July 31, 2015

Saturday at the Riga Open

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 2:28 pm

Riga OpenFollowing the first eight qualifiers for Finals Day on Sunday, Saturday determines who will join them to contest the last 16 of the Riga Open.

Friday’s recommended bet didn’t produce the goods with the treble going down on a single frame in the end and betting on matches in these events is notoriously difficult but I’ll flag up another, again on the total frames betting with Marathonbet on three that I’d expect to not be 4-0 or 4-1 either way.

Recommended Bet: 2 point treble Over 5.5 frames in the following matches pays 10/3 at Marathonbet – Ebdon v Bond, Mehta v Jones and Cope v Burns. 

You can view the draw for the Riga Open here. The Eurosport schedule can be viewed here.

9.30 Local Time (7.30am UK Time)

Shaun Murphy v Andreas Ploner
Aditya Mehta v Duane Jones
Jack Lisowski v Rhys Clark
Peter Ebdon v Nigel Bond
Matt Selt v Joe O’Connor
Joe Swail v Alfie Burden
Liam Highfield v Tomasz Skalski
Robert Milkins v Fraser Patrick
Stuart Carrington v Thor Chuan Leong
Rory McLeod v Roman Dietzel

Not Before 11.00 Local Time

Fergal O’Brien v Callum Lloyd
Michael Holt v Jimmy White
Kyren Wilson v Ross Muir
Tom Ford v Jamie Clarke
Joe Perry v Alex Borg

Not Before 11.30 Local Time

Ricky Walden v Zak Surety
Ian Burns v Jamie Cope
Ben Woollaston v Vinnie Calabrese

Not Before 12.30 Local Time

Michael Wasley v Jeff Cundy
Gerard Greene v James Cahill
Mark Williams v Barry Pinches

Not Before 1pm Local Time

John Higgins v Joe Roberts
Oli Lines v Daniel Wells
Dominic Dale v Chris Melling
Stuart Bingham v Ashley Hugill

Not Before 2pm Local Time

Ali Carter v Joe Steele
Liang Wenbo v Damian Wilks
David Morris v Robin Otto
Dave Gilbert v Lewis John Calcutt

Followed by Later Rounds 



July 30, 2015

Friday at The Riga Open

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:52 am
Mark and Judd will both be on our screens tomorrow.

What a Gay Day! Judd and Mark will both be on our screens on Friday.

Once the amateur rounds are done and dusted in Latvia it’s then time for the professionals to join in and Friday kicks off on Eurosport with the holder Mark Selby up against Leeds boy Sanderson Lam.

It’s good to see the likes of Sanderson, a former SB Classic regular, getting his chance to shine in the spotlight against the best players, I wonder if he can emulate his mate Oli Lines who last season managed to get one over on the Jester from Leicester?

We’ll also get a chance later in the day to see another familiar name to us on here Syd Wilson, who takes on Judd Trump, so all in all, it’s a bit of an SB Old Boys Day on the telly.

Incidentally, Syd has been busy getting a website up and running recently and pretty impressive it is too, you can take a look at it by clicking here, my only criticism is that he hasn’t included the picture of him in his woolly jumper in our front room on there, but there’s still time. Other players take note.

Below you will find the schedule for Friday. You can take a look at the vast array of markets on the matches, including handicap and total frame betting at Marathonbet here

Given the effort they are making on the snooker this season (and the fact they are sponsors of the SB Classic), it might be worth regular snooker punters getting an account there as there are likely to be markets on there that aren’t always available elsewhere, give them a go and let me know what you think.

Recommended Treble: 3 points pays over 10/3 at Marathon Bet on all these matches being over 5.5 frames: Walker v Davison, Stevens v Hallworth and Joyce v Wakelin. Add Mitchell Mann to beat Lee Walker for a 2 point acca pays over 7/1.

You can view the draw for the Riga Open here. The Eurosport schedule can be viewed here.

9.30 Local Time (7.30am UK Time)

Mark Selby v Sanderson Lam
Joel Walker v Paul Davison
Ken Doherty v Winner of Match 38
Gary Wilson v Winner of Match 39
Jamie Jones v Hamza Akbar
Luca Brecel v Winner of Match 40
Michael Georgiou v Winner of Match 41
Ryan Day v Allan Taylor
Graeme Dott v Winner of Match 42
Andrew Higginson w/o Hossein Vafaei Ayouri
Mike Dunn v Winner of Match 43 

NB 11.00 Local Time

Matthew Stevens v Steven Hallworth
Rod Lawler v Winner of Match 44
Peter Lines v Winner of Match 45
Scott Donaldson v Michael Leslie
Mark Allen v Gareth Allen 

NB 11.30 Local Time

Barry Hawkins v Winner of Match 46
Robbie Williams v Ian Glover
Craig Steadman v Winner of Match 47
Anthony McGill v Winner of Match 48 

NB 12.30 Local Time

Mark King v Winner of Match 49
Sam Baird v Jason Weston
Mitchell Mann v Lee Walker
Michael White v Winner of Match 50 

NB 1pm Local Time

Stephen Maguire v Winner of Match 51
Anthony Hamilton v Winner of Match 52
Jimmy Robertson v Eden Sharav
Alan McManus v David Grace 

NB 2pm Local Time

Kurt Maflin v Sean O’Sullivan
Robin Hull v Tony Drago
Mark Joyce v Chris Wakelin
Judd Trump v Syd Wilson

Followed by Later Rounds 


July 28, 2015

Viva La Riga! Snooker Returns to Latvia

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 2:11 pm

Viva La Riga

The slightly stuttering stop/start to the new season sees Riga in Latvia play host once more to the first of this season’s European Players Tour Championships, which starts with the amateur rounds on Wednesday and sees the professionals enter the fray on Friday.

This of course, as has been well documented, is the final year of the EPTC’s in their current form. They morphed out of the PTC format and have now become synonymous with new European venues for snooker and decent crowds who are increasingly being turned on to the sport by watching it live, albeit whilst being groomed into thinking Best of 7’s are where it’s at, when in fact they are total arsewipe.

For me, I think it’s rather a surprising reversal in thinking to largely replace these next season with an English, Scottish and Irish Open, joining the Welsh for a £1 million Grand Slam of Snooker (the £1m only applying if Ronnie, I mean someone, wins them all). Bazza and Jason have previously stated on several occasions that they saw the future of the sport outside of the UK, yet they have decided to bring it back on a larger scale than for over a decade. But at least Ronnie will be happy as he doesn’t like going abroad anymore.

It’s also almost certain that the route to the main tour through the EBSA Order of Merit will be closed off for amateurs after this season, meaning that as things stand, the development of the amateur game will suffer. However, there may be a few developments in the pipeline to address this so all may not be lost, but my guess is the door to the tour through this list will be.

Anyway, it’s not the last year in Riga at least as it’s already been confirmed that this one will run again next season and I hope the same goes for the Paul Hunter Classic as it would be a real shame to lose this established event in Germany from the calendar, let’s hope they can find sponsors for that one to secure its long term future aswell.

It’s very hard to know who is going into this having put the hours in. A lot of the potters have used the break since Australia to go on holiday so there might be a few very careless suntanned hackers on display come the weekend.

The best strategy in terms of betting on the outrights I always find is to select a player from each quarter to back each way and nail your colours to a winner, it’s served us well in the past so there’s no reason to abandon that tactic now.

So here goes nothing:

Recommended Bets: 1 points each way on Jamie Jones at 80/1. 2 points on Stephen Maguire at 20/1. 1 point each way on Matt Selt at 66/1. 1 point each way on Ali Carter at 40/1. 

You can view the draw for the Riga Open here. The Eurosport schedule can be viewed here. You can take a look at Marathonbet’s comprehensive match betting by clicking here.


July 15, 2015

New Sponsors for SB Classic

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:06 am
A champion in more ways than one.

A champion in more ways than one.

Those of you with nothing better to do but follow my unintelligible nonsense occasionally on social media will probably be aware that the last 24 hours or so has seen a lot of action on the sponsor front for this season’s forthcoming Snookerbacker Classic, which will be open for entries soon.

On Monday, I received some disappointing news about some sponsorship that I had been hoping to secure, this led to a rather desperate late night appeal on Twitter which in turn led to an upturn in my fortunes and more importantly the future of the tournament.

Tuesday morning started with a text message on my phone from none other than the current World Champion Stuart Bingham, who had read my ramblings and immediately pledged £1000 to the cause. Stuart didn’t have to do this and wanted no publicity for it, it just goes to show that our World Champion has not forgotten where he came from and firmly supports grass roots snooker, what a gent.

Some kind-hearted individuals also offered funding up as well as their valuable time, including Norwegian Eurosport snooker commentator Edwin Ingebrigsten, who I thank immensely for his contribution which again came right out of the blue and is simply a gesture of support for nothing in return.

I also received a donation from ecological consultancy service Udall-Martin Associates and I am also working to secure a further lump sum from another corporate sponsor in the gambling industry.

I am delighted to say that existing partner Eden Resources, a massive supporter of snooker at grass roots level, are also again on board to fund some junior scholarships and that I will continue to be working with Lake Creative Design and My Snooker Stats; both huge supporters of the SB Classic.

My mate Steve

My mate Steve

Just as my blown-head was about to settle down to sleep, last night, the 6 Times World Champion Steve Davis also got in touch to pledge a further £1000 to the prize fund. By now, I was beginning to wonder if I was dreaming….

So to sum up what this means to the tournament. From potentially downsizing a little 48 hours ago, I will now, pending confirmation from one sponsor be able to offer at least £11,500 in prize money, including a winners prize of at least £3000, which will include the World Champion Stuart Bingham Scholarship. As well as this, the Runner-Up and Losing Semi-Finalists will receive Steve Davis Achievement Awards on top of the existing prize money.

I’ll have more details in the very near future including the dates and venues and how to enter this season’s Snookerbacker Classic, it’s likely to be pretty competitive for places as they are limited so please keep your eyes peeled towards the end of the month.

Stay tuned for news of the tournament on here, follow me on Twitter here or Facebook here.  


July 13, 2015

The Pink Ribbon: Information for all Players

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:12 am

Pink PantherA festival of snooker and a logistical nightmare is how I’d best sum up what is happening from Wednesday onwards at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester as the annual Pink Ribbon tournament in aid of Breast Cancer gets underway.

The information below has been compiled by Andrew Norman (with a few edits from me, see if you can spot them) after the comings and goings had been determined by tournament director Clive ‘Einstein’ Brown.

This information is for all amateur and professional players who are competing. I hope it’s a great event and very successful at raising lots of dosh for charity, I also hope Clive makes it to the end without having to resort to hard drugs.

Please click the links below for:

Amateur Draw

Player Match Times

Tournament Schedule

Last 128 Draw

Professional Match Times

Please read the draw and match numbers carefully to find the correct match times, don’t be utterly careless and miss your match.

Note the times are a guide and can be delayed due to snails who take ages and won’t win it anyway.

Players MUST report to the Tournament Desk located in the lounge at least 15 minutes before your match is due to start, don’t turn up with an attitude because your match is delayed either, it can’t be helped.

Dress Code 

All Players must wear Trousers, Shoes and a Pink Top to represent Breast Cancer Awareness.

Official Pink Ribbon 2015 Polo Shirts will be available to buy at the event in the SWSA Shop.

We encourage spectators to watch all matches throughout the week.

There will be no tickets sold, however there will be conveniently placed charity buckets around SWSA where we would appreciate everyone to donate an entrance fee to the event. In other words, put something in the buckets and don’t turn up expecting to watch the snooker for free, and don’t do that old trick of throwing a couple of two pences in and rattling what’s in there very loudly within earshot of as many people as possible. 

Event Format

1st Round Matches: Best of 5 Frames

2nd Round – Final: Best of 7 Frames

Professional Players will enter the draw at the round of Last 128 Player.

All Professional players will give amateur players 18 points start per frame.

5 times World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan will be starting his Pink Ribbon campaign at 2pm on Saturday 18th July, if he gets beat he will congratulate his opponent on an excellent season, even though it hasn’t really started yet.

Please do not hesitate to contact SWSA if you have any questions at all on 01452 223214.

July 6, 2015

Professional Downtime and the Pink Ribbon Returns

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:55 am
Pinking it in Gloucester

Pinking it in Gloucester

There is now no snooker on the official calendar to be played until we head to Riga in Latvia for the first European Tour event starting on July 29th, but there is one event taking place which deserves a mention.

From 15th to the 19th of July, the action will centre on the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester which plays host to the annual Pink Ribbon Pro-Am event in support of breast cancer charities.

While there have been a lot of changes to the Academy over the last 18 months it remains a great place to play and watch snooker and rumour has it that entries to their big event this season have topped 300, these include a certain Mr Ronald Antonio O’Sullivan who has decided to lend his support this year, presumably to limber up for the events he’s decided to play in this season.

Apparently the draw for the tournament will be taking place this afternoon and what follows I assume will be what I’d class as a logistical nightmare in terms of scheduling, but which unflappable tournament director Clive Brown will probably see as a piece of cake.

You can find out all about the Pink Ribbon on the official website here or if you are on Facebook you can follow the SWSA page here.  

July 3, 2015

Australian Open Finals Weekend

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 2:29 pm
Back at the Business End

Back at the Business End

The final weekend of the tournament doesn’t feature any of the world’s top 8 players, with John Higgins and Stephen Maguire from Scotland, Martin Gould from England and Jamie Jones from Wales contesting the semi finals.

It’s great to see the likes of Jones and Gould still in the mix and it would be a hard-hearted soul who would begrudge either of them their first ranking event win, Gould in particular has been knocking on the door for ages and after a slight dip in form he now seems to be back in the groove again and challenging at the business end of things.

You’d have to fancy the all Scottish final as the World Cup partners go into both their matches as favourites, but personally I’ll be cheering on the two underdogs in the good old fashioned British way, who likes proven winners anyway? That’s what the Yanks are there for.

After this comes a large gap in the snooker calender with the next event being the first European Tour jolly to Riga in Latvia which starts on the 29th, this being the final year of the EPTC events.

The shake up next year will see the welcome return of more snooker to UK shores with the new English, Irish and Scottish Opens joining the existing Welsh Open to make a kind of UK grand slam of events and one European Open replacing the current EPTC set up in the country that bids the most dosh for it, sorry I mean, is most suitable for it.

Hopefully they will see fit to carry on the Paul Hunter Classic in some way, shape or form, perhaps even naming this more prestigious European Open after one of snooker’s most-missed stars. It would be sad to see this just scrapped from the excellent venue in Fürth, which I know is very popular with players and fans alike.

Here is the schedule for Saturday and Sunday in Bendigo, the semi finals are the best of eleven frames and Sunday’s final is the best of seventeen. Click on the matches for the head to head record.

Jamie Jones v John Higgins

Stephen Maguire v Martin Gould


Final 1st session (8 frames)

Final 2nd session (max 9 frames)

July 2, 2015

Australian Open Quarter Finals

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 4:20 pm
Favourite to retain his title.

Favourite to retain his title.

They are down to the final eight now in Bendigo as the Australian Open continues down under with the last eight consisting solely of players from England, Scotland and Wales.

At the risk of upsetting the Aussies again and adding them to the list of other nations I have offended in the past including Russia, China, Scotland and Thailand, I’m not that impressed with the crowds this week and it’s a shame it’s not been better supported.

The time difference obviously has an impact on the audience abroad and in particular in the UK the clash with Wimbledon is never a great idea, so it’s given the event the feel of a bit of a nothing competition really, which again is a shame as the bits and bobs I have seen, Robbo and Selt, Carter and Murphy and Carter and White have all been very entertaining matches, though all poorly attended, possibly because of the location of the venue.

Anyway, of the players left in it, Judd Trump is looking the most likely winner given his performances so far, but with the greatest respect to Jack Lisowski and Ian Burns, he hasn’t really had to come out of first gear yet so Maguire tomorrow should prove a bigger test for him.

The schedule for Friday is detailed below, all times are UK time. You can watch on the betting sites and keep up with live scoring here.

4am start

Jamie Jones v Michael White

John Higgins v Joe Perry

10am start

Judd Trump v Stephen Maguire

Martin Gould v Matt Selt

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