October 10, 2014

Snookerbacker Classic – Last Few Places left for 2014 events

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:52 pm

Following the draw for the first two events in Gloucester it’s time for an update on how many places are still available in the qualifiers this side of Xmas.

All events at Gloucester and Liverpool are FULL.

There is 1 place remaining at Preston on 16th November – contact me immediately if you want it and are ready to pay the entry fee.

Leeds 29th November is now FULL.

There are 8 places remaining for Leeds on 30th November – use the link below to pay your fee and nab one of the remaining places.

Anyone that reserved a place and has not paid the fee is no longer assured of a place in the tournament.

To enter Leeds follow the instructions after clicking ‘Add to Cart’ below.

Select Venue and Add

October 5, 2014

Bulgarian Open: Finals Day in Sofia

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:44 am

It’s Finals Day over in Sofia and here is a run down of what to expect today. The first match on TV at 8am British time is the one between The Whirlwind and Shaun Murphy. We still have Murphy (16/1) and Alan McManus (100/1 e/w) in the hunt bettingwise so fingers crossed on those.


Mark Selby v Robbie Williams
Shaun Murphy v Jimmy White
Michael White v Jimmy Robertson
Luca Brecel v Mark King
Ricky Walden v Martin Gould
Mark Davis v Alan McManus
Joe Perry v Peter Ebdon
Michael Wasley v Judd Trump


Quarter Finals
Mark Selby/Robbie Williams v Shaun Murphy/Jimmy White
Michael White/Jimmy Robertson v Luca Brecel/Mark King
Ricky Walden/Martin Gould v Mark Davis/Alan McManus
Joe Perry/Peter Ebdon v Michael Wasley/Judd Trump


Semi Finals



October 2, 2014

Bulgarian Open Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 12:49 pm
An understated entrance.

An understated entrance.

Sofia it is that stages the third European Tour Championship event of the season in what now has become an established stop for the snooker tour bus.

Talking of buses, take a look at the way a few of the amateur boys have been arriving at the venue. The picture accompanying this post shows none other than my pal Syd Wilson in this plush, ever-so-slightly camp, blinged-up bus which is ferrying the potters to and from the airport, mirrorballs and all.

You can almost hear the smooooth tones of Barry White, the old Walrus of Love, in the background as the Bulgarian ladies throw their knickers and themselves into the arms of these bussed up baize boys. It puts me in mind of the old Bolton Stud and snooker’s greatest ever shagger Tony Knowles from back in the day…how the other half live eh?

Anyway, I’m sure all these distractions won’t stop them from getting serious on the table and Eurosport are also there to cover all the action (from the table, not the bus) from Friday while Syd and the gang try and qualify to that stage through the amateur rounds beforehand.

Looking at the draw, I’ll take one player from each section, all of whom I think have a very decent chance of making it to the Finals Day on Sunday and two of whom are priced in three figures.

In the top section, despite a tricky first round tie against Joel Walker I’ll plump for Shaun Murphy, a favourite with the European crowds who usually ends up winning an event like this each season. In section 2 and given his first round bye and what I’d class as a very winnable path to the last 16 I’m going for Rod Lawler, he’s in good form and like a fine wine is getting better with age.

Another player fitting the fine wine category is Alan McManus, shooting up the rankings and enjoying a resurgence in his career. Angles narrowly missed landing a massive each way gamble last time I flagged him up and I’m keeping the faith with the tartan trousered one. Finally, you have to respect the chances of Neil Robertson who barring accidents must surely land in Finals Day unscathed.

2 x 2 point win bets on Robertson (13/2) and Murphy (16/1). 1 x 1 point e/w at 1/4 odds 1-2-3-4 with Skybet on Lawler (150/1) and McManus (100/1)

Click here for the draw – the times below are UK times.

Friday 7.30am

Mark Selby v Barry Pinches
Joe Swail v Jeff Jacobs
Nigel Bond v Peter Lines
Fraser Patrick v Alex Taubman
Matthew Selt v Sam Harvey
David Gilbert v Mitchell Mann
Robbie Williams v Hammad Miah
Robert Milkins v Christopher Keogan
Kyren Wilson v Josh Boileau
Stuart Carrington w/o Tony Drago  

Approx 9am

Stephen Maguire w/o Dave Harold
James Cahill w/o Robin Hull
Michael Leslie v Zak Surety
Jimmy White v Sydney Wilson
Dechawat Poomjaeng v Matthew Day
Fergal O’Brien v Ahmed Saif

Approx 9.30am

Mark Joyce v Ryan Clark
Sam Baird v Ashley Hugill
Luca Brecel v Craig Steadman
Liam Highfield v Adam Duffy

Approx 10.30am

Shaun Murphy v Joel Walker
Mark King v Alex Borg
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v Kurt Maflin
Anthony McGill v Lee Walker

Approx 11am

Chris Wakelin v Nico Elton
Noppon Saengkham v Elliot Slessor
Dominic Dale v Vinnie Calabrese
Dark Mavis v Michael Georgiou

Approx 12pm

Mike Dunn v Tom Ford
Gary Wilson v Ken Doherty
Jak Jones v Alfie Burden
Alan McManus v Kacper Filipiak


Saturday 7.30am

Rod Lawler w/o Allister Carter
Ben Woollaston v Andrew Pagett
Anthony Hamilton v Rory McLeod
Michael White v Ian Burns
Jamie Cope v Thomas J Dowling
Michael Holt v Tomasz Skalski
Jimmy Robertson v Alex Davies
Aditya Mehta v Mitchell Travis
Stuart Bingham v David Grace
Martin Gould v Ross Muir

Approx 9am

Ricky Walden v Gareth Allen
Ryan Day w/o Jamie Burnett
Jack Lisowski v Jeff Cundy
Mark Williams v Oliver Lines
Jamie Jones v Alexander Ursenbacher
Marco Fu v Chris Norbury

Approx 9.30am

Tian Pengfei v Andrew Higginson
Barry Hawkins v Sanderson Lam
Matthew Stevens v Ben Jones
Scott Donaldson w/o Steve Mifsud

Approx 10.30am

Xiao Guodong v Joe Perry
Neil Robertson v Steven Hallworth
Gerard Greene v Eden Sharav
Chris Melling v Grzegorz Biemadski

Approx 11am

Peter Ebdon v Paul Davison
Michael Wasley v John Astley
Allan Taylor v Lee Page
Liang Wenbo v Lyu Haotian

Approx 12pm

Graeme Dott v Brandon Sargeant
Ian Glover v Ratchayothin Yotharuck
John Higgins v Michael Williams
Judd Trump v Ashley Carty


October 1, 2014

Snookerbacker Classic Outright Prices Now Available

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:52 am

It’s the highest profile amateur tournament on the snooker circuit and ahead of the start of the 2015 Snookerbacker Classic on 1st November, Boylesports have today priced up the odds on next year’s champion.

Paul ‘Snowy’ Davison heads the field at 9/1 favourite, with last season’s champion Ant Parsons second favourite at 10/1 to retain his title.

2012 champion Martin O’Donnell is 11/1 while recent International Championship qualifier and SB Classic debutant Eden Sharav is 12/1.

SB2015 A4 Poster1 with amends

There are a host of familiar and not so familiar amateur names in there and it’s probably the most open Classic ever (god, I sound like Bazza)…anyway, if you fancy a punt on the tournament click here to view the prices.

There are still some places left in Preston and Leeds events in November and the first players to pay the entry fee will nab them, don’t miss out, you’ll regret it when it gets under way just have plenty have before.

To see why this is a ‘must enter’ click here and to get your fee in for Preston (3 places left) or Leeds (6 places left) click here.

September 30, 2014

October on the Baize

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 1:53 pm

tumbleweedOctober is a nice time to go on holiday, well, it is if you are a snooker player as there’s not much else to do over the coming 26 days barring a jolly over to Bulgaria.

Bazza’s much heralded promise of a 24/7/12 non-stop snooker circus and the assertion that somewhere in the world at any time there would be a tournament on doesn’t appear to be coming to fruition lately really does it? The calendar this month looks as sparse as Oscar Pistorius’ dance card with us having to wait another 4 weeks until a main ranker kicks off.

Bulgaria starts in earnest, or rather in Sofia, on Friday with coverage on Eurosport. Ding Junhui has ducked out of this as he continues to choose his events carefully, so carefully in fact that he’s not even qualifying for the ones he does bother playing in. This one was also due to see the return to the baize of Ali Carter, but a temporary setback in his return to full health means we won’t see him back doing what he does best just yet.

There’s an Asian Tour event just before the excellent International Championship (minus Ding and Selby) gets under way at the end of the month in Chengdu, but these smaller events offer little in the way of interest for those around these parts so I’m not really waiting for that one with baited breath.

But the good news is that once Chengdu kicks off, the calendar starts looking lively again in what is surely the best period of the year for the baize, namely the 6 months from the start of November right through until the end of the World Championship in May. Who knows? Maybe on reflection Bazza knows that I was right all along when I was saying there was too much snooker last season? Again, breath will not be held for a thank you letter from the Great Dictator, I mean Director.

November 1st also sees the start of this season’s Snookerbacker Classic in Gloucester and a cracking opening day’s field. I am hoping that one firm at least will be pricing up the main runners and riders in the next few days for your entertainment and possibly punting interest.

So that, very briefly, is October in a nutshell.



Victoria Bulgaria Open (ET3) (pre qualifier)

Universiada Sports Hall, Sofia, Bulgaria


Victoria Bulgaria Open (ET3) (Last 128)

Universiada Sports Hall, Sofia, Bulgaria


Asian Tour 2 – Haining Open

Haining, China

26-2 Nov

International Championship

Chengdu, China

1-2 Nov

Snookerbacker Classic, Qualifiers 1&2

South West Snooker Academy, Gloucester.

September 25, 2014

Hearn Denies Wrongdoing in Qualifying Match

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 7:46 am
Troublemaking again

Troublemaking again

Last night, while I was quietly minding my own business I received a text message with the picture accompanying this post on it. Obviously, being an inquisitive, some might argue persistent pain in the arse type of person, I went public with it on Twitter.

Almost immediately and after several retweets from people far more interesting than I am, I started receiving details via direct messages of what exactly was going on in terms of bets on the match involving Jamie Burnett and Irish amateur player John Sutton, someone who I know personally given his involvement in the SB Classic in 2012.

Oddly, when I first made this public an avalanche, well perhaps that’s over-egging it a bit, more a meandering stream of replies and opinions came back to me presuming that Burnett was ‘at it’. I’m not sure why this was presumed by so many people following Jamie’s acquittal of any wrongdoing in a match a while ago against his mate Mags which involved half of Glasgow correctly guessing the score and also resulted in a midnight visit from Taggart to yours truly.

What transpired and became clear from the direct messages I had been getting was that this was simply not the case, the Twitter sleuths had got the wrong man and it was volume and size of bets on Burnett to win, by a long margin, which were the cause of concern at the bookies.

I received information from a very trusted source (a source said….) that the concerns were based on bets ‘on Burnett -3.5 frames, -4.5 frames and to win 6-0′ from people known to John Sutton. I was also alerted by a totally independent source working in the snooker betting industry (an insider told me…) that a ‘huge bet on 6-0′ had been refused earlier in the day. This later transpired to be a five figure sum.

The people involved will, I’m sure, be forwarding details in a more formal way and through the proper channels to the chairman, Barry Hearn, who as we know talks a tough game when it comes to fixing and fiddling, Stephen Lee would I’m sure testify to that.

But in the meantime, I decided to alert him to the activity in a more informal manner, his response, once it clicked what match I was on about was typically forthright. ‘Total Rubbish!’ he screamed back from behind his desk at Bazza Towers. When pressed further by someone else he barked:

and he then, having misguidedly got into a conversation with Andrew Pagget (never a good idea) claimed that I was attention seeking and had no real idea, both of which are fair points and one of which is certainly true. I’m not sure what his reference to bras was all about but I have lost my shirt on a few bets in the past and I’m all for equality:

So Barry, at least as things were left last night is having none of it, just as he wasn’t in the matches between Steve Davis and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Passakorn Suwannawat and Mo Khairy and Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon and Ross Muir, all of which I tweeted an uncannily accurate prediction on before a ball was struck, based on the same evidence as last night. Beginners luck perhaps.

A couple of current and former snooker players also waded in with their opinions, these seemed to be based on what they believed the score would have been regardless of the betting patterns, which of course is a fair point, though does not really take into account the level of interest on this match compared to the others as well as the (I stress unsubstantiated) claims that the big money backing the score was coming from people known to one of the players.

Of course, all this does not necessarily mean that the player had any knowledge of these bets, maybe his mates just think he’s shit or knew he hadn’t been playing well, remember Joe Jogia’s defence that he was hobbling around after falling over pissed so all his mates backed the other fella? That kind of thing.

I like John and I hope this is a storm in a teacup and that Bazza’s refusal to listen to me is a wise move, let’s be honest, I refuse to listen to myself sometimes the way I bang on about stuff. But his approach is one I find quite baffling to be honest, if he genuinely has evidence that the majority of the bets were on 6-1 and 6-2 and that all John’s mates got taken, bra’s and all, to the cleaners, then that’s fine and we can all move on and I’ll be looking for more reliable sources in the future. But if, and it is a big if, he is getting a little confused as to what -3.5 frames (Burnett to win AT LEAST 6-2) and -4.5 frames (Burnett to win AT LEAST 6-1) means then he (or more likely those supplying him with the information) may need to do more homework on how betting works. But surely they can’t be that wet behind the ears? Either way, what industry people are telling me is not the same as what Bazza is being told.

All I can say is that it’s now four times this has happened and results/scores were known to the Twitter community before either player got their stick out. That surely is worthy of looking into in greater depth than a head in the sand 140 character (well, 65 if you want to be picky) point blank and frankly quite rude rebuttal. Isn’t it?

Anyone fancy a Guinness? My round.

September 20, 2014

International Championship Qualifiers Preview

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:50 am
Ding won a vase last year.

Ding won a vase last year.

It’s a long way from Chengdu, but Barnsley it is that hosts the first round of the International Championship from Monday. This is a tournament which I enjoy and is the best one China hosts, by virtue of the fact that the matches are a little bit longer with all these ones being the best of eleven frames, making them a much more enticing betting proposition. The prize money on offer also ranks this right up there with the majors.

There are 64 matches in all to be played out with all the major players involved, apart of course from Ali Carter whose recovery is now thankfully complete. He’ll be getting back into the cockpit for the Bulgarian PTC and we can’t wait to welcome him back to the snooker world after his incredibly brave fight against his health problems.

Below I have listed the matches as they are played. There will be coverage on the usual betting sites as well as the World Snooker TV live channel.

There are plenty of betting opportunities available so we’ll see if we can continue the good run from the Shanghai Masters. The fact that these are best of 11 means for me, this is one of the best betting few days of the season.

If you want to view head to heads, where there is one, just click on the match and take a look, courtesy of Cue Tracker. Note that a lot of these matches are first time meetings.

(S) denotes live streamed matches.

Monday 22nd of September 


Peter Lines v Mitchell Mann
Aditya Mehta v James Wattana (S)
Michael White v Sean O’Sullivan (S)
Dominic Dale v Vinnie Calabrese
Jack Lisowski v Ian Burns
Cao Yupeng v Craig Steadman

Predicted Winners: Mann, Mehta, White, Dale, Lisowski, Steadman.


Ding Junhui v Wang ZePeng (S)
Graeme Dott v Lee Page
Robbie Williams v Ahmed Saif
Mark Williams v Scott Donaldson (S)
Luca Brecel v Chris Melling

Predicted Winners: Ding, Dott, Williams, Williams, Melling.


Mark Joyce v Lu Ning
Ken Doherty v Joel Walker (S)
Kurt Maflin v Elliot Slessor
Neil Robertson v Alex Borg (S)
Matthew Selt v Alex Pagulayan

Predicted Winners: Joyce, Walker, Maflin, Robertson, Selt.

Tuesday 23rd of September 


Ryan Day v Lu Haotian (S)
Martin Gould v Cao XinLong
Nigel Bond v Joe O’Connor
Barry Hawkins v Ratchayothin Yotharuck (S)
Jamie Cope v Oliver Brown
Kyren Wilson v Ross Muir

Predicted Winners: Day, Gould, Bond, Hawkins, Cope, Wilson.


Stuart Bingham v Michael Wasley (S)
Jimmy White v Alex Davies
Michael Holt v Sam Baird (S)
Dechawat Poomjaeng v Steven Hallworth
Mark King v Zak Surety

Predicted Winners: Bingham, White, Holt, Poomjaeng, King.


Dark Mavis v Lee Walker (S)
John Higgins v Stuart Carrington (S)
Gary Wilson v Li Hang
Jamie Jones v Zhang Anda
Alan McManus v Michael Georgiou

Predicted Winners: Mavis, Higgins, Wilson, Jones, McManus.

Wednesday 24th of September 


Anthony McGill v Ashley Carty
Ben Woollaston v Sydney Wilson
Tom Ford v Joe Swail
Andrew Higginson v Chris Wakelin
Liang Wenbo v Zhou Yuelong (S)
Ricky Walden v Lu Chenwei (S)

Predicted Winners: McGill, Woollaston, Swail, Wakelin, Wenbo, Walden.


David Morris v John Astley
Joe Perry v Chris Norbury (S)
Mike Dunn v Matthew Day
Rory McLeod v Andrew Pagett
Judd Trump v Ian Glover (S)

Predicted Winners: Morris, Perry, Dunn, McLeod, Trump.


Peter Ebdon v David Grace
Matthew Stevens v Michael Leslie (S)
Jamie Burnett v John Sutton
Jimmy Robertson v Hammad Miah
Mark Selby v Oliver Lines (S)

Predicted Winners: Ebdon, Stevens, Burnett, Robertson, Selby.

Thursday 25th of September 


Mark Allen v Nico Elton (S)
Yu Delu v Brandon Sargeant 
Marcus Campbell v Barry Pinches
Robert Milkins v Daniel Wells (S)
Xiao Guodong v Alexander Ursenbacher
Gerard Greene v Eden Sharav

Predicted Winners: Allen, Delu, Pinches, Milkins, Guodong, Sharav.


Shaun Murphy v Allan Taylor (S)
Alfie Burden v Noppon Saengkham
Stephen Maguire v Liu Chuang (S)
Anthony Hamilton v Liam Highfield
Dave Gilbert v Mark Owens

Predicted Winners: Murphy, Saengkham, Maguire, Hamilton, Gilbert.


Ronnie O’Sullivan v James Cahill (S)
Marco Fu v Shane Castle (S)
Fergal O’Brien v Fraser Patrick
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v Andrew Norman
Rod Lawler v Tian Pengfei

Predicted Winners: O’Sullivan, Fu, O’Brien, Un-Nooh, Lawler.


Betting on this set of matches is very much about what type of gambler you are. Do you prefer to risk high stakes at lower odds or lower stakes at medium to high odds when looking at accumulators? which is surely the way to go with so many matches over this distance. Or, do you want the value and the singles and doubles on odds against shots? Well, there is something for everyone here so the recommended bets will deal with each of these types of punt. Starting with your main acca on my idea of the safest propositions amongst the 64.

Recommended Bets:

4 points acca on Ding Junhui, Graeme Dott, Robbie Williams, Matt Selt, Neil Robertson, Barry Hawkins, Dark Mavis, Anthony McGill, Judd Trump, Joe Perry, Xiao Guodong, Mark Allen, Robert Milkins, Yu Delu, Shaun Murphy and Dave Gilbert pays over 8/1 with Boyles.

2 points acca on Michael White, Aditya Mehta, Mark Williams, Jamie Cope, Nigel Bond, Ryan Day, Kyren Wilson, Michael Holt, Alan McManus and Mike Dunn pays over 22/1 at Hills. Add Anthony McGill and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh for a 1 point acca which pays over 37/1 at the same firm.

2 point singles on each of the following: Mitchell Mann (7/4), Joel Walker (11/10), Chris Wakelin (15/8), Joe Swail (6/4). 4 points on Barry Pinches (5/4). 

September 15, 2014

Cancellations and Postponements – Is the Snooker Calendar in Crisis?

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:04 am
Perhaps I'm overreacting.

Perhaps I’m overreacting.

OK, OK, the headline is sensationalist but it’s a quiet week. In fact, another relatively quiet period on the snooker front awaits us. The (perfectly understandable) postponement of the Indian Open last week means that the qualifiers that were due to start on Thursday in Barnsley have now been put back to later in the season and furthermore that over the course of the next calendar month there are only 7 days of competitive snooker action, 4 of which are qualifiers. 

This is in stark contrast to last season, when almost wall-to-wall snooker was played out from July onwards and it seemed not a week went by where someone or other wasn’t lifting a trophy somewhere or other on the planet. So why the change? Is it planned or enforced?

We’ve already had what I’d term a ‘false start’ to the season with the events in Wuxi and Australia, they were scheduled back-to-back very early on and were followed by a couple of smaller, but enjoyable, PTC events in Europe. An Asian PTC in China was cancelled due to some issues between World Snooker and the event organisers and the future of the World Open is also in the balance with World Snooker recently confirming that it will be shipped out of China. Is the Chinese love-affair beginning to dwindle a little? You have to wonder.

Now, following Stuart Bingham’s success in Shanghai, we must wait until the end of October until the next main ranking event, the International Championship in China, which is immediately followed (oddly, the day after as it happens) by the Champion of Champions in Coventry. Expect a few tired looking potters there, particularly the main protagonists from Chengdu.

Contrast this to what things will feel like from the middle of February onwards. We’ll have already seen the Masters and the UK over here, as well as the German Masters and the Welsh Open in my favourite period of the calendar either side of Christmas, but from then on it’s more or less non-stop up to and including the World Championship.

This relatively short period will see the Indian Open, the World Grand Prix, the PTC Grand Finals, the China Open and the World Championship played almost back to back. Burnout anyone?

So could and should the calendar be dispersed more evenly? Personally, I’d make the Players Championship (the PTC’s to the rest of us) an earlier event on the calendar in it’s entirety, kicking them off early and playing them all out before Christmas, with the Grand Finals played shortly afterwards – that would see to this early season stop-start stuttering, spluttering intro and would give the EPTC more of a mini-tour feel.

One question this also raises is what is the fate of the Championship League (and the armchairs and legendary breakfasts) at Crondon Park? Originally set-up as a filler both for the calendar and the bookies satchels, it’s currently wedged into the schedule with unconfirmed dates and this tells me that perhaps it might not happen, or at least it might change format radically, perhaps to a more condensed week or fortnight long event. Indeed, how low will they need to go down the ranking list to fill it if it does retain the same format?

So is the season currently too bottom heavy? What can be done to give it a more even feel? Or, is this the best way to organise the calendar to give it more of a ‘seasonal’ feel, with extended periods of downtime at the start leading to a grand finale in Sheffield? More importantly……………


……….I did warn you it was a quiet week.

September 11, 2014

Shanghai Masters Quarter Finals

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:35 pm

As the sixteen players that were left this morning have been whittled down to eight, it’s now time for the Quarter Finals of this season’s Shanghai Masters.

The matches are listed below and if you click on them the head to head stats will magically appear, courtesy of Cue Tracker. Mark Allen (1 point each way at 16/1) is still in the hunt in the outrights recommended in the pre-tournament preview and I will admit to having had a dabble on Angles McManus at 33/1 yesterday so still chances there. 

7.30 am UK Time

Michael White v Mark Allen
Fergal O’Brien v Mark Selby

12.30 pm

Ding Junhui v Graeme Dott
Stuart Bingham v Alan McManus

Recommended Bet: 2 point double on Dott and McManus both plus 1.5 frames pays 11/4 at Ladbrokes.

September 10, 2014

Shanghai Surprise? The Last 16

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 5:16 pm
Great Tournament. Shit Film.

A surprisingly shite film, that’s for sure.

There have been surprises aplenty over in Shanghai so far this week, if you accept the premise that anything these days in snooker can be described in such terms. 

First off, we saw Liang Wenbo beaten by a Chinese schoolboy, a result that I did actually half expect given what I know about the pair of them. The wildchild had some decent form and Liang tends to sometimes not be at his best against this type of opponent (bookies outsiders from China) for one reason or another. Sharing the wealth and all that…

Anyway moving on, Matt Selt also fell foul of this ridiculous round which I’m sure delighted him no end, maybe he’ll tell us his thoughts on the fucking wildcard fucking round in the next X-Rated fucking Pinch of fucking Selt.

Then we saw the resurgent Scot Alan McManus sending Ronnie home, again a result that I’d argue can’t really be reported in ‘shock’ terms given Angles recent form and the rustiness of the Rocket.

But Ronnie showed his face, doubtless earned a packet from an exhibition the day before where he wore a silver waistcoat and smoked bifters and he probably won’t be seen back in China until this time next year for another big fat pay cheque. Job done. Plane home. Bish bash and a bosh on top.

My main fancy for the title Judd Trump also came a cropper against the Spaceman, Dom Dale. Coventry-born Welshman Dom had never beaten him before and his form from the 6 Reds held up. Judd being left to wander the lucrative shops of the area with Jack Lisowski buying overpriced marked-up tat until his flight home.

John Higgins being beaten by real Welshman Ryan Day surely can’t be deemed a Shanghai surprise these days. Day is capable of beating anyone of course when he’s in the mood and poor old John can’t hit a bulls arse with a shovel at times the older he gets, poor sod. In fact our Higgy was so grumpy afterwards he didn’t even speak to the assembled Chinese hacks about losing at the scheduled mandatory 10 hour press conference, what’s his problem exactly? Fine is in the post no doubt.

Stop that plane Judd!! Here comes Robbo with Django in tow in a blinged-up London cab!

Mags - not happy about the table.

Mags – not happy about the table, and quite possibly the Chinese portrait.

Another Welshie, young Michael White gave the Aussie a taste of his own medicine by winning a decider in their match. Whatever next? The way this is going there won’t be any big names left in this and all on the eve of Bazza and Co. trying to renegotiate the contract to pull them in line with all the other comps which all end up with big names at the end of them. What are the chances of that happening? Snooker eh?

At least some order was restored in the last set of matches with wins for World Champion Selby, Mark Allen and Six-Reds King Maguire (pictured), who afterwards moaned about the table, doubtless after a few cuebangs, at least some things are as they should be in this crazy madcap world. Mags sets up a clash with Angles next as even China goes Tartan mad ahead of next week’s big independence vote north of the border (they are both voting Yes).

But wait!!! A final Shanghai surprise to top off the day!! Just when you thought it was safe to venture back into the arena a dapper looking Marco Fu managed to lose against the wildcard who dumped out Selt. What the devil is going on? The way this is panning out Fergal will be winning it and they’ll be snapping Bazza’s hand off to adopt the new format, just like he wants.

Anyway, despite the outright pick on Judd we are still well in front betting-wise courtesy of the ‘surprise results’. Here’s the line up for Thursday as we move into the Last 16 with a few bets underneath. I’ve had a small interest each way on Angles at 33’s, he’s playing well enough.



Michael White v Ryan Day
Mark Allen v Mark Williams
Dominic Dale v Stuart Bingham
Graeme Dott v Shaun Murphy


Ding Junhui v Martin Gould
Stephen Maguire v Alan McManus
Michael Holt v Mark Selby
Wildcard v Fergal O’Brien

Predicted Winners: Day, Allen, Dale, Murphy, Ding, McManus, Selby, Wildcard.

Recommended Bets: 2 point treble on Day, Allen and Wildcard pays over 4/1 at Corals. 2 points on Dale at 6/4 and 2 points on McManus at 13/8. 1 point acca on all five pays over 28/1 generally.


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