September 28, 2015

International Championship Qualifying Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:22 pm
Won't be holidaying in Barnsley this week.

Won’t be holidaying in Barnsley this week.

Barnsley’s the name, snooker’s the game this week as 60 matches are played out to see who boards the plane to China for the International Championship next month. It’s the first flat structure event of the season where the top 64 take on the bottom 64 and the winners progress.

The reason there are only 60 matches and not 64 is that the four matches involving Ricky Walden (defending champion), Stuart Bingham (World Champion), Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo (the top two players from the host nation) will be held over to Daqing. I’m sure I remember The Respected Chairman Hearn saying a while back that this wouldn’t happen anymore, but I must be mistaken as he’d never do a U-Turn on a promise, we all know that.

Or maybe it’s because he realised after Ding was so pissed off at having to qualify for events in China in a leisure centre over here last season, that he didn’t bother winning a frame against an amateur, that it wasn’t such a great idea to have this much overrated ‘level playing field’ (which isn’t level at all as we saw from the way the draw was done) after all. I predict and hope that within two seasons we’ll start seeing more and more events revert back to the top 16/32 starting later than the others just as the sponsors and TV companies want. Why have a ranking list otherwise?

As nice as it is to see players breaking through like Kyren Wilson did in Shanghai, by and large the public want to see big names in the big competitions, which is why having this all encompassing round, where the likes of Judd, Selby, Robertson etc. run the risk of a bad day at the office is potentially commercial suicide.

I’m sure Kyren, having won a major ranking event on the ‘old’ system will have earned more respect from the players above and around him for having done it the hard way, putting himself in the Champion of Champions and in the running for a Masters slot in the process, just two years after he was playing in the final of the Snookerbacker Classic. Now that’s what I call making an impact. In terms of this (in my opinion) rush towards a flat structure, it’s called knowing when you’ve got it wrong. Flat structures are what the PTC’s are for, not major championships.

That said, it’s a nice little bonus that my pal Alex Taubman gets a trip over to China by virtue of his draw against Wenbo. He’ll be telling me if he ends up out of pocket don’t you worry.

Much has been made, though not as much as might have been made two seasons ago of Ronnie not entering. But it’s now very much the norm and one thing Bazza has succeeded at in my opinion is raising the profile of the other players enough for us not to notice as much. Sure, it’s nice when he does play, but it doesn’t feel as much like tournaments are devalued these days without him, especially given his very patchy form and generally erratic behaviour in Sheffield last season. Perhaps we can now say that we are truly in the post-Rocket era?   

Below is a list of the matches in draw order, though not the order they were drawn (obvs – lol). For some reason they are not played this way in terms of session order and they’ve been jumbled up all over the shop. You can click here to see the order of play.

Remember these are all Best of 11 frames, so potentially this is a great week to get involved.

Recommended First Round Acca: 4 point acca pays best odds over 7/2 at Marathonbet on – Shaun Murphy, Rob Milkins, Aditya Mehta, Mark Joyce, Xiao Guodong, Alan McManus, Mark Allen, Fergal O’Brien and Matt Selt.

Recommended Singles: 5 x 1 point singles on Barry Pinches 11/4, Syd Wilson 11/4, Martin O’Donnell 8/5, Sanderson Lam 12/5 and Daniel Wells 16/9.

1            Ricky Walden v Tian Pengfei (held over to China)
2            Cao Yupeng v Liam Highfield
3            Andrew Higginson v Zhang Yong
4            Liang Wenbo v Alex Taubman (held over to China)
5            Kyren Wilson v Thor Chuan Leong
6            Anthony Hamilton v Jamie Cope
7            Joe Swail v Allan Taylor
8            Mark Allen v Scott Donaldson
9            Mark Williams v Nigel Bond
10          Mark King v Ian Burns
11           Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v Hammad Miah
12           Alan McManus v Ross Muir
13           Martin Gould v  Gareth Allen
14           Sam Baird v Zhou Yuelong
15           David Morris v Sanderson Lam
16           Judd Trump v Michael Wild
17           Barry Hawkins v Rhys Clark
18           Peter Lines v Chris Wakelin
19           Jimmy Robertson v Lu Ning
20          Robert Milkins v Darryl Hill
21           Ali Carter v Luke Simmonds
22           Jack Lisowski v Hossein Vafaei Ayouri
23           Matthew Stevens v Fraser Patrick
24           Marco Fu v Paul Davison
25           Stephen Maguire v Noppon Saengkham
26           Gary Wilson v Oliver Lines
27           David Gilbert v Barry Pinches
28           Xiao Guodong v Jason Weston
29           Ryan Day v Zhang Anda
30           Mark Joyce v Hamza Akbar
31            Li Hang  v Craig Steadman
32           Ding Junhui v Sam Craigie (held over to China)
33           Mark Selby v Eden Sharav
34           Mike Dunn v Mitchell Mann
35           Robin Hull v Sean O’Sullivan
36           Anthony McGill v James Wattana
37           Dark Mavis v Lee Walker
38           Rory McLeod v Daniel Wells
39           Dechawat Poomjaeng v Michael Georgiou
40           Michael White v Alfie Burden
41           Graeme Dott v Andy Hicks
42           Jamie Burnett v James Cahill
43           Ken Doherty v Vinnie Calabrese
44           Peter Ebdon v Zak Surety
45           Fergal O’Brien v Hatem Yassen
46           Tom Ford v Michael Leslie
47           Gerard Greene v Martin O’Donnell
48           Neil Robertson v Kuldesh Johal
49           Shaun Murphy  v Lyu Chenwei
50           Luca Brecel v David Grace
51           Kurt Maflin v Joe O’Connor
52           Jamie Jones v Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon
53           Michael Holt v Jake Nicholson
54           Rod Lawler v Jimmy White
55           Stuart Carrington v Zhao Xintong
56           John Higgins v Ashley Hugill
57           Joe Perry v Michael Wasley
58           Aditya Mehta v Ian Glover
59           Dominic Dale v  Sydney Wilson
60           Matt Selt v Adam Duffy
61           Ben Woollaston v Leo Fernandez
62           Robbie Williams v Joel Walker
63           Yu De Lu v Chris Melling
64           Stuart Bingham v Steven Hallworth (Held over to China)

Click the banner below to view the host of match betting at Marathonbet


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