November 30, 2015

UK Championship Last 32

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:58 am

The players don’t have a pot to piss in

Monday and Tuesday see the next round of the UK Championship completed as the sports hall, or ‘graveyard’ as Steve Davis prefers to call it closes it’s rusty iron gates for another year and the tournament focuses solely on the four table main arena set up at The Barbican.

There have already been a number of talking points both off and on the table and one thing that has impressed me this year is how much better the Eurosport coverage is than the BBC, at least up to now. The addition of Colin, Ronnie and Jimmy in the studio and Fouldsy doing backstage natters is making a big difference.

The three geezers in the studio are already beginning to look like they’re on the start of a week long bender and you just know that sooner or later some inappropriate lads ‘banter’ is going to kick in resulting in one of them, probably Ronnie, getting chucked out. He’s not mincing his words when it comes to the other players and his clear disdain for the likes of Mark Selby is there for all to see. He’s also not the most patient when he hears them moaning about the tables, instead just telling them to adapt and get on with it like him and John Higgins do, I think there will be a few watching who concur with that as the constant public outcries are beginning to become a little bit tiresome now.

The BBC is currently miles behind in terms of the quality of coverage, despite their informal approach in the players lounge, where they seem intent on nabbing any player with a kid to come and have a natter. Marco’s little girl stole the show and melted a few hearts and they also had Joe Perry on, who looked very happy to be there with his daughter before his match later in the evening against Robbie Williams.

What happened in between the interview with a smiling, doting daddy and the start of the match can only be speculated upon. But the smiles were long gone by the time The Gentleman entered the arena and what followed was what can only be described as the grumpiest display of snooker we’ve seen in a very long while.

Joe huffed and puffed his way around the table, mouthing expletives at the oblivious Robbie, who took his time and admitted later that he knew Joe got wound up at slow play so he used it to his advantage to steal the show. OK, by the end several of the audience had committed suicide and half the watching public had reached for the lighter and silver spoon, but Robbie didn’t care a jot as he was through to face Matt Selt, who is of course known for his calm and measured responses to negative stimuli. I can’t see there being any further issues from him if Robbie decides to adopt a sloth-like demeanour again today.

The other main burning issue concerns Barry Hearn and a shithouse. I’m not suggesting for one second that our esteemed dictator should be labelled as such but he does seem to be on a mission at the moment to stop the potters from answering the call of nature during tournament play. He seems to be suggesting that too many of them are quite literally taking the piss and holding up play unnecessarily to visit the porcelain trombone and he wants to put a stop to it.

So he’s decided to limit toilet breaks henceforth to 2 for a best of 7 (a shit and a piss) and 3 for a best of nine (a shit and 2 pisses) with the instructions for longer matches yet to be clarified. There are a few players, the ones with weaker bladders, who are taking great offence at this and Mark King has even suggested that he might end up wearing a nappy to complete his adultbaby look. This all comes after a match earlier in the week when a Chinese player who was involved in a match that had been flagged up for suspicious betting patterns disappeared 6 times during said match to ermm ‘go to the toilet’. The fact that the huge gamble had been rumbled and that it ended up not landing is I’m sure just a coincidence, he didn’t go anywhere near his mobile phone I’m sure. So in short, if you exceed your shit or piss quota during a match you can expect to receive a hefty fine. This leaves the list of things that players can’t get fined for these days looking pretty empty, unlike their swollen bladders.

So we move on to the Last 32, there have been a few upsets already but most of the main players are still involved. I have highlighted Monday’s live streamed matches in bold with Bingham v Ebdon and Carter v Higgins kicking things off on a mouthwatering Monday afternoon, Holt and Swail tonight might also provide some drama and I’d wager we see a decider in that one. Bettingwise, it continues to be a bit hit and miss but I do still have a lot of faith in the outright selections, so let’s not lose too much heart just yet.


Monday 1pm

Stuart Bingham v Peter Ebdon  
Jamie Burnett v Li Hang
Ali Carter v John Higgins               
Robbie Williams v Matt Selt        

Monday 7pm

David Grace v Jack Lisowski        
Michael Holt v Joe Swail               
Robin Hull v Luca Brecel
Jamie Jones v Mark Selby            

Tuesday 1pm

Martin Gould v Mark Allen          
Tom Ford v Kyren Wilson             
Ben Woollaston v Shaun Murphy             
Stephen Maguire v Dark Mavis 

Tuesday 7pm

Judd Trump v Liang Wenbo        
David Gilbert v Marco Fu             
Neil Robertson v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 
Dechawat Poomjaeng v Mark Joyce

Recommended Bets: 2 point acca pays just on 15/2 on Burnett, Lisowski, Maguire and Joyce. 2 points on Peter Ebdon at 9/4. 2 points on Joe Swail at 15/8. 2 points on Dave Gilbert at 13/8. 2 point treble on Ebdon (+2.5), Swail (+1.5) and Gilbert (+1.5) pays over 9/2.   

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