March 8, 2018

Gibraltar Open – Time for a New Kid on the Rock?

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:03 am

I hope they’ve packed the spirit level

With withdrawals and non-entries left, right and centre and only a smattering of big names left, The Gibraltar Open presents a decent chance this weekend for a player outside of the usual suspects to really make a name for themselves and nab a piece of silverware and a ranking title.

The holder Shaun Murphy this morning became the latest casualty of The Curse of the Rock, citing a recurring neck and back problem which purely coincidentally occurred when he woke up and saw it was snowing outside and glanced back towards his cosy bed, injuring said neck in the process. What terrible luck.

There are still a few familiar names left, notably Ding Junhui who would usually be one player you’d expect to swerve this but he’s there with the rest of a strong Chinese contingent and it might be that this one ends up having a distinctly Far Eastern feel this weekend.

For me, this makes the event a bit more interesting and probably worth tuning in to Eurosport for. It’s basically a throwback to the old PTC format and the amateurs have been battling it out on the rock now for a couple of days to earn the right to make the depleted starting line up.

It’s also the last year of the current three year contract and you’d have to think that the signs that it will be renewed aren’t great, poor relative prize money compared to newer events when there are countries queuing up to host in the packed calendar and surely only a major injection of bunce is likely to save it. This just shows how far snooker has come in terms of getting big money for new tournaments in the last three seasons.

This event isn’t only of interest to the casual watcher of course as it marks the start of the Players v Fans Prediction League, which can be read about here. It’s an event which will see the 12 likely lads and those who have had a go on Twitter try and make the early running, so stay tuned on Monday for the first leaderboard update in this fierce and bad tempered needle match.

In terms of the outrights, I’ve gone with Joe Perry and Liang Wenbo as my selections in the competition and I’d not put you off backing either of them at the current 28/1 and 33/1 odds respectively, I know I have.

In terms of matches, I’ll probably tweet a few bets as it goes on. I’ve been on a bit of a run lately so hopefully it will continue this week, I’m even beginning to warm to best of sevens, it’s amazing what winning a few quid can do to your mood.

Anyway, keep up with the live scores here and the matches here and tune into Eurosport for the live table action.

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