April 29, 2013

Day 11 at the World Championship: Quarter Final Preview (UPDATED)

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:37 pm
We are down to the final eight.

We are down to the final eight.

As there is a pretty quick turnaround after the Monday evening session I thought it best to get the Quarter Final preview up for the first two matches that we know with the other two to follow in the morning.

The bets from the second round have gone extremely well with (as I write) the possibility that all eight recommended will land if Ricky Walden finishes the job and Ronnie and Ali can conjure up a century break between them tonight in the final session, but we’ll see.

EDIT: They did so all eight bets recommended in the R2 preview won.

As the debate rages on about toilet breaks and burn out it was great to hear that two decent new events are set to be launched next season, one in India and one in ermm, Coventry.

You can read everything that Bazza had to say on that here and I’m sure I’ll have something to say on the matter soon enough, I usually do after all.

But for now, the first two QF’s between Trump and Murphy and Ding and Hawkins are previewed briefly below with the other two to follow on the morrow.

I do like the price of the bet on the Ding match and I am not sure after this post goes up how long that price will last, so if you fancy it be quick, as the actress said to the bishop.

The best of luck if you are having a bet.

Quarter Finals (click on the match for head to head statistics):

Ronnie O’Sullivan v Stuart Bingham

The Ronnie go-round is now well and truly spinning after a great display last night against Ali, who proclaimed afterwards that if the Rocket doesn’t lose his head he will win the tournament again. Indeed, in the balls last night Ronnie was as sharp as ever, even his long game began to improve towards the end of the match and that might be an ominous sign for the rest of the field. He plays Stuart Bingham who was another that pulled away towards the end of his match against Dark Mavis from being level coming into the latter stages. Unlike Ali, Stuart has beaten Ronnie and over a longer distance, in the 2010 UK Championship when he won 9-6. But Ronnie has won all four of their other encounters against his former practice partner. Bingham is a tough cookie these days and I don’t think this is a gimmee for Ronnie, who will need to be just as sharp if not sharper and can’t afford a dodgy first session today. I was going to flag up Stuart at +4.5 frames at around the 8/11 mark until I saw the bet below, which actually gives you both players at better odds.

Selection: O’Sullivan 13-9

Recommended Bet: 2 points on the winning margin being under 4.5 frames at 10/11 with Paddy Power

Judd Trump v Shaun Murphy

An absolute cracker is on the cards here between two players who have already shown glimpses of their best form, both coming here relatively fresh. They have met surprisingly few times in big events and that only adds to the intrigue of this encounter. Judd seems to have the bit between his teeth so far and also, as is often the case when he is in decent form he seems to be getting just that little bit of running here and there to help him along the way, he is a lot of people’s idea of the winner. Murphy will be determined to finish what has been a disappointing season for him on a high and you can almost smell his determination through the TV screen as he hammers those long pots home with his machine-like cue action. I’ll be honest here, I haven’t got a strong view on this one and can forsee any number of outcomes, most of them are of it being quite close so with that in mind just a small interest on the outsider is where I will be placing a small daft wager.

Selection: Murphy 13-10

Recommended Bet: 1 point on Murphy to win 13-10 at 14/1 with Apollobet.

Ricky Walden v Michael White

Michael WhiteWhat a prize awaiting the winner of this one, a place in the semi-finals to play in the one-table situation for a player who won his first ever match here on Day 2 and a player who at 21 years old is making his Crucible debut. Ricky came through the mill last night and survived a comeback by Rob Milkins, he has been known to crumble under pressure at times in the past but didn’t last night even though he made no secret of the fact that he is trying his best and failing to not get carried away looking at the draw. Michael White for me has played some of the best snooker of the championship so far and is a player that I believe could even achieve the impossible this week. He is fearless, enjoying every minute and up to now has been clinical in putting matches to bed. OK, he had very little to do in the last round but his performance against MJW felt like the dawning of a new star in snooker. Jamie Jones, also from Neath got to this stage last year and lost, then had a terrible season this time, I’m going to take White to buck this trend and progress to the semi-finals and kick on next season aswell.

Selection: White 13-8

Recommended Bet: 4 points on over 1.5 centuries at 8/11 with Bet 365 

Ding Junhui v Barry Hawkins

Barry Hawkins has a decent record against Ding and after a win over Selby may approach this in very much a devil may care mood and that makes him a danger man. For me this is probably in reality Ding’s semi-final as I would be surprised if, having won this one he lost another real semi-final on the one table set up. There is little doubt that Ding is showing glimpses of brilliance but the bookies don’t seem that convinced that he’s such a sure thing against Hawkins and I have to say that I agree. His lapses of concentration are still apparent and were exposed by Mark King to some extent but King isn’t as strong a scorer as Barry and his safety is probably not quite as good these days either. Ding will probably win and the 1/2 at Hills will attract money I am sure, but the one thing you can usually rely on in his matches is centuries and Barry is no slouch in this area either so the early price that has been put up at Bet 365 below should be backed before it’s gone.

Selection: Ding 13-9

Recommended Bet: 4 points on more than 2.5 centuries at 10/11 with Bet 365. (This price went within minutes of the preview going up, I think 8/11 is best now) 

Recommended Accas: 1 point on O’Sullivan, Murphy, White and Ding pays just on 12/1 at Bet Victor. 3 points on Bingham (+5.5), Murphy (+3.5) and White (+3.5) pays over 11/4 at Ladbrokes.

Order of Play Today


Shaun Murphy 2-6 Judd Trump
Ding Junhui 3-5 Barry Hawkins


Ronnie O’Sullivan 7-1 Stuart Bingham
Ricky Walden 6-2 Michael White


Shaun Murphy 8-8 Judd Trump
Ding Junhui v Barry Hawkins

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Ronnie Talks

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 6:30 pm

World Championship Day 10

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:42 am
Likes: Shoes, Vegas and Hanging out. Dislikes: Education, Old Stuff.

Likes: Shoes, Vegas and Hanging out. Dislikes: Education, Old Stuff.

What a cracking day we have in store today on Day 10 of the World Championship. There are only two sessions but each of them see two matches playing to a finish including tonight’s epic between O’Sullivan and Carter and by the end of today the full quarter final line-up will be known.

For those who thought that Sunday’s brief post was a result of me at last ‘seeing the light’ and attending church for the day, I have some disappointing news. I still don’t believe in the big man upstairs for the same reason as I don’t believe in the tooth fairy (those minor details called proof and science) and the lack of post was simply a result of the much discussed ‘burn out’ factor which seems to be affecting a lot of the snooker fraternity of late.

Yes, the weekend trip to the Crucible was enough to see off this particular blogger for a day and I felt in esteemed company as we have seen John Higgins, Mark Selby, Marco Fu and Neil Robertson all blame the heavy schedule this season for their under-par showing at the great championship. Selby in particular showing what all his efforts this season have done for his chances of being a world champion with a frankly turgid display against the much fresher looking Barry Hawkins.

The players next season will be in a position to pick and choose events and I am sure that the big players will do just that, which means two things. Firstly, there are bound to be new faces appearing on our screens more regularly in events like the Wuxi Classic and the Australian Open but secondly that it does mean some tournaments will be somewhat devalued, even for the winners. Winning an event in bongo-bongo land in front of one man and his dead cat with none of the top 16 competing won’t exactly launch a career however much the boys at Eurosport dress it up and for me this does risk snooker becoming spread too thinly and the calendar being 60% dirge and 40% proper tournaments.

However, it will at least I suppose lead to championships that are more established regaining some of the status they have perhaps lost since the beginning of the reign of King Bazza, so it’s very much a double edged sword. But I will say what I said when he first started banging on about 51 weeks of snooker a year again, it’s a mistake, saturation kills all sports eventually (I await with baited breath the death of football) and I think a healthy dose of as many as 10-12 big tournaments for decent prize money beats 30-odd little crappy ones every time, but it seems this is the way it’s heading. It will also mean that as a blogger, selectivity will be the order of the day here too.

My burn out seems to have recovered now though, I am a husband, a blogger, a tournament director and I spend far too much time on Twitter, oh yes and I also have a job, but it’s taken me a day to get over a late night which involved a great deal of snooker chat with some old friends and a chance to once again watch some action at the home of snooker.

I am beginning to get the feeling of a turn in the tide when it comes to moving this great championship out of Sheffield by the way, I don’t think it will happen in the foreseeable future, which is great news for all snooker fans who care about the traditions and history of the sport.

Which brings me to the subject of Judd, oh Judd. Judd Judd Judd……

At the end of the BBC coverage yesterday he seemed to take umbridge with a feature on the late great Joe Davis by his namesake Steve, questioning as only he can what a feature about things that happened and I quote ‘3 million years ago’ offers to kids wanting to get into the sport. The feature was actually quite fascinating with lots of old footage and if I could have sat a little cherub down and given them a little history lesson I am certain they would have been asking questions about it all night. For those that want to know more about the godfather of snooker, this is a must watch maybe even show it to a kid and see what they think?

Florence, no Judd she's not the one with the machine.

Florence, no Judd she’s not the one with the machine.

I hope that Judd was just hoping to provoke a reaction and continue to cultivate this ill-advised strategy of being snooker’s new bad boy. He’s about as bad as Florence Nightingale, who he’ll probably have to look up in one of those book things and is quickly coming across in the media at least as vacant, greedy, vulgar and as one-dimensional as a postcard. I think he needs to take his off-table career back into his own hands as he is a wonderful player but at this rate he could end up being a very unpopular world champion, perhaps even this week.

On the table he has been right back to form and if he’d just learn to do his talking there it would be quite an achievement. His verbal contributions seem manufactured and designed to shock, they don’t reflect the lad I have seen at close quarters one bit who at the risk of compromising ‘the brand’ seems thoroughly pleasant and quite humble.

This is in contrast to the likes of Ronnie or Mark Allen who, when they say things that grab the headlines are just being themselves, Judd seems too eager to create controversy and that won’t work for long. I even thought at one point that the tweet directed at the great JD was from a new spoof account that has materialised, but it appears he is turning into something of a parody of himself.

Anyway, I think today we might really see the championship take off. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching Ronnie and Ali and despite the BBC claiming that O’Sullivan was a little off-colour yesterday I actually think he’s getting better with every session he plays, his long game is still way off the standard of the likes of Judd and Ding but in the balls he remains the best of them all. Ali has also been extremely solid and tonight promises to be even better, he is disappointed not to be at least level but today is another day.

The match between Mark King and Ding Junhui turned around much as expected yesterday and the fancy prices that appeared after King took a 6-2 lead on Ding to win both the match and the tournament were snapped up by anyone with the first idea about snooker. I’m not saying that King can’t produce an unlikely win from behind, indeed he is usually more dangerous when nobody expects him to win but the first session deficit was overturned by his brilliant opponent in fairly predictable style yesterday.

Mavis and Ballrun are also having a right old tussle and start this afternoon’s session level in a match which to many seems more or less nailed on to go the distance. Also tonight Ricky Walden attempts to make the Quarter Finals for the first time as he re-enters the arena with a 10-6 advantage over Rob Milkins, Ricky will be keen to put away any thoughts of Clinchers Disease and finish that before the mid-session interval, if he does, the stage could be set for a grandstand finish on Table 1 for all to see.

In terms of betting, the four recommended bets on the second round so far have all landed and the final four resting on today are all in with a live chance, if there is another century in Ronnie’s match, Mavis and Bingham both win at least another frame each, Ding wins without conceding a further 3 frames and Walden wins in anything but a decider it will be a clean sweep of recommended bets. If any of you followed them to the letter I am sure you, like me, will be glued to the TV from 1pm.

If you like betting in-running and are looking to lay off today, blog partners Apollobet new in-running service is well worth a look, click on their website here and click the live betting section.

Fingers crossed and ankle clips fitted.


Stuart Bingham 13-10 Dark Mavis
Mark King 9-13 Ding Junhui


Ronnie O’Sullivan 9-7 Ali Carter
Robert Milkins 6-10 Ricky Walden

(All matches play to a finish)

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Thanks as ever to Monique for the images, you can view her Facebook album from day seven here.

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