October 29, 2013

International Championship Last 16

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:18 pm
Oval and Out

Oval and Out

It’s Day Four in Chengdu and thankfully we are finally rid of those early morning sessions which are highly inconvenient for the UK audience. What were they thinking putting them on at that hour? God only knows…surely China should be getting on board with us Brits and putting this on to suit our days rather than their own, very selfish if you ask me.

Anyway, Ronnie’s brief appearance in China was just that, brief, as he was beaten by Liang Wenbo from holding a 4-1 lead. Ronnie wasn’t at his best and China got to celebrate a home win. He can come home now knowing that he’s fulfilled his part of the bargain with the vodka boys so everyone’s happy.

Earlier Ding had also got through and is still on for a hat-trick of titles, you have to go back to the days of a certain Mr Hendry for the last time that happened, but to me Ding did show a few signs of tiredness here and there and I don’t really fancy him to make history on that showing personally.

The childcard beat Barry Hawkins, some have accused me of being unfair to the childcard in refusing to give him any credit for his performances. Well, I am nothing if not consistent so I will again refuse to praise the childcard for another win in a tournament he shouldn’t be in.

I wasn’t up early enough to see Mark Allen play but apparently he struggled against dogged Dave Harold and amongst the shocks of the day were contrasting fortunes for the Welsh twosome of Matthew Stevens and Mark Williams. Matthew gave John Higgins a pasting, increasing my suspicion that we may be witnessing the end of an era with John, I just don’t see any glimpses of his steely resolve lately and haven’t done for a while, will he ever get it back? MJ lost to Kurt Maflin who now gets to have a crack at Dotty who ended Kyren Wilson’s run.

There were also early wins for Joe Perry, Marco Fu and Dark Mavis, the latter of whom along with Neil Robertson and Stuart Bingham are still in the hunt for the outright bets. It’s fair to say that the match betting today didn’t go too well. Ryan Day managed to turn over Judd’s conqueror Angles and Fergal O’Brien, Mark Selby and Peter Ebdon all came through real snoozefests late on.

Robertson’s 6-1 win over Un-Nooh is arguably a score that was easily predictable. It is also a score that betting markets pointed to before the match as well as silly odds being taken on Robbo just to win at Betfair. By the time the match started there had been over £40,000 traded there on that match alone, over 99% of which was on Robbo. This is not a great deal of money for sure when it comes to betting markets, but when there are people prepared to take odds as low as 1/12 on a player before a ball is struck in a match this will always raise alarm bells, particularly when the player being laid has ‘form’. Betfair arguably being the back end of activity which has long since gone on in the Asian markets. Ronnie’s televised match at the same point had less than £6000 traded on it. In short, this match was comfortably the most traded on of the week so far.

It may well be that this is just merely a reflection of the confidence Robbo backers have in their man, but to me it smells a bit fishy and has similar patterns to other undoubtedly dubious matches involving Thai players. I can’t and won’t blame the players themselves and as I have said before the Integrity Unit face a thankless task, but this can’t just carry on. I hope that all firms and exchanges will soon take the decision to pull betting on all matches involving certain players, though what good this will do is unclear as it will merely push things further underground. It’s a real problem in the sport and I’m not at all sure how to solve it, I’ll just say that I’m glad it’s not my job to do so. But it should continue to be highlighted rather than ignored or else the baddies have won and my mum would not like that and would give me a severe telling off.

Anyway, here is the line up for tomorrow. We still have main fancy Robertson involved and he seems to be playing as well as anyone, we also have the two 40/1 shots in Mavis and Bingham still in the hunt.

Click on the match to view the head to heads where applicable.


Childcard v Marco Fu
Neil Robertson v Peter Ebdon
Mark Allen v Joe Perry
Graeme Dott v Kurt Maflin


Ryan Day v Fergal O’Brien
Stuart Bingham v Mark Selby
Dark Mavis v Liang Wenbo
Matthew Stevens v Ding Junhui

Recommended Bets: 2 point acca pays almost 9/2 at Ladbrokes on Robertson, Dott, Day and Mavis. 2 points on Bingham to beat Selby at 7/4 with Corals.

Check out all Apollobet’s outright match prices here.

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Thanks to World Snooker for use of the photo

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