Snookerbacker

November 9, 2011

UK Championship Qualifiers: Final Qualifying Round

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:50 am

It's a Big Day for the King

Wednesday sees the final day of qualifying to decide who makes the starting line up in York next month. The seeds 17-32 including King of the Crucible Stephen Hendry take to the baize to play the winners from yesterday.

Tuesday was a little less dramatic than the day before with quite a few winning comfortably and just the three deciders, all coming last night. It was great to see Steve Davis continue his recent good form in comfortably seeing off Ian McCulloch. Michael White was hugely impressive against Liang Wenbo and is now firmly established on my radar along with the likes of Ben Woollaston who also won through to the final qualifying round today with a comfortable win.

Poor old Mike Dunn couldn’t get going at all against Xiao Guodong and was very down after the match. It’s inevitable that after a time away from the baize you will be playing catch up for a bit and I just hope that Dunny can put this behind him and knuckle down in time for the German Masters qualifiers later this month.

Meanwhile, King Snail Rory did what he does best and sapped the life out of any entertainment value in beating poor old Adam Duffy. It was all going so well for Adam in his maiden season as a pro until he came face to face with The Dentist, who extracted molars, incisors, performed root canal surgery and finished off with a few fillings while Adam sat in his chair, helpless and motionless in the face of possibly the slowest player since good old Robby Foldvari himself.

Last night saw Jimmy attempt and fail to emulate the Nugget, he went down 6-5 to Jamie Jones. Jack Lisowski was sent home by Li Yan who attempts to qualify having been here from the beginning. Joe Jogia won again, knocking out young Scottish hope Ant McGill in a decider. There were also wins for Jamie Burnett, Mill Hopkins, Peter Lines, Adrian Gunnell and the Sheriff of Pottingham, who all win through to tonight’s final eight matches.

Another solid rather than spectacular day on the betting front with all the main fancies winning. It looks very much like this is going to be one of the better events from a profit perspective, much like the corresponding event last year. I always said I didn’t mind the change to best of elevens.

Wednesday 12 noon

Barry Hawkins 2-6 Rory McLeod (h2h 2-2) Rory plays John Higgins in York

Stephen Hendry 6-2 Gerard Greene (h2h 2-0) Hendry plays Stephen Maguire in York

Andrew Higginson 2-6 Steve Davis (h2h 2-0) The Nugget plays Ronnie in York

Dominic Dale 6-2 Nigel Bond (h2h 0-2) Dom plays Judd Trump in York

Mark Davis 6-2 Michael White (h2h 2-0) Mave plays Ding Junhui in York

Marcus Campbell 6-3 Ben Woollaston (h2h 1-0) Marcus plays Matthew Stevens in York

Mark King 2-6 Matthew Selt Matthew plays Graeme Dott in York

Tom Ford 6-0 Xiao Guodong (h2h 0-1) Tom plays Neil Robertson in York

Will be hoping it's just a check up this afternoon.

Two legends of the game, Davis and Hendry take to the baize this afternoon on the streamed tables to try and win through to York. Both at very different stages in their careers, one seemingly content to carry on regardless, another seemingly uneasy about his slide out of the game’s elite. How will Stephen cope today? Well, he faces Gerard Greene and in fairness to GG, this isn’t a bad draw for Hendry as he attempts to get his teeth into the qualifiers. They haven’t played each other for six years, largely because Gerard doesn’t make many venues, I think Stephen will be pretty cheesed off if he loses today and I don’t expect him to. The Nugget on the other hand faces a man in great form in the shape of Andrew Higginson. The bookies rightly make Higgy favourite but do they continue to underestimate the power of the Nugget? Higginson should win of course, but how many times have we said that before when a player comes up against Steve? He’s playing as well as I have seen him play in five years and this is one of the events that he takes seriously, it may not be as cut and dried as the bookies think this one. The bet I like the most this morning is the 4/6 on offer at Boylesports for Barry Hawkins to beat Rory. McLeod thrives on players that let him get to them, I think old rubber-faced Barry is too experienced and too good to let him do that today and he would be my bet of the session. Having watched Michael White yesterday it would be a very brave person that opposed him, especially with Dark Mavis who will still have an eye on the next ranking revision having missed out, largely through his own shortcomings, on a Masters slot to Martin Gould who did his best to throw 16th place his way in the last two events. If White can hold himself together he has a great chance to upset the odds in that one. Similar sentiments apply to Matt Selt who takes on Mark King, the Essex boys could be in for a rare old tussle there and if I ever considered betting in a match with Mark King in it again I’d be very tempted indeed at the 6/4 on Selt, again with Boyles. I find Bond v Dale impossible to call so I won’t, Xiao Guodong won’t have it as easy as he did yesterday against Tom Ford and he’ll do well to keep up the winning run there. One further match I do like the look of however is Ben Woollaston to beat Marcus Campbell, big Marcus is having a bad run of results at the moment with just one win in six, that being against an unpronounceable Polish amateur in the PTC over there. Ben is in fine form and is a player I expect to be making venues regularly pretty soon, the wind in his sails, he can land the 6/5 on offer.

Recommended Wednesday Lunchtime Bets:

5 points win Hawkins to beat McLeod at 4/6 with Boylesports

2 points win Woollaston to beat Campbell at 6/5 with Sportingbet

Enhanced Treble on: 2 points on Woollaston, Hawkins and Hendry Snookerbacker Special Pays 9/2 with Boylesports. Back it here.    

Wednesday 7pm

Jamie Cope 3-6 Joe Jogia (h2h 1-0)

Ricky Walden 6-2 Jamie Jones (h2h 0-3) LIVE STREAMING

Ken Doherty 5-6 Peter Lines (h2h 1-0) LIVE STREAMING

Fergal O’Brien 2-6 Li Yan (h2h 1-0)

Peter Ebdon 3-6 Robert Milkins (h2h 2-3)

Joe Perry 4-6 Adrian Gunnell (h2h 1-0)

Marco Fu 6-5 Anthony Hamilton (h2h 2-4)

Ryan Day 6-0 Jamie Burnett (h2h 2-1)

...is in the building.

The final crop of matches tonight and again some great ones in prospect. Li Yan is another that has been here since Sunday and he takes on The Ferginator. It is fair to say that Li won a potting competition against Jack Lisowski last night and I remain unconvinced about the tactical side of his game so I’m happy to trust Fergal here, if only so I can see him in York and ask him to sign this picture. The streamed matches feature one I can’t call between Ken and Peter Lines and one that before I saw the head to head statistic I was pretty sure of lumping on Ricky Walden against Jamie Jones. Jones has beaten Ricky in two PTC encounters over two seasons and prior to that beat him in a best of five qualifier in 2006. I think Ricky is a player that will end up back in the top 16 by the end of the season and to me rightfully so as he’s a cracking player. Despite the head to head and a respect for Jamie I’ll still trust Ricky as he comes into this playing himself into form, I won’t be going mad though. Two of the nicest guys in snooker clash when Marco Fu and Anthony Hamilton meet, that head to head masks the fact that Marco has won the last two meetings between the pair even though Ant has actually walloped him twice at the Crucible in the first round. We all know that Marco has had his off the table issues but on his day he’s a class act, that said, I am surprised he is favourite for the match. Up at the top Jamie Cope takes on the improver Joe Jogia who again is a player in form, unlike Cope. One win in 7 (against Mike Hallett) from the Stoke man is not the sort of form that is going to get him back into the top 16 any time soon and I get the feeling that all is not quite right in the Cope camp, Jogia at 15/8 (now 13/8) with Boyles has to be the bet. There isn’t much value in Joe Perry’s price but a win is a win and I think he’ll have too much for Adrian Gunnell, Jamie Burnett did us a favour last night, I’m sure he’ll be delighted for us obviously, but he really is a great player in the balls, very like Hamilton in that respect, that said he has a tough one tonight against Ryan Day and I’d marginally favour the Welshman given that he’s another playing himself into a winning habit. Peter Ebdon is also in action against local man Mill Hopkins. Milkins had a good win last night and is the total antithesis of Ebdon, a quick thinker and fast around the table. Last time I saw Peter he was playing pretty well and I expect that one to be tight, too tight to call.

Recommended Wednesday Night Bets:

3 points win Joe Jogia at 13/8 with Boylesports

1 point win Anthony Hamilton at Evens with Boylesports

Snookerbacker Enhanced Treble on Perry, Walden and Day at 5/2 with Boylesports. Back it here.  


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