June 2, 2015

Australian Open Qualifiers Day 2

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:43 am
Thumbs Up: Syd started with a win.

Thumbs Up: Syd started with a win.

The Australian Open continues today in Crawley as we see the last batch of first round matches followed by the next tier of players joining in the action for Round 2.

This tournament of course, along with the Shanghai Masters is still operating the old qualifying format, meaning that when each round commences, the higher seeded players join in. This is because the contracts for these events say so and when they come up for renegotiation, Bazza will be wanting them both to adopt the flat structure he so loves.

Personally, I quite like the fact that this is a bit different and although there will be those who will bang on about fairness and how much better the flat structure is, at least here the lower ranked players actually get a chance to play some competitive snooker rather than being pitched against a high ranked player straight off and getting hammered, leaving with nothing but crumbling confidence and an ever increasing overdraft.

Of course, the downside to this is the fact that the lowest ranked have to win 4 matches instead of 1 to get any sniff at decent money and a place at the venue, if you don’t count the incentive of the lucrative £45 (minus tax) prize for the Highest Break in the qualifiers that is, which one lucky potter will be cashing in come Friday evening. But as the season gets underway, I think it’s healthier for them in the long run to know what winning and competing feels like. For example, take the newly qualified Q-School graduates, wouldn’t they rather win a couple of matches to keep their confidence high than get drawn against a top 16 player and getting walloped, bringing them back down to earth with a bump?

So I say vive la différence and if those who sign the contracts want to keep this as it is, let them. Wait until we get to the mainstay of the season with the best of seven flat structure tedium and you’ll be crying out for events like this one if you’re anything like me. Which I appreciate you are probably not.

Yesterday saw said Q-School graduates Syd Wilson, Eden Sharav, Rhys Clark and Duane Jones all win on their tour debuts, while Dan Wells and Paul Davison also made a successful return with wins. However, it wasn’t a happy return to the tour for Jason Weston who came a cropper, with the final Q-Schooler Gaz Allen playing this morning. Sandi Lam also made a successful tour debut having qualified through the EPTC route earlier in the year.

The fourfold recommended yesterday landed so that’s a nice start to the new season. It’s worth getting involved in these best of nine framers, they are much safer to bet on than the shorter formats which unfortunately are becoming increasingly the norm these days, much to the delight no doubt of the bookies, who are also the sponsor of choice for almost all events, funny that, you’d almost think they are the ones really running the show as they watch the mugs do their conkers on the short matches.

You can take a look at the running order for the week here and keep up with the live scores as they happen here.

Recommended Tuesday Fivefold: 2 points on David Grace, Gareth Allen, Steven Hallworth, Sean O’Sullivan and Robbie Williams pays 11/4 at Boyles. 1 point double on Joel Walker and Zhao Xintong pays over 11/2 at Ladbrokes. 

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