November 29, 2017

Hold on to your Hats: Crazy Snooker Returns!

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:05 am

Having already witnessed some crazy action on the table in Day 1 with the exit of Ding Junhui, it seems timely to once again touch base with those wacky dudes at the championship sponsors Betway, who have again been subjecting a few of our potters to their Crazy Snooker antics ahead of the big event after the success of their campaign last year which stacked up more than 500k views online in just a few days. Does that count as viral?

They promise that this year’s offering is bigger and better and, wait for it, CRAZIER!! than ever before. It’s so crazy that they have even enlisted Dennis and JP to have a go alongside established and very non-crazy tour players Neil Robertson and Kyren Wilson. Neil returns to the scene of his bitter defeat last year to serial winner Mark Selby to try and go one better in a doubles match with Kyren’s help.

It’s yet to be confirmed whether Barry Hearn is considering granting this event ranking status, but it’s probably more entertaining than the Shootout so it wouldn’t be that controversial would it? Anyway, for all you crazy dudes out there, have a watch, can the Legends outgun the tour players? Can Neil reverse his harrowing defeat of last year? Can Dennis, in his element being able to finally talk about golf with good reason, resist the urge to name drop his famous and long dead golf pals or mention Cliff Thorburn flying in first-class?

All will be revealed below in this belting two-parter, with guffaws aplenty. Those crazy guys…..

November 27, 2017

UK Championship: Solid Selby can Reign Supreme

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:25 am

It’s that time of year again, the time when the BBC vans rock up to the snooker and declare that there’s not really been much happening on the baize since Hazel and the gang left us in Sheffield. Yes, it’s the first ‘major’ event of the season in York as this fantastic city opens it’s doors to the anoraks once again for the UK Championship.

It’s no secret that some snooker fans, myself included, would rather this be a bit more like it used to be, two session matches throughout, not as many players at the venue and a maximum of two tables in use. 

I’d say that from the purists point of view, what Bazza has done to this event represents one of his very few mistakes since assuming his dictatorship. It just doesn’t feel as prestigious as it used to, but it’s still a lot better than most of the other events on the calendar and the host city is fabulous so I’ll just leave my annual gripe parked there.

Mark Selby returns as defending champion, last year his victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final marks the last meeting between the pair, who can theoretically meet again at the business end if their form holds up, they start understandably as joint favourites to lift the trophy a week on Sunday.

This historic tournament usually sees the cream of the crop rise to the top and in the past decade it has only been won by 2 players, Judd Trump and Ding Junhui, who have not been world champions. In fact, since it was made a ranking event all the way back in 1984, there has only been 1 winner, Stephen Maguire, who has not contested a world championship final, so you’d suspect that the likelihood of a surprise name racing through the field this year is pretty slim. Basically, big names win this.

So other than Selby and Ronnie, who comes into this in fine fettle? Well, you’d have to give Shaun Murphy a chance after his performance in Coventry and in particular the way he dispensed with O’Sullivan in the final. I’m quite surprised to see him as long as 25/1 in places, that could be great value. Judd Trump, despite his show of petulance in Belfast in losing to Stuart Carrington, is in decent form and is overdue a major win, it’s also a big tournament for Neil Robertson, whose Masters chances depend on a decent run and other results going his way. John Higgins is also as dependable as ever and the longer matches we know will suit him.

Ding Junhui is an interesting proposition in this, he’s been having some serious problems with his eyes recently so it will be interesting to see if he is fully over this following a truly awful display in Coventry a couple of weeks ago, Northern Ireland winner Mark Williams has his own issues back home and it remains to be seen if he can retain his form and his focus in this, the man he beat in the final, 17 year old Yan Bingtao could theoretically break the pattern of an established player making off with the title as could Luca Brecel but you have to say that history is stacked against that happening. Other possible outsiders might include former finalist Mark Allen, Kyren Wilson, Barry Hawkins and Ali Carter, but you really have to fancy one of the big boys to land the spoils and this is of course reflected in the outright market, with the possible exception of that price on Murphy which really has to be taken even without looking at the draw.

Recommended Outrights: Mark Selby at 5/1. Each Way on Shaun Murphy at 25/1. Each Way on Ali Carter at 80/1. Each Way on Anthony McGill at 125/1.

Recommended Tuesday and Wednesday First Round Monster Acca: Ryan Day, Marco Fu, Kyren Wilson, Stephen Maguire, Ricky Walden, Luca Brecel, Anthony McGill, Hossein Vafaei, Jimmy Robertson, Shaun Murphy pays over 6/1 at Marathon Bet.           

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format

The BBC’s coverage of the event gets under way on Saturday.

November 20, 2017

Northern Ireland Open

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:02 am

Belfast plays host this week to the Northern Ireland Open, the second leg of the Home Nations Series which sees last week’s winner in Shanghai, Ronnie O’Sullivan continue his unlikely quest towards snatching Bazza’s million pound bonus.

It’s back to the old PTC format, numpties and all, for this one so it’s not a tournament I’m that excited about. Interest will obviously increase if Ronald manages to win it and go half way towards the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But my focus lies in what follows, namely the UK Championship which kicks off next week in York, but for those interested in a best of seven conveyor belt style event the matches are listed here and you can enjoy it all to your heart’s content on Eurosport and on Quest. 

November 14, 2017

Countdown to the UK Championship

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:27 am

The headline is my very lazy and brief way of saying that coverage of the events going on in the snooker calendar up to the big one in York at the end of the month will not be extensive here. The Shanghai Masters is already underway following the excellent Champion of Champions event in Coventry and next weeks sees Leg 2 of the Million Pound Drop in Belfast. It’s a big week for fans of Ronnie who I’d hazard a guess won’t be too bothered by an early exit in China to prepare.

As ever all you need to know in terms of fixtures and scores is at the official World Snooker site and coverage of both these events continues at apace on Eurosport and Quest for Freeview viewers. I’ll be back in the land of the potting in plenty of time for York.  

November 10, 2017

COC – It’s Semi Time

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:35 am

Just finished his tea wi two

It’s been a decent week of snooker so far in Coventry for the Champion of Champions and we now move to the business end of the tournament with two evening session semi-finals over the next two days before the 19 frame finale on Sunday.

The main surprise you’d say is that none other than The Sheriff of Pottingham has made it into the last four. He dispensed with a way under par Ding Junhui before brushing aside Ryan Day and now he takes his place this evening alongside the odds-on tournament favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan.

On Tuesday, Shaun Murphy produced some heavy scoring to see off Michael White having dispensed with Mark King earlier in the day and he faces the young man that a lot of the snooker world are beginning to get excited about, Wednesday’s winner Luca Brecel.

The Belgian Olive Loving Bullet produced a blistering display to whitewash Judd Trump in his first match in double quick time, including two centuries. He then knuckled down to see off Mark Selby, who despite feeling a little tired still played his usual tenacious game but still fell short, in part because of a tremendous clearance in the last frame from Luca when it looked for all the world like going 5-5.

On Thursday it was the turn of O’Sullivan to impress, dropping just one frame in beating Neil Robertson before whitewashing John Higgins for the first time this millennium. Ronnie wasn’t at his absolute best but was extremely solid and clearly played Higgins at his own game, Higgins for whatever reason was pretty careless even to the point that he seemed to have forgotten how to break off. In fact it was probably the most un-Higgins like Higgins performance from him for a good couple of years.

Ronald was very chipper afterwards and declared how much he likes this ‘numpty free zone’ event and I agree with him, not on the numpty bit, but on the event as a whole. It’s now firmly established in my top five of the season, both in terms of the format and the coverage. It’s nice to mix up these formats a bit, something that a lot of the tournaments don’t do and when you do things a little bit different while staying true to the spirit of the sport I think it can still work very well.

Very decent crowds all week in the smaller more compact Coventry venue also add to the cosy feel as do the regular sojourns to the guys and girl at the Johnstones Decorating Centre, where life is lived in a bubble of banter, a trough of free tea and a wholesome ‘happy to help’ environment. It’s a place where the sun always shines.

In other news, World Snooker announced this week that the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield will return to play host to the World Championship qualifiers after a few years over at Ponds Forge. It’s been welcomed by the players though the more astute observers have highlighted that the set up this time will require more tables than previous years when it’s been held there so we’ll wait and see how that pans out.

Anyway, it’s Hamilton v Ronnie today and Murphy v Luca tomorrow. I’d be backing a Ronnie/Luca final and you know what? I wouldn’t put it past Brecel going home with the spoils (9/2 best price). Amazingly, the Belgian is still 66/1 in places for The Masters, you have been told.

I’m off for a six inch roller. See you later.

November 6, 2017

It’s COC Time: The Champion of Champions

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:47 am

Da ITV Massive

Yes folks, it’s that time of year again when I am routinely unfollowed on Twitter for making use of the best hashtag snooker has to offer. The Ricoh Arena in Coventry once again plays host to the Champion of Champions event featuring 16 winners of random events chosen in no particular order from the last 12 months.

The qualifying criteria for this is a thing of great mystery, the list doesn’t really appear to make a great deal of sense in terms of a pecking order, with the UK Championship and The Masters higher than the World Championship and the Championship League ahead of other more high profile events such as the International Championship and the Home Nations events.

Indeed the runner up in Sheffield is afforded the mantle of a champion anyway ahead of a few other events and even the winner of the Shootout gets in. It truly is back of a fag packet stuff at its finest.

As there are players who could have qualified for this more than once, the likes of Selby, Higgins, Trump, Ding and Ronnie, they often have the reach right down to arse end of the tour to make up the field. This time Neil Robertson gets in by the skin of his teeth by virtue of a win in Hong Kong that nobody watched, while 6 Reds Champion Mark Williams misses out.

Robbo didn’t just benefit from Selby winning in China yesterday and keeping Mark Allen out but also from Stuart Bingham’s suspension, so you might say Lady Luck has already smiled on the Aussie, though he does face O’Sullivan in his first round match so that kinda might even things out a bit.

OK, so the lowdown is that The Champion of Champions features 16 players who are split into four groups of four players with each group comprising two semi-finals played over seven frames in the afternoon session, followed by a final in the evening played over 11 frames.

The four group winners proceed to the best of 11 semi-finals, with the Group One winner facing the Group Four winner on Friday, November 10 and the players emerging from Groups Two and Three up against each other on the evening of Saturday, November 11.

The 19-frame final will be played over two sessions on Sunday, November 12.

I quite like this event. Though I do feel there are a couple of players missing who would have made it even better, in particular Allen, who seems to be coming into form. Other notable absentees are of course Williams, Ali Carter and Kyren Wilson, but the field still screams quality and the ITV coverage adds to the whole package. It’s a tournament that I’ll probably get to see a lot of this week, unlike some of the more recent ‘samey’ type events.

So let’s take a look at the draw:

Eyes are immediately drawn to Wednesday and Thursday’s groups. The tournament is arguably tailor made this year for O’Sullivan, who could in theory play two matches on Thursday, one evening session job on Friday, promote his new book and do some cooking on Saturday, before picking up the trophy on Sunday. But the same could of course be said for his main rival in the group, the holder John Higgins.

Group One for me looks to be a decent draw for Ding Junhui. Barry Hawkins hasn’t been playing too well so far this season, Anthony Hamilton has been rarely seen and rumours continue of his crippling back problems so I’d say Ryan Day is the main threat to Ding progressing to the weekend.

Group Two’s favourite has to be Shaun Murphy, Marco Fu is another who isn’t quite producing yet at this point in the season but it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility for either Michael White or Mark King to produce a semi-shock there, but I’ll stick with Murphy I think.

Group Three is an absolute corker, Selby should have had time to recover and is on his way home as I write, but the mouthwatering clash between Judd and Luca will produce a tough evening opponent for him assuming he takes care of Liang Wenbo in the afternoon.

Finally, let’s face it, we all want to see Ronnie v John on Thursday night over the best of 11 don’t we? Robbo continues to struggle with his form but McGill could put his little fly in the ointment given he has a decent record against his fellow Scot, for that reason alone I’d take O’Sullivan for this group given that the format suits him to the inch.

Overall, I’ll stick with Ronnie to win it but the permutations for this are so multiple and a final involving him or Ding, Murphy, Selby, Judd or even Luca is well on the cards. I’ll stick with trebles and an acca on the groups I think for now as it could still be a coin toss when the semi-finals are decided anyway so no real point going in on the outrights until then.

Recommended Bet: Trebles and an Accumulator on Group Winners: Ding, Murphy, Selby and O’Sullivan – Accumulator pays over 26/1.

Match Double: Day to beat Hawkins and White to beat Fu pays 9/2. Ding to beat Hamilton 4-0 at 17/4.  

As well as the ITV coverage this is also live on Facebook and a number of TV channels around the globe. Full details here.

October 27, 2017

International Championship – Back to Daqing

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:10 am

It’s been quite a week off the baize so it will be a welcome relief for all concerned to actually get back on it as the players head to Daqing in the North East of China to compete in the International Championship. This is a tournament which stands out a little by virtue of the fact it embraces the longer match format more than any other event outside the UK.

Mark Selby defends his title this week, he won in a canter last year, absolutely demolishing the home favourite Ding Junhui in the final by ten frames to one, a defeat that really rubbed in his dominance over Ding following his previous World Championship final victory over him, one that he was to repeat again in the semi-finals in Sheffield a few months later. Ding definitely owes The Jester one.

Obviously the big news this week has been about Bingham’s ban, this being the first big event that he will miss. But as ever Ronnie O’Sullivan has also been in the news, he’s very upset about trophies at the moment, his war of words with the top brass when it comes to what he perceives as broken promises has been spilling out all over social media. He’s nearly always said that he plays for the trophies rather than the money and his insistence that he wants what is rightfully his even led to a bizarre and possibly over-reactive statement from the WPBSA addressing his concerns directly. He’s still not happy though and his toy trophies remain scattered outside the pram.

As well as this he’s also knocked in a 147 against Liang Wenbo over there this week in a no-doubt financially lucrative show match, to the delight of the noisy Chinese crowd. We should also make a mention of the new UK Seniors Champion Jimmy White, who captured this title with a final win over Ken Doherty. A big congratulations to Jimmy and to the organiser Jason Francis, who again proves that he knows what it takes to put on a show.

They have played one round of this tournament already in Preston, though there are a few matches that have been held over, including Selby’s and Ding’s. All the big names are here so it promises to be a decent week of snooker, it will be interesting to see if Ronnie can keep up his recent form and take back to back titles. The one thing that has been missing from his game for a few years now is consistency, but at the moment to me he appears to have got some focus back but whether he might reserve his energy to try and nab the million quid off Bazza at the expense of tournaments like this remains to be seen. It is possible that he might lock horns with Selby in the final if things fall the right way and what a climax to the event that would be.

It’s going to be covered by Eurosport throughout, though until the Chinese see sense and change their clocks to UK time we’re going to struggle to see quite a lot of it on these shores. 

In terms of betting, it’s my idea of the winner with a few value and huge price each punts, a chancey first round acca and some tricky trebles to kick things off. With these best of elevens it’s time to really have a good look at the matches and see what we can find.      

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format

Recommended Bets:

OUTRIGHTS Win Only: Ronnie O’Sullivan at 5/1.

Each Way: Shaun Murphy 25/1, Ali Carter 66/1, Ghou Yolonge (AKA Zhou Yuelong) 125/1, Gary Wilson 300/1, Hossein Vafaei 300/1.

Novelty Bet: Selby v O’Sullivan final at 10/1

MATCH BETTING: Favourites Acca – Ali Carter, Luca Brecel, Tom Ford, Shaun Murphy, Hossein Vafaei and Martin Gould pays 5/1.

First Round Trebles: Sam Craigie, Peter Ebdon, Jack Lisowski, Eden Sharav, John Astley – Acca pays 366/1.  

October 26, 2017

New Light on Bingham Case

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 9:28 am

As widely reported, news of Stuart Bingham’s punishment for breaking betting rules has met with mixed opinions within the snooker community. Some polar opposites have been expressed on social media from those that would just let him off and also welcome Ste Lee back with open arms to those that would like to see him publicly flogged to within an inch of his life.

All opinions are valid, except for the stupid ones, in particular the ones that are based solely on the evidence presented by those making the judgement. My own was very clear on one particular ruling, I disagree with players using bookmakers to ‘lay off’ highest break insurance bets, for me it is taking advantage of a unique position for their own personal gain just by virtue of the job they do and I don’t think that’s on. However, this morning I have become privy to some information that has changed my mind on my own initial position.

I have to say that I wasn’t alone in wondering how and where Stuart could have laid off these highest break bets, I wondered if it may have been something he managed to get on at the betting exchanges, though with the sums quoted I did question that. If he’d used either his own or his manager’s account to try and get these on at a bookmaker, assuming he could even find the bet, he would have known he was a dead man walking, so how did he do it?

Step forward Philip.

Philip is a friend of Stuart’s who describes himself as a pro-gambler, he is not a bookmaker. It turns out that on two occasions over the period quoted, Stuart contacted him to ask if he’d like to offer him a price on his break being beaten, as a bet between friends. Philip’s memory of the exact details of one of them is a little hazy but the tournaments involved were the UK Championship in 2014, when Stuart’s break was beaten by Ronnie O’Sullivan’s 147 and the 2016 China Championship, when Stuart’s 141 against Shaun Murphy was beaten by Murphy in the same match later in the day.

Philip agreed to give Stuart a price willingly, had he not agreed, Stuart could not have got any bet on anywhere else.

The conversation below took place in between those two breaks in China, notice the ‘somebody other than you’ response, so if Stuart had beaten the break it was not a bet and he would not have gained twice. 

(For the record I am not sure if the segway is sorted yet.)

So, how does this change things if at all?

Well, I think this opens up a whole new argument. Is a personal bet between friends classed as gambling? Or is this a private matter between the two parties involved?

Are the WPBSA correct to highlight this in their judgement in a way that implies, without being written, that Bingham was placing these bets with betting firms? 

Why did those conducting the investigation not speak to Philip about this at any point?

The obvious question that I’m sure you are all asking is, how did they even find out about this? Well, the very simple answer is that Stuart offered the information up voluntarily by handing over his phone. Does this imply that Stuart himself was unaware that making a bet with a friend was also against the rules? Is it against the rules? 

I’d argue that this now becomes a very grey area, a bet between friends, whether it’s a straight 50/50 side bet or a bet of this nature is not the same as throwing your money at the bookies. Stuart has a friend who is in a position to offer this to him and he decided to take advantage of that, both knew the risks and had his breaks not been beaten his friend in the case above would have been £1500 better off. Philip was also under no obligation to offer Stuart the bet.

My information is that Stuart will not be appealing his ban, which of course included other issues which are not in dispute, but I think it’s important that the judgement 6(a) is put into perspective as this is a significant point which makes this case different to some recent others, it made me question my opinion, so I dare say it may also make others do the same.

October 24, 2017

Betting Bingham Banned from Snooker for 3 months

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:29 am

Haters gonna Hate.

Just a month ago I wrote a blog about the relationship between snooker and the bookies, aware that a ruling was due to be passed on former World Champion, Stuart Bingham and fairly sure that it was likely to be a firmer penalty than the recent ones I highlighted. Today the judgement has been passed.

To read how his ban of six months, with three effective immediately and three suspended was arrived at, click here and here and here for the finer detail (PDF Files).

Before I go on, I’ll declare that I know Stuart and I like him, he has been very generous in supporting my tournament financially in the past for all the right reasons and in my experience is a thoroughly decent chap, it’s not like he’s murdered your granny here so just thought I’d add a bit of perspective given some of the quite nasty comments already appearing online.

The difference between this case and a few of the more recent ones is basically that Stuart failed to cough up when he was rumbled, at least straight away. But as ever in cases like this where the evidence is stacking up, sooner or later you are going to get tripped up, which he has.

There are a couple of points I would like to make. Firstly, the headline figure of £35,771 that was gambled by him and/or his manager goes back to 2003, a period some of which fell under a previous administration (up to 2009), so I’m not sure why this is mentioned in the judgement given the failure/refusal to investigate a notorious fixed UK Championship match from this period for that very reason.

Anyway, that aside. The commonality in this case to the others is that Stuart did not bet on himself to lose, there is no inference, as there should not be, that he ever wilfully fixed matches for his own benefit, he merely backed himself on several occasions.

The main difference for me is in ruling 6(a), which states that Stuart/his manager:

Between 1st December 2014 and 8th November 2016 placed bets with a third party to a value of £4,000 that his highest break in a competition would be beaten. All of which were winning bets, where made a profit of £7,000. 

This is something that was out in the open, perfectly within the rules and commonplace in snooker in the 80’s and possibly the 90’s too. A player who holds the highest break bets on it being beaten as insurance, there are still professionals around today that don’t think that this is a problem, after all, why should they lose out if someone happens to beat their break? For the record, all the bets placed of this type won, in other words Stuart’s breaks were eventually beaten.

Here is where I fundamentally disagree with this view, why should a snooker player benefit directly just by virtue of being a snooker player in this position? Nobody else in the betting or wider world would be in a position to exploit this market, so that immediately is a huge advantage to the player in question. That is why the rules are there, it’s to stop any betting on snooker by those involved, not just ‘harmless’ or ‘victimless’ bets. In my opinion, these bets are the most serious flouting of the rules and the reason why Stuart has received a ban, a proper one this time, not fully suspended like most of the others.

He misses a number of big money events, the International Championship, the UK Championship, The Masters, The Champion of Champions, the German Masters, Scottish and Northern Irish Opens, he’s also got £20,000 in costs to fork out so that’s quite a hit in the old back pocket. Unfortunately for him he’s back for the Shootout, which arguably makes the punishment twice as bad.

Just an idea, but perhaps instead of dishing out these suspended parts of the ban, would the WPBSA/World Snooker not be better sending players to a compulsory Gambling Awareness programme? It’s clearly a big issue in snooker and I’d argue that we are merely scraping the surface at the moment. You only have to see the casinos around the venues to know that a lot of these players need help, simply ignoring the problem will not make it go away.

For the record, Stuart has decided to seek independent help for his gambling of his own accord. Something which was welcomed by the WPBSA, though they stressed that they did not think he had an addiction problem.

October 15, 2017

The English Open

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 1:42 pm

*AHEM* I think I *AHEM* know this one *AHEM*

Barnsley wouldn’t be my first answer when asked the city from which dreams are born, but next week we’ll find out who is this year’s contender in the snooker equivalent of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ as the second English Open winner is crowned.

For those who don’t know, the winner of this, like Liang Wenbo last year, will become the focus of speculation as regards their chances of also completing unlikely victories in the other three Home Nations events and bagging Barry’s million pound bonus.

It has to be said that when Liang won this last year, we all knew that Bazza’s reward money was safe, so much so that nobody even talked about it being a possibility and the speculation-ometer was stuck on zero. It could only really get interesting if Ronnie, Selby or possibly Ding or Higgins win this, then at least the column inches might get a little wider with wild speculation.

One bookies is apparently offering odds of 500/1 on it happening. I’m sure a few people will chance their arm and a few silly quid at this and at least they know that their bet will still be in tact at the end of this week, though for how much longer than that I can’t really be sure. But in an increasingly unpredictable world who knows? Perhaps the dark forces behind Brexit, Trump (not Judd, the insane one) and Kick-free chalk may once again conspire to rob Bazza of his precious lolly.

As ever they have had to grab some big name or other to say that they think the unthinkable can happen and when you need someone to do that the first person you turn to is of course Shaun Murphy. He claimed that while it was unlikely it wasn’t impossible and said he would relish being the last man standing by winning this week.

As hinted at above, I reckon there are only two players currently on the tour that would have a chance in hell of winning all four, probably most likely Mark Selby as Ronnie’s heart these days doesn’t really look to be in it. After labelling 70% of the tour ‘numpties’ he’s now busy plugging the latest book that he has *AHEM* written and telling everyone that if he hadn’t chosen snooker he’d probably have won an Olympic medal at running or been world champion at Formula One, so we are clearly very honoured to have nabbed him.

It all kicks off on Monday in Barno, unfortunately it’s another best of 7 job so the match betting doesn’t really appeal to me. It’s a big week this for Neil Robertson who as things stand looks highly unlikely to be lining up at The Masters, quite an extraordinary tumble down the rankings and a defeat in the Shanghai qualifiers last week to a player who hadn’t yet won on tour has really set the alarm bells ringing for fans of the Thunder, so a timely win here is more or less essential for him.

In terms of the outrights, just one from each section for me, but with 131 players starting out, it’s a bit of a lottery this, quite apt given the pot of gold on offer at the end of the rainbow.

Recommended Outrights: Barry Hawkins 22/1, John Higgins 14/1, Ding Junhui 10/1, Kyren Wilson 33/1. 

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format

Powered by WordPress

Website transfer complete