April 10, 2015

World Championship Qualifiers Round 2

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:26 am
His spirit lives on.

His spirit lives on.

Sunday and Monday sees us move one step closer to knowing who will be lining up at The Crucible as the second round is played out. 

The event so far has really captured the snooker fraternity’s imagination, confirming that there really is nothing like the World Championship to get people talking.

Talking of people talking, the increasingly adventurous social media moguls over at World Snooker decided to venture into the murky world of You Tube for Reanne’s match against Crafty Ken, always a risk given the dark, sinister underbelly of pond life that resides within the notoriously troll-infused waters of the comments section.

Sure enough, it wasn’t long, about 1 comment in to be precise, until the chat deviated away from the snooker and on to more pressing matters. First of all, Ken’s age was open for debate with one keen fan claiming he was ‘about 65 and well too fukin (sic) old anyway’, this led to others questioning if his advancing years could explain the reason why ‘he’s shit now’. Then up popped someone who claimed to be Jimmy White, a lot of the brainless mob actually believing that they were chatting to the great man himself, there truly is one born every minute or ten every second in the case of You Tube commenters.

The chat evolved, unlike those involved in it, onto technique based questions, one very eloquent poster posing the burning question ‘do her tits get in the way when she is down on the shot?’, an interesting debate followed. Then the ‘comedians’ came out with some good old fashioned 1970’s Bernard Manning style sexism; ‘what is she doing out of the kitchen? LOL’ being a particular lowpoint, well, someone had to say it, it was the elephant in the room after all.

New nickname

New nickname

Once they had then had a few digs at me (apparently I am an 11 year old bellend, which makes a nice change from being an old man in a wheelchair on benefits – but I suppose it’s nice to get a mention) we moved through the obligatory match fixing chat; ‘Barry Herns (sic) has bunged Ken to throw this’ claimed one well-informed individual who chose to remain anonymous, onto a few nickname suggestions, one in particular that World Snooker and Rob Walker may like to consider for next Saturday. Clearly bored with The Jester from Leicester tag one creative type decided it was time for change and that the World Champion should henceforth be known simply as ‘The Cunt’, we’ll see how that pans out.

But at least one poster stuck to the snooker, this guy clearly has some degree of talent in the sport if his claim that ‘I’ve made a 147 with mee cock’ is to be believed. I haven’t seen him advertise this anywhere other than You Tube, so I’d suggest he gets himself a quarter page ad in the next edition of Snooker Scene, the exhibition bookings would surely flood in on the back of that. 

Others in the firing line included Stephen Lee, John Higgins and Judd Trump, so all in all it was a really successful experiment from the marketing team at World Snooker who seemed oblivious to the fact that every reputation in the sport as well as the sport itself was slowly being dismantled to the side of their flagship match for all to see. They were just delighted that over 2000 had tuned in to watch, again, they seemed totally unaware of the fact that they weren’t actually watching at all.

Anyway, on here we do stick to the snooker, well sometimes anyway and the tension and drama will only continue and intensify over the next few days as the wheat is seperated slowly from the chaff and we’ll all be there to watch it all unfold, how cruel are we?

You can view the full draw here and if you want a look at the head to heads, head to Cue Tracker here and enter the two player names for a wealth of information. Also, if you haven’t already it is definitely worth signing up to the World Snooker TV Channel, if only for a month so that you can watch the live streamed tables, to do that click here and click ‘Sign Up’, it’s not a lot of money for what you’ll get to see. 

Bettingwise we are way ahead after Round 1. A couple of wrong calls but singles on Mitchell Mann (11/4) and Zhang Anda (7/4) as well as the four point 9/2 Bumper Acca landing covered those and then some. Let’s see what we can do in Round 2… 

Sunday 10am & 7pm

Michael White v Craig Steadman
Cao Yupeng v Anthony McGill
Tian Pengfei v Jamie Jones
Gerard Greene v Mitchell Mann
Andrew Pagett v Alan McManus
Ryan Day v Alex Davies
Jak Jones v Jack Lisowski
Stuart Carrington v Peter Ebdon
Igor Figueiredo v Rod Lawler
Mike Dunn v Yu Delu
Fraser Patrick v Graeme Dott

A fine performance after an early scare saw Michael White progress through round one, but not without a fight from the impressive Steven Hallworth. As I said in the original preview I expect him to come up against Un-Nooh in the final round so will take him to land the odds against Craig Steadman. Anthony McGill progressed comfortably and now faces Yupeng, I don’t think this will be straightforward for Ants and there is no value at all in backing him at a price I’d say is way too short. Tian Pengfei raced to a 6-0 lead against Rory with one-visit snooker and Jamie Jones also impressed in his opener so that one could be quite a match, toss of a coin for me that one and a possible decider on the cards. Gerard Greene by all accounts behaved like a petulant kid in his first match, intimidating his young opponent Slessor so much that after the match he outed him, he faces Mitchell Mann who is bang in form and I fancy Mitch to overturn GG here. Andrew Pagett was the subject of a hefty gamble in round one, so much so that a couple of firms stopped taking bets on him to beat his Chinese opponent, which he duly did, I can’t see him beating Angles who had a good win over Michael Wasley. Ryan Day had a real scare against the impressive Jamie Clarke and will need to improve to reach The Crucible, I’d take him to win again but Alex Davies seemed to be playing decent in round one so you just never know. Jack Lisowski struggled but eventually came back to defeat Allan Taylor, I was surprised that Jak Jones beat Mehta but looking at the scoring it doesn’t look like it was much of a match so I’ll side with Lisowski again there. Stuart Carrington is more than capable of upsetting Ebdon, but everyone’s favourite vegan usually finds a way to win in matches like this and he’s been playing so well I can’t see him not fighting in the final round. Rod Lawler I expect to bring Igor’s World Championship to a close, looking at his match against Bond it would appear to suggest he didn’t really have to do a lot to win, Bond’s best break being a meagre 38. 10-0 first round winner Yu Delu similarly didn’t have to stretch himself to get a result and he’ll have a much tougher time against Mike Dunn who did what he had to do first round, Dunny however wasn’t in high scoring mode while Delu knocked in four half-centuries and a 133 so I’d side with the Chinese player there just based on first round performance. Finally, Graeme Dott takes on Fraser Patrick, both again had pretty straightforward first round wins, but Dotty was far and away the heavier scorer and I expect him to land the odds there on his way to a Crucible place.

Predicted Winners: White, McGill, Jones, Mann, McManus, Day, Lisowski, Ebdon, Lawler, Delu, Dott.

Sunday 2.30pm and Monday 2.30pm

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v Jamie Burnett
Mark King v Marcus Campbell
Adam Duffy v Sam Baird
Dark Mavis v Oliver Lines
Lee Walker v Ken Doherty
Matthew Stevens v Peter Lines
Joe Swail v Dominic Dale
Fergal O’Brien v Chris Wakelin
Mark Joyce v Zhang Anda
Zhou Yuelong v Liang Wenbo

Thepchiaya Un-Nooh remains  a backable price here against Jamie Burnett. When he’s not messing around he’s a very dangerous player and probably as good as anyone we have seen out of Thailand, Watanna included. Marcus Campbell had a warm up in Round 1 whereas Mark King was a player who was handed a more tricky first rounder, given Marcus’s poor recent form and King’s relatively decent stuff I have to side with Kingy there, but he’s no kind of price really and would not have been 4/11 best had this been played a season ago. I was impressed with Adam Duffy in his win over Gould which was undoubtedly the shock of the first round, but Gould himself was poor and I’m sure will be disappointed in his performance. Sam Baird is one of those players that can turn it on when he’s in the mood and I fancy that to be an entertaining match, difficult to call so it’s best left alone. Mavis is obviously one of the class acts playing this week and is heavily odds on to beat Oli Lines, Oli however has the game to win and I wouldn’t be surprised if this produced a shock. LeeWalker has to fancy his chances against Ken, poor old Kendo has done precious little all season and only just squeezed through against Reanne, 5/2 on Walker looks huge to me. Pete Lines made hard work of his first match, which on paper looked a procession for him, he now faces Matthew Stevens and the two have had just the two close matches in the past, I’d fancy Matthew for this but if it goes close, which it probably will, you never know. Dominic Dale isn’t a player I’d usually trust with my life savings but his price to beat Joe Swail looks worth an investment, when he’s on song he can still produce and Joe isn’t the force of old. Chris Wakelin is a player I rate and he’s worth siding with at 2/1 against Fergal, Mark Joyce has been quietly getting the results of late and is a difficult opponent, given his style and pace but Zhang Anda is good enough to keep with him over the longer distance and again I think might land the odds as he did last round against Hamilton. Zhou Yuelong is winning over a lot of people as China’s next big thing, he faces China’s last next big thing Liang and isn’t beyond springing another surprise.

Predicted Winners: Un-nooh, King, Baird, Oli Lines, Walker, Stevens, Dale, Wakelin, Anda, Yuelong.

Recommended Bets: 3 point treble on Michael White (morning session), Dominic Dale and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh pays 5/2 at Boyles. 2 points on Lee Walker at 5/2. 2 points on Oli Lines at 5/2. 2 points on Chris Wakelin at 2/1. 2 points on Zhou Yuelong at 5/2.   

Monday 10am and 7pm

Gary Wilson v Li Hang
Ben Woollaston v Robin Hull
Steve Davis v Kurt Maflin
Xiao Guodong v Liam Highfield
Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon v Jimmy Robertson
Dechawat Poomjaeng v Robbie Williams
Noppon Saengkham v Michael Holt
Matt Selt v Jimmy White
Tom Ford v David Gilbert
Luca Brecel v Andrew Higginson
Darryl Hill v Robert Milkins

Gary Wilson touched down safely after his China Open adventure and got through his first match comfortably enough. Assuming he has now fully caught up on sleep he should now be OK. His opponent Li Hang gave Chris Melling a right old pasting with some heavy scoring so Gary will have to be sharper this time around, can see that possibly being a surprise win for the Chinese player. Robin Hull is another who scored much heavier than his more fancied opponent Ben Woollaston in Round 1 and Ben will have to up his scoring a notch in my opinion against the very dangerous Fin who of course qualified last year and played Ronnie. A dramatic black ball victory for The Nugget will surely be his crowning moment this year, Kurt Maflin will punish the mistakes that Jamie Cope didn’t and you have to fancy a comfortable win for Maffers there. Xiao Guodong will fancy his chances against Liam Highfield but they were both 10-1 winners in Round 1 and Liam should not be underestimated there, though I’d agree that Xiao is a slight favourite. Thanawat threw up a surprise in Round 1 and now faces Jimmy Robertson who is a player who I think long matches bring the best out of, I’d marginally fancy him for that one. Poomjaeng is a player I always underestimate and that’s why you should not take any notice of me when I say I think Robbie Williams will beat him, I’ll probably be wrong again. As for Michael Holt, he came away from his last match complaining about the tables but I thought he looked very solid and I think he’ll get the better of Thai Noppon. Matt Selt you’d expect to see off Jimmy, Selt was in a right nark the other day and may face some action for doing this midway through his match. I’m going to plump for Dave Gilbert to beat Tom Ford, Tom hasn’t had a great season and Gilbert is a player I have always liked and rated highly, bit of an underachiever really. You can’t see Rob Milkins losing but you have to say what a great result for new young pro Darryl Hill in the last round over James Cahill, clearly one to watch out for next season. Finally, Luca and Andrew Higginson, The Belgian Bullet hasn’t lost a frame yet and for me is now looking like the real deal, I’ll take him to land the odds here as the bookies have clearly spotted this too and make him a short priced favourite against his far more experienced opponent.

Predicted Winners: Hang, Hull, Maflin, Guodong, Robertson, Williams, Holt, Selt, Gilbert, Brecel, Milkins.

Recommended Bet: 3 point acca pays over 2/1 on Maflin, Holt, Selt and Gilbert add Brecel for a 2 point acca which pays over 4/1, add Guodong for a 2 point acca which pays over 7/1. 2 points on Hull at 7/4. 2 points on Hang at 5/4. 

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