October 30, 2012

International Championship Day 4

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:24 pm

Tales of the Unexpected: Don’t mess with Mavis

Wednesday sees eight more matches completed at the International Championship in Chengdu as the tournament heads towards deciding the final eight.

Day three started with another shock, not quite of the magnitude of John Higgins exit as MJW succumbed to the power of Dark Mavis. In short, he was ‘Mavised’ © (lesson learnt). Our Mave played very well it has to be said but was given a lot of chances by a clearly under the weather Williams who coughed and spluttered his way through the match and at one point nearly knocked himself out by slipping on a carelessly laid piece of carpet while stretching for a shot.

Williams still might have nicked it had Mavis not fell fortunately on the black in the final frame off an opening launch at a red, but a classy tournament highest 138 total clearance followed and all in all it was the right result.

On the other TV table, Stephen Maguire basically won his match against Jamie Burnett in the opening session by racing to a 4-0 lead, eventually completing a comfortable if in the end rather laboured 6-3 win. Two centuries from Maguire showing that he’s looking like a contender this week.

Expectedly, Mark Allen and Rob Milkins looked to be going through their match at a blinding pace but from 2-2 it was all Allen and he rode out a 6-2 winner, Milkins with a 132 and Allen with a 124 in a high quality encounter. The last match of the session to finish saw Marco Fu clinch a decider against Martin Gould, who despite winning his first PTC recently falls out of the top 16 and will not play in the Masters in January.

The second session saw a cosy win for Ding against his young opponent who at times looked like a rabbit in the headlights but at least avoided the whitewash, something that looked to be headed the way of Stuart Bingham who went 4-0 down to Aditya Mehta before staging a fine comeback to level, only for the cool-headed Indian to regain the initiative and bounce back to take the match 6-4. This is another notable feather in the cap of this vastly improved player and big prospect who is rising faster in the game than his peers, with a game that I can only say is a bit of a mix of Steve Davis and Cliff Thorburn, what’s not to love about that? Ricky Walden came through to see off Lu Ning who battled but ultimately could not match the scoring power of the Wuxi Classic champion.

Finally it was Judd’s turn to stop doing PR work for Ronnie and do what he does best on the baize. He looked sharp enough at times to suggest he will improve as the week goes on and beat Fergal O’Brien 6-3. Fergal’s shot selection sparked outrageous scenes on Twitter with Andrew Pagett and Mike Dunn having a right old go at poor old Fergs, it appears his style of play is not popular with some and such was Andrew’s vex he even prepared (with a little prompting from a tweeter who wishes to remain anonymous) a top 8 ‘Snail List’ which brought Matt Selt out of his ermmm shell, as he was in it (the list not his shell – allegedly). All hell broke loose, so much so that I think I’ll invite Andrew to share his thoughts in more depth on here for all to see….coming soon.

In betting terms it was a day to forget, even given MJW not being well Bingham’s loss would have scuppered things anyway, silly really of me to bet against Mehta as I’ve been banging on about him for a bit and I never take PL stuff into account. Weirdly, I tweeted a daft correct score combo bet prior to the afternoon matches, two of which came in (Judd and Ricky’s matches), both at 6/1 to save the day, the £28 or so left in a certain account now looking more like £200, one more and I’d have been looking at a very nice sum, two more and I wouldn’t be writing the tripe below for a few weeks as Mrs SB and I would be off on our hols with our dogs to escape people who scare our rescued racing greyhound with fireworks, the poor girl.

Bet on horses if you like. But if you own a dog that you love don’t support dog racing, it’s cruel, Google it.

To tomorrow now….

Wednesday October 31

He only sings when he’s winning (fortunately)


Lu Haotian v Dominic Dale
Matthew Stevens v Neil Robertson
Marco Fu v Dark Mavis
Stephen Maguire v Peter Ebdon

I was impressed with Dominic Dale against Graeme Dott, he looked assured in the balls and missed very little, Lu Haotian completed a comeback in round one against a hobbling Michael White, who to be fair really should have taken more care in preparation for his big event and laid off the football for a bit, another lesson learned. Dale might just be a dark horse this week, he’s capable of causing upsets and is clearly enjoying his time over there with all the pandas and fellow nutter Rob Walker, but in the same token, the Chinese need their young star. You can’t fancy Matthew Stevens against Neil Robertson on both their first round showings though he does hold a 4-2 head to head lead over the Aussie. Perhaps Matthew may approach this in a ‘devil may care’ kind of way and start flowing like we know he can, I hope so, because if he does this could be a cracker. It’s difficult to know how Marco Fu is playing but we do know that Mavis is in fine fettle, interestingly all their three meetings to date have gone to deciders, all best of nine with Mavis winning the last two after Marco pinched the first, this is another that could be very close. Stephen Maguire and Peter Ebdon renew their Oriental rivalry with their third meeting in China in six months, it’s one apiece. It’s always hard to second guess Ebdon and what he’ll do and of course this is his first match, but Maguire looks like he means business this week and you have to side with the heavier scorer, provided he doesn’t let Peter dictate the match and start cuebanging, which is what Ebbo will be trying his hardest to make him do.

Predicted Winners: Dale (6-3), Robertson (6-5), Fu (6-5), Maguire (6-4).


Shaun Murphy v Ding Junhui
Judd Trump v Aditya Mehta
Mark Allen v Cao Yupeng
Ricky Walden v Mark Selby

Ding leads Shaun Murphy 7-6 in their head to heads and when it comes to main event encounters you would be hard pressed to find two players as evenly matched as these two. Ding is beginning to set a bit of a winning trend however having beaten Smurf on their last 4 meetings, albeit two of those being Premier League, which you should never factor in to form for these events. Shaun played really well in Round 1 but something tells me Ding is a little more relaxed this week, I marginally fancy him but think it will be close. The match between Judd and Aditya will be a fascinating match, two cool heads but two very very different games and playing styles, Judd always looking to attack when he can and Mehta calm, measured and prowling, waiting to expose the weakness. This may be just a hunch but if Judd does attack too much it may just play right into Adi’s hands, he doesn’t miss many easy balls and if he can hold his nerve he might just stand a chance here, I’ve backed Judd in the outrights of course but I’m not that confident in his chances tomorrow I have to say, the 4/1 available on Mehta is barking mad in my opinion and should be taken if only as a ‘just in case’ measure. Mark Allen was beaten by Cao Yupeng in Sheffield and again there are some big prices around on the man who beat John Higgins so calmly in the last round, this is a match I would not touch with any confidence, I’d fancy Marky Boy to do the business but his price is too short. Mark Selby holds a 6-2 head to head lead over Ricky and I’d fancy him to make that 7-2 tomorrow, there is something about the Jester in the early rounds that gives him a certain air of invincibility, he looked workmanlike against Ali in Round 1 and a similar performance here should be enough to see him into the last eight.

Predicted Winners: Ding (6-4), Trump (6-4), Allen (6-4), Selby (6-3)

Recommended Bets: 5 points on Mehta (+3.5 frames) at 4/6 with Blue Square. 3 point double on Maguire and Selby pays nearly 5/4 at Boylesports.  

There are a whole host of correct score and handicap bets on every match at Apollobet here and you can open an account with them and receive a free matched bet by clicking on the banner below, I make nothing from it and Jim might fix it for you.

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