December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas Everyone

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 1:37 pm

Time to sign off now for another year until snooker is open for business again in January. The Masters is the obvious highlight and should be enough to see us through the grimness of January.

In the meantime, thanks again for continuing to visit this place, you really should find something better to do with your time next year you know.

And remember, Christmas is a time for chilling….


December 19, 2015

German Masters Round 2

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:07 pm

Round 2 of the German Masters starts on Saturday evening and concludes on Sunday and it’s here that we get to see who will be boarding the plane to Berlin towards the end of January.

The big shock of course from Round 1 was the exit of Neil Robertson, made all the more surprising by the fact he was beaten by amateur Ashley Hugill in a very impressive display. Hugill faces Zhao Xintong tonight for an unlikely place in the final 32.

As I write not all matches in Round 1 are complete so this will have to be finished off tomorrow. Wins for Martin O’Donnell, Andy Hicks and Alfie Burden locked in a meagre profit for Round 1 and it could have been a lot worse. Robertson’s loss let down the ‘banker’ acca as well as the fifteen fold that was stuck up, so he’s not getting a Christmas card for starters.

Saturday 7pm

Saturday Night

Some big hitters are amongst the lucky bunch who don’t have to stay in Wigan for an extra day and Mark Selby, having had a bye in Round 1 will be hoping not to go the same way as Robbo in a tricky tie against David Morris. Ghou Yolonge, who continues to have his name spelt incorrectly by everyone except myself and Dennis Taylor must have a decent chance against Barry Hawkins, he’s been very impressive from what I have seen of him and I’d give him a decent chance in that one. Similarly, Mark Williams will need to be on his mettle against the dangerous Li Hang though I do fancy Murphy to come through against his Chinese opponent Lu Ning despite the latters win over Oli Lines in Round 1. I have to fancy the Chinese players again to stop Ashley Hugill and I’d also side with Mark Joyce against Ross Muir. King and McGill should be a close one I’d say but given my record of betting in matches with Mark King in them I’ll pass on that one, you’d have to give Hamilton a fighting chance against Bingham following their recent high quality UK match, so no formality there for the World Champion I’d say, but I would marginally fancy him to progress of the two. 

Sunday 10am

Sunday Morning

This session sees another ‘amateur’, the far too good to be off the tour Andy Hicks trying to bagsy a seat on the plane at the expense of a professional and I’d take him to continue in the same vein and see off Steven Hallworth though he is a player I think I probably need to reassess soon. Maguire I’d have as a banker in this session alongside Judd and Ali, it looks like Michael White is beginning to play a bit again too so I’d confidentally back him to see off Kendo, who came through a tight first rounder in typical fighting style. I’d really like to see Zak Surety, an SB Classic veteran, progress and make his mark in an event, his style is similar to his opponent here Graeme Dott in that he likes to get on with it and is a very positive player so that one could be very entertaining and it would be nice if they streamed it, which of course they won’t. Ding and Tian, who knows? But Ding looks a shadow of his former self at the moment and I’m tempted to back against him again here faced with a very talented if a little wayward and inconsistent opponent. Alan McManus and Mike Dunn are two players who are pretty consistent these days and for me that will go to the wire and is too tough to call, gun to head, Angles.

Recommended Bets: 2 point acca pays just over 4/1 on Xintong, Joyce, Maguire, White and Carter.

6 x 0.5 point doubles and a 0.5 point acca on Li Hang (29/12), Zhou Yuelong (2/1), Zak Surety (58/19) and Tian Pengfei (20/9) pays best price over 132/1 for the acca at Marathonbet.


Sunday 2pm

Today 230

Sunday’s afternoon session sees a few very tough calls and a match in Peter Ebdon and Fergal O’Brien that could take quite a while. I’ve been impressed with Ebdon’s tenacity of late and he appears to be getting back to somewhere near his standard of a few years ago, but still some way off his best, I’d take him to win that one but I’d imagine it could be quite a tough watch. Alfie Burden appears to have turned the corner after a succession of poor results and I’d take him to overcome Finland’s Robin Hull. Poomjaeng also appears to be playing well lately and I’d take him to prevail over Zhang Anda as well as Gibraltar champion Marco Fu who should account for Yu De Lu on recent form and Martin Gould who I’d take to beat Bondy with a bit to spare. Jamie Jones and Luca Brecel should be a decent match and I fancy that one to go close, possibly a decider so that’s a coin toss for me, similarly Woollaston and Guodong is one I can see going to the wire, unfortunately the bookies aren’t really making much effort with markets on this other than match winner. Finally, I’ll take another punt on my pal Martin O’Donnell to cause an upset in his match against Kurt Maflin. All in all though this is a tricky session to find a bet.

Recommended Bet: 2 point double pays just on 11/4 on Alfie Burden and Peter Ebdon. 1 point on Martin O’Donnell at 5/2.   

Sunday 7pm


The final session sees three matches where I’d say the short priced favourites will prevail and in those I’d include Mark Allen, John Higgins and Joe Perry. I’d actually say at the odds available it’s worth having a punt on Stuart Carrington against a rusty Rocket just on the off chance. Carrington is no mug and he’ll probably get chances so don’t discount himfrom causing an upset. Another I’d be prepared to side with against the odds is Joe Swail, who takes on Liang Wenbo in a repeat of a famous Crucible match where Wenbo cheated. Kyren Wilson is fast becoming one of your bankers but I’d not expect him to have it all his own way against Jack Lisowski but I think the bookies have priced this about right so no real value in backing either of them there. It could end up being a night for the outsiders this and I’d be prepared to chance small wagers on Rod Lawler and on Matthew Stevens in matches it would not really be that big a shock if they won.

Recommended Bets: 1 point on Carrington at 63/10 with Marathon Bet. 3 x 1 point doubles and a 1 point treble on Swail, Stevens and Lawler pays best odds over 19/1 for the treble at Marathon Bet.


December 18, 2015

German Masters Twitter Acca

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:59 am

After a disappointing start to this new feature yesterday, I’ll carry on flogging the dead horse with two points on the acca below for today:

December 17, 2015

German Masters Qualifiers – Day One Twitter Acca

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:34 am

I thought rather than waffle on here for the duration of this event, I’d post up a daily morning Twitter acca. As I know that some people on here are yet to succumb to the temptation to sign up to the tweeting community, it’s only fair that I copy it on here. So 2 points on the acca below for today:


December 15, 2015

German Masters Qualifiers

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:41 pm

The final event of the calendar year sees 128 players heading to the cosmopolitan mecca of Wigan for the two qualifying rounds of the German Masters, the rest of which will take place in the contrasting surroundings of Berlin on the other side of new year.


Wigan is a place that you only really go to if you have to. I used to live not far from there as it happens and it’s basically a town full of buffed up blokes who wear hoop earrings and clothes from the 1980’s, they co-exist alongside girls who tart themselves up in semi-permanent make-up at the weekend to go out on the town and nab one of these strange looking males. There are other people who have presumably been through this tribal ritual and lived to tell the tale who live there too and spend every day eating pies.

Pies are something which people from Wigan hold in some kind of sacred mystical awe and are probably, if you count a pier that isn’t really a pier, what the town is most famous for. Indeed, every year, the world’s best pie eaters descend on Harry’s Bar in Wigan to see who indeed is the best pie eater in the world in the creatively titled World Pie Eating Championship, interestingly this is one of the few sporting pies that Bazza hasn’t managed to get his fingers in.

Yet. Give him time, it’s just his bag in fairness.

Contrast this with the host city of this event when it reaches Germany. Berlin has a long tradition of art, music and architecture and has been the inspiration behind numerous global artistic and cultural movements. David Bowie made arguably his best music while he lived there, the fall of the Berlin Wall brought about the reunification of a nation after the dark years of the cold war and became a symbol of the hand of friendship being extended between the east and the west. Berlin’s architecture is as fine as you will see anywhere in the world. Just ignore the Hitler bits and you have a city of true global cultural significance and sausages, but not many pies.

This cultural heritage associated with the host city makes it all the more disappointing for an old sage like me that today it’s been announced that it’s being sponsored by yet another ‘gaming’ firm, this time one based in Asia. Is that a one trick pony I see before me? It’s definitely not a thoroughbred that’s for sure.

The venue for the main event, the Tempodrom, is also probably the finest snooker has to offer and yes, in that I do include The Crucible. Contrast this with the venue for this qualifying round, the Robin Park Sports Centre and again you find that this is very much a chalk and cheese (pie) kind of tournament if you look at it as a whole pie shaped type object. It’s almost like the losers in Wigan are shown a picture of Berlin in a Bullseye ‘look at what you could have won’ kind of way when they used to wheel out a new speedboat to dejected losing contestants who’d not scored 101 with 6 darts. But like most things in life, you need to wade through the shit to get to the sugar and that’s just what 32 players will have done at the end of this.

Anyway, as ever to my shame I have digressed on what is supposed to be a snooker blog. World Snooker have clearly got a new graphics person on the books and below is a shamelessly stolen set of images which depict each quarter being played with the Tempodrom arena rather than Robin Park wisely chosen as a backdrop, though I have had to make a slight correction to the top slide, I’m sure you won’t notice though.

As ever, rather than playing them in the order the matches were drawn, they have mixed up the schedule and you can view the match times here. I’ve taken a look at the matches below, each of them are the best of 9 frames, the winners of these matches will be one step nearer to boarding the plane to Berlin and the first round losers will be leaving potless, without so much as their BFH (Bullseye fans will not need that bit explaining).

You will be able to watch these at the bookies sites or World Snooker’s streaming channel if you are subscribed. I’ve put some overarching bets below but will probably stick daily ones up too.



Each of these quarters have matches to get your teeth into, much like the pies (I’ll stop now) and if you go by the reasoning that the top boys won’t want to miss their annual jolly to Berlin then you’d have to automatically fancy Selby, Maguire, Ding and Hawkins as your bankers in this quarter, but is it that simple? Selby should overcome Kuldesh Johal, a talented if rather careless amateur and post office manager from Leeds whilst Hawkins, though out of form could have had a more difficult opener to limber up. Maguire does have a tough match however and the fact that he has now dropped out of the top 16 for the first time in years arguably adds pressure, whilst Ding faces the dangerous Gareth Allen and any repeat of his recent petulance may see him dumped in Wigan too, a venue you’d assume he’ll think is crap. On the next rung down the ladder I’d fancy McManus to beat the fading James Wattana and Dennis Taylor’s new hot prospect, the boy Yolonge, should take care of fellow countryman Zhang Yong. Other names you would normally expect to see through are Higginson, Dott, Doherty and Pengfei but these are far from sure things and I feel the others might produce a few close encounters. I’d take David Morris to edge out Sam Baird and Un-Nooh to beat Hallworth, Michael White will be looking to carry his Gibraltar form over against Sandi Lam and Mike Dunn will be hoping to use his experience to overcome Syd Wilson. I’d normally give Zak Surety a chance against Jamie Burnett but the latter was scoring heavily in the UK and might have a bit too much in the tank. The other one that I think could be close is Andy Hicks against Dom Dale, Hicks was so unlucky not to beat Hawkins in the UK and assuming he has got over the disappointment of that, a performance of a similar standard will mean Dale will have to be on the top of his game to beat him, something he sometimes struggles to maintain for any great length of time.

EDIT: Selby and Dott both have a walkover.



Your ‘bankers’ following the reasoning above in this quarter you’d say are Trump, Carter, MJW and Murphy, though Murphy in particular faces a potentially tough tie against Michael Wasley. Wazza is low on confidence of late but proclaimed himself happy with a recent performance in the UK despite losing a decider to Peter Ebdon, so you never know when his fortunes might turn as this often happens when you least expect it. There is no reason to believe that David Grace can’t continue his winning form and I’d say him, Oli Lines, Jimmy Robertson, Dechawat Poomjaeng, Martin Gould, Li Hang and Xiao Guodong would all expect to come through barring form turnarounds. More competitive ties involve Alfie Burden and Ricky Walden, Alfie is showing signs of returning to form against a mostly lacklustre Walden who despite a better showing in Gibraltar seems low on confidence lately, Robin Hull and Paul Davison for me has decider written all over it which makes the latter value and Rob Milkins isn’t the certainty he would have been for his match against Zhang a year ago. Anyone betting on Greene v Bond should probably be sectioned as they are two of the most unpredictable players out there these days and that’s a real gun to head job. This leaves Ben Woollaston against amateur Sam Craigie, Sam is a decent player and has nothing to lose here so Ben will have to be on form from the off, again like Hicks against Dale, this looks like a potential banana skin for a pro against a carefree very capable amateur who is making up the numbers.



Again, following established logic your players for the banker list here are Neil Robertson, whose performance in the UK is the best I have seen from any player other than O’Sullivan in many years, Gibraltar champion Marco Fu, Mark Allen and the returning Rocket himself who takes on Hamza Akbar. The next step down the predicted winners for me would see wins for Jamie Jones, Luca Brecel, Kurt Maflin, Dark Mavis, Mark King and Anthony McGill. Dave Gilbert’s recent form would suggest that he’d be a worthy favourite over Martin O’Donnell, but Gilbert can be extremely unpredictable when he is a firm favourite to win and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him turned over there now he’s had his good spell, we’ve seen that all too often before with him. I’d favour Xintong to overcome Yupeng but I won’t be betting on that one, similarly I’d marginally favour Liam Highfield to beat Yu Delu but it’s not a match that appeals from a betting point of view. Mark Joyce is a player I seem to rate higher than most people, possibly because he’s won me quite a few quid with this strategy in the past and I’d take his experience to tell over Taubs. The newly labelled Robbie ‘Boring’ Williams will be looking to use his extensive armoury to send Noppon home and I’d expect him to do just that, this leaves the fading force that is Jamie Cope, he faces a very tough opener against Stuart Carrington and on current form you have to say that Jamie is up against it there. 



Roll up, roll up. Your ‘bankers’ roll up here should be concluded with John Higgins, Kyren Wilson and ermmm, none of the others as this section for me sees more matches that are a little more in the balance than any of the other quarters. Possibly you could argue that only mild upsets will stop Holt, Perry, Lisowski, Stevens, Day, Swail, Wenbo, Ebdon, Hamilton and World Champion Bingham from progressing but my guess is that if you did a roll up on those 10, it won’t be just the one that lets you down (go on try it and see, I know I probably will). The matches I have left out are too close to call really but that’s never stopped me before from having my say. I’ll take Aditya Mehta to beat Ian Burns, Adi is another player who has been talking about his lack of confidence lately but there are small signs he is getting that back and his temperament has always been a strength of his, Rod Lawler has nice memories of Berlin and he’ll be hoping to edge out Craig Steadman for a return visit and I’ll just side with the Liverpool man there. I’d give Calabrese a decent chance against Rory and this leaves Fergal O’Brien against Hossein Vafaei Ayouri, Fergal ploughs on regardless these days and still wins matches that you expect him to lose but it might be worth taking a punt on his opponent there in the hope that if he qualifies for Berlin, they let him in.


‘Banker Roll Up’: 3 points on these pays bang on 9/4 – Selby, Hawkins, Trump, Carter, MJW, Murphy, N.Robertson, Fu, Allen, R.O’Sullivan, Higgins, K.Wilson. Add McManus, Higginson, Brecel and Jamie Jones and take off Ronnie for a 2 point 15-fold pays nearly 7/1.

Chancey Doubles: 6 x 1 point doubles at Betfred on Alfie Burden 9/4, Paul Davison 11/4, Martin O’Donnell 10/3 and Vinnie Calabrese 5/2 also a 1 point acca pays over 183/1.

1 point on Andy Hicks at 10/3 and Sam Craigie at 3/1 and a 1 point double on the two.


December 10, 2015

Gibraltar Open – Who will be cock of the rock?

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:44 pm

This I’m afraid is one of those tournaments that I am going to largely swerve in terms of coverage. It’s nice that snooker has found a new place to visit close to most of the bookies headquarters. The Gibraltar Open is sponsored by Dafabet for a change and is signed up for three years on the circuit starting tomorrow on Eurosport.

A lot of the top players have given this a miss including two who are on the poster but who have pulled out in the shape of Shaun Murphy and UK Champion Robbo. This leaves Judd Trump and Mark Selby heading up the field but something tells me that we might see someone make a breakthrough come Sunday, it’s just a question of finding who that might be.

My punts are below the poster if you fancy following them in. The draw is here.

Shaun and Robbo aren't rocking up to this one after all.

Shaun and Robbo aren’t rocking up to this one after all.

Recommended Outright Bets: 1 point each way at 50/1 (1234) on Dark Mavis. 1 point each way at 100/1 (1234) on Jamie Jones. 0.5 point each way (1,2) on Matt Selt at 150/1. 0.25 each way (all 1,2) on Mike Dunn at 400/1, Mark Joyce at 300/1, Anthony Hamilton at 500/1 and Oliver Lines at 250/1.  

December 9, 2015

Snookerbacker Classic Leeds: Parsons Powers to Fourth Grand Finals

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:10 am

Last Saturday in Leeds saw a ‘business as usual’ display from former Snookerbacker Classic Champion Ant Parsons who became the fourth name through to the Grand Finals in April with a familiar workmanlike display, beating Ryan Causton 4-1 in the final.

I think we've been here before.

I think we’ve been here before.

While the assembled regulars at the the Northern were gathered around to watch David Grace on the TV, Ant was going about his business in typical fashion on his way to his second successive Leeds qualifier win. His opening 4-0 victory over the potentially dangerous Sam Thistlewhite signaled his intent for the day and he followed this with a 4-2 victory over Michael Whaley.

He came from 3-1 down to beat the improving Joe Roberts in the semi-finals, Joe was visibly disappointed at the end and hopefully we’ll see him again as he’s too good not to have another crack, but again Ant proved what a tough match player he is and how good he is under pressure. You can’t win this tournament overall if you haven’t got bags of bottle and Ant I’m sure would agree with that.

So he’s back to try and regain the title he lost last season. It’s his fourth consecutive Grand Finals with his pattern being Lost in QF, Winner, Lost in QF……. can he become the first player ever to win the SB Classic twice? On the basis of yesterday, he is definitely one of the front runners.

We are now closing up the Classic for the year and we return on 31st January in Preston. Later in the week I will be clarifying the position as regards the remaining events as there are now a few people who have reserved places, been given a date to pay and carelessly not done so. This means I will be cancelling a few places and offering them up for grabs, though please note that Preston is full. You can view all dates and venues here

You can view all the results from yesterday here and the ongoing SBC Score Centre which features all results in all venues so far, the highest break table and the Order of Merit can be viewed here

Customer Feedback

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:54 am
Bob, pictured yesterday.

Bob, pictured yesterday.

Being a blogger has its occupational hazards, particularly when you are one who puts opinions out there in the form of bets. Generally however, most people understand that this is just what it is; an opinion, so apart from the odd pocket talker who seems to believe that just because I write it down it is some sort of personal guarantee to them that it will win, online life remains a fairly content place for me.

I do however sometimes receive emails and messages that defy logic. Long standing readers may remember the time that someone threatened to burn my house down with me in my ‘wheelchair’ clutching my ‘benefit book’ still inside because I’d recommended a losing bet on Sam Baird. A slight overreaction in my opinion. I also frequently receive emails from players asking for this and that but usually the real loons email me about betting. 

I wasn’t going to bother blogging today, but the email trail below from yesterday just seemed too entertaining not to share with the group and had Mrs SB in stitches last night.

I have concealed the name of the sender as I wouldn’t want him to feel the target of an online bully, but for the sake of this post let’s refer to him as Bob. Now, Bob regularly contacts me about the same subject as he refers to below, namely the profit and loss page on the blog which I try and keep up to date as time allows. This however, is regularly falling short of Bob’s high standards and demands and yesterday, approximately 32 hours after the conclusion of the UK Championship, he decided to contact me again.

Here is Bob’s opening gambit, bear in mind that he’s asked me this question a few times before.        

On Tue, 8 Dec, 2015 at 6:39, xxxxxxxxxxx

<[email protected]> wrote:


Please can you update your profit and loss figures for the last two or three events.  You used to do it right away but now seem to not bother so much why is this please?

Many thanks

I’d just woken up and was sat in bed with a cup of tea at my side when I read this, with a strange feeling of déjà vu developing inside, I sensed nothing I could say would satisfy Bob but decided that I would reply to him anyway from the comfort of my bed. I wanted to put a stop to this before it got out of hand so decided to take an authoritative tone with him.    

From: Snookerbacker <[email protected]>
Sent: 08 December 2015 07:10
To: xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Profit/loss table

Why are you so bothered? As I have explained before I am very busy. I work full time, I run a national snooker tournament, I am married and I am also writing a book. I am not the sort of person that has time to write emails about things like this, clearly you are.

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

As I suspected would be the case, Bob wasn’t satisfied with my rather short response and he now decides to take a more cynical approach to his assumption, disregarding everything I pointed out in my response about how busy I am. He also believes (wrongly) that the time it took me to respond to him equated to the time it took to update the figures and the graph, which, until recently were all updated by someone else far more efficient than I am. Note Bob’s begrudging praise in brackets in the next message by the way, it’s kind of like there is a nice person lurking somewhere deep inside desperate to get out. Even Hitler liked dogs.  

From: [email protected]>
To: Snookerbacker <[email protected]>
Sent: Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 12:03
Subject: Re: Profit/loss table

Well in the amount of time it took you to reply you could have updated the figures couldn’t you?  Does it have something to do with the fact you lost recently at the U.K so don’t want to update the new figure maybe?

If you’re keeping a figure (and it shows a very good profit it has to be said) then isn’t it only fair to count the losses too surely?

By now I was beginning to get a little fed up with Bob. So, again against my better judgement I decided that I would write a full explanation for my not meeting his expectations in this area in the hope that this might put a stop to this once and for all.    

From: Snookerbacker <[email protected]>
Sent: 08 December 2015 12:47
To: xxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Profit/loss table

How do you know how long it takes? What are you, my boss?

Actually, sorry to disappoint you and not that it’s any business of yours, but the reason I haven’t done it since Sunday (a full day and a half ago after spending the weekend away from home in Leeds and only getting back on Sunday afternoon), is because I decided to spend a day with my wife yesterday putting our Christmas tree up instead of sitting in front of a computer all day. Furthermore, the files I need to do this are stored on my computer at work and not at home, again, not that this is any of your business.

I should clarify, the blog is a hobby, nothing more, and if I decide I don’t want to do something it is 100% my choice and nobody else’s business, if I decided to pack the whole thing in, which to be fair getting emails like yours makes a very attractive proposition at the moment, I would. In other words, what I do with my time has absolutely 100% nothing to do with you.

I trust this satisfies your rather strange curiosity. I’ve just used the last 20 minutes to make your day and updated the page, though part of me felt like leaving it for a couple of months just to annoy you. For your information, the email I wrote earlier took me about a minute.

Bob then starts to get a little bit confused. Clearly totally ignoring the fact that I’d taken the time yesterday to update the profit and loss to show the losses incurred on the UK Championship, he decides to ask me about Bulgaria, a tournament that showed a modest profit. The third line in this email is particularly confusing, maybe by now Bob was getting himself into something of a pickle?   

From: [email protected]>
To: Snookerbacker <[email protected]>
Sent: Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 14:07
Subject: Re: Profit/loss table

But the Bulgarian Open was a month ago???

You obviously don’t like updating it when you’ve lost.

I bet if you’d have won at the UK you’d have found the time though strange that!

Like I said whilst I can understand the UK was just a day or so ago what about The Bulgarian then, why did you leave that one so long???

I don’t like to make anyone look silly, but Bob just makes it so easy. He seems to ignore the fact that I’d left it a month to update the figures after showing a profit in Bulgaria. 

From: Snookerbacker <[email protected]>
Sent: 08 December 2015 14:21
To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Profit/loss table

I’m not replying to you any more. I have updated my biggest losing tournament for a while a day late (shoot me), but you have made your mind up that I don’t like updating it when I have lost – I showed a profit, albeit small for Bulgaria and didn’t update it for a month. So that’s your theory blown to pieces for starters.


From: [email protected]>
To: Snookerbacker <[email protected]>
Sent: Tuesday, 8 December 2015, 14:31
Subject: Re: Profit/loss table

You should be a politician the way you avoid a question.  WHY THEN have you left it a month to update The Bulgarian Open figures??? 

You can probably sense my frustration with Bob not actually listening to me in my final response to him. 

From: Snookerbacker <[email protected]>
Sent: 08 December 2015 14:33
To: xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Profit/loss table

Go away you silly little man. 

Bob decides to resort again to the big bold letters and a ‘hmmmm’ at the end, as if this somehow proves that he has made his point.

From: [email protected]>

STILL no answer!!


So poor old Bob is now confined to my spammers queue. He’ll find some way of contacting me again and I’m sure I’ll probably play this whole thing out again in the future. Bob doesn’t seem to have much else going on in his life so I’m happy to humour him now and again.

December 4, 2015

UK Championship Quarter Finals

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:49 am
Gracey - he loves it.

Gracey – he loves it.

Today sees the quarter finals played out in the UK Championship with the real big hitters being confined to the bottom half of the draw while the top half offers a great chance for a name that, with due respect to Marco Fu, we might not have expected to be contesting a major final this week.

This afternoon sees Marco taking on Liang Wenbo, who was accused yesterday of boring Tom Ford off the table, by, you guessed it, Tom Ford. Now Liang might be a lot of things but I’ve never found him boring to watch, maybe the odd expressions he pulls with that plasticine face of his has distracted me from it all these years but for me Ford is being a bit ungracious in defeat there.

Tom claimed to have heard a few people behind him saying they were bored, but you know what Tom? It takes two to tango and I’ll wager a bet that if someone was given the choice of who to watch between the two of you they’d probably plump for Liang, I know I would. Anyway it’s Wenbo and his bendy face, fist pumps, self slaps and ‘come-ons’ that marches on and he is a character when all is said and done, even if he isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, including Tom’s.

The other tie this afternoon sees John Higgins taking on Neil Robertson. Robbo was in sublime form yesterday against Maguire and if he carries on like that then there is only one winner of this tournament. Despite John being in very good form, even him at his very very best would struggle to cope with the Robbo we saw yesterday and he’ll have to rely on a few slip ups today to be able to compete in my opinion, Robbo just looks too good to lose at the moment and I’d say the 4/7 about him in this match is still value.

Tonight sees surprise package and snooker’s new King of the Selfie, Leeds Giant David Grace take to the stage again to play Gouldy. Martin is many people’s idea of the player next in the pecking order to win a big ranker and if he was to do so here that’s some way to come to the big winners table. Gracey will be delighted to hear that I think Gouldy will win that one as he’s one of those players that always defies my careless judgement. Whoever wins will have a huge level of support in their semi-final I’d say as they are both very popular figures on the snooker circuit.

Tonight also sees World Number One Mark Selby taking on Marmite Matt Selt. Selby has also looked very solid and I don’t think there is anyone in snooker that wouldn’t like to see him and Robbo lock horns in the semi-finals. Selty, who seems to be using ball polish on his extra shiny bonce this week won’t be an easy hurdle to jump however and that could be a bit closer than the odds suggest. But you have to favour The Jester based on the fact that he never knows when he is beaten and can grind a result out even when he’s not at his best.

Bettingwise, it wasn’t a great Last 16 and only a tournament win now for Selby, Higgins or Gould can rescue us. It’s a shame as a lot of bets have fallen by the very slimmest of margins but in terms of the outright book, we’ll just have to hope that Robbo starts getting as careless as some of the bets in the last round were.


Marco Fu v Liang Wenbo

Neil Robertson v John Higgins


David Grace v Martin Gould

Mark Selby v Matt Selt

Recommended Bet: 2 point acca on Fu, Robertson, Gould (-1.5) and Selby (-1.5) pays almost 4/1. 

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December 2, 2015

UK Championship Last 16

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:53 am
Highly impressive against Allen.

Highly impressive against Allen.

Wednesday and Thursday see the Last 16 matches completed as the main arena is again transformed, this time from the four table set-up to the two main arena tables. Making it feel a lot more like the major event that it is.

There are some names left in this that we might not have expected to see but it’s still a high quality field and there is still a smattering of familiar names right at the top of the sport competing.

There have been some very decent matches and performances so far, perhaps the best in terms of quality that we have been able to watch might have been Martin Gould’s win over Mark Allen, but I also believe the performances of Luca Brecel and Stephen Maguire in the last 32 were pretty impressive.

Mark Selby did what he does best in snatching victory from not so much the jaws as the tonsils of defeat against Jamie Jones. Selby isn’t alone in wondering how he is still here and with him being the main selection in the outrights, I can only hope that he ups his game for the rest of the tournament.

John Higgins is the other selection still in there fighting and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that these two will lock horns in the semi-finals, meaning it’s probably time to have another look at the top half in the outrights given Allen’s departure. It’s all to play for.

Last night saw a monumental comeback from Dechawat Poomjaeng who came from 0-5 to beat Mark Joyce, it also saw a very odd match between Judd and Wenbo, Trump flew out of the traps and at one point was 279-0 up in points and totally dominating, Wenbo however somehow managed to claw his way back leaving Judd stunned at his exit, all most peculiar. Another talking point of course was Thepchaiya Un-Nooh’s careless final black maximum miss against Robbo for £40k, again, the tournament throwing up another surprise to get us all gabbing.

Bettingwise, the last round saw another frustrating mixed bag, wins for Swail and Ebdon kept the wolf from the door but again we keep finding one to let us down for a clear profit. But today is another day so let’s have a look at this round as there are a few interesting bets out there.

By the way, Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones is joining Ronnie and Jimmy on Eurosport tonight, as if the risk of the inevitable live TV meltdown courtesy of smirking troublemaker Mr Murray weren’t enough. Fortunately, Mr Wood is bringing his dog with him, by the end of the night it will be the only thing on there talking any sense, mark my words.

Below is the schedule for the next two days and a couple of bets. All matches will now be watchable somewhere or other from now on.

Don’t forget to check out the head to heads on Ron’s handy head to head page here.

Wednesday 1pm

Peter Ebdon v David Grace

Dechawat Poomjaeng v Mark Selby

Selections: Ebdon and Selby.

Wednesday 7pm

Marco Fu v Shaun Murphy

Luca Brecel v Matt Selt

Selections: Murphy and Brecel.

Thursday 1pm

Liang Wenbo v Tom Ford

Neil Robertson v  Stephen Maguire

Selections: Ford and Maguire

Thursday 7pm

Martin Gould v  Joe Swail

Jamie Burnett v John Higgins

Selections: Gould and Higgins.

RECOMMENDED BETS: 2 point treble pays over 10/1 at Paddies on these three matches being over 9.5 frames – Fu v Murphy, Robertson v Maguire, Gould v Swail. 2 points on Maguire to beat Robertson at 2/1 at Marathonbet. 2 point treble pays almost 5/1 at Bet 365 on all these players to make a century in their match – Selby, Murphy and Robertson. 1 point on Peter Ebdon to win the UK Championship at 33/1, 1 point on Martin Gould to win the UK Championship at 20/1.  

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