Snookerbacker

February 20, 2020

Race to The Crucible

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:00 pm

It won’t be long

Hello all, long time no see. As you will have probably gathered, blogging is now something of a come and go kind of pastime to me these days and I’m not planning on reviving the glory days any time soon. But I’m hanging on to this shrinking corner of the information superhighway for now for when the whim takes me to put virtual pen to virtual paper.

One thing that is guaranteed to whet my appetite however is the World Championship and with the cancellation of the China Open I’m hoping that the draw for the qualifiers will be made a bit earlier this year to really give us a chance to have a good old study. The qualifiers remains one of the best events of the whole season and this year with the return to the tiered system it promises to be a bit different and in my view also a bit fairer on those ranked just outside the top 16 who have worked hard to be where they are all season. 

I’ve already had a few bets which I will list at the foot of this post, one of them is a bet I requested from Ladbrokes which reflects my current thinking on what might happen in April and May, in that I believe The Curse will rear it’s ugly head again and that we might see another year where perhaps the two finalists aren’t plucked from the top of the betting market.

As ever the crucial element of all bets is the draw which is why I’d never commit to backing the winner until we know the 32 players and where they line up in the draw, so as usual, I’ll be updating the field below after each of the 4 remaining tournaments ahead of the qualifiers to show how they would line up where it to start tomorrow.

I’ll firm up those whose position in the draw is certain in red. You can find the provisional rankings ahead of the big one

, with the Coral Tour Championship being the last tournament the players will have to jostle for their place in the top 16 ahead of the qualifiers starting on the 8th April.

First Round as things stand

Judd Trump (1) v Qualifier

Joe Perry (16) v Qualifier

Shaun Murphy (9) v Qualifier

Kyren Wilson (8) v Qualifier

Ronnie O’Sullivan (5) v Qualifier

Jack Lisowski (12) v Qualifier

Stuart Bingham (13) v Qualifier

John Higgins (4) v Qualifier

Mark Williams (3) v Qualifier

Stephen Maguire (14) v Qualifier

Dave Gilbert (11) v Qualifier

Mark Allen (6) v Qualifier

Mark Selby (7) v Qualifier

Ding Junhui (10) v Qualifier

Barry Hawkins (15) v Qualifier

Neil Robertson (2) v Qualifier

Bets placed so far: All Each Way – Dave Gilbert at 45/1, Graeme Dott at 190/1, Gary Wilson at 130/1, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh at 190/1, Stephen Maguire at 100/1. Special Bet: Trump, Selby, O’Sullivan or Robertson not to make the final at 19/4. 

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