November 8, 2011

UK Championship Qualifiers: Round 3

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:42 am

It's all about the size of your conkers.

It was another exciting day on the baize over in Gloucester yesterday with six of the sixteen matches going to deciding frames and in some cases the final couple of colours. It’s definitely a week where players are having to come with extra large conkers.

The afternoon session saw deciding frame wins for Jimmy Robertson, Xiao Guodong, Ben Woollaston and Ian McCulloch. I saw a lot of Robertson’s match with Kurt Maflin and it was thoroughly entertaining, each of them trying to hit the cue ball harder than the other at times but some great potting on display and a nice finish by Robertson who on more than one occasion looked to be heading home. Ben Woollaston and Sam Craigie also produced a cracking match with PTC winner Ben just holding himself together the better of the two to progress on the final pink. Guodong went one better and won on the final black against Adam Wicheard, like I say, jumbo conkers required.

In the evening Jimmy again proved that there is life in the old dog yet by easily dispensing with Passakorn, early night for Jim to cuddle up with his bags of industrial salt (there was a ground frost yesterday morning, you’ll be thanking him soon trust me). There were also final frame wins for the erratic but entertaining Li Yan over Andy Hicks and for Mark Joyce who saw off Rod Lawler. Rod is now looking in severe danger in the rankings and needs a run in something soon or it’s Q-School for the Scouser (perhaps he should enter the SB Classic). Tony Drago completed a good night for the old guard but everyone’s second favourite player Joe Swail is another that seems to be heading for a tough old year next year, unless he has a sharp turnaround in fortunes I think he’s going to be off the tour at the end of the season, the ever-present Cuban from Tamworth Dave Gilbert giving him a bit of a stuffing last night.

The betting continues to go extremely well with the Boylesports Enhanced Treble and Accumulator both going in yesterday afternoon at 10/3 and 9/2 respectively. A slight loss last night doesn’t matter too much in the great scheme of things as I wasn’t that confident in anything other than Gilbert, we’re still way out in front and certain to show a good profit when it ends tomorrow night regardless of how it goes from now on. By definition as the standard of players improves as a whole it makes the predictions a little tougher and today we meet those ranked 33-48, including The Nugget, The Dentist, 007, The Hitman, Bananaman…..I’ll stop now as it’s getting silly, who take on the winners from yesterday in some real mouthwatering line ups.

Let’s see what we can find and don’t forget the exclusive offer to blog readers for new customers over at Boylesports here. They will continue to enhance blog bets on the UK, the Masters, the China Open and the World Championship this season so it’s well worth signing up if you don’t have an account with them and like a bet on the baize. With 3 out of 3 specials going in so far, can you afford not to sign up?

Tuesday 12 noon

Rory McLeod 6-4 Adam Duffy (h2h 0-1)

Gerard Greene 6-2 Jimmy Robertson

Steve Davis 6-2 Ian McCulloch (h2h 0-1) LIVE STREAMING

Nigel Bond 6-4 Tian Pengfei (h2h 3-0)

Liang Wenbo 2-6 Michael White (h2h 2-0) LIVE STREAMING

Michael Holt 3-6 Ben Woollaston (h2h 0-2)

Matthew Selt 6-3 Cao Yupeng (h2h 1-0)

Mike Dunn 0-6 Xiao Guodong (h2h 0-1)

Saint Steve of Nuggetstown

King of the Snails Rory McLeod takes to the baize in the top match and will be bringing all his dentistry tools with him as he faces Adam Duffy, who had another good win yesterday over Alfie Burden in his rookie season. Adam has beaten Rory 4-2 in a PTC in their only previous meeting and for me he is a player that is winning a lot more than he should this season, leading me to believe he is thriving in the bear pit of the pro-ranks. I’m prepared to take another chance on him today at generous odds to send Rory packing. Gerard Greene and Jimmy Robertson are quite evenly matched but Gezza has the more experience. I think that one will be close and may possibly be one of the deciders today, it’s a no bet for me though I would marginally favour Greene on current form, who after a slow start in the PTC’s is now beginning to win a few matches. I’d love to see the Nugget in York so I’ll just be hoping he can overcome Ian McCulloch in what is likely to be a tactical mash-up. McCulloch however appears to be hitting some form and I think Steve might struggle to win which makes the price on the Preston potter tempting in a match that I would have left alone had I not seen the price (I know I know, you can’t spend value). I’m not prepared to take Nigel Bond’s defeat to Dennis Taylor in the Seniors with anything more than a pinch of salt (not the industrial kind, leave it Jimmy) and his record against the dangerous Tian Pengfei is good, though they haven’t met since 2007 when all three matches took place. Regulars will know that I rate Pengfei very highly but Nigel doesn’t lose that often to players ranked a bit below him, I’m not touching that one personally as Bond has a habit of throwing in very good performances when you least expect him to. The match between Liang Wenbo and Michael White should be a cracker and attacking to the point of kamikaze. Liang is at last showing improved form after an almost total meltdown last season in fortunes, he beat Michael 4-3 a month ago in a PTC and before that 9-4 in this two seasons ago when he was at the top of his game, I think he’ll beat him again and end the good run of the Welshman who continues to impress. Michael Holt has spent the last day bemoaning the standard of pillow at his hotel, he’s even roped in poor old Angles McManus to discuss the virtues of sprung versus down, but in between that the Hitman has been hitting the practice table hard and will be fully up for his match against Ben Woollaston. Both like the venue and I expect a close one there too, Ben has a 2-0 advantage on the head to heads but I find this one impossible to call. I was right to avoid underestimating Cao Yupeng again yesterday as he won with a bit in hand against Liu Song, but assuming Matthew Selt has prepared for this I think he should carry on where he left off in August when he beat the Chinese player 4-0 in a PTC. That leaves Twitter joker Mike Dunn’s match against Xiao Guodong who came through that epic tussle yesterday. Mike has not been 100% healthwise recently and these things have a habit of setting you back a few months when you finally get back to the baize again, he’s not won a competitive match since August and even that was against the young Pole Kacper Filipiak, I love Dunny as he’s got a filthy sense of humour but I can’t see any reason to oppose Guodong in this match and the price is no laughing matter.

Recommended Tuesday Lunchtime Bets:

3 points win Xiao Guodong to beat Mike Dunn at 10/11 at Bet 365

2 points double Guodong and Selt at just over 7/4 with Bet 365

1 point treble Guodong, Selt and Wenbo Boylesports will be enhancing the odds on this to a 4/1 Snookerbacker Enhanced Treble.

1 point win Adam Duffy to beat Rory McLeod at 7/4 with Paddy Power

2 points win McCulloch to beat Davis at 6/4 with Boylesports

Tuesday 7pm

Joe Jogia 6-5 Anthony McGill

Jamie Jones 6-5 Jimmy White LIVE STREAMING

Alan McManus 4-6 Peter Lines (h2h 0-1)

Jack Lisowski 2-6 Li Yan

Robert Milkins 6-5 Dave Gilbert (h2h 2-0)

Dave Harold 3-6 Adrian Gunnell (h2h 1-0)

Anthony Hamilton 6-4 Mark Joyce (h2h 0-1)

Jamie Burnett 6-3 Tony Drago (h2h 0-1) LIVE STREAMING

Goes nice with a bit of salt.

The top match sees the highly rated Scot McGill take on the much improved Joe Jogia. Jogia is getting some decent results of late and mixing it with company that he never used to, this to me has made him a really hard player to judge and bet on these past few months. McGill had a good win against Sam Baird last night and that is sure to give him confidence. He has been hinting at playing well lately so I’d be tempted to side with him. Jimmy White will be desperate to make the venue at York as ever and vastly improved Jamie Jones who has shot up the rankings stands in his way tonight. Jones has won 19 from 29 matches so far this season and has only lost 3 of his last 11, he is on the way up. One rule I tend to keep as a golden one when betting in matches like this is if careers are heading in different directions, back the one looking up rather than down. I think Jones has a bit too much for Jimmy these days though I would never write the Whirlwind off. Alan McManus comes into this on the back of a decent run in the last PTC and will fancy his chances against Peter Lines, tough call that one. Jack Lisowski and Li Yan are unlikely to hang around, this one will be all out attack I reckon and of the two I think Jack has the edge in that department and is less erratic than his Chinese opponent. Rob Milkins (aka Mill Hopkins) is a bit in and out lately and I’m tempted to keep faith with Dave Gilbert in that one but not with a bet. Big Dave Harold and Big Adrian Gunnell are sure to have a right old grapple, it puts me in mind of a butcher playing a greengrocer for some reason and I don’t think it will be particularly pretty. I think Dave is the better player of the two and probably the better battler too so I’ll stick with him. Mark Joyce will be looking to rekindle his UK love affair by qualifying again this year but the formidable, if unpredictable Sheriff of Pottingham Anthony Hamilton stands in his way. Joyce has a chance but Hamilton is in good form of late and again for me is the better player of the two, I’ll stick with the Sheriff there. My bet of the night would have to be Jamie Burnett who takes on Tony Drago, Burnett is a heavy scorer and wins a lot more than he loses at this level, I think he’ll have too much in the way of scoring power for the Maltese Falcon tonight.

Recommended Evening Bets:

3 points win Burnett to beat Drago at 8/13 with Boylesports

2 points win Jones to beat White at 10/11 widely available

1 point Enhanced Snookerbacker Acca: Burnett, Lisowski, Jones, Hamilton and Harold 11/1 at Boylesports


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