Snookerbacker

July 30, 2012

The Month Ahead: August

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:45 am

He still won’t put pen to paper

It’s a very rare thing this year in the snooker world is the month of August. It’s actually remarkably quiet so much so that it almost puts you in mind of the days of Sir Rodney Effing Walker. There are just 2 PTC events, 4 days of qualifiers and some Premier League action. But there is another key date which falls even before we get back on the baize. 

It involves a certain Mr Ronnie Antonio O’Sullivan, the world champion who is still sulking that he can’t get the extra dosh he deserves ‘because he’s worth it’.

Our Ron has until a week today to sign the players contract and post his entry for the UK Championship in York in December, should he not enter this event then can we also assume that he will miss the Masters in January? Even the World Championship perhaps?

Who knows? The only thing predictable about Ronnie is that you can’t predict him, so let’s not bother trying. However, it will be a real sign of his intent to stand firm should he decide that the UK is not a priority, as this is still one of the Blue Riband events in the calendar and York is very nice around Christmastime, with lots of nice shops for Ronnie to spend all his millions in.

Anyway, on the baize the SWSA hosts another PTC between 8-12th to hopefully build on the success of the last one. It’s then off to sunny Skegness for a Premier League shootout before the amateur boys scrap it out in Sheffield to qualify for this season’s PTC in Poland.

The action stays in Sheffield as the qualifiers take place for the new Chinese event on the calendar, the International Championship between 19th-22nd and then it’s over to Fuerth in Germany for the excellent Paul Hunter Classic, a PTC event named in honour of the sadly missed golden boy of the baize.

That’s August in a rather large nutshell.  

AUGUST

UK PTC2
August 8-12
South West Snooker Academy, Gloucester

SEEDING CUT OFF FOR INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP/POTENTIAL INVITATION EVENTS x 2

Premier League
August 16
Embassy Theatre, Skegness

European Tour 2 (Poland) pre-qualifier
August 17-18
World Snooker Academy, Sheffield

International Championship qualifiers
August 19-22
World Snooker Academy, Sheffield

European Tour 1 (Paul Hunter Classic)
August 23-26
Fuerth, Germany

SB Classic Gloucester:Confirmed Players

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:00 am

Below are the confirmed competitors for the Snookerbacker Classic events at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester on 12th and 13th October.

This is the final confirmed list although 1 further place at Gloucester will become available if the winner of the Leeds qualifying heat on 29th September has entered Gloucester aswell and is automatically withdrawn from the these two events.

If you want that spot in the event that this happens please contact me today.

12th October – Gloucester Confirmed Players (32) 

Ben Harrison, Allan Taylor, Andrew Pagget, Zak Surety, Ryan Causton, Gavin Lewis, Ben Jones, Marc Harman, Kishan Hirani, Andy Neck, Matt Bayley, Sydney Wilson, Kyren Wilson, Callum Lloyd, Paul Norris, John Whitty, Reanne Evans, Andrew Norman, Adam Wicheard, Shane Castle, Chris Keogan, Gareth Allen, Jay Bullen, Matthew Day, The Wizard of Glos, Snooker Bingo, David Maslov, Tom Maxfield, Jamie Clarke, Callum Downing, Sanjay Meghani, Dan Webb.

13th October – Gloucester Confirmed Players (34 – the 2 winners from Friday will be withdrawn and replaced)   

Ben Harrison, Allan Taylor, Andrew Pagget, Zak Surety, Ryan Causton, Gavin Lewis, Ben Jones, Marc Harman, Kishan Hirani, Andy Neck, Matt Bayley, Sydney Wilson, Kyren Wilson, Callum Lloyd, Paul Norris, John Whitty, Reanne Evans, Andrew Norman, Adam Wicheard, Shane Castle, Chris Keogan, Gareth Allen, Jay Bullen, Matthew Day, Gary Weeks, Anthony Harris, Brian Robertson, Hannah Jones, David Maslov, Tom Maxfield, Jamie Clarke, Callum Downing, Sanjay Meghani, Dan Webb.

Apologies to those who originally reserved places and missed the fee payment deadline. I did agree extension with a number of players but if you failed to respond to my communications I had to let your place go, such was the level of demand this year for places.

July 29, 2012

Snookerbacker Classic Leeds Draw

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:12 pm

Northern Snooker Centre, Leeds. Saturday 29th September. All matches Best of 7 frames. 1 qualifier goes through to Finals Day. 

Chris Keogan v Sean Hopkin
Ant Parsons v Gareth Allen
Gavin Lewis v Jack Bradford
Sanderson Lam v Martin Ball
Gary Wilson v Elliot Slessor
Alex Taubman v Ben Harrison
John Whitty v Ryan Bailey
Oliver Lines v Jamie Barrett

WATCH HOW THE DRAW WAS DONE HERE.

Snookerbacker Classic Opening Ceremony

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 3:20 pm

As preparations get underway for the live draw tonight, the official opening of the Snookerbacker Classic has been marked with an opening ceremony.

You can watch exclusive footage of the Opening Ceremony by clicking here and find out who ended up being chosen to light the official SB Classic flame.

I hope you enjoy this marvellous spectacle as much as we did.

Remember Leeds Draw tonight at 6pm Live on Twitter

SB Classic Leeds Draw Tonight Live on Twitter

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:26 am

Tonight sees the first of six live draws for the Snookerbacker Classic 2013. The draw will be done Live on Twitter at 6pm and will feature the following 16 players:

Ant Parsons, Ben Harrison, Chris Keogan, Elliot Slessor, Jack Bradford, Jamie Barrett, Alex Taubman, Sanderson Lam, Gavin Lewis, Gareth Allen, Sean Hopkin, Billy Filtness, Martin Ball, Ryan Bailey, John Whitty, Oliver Lines.

To follow the draw as it happens follow me on Twitter by clicking here.

July 27, 2012

Snooker Players Association ‘Bombarded with Complaints’

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:38 am

All the players want is to earn a decent crust

There has been much talk of late, particularly amongst the lower-ranked professionals about the expense involved these days in being a professional snooker player trying to earn a living on the main tour. It seems that a recent visit to the South West Snooker Academy by the Chairman of the Snooker Players Association (SPA) was seen by some as an excuse to voice their opinions to him in the hope of getting some solutions. 

There is no doubt that within the current structure there is much factoring in to do for players when it comes to their expenses, whether it be entrance fees, travel and accommodation or simply having enough to live on while they are competing in tournaments.

There are two obvious ways that this becomes less of a problem, one is having a sponsor with bottomless pockets who is prepared to invest in a long-term gamble, the other is winning matches; enough matches to carry on travelling and winning more until this becomes less of a problem, as Del Boy would say ‘you have to speculate to accumulate’.

The SPA have released an open letter to Jason Ferguson on their website here. In the letter which I will just say is clearly recognisable as being written by the SPA, there are a number of points made, from the fact that not all players like pies (which is actually a bit of a shock to the system for me, Ebdon excluded) to the fact that players believe, quite rightly in my view, that if they win a match they should win at least something, money I mean, not a pie.

I believe that the sentiments expressed in the letter are mostly legitimate, though some of them do seem to be based on either loose talk or the opinion of one person who had ‘the most boring day of his snooker life’ last week.

My problem with this is that the same people who state that the players are branding this ‘the minimum wage tour’ were last week encouraging those same players to open a betting account, as part of a standard affiliate arrangement which results in a percentage of players’ losses going to the SPA.

I have no problem whatsoever with affiliate deals, I have had some myself in the past though have never based them on a percentage of losing bets. They are however a good way for bookmakers to attract new custom through websites and the like and can be profitable for those taking them up if they use them wisely. But for a professional body that represents professional sportsmen and women to argue they are all skint whilst on the other hand encouraging those same people to do their brains at the bookies to fill their own coffers is a bit rich, pardon the pun.

I do believe that the players should have independent representation and it is right that they should have a collective voice which challenges things that they believe are wrong or unjust. I’m just not sure that the current arrangement is best in a sport which is in a period of change, part of that change being an increased focus on issues such as this by people such as me who write blogs and report on snooker.

The tone of the letter to me is all wrong, it starts with relatively petty issues, then goes on to drop Paul Mount in it, before actually getting to what the point the players are really making is. Namely, that it isn’t right that players pay expenses, turn up to venues in events they have paid a fair amount of money to enter, win their first match and in some cases their first two matches and leave empty-handed. But unfortunately this perfectly legitimate and important point gets lost in a sea of garbled nonsense about pies, toasties, tea, coffee and fish and chips.

The phrase ‘fit for purpose’ springs to mind. Maybe it’s time for a change. I might set one up myself, what d’ya say Bazza? You feelin’ lucky punk?

EDIT: To read Jason Ferguson’s response to Les Barton click here. Ferguson’s expresses his personal view that every time a player wins a match they should receive prize money (I said that).

Shanghai Qualifiers: The Final Round

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:20 am

Let’s hope today’s action is a bit better than this tripe.

It’s time for the climax over at the cubicles in Sheffield. Actually that sounds a bit rude. What I meant to say was that it’s the Final Day of Qualifiers at the Academy to decide who is Shanghai bound. 

The standard of play yesterday seemed noticeably better than the previous two days yet there was only one century break all day, a 100 recorded by Gerard Greene in his defeat to Dave Gilbert, so just 6 in total for the week. You would think that today will see that tally escalate given that we now have seeded players 17-32 competing.

The star of the show so far is Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon who finds himself one match away from the venue having not lost a frame all week, he faces Jamie Cope first up this morning. I also continue to be impressed with Aditya Mehta who scrapped yesterday to a 5-4 win over Matt Selt.

In terms of betting, yesterday reversed the negative tide of the week and produced a near perfect day, including the landing of two recommended trebles. The icing on the cake came with my old pal Rod Lawler winning last night, another player who is in very good form indeed.

It is also nice to see the veteran trio of Steve Davis, Jimmy White and Ken Doherty still in the running, could it be a day for the oldies?

10am

Jamie Cope 5-4 Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon
Tom Ford 5-1 Nigel Bond
Mark King v Aditya Mehta
Dominic Dale 5-0 Anthony McGill
Jamie Jones 5-1 Jimmy White
Ryan Day 5-4 Jamie Burnett

It would be a fitting end to the week to see Thanawat qualify for the main event, the young Thai player has dispensed clinically with all around him and now faces his toughest test yet in the form of the Stoke Potter Jamie Cope. This match will be over quickly I reckon and I have  feeling it will be one-sided, the trouble is I can’t decide who will dominate, so I’m going to leave it alone. Tom Ford was branded by Michael Holt the other day ‘the laziest player in snooker’ and this morning, if his alarm clock goes off Snoozy Tom will face Nigel Bond. Ford can be unreliable at times but is getting a bit more consistent at this level and I am prepared to side with him here in a match that he should win. Mark King has had a terrible start to the season and proclaimed after a poor performance in the recent PTC that it was back to the drawing board for him, I fancy that Aditya Mehta can cause an upset there as King has scarely had time to get his pencils out before making the trip here. ‘One to Watch’ Willie Winner Anthony McGill now comes up against the Spaceman Dominic Dale and this I think is the one that could produce a deciding frame, both play a patient game and Ant is improving in all aspects of his and is a lad with a good head on his shoulders, I actually think he could overturn the odds here. Jamie Jones is suffering something of a Crucible hangover and needs a win today against Jimmy, the Whirlwind looked in pretty good nick yesterday and Jones will have to be sharp to win, he beat Jimmy 6-5 in the UK qualifiers last season but he was in better form then than he is now and I wouldn’t be surprised if Jimmy won today, but it’s a no bet for me. Finally, Ryan Day faces Jamie Burnett, the Scot won on a final black yesterday after at one point needing a snooker, he didn’t look to be scoring very heavily and that is his main weapon, so I’d have to fancy the classier Day to win there.

Recommended Bets: 3 point double on Ford and Day pays just over 13/8 at Apollobet. 2 point double on Mehta (+2.5 frames) and McGill (+2.5 frames) at just on 4/5 with Apollobet.    

Additional Daily Acca:  As it’s the last day let’s try a 1 point acca on the whole day on Ford, Day, Higginson, Ebdon, Hawkins, Fu and Campbell which pays 21.5/1 at William Hills.

2.30pm

Michael Holt v Rob Milkins
Peter Ebdon v David Grace
Dark Mavis 5-0 Dave Gilbert
Andrew Higginson 0-5 Steve Davis
Joe Perry v Barry Pinches

Michael Holt enters the fray to play Mill Hopkins, Holt is a player that regulars know I avoid like the plague. Betting on him should carry a government health warning, I quite fancy him to win today but I value my sanity (or what’s left of it) too much to get involved. Peter Ebdon has been in great form of late and loves the overseas events, I think he’ll probably see off the challenge of David Grace but I’ll wish Gracey all the best. Another player in sparkling form is Dark Mavis and he faces Dave Gilbert in what could be a very high quality encounter, Mavis is just about a backable price I reckon and if he brings his recent form with him you have to side with him. Andrew Higginson impressed in the PTC last week and is surely a good thing against the Nugget whilst Joe Perry will be hoping to keep up his mini-resurgence with a win over Barry Pinches, might be a bit longer than the others that one.

Recommended Bet: 2 point treble on Ebdon, Higginson and Perry pays almost bang on 5/2 at Apollobet.   

7pm

Fergal O’Brien v Rod Lawler
Marcus Campbell v Ken Doherty
Anthony Hamilton v Jimmy Robertson
Marco Fu v Mark Joyce
Barry Hawkins v Dave Harold

It’s unfortunate that the Olympic Opening Ceremony clashes with the Rod Lawler v Fergal O’Brien encounter, unfortunate for the Olympic  organisers that is as surely this will be the event that everyone will want to see tonight. But World Snooker have obviously had a huge pay off from Lord Coe and Co and have decided not to stream it. Their head to head stands at 1-1 and Rod comes into this in the better form of the two, I’ll stick with the Liverpudlian here. Anthony Hamilton tends to take a while to get into his stride at the start of the season and faces Jimmy Robertson who had a nice win last night, again the ring-rusty Hamilton can be opposed. On paper Barry Hawkins would be bet of the night but since when has paper mattered? Dave Harold is in form and can frustrate and beat anyone if he is in the mood, that’s one to steer clear of now for me. I fancy Marcus Campbell to beat Ken Doherty, Marcus has started the season well and Ken was quite lucky to win in the end last night. The bet of the night for me is Marco Fu, he looks to be cueing a little better lately and faces Mark Joyce, who while no pushover, would be clocking one of the ranking wins of his career if he managed to beat Marco.

Recommended Bet: 2 point double on Campbell and Fu pays 9/5 at Bet 365. 2 points on Lawler at 11/10 with Skybet  

July 26, 2012

Shanghai Qualifiers Round Three

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:52 am

Becoming as essential as a cue for some players

Day Three over in Sheffield as the Shanghai Masters Qualifiers reach their penultimate day. The main news yesterday of course surrounded Joe Jogia and I expect that again this may overshadow the snooker a bit today as Joe’s response to the sentence is made public.

I have to say that for me overall the standard of this particular set of qualifiers has not been great. A couple of the live streamed matches that I have seen would not have looked out of place at the local club and whether this is down to the ever popular Sheffield cubicles and the problems some players seem to have with them or not, I don’t know, but when you hear the official line that the standard is improving and there is so much more strength in depth in the game and then are confronted with matches of this standard, it does make you wonder.

Two days of professional snooker and only five centuries, two of which were made by the same player.

Another issue is the time some of these matches are taking to complete. It seems it is now not unusual at all for a best of nine encounter  to last between four and five hours. This is hardly going to switch on a new audience.

Regulars will know that I am a great fan of longer matches and tactical play, seeing people simply potting from the lampshades against each other gets a bit dull as far as I am concerned and if that’s what turns you on then there is always pool or the Premier League.

But what I find a bit tiresome here is that long drawn out safety battles more often than not eventually lead to a player carving out a chance to make a 20 or 30 before we get to that situation again. As opposed to when the standard is higher and a good safety can carve out a frame winning chance.

I can already hear the rumblings of discontent but perhaps there is an argument here for some kind of time limit on matches, not a shotclock, but perhaps a 4 hour match cap. There is also no need for a 15 minute interval after four frames in the qualifiers, a short five minuter perhaps for the referee mainly but these players are used to practicing all day so doing a best of nine in one run shouldn’t be a problem.

Anyway, it was a mixed day in the betting front yesterday, bad morning and a good afternoon and the evening going out with a whimper. We’re still behind but it could have been a lot worse.

10am

Mike Dunn 0-5 Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon
Nigel Bond 5-1 Scott Donaldson
Matthew Selt 4-5 Aditya Mehta
Anthony McGill 5-4 Andy Hicks
Jimmy White 5-1 Michael White
Jamie Burnett 5-4 Ian Burns

Mike Dunn has been a little out of sorts lately and is in need of a win to kick-start his season, he faces Thanawat who is one of the few players who put in a quick and heavy scoring performance yesterday. Mike hasn’t won a competitive match since February and was beaten by Sam Baird last week in Gloucester, he is worth opposing again here with a player who seems to be continually finding his feet at this level. Scott Donaldson is making a nice start to his pro-career and has a winnable match here against the fading Nigel Bond, Bond however is a step up from Scott’s first two opponents and too little is known about him to back him with any confidence so no bet there. The match between Matt Selt and Aditya Mehta could be a close one and I would not be surprised to see that go to a decider, Mehta continues to impress me but again, Selt is a step up in class for the Indian player. Andy Hicks played well yesterday and faces Anthony McGill, a coin toss for me that one but again Hicks may carry the momentum forward and is a decent price. The battle of the White’s is next and Michael is another who played well yesterday in dispensing with Tony Drago in a decider, he’s a great little player and even as a lifelong Jimmy fan I’d like to see him progress again here and as long as he handles the occasion of playing Jimmy ok, then I think he probably will. Finally, Jamie Burnett faces one of the marathon men from yesterday Ian Burns who surprisingly for me overturned a 4-2 deficit against the tough as teeth Alan McManus to win a decider. This should be a different, more open type of match and for me Burnett will present a bridge too far for Burnsey.

Recommended Bets: 2 points on Thanawat at 5/4 with Paddy Power.3 point treble on Burnett, Hicks (+2.5) and Mehta (+2.5) pays just under 7/4 with Apollobet.  

Dave Gilbert: 2 centuries yesterday including a 142

2.30pm

Robert Milkins 5-4 Liam Highfield
Xiao Guodong 2-5 David Grace
Gerard Greene 2-5 David Gilbert
Steve Davis 5-1 Alfie Burden
Ben Woollaston 3-5 Barry Pinches

Robot Milkins aka Mill Hopkins takes to the baize again to face Liam Highfield who has come through two rounds to get to this stage. Rob disappointed in the PTC last week under the weight of being the Team SB skipper but for me he is a player that should really be higher up in the rankings and not starting events like this until at least tomorrow, but the rankings don’t lie of course. I’d take him as a confident pick to win here. Dave Gilbert impressed yesterday with two centuries and a similar performance may be good enough to beat the higher seeded Gerard Greene. Friend of the Blog David Grace faces his stiffest task yet against the dangerous Xiao Guodong, fingers crossed for David but I’d have to side with the promising Chinese player here. Alfie Burden will have to improve in leaps and bounds on yesterday’s performance to stand a chance today against the Nugget, but as ever with Steve it depends whether he’s been putting the practice in for this event, for me though Alfie can’t play as badly as he did yesterday again and I’d marginally favour him, but not with a bet. Ben Woollaston will fancy his chances of progressing against another marathon winner from yesterday Barry Pinches, Ben is a player that seems to be able to handle the tactical side of the game well and I’d fancy him to prevail here.

Recommended Bet: 2 points double on Milkins and Gilbert pays over 6/4 at William Hills add Guodong for a 1 point treble pays over 3/1 with the same firm. 

7pm

Liang Wenbo 4-5 Rod Lawler
Ken Doherty 5-4 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Jack Lisowski 1-5 Jimmy Robertson
Rory McLeod 4-5 Mark Joyce
Dave Harold 5-3 Cao Yupeng

The bang-in-form Rod Lawler has won the last two meetings against Liang Wenbo and given the form he carries into this as well as what I would have as massive doubts about his opponent I am happy to stick with Rod here at odds-against. Ken Doherty is getting quite a difficult player to read as the years go on, he is still capable of some decent performances but too often he gets a bit reckless and misses balls when you least expect it, a sign of age some might say. His Thai opponent Un-Nooh has a couple of decent wins under his belt and very much like Thanawat this morning is posting increasingly impressive results, looking at his latest scalps Doherty would not look out of place on that list so again, it’s the outsider of the pair for me. Jack Lisowski will be buzzing after making the final of last week’s PTC and although he’ll probably have a slight niggle that he should have won it he doesn’t seem the type to take a negative out of a huge positive, I think he’ll carry that form forward and defeat Jimmy Robertson. Rory McLeod has beaten Mark Joyce on the previous three encounters and is notoriously difficult to beat at this level, Mark had a nice win last night but I’m not sure he’s the kind of player that can fully cope with Rory, who can be a real handful. Finally, Cao Yupeng, my current ‘watch’ amongst the Chinese boys faces an interesting encounter with Dave Harold, I think that will go close as Dave is in decent form too, so the handicap market is where I will be playing there.

Recommended Bets: 2 point double on McLeod and Lisowski pays 2/1 at Hills. 3 point treble on Un-Nooh (+2.5), Yupeng (+2.5) and Lawler (+2.5) pays over 5/4 at Apollobet. 2 points win on Lawler at 11/10 with Ladbrokes.      

July 25, 2012

Jogia Gets Two Year Ban

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:56 pm

Joe: Jogging On.

The WPBSA have today handed out their harshest penalty for some time in suspending Leicester player Joe Jogia for two years, to the end of season 2013/14 to be exact, following their investigation into unusual betting patterns at the Sky Shootout last season on a match against Matt Selt that never actually took place.  

The original story has been covered extensively on the blog which also detailed the level of bets that had been struck on the exchanges at Betfair in the comments section of this post, provoking a reaction from the Snooker Players Association (SPA). The figures were subsequently published in Snooker Scene.

You can read a summary of the story here.

The Official Statement from the WPBSA reads thus:

The Disciplinary Committee of the WPBSA has today heard the case of Joe Jogia in relation to the suspicious betting patterns on his match with Matthew Selt that was due to take place at the Sky Snooker Shootout at Blackpool on Saturday 28th January 2012.

It was alleged that a series of bets were placed on Matthew Selt to win this match and the pattern of betting was deemed to be suspicious. As a result betting was suspended on the match on the evening of 23rd January 2012. On 26th January 2012, Joe Jogia withdrew from the match citing an injury and the match did not take place. 

An investigation was conducted by the WPBSA which found that on and between 20th and 24th January 2012, a total of 19 bets were made or attempted, all at different betting shops in the Leicester area on Matthew Selt winning this match against Joe Jogia. 14 bets to a total value of £4,830 were placed and 4 bets to a total of £2,300 and 1 bet of an unknown amount was declined. 

It was established that the two persons placing the bets were known to Joe Jogia as associates and telephone records demonstrate that in the period leading up to and following the placing of bets Joe Jogia was in repeated contact with them. There was no contact prior to 16th January 2012 then he sent 33 text messages and made 3 calls to one of the persons placing the bets and 42 text messages and 1 call to the other.  Joe has failed to provide a consistent or detailed explanation as to the reason for the contact. 

Initially, Joe Jogia claimed that the reason for the betting must be that people were aware of an injury that he had suffered, but 4 of the suspicious bets were placed before he claimed to have suffered the injury and a further 7 of the bets were placed before he sought medical attention. 

Although there was no evidence to show that Joe Jogia would have gained financially, the Disciplinary Committee found that the frequency and timing of this contact, his lack of a consistent explanation for the contact and the suspicions raised by the pattern of bets placed by his associates, created an actual or apparent conflict of interest for him as a Member of the WPBSA, or otherwise risked impairing public confidence in the integrity of his Match with Matthew Selt. 

The WPBSA Disciplinary Committee found that he is in breach of the following members rules: 

SECTION 2 – BETTING RULES

2.    Betting misconduct

It shall be a breach of these Rules for a Member to do any of the following: 

2.1.4 General:

2.1.4.1     to engage in any other conduct (ie beyond that specified in paragraph 2.1.1 to 2.1.3) that is corrupt or fraudulent, or creates an actual or apparent conflict of interest for the Member, or otherwise risks impairing public confidence in the integrity and/or the honest and orderly conduct of the Tour and/or any Tournament or Match; 

Joe Jogia was today banned from involvement in the game of snooker and billiards until the conclusion of the 2014 World Championship and ordered to pay £2000 as a contribution towards the cost of the hearing and investigation of the case.

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said “In protecting the public image of our sport the WPBSA has strong links with the gambling commission and the betting industry. The integrity of our sport is of paramount importance and today’s outcome highlights how seriously the WPBSA will treat such matters.” 

So is this at last a sign that the governing body is taking this kind of thing seriously? Or is it a bit unfair on poor old Joe, who has always proclaimed his innocence and claimed he was a hobbler not a nobbler? He even at one point accused the governing body of being racist, but quickly withdrew this frankly rather daft and quite desperate accusation.

Something tells me our Jogs might not take this punishment lying down.

His defence was fully backed at the time by the SPA, who of course upset Bazza just the other day in another betting related incident. Not that I am suggesting for one minute that this would have any bearing on the outcome as that would just be mischief making of the very worst kind on my part.

The sentence imposed on Jogia will almost certainly end his professional career and there will be those that might consider him to be something of a scapegoat, considering the punishment that was handed out to John Higgins and the various other episodes that over the years have gone unpunished or at least appeared to have gone unpunished through the absence of an official investigation by the governing body of the day.

The announcement comes just a couple of days after Betfair announced that they were going to sponsor the Shootout this year.

Stephen Lee and Ronnie O’Sullivan are in front of the WPBSA committee tomorrow for a load of other stuff.

July 24, 2012

Shanghai Masters Qualifying Day 2

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:26 pm

There’s More of Us Than You Think

It’s Day 2 of the Shanghai Masters Qualifiers over in Sheffield and the winners from Monday now take on seeded players that are currently a little bit higher up the pecking order and therefore have one day’s less hotel bill to pay in Sheffield.

The first day big gamble flopped and another name that was added to the SB Blacklist is the cruelly initialled at birth Sam Baird who failed to produce against Ben Judge, who was not so cruelly initialled. I’ll say no more than my opinion is that Sam should be winning matches like this at this stage in his career and taking what he can from them.

There was one (unpublished) commenter on here (for the last time) that seemed to think that this result was somehow my fault; that I had somehow planned it all along to make money for the bookies and (this is the best bit) ‘at least it gives you a life which is more than I have now thanks to you, you spineless c**t’. I have corrected the spelling for fear of ridiculing the newly crowned prince thief of oxygen and also to prove that at least grammatically I am not spineless.

This incisive commenter has also been added to the blacklist, he is (for I know it isn’t a she) unfortunately never to compete for the big season bet prize on offer very soon to those that enjoy snooker, enjoy having a bet and don’t have anger issues or IT/wanking off stuff or being weird addictions.

Are you still allowed to say blacklist by the way? I’m sure I heard somewhere that it was racialist, oh well, I’m not like that so never mind. Glad I don’t live here.

Anyway, here’s tomorrow’s line up. In terms of overall yesterday, we took a hit on Baird but Un-Nooh clawed some back last night so it could have been worse. As ever, it’s onwards and upwards and I do like one in particular this morning.

10am

Round 2

17) Dechawat Poomjaeng 0-5 Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon
18) Yu De Lu 3-5 Scott Donaldson
19) James Wattana 2-5 Aditya Mehta
20) Andy Hicks 5-1 Luca Brecel
21) Michael White 5-4 Tony Drago
22) Alan McManus 4-5 Ian Burns

The first match on the list between the two Thai players this morning is surely one of the longest in terms of letters in the player’s names ever to grace the baize. Dechawat is in form and made Round 4 of the PTC at the weekend losing to Angles McManus on Finals Day, Thanawat was beaten Round 2 by Andy Hicks after beating Barry Pinches, both going to deciders. It’s a tough one to call this but at first glance I’d have had Poomjaeng as marginal favourite so seeing as some firms see this differently I think the 11/10 on him has to be taken against his young opponent. Scott Donaldson has started his professional career well but I still know too little about him to know how he’ll fair today against Yu Delu who has gone off the boil a bit since a decent run in the World Championship where he got within one match and Stephen Hendry of the Crucible, so no bet there. I’m prepared to give Aditya Mehta another round as he faces James Wattana, whilst James is always dangerous at this stage of events the Indian player is the improver of the two and as a rule that’s one I tend to stick to when the bookies see things slightly differently, again he is odds-against. I also think that the experienced Andy Hicks might not let Luca Brecel have it all his own way but again I just don’t think so enough to back him, even at odds against. As regulars will know I just now ignore matches with Tony Drago in them as I can’t predict which one of the multiple clones of him might show up, he faces Michael White in what could be a very entertaining match if they both bring their best to the table. Alan McManus has been in cracking early season form and I think the experience he brings to the table will be more than a match for Ian Burns, who while impressing in the balls in his match yesterday did benefit from an opponent who missed a lot of chances , Angles won’t do that and I’d advise a decent bet on him.

Recommended Bets: 5 points win on McManus at 1/2 with Apollobet. 1 point on Poomjaeng at 11/10 with Apollobet. 1 point win on Mehta at 6/5 with Ladbrokes.

Further Recommended Double: In the absence of any other firms pricing up the matches in full this afternoon yet I would recommend a double on McManus and Alfie Burden (-1.5 frames) this afternoon. 3 points at 6/4 with Apollobet.       

2.30pm

23) Passakorn Suwannawat 3-5 Liam Highfield
24) Li Yan v David Grace
25) David Gilbert 5-2 Robbie Williams
26) Alfie Burden v Ben Judge
27) Barry Pinches v Fraser Patrick

The first thing to say about this session is that I will advise again to back against Australian Ben Judge. Having watched him in action yesterday I just can’t see him getting anywhere near a player as experienced as Alfie Burden. He could end up proving me wrong again of course but I reckon the handicap in this match is the way to get back yesterday’s losses and put a bit on top. I think on current form David Grace and Li Yan are pretty evenly matched but it’s not a match I want or need to get involved in at this stage of the event, the same can be said for Liam Highfield against Passakorn Suwannawat, although given that the Thai player is on a three match losing streak he may be worth opposing with Liam at odds-against. Dave Gilbert and Barry Pinches should justify favouritism which makes this for me a potentially decent betting afternoon.

Recommended Bets: 2.5 point treble on Burden, Gilbert and Pinches pays 21/10 at Apollobet. 1 point win on Highfield at 11/10 with Apollobet and 2 points on Burden (-2.5 frames) at 5/4 with Apollobet.  

7pm

28) Liu Chuang v Rod Lawler
29) Peter Lines v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
30) Jimmy Robertson v Tian Pengfei
31) Mark Joyce v Kurt Maflin
32) Adam Duffy v Cao Yupeng

As I write this the afternoon isn’t going to plan for Alfie Burden so at the moment it’s a small bet to try and get some of the possible loss back. Rod Lawler has momentum on his side and I’ll take him to beat Liu Chuang, Peter Lines is tough as teeth and can take care of his Thai opponent quite comfortably I feel. The only other match which interests from a small treble point of view is Cao Yupeng to beat Adam Duffy so I will stick with those three. Of the other two matches and to have a hit and hope go at all five I would favour Robertson and Maflin.

Recommended Bet: 2 point treble on Lawler, Lines and Yupeng pays over 4/1 at William Hills and add Robertson and Maflin for a 1 point acca pays over 17/1 with the same firm.  

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