October 15, 2017

The English Open

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 1:42 pm

*AHEM* I think I *AHEM* know this one *AHEM*

Barnsley wouldn’t be my first answer when asked the city from which dreams are born, but next week we’ll find out who is this year’s contender in the snooker equivalent of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ as the second English Open winner is crowned.

For those who don’t know, the winner of this, like Liang Wenbo last year, will become the focus of speculation as regards their chances of also completing unlikely victories in the other three Home Nations events and bagging Barry’s million pound bonus.

It has to be said that when Liang won this last year, we all knew that Bazza’s reward money was safe, so much so that nobody even talked about it being a possibility and the speculation-ometer was stuck on zero. It could only really get interesting if Ronnie, Selby or possibly Ding or Higgins win this, then at least the column inches might get a little wider with wild speculation.

One bookies is apparently offering odds of 500/1 on it happening. I’m sure a few people will chance their arm and a few silly quid at this and at least they know that their bet will still be in tact at the end of this week, though for how much longer than that I can’t really be sure. But in an increasingly unpredictable world who knows? Perhaps the dark forces behind Brexit, Trump (not Judd, the insane one) and Kick-free chalk may once again conspire to rob Bazza of his precious lolly.

As ever they have had to grab some big name or other to say that they think the unthinkable can happen and when you need someone to do that the first person you turn to is of course Shaun Murphy. He claimed that while it was unlikely it wasn’t impossible and said he would relish being the last man standing by winning this week.

As hinted at above, I reckon there are only two players currently on the tour that would have a chance in hell of winning all four, probably most likely Mark Selby as Ronnie’s heart these days doesn’t really look to be in it. After labelling 70% of the tour ‘numpties’ he’s now busy plugging the latest book that he has *AHEM* written and telling everyone that if he hadn’t chosen snooker he’d probably have won an Olympic medal at running or been world champion at Formula One, so we are clearly very honoured to have nabbed him.

It all kicks off on Monday in Barno, unfortunately it’s another best of 7 job so the match betting doesn’t really appeal to me. It’s a big week this for Neil Robertson who as things stand looks highly unlikely to be lining up at The Masters, quite an extraordinary tumble down the rankings and a defeat in the Shanghai qualifiers last week to a player who hadn’t yet won on tour has really set the alarm bells ringing for fans of the Thunder, so a timely win here is more or less essential for him.

In terms of the outrights, just one from each section for me, but with 131 players starting out, it’s a bit of a lottery this, quite apt given the pot of gold on offer at the end of the rainbow.

Recommended Outrights: Barry Hawkins 22/1, John Higgins 14/1, Ding Junhui 10/1, Kyren Wilson 33/1. 

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