November 12, 2018

Northern Ireland Open

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:30 am

The snooker train ain’t slowing down and now Coventry is done it’s over the water we go to the Belfast Waterfront arena for the second leg of the Home Nations Series and the Northern Ireland Open, where we find a huge field of 128 players competing to lift the Alex Higgins trophy.

The only one of them who is still in with a slim chance of taking Bazza’s million pound bonus, otherwise known as the unicorn sitting at the foot of the rainbow, is English Open champion Stuart Bingham. Our pal First Poke is the only potter who can put the wind up the chairman by getting this hands on this trophy and placing it in his already overcrowded khazi.

Fresh from his success in Coventry, Ronnie O’Sullivan also lines up in this, which is surprising considering he’s no longer in with a chance of the million pound bonus and given all he’s had to say about this style of car boot snooker in leisure centres that stink of piss. Joining him following his disappointing defeat is Kyren Wilson and we’ll see what he has in terms of bouncebackability this week.

It’s covered by Eurosport and Quest TV, so expect the first few days to follow the tried and trusted format of one-sided matches on the main table until it gets to around the last 16 when they start getting a bit closer.

Also expect references to adopted Irishman Shaun Murphy, who has recently moved to the south of Ireland and will no doubt at some point start being heard saying things like ‘top o’the mornin’ to anyone who’ll listen whilst supping a pint of Guinness and wearing a shamrock. I actually think he stands a chance this week at a decent price as to me he showed signs of getting back to something like form in Coventry. All eyes will also be on home favourite Mark Allen, who is of course bang in form and I’m sure would love to win here, he’ll not be without his backers.       

You can take a look at the draw for this here and even play around with it to make your picks.

Recommended Bets: WIN ONLY: Shaun Murphy (28/1), Jack Lisowski (35/1), EACH WAY: Ali Carter (50/1), Noppon Saengkham (250/1), Chris Wakelin (300/1).

If you want to book tickets to go and watch you can call 028 9033 4455 or CLICK HERE

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