July 24, 2018

Snooker Returns – The Riga Masters

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:00 am

Ryan defends in Riga

OK, technically it had already returned with the qualifiers in Preston, but let’s be honest, only the most ardent of anoraks will have taken any notice of that. This week however it’s back on the box as the annual Riga Masters from Latvia opens up the snooker season proper.

Ryan Day made his ranking breakthrough in this last season, the first of three tournament wins in his best season as a professional and he is back to defend his crown having had his match heldover, also involved is World Champion Mark Williams.

Unfortunately, but largely understandably, a few of the other top players have decided to give this one a miss, there’s no Ronnie, no Selby, no Ding or Judd but there is the likes of Robbo, Murphy, Allen, Carter and Hawkins. The take up however was so low that there were a few walkover versus walkover matches in the qualifiers (to be fair they were more entertaining than a few of the others), so it’s fair to say that this one isn’t exactly ticking all the boxes with the players, I think probably through a mix of the time of year and the relatively low prize money.

But on the plus side it gives the numpties more of a chance. It’s a good opportunity for the lower ranked players to hit the ground running in what is again a marathon season, but even at this early stage, a semi-final or better showing from a lowly ranked numpty might mean the difference between staying on tour and dropping off, so it could be a good week for one or two to find some early season form and get their tail up for when we really get going.

In terms of the blog, I’ll be again dipping in and out of the snooker this season. The days of chasing hits and visits are long gone and it can get a little repetitive covering everything so I’ve decided to also work on a seperate snooker-related project that I’m quite excited about. I’ll be starting this when the weather gets a bit cooler and probably asking a few general questions on here and on Twitter as research.

In the absence of anything that makes any sense on the World Snooker website of late, probably the best way to view the draw (and enter the competition if you so wish) is the excellent Event Prediction draw page at – until the governing body make some sort of effort to sort out their website to make it more informative and accessible then I’ll carry on linking to these, which are much simpler to work out, sometimes as they say, less is more.

I’ll leave you with a few outright bets, which looking at the draw might be worth a few early season quid.

Recommended Outright Bets: Kyren Wilson win at 7/1, Marco Fu each way at 35/1 (Bet Boost at Ladbrokes), Jamie Jones each way at 66/1, Zhou Yuelong each way at 80/1. 

July 2, 2018

Riga Masters and World Open Qualifiers

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:48 am

The snooker season gets underway today in Preston with qualifiers for the Riga Masters and the World Open being played out this week. As regular readers will know, I’m not a fan of snooker in the sun and firmly believe that there should be at least a three month break between the end of the previous season and the start of the new one.

But for those of you that like your snooker alongside your Wimbledon strawberries and cream you can find all you need to know about what’s going on at the usual outlets, as for me, I’m happy to duck out of this one until the weather starts getting back to the usual British crapness.  

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