altogether classier Snoopie, will be attended by a collection of shaved chimps and wannabee ASBO’s who have the mental capacity and attention span of a turbot, musical accompaniment will be provided by the Power Snooker band, originally named ‘The Power Snooker Band’. They will be covering classics such as Frankie Goes to Hollywood tracks ‘The Powerzone of Love’ and ‘Welcome to the Powerzone’ and some festive cheer for the chimps will be provided by guest singer Cliff Richard who will join them in singing the timeless yuletide classic ‘Powerzone and Wine’. All the action will be captured by ITV4 who will be attempting to treble their viewing figures for the year and hopefully break into three figures. I’m not sure why Mr Hearn has seen fit to back this event.

After this assault upon the senses it’s back to the Academy in Sheffield for the qualifiers to what for me has been Bazza’s best initiative since taking over at the helm; the German Masters. It will also give me the opportunity to reintroduce the German Girls to the blog which always results in a surge in hits, and yes, that does say HITS.

The month rounds off with the Premier League Final from the charmingly named Hopton-on-Sea, before we head back to the claustrophobic cubicles of the Academy for PTC 10. At least I think it is at the Academy, that is what it says on the Entry Pack yet the World Snooker website also confusingly says it’s in Europe, which I suppose Sheffield is last time I checked.

That’s it for November on the professional front. On the Snookerbacker Classic side of things I am hoping to be in a position to make the draw for event one at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds in a couple of weeks time. There are still two places left to firm up so if you haven’t yet entered or have asked me to reserve a place and haven’t paid you need to do so now. All being well I’ll be making the draw live on Twitter and Facebook. I should also be in a position to draw the third event in Gloucester by the end of this month. There are a couple of places still to fill there.

Keep the entries coming in for Dublin and for the last chance saloon in Essex at Ali’s place.

And that’s November in a nutshell.

Oh yes, just one more thing. You only have a few days left to enter the biggest snooker tipster contest of the season here.

October 28, 2011

Masters Draw Released

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:00 pm

Ding - Tricky Opener

World Snooker have today released the draw for The Masters which is to be held at Alexandra Palace, better known as Ally Pally from January 15th-22nd.

The draw pits the holder Ding Junhui against Ronnie O’Sullivan in a match that is sure to get the tournament off to a bang. They will be the first out at 1.30pm on the opening Sunday, should be a cracker.

As you would expect in a tournament featuring the top 16 players on the planet there are a number of mouthwaterers. Judd Trump takes on Aussie Champion Stuart Bingham and will face the winner of the Ding/Ronnie match. The bang in form Neil Robertson takes on Mark Allen who made the semis in this last year and looks to be hitting form in time for the UK. Mark Selby, who crashed out as holder to Mark King on day one last year faces a tricky encounter with top 16 returnee Stephen Lee. Meanwhile Masters new boy Martin Gould has been handed a date with Smurf.

Higgins v Stevens two old rivals, Carter v Dott in a repeat of their great match at the Crucible and MJW v Mags – check out that head to head! You just don’t know where to look first do you?

I’m happy to say that I’ll be travelling up there for the semi finals and the final so will bring you all the news live from the venue at the business end of the tournament. It should be a cracker.

If you are in the area and fancy going you can get tickets by calling 0871 620 7052. You really should consider it if you can. Accommodation advice can be sought by asking Ian White in the comments section who will tell you that the area around there is a bit of a shithole and he’ll also tell you the places to steer well clear of. Let’s just say that it isn’t the kind of place you would usually find a palace.

Here is the full draw for the first round with head to head record in brackets. Below is the times these matches will be played.

Ding Junhui v Ronnie O’Sullivan (2-5)
Judd Trump v Stuart Bingham (2-1)
Neil Robertson v Mark Allen (1-2)
Mark Williams v Stephen Maguire (1-4)
Mark Selby v Stephen Lee (4-2)
Shaun Murphy v Martin Gould (2-0)
Ali Carter v Graeme Dott (3-2)
John Higgins v Matthew Stevens (12-7)

Date Session Time Match
Sunday 15 January 2012

1.30 pm

7.00 pm

Ding v ROS

MJW v Mags

Monday 16 January 2012

12.30 pm

7.00 pm

Judd v Bingo

Smurf v Gould

Tuesday 17 January 2012

12.30 pm

7.00 pm

Higgins v Stevens

Robbo v Allen

Wednesday 18 January 2012

12.30 pm

7.00 pm

Selbs v Lee

Captain v Dotty

All matches up to and including the Semi Finals will be best of 11 frames and the Final will be best of 19 frames (8/11).

The draw is subject to change should a player outside of the top 16 win the UK Championship, if that happens they will be handed a wildcard and will presumably play Gould first.

Halloween Tale from the Spooker Rooms

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 3:47 pm

You will all be doubtless getting ready to dress up and go spooking this weekend but before doing so, have a bit of respect for those that walk the earth in limbo, those troubled souls who never rest. The Real Spookers.  

So turn down the lights, put on a single candle and enter the Spooker Rooms………

It had just turned midnight and he should really be shutting up shop but Ted was in again; he just couldn’t bear to throw him out and he had very little to go home for these days anyway since his wife had passed away. Besides, Ted was no harm, had a big day ahead of him with a lot of expectant people behind him and he was a cracking player to watch. He still wasn’t sure why Ted insisted on playing in that green visor, he wouldn’t be able to do that on TV, it made him look like a backstreet bookie! But other than that he was perfectly groomed, a bit of a heartthrob with the girls he’d venture, Mary, bless her, had certainly thought so.

He’d seen some of the greats pass through the club doors in his time, Reardon, now there was a classy player. Higgins, on a good day he was a delight to have around but he’d also seen the darker side, the after-hours side of the man that he could not wait to get rid of. He’d been through the doors of the old club five or six times and each time he surprised everyone with his behaviour, not always in a good way.

Jimmy had been there too and Hendry when he was a kid, over the years he’d developed a keen eye for the game and had even made a half-hearted play at becoming Stephen’s manager back in the day, but even then he was being looked after and the ‘don’t go there’ looks from his people were enough to put him off. Besides, if he had ended up managing him he would never have met Jean, his second wife and he would never have been able to keep the club as he wanted it, old school, dark, open all hours.

But this kid, he was something very very special indeed. He’d seen the greats, he’d seen the promising juniors that fell away, but he’d never seen anyone like Ted before. He’d stroke them in, his cue was like an instrument, it was effortless, he was truly destined for great things. Lovely lad too, young, but with a good head on his shoulders. Confident, but not cocky, polite but not over-friendly, he’d known his dad but he was long gone, understandably after all he went through.

Since the smoking ban he’d been limiting himself to around five a day, it was winter, halloween night as it happened and the cold just bit through him these days so he didn’t like setting foot outside the club unless it was absolutely essential. Ted didn’t mind at all that he lit up his final couple of roll-ups just a few feet away from the table he was floating around. He’d smile when he saw the lighter appear, he wasn’t a smoker himself or indeed a drinker, he was far too focused on his snooker for that. But he didn’t seem to mind the old geezer behind the booth lighting up, in fact it made him feel strangely comforted.

________________________________________________________________________________

Ted had been playing at the club since he was 11, he was 17 now and on the verge of turning professional, just one tournament away as it happened and that tournament was tomorrow, always tomorrow! He was hungry, he knew he had the beating of all his peers and he reckoned within a year or two he’d be beating the big boys. He wanted to be the next big thing, he knew he could do it, not just because Lenny, the club’s young owner with the gorgeous brunette young wife told him every day but because he could feel it. He was not that good at anything else but snooker, that was his game and he was one of life’s winners, it was only a matter of time and he had plenty of that.

As he played he imagined the players he would be beating, he’d learnt from them, he’d met a couple of them as they’d been doing exhibitions in the club, they had a style, a class that he wanted. He wasn’t jealous of them, well maybe a little but not in a nasty way. He just wanted to be there himself one day, to have people idolise him the way they idolised them. He also wanted to get himself a wife like Lenny’s! He’d heard that successful guys get the girls and he could see that for himself, Lenny, though not a great player himself had built up the club from scratch and drove around in ‘that car’, he was the envy of the local lads, most of them he went to school with but he was a cut above and she could see that, she was a real cracker! But he had to focus! He had to win tomorrow, always tomorrow! The girls would follow later……focus!

It was nearly 2am now and it was time to tell Ted it was time for bed. His thinning lips managed a rueful smile as he recalled the last time he’d said ‘time for bed Ted’. But as ever, Ted greeted this with a cheerful ‘rightio’, packed up his old maple cue and took off his green visor.

‘How many centuries tonight then hot shot?’

‘Oh, just the three, concentrating more on the other side of things, need to be sharp in that department tomorrow, you’ve seen my draw!’

‘You’ll have no problems, he’s not in your league Ted, you just get some rest and I’ll see you tomo..’

But before he could finish Ted was gone, always in a hurry that kid!

He reached for his old shabby sheepskin coat and pulled it tight around him, home was only a short walk and he’d done the very same walk a thousand or more times, it just took him a little longer these days. It was cold, the air smelt of smoke. He liked the dark nights, except for the cold that is. The dark hid the changes which were all around him, the old picture house and the dance hall where he and Mary had first courted. In the dark they were still there but in daylight they were gone. He closed his eyes for a second, he felt very old all of a sudden, a tear seaped down his wrinkled cheeks, no, it was just the cold he told himself. This damn cold!

__________________________________________________________________________________

Next day at the club was tournament day. He’d got in early to iron the tables as always, there was nobody of great note there today but a couple of youngsters that were showing a bit of promise. Nobody of Ted’s class though, he thought.

As ever first in were Martin and his lad, Danny who must now be around Ted’s age and a handsome lad. He’d a look of someone very familiar to him from decades back.

‘Hi Danny, Coke is it?’

‘Yes please Mr Brown’

‘Call me Lenny’

Danny smiled. ‘Can I ask you something, Mr Brown?’

‘Lenny! Of course young fella, ask away, I’ve all the time in the world’

‘Who is the best player you have ever seen? My dad said you have seen them all’

Lenny answered without hesitation ‘Your dad is right. The best player I have ever seen is a kid called Ted Duggan’

‘Who?’

Lenny’s pointed to the old black and white photograph on the wall of a dapper looking young man, cue in hand, wearing an old see-through visor.

Underneath the image was the gold plaque, it was as shiny as the day that Lenny mounted it. It read:

Ted Duggan. ‘Taken Too Soon’ 1952-1969 Time for Bed.

‘You knew him?’

‘I knew him very well Danny if not for very long’

‘What happened to him?’

‘I think that is fairly obvious don’t you?’

‘Yes, but how I mean? How did he die?’

‘He died in the back seat of my car Danny, he died on his way to a snooker tournament that he was going to win, he died the day before he would have been a professional, he’d have beaten the best you have my word on that’

‘Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you’

‘That’s ok Danny, I think about him every day and Mary, she was there too….’

Danny looked puzzled and Lenny sensed that he was making him feel uneasy, his dad quickly appeared and sensing the mood said ‘Your Mary was a real cracker Lenny, a real cracker’.

The Spooker Rooms Halloween Tale is dedicated to the two times World Snooker Champion Walter Donaldson. Who despite being dead can be found and followed on Twitter by clicking here

October 27, 2011

Snookerbacker Classic: Leeds and Gloucester Updates

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 2:43 pm

Another quick update on the Snookerbacker Classic. I have now removed the Paypal options for both Leeds and Gloucester as there are only a couple of possible places left at both venues. I am happy to include you on a waiting list once the events are full in case of any withdrawals.

If you want to enter either of these events you must contact me directly at [email protected] and be in a position to pay your entrance fee immediately.

Anyone who is currently holding a reserved place for either of these tournaments that has not paid their entrance fee and I have not spoken to in the last week are now not sure of their place in the event.

It’s important that the limits to both events do not go over so from now on for Event 1 in Leeds and Event 3 in Gloucester it is strictly first come first served

You can still enter the events in Dublin and Essex either through Paypal on the sidebar or by contacting me directly.

__________________________________________________________________

Just what they've always wanted

With Christmas coming up if you are struggling for present ideas for a youngster why not buy them a place in one of the tournaments? If you do, I’ll even send them a Christmas card with confirmation of their place – how good is that? Imagine the look on their little faces? Aaaaahhh. You can’t put a price on a dream after all…..

October 26, 2011

O’Sullivan Praises PTC System

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 4:06 pm

Not him.

Some interesting comments on the back of the Alex Higgins Trophy at the weekend which appear at odds with all conceived wisdom or logic.

Is this the greatest U-turn since Nick Clegg? The biggest slice of humble pie ever eaten by Ronnie? Well here’s O’Sullivan’s quotes from today’s Kerryman website relating to the ongoing opinions about the PTC events:

“Look at golf, there are golf tournaments every week and the big players have to mix it with small players. If they don’t want to turn up they don’t have to but their ranking will fall. That’s the beauty of the PTC’s. The big players had it so good for so long, their place was protected in the Top 16 but now that they have to earn their keep they are not so happy. Talk to the hundreds of young players here this weekend, they’ll tell you there’s nothing wrong with the system.”

Is this really the same man that tweeted just hours after losing that he’d had to fork out £600 for a couple of hundred ranking points? That he felt both ‘raped and blackmailed’ at having to play in these events?

Well in short no it isn’t, as both the editor of the Kerryman and I have been taking advantage and shamelessly exploiting the similarity between the names of snooker’s biggest enigma and the promoter of the event Connie O’Sullivan, who is responsible for the quotes. He even had a swipe at his almost identical namesake proving that he can live with the comparisons and went on:

“Ronnie is one of the lucky ones in that he doesn’t have to earn a living from snooker anymore but the vast majority of the players here this weekend are delighted with the opportunity to earn some ranking points as well as some money.”

But one genuine player quote in the article comes from perpetual semi-finalist Mark Allen who says he’d like a permanent big tournament over in Ireland to be re-established. Marky says “I was a bit unlucky in that the Irish Masters was wound down just around the time I was turning professional. The Northern Ireland Trophy was a great event for me personally in terms of playing in front of a home crowd. Snooker is a very popular sport both north and south and here is Killarney is a hotbed so it could be a possible venue.”

So we can all now relax, safe in the knowledge that Ronnie is going to carry on moaning about the PTC’s and how out of pocket he is. It’s kind of like Bill Gates complaining that he’s got to fork out for a new computer, but if it keeps our Ron tweeting let’s let him carry on.

October 25, 2011

Snookerbacker Classic Latest: Event One in Leeds

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 12:49 pm

A quick update on the Snookerbacker Classic. I am now at the point where the Leeds event is full. However, there are three players with reserved places that only have until the end of October to pay their entrance fees.

This means that I can take reserves for the event by email at [email protected] – however, if you request to be placed on the reserve list you must be in a position to pay the entrance fee immediately on November 1st if I confirm your place. The players currently with reserved places will lose their place in the tournament if I don’t receive their payment before any player placed on reserve.

Time is Running Out

 There are now 3 places left at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester with a further 3 pending entrance fee payment. Again, if you want a place and can pay straight away then email me today. 

In short, if you want to be part of either of these events and are not yet you need to contact me.  

Snooker’s New Community?

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 12:21 pm

I'll never forget my first Chinese...

When I’m bored I sometimes like to take off and revisit old haunts. I don’t live far from where I first went to school and I sometimes find myself thinking back to those days and going to have a look at the old building. There are a few landmarks of my childhood around where I live and on some days when I have nothing more to do I think about them and go and see how or if they have changed.

I did something similar yesterday but in a ‘virtual’ way. No, I didn’t head off in search of the first time I discovered porn on the internet, well not for long anyway. Instead I visited the Betfair Snooker Forum, which as little as two years ago was a very regular haunt of mine, some of you may well have visited the blog for the first time directly from Betfair as when I didn’t have this outlet to spout and peddle nonsense you could usually find me on there.

It’s fair to say that what was once a thriving snooker community, if sometimes a little rough around the edges, has now become little more than a message board which people have a look at now and again before clicking away. When you click on it you almost expect tumbleweed to blow across the screen with the message ‘the last fan left town’.

On a current topic entitled ‘What happened to the snooker forum’ there are 7 comments which try and answer this poser from the 471 views. Theories include the changes to the forum set up itself, the detractors to this site, the detractors to Betdaq as well as one poster who believes that this is indicative of snooker ‘dying a slow death’ and another that questions whether players will be giving 100% in the smaller events currently taking place, making it a risky betting proposition.

I tried to leave a comment on this post but it turns out those old dinosaurs that run the forum have decided I’m not welcome anymore as I had the cheek to suggest that Betfair was not the only place in the universe that people could a) talk about snooker and b) bet on it. They have seen fit to ban me for merely alluding to this fact, perhaps their ludicrous Draconian stance on matters such as these has some part to play in the snooker forum’s slow and agonising death. They are still of course, more than happy for me to bet with them and charge me commission for doing so, just as long as I don’t speak to anyone about it.

It got me thinking about the wider issue of how we all communicate about the great sport and how this is now largely unrecognisable from 2 years ago. Twitter is obviously now a hotbed of snooker chat, with players, referees, commentators, bloggers, snoopies and fans all mingling freely to natter about anything and everything, whether it be directly linked to snooker or just a conversation about this and that. There are more snooker blogs sprouting up than ever before and a clear ‘new community’ developing of people eager to talk about the baize.

..or my first curry.

But is this necessarily a good thing? Are we alienating fans that choose not to engage in this online promiscuity? I have heard and read comments from a lot of people who are becoming switched off by snooker because of what they see is the non-descript nature of the events currently on the calendar. Have they got a point? Are we back to the days when only the hardened fans are switched on and decreasing in number by the day, tired of short match events and similar formats, the very opposite of what Bazza is trying to achieve?

My guess is that interest, even on the Betfair forum will increase as we move into a period of ‘proper’ ranking and TV tournaments. With the UK, the Masters, the German Masters, the China Open and of course the World Championship still to come, for some, the season has not started yet and their last encounter with the baize was John and Judds great final at Sheffield, which to me seems like ages ago.

I remain positive that snooker is going in the right direction after years of leaving the plane on auto-pilot while the man in charge indulged in ten years of corporate hospitality while the passengers went hungry. I hope more decide to join the community, whether it be on the blogs or on Twitter or wherever. But I won’t be sorry to see the back of the Betfair forum, or the over-zealous power-crazed office administrators in charge of it.

October 24, 2011

Snookerbacker Classic Dublin Leg Change of Date

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 3:44 pm

Just a quick update for those interested in entering the Dublin Leg of the Snookerbacker Classic that after consultation with Fin Ruane, who owns and runs the Crossguns we have decided to move the event back a fortnight to Saturday January 28th 2012.

This is to avoid a clash with another event being run by the Official Governing Body over there which was causing some issues with players being torn between the two. So now the problem has disappeared and they are free to enter both events.

Please note that there are a maximum of 32 places available in the event and after that it will be closed to entries. We already have entries in so if you want to come along and play in it my advice would be to enter as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

You can either contact me to enter at [email protected] or contact Fin at the Crossguns (details here)

To read about my recent visit to the venue and why you should enter click here.  To read more about the tournament click here.

If you would like to ask anything about the tournament then please feel free to contact me either on here, by email, on Facebook or on Twitter.

Alex Higgins Trophy Prediction Contest Winner

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 2:45 pm

It’s that time of the week again where I announce the lucky recipient of the £40 free bet courtesy of those spiffing chaps over at Apollobet and top of the tree this week, quite fittingly, is a regular poster from Alex’s neck of the woods.

The winner is Godspeed who scored 296 points which was 30 clear of his nearest rival Chris. Well done to him and better luck next time to everyone else that entered.

There is a bit of a gap until the next PTC but I’ll have another bet up for grabs for it, Don’t you worry about that. 

Please be aware that you only have a few days left to enter your season long team to win £300 worth of World Championship bets so don’t forget to get your entry in to be in with a chance. It’s free to enter and I’ll be producing an updated ranking list after every event, so get your team in. 

You can enter the Boylesports Snookerbacker 300 here.

October 23, 2011

PTC 8: Alex Higgins International Trophy Finals Day

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:16 am

Will Ken be bringing out the dancing shoes tonight?

Good Morning Everyone. The Alex Higgins International Trophy enters it’s final day today and unfortunately so far there hasn’t been a whiff of scandal to honour the great man. Perhaps today will be the day?

The only slight hint that things were going to kick off came when Mike Dunn laughed at one of my jokes very loudly in the crowd yesterday and Stuart Bingham went mad at some spectators walking in his eyeline, but this is a far cry from the kind of capers Alex used to get up to, so it is left down to the 16 remaining competitors to really get things going today.

Shaun Murphy failed to take advantage of his favourable draw last night and was beaten to Finals Day by old Angles McManus. The Angular one now faces the local favourite Ken ‘The Giggler’ Doherty, who came through a visit to the Dentist last night after one of his trademark comebacks against Ali. Ken played three deciders yesterday and proved that he still has it under pressure in winning all of them, it would be nice to see him progress again today as you feel this will create a buzz over there that perhaps won’t be achieved by a Dechawat Poomjaeng versus Yu De Lu finale.

Also through yesterday were top 16 players Judd Trump, Stuart Bingham, Stephen Lee and Mark Selby, making the line up today look very strong indeed with eight of the world’s elite into the final stages. Yu De Lu and Barry Hawkins also won through, De Lu progressing with three solid wins including a whitewash of Jack Lisowski, impressive stuff.

Sportingbet and Skybet have both priced up the outrights this morning and with this being so open now they might be worth a look. I wouldn’t totally rule out the chances of a winner coming from outside the big names. De Lu is available at 66/1 still and Hawkins and the highly impressive Ben Woollaston can both be backed at 28/1. I was hugely impressed with Woollaston the other day and the price on him winning his first match for me has to be taken at Apollobet. They have him at 8/13 when others have him as short as 4/11. If you are up early enough, early bird and catching worms springs to mind. If you are still in bed, you will either curse or be thanking your alarm clock when the result comes through around 11.30.

In terms of my outrights, I only have Neil Robertson left and he has as tough a draw as anyone here in facing Martin Gould first up. Gouldy will be desperate to break his tournament win duck and he continues to cement his place in the top 16 and must surely now fancy his chances of qualifying for the Crucible automatically at the next revision after the Welsh Open, being up to 13th provisionally. Another possible interesting twist in the rankings is Ronnie’s current position of 16th, while there is still a way to go until we will know the 16 seeds for Sheffield in April, imagine if he remains 16th? This would mean a second round match up against John Higgins, what a prospect that is.

Talking of rankings, Mark Williams dismal performances in these events are really playing into the hands of Mark Selby, who continues to stretch his lead at the top of the ranking list. MJW in turn has a huge lead over 3rd placed John Higgins with Robbo and Smurf close in fourth and fifth, it’s not looking like these five are going to be budged from the top places in the list any time soon.

Anyway, I hope today produces some decent stuff, personally and bets aside I hope Ken wins it as it would just somehow seem right. 25/1 says they will be dancing in the streets of Killarney later tonight.

Recommended Bet: 3 points on Ben Woollaston to beat Poomjaeng at 8/13 with Apollobet. I’ll also chance a 1 point treble on Woollaston, Higgins and Allen which pays just on 11/4 at Apollobet. As it’s Finals Day I’ll also take a sneaky 1 point fourfold which pays just over 11/4 on Higgins, Selby, Gould (+2.5) and De Lu (+2.5) at Apollobet. I’ll also chance 0.5 point in the outrights on Ben Woollaston at 28/1 with Sportingbet. 

Don’t forget to keep up with Apollobet as they will be pricing matches up as they develop later on and the best of luck if you are getting involved.

Last 16

10am

113 Gerard Greene 2-4 John Higgins
114 Ryan Day 3-4 Mark Allen
115 Martin Gould 0-4 Neil Robertson
116 Dechawat Poomjaeng 1-4 Ben Woollaston
117 Judd Trump 4-0 Stephen Lee
118 Alan McManus 4-1 Ken Doherty
119 Yu De Lu 1-4 Stuart Bingham
120 Barry Hawkins 1-4 Mark Selby

Recommended Quarter Final Bet:

1 point treble on Trump (-1.5), Woollaston (+2.5) and Allen (+1.5) pays 5/2 at Apollobet.

Was toying with the idea of having a decent bet on Mark Allen to beat Higgins at 6/5 given Higgins performance earlier but decided to just play the treble instead. Would not be at all surprised to see Allen win that one with a bit in hand. Oh sod it….2 points win Allen to beat Higgins at 6/5

Quarter-finals

1pm

121 John Higgins 3-4 Mark Allen
122 Neil Robertson 4-0 Ben Woollaston
123 Judd Trump 4-2 Alan McManus
124 Stuart Bingham 3-4 Mark Selby

Semi-finals

4.30pm

125 Mark Allen 3-4 Neil Robertson
126 Judd Trump 4-1 Mark Selby

Final

As we have just that little point on Robbo at 16/1 it would be irresponsible of me not to recommend 2 points on Judd at Evens with Sportingbet.

8pm

Neil Robertson 4-1 Judd Trump 🙂

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