Saturday, 23 March 2013
China Open Snooker 2013 - Preview
Carter to fly in China
China Open snooker gets under way on Monday in Beijing where Judd
Trump is installed 6/1 favourite. Last years winner Peter Ebdon is an
You can read my preview for sportinglife.com here
Ali Carter is worth following here at the generous 25/1 (General).
Just pipped by Martin Gould this week in Championship League Snooker
he said he was gutted to lose but it was the CLS winners group and
Gould was on fire.
The Captain won the German Masters last month when I tipped him at
25/1 to prevail. He withdrew from the World Open four weeks ago for
well documented medical reasons but is well drawn here - opening
against Jamie Cope or the wildcard Zhao Xintong. He beat John Higgins
in the Players Tour Championship Finals in Ireland last week and
started well in the last 16 against Marco Fu but then missed a simple
pink and from then it went downhill.
Ali Carter - Cueing better than ever.
I'm not usually one for continuing to follow a player when they've
recently delivered the goods but he is peaking at the right time in
the run-up to Sheffield. So we'll take the captain at a big price to
get deep into the tournament - he is good enough.
I also tipped Trump in the World Open. Suddenly he has developed an
all round measured game and was looking the likely winner until he
opened his cue case at the start of his quarter-final against Matthew
Stevens. His tip had suddenly mushroomed and become unplayable. It was
a bizarre occurrence.
Players have fifteen minutes to replace a tip but you need at least a
few hours practice to be really comfortable with a new one. Not so
much for the potting because most are played plain ball with the white
drilled into the object ball with stun so any side doesn't affect the
line of the cue ball too much.
But for positional play and long safety shots where the white has
decelerated before reaching the object ball and hence rolling on it's
own plane then this is where you need to be able to accurately gauge
the sideways movement. One mistake at this level can mean frame over.
Immediately with this new tip you could see Trump guessing and in the
circumstances he did well to only lose 5-3. But before this incident
he had motored through his first two matches and was looking the
likely winner. On that form he can close here and he has a good record
in this event - lifting the title in 2011 and making the
quarter-finals last year.
He opens in this second quarter against good friend Jack Lisowski or
the wildcard Zhou Yuelong who is no pushover. The 6/1 (General) about
Trump should be backed as a saver.
Mark Selby split from his long time manager Mukesh Parmar before the
German Masters and this has coincided with a marked change in fortunes
for the Jester from Leicester. He went through a purple patch either
side of Christmas when he lifted the UK Championship, European Tour
Event 6 and the Masters. Although to be fair he was in danger of
monopolising the tour when most commmentators including myself know
that can't really happen - the gap between the top players and the
pack is much narrower and the standard is so much higher.
Yet he is desperate for more success now that he is managing himself
to confirm it's been a good move. But the longer he goes without a
title will definitely make him more edgy. This will be especially
difficult for a player who is so used to winning and he's best left
alone for now.
Anthony McGill is on the verge of a breakthrough to the big time. He
came back well against Ding Junhui in the second round of the PTC
Grand Finals last week only to lose in a decider. He is a potential
big time player with tons of self belief. To make it through to the
main event here McGill beat Gould and he should make it past wildcard
Heydari Nezhad Ehsan.
Anthony McGill - Has bottle and belief
But he has a really hard first round match against title contender
Mark Allen although he is strong enough to deliver on the big stage
and he can make it through. Then he would probably face Neil Robertson
so he has it really tough. But he has enough confidence to fancy
winning and in these best of nine matches if you have the bottle and
get the odd roll here and there then you've every chance unless your
opponent plays flawless snooker. The Scot is worth a small punt
each-way at 150/1 with Boylesports.
in the match betting Barry Hawkins has to be worth a punt against Ding
Junhui. The Chinese star was superb when winning the PTC Finals last
weekend and we saw more emotion from him after this win than he
usually displays. Simply because he had to dig so deep to give himself
a chance in the final against Neil Robertson after being three down
with four to play.
But his recent record in China is very poor because he really feels
the additional pressure of the massive home support. Of the four
ranking events held in China so far this season he has won only three
matches. Hawkins is very consistent and since lifting his first
ranking title - the Australia Open last summer he is a danger to
anyone and the 9/4 (BETVICTOR) to win the match is too big. The draw
could then open up for him too so the 50/1 (Sky Bet, Boylesports) is
worth a small each-way outright punt.