November 29, 2013

UK Championship Day 5

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:31 pm
The four table set up inside the arena, two big, too small?

The four table set up inside the arena, two big, too small?

While we are over in Leeds with the SB Classic at the weekend the UK Championship continues as the BBC coverage starts up in the afternoon, the morning sessions seemingly and unfortunately not covered anywhere anymore, which is a shame and in my view a bit of a shambles.

The schedule is also now more condensed and there is no guarantees for any of the afternoon or for that matter evening matches that they will start on time. But that is how this tournament is going to run so the players will just have to put up with possible delays.

I’m not going to ramble on ahead of previewing tomorrow’s matches as time is short, but I have to say a huge congratulations to Mitchell Travis, the amateur who knocked out Marco Fu against all odds. I hope nobody did one of those mad-accas on the short priced favourites as they will I’m sure have included that match, I didn’t see it coming that’s for sure. I don’t know Mitchell as he has never entered the SB Classic but by all accounts he played tremendously well to win.

The betting is going well now that I’ve actually knuckled down and given it some time so let’s see if the decent run can continue. 

If you go over to Cue Tracker here you can enter both players names and see their head to head statistics.


Main Arena

Graeme Dott v Nigel Bond
Ali Carter v Jimmy Robertson
Zhang Anda v Barry Hawkins
Peter Ebdon v David Morris

As I understand it we won’t be able to watch any of these which is frustrating as the session seems two world champions and further three world finalists in action in four second round matches. Graeme Dott seemed to be scoring well in his first match with two centuries and comes into this in form, he could be a dark horse in this event could Dotty and I think he’ll come through his match against Nigel Bond with a bit in hand. Ali expressed dissatisfaction with the whole format and venue after winning the other day and he now faces Jimmy Robertson for a place in the Last 32, I get the feeling that despite his feelings he’s bang up for this week and again I’d expect a win for the higher ranked player there. I’d also side with the favourite in the Barry Hawkins/Zhang Anda match and to be honest all three are backable as a treble so to me that’s your Saturday starter, Hawkins has admitted to taking his eye off the ball since the World Championship and usually that means he’s got his motivation back up and running, no doubt with the help of Terry Griffiths. I expect Peter Ebdon and Davy Morris to be a little closer, both scored consistently in their first matches without doing anything outstanding, but the bookies seem to have priced this one up bang on so there’s not really any value backing either in what I think will be a close one.

Predictions: Dott, Carter, Hawkins, Ebdon.

Recommended Bet: 2 point treble on Dott, Carter and Hawkins pays over 5/4 with Apollobet

Not before 1pm 

Ant Parsons: In action against Ding.

Ant Parsons: In action against Ding.

Main Arena 

Ding Junhui v Ant Parsons
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Rhys Clark
Paul Davison v Shaun Murphy
Michael Holt v Alan McManus

Sports Hall

Gary Wilson v Vinnie Calabrese
Sean O’Sullivan v Noppon Saengkham
Xiao Guodong v Jamie O’Neill
Fergal O’Brien v Mark King

SB Classic Grand Finalist Ant Parsons has his time in the spotlight as he faces Ding, presumably getting some BBC coverage to boot. This and the second match on the list involving Ronnie O’Sullivan is a held over Last 128 match while the other 6 in this afternoon session are all second rounders. To see Ding or Ronnie lose would be a shock of epic proportions but I hope Ant gives a good account of himself as he’s a genuinely top bloke who works really hard at the game. Shaun Murphy had a bye in the first round so it’s also his first match and he faces local man Davison who landed us a nice touch in the last round. Paul is a tough match player and is more than capable of springing a surprise on his day and Shaun is a little out of sorts of late, maybe all these late night replicating kicks are taking their toll on him, Shaun is usually however a strong starter to the main events and I expect him to come through that one. The tightest match up may be Holt against Angles, Holt proclaimed himself satisfied and ‘like a box of chocolates’ after his first match and Alan came through a dramatic re-spotted black encounter against Joel Walker in Round 1, winning by virtue of his opponent going in-off the deciding ball. But this is another day and if any player can frustrate the sometime volatile Nottingham man it’s McManus, so I think I’ll side with him here.

Gary Wilson is making giant strides on the tour this season already and is becoming one of the most reliable players to back in early rounds, his 6-0 demolition of Jamie Jones in Round 1 is enough to convince me he’s backable again here against arguably a less capable opponent in Vinnie Calabrese, Wilson remains a decent price and I’d advise a decent bet on that one. Sean O’Sullivan came from 4-0 down in Round One to shoot down the Sheriff of Pottingham but starts an outsider against Thai Noppon to progress again. I’ll admit that I don’t know a lot about old Noppy but his scoring in Round 1 indicates to me that if Sean can keep the momentum up he is very beatable. Xiao Guodong is playing very well lately and his opponent in the last round Andrew Pagett described his performance as awesome, you’d think he’ll have the firepower to fend off Jamie O’Neill and finally a real battle of the bruisers as The Ferginator takes on legendary grappler Mark King, impossible to call so I am happy to report that my old adage of not betting with a match with Mark King in it will hold, gun to head, King.

Predictions: Ding, Ronnie, Murphy, McManus, Wilson, O’Sullivan, Guodong, King.

Recommended Bets: Add Gary Wilson to the morning treble for a 3 pointer that pays almost 5/2 at Paddy Power. 

Not before 7pm 

Main Arena 

Mark Selby v Shane Castle
Neil Robertson v Dylan Mitchell
Michael Leslie v Liang Wenbo
Michael White v Marcus Campbell

Two more first round matches pitching amateurs against professionals in the final session and again it would be a major shock if either Selby or Robertson were to lose, you can’t really see that happening. Michael Leslie is doing a lot better this season and is finding his feet at this level, he faces probably his stiffest ever test in a main ranker against Liang Wenbo, who missed out on a chance of the 147 in his first match breaking down on the yellow for the £58k bonus, I expect the Chinese player to come through that one. Finally, one of the hot prospects of the baize Michael white finds himself starting favourite against Marcus Campbell, while I think White will probably win, the odds on Campbell are quite surprising and it wouldn’t be a shock if he overturned the book. No bet in the evening session for me though.

Predictions: Selby, Robbo, Wenbo, White.

You can view the draw for the UK Championship by clicking here – the order of play is listed here

You can view Apollobet’s outright prices here, match betting here and Daily Enhanced Specials here.

Thanks as ever to Monique for use of the original photo. 

Apollo Post banner

Snookerbacker Classic Leeds: The Lowdown

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:00 am

The draws for the Leeds Snookerbacker Classic qualifying heats at the weekend have now been completed. 

To view the draw for this coming Saturday click here

To view the provisional* draw for this coming Sunday click here

All players must be ready to play their first match by 10am on both days, please be aware that frame docking will occur if you are late as detailed in the Terms and Conditions of the tournament

Dress code is polo shirt, trousers and shoes and optional fancy hat (one of those is a joke, take your pick).

Stand by for news of further qualifying events in the new year, the venues will be announced shortly.

To read all about the SB Classic and why it’s the best amateur event in the UK click here.

The current SB Classic Highest Break as well as the Crucial SB Order of Merit List is here – only half way through the qualifiers and we have Callum Lloyd remaining in poll position with Joe Steele in 2nd place. 

*Troy Brett will take the place of Saturday’s winner should they be entered into Sunday’s event. 

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