October 27, 2012

International Championship Day 1

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:17 pm

That should do it.

Set your alarm clocks early for the morning (and remember the clocks go back in the UK tonight) if you want to catch the start of the International Championship from Chengdu, it’s a 6.30am start here as we are 8 hours behind this particular part of the world.

I am not once again going to fall into the trap of banging on endlessly about how unfair and totally unnecessary the wildcard round is. I do it every time there is a tournament in China and you will be relieved to hear that I flatly refuse to go down that road again.

OK, so what if they are completely unfair on the players that have earned their right to be in this tournament and earn their crust as a professional in the sport? Why should I go on about this all the time?

So what if they now have APTC’s to compete in over there to get the experience they need? I don’t have to mention that AGAIN do I?

So what if this is just giving the future Chinese players an advantage over all future generations in other countries? It’s not as if I am achieving anything by going on about it.

Who cares but a jot that these players are fully acclimatised to the playing conditions and they are facing someone who has just stepped off a plane that might or might not have their cue on it? What is the point of boring everyone senseless going on about it all the time?


Anyway, tomorrow sees six of these (spits into a metal bucket with a loud *ping*) players that have no right to be playing up against six that do and I hope all results go the right and just way and the main tour players progress easily. Also there are two first rounders, Shaun Murphy takes on Andrew Higginson and Neil Robertson takes on Ryan Day.

Oh by the way, Chengdu is famous for giant pandas.

Enough now, to the day one preview….blog partners Apollobet have match betting including handicap and correct scores here for anyone that would like a punt with them.

Sunday October 28 

6) Cao Yupeng v Wang Yuchen – Result 6-5 Yupeng
13) Shaun Murphy v Andrew Higginson – Result 6-0 Murphy
1) Michael White v Lu Haotian – Result 6-5 Haotian
2) Ken Doherty v Zhao Xintong – Result 6-5 Xintong

Shaun Murphy has a 3-0 head to head lead over Andrew Higginson and will start a hefty favourite with most for their first round match tomorrow. Shaun claimed in Shanghai that he was ‘feeling like a snooker player again’ after a rocky start to the season and has travelled over to Chengdu proclaiming this to be the first big event of the season. As ever, a focused Smurf is a dangerous Smurf and I can’t see Higginson turning him over here. Wang Yuchen has played two professional matches, he is yet to win a frame so it would be a major shock if Cao Yupeng were to not progress, despite a recent hand injury that forced him out of EPTC2, assuming he’s recovered he should be a shoo-in. Lu Haotian is a player that a lot of people are talking about as a future star and a win over Marco Fu in Shanghai confirmed that this is a kid who can handle the big occasion, he faces Michael White who himself is making giant strides of late, particularly when it comes to the ranking list, with Ronnie out of it this becomes a huge match for the Welshman with a last 16 place up for grabs, I think he’ll grab it with both hands and sincerely hope he does. Zhao Xintong is another that is very highly rated in China and he has given Stephen Lee and Mark King scares in his short career to date, he has also beaten Yu Delu and Xiao Guodong in an APTC, he faces the experience of Ken Doherty and it would be a shock if he were to outwit one of the cleverest snooker brains in the game.

12) Neil Robertson v Ryan Day Result: 6-3 Robertson
5) Aditya Mehta v Zhu Yinghui
4) Fergal O’Brien v Chen Feilong
7) Jamie Burnett v Niu Zhuang Result: 6-0 Burnett 

Neil Robertson and Ryan Day have not met in professional competition for over 4 years, in which time Neil has become World Champion and Ryan has slipped down the rankings, making a mini-recovery in Sheffield in April by reaching the quarter finals. Neither of the two seem to play their best in China so you must simply side with the player who is showing the best form of late and that of course is Robertson, it remains to be seen if he can start producing the stuff we know he can over there any time soon. Zhu Yinghui is a dangerous opponent for India’s Aditya Mehta, who worked so hard to get to his first venue in the qualifiers, his opponent has beaten Michael Holt and Dom Dale in wildcard rounds before but lost his latest to Steve Davis, whilst I think this might be close I do fancy Mehta to go through. Chen Feilong beat his opponent tomorrow Fergal O’Brien 5-2 just last month in Shanghai and the Ferginator now returns to try and get revenge, I hope he wins but I think that might be the one that I’ll be swearing about on Twitter at the end of the day. The only form guide we have to Jamie Burnett’s opponent Niu Zhuang is a win over Stuart Bingham 4-3 in APTC2, I know nothing about him so that’s a match best left alone if he can produce a result like that, but Burnett is experienced and in good form, a tie with Stephen Maguire awaits.

Recommended Bets: 3 points on Murphy at 7/15 with Pinnacle. 2 point treble on Murphy, Yupeng and Mehta pays just on 6/4 at Apollobet.

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