Sunday, 24 February 2013

World Open Snooker - Preview

World Open Snooker starts tomorrow in Haikou, China.

You can read my preview for here

Judd Trump impressed me in Newport at the Welsh Open and the 15/2 about him is far too big - especially after the withdrawal of Ali Carter who he was seeded to meet in the second round.

Trump - Now thinking more about his tactics

Marcus Campbell is 25/1 with bet365 to win the first quarter. The price seemed to have disappeared yesterday but is now reinstated. His biggest success came in China this season so definite value

D-Day on Tuesday with Ronnie O'Sullivan making a statement as to his future snooker plans - two days before the deadline for entry into the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible... Hopefully he will play in Sheffield. Barry Hearn suggested that if he was in O'Sullivan's position then he would be open to offers of appearance money from a sponsor. Let's hope the Rocket's management team have sorted something out.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Welsh Open Snooker - Preview

Welsh Open Snooker gets under way tomorrow at the Newport Centre. As in the German Masters a fortnight ago the top 16 start in the last 64 and because the standard is so high any match is a potential exit for one of the top seeds. In addition all matches until the quarter finals are best of seven so we need to tread carefully.

Joint favourite Mark Selby won the Masters and UK Championship either side of Christmas but increasingly needs at least a match or two during an event where he grinds out a victory. This is easier against players who can have their rhythm broken more readily. But against similar players with a grinding type game he himself is more easily unstuck and can struggle. His first match here is against Steve Davis who in a scrappy game is always very dangerous. This is one of the eight last 64 matches held over to the final venue and in this best of seven he could slip up so we'll look elsewhere for the potential winner .

Neil Robertson has to be backed here. Stephen Hendry said after the Masters that barring the Aussie's performance which saw him lose to Selby 10-6 in the final the general standard was poor. That was a bit unfair but Selby's matches in this event generally had a less flowing feel about them and this then reflected on the tournament as a whole. The Aussie is in great form though and has the class and bottle to win here again having lifted the title in 2007. He opens in the last 32 against qualifier Ian Burns and the 7/1 outright should be snapped up.

Robertson - Has the class and pedigree to prevail in Newport

Gloucester player Michael Wasley is definitely one to follow. Based at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester he works with Terry Griffiths the Director of Coaching. He made it onto the main tour last year by coming through the tough Q school and has already had some cracking wins - especially this year. He earned his last 32 place here by beating Mark Davis and Anthony McGill - who himself is destined for great things. This comes on the back of reaching the last 32 in the German Masters with victories against Peter Ebdon and Jack Lisowski. Well drawn here where he opens against 2007 runner-up Andrew Higginson and if he makes it through his last 16 opponent then will be either Judd Trump who is clearly struggling with his confidence or one of three players outside the top 16.

Wasley is clearly going to make it in snooker and is very well drawn at 300/1...

There will be more than the usual number of shock results meaning that as an outsider progresses further into the tournament and ranking points and prize money increase markedly then they are more likely to meet another player in the same position. This will help them settle more easily than would usually be the case. He is worth backing at a big price to go deep into the tournament and the 300/1 (BETVICTOR) is top value each-way 

In the bottom quarter 41 year old Anthony Hamilton has been on the up recently at an age when players in their forties are usually accelerating down the rankings and thinking about retirement. He beat Trump in Berlin only to go down 5-2 to eventual winner Ali Carter and opens against Stephen Maguire who has disappointed me recently. The Scot can get very frustrated if he misses an easy ball - especially at the start of a match and in these short races and given Hamilton's form Maguire is vulnerable here. The winner will play either Matthew Stevens or again one of three players outside the top 16 so this is another easier section of the draw. Hamilton at a generous 80/1 to make the final (BETVICTOR) is worth a small punt.

In the match betting it's worth backing Hamilton and Michael Wasley to come through their opening matches and the double pays 7.25/1 with BETFRED.