A cracking start to the Masters yesterday sets day two up nicely for four more big names to battle it out. A potentially cracking match this afternoon between Ali Carter and John Higgins and an all-Scottish affair between Stephen Maguire and Graeme Dott this evening gives today a slightly tartan tinge.
The highlight of yesterday and thankfully living up to the billing was Neil Robertson’s 6-5 win over Ding Junhui and to say the defending champion was pleased with his afternoon’s work is a bit of an understatement.
As early as frame two good old Robbo was at it, there was fist pumps here and fist pumps there, here a pump, there a pump everywhere a fist pump as he employed the old mind game tactics as only he can. His brother Mark looked on in the crowd as the Aussie milked it for all it was worth at the end with a scream down the lens of ‘Yoooooo Beeeyuuuteee’ once he potted match ball, if you missed it, it’s well worth a watch here.
There are those who don’t like all that pallava, Peter Ebdon used to get the same reaction when he did it from some miserable so and so’s, but I’m not one of them. I think it shows what it means to the players and as long as it doesn’t put an opponent off and isn’t totally over the top then I don’t see what harm it does.
Robbo justified his outburst by saying “I absolutely unleashed the fury at the end there. I don’t know if Barry Hearn was watching that but he’d have probably enjoyed it. Federer, Djokovic and all those guys when they win a big point in tennis, Tiger Woods rolls in a 12 footer to win a major, they do it. You know, why not? It’s good for sport to see a lot of passion.” Good on him I say.
He also claimed that at one point along with probably everyone else, he thought he was out of the tournament. Now where have we heard that before? Checking out of a hotel before the final session of a match against Martin Gould and we all know what happened next, perhaps a lucky omen for the Thunder?
The evening session saw a far more one-sided affair between Mark Allen and Dark Mavis. Allen played very well indeed and despite playing a comedy shot with the long rest which even Jan Verhaas laughed at he never looked in danger of being beaten. His Quarter Final against Robbo could well decide the fate of the title, they both look bang up for it this year.
In terms of the bets, it was a good start to the acca’s with both results going the right way. The now legendary ‘Hallett Cross Double Bet’ failed to land by a single frame with Allen winning 6-2 rather than 6-3 but we won’t let that get us down and I’m back with another one today.
Remember, the blog partners Apollobet have put an offer on which should be noted by anyone who likes their match bets. If a match goes to a deciding frame and your single bet on either the winner of the match, handicap bet, correct score or any other market they offer ducks they will refund your stake in full, so anyone who lost on the Ding/Robbo match will have a nice surprise this morning in their account.
For anyone that missed my full tournament preview including a look at all the first round matches you can read it here.
Now for today’s Hallett:
Recommended Bet: 4 x 0.5 point Hallett’s on: Higgins to win 6-4 (11/2) or 6-5 (6/1) and Maguire/Dott 6-5 (6/1) or 5-6 (8/1) at Apollobet.
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