January 20, 2018

The Masters Semi-Finals

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:28 am

….and now, the end is near….

Judd Trump v Kyren Wilson (1pm – or more likely 1.25pm while the BBC piss about)

A re-run of Kyren’s finest hour to date first up. The only time these two have met over more than the tiresome best of seven format was when Kyren lifted his only professional title at the 2015 Shanghai Masters final, beating Judd in a decider over the best of nineteen. He followed that up a couple of months later with another victory over Judd in the Champion of Champions and their last meeting of any significance, over a year ago, saw Judd come out on top 4-2 in the Scottish Open. Whilst it’s always worth looking at the head to heads, particularly where there are patterns which may signal bogey players, for me this one is very much about who brings their best to the table today. Judd finally got going yesterday after a lacklustre start against Shaun Murphy despite Shaun’s attempts to put him off with his best impersonation of Mr Miyagi during the slapstick opening phase of the match. Judd upped the game when he had to, something that he can’t always do against other players and you get the impression that there is a certain type of player that he prefers to play, so I know what my game plan would be today if I was Kyren, tie him up, frustrate him and bring the pace down a notch or ten. Whether Kyren can or will want or get a chance to do this is another matter, he had it easy in the last round against Mark Williams who just didn’t show up at all and for me he has to get the lead early in this to have any chance at all. My guess is that Judd will come out all guns blazing and boss this from the start. He’s in the better form of the two in terms of scoring, has more experience of this place and looks destined for the final.

Prediction: Trump 6-3

Recommended Bet: Over 1 century in the match at 11/10 

Mark Allen v John Higgins (7pm – or more likely 7.12pm while the BBC can’t help but piss about a bit more)

Cometh the time. Cometh the potter. Or something like that. But it feels like these next couple of days are, as the President of the United States might say, bigly, in the life of Antrim’s Mark Allen. He’s battered Ronnie and followed it up with possibly his finest ever tweet and now he faces another formidable opponent in Higgins. The pattern of the tournament so far has been following a monumental performance with a bad one, hopefully this won’t curse Allen tonight and he’ll again bring his usual bull terrier-like game to the table. Higgins is the only player left in this who has won it before and knows what it takes, but he’s also arguably had the easiest path here out of the lot of them. They met in the first round here last year and Allen came through a tense decider and I get the feeling that tonight could be very similar. In fact they have met three times over the years at The Masters and Allen has won all three so he can come into this knowing that history is firmly on his side. I expect the crowd to be quite noisy tonight, possibly about 75/25 in favour of Allen and if it goes close I think we could see an absolute classic in an electric atmosphere that only really here and The Crucible is capable of generating. My advice is to get the beer in, forget going out to spend too much money somewhere where you can’t hear yourself think, get a takeaway or pre-prepare something you can run to the oven to grab in between frames and sit there from start to finish, getting gradually more pissed with every passing frame. Sounds like a plan? Yep. Also save yourself the stress of worrying who wins with just backing a neutral bet like the one below.

Prediction: Allen 6-5

Recommended Bet: Over 9.5 frames at 11/10 

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