March 9, 2015

Indian Open Preview and Schedule

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:30 am
A Return to India

A Return to India

Mumbai is the latest stop on the global snooker tour as the players pitch up in India for the five day Indian Open at the plush Grand Hyatt Hotel. This event which was originally supposed to take place in October, was postponed due to political unrest in the area.

There has been a little confusion, well on my part at least, about how we can all get to watch this, but this was solved this morning by World Snooker. Apparently, the event will only be televised in India but will be available online at the World Snooker TV streaming channel for those who subscribe. This usually means that the bookies will be streaming it too and I normally head to Bet 365 for this, I seem to remember that last year they took the India TV coverage and had commentary and analysis.

It’s great that snooker is expanding to new markets and there is no doubt that last year this event did capture the imagination of the locals, especially as Aditya Mehta managed to have a great run to the Final. It’s just a shame that the best of 7 frame matches have again become the format of choice here, unfortunately to a bluff old traditionalist like myself this does not really draw me to the tournament.

Indeed, no fewer than 13 tournaments this season have adopted this format, which for me is fine for the EPTC and APTC events as they have never been anything else and the sheer volume of matches makes this a sensible approach, but to have these short matches in main ranking events for me is a bit disappointing, particularly when most of the tour have to travel half way around the globe to play in them. I suppose the one plus is that it makes me look forward to Sheffield even more.

I suspect that this is in part the reason for a lot of big name non-entry’s, we have no Ronnie, no Selby, Maguire or Allen and even the usually committed trio of Murphy, Bingham and Robbo have chosen to give this a miss. Even Barry Hawkins withdrew from the qualifiers and now Ali Carter has had visa issues forcing his withdrawal it is a depleted field as far as top seeds are concerned.  

There are a few who have been roped in though, Judd Trump, John Higgins, Mark Williams and holder Ding Junhui probably being the most recognisable names to the Indian audience, but we also have the likes of Marco Fu (update – withdrawn), Rob Milkins, Ricky Walden, Dark Mavis, Peter Ebdon, Graeme Dott, Joe Perry and Shootout Champ Michael White in there so the chances are we will be seeing a recognisable face holding the trophy at the end.

I’ll just take a small punt on a select few and see how it works out.

Recommended Bets: 2 points on John Higgins at 12/1. 1 point on Michael White at 33/1. 1 point on Joe Perry at 20/1 and 1 point on Peter Ebdon at 50/1.

You can view the full draw for the Indian Open here.


Jamie Jones v Liang Wenbo
Matthew Stevens v Gerard Greene
Thepchaya Un-Nooh v Neeraj Kumar

Followed by

Stuart Carrington w/o Marco Fu  
Ben Woollaston v Yu Delu
Sam Baird v Brijesh Damani

Followed by

Eden Sharav v Mark Williams
Mike Dunn v Rob Milkins
Lu Haotian v Dharminder Lilly
Adam Duffy v Sumit Talwar


Judd Trump v Peter Lines
Peter Ebdon v Zhou Yuelong
Nigel Bond v Faisal Khan
Li Hang v Allan Taylor

NB 3pm

Rhys Clark v Pankaj Advani
Ken Doherty v Joe Swail
Kyren Wilson v Alan McManus
Fraser Patrick v Jamie Cope


Rory McLeod v Ricky Walden
Joe Perry v Marcus Campbell
Cao Yupeng v Michael White
Tom Ford v Anthony McGill

Followed by

Rhys Clark/Pankaj Advani v Chris Wakelin
Mark Joyce w/o Ali Carter
Sam Baird/Brijesh Damani v Rod Lawler
Gary Wilson v Adam Duffy/Sumit Talwar

Followed by

Jamie Burnett v John Higgins
Dark Mavis v Anthony Hamilton
Matthew Selt v Joel Walker
Tian Pengfei v Lyu Haotian/Dharminder Lilly


Ding Junhui v Thepchaya Un-Nooh/Neeraj Kumar
Ryan Day v Nigel Bond/Faisal Khan
Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon v Dechawat Poomjaeng
David Morris v David Gilbert

NB 3pm

Mark King v Aditya Mehta
Graeme Dott v Robin Hull
Luca Brecel v Fegal O’Brien
Andrew Pagett v Zack Richardson

SB Classic Derby: Ruthless Bodle Joins Grand Finalists

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:20 am

A very happy Jamie with his prize

Sunday in Derby saw local man Jamie Bodle, an England International and former tour professional, join the cracking line-up in Gloucester for Grand Finals Day on April 5th.

This heat was something of an odd one as it’s only the second time that myself and Mrs SB have not attended a qualifying event in the 4 years we’ve been doing the Classic. We had a family occasion to attend and were ably assisted by Mark Jones, who stood in as tournament director for the day and Andy Guest of My Snooker Stats who showed up to do a bit of live scoring for us.

Also present were referees Rob Spencer and Peter Bennett to make sure the day carried on regardless, even though there was an absence of cake that at one point threatened to lead to a mass mutiny, led by Joe Steele’s dad and cake-addict Garry. 

Many people’s favourite for the day was Paul Davison, but the Yorkshire man was beaten in Round 1 by Alex Taubman. It was quite an incredible achievement by Alex who is recovering from a seriously debilitating illness which threatened to rule him out for the rest of the season as recently as a fortnight ago. But he was to lose in the following round to Ryan Causton, who himself has one foot in the Grand Finals courtesy of the Order of Merit list, with just 2 more qualifying events left.

But it was Jamie who stole the show, in a display described by one pundit as ‘almost flawless’ he was to end Ryan’s run 4-1 in the semi-finals, compiling two centuries and racking up a 97% pot success rate in the process, as good as you will see at any level.

He faced Callum Downing in the final, who himself had seen off John Eames, Hugo Tomas and Adam King to get there, but Jamie proved too strong and by all accounts was a very worthy winner.

The Bald Truth: Mark Jones and Jamie.

The Bald Truth: Mark Jones and Jamie.

Mark has asked me to make a few further points and speaks very highly of the venue and the tables, which were prepared very early in the morning by Terry Salt, the club was extremely accommodating of the SB Classic and that’s really great to hear.

Mark also says that the referees were very professional as you would expect and that they added an air of kudos to the tournament. He also wanted me to say that he replaced the glass in the prize that smashed in the post with one of his daughter Hannah’s prized certificates. Proving that when it comes to the SB Classic, there is no level you shouldn’t stoop to in order to ensure the day runs smoothly. I just hope Hannah has stopped crying now.

I’m not going to mention that Mark himself thought he did a much better job than me as his big bald head will only expand further and we both know it isn’t true. 

A personal big thank you from me to everyone at Cueball for again hosting this event and a special thanks to Diana Schuler, Jamie’s other half, for taking the photographs. Remember that last year, this venue produced the eventual champion Ant Parsons, will their 100% record remain in tact?

This Saturday we are back on the road and land again at Scotties in Liverpool for a really high quality heat. And yes, there will be cake.

You can view the results from the Derby qualifier here and view all the Grand Finalists, the updated highest breaks and Order of Merit table here.

There are still a handful of places left in the final qualifier in Gloucester, to enter click here and follow the instructions.

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