August 31, 2013

Snookerbacker Classic Outright Betting

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 1:18 pm

The Snookerbacker Classic kicks off in earnest at the end of September and Apollobet have priced up the betting on the next champion here.

Leading the market are last year’s losing semi-finalist Oli Lines and losing quarter finalist Adam Wicheard at 7/1 in what is a very competitive field. 

Other names will be available on request.

It seems highly likely that when the deadline for payment of entry fees for the first event at the South West Snooker Academy has passed later today that there will be at least 3 places available.

Contact me today if you would like one, you will need to be in a position to pay the £90 fee next week.


Apollo Post banner

August 30, 2013

Snookerbacker Classic Gloucester Entry Fees Due Tomorrow

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:10 am

The outstanding entrance fees for the first Snookerbacker Classic qualifying event in Gloucester on 28th and 29th of September are due tomorrow, to see how to forward your entrance fee please click here.

Please note that this only applies to players who have reserved a place in these events with me, please read the link above in full before forwarding your entrance fee.

Only players that pay their entrance fee by the specified deadline date will have their place in the event confirmed.

If entrance fees are not paid by the deadline date and I have received no contact, the event(s) will become open again for players waiting and players with reserved places will lose their place in the tournament.  

All players have been sent personal reminders and will not be contacted again.

August 29, 2013

Big Break with Ronnie O’Sullivan

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 12:24 pm

Just a little something to lighten up your day from the Paul Hunter Classic last Sunday….

August 27, 2013

The Month Ahead: September on the Baize

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 1:33 pm
The SB Classic kicks off at the end of September

The SB Classic kicks off at the end of September

It’s a relatively quiet month ahead on the baize with just one major ranking event to keep us all occupied over in Shanghai beginning on the 16th.

It’s a far cry, but for me a welcome one from the promise of 51 weeks of snooker that Bazza made on his appointment as Chairman. I hope that common sense has prevailed and that he and others at the helm will see that a little bit of rest time in between events can actually be a good thing, particularly at this early stage in the season when I’m sure most of the players would probably want to be doing other things.

For me, this season already feels less intense than the last one, with the decrease in the number of European PTC’s and the increase in the prize money making each of them more entertaining as events in their own right with the Paul Hunter Classic won by Ronnie at the weekend being a prime example.

Of course later in the season from January onwards it’s pretty much wall to wall snooker, but I don’t mind that at all as the bluff old traditionalist in me still thinks that snooker is a winter sport. The players can still pick and choose and hopefully they will do so wisely so as to avoid all talk of burnout next year at the Crucible, which resulted in a rather sub-standard and largely forgettable World Championship.  

Anyway, the first event of September is the 6-reds World Championship from the Montien Riverside Hotel in Bangkok, the draw for which can be viewed here. There are a fair few big hitters competing in this including Judd Trump, John Higgins, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, Ricky Walden, Barry Hawkins, Stephen Maguire, Steve Davis, Jimmy White and Laxman Rawat, yes, THE Laxman Rawat. It’s not an event that I usually take much notice of I have to say but there is some coverage on Eurosport so I might take a peak this time around.

Just as the 6-Reds has finished, the main focus of the snooker community will be on the hearing of Stephen Lee which takes place on the 9th and will decide on the future of the suspended Trowbridge man. Expect headlines spilling from all quarters when the verdict is announced.

It’s then over to Shanghai on the 16th for the Shanghai Masters, which is usually a pretty decent tournament and was won last year in an incredible final by John Higgins. The draw for that can be found here and I’ll be giving that full attention on the betting front.

There is then one of the Asian PTC’s in some place beginning with Z before I travel to Gloucester with Mrs SB and some baked goods to open this season’s Snookerbacker Classic at the South West Snooker Academy. There are two events both involving 32 players and 2 qualifiers to Grand Finals Day in March from each of the days. Apollobet are in the process of pricing up an outright market for the event as a whole so I’ll flag that when it’s available.

The draw for the first two SB Classic qualifying events will be made when all entry fees are in, the players should all have paid their fee by the end of this week, or else they risk losing their place in the tournament.

And that’s September.


6 Reds World Championship
Bangkok, Thailand

Shanghai Masters
Shanghai, China


Asian Tour 2
Zhangjiagong, China

Snookerbacker Classic Qualifying Heats 1 & 2
South West Snooker Academy, Gloucester

August 25, 2013

Finals Day in Furth: The Paul Hunter Classic

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:06 am
The Best of Enemies

The Best of Enemies

It’s Finals Day over in Furth at the Paul Hunter Classic, an event which has once again seen great crowds in a country that can only be described as snooker loopy.

Yesterday whittled down the bottom half to eight players to join the eight who had already qualified on Friday and saw a few shocks along the way as the likes of Ding Junhui, John Higgins, Shaun Murphy and Stephen Maguire fell by the wayside to opponents that they would normally expect to beat, but that’s the nature of the beast in these PTC’s and today sees a nice balance of established stars, players in form and a couple having a rare decent run.

One of those who would not normally find himself in the latter stages of an event of this stature is Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon.

His wins yesterday are in stark contrast to the player we saw in Doncaster in the Shanghai qualifiers, over there he struggled to make a break over 15 but yesterday he breezed through the early rounds and now has a real chance to go further. Let’s hope that he doesn’t have one of his errmmmm ‘off days’ again and continues this rich vein of form. Or alternatively you could always just hope that he gets beat as we don’t want someone who should be suspended on suspicion of blatant match fixing winning a title named after someone with dignity and class who always gave 100%.

The choice is yours.

Ronnie O’Sullivan is now the obvious favourite to carry away the trophy but it’s by no means a formality. He faces a tricky opener against Anthony McGill and has the prospect of a mouth-watering tie with his old nemesis Mark Selby in the semi-finals which would be a real treat for the German audience and us lot at home. It seems like an age since they last met but in reality they last locked horns in February last year at the Welsh Open, Selby coasting to a 6-2 semi-final win. The meetings between the two are usually a great watch and I’m sure both would love to battle it out again in front of a packed house.

Bettingwise, the treble yesterday fell by virtue of Jack Lisowski losing a decider to GG but we’re still ahead courtesy of the day one acca. We also still have the main pick O’Sullivan (5/1) and a healthy each-way on Captain Carter (33/1) in play and those two now head up the outright market over at Apollobet here so fingers crossed there.

Let’s hope for a great day in Germany and hopefully an old rivalry re-ignited if Ronnie and Selby win their two openers. That price on Ali to beat Ricky this morning woke me up pretty sharpish incidentally.

Recommended Bet: 3 x 2 point singles and a 1 point treble: Ali Carter (11/10 Paddy Power), Joe Swail (11/10 Stan James) and Michael White (Evens Stan James) – treble pays over 7/1 at Paddy Power.  

Stuart Bingham 4-1 David Morris
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-3 Anthony McGill
Robert Milkins 4-1 Martin Gould
Aditya Mehta 1-4 Mark Selby
Joe Swail 4-2 Jamie Jones
Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon 1-4 Gerard Greene
Ken Doherty 2-4 Michael White
Ali Carter 4-2 Ricky Walden


Quarter Finals

Stuart Bingham 0-4 Ronnie O’Sullivan
Robert Milkins 2-4 Mark Selby
Joe Swail 1-4 Gerard Greene
Michael White 3-4 Ali Carter


Semi Finals

O’Sullivan 4-2 Selby

Greene 4-3 Carter


Final – O’Sullivan beats Greene 4-0

You can view the outright betting at Apollobet by clicking here and you can view the match betting clicking here.

Apollo Post banner

August 24, 2013

Paul Hunter Classic Professional Day 2

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:38 am
Ken: Puntastic.

Ken: Puntastic.

It’s time to sort out the bottom half of the draw after a long day in Germany yesterday which saw the top half play down to eight players who will contest Finals Day tomorrow.

The 8 players through to the last 16 are Ronnie O’Sullivan, Stuart Bingham, Anthony McGill, David Morris, Martn Gould, Robert Milkins, Aditya Mehta and Mark Selby who came through his last match in a decider over Martin O’Donnell who at one point led 3-1, a big disappointment for The MO’D but he continues his very promising start to the season nevertheless.

Ronnie looked very focused in his televised match against the hapless Ahmed Saif from Qatar, who managed to score just 12 points in the entire match. Ahmed came through Q-School but judging by that showing he needs to go back to school before he’s going to get anywhere. I’m going to put it down to nerves but technically he looked like a club player and not a very good one at that, but there must be some talent there to get through Q-School so we’ll leave it at that.

The other highlight of the day was the appearance of a mouse in the arena, firstly during the Judd Trump/Graeme Dott encounter. Hilarity ensued on Twitter as Crafty Ken Doherty became the Punmaster General with a seemingly neverending set of tweets containing all things mouselike. Ken made a very solid case as Dennis’s natural successor at the BBC with puns so bad that you felt like hiding behind the sofa rather than read another one. Truly awful material in the true spirit of his mentor Den. The BBC is in safe hands.

Anyway, by the time Mark Selby and Rod Lawler had taken to the table the mouse had obviously thought better than to hang around for that one and was not seen again. But in truth, that wasn’t the worst televised match yesterday, that title must go to the Poomjaeng/Einsle clash which provided irrefutable proof that just because someone is playing on home soil, this should not mean that you put them on TV. It was truly turgid stuff from start to finish and delayed the appearance of The Rocket by three hours, it also must have been responsible for several suicides across mainland Europe. This policy of inclusiveness when it comes to who gets on telly isn’t really a winner with me I have to say. Let’s get the decent players and matches on there and leave these ones for the streamed only events.

Bettingwise, we kicked off with a 7/1 accumulator obliging which is nice, anyone involved during the day might also have followed in on the 2/1 on Ronnie beating Saif 4-0, which is as good a price as you are likely to see all year in the mother of all mismatches. We’re also still going on the bigger 7/2 acca recommended with four matches in Round 1 still to come. So all in all, a 100% success rate so far on the matches continuing a decent run of form on the betting front. The main selection O’Sullivan (5/1) is still there too and looking pretty hungry to me.

Ronnie is now best price 11/4 to win the Paul Hunter Classic with Apollobet for anyone that wants to back him.

Today’s early TV matches are: Neil Robertson v Thepchaiya Un Nooh, Ding Junhui v Dave Gilbert, Ali Carter v Ryan Day and John Higgins v Mark King – solid choices I think. EDIT: Robbo was carelessly late and his match is replaced by Shaun Murphy v Alex Borg.

Recommended Treble: Scott Donaldson, Jack Lisowski and Ali Carter 2 points at just on 5/2 with Sportingbet.

You can get all the head to heads at Cuetracker by entering each players name in the boxes on this page.

UK Times
Neil Robertson v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Andrew Norman v Rory McLeod
Robbie Williams v Ross Muir
Joe Swail v Kishan Hirani
Pankaj Advani v Allan Taylor
Jamie Jones v Lu Haotian
Shaun Murphy v Alex Borg
Kyren Wilson w/o Robin Hull
Michael Wasley v Ryan Clark
Scott Donaldson v Lee Page
Approx 10am
Fergal O’Brien v Mark Joyce
Jamie O Neill v Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon
John  Astley w/o Lee Spick
Barry Hawkins w/o Jak Jones
Jack Lisowski v Gerard Greene
David Gilbert v Ding Junhui
Approx 10.30am
Dominic Dale v Alexander Ursenbacher
Joe Perry v Ken Doherty
Kurt Maflin v Stephen Hallworth
Alfie Burden v Elliot Slessor
Approx 11.30am
Luca Brecel v Paul Davison
Stephen Maguire v Michael White
Marcus Campbell v Andrew Higginson
Ryan Day v Ali Carter
Approx 12pm
Sam Baird v Liu Chuang
Ian Burns v Charlie Walters
Ben Woollaston v Cao Yupeng
Nigel Bond v James Cahill
Approx 1pm
Michael Holt v David Singh
Ricky Walden v Jamie Clarke
Hammad Miah v Xiao Guodong
John Higgins v Mark King
Approx 2.30pm onwards
Later Rounds

You can view the outright betting at Apollobet by clicking here and you can view the match betting clicking here.

Apollo Post banner

August 22, 2013

Paul Hunter Classic Professional Day 1

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 2:36 pm
The arena in Furth

The arena in Furth

Friday sees the professional rounds of the Paul Hunter Classic get underway and the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby and Judd Trump are all in action.

It’s always a great atmosphere at this event and you can be sure of packed crowds over in Bavaria. Expect plenty of facial hair on show and perhaps a glimpse of the odd oversized sausage.

You can read my full preview of this three day televised event by clicking here.

There are a few withdrawals from the professional ranks. Mark Williams, Mike Dunn, Jamie Burnett and Jak Jones are all absent.

Dunn’s withdrawal gives a bye to outright selection and form horse Marco Fu who is still available at 33/1 with a tie against Joel Walker to come to get into the last 32, but you’d better be quick if you want to back him at that price I reckon.

In terms of a match bet I’ll take an early punt on the bet below. Coverage on Eurosport kicks off with Mark Allen against Dark Mavis, followed by the return of Dechawat Poomjaeng to our screens, he faces local hero Patrick Einsle, then comes Ronnie’s grand entrance against new professional Ahmed Saif and then Mark Selby is live up against Tian Pengfei. The later rounds will follow but expect the O’Sullivan show for as long as he’s still in it is my advice.

It’s quite telling that only one mainstream bookmaker, namely Ladbrokes has chosen to price up the match involving Passakorn Suwannawat, he plays the other O’Sullivan, Sean, who is Evens to beat him and I think he probably will, whichever Korny turns up.

I see the same is true of Thanawat’s match on Saturday, the bookies have clearly taken a view on this, I still don’t understand why they are not suspended.

Recommended Friday Match Bet: 2 point acca pays over 7/1 at Ladbrokes on Poomjaeng, Milkins, Ford, Gary Wilson and Lawler.  

Recommended First Round Acca (Friday and Saturday): 4 point acca pays over 7/2 at Apollobet on McManus, Selby, Murphy, Neil Robertson, Maguire, Higgins. 

You can get all the head to heads at Cuetracker by entering each players name in the boxes on this page.

UK Time


Saqib Nasir w/o Mark Williams
Stuart Bingham v Fraser Patrick
Dark Mavis v Mark Allen
Jamie Cope v Steve Davis
Sean O’Sullivan v Passakorn Suwannawat
David Grace v David Morris
Judd Trump v Ian Glover
Graeme Dott v Matthew Day
Chris Wakelin v Daniel Ward
Barry Pinches v Alex Davies

Approx 10am

Stuart Carrington v Oli Lines
Anthony McGill v Sydney Wilson
Liam Highfield v Peter Lines
Matthew Selt v Craig Steadman
Daniel Wells v Andrew Pagett
Patrick Einsle v Dechawat Poomjaeng

Approx 10.30am

Robert Milkins v James Wattana
Marco Fu w/o Mike Dunn
Joel Walker w/o Jamie Burnett
Matthew Stevens v Ben Jones

Approx 11.30am

Ronnie O’Sullivan v Ahmed Saif
Martin Gould v Jimmy White
Jimmy Robertson v Wan Chooi Tan/Stefan Schenk
Tom Ford v Chris Norbury

Approx 12pm

Tony Drago v Aditya Mehta
Alan McManus v Mohamed Khairy
Gary Wilson v Noppon Saengkham
Anthony Hamilton v Ratchayothin Yotharuck

Approx 1pm

Martin O’Donnell v Darren Cook
Michael Leslie v Vinnie Calabrese
Mark Selby v Tian Pengfei
Rod Lawler v Adam Duffy

Approx 2.30pm onwards

Next Round

Approx 6.30pm onwards

8 x Last 32 Matches

You can view the outright betting at Apollobet by clicking here and you can view the match betting clicking here.

Apollo Post banner

August 21, 2013

Paul Hunter Classic Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 12:58 pm

Paul Hunter SnookerAfter the amateurs do battle on Thursday it’s this Friday that sees the start of the Paul Hunter Classic over in Furth in Germany.

This may be only classed as a European PTC but I think most people involved in snooker treat this one much like a full ranking event, given the fantastic support it receives, the TV coverage and the fact it is named after one of snooker’s much missed and much loved sons.

Most people associate Paul Hunter predominantly with his trio of Masters titles and indeed Dave Hendon wrote just yesterday about this remarkable achievement here. But my abiding memory of Paul will always be for a match he lost at the Crucible, a match that switched me back on to snooker after a period where I had briefly fallen out of love with it.

The match of course was the epic 2003 semi-final against Ken Doherty.

I would have this up there with any other match ever played at the Crucible or anywhere else for that matter for the sheer drama it produced. Looking back, the poignancy of Clive’s commentary observation that it would be one that both would remember ‘for the rest of their lives’ is heartbreakingly sad given that Paul only had a few more years to live.

I won’t pretend that I was a Paul Hunter fanatic or indeed that I was supporting him in this match having had a very large each-way bet on Ken for the Championship at very nice odds (how’s that for aftertiming?), but he is such a loss to the sport and is a player that could I’m sure have played a huge part in snooker’s revival both with his on and off table antics, he is sorely missed indeed.

If anyone has not seen the match I am referring to and has 8 minutes and 7 seconds spare, I urge you to watch the video below, it perfectly sums up the drama that it created and also hits home just how cruel life as well as snooker, can be sometimes.

It’s fitting that Paul has a great event like this named after him and it’s also nice to welcome back Eurosport, it seems ages ago that snooker was last on the TV and I’m quite looking forward to this one to be honest having had to sit out most of the last two week’s action.

The draw for the Paul Hunter Classic can be found by clicking here and the Eurosport schedule can be found by clicking here.

The prize money for the event is:

Winner €25,000
Runner-up €12,000
Semi-finals €6,000
Quarter-finals €4,000
Last 16 €2,300
Last 32 €1,200
Last 64 €700


This tournament, in it’s current format at least tends to produce big-name winners, Mark Selby is going for a hat-trick of wins having won it for the past two seasons and before that Judd Trump was champion and for me, again I can see a very familiar face lifting the trophy on Sunday and less shocks than usual given the feel of this event.

A rare foreign excursion

A rare foreign excursion

Ronnie O’Sullivan is 5/1 favourite to win the title and the reports I am hearing are that he’s been practising hard for this and is ready to put on a show. He likes this venue and was beaten in the semi-finals in a decider by Selby two season’s ago, having compiled an effortless maximum break in an earlier match. As he sat out the whole season last time this is his first return visit and something tells me he could just produce something special again. I feel he has to be backed this time.

In the top section I think Mark Allen is slightly over-priced at 25/1 after proclaiming himself happy with his start to the season last week and fully rested, he could be one to watch in that section at decent odds. He is also the type of player if he’s in the mood that could stop the firing Rocket in front of a big crowd.

In the second section, the bang in form Marco Fu has to be backed at 33/1, he’s been consistently one of the best players of the past 18 months and his ranking reflects this. That one is just for regular reader Deco, who has been backing Fu since he was out of nappies.

In the third section it may be worth sticking with Shaun Murphy at 16/1 who is long overdue a big win and is one of a crop of players playing with new cues this season. Ricky Walden and Mark Williams’ switch to new sticks has worked wonders early season with both winning an early event and maybe this week it could be Shaun’s turn after a decent showing in Doncaster.

Finally in the bottom section I’ll plump for German Masters Champion Ali Carter, another 33/1 chance and a player who can also turn it on in the nice arenas. He’s back to practising hard and will be eager to play himself into the season with a view to a spot at the Masters in January following his recent health scare.

So that’s my five against the field. Hopefully in amongst them is the winner. Take advantage of the bookies offering a quarter of the odds on the semi-finalists by the way and don’t fall for bigger prices with worse each-way terms (Ahem, Chandlers).

Recommended Bets: 3 points on O’Sullivan at 5/1 with Apollobet. 1 point each way on Allen at 25/1 with Skybet. 1 points each-way on Fu at 33/1 with Apollobet. 1 point each way on Murphy at 16/1 with Apollobet and 1 point each way on Carter at 33/1 with Apollobet.  

You can view the outright betting at Apollobet by clicking here and you can view the match betting clicking here.

Apollo Post banner

August 18, 2013

Ref School: More from Roycey

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 4:24 pm
Ref School is proving a big success already.

Ref School is proving a big success already.

It’s now just over a month until the start of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic where amateur players from around the UK will be competing for over £6000 worth of prize money and the right to be crowned the third Snookerbacker Classic champion.

Every year I like to make the event a little bit different and this year a new joint initiative between myself and World Snooker referee Martyn ‘The Roycemeister’ Royce called Ref School is really taking shape.

You can read more about Ref School on the official page here and you can read more about the Snookerbacker Classic here.

I’ll now hand you over to the man himself who has penned a few choice wise words…..

In case it had somehow passed you by, the 2014 edition of the Snookerbacker Classic begins NEXT MONTH. It hardly seems like yesterday that this year’s competition came to a close and players have come flocking back to participate again this year.

As you will have also read I’m sure, we are also trialling a new Ref School initiative at this season’s event dates. This is your chance to see and feel at first hand what it’s like to officiate a snooker match. Whether you’ve done some refereeing on the side in your local league or you haven’t even watched snooker before in your life (if the latter is true I’d love to know how you’ve somehow wound up on Snookerbacker’s blog, but each to their own!), you are more than welcome to come and spread your wings at this year’s Snookerbacker Classic.

If you want to get yourself involved, have a look at the tournament dates, then see if there are any you would like to attend and let me know via [email protected] – you can even use that address for any questions you might have before you commit to a venue or any questions in general about refereeing snooker. Those of you who have already replied back to me with potential dates and venues, I will get back to you individually shortly and confirm attendances.

Even I was a shy young 18-year-old wondering where to go with refereeing once upon a time. It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 118: if you want to have a taster for what refereeing is like, come on board!

What are you waiting for? See you at Ref School!!


Also a quick reminder to players with reserved places for the opening weekend at Gloucester that the deadline for entry fees to be paid is fast approaching. Click here for details.

August 17, 2013

Bluebell Wood Open Finals Day

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:14 am

It’s Finals Day at The Doncaster Sauna and the usual mix of high ranked and low ranked players are there to contest the Bluebell Wood Open in a venue which it’s fair to say is not really proving to be a great success. Let’s hope the other chosen new venue in that cosmopolitan metropolis of Barnsley is a bit better later in the season.

 Personally I wish Bazza would put his hands in his pockets and take these PTC’s to those big places full of people called cities in England rather than backwater towns, it’s got to be worth a try just on the off-chance that the audiences will increase. I’d even help him find one in Scousepool if he wants, give me a budget and I’ll see to it.

Anyway, here’s the line up for today and we still have a player in each half left in the outrights in Mark Williams (22/1) and Dave Gilbert (150/1), so fingers crossed that the good run bettingwise will continue. For me, that price on MJW could prove the steal of the season, he’s never a 22/1 chance when he’s in form so hopefully that will teach those hapless bookies a lesson later today.



Mark Williams v Pankaj Advani
Steve Davis v Marco Fu
Anthony Hamilton v Ding Junhui
Jimmy Robertson v Vinnie Calabrese
Stephen Maguire v Peter Lines
Shaun Murphy v Tom Ford
Dave Gilbert v Ricky Walden
Mark Allen v Rod Lawler


Mark Williams/Pankaj Advani v Steve Davis/Marco Fu
Anthony Hamilton/Ding Junhui v Jimmy Robertson/Vinnie Calabrese
Stephen Maguire/Peter Lines v Shaun Murphy/Tom Ford
Dave Gilbert/Ricky Walden v Mark Allen/Rod Lawler


Semi Finals



Apollo Post banner

Powered by WordPress

Website transfer complete