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Thumbs up Snookerbacker - 03-04-2019, 06:15 AM

Snookerbacker
March 4, 2019
The Players Championship
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News ó snookerbacker @ 7:00 am
Tonight sees the start of the Players Championship, the second of three events in the new Coral series, this one sees the top 16 players on the one year ranking list battling it out in a Masters style format at the iconic Preston Guild Hall, so whatís not to like about that then?

In terms of the players who have qualified there are just three from outside the current 2 year top 16 list who have made it, those being Ali Carter, Jimmy Robertson and Joe Perry, who replace the absentees, Luca Brecel, Ding Junhui and Shaun Murphy who all miss out, so itís a chance for those three to narrow the gap and really put pressure on those on the brink of a seeding place at The Crucible.

The first round is a two table set up with tonight kicking off with OíSullivan and Hawkins on one table and Allen and Maguire on the other, Allen being the number one seed for the event. It then moves to a one table situation from the quarter finals onwards with all matches up to the final being the best of 11 frames, with Sunday being contested over 19 frames. Itís also covered extensively by the excellent ITV and their schedule can be found here.

The man in form at the moment is undoubtedly Judd Trump, who is now contesting favouritism for the big one in Sheffield with OíSullivan, indeed with just Mark Selby joining them at single figure odds there are a few decent prices around if you fancy the winner not coming from those three.

Despite Mark Allen heading up the ranking list he comes into this on the back of some disappointing form and he faces a stern test tonight against Stephen Maguire, who has got into this by virtue of consistently reaching the later rounds of events without ever really being on the brink of winning one. There are some cracking ties as youíd expect, including Selby taking on Higgins and World Champion Williams taking on Carter so there is plenty to get your teeth into.

Here is the schedule for the first round.

Mark Allen (1) v Stephen Maguire (16): Monday March 4 at 7pm

David Gilbert (8) v Stuart Bingham (9): Wednesday March 6 at 1pm

Ronnie OíSullivan (5) v Barry Hawkins (12): Monday March 4 at 7pm

Mark Selby (4) v John Higgins (13): Wednesday March 6 at 1pm

Neil Robertson (3) v Joe Perry (14): Tuesday March 5 at 1pm

Mark Williams (6) v Ali Carter (11): Tuesday March 5 at 1pm

Kyren Wilson (7) v Jack Lisowski (10): Tuesday March 5 at 7pm

Judd Trump (2) v Jimmy Robertson (15): Tuesday March 5 at 7pm

Recommended Outright Bets: Mark Selby to win Players Championship at 10/1. Mark Williams to win Players Championship at 15/1.

Match Betting: Double on Maguire and Hawkins pays over 8/1. Acca on Williams, Robertson, Wilson and Bingham pays 11/2.

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Thumbs up Snookerbacker - 03-15-2019, 02:58 AM

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Snookerbacker
March 13, 2019
The Gibraltar Open Ė Who will Rule the Rock?
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News ó snookerbacker @ 10:16 am
Itís time again for the annual jaunt to Britain in the Sun. The Gibraltar Open clings to its slot in the tour much like 98% of itís UK population wanted to cling to the EU, sadly for them that isnít what the result produced and you do have to also wonder how long this event will remain a staple on the snooker calendar.

Very much like most of the best players on the tour Iíll be sitting this one out but I have had a few wagers on the outrights after a scan of the draw so Iíve listed them below.

Bets: Kyren Wilson to win Gibraltar Open at 9/1, Dave Gilbert to win Gibraltar Open at 25/1. Each Way Scott Donaldson at 100/1, Zhang Anda at 100/1, Tom Ford at 130/1.

You can plot your very own outcome to the Gibraltar Open here

Click here for the format

The amateur qualifying rounds take place on March 13-14 followed by the last 128 from March 15 to 17.
  
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Thumbs up Snookerbacker - 03-18-2019, 02:17 PM

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Snookerbacker
March 18, 2019
Tour Championship Preview
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News ó snookerbacker @ 6:15 pm

Itís all about the raaaannkings (photo credit Pete Burns)

Weíre now entering the best period of the snooker season and in just over a month all eyes will be on The Crucible for the big one. But what makes this season even better is that weíve got a kind of mini World Championship warm-up with this new event; the only other event of the season with multi-session matches from the beginning and the final one of the Coral Series trilogy. The Tour Championship takes place at Llandudnoís Venue Cymru and sees the top eight players from this seasonís one-year money list compete for a top prize of £150,000.

What makes this exciting for a stubborn, opinionated, die-hard old traditionalist like me is the long match format. The first round, or quarter finals if you prefer are played over the best of 17, with the semis adopting the Crucible first round format of best of 19 before a three session final at the weekend over another familiar Sheffield distance, the best of 25. So itís a chance for one of the top players to really piss on the Crucible lamppost and go into the big one in fine fettle having won over the longer format less than a month earlier. In short, this is a proper comp.

As usual, the bookies favourite is Ronnie and it is a chance for us to possibly assess his form over more than one match over the multi-session distances. Interestingly, he is involved in one of the two first round matches that have been scheduled over 2 days, so he has some time to kill in between sessions, in the past this kind of thing has seen him go off the rails a bit in Sheffield, though with all his antics lately I donít think weíd really notice the difference if he did.

For ranking anoraks, this event also has the added spice of Ronnie possibly returning to the top of the raaaaaaaaannnnnnkkkkkkking list for the first time this decade at the expense of Mark Selby, whose time at the top of this list is almost approaching the age range of Dennis Taylorís jokes.

As you would expect itís an all star line up and Iíd say that the eight on show here are probably close to the eight I might have expected at the start of the season, although you could argue that John Higgins and possibly Shaun Murphy (currently languishing in 30th on the one year list) are notable absentees, with Ding Junhui hardly playing in anything itís no real surprise that he hasnít made it.

A mention also for Dave Gilbert whose fantastic season saw him just £4500 behind Kyren Wilson, who qualified in 8th spot and therefore takes on the number one seed Mark Allen. I reckon Dee Gee would have taken 9th at the start of the season and wonít be too upset at missing out and he is still available at daft prices for Sheffield for anyone interested (I took 190/1 yesterday). Heís playing well enough to have a run there and played very well against Ronnie last time he was there back in 2016, heís also very close to securing a seeded place with Ryan Day looking like the main threat to that as they head to the final cut off event in Beijing at the start of April.

Allen has had a season of two halves really, his pre-Christmas form was fabulous and he was comfortably top of the one year list playing probably as well as I have ever seen him play, but since he was beaten at The Masters itís slipped a little, so it remains to be seen if he can get it back in time for the World Championship, which you have to say he is long overdue a good run in.

A player coming into very good form at the right time is Neil Robertson and he should feel quietly confident in his match up with Selby given the latterís relatively pedestrian form of late. There is a school of thought that believes The Jester losing the top spot will see his form turnaround to get it back, or perhaps just the threat of losing it this week will be enough for him to start being Selby again?

Another player in sparkling form is Judd Trump. Judd is currently a justified second favourite for the World Championship and you feel if he can win here, perhaps beating Ronnie in a semi-final along the way, his price may shorten further and he may even by vying for favouritism this time next month. Judd faces World Champion Williams who has now said heís busy preparing for his title defence and getting his head down on the practice table rather than playing bingo and golf, going fishing and getting trousered all year to celebrate his success last year.

Ronnie faces Gibraltar Champ Stuart Bingham fresh from his win on The Rock over the short format. Ronnie has a very commanding lead over First Poke in the head to heads, Stuart will need to hit the ground running and put that out of his head if heís to knock out the worst Australian impersonator since Michael Caine trying to be Chips OíToole at the end of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Itís all covered on the excellent ITV4 so expect plenty of adverts about our impending death and how much it all costs the ones you leave behind, also look forward to lots of comical scenes of people having accidents that are Ďnot their faultí during the break.

Click on the match for the head to head record.

Quarter Final Draw

Mark Allen vs Kyren Wilson (Wednesday 1pm and 7pm)
Neil Robertson vs Mark Selby (Tuesday 1pm and 7pm)
Judd Trump vs Mark Williams (Tuesday 1pm and Wednesday 1pm)
Ronnie OíSullivan vs Stuart Bingham (Tuesday 7pm and Wednesday 7pm)

Predicted First Round Winners: Allen, Robertson, Trump, OíSullivan Ė fourfold pays nearly 6/1 at Black Type.

Predicted Tournament Winner: Trump Ė Best Price 5/1 at Blacktype.

Recommended Enhanced Treble Ė Trump (-2.5), Robertson (-1.5) and OíSullivan (-3.5) is 10/1 at Ladbrokes.

Name the Finalists Ė Robertson and Trump 19/2 at Ladbrokes.

Special Bet Ė More than 2 centuries in every match, 50/1 at Ladbrokes.
  
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Thumbs up Snookerbacker - 03-27-2019, 09:30 AM

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Snookerbacker
March 27, 2019
The China Open Ė The Crucible countdown begins
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News ó snookerbacker @ 7:25 am
The China Open has been staged in the countryís capital every year since 2005 and is the most historic event held in China. In 2018 it became the only snooker event other than the World Championship to hit the £1 million prize money mark, thanks to a new four-year agreement between World Snooker and promoter Star Xing Pai, cementing its place as the top event over there, having been leapfrogged in terms of prize money by a few other, newer events.

Despite this history and because of the timing of it, my reason for taking an interest in it these days is mainly because it provides the setting for players to settle into their places in the World Championship draw. Hence below Iím simply giving a few bets in the outrights based on my reading of the draw and the links you need to follow the changes to the seedings at The Crucible. From the moment this finishes itís full steam ahead on here with regular World Championship Qualifier and Main Event previews.

Itís a week where we could see the bottom half of the Crucible draw, which at the moment is jam packed with the form players, change. Also, despite the deserved furore that accompanied Ronnie OíSullivanís return to the top of the rankings list, he could have it immediately snatched back off him by Mark Selby or Mark Williams, making his achievement last week logged in the rankings record books as a return only to Ďprovisional number oneí rather than Ďactual number oneí for the briefest of periods. Selby or Williams would have to win the title to get that top slot back.

As usual, itís covered on Eurosport, some of the sessions not really at a time when most UK and European snooker fans will be awake, but a fascinating week awaits as we approach the best time of the year for snooker fans.

You can have a play with the draw in advance of the China Open beginning here.

You can view the prize money on offer at The China Open here and you can keep up to date with the changes to the Crucible seedings as they happen here.

Recommended Outrights: Win Ė John Higgins at 11/1, Barry Hawkins at 20/1. Each way Ė Jack Lisowski at 33/1, Lu Haotian at 250/1, Yuan Sijun at 160/1.
  
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Thumbs up Snookerbacker - 04-16-2019, 12:25 AM

Snookerbacker
April 16, 2019
Itís Judgement Time
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News ó snookerbacker @ 7:32 am
32 men start out today and by the close of play tomorrow only 16 of them will be left, they will then be placed into the draw for the World Championship on Thursday, then take their place against the 16 seeds at The Crucible which starts on Saturday.

You can check out my original selections to make it through here, happily 14 of the 16 of them are still in the mix going into two of the biggest days in the snooker calendar so anyone who followed the bets in with me will have a lot of interest going into the final matches.

Iíll update all the scores on here periodically as the days go along, but you must try and watch the live stream with Rob Walker and Neal Foulds if you can on the official World Snooker You Tube Channel. Itís a real show that they put on and it perfectly captures the drama of this nerve jangling finale. Robís verbal acrobatics when it comes to pronouncing Chinese names, of which this year there are quite a few, is worth tuning in for alone.

Anyone who canít watch it can follow the scores live here. So now all you need is a comfy chair and a load of snacks.

A reminder that all 16 matches play their first nine frames today and conclude tomorrow on Judgement Day. And also, remember, you canít win today, but you can go a long way towards losing.

No pressure then.

Tian Pengfei 0-0. Matthew Stevens (5pm)
Gary Wilson 0-0 Liang Wenbo (11am)
Luo Honghao 0-0 Tom Ford (5pm)
Rob Milkins 0-0 Anthony McGill (11am)
Graeme Dott 0-0 Kurt Maflin (5pm)
Li Hang 0-0 Ben Woollaston (5pm)
Daniel Wells 0-0 Martin Gould (11am)
Michael Georgiou 0-0 Yan Bingtao (11am)
Ali Carter 0-0 John Astley (5pm)
Eden Sharav 0-0 Zhou Yuelong (11am)
Dark Mavis 0-0 Lyu Haotian (11am)
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 0-0 Joe OíConnor (11am)
Michael Judge 0-0 James Cahill (11am)
Lu Ning 0-0 Scott Donaldson (5pm)
Matt Selt 0-0 Zhao Xintong(5pm)
Martin OíDonnell 0-0 Joe Perry (5pm)

TO WATCH BOTH DAYS: Just click here for the Facebook page and click the live stream, or click here for the YouTube channel.
  
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Thumbs up Snookerbacker - 04-17-2019, 12:45 AM

Snookerbacker
April 16, 2019
Itís Judgement Time
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News ó snookerbacker @ 7:32 am
32 men start out today and by the close of play tomorrow only 16 of them will be left, they will then be placed into the draw for the World Championship on Thursday, then take their place against the 16 seeds at The Crucible which starts on Saturday.

You can check out my original selections to make it through here, happily 14 of the 16 of them are still in the mix going into two of the biggest days in the snooker calendar so anyone who followed the bets in with me will have a lot of interest going into the final matches.

Iíll update all the scores on here periodically as the days go along, but you must try and watch the live stream with Rob Walker and Neal Foulds if you can on the official World Snooker You Tube Channel. Itís a real show that they put on and it perfectly captures the drama of this nerve jangling finale. Robís verbal acrobatics when it comes to pronouncing Chinese names, of which this year there are quite a few, is worth tuning in for alone.

Anyone who canít watch it can follow the scores live here. So now all you need is a comfy chair and a load of snacks.

A reminder that all 16 matches play their first nine frames today and conclude tomorrow on Judgement Day. And also, remember, you canít win today, but you can go a long way towards losing.

No pressure then.

Tian Pengfei 7-2 Matthew Stevens (5pm)
Gary Wilson 5-4 Liang Wenbo (11am)
Luo Honghao 5-4 Tom Ford (5pm)
Rob Milkins 7-2 Anthony McGill (11am)
Graeme Dott 7-2 Kurt Maflin (5pm)
Li Hang 0-0 Ben Woollaston (5pm)
Daniel Wells 4-5 Martin Gould (11am)
Michael Georgiou 5-4 Yan Bingtao (11am)
Ali Carter 6-3 John Astley (5pm)
Eden Sharav 4-5 Zhou Yuelong (11am)
Dark Mavis 4-5 Lyu Haotian (11am)
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 5-4 Joe OíConnor (11am)
Michael Judge 3-6 James Cahill (11am)
Lu Ning 2-7 Scott Donaldson (5pm)
Matt Selt 2-7 Zhao Xintong(5pm)
Martin OíDonnell 3-6 Joe Perry (5pm)

TO WATCH BOTH DAYS: Just click here for the Facebook page and click the live stream, or click here for the YouTube channel.
  
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Snookerbacker - The Press Conferences
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Thumbs up Snookerbacker - The Press Conferences - 04-22-2019, 10:02 PM

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Thumbs up Snookerbacker - 04-24-2019, 03:13 PM

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Snookerbacker
April 24, 2019
World Championship Round Two
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News ó snookerbacker @ 3:07 pm
As the opening round draws to a close itís time to take a look at the ties in the Last 16, this post will be updated as and when matches are known, just click on the match for the head to head record.

Remember that we now move to the 3 session Best of 25 frame matches for the next two rounds of the championship.

Weíve lost Ronnie, we nearly lost Judd and weíve had a whitewash from a resurgent Shaun Murphy, alongside deciders and one-siders aplenty, what does the next round have in store? Letís take a look shall we?

TABLE 1

Mark Williams v Dave Gilbert (Friday 25th 2.30pm, Saturday 26th 10am and 7pm)

The defending champion started solidly enough with consistent scoring against Martin Gould and once he got a hold in the match he never really looked like being headed. Gilbert came through a very tough opener against Joe Perry by the same 10-7 scoreline but somehow that one felt a lot tighter than Williamsí match did and Dave held himself together well when Perry threatened a comeback at the end. Their last meeting will have left a snooker scar on Gilbert, it was the World Open final at the start of the season when Dave was just one frame away from his first big ranking title, only to lose the last five frames and hand the title to Williams. But the scar will not really be about the opponent rather than the occasion itself so I wouldnít say that will play a part here. As you might expect, Williams had the better of their previous encounters and he looked like he was bang up for this in the first round, I can see this being a match where he establishes an early lead and keeps his opponent at arms length.

Prediction: Williams 13-10

Barry Hawkins v Kyren Wilson/Scott Donaldson (Sunday 28th 10am/7pm, Monday 29th 1pm)

To Follow.

John Higgins v Stuart Bingham (Saturday 27th 2.30pm, Sunday 28th 2.30pm, Monday 29th 7pm)

Another pairing where the last time they met was a final, this time back in 2016 when Higgins won the China Championship. Much has been made of Higgins poor recent form but he looked pretty sharp in the first round with three centuries and five further breaks over 60. Bingham, 8-1 up and cruising against Dotty decided just chill out and watch a bit of snooker from his seat before somehow regaining his composure to win in a decider, so itís fair to say that heís used up a little more mental energy than he might have been expecting to after the first session. The head to heads are convincing in Higgins favour and youíd be a fool to oppose him on his first round form, heíll be looking to kick on from that and we all know how dangerous he can be when he gets his tongue between his teeth.

Prediction: Higgins 13-8

Shaun Murphy v Neil Robertson (Thursday 25th 1pm, Friday 26th 10am/7pm)

Just one frame dropped between the two men who breezed through the first round against opponents who looked like they had just landed on Earth and were just getting the hang of stuff. But you still have to go out and perform and they both did and both looked razor sharp in the balls, which came as no surprise with Robertson but Shaun looked as confused as everyone else in the audience did with the way he was knocking them in after a season best described as forgettable. The last time they met over a long distance was Murphyís Masters win in 2015, when he gave Neil a right old pasting in the final, oddly, the last time they met at all was just over 4 years ago which given they have been permanent fixtures in the top 16 is one of those odd snooker anomalies. Shaun proclaimed after the match that if they both play the same again this could be a classic, I hope heís right, but I detected some flaws in Murphyís game that are still there, he wasnít punished at all when he got a bit careless and that wonít happen here. I can only see one outcome in this and it has to be Robertson, comfortably.

Prediction: Robertson 13-6



TABLE 2

Mark Selby v Gary Wilson (Thursday 25th 7pm, Friday 26th 2.30pm, Saturday 27th 10am)

Gary Wilson became the first qualifier to proceed into Round 2 with a tense win over Luca Brecel that included an incredible final frame which went on for about a week. His only ranking final to date came back in 2015 when he was heavily defeated by his opponent here, who seemed in very jovial spirits after a customary first round comeback from 5-1 down to Zhao Xintong. His scoring was very similar to Higgins in that match with three tons and a whole host of frame winning contributions so it may not be wishful thinking now to believe that after a very nervy start, he might just be coming back to his best. I did think after the match he seemed incredibly relaxed and perhaps the mantle of being Number 1 is something heís happy to get rid of, but heíd better not be too sick of it because there is every chance with the early exit of OíSullivan that at the end of this heíll be back there again. As for this match, I canít see Gary getting too close, if it goes tactical which Iím sure it will at some point, Selby should have enough in the tank to pull clear eventually and not eek every last drop out of the match.

Prediction: Selby 13-8

Jack Lisowski/Ali Carter v Zhou Yuelong (Sunday 28th 10am/7pm, Monday 29th 1pm)

To Follow.

Judd Trump v Ding Junhui (Saturday 27th 7pm, Sunday 28th 2.30pm, Monday 29th 7pm)

Plenty, including me, will be scouring the ties in this round and wonder where the annual classic second rounder is coming from, well Iíd look no further than this one. Drama seems to follow Judd around here and he needed all 19 frames to take care of Theppy and set up a fourth World Championship meeting with Ding, with Judd leading 2-1. In competitive snooker over the years they have played a total of 142 frames and Ding leads 72-70, which just tells you all you need to know about how evenly matched these two are, arguably here we are seeing the best players ever to play the sport without being a World Champion, an accolade that at least one of them will maintain for at least another year. Of the two, Ding was by far the heavier scorer in Round 1 and also looked the most comfortable with the surroundings, which he doesnít always here. Iíve always thought both of these two are vulnerable in the two table set up and donít really relax until they reach the bigger stage from the semi-finals, only losing there to stellar performances rather then under-performing. On first round form Iíd have to plump for Ding, who like Selby, looks like a man with a weight lifted from him, but Iíd not put him in any straight accumulators as this one could get very twitchy.

Prediction: Ding 13-11

Stephen Maguire v James Cahill (Friday 26th 10am/7pm, Saturday 27th 2.30pm)

Two players who may suffer from a bit of shell shock even being here, Maguire because he should really have been beaten in the first round and possibly owes his win to a fluke, Cahill well, I donít really have to elaborate why he might think he is dreaming do I? Itís a very odd one this for me as history tells us that when the unlikely giant slayer re-enters the arena to start again, he tends to under-perform and go out with a whimper and leave everyone saying what a shame it was heíd beaten so and so, but I have a feeling Cahill may prove an exception to this, particularly if Maguire gets a bit careless as he can do quite often. The one thing that I think will divide them however is Maguireís heavier scoring. Cahill was knocking tons in for fun in the qualifiers but he didnít get near one against Ronnie, despite some very good frame winning breaks. Iíll side with history here and plump for Maguire but I wouldnít be surprised if Cahill gave a decent account of himself again.

Prediction: Maguire 13-9

RECOMMENDED BETS: Total Frames Treble Ė Williams/Gilbert Over 21, Robertson/Murphy Under 21, Ding/Trump Over 22 Ė pays 13/2. Add John Higgins (-2.5 frames) and acca pays over 16/1. Match Handicap Acca: Higgins (-1.5), Robertson (-2.5), Williams (-2.5), Ding (+3.5), Selby (-3.5) pays just under 12/1.
  
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Thumbs up Snookerbacker - 04-30-2019, 12:10 AM

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Snookerbacker
April 29, 2019
World Championship Quarter Final Preview
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News ó snookerbacker @ 8:06 pm

Itís goodbye to the two table set up after this round

Four more best of 25 frame matches over Tuesday and Wednesday before we reach the one-table situation and itís fair to say even Nostradamus couldnít have predicted this eight correctly.

Click on the match for the previous head to head meetings. Pick and choose the recommended bets if youíd like a multiple.

Dave Gilbert v Kyren Wilson (Table 1, Tuesday 10am/7pm, Wednesday 2.30pm)

Dave Gilbert again faces someone who has stopped him winning a ranking final in the sublime Kyren Wilson, who was patient against a barrage of centuries from Barry Hawkins to pounce when the pressure was on and rattle in two match winning tons of his own. Dave ended the tenure of the reigning champion, who though clearly not feeling himself, still gave it a good go, but Dave played extremely well and looked confident in the balls, something you feel he will have to do again from the off here. Kyren really looks like he is enjoying himself in the Crucible cauldron and absolutely nothing seems to be phasing him. If one thing has been missing from his game this season it is high scoring, frame winning breaks, but even without that heís got a very high win ratio, so now he has it, watch out world. Having backed Dave at 190/1 a few months ago and recommended against him in both matches so far heíll be delighted to hear that Iím doing so again, I think the eventual champion comes from the top half of the draw and it could well be Kyren.

Prediction: Wilson to win 13-8

RECOMMENDED BET: Wilson (-3.5 frames) at 11/10

Neil Robertson v John Higgins (Table 1, Tuesday 2.30pm, Wednesday 10am/7pm)

You have to go back almost 6 years to the last time Higgins got the better of Robertson, indeed all but 2 of Johnís 7 victories over Neil have come over the best of seven frames or less, when the frames rack up, itís the Aussie who historically takes command. Higgins closed out a tight fought win over Stuart Bingham last night in typically workmanlike style and anyone who was writing him off before the championship is being reminded of his Crucible pedigree once again as he aims for a third successive final. Robertson has been elevated to tournament favourite now based not only on his pre-tournament form but on his performances so far here, including a dismantling of Shaun Ďten jobsí Murphy in the last round. Heís lost less frames than any other player left in this and for me goes into this as a strong favourite. Higgins will obviously put up more of a fight than his previous two opponents but if Neil sticks to the game plan and ignores who is sitting next to him I think weíll see the Aussie back at the one-table set-up again, after all itís been long overdue. But I donít expect the demolition jobs of previous rounds.

Prediction: Robertson to win 13-10

RECOMMENDED BET: Over 4 centuries in the match at 11/8

Gary Wilson v Ali Carter (Table 2, Tuesday 10am/7pm, Wednesday 10am)

Much will be made of the fact that this is a guaranteed qualifier into the semi-final, but as we all know, Ali Carter is a qualifier in name only so it wonít exactly add novelty value if he once again makes it to the one table situation. Gary however, despite his undoubted self-belief would probably have doubted you just a little if youíd told him heíd be one match away from the wall-less arena set up having dispensed with Mark Selby in clinical fashion. There will be those who will tell you that he simply took advantage of a below-par Jester, but Iíd disagree, Wilson played very very well, as he has in every match he has ever played at The Crucible and I think Carter will have to play very well here to beat him; better than he has done so far in his first two matches at least. They have met on one occasion, just over a year ago in China when Wilson rode out the 6-4 winner. In terms of scoring, Wilson is doing that a lot heavier than Ali so all the pointers are towards the Wallsend man, The one doubt in my mind has to be the experience levels of the two, but you only get experience by ermm, getting experience, and for me Wilson is playing well enough to win so has to be given the nod.

Prediction: Wilson to win 13-10

RECOMMENDED BET: Gary Wilson to win at 19/10. Gary Wilson (-1.5 frames) at 12/5. Gary Wilson to have the highest break in the match at 11/8.

Stephen Maguire v Judd Trump (Table 2 Tuesday 2.30pm, Wednesday 2.30pm/7pm)

These two have met once this season when Maguire came out on top in Berlin ending a run of six straight defeats to Judd, which included a couple of real wallopings. Maguire has ridden his luck and then some in this, but sometimes the Snooker Gods like to play things that way and who is to say that his luck is bound to run out eventually? Judd benefited from a complete collapse by Ding Junhui last night, Ding inexplicably seems to have forgotten how to break build and you have to say that unless he really knuckles down his chances of being a world champion are more remote now than ever. On the contrary Judd now carries the hopes of his fans into another second week campaign and this time the naughty snooker is being kept to a minimum and Mr Safety has been invited to the party. Of the two this week itís Maguire that has been noticeably the heavier scorer and I may be swimming against the tide here in giving him a decent chance here. Judd now has to cope with being a strong favourite to reach the final from this half and that brings with it all sorts of pressure, Maguire Iím sure will just be there to give it a go and I would not be surprised at all if he pulled off the win, Iím not sure how this one will go, Iíd say it will either be a walk in the park for Trump or very very close indeed.

Prediction: Either Judd 13-6 or Maguire 13-12.

RECOMMENDED PUNT: Maguire to win at 7/2.

RECOMMENDED WILSON SPECIALS (Ladbrokes):

Kyren and Gary Wilson to win by more than 1 frame, have more than 1 century and have the highest break in both their matches at 20/1.

Kyren and Gary Wilson to win by more than 3 frames, have more than 1 century and have the highest break in both their matches at 50/1.
  
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Thumbs up Snookerbacker - 05-02-2019, 04:25 AM

http://www.snookerbacker.com/2019/05...OG_Vf2kKO3QUZc

May 2, 2019
World Championship Semi Finals
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News ó snookerbacker @ 10:02 am
Itís been a tournament of shocks so itís no surprise that a couple of names that are still alive and kicking for the famous Ďone table situationí are not ones that a lot of people will have expected.

I think itís been an enjoyable championship so far if not quite raising the roof in a way that others have, the lack of a quarter final deciding frame was a bit of a let down and there will be many that will see the two matches we are faced with now as being one way traffic, but the championship is not done yet and there is still time for one final twist.

Iím not going to bother with recommended bets as I have enough interest still left in the championship with the 190/1 each way outright bet on Dave Gilbert and a special frames bet I requested at Ladbrokes, which basically entails the losers of every match from here on reaching 12 frames, so fingers crossed on that.

I will say that of the two players who start as outsiders in these matches I think Gary Wilson probably has the better chance of causing an upset. Dave Gilbert for the third match running faces another player who has denied him a ranking title in John Higgins. Their head to head strongly favours Higgins but Dave can take some encouragement from the fact he beat John on their last meeting in the 2017 World Open.

Judd and Gary have met each other on one occasion, again this was at the World Open and Gary rode out a 5-3 winner, so Judd will be looking to beat the Tyneside man for the first time to reach another final, perhaps again facing Higgins as he did in his only previous final appearance back in 2011.

Iíve been incredibly impressed with Wilson in this tournament and I honestly think he is more than capable of causing another upset. I think the 5/1 on him beating Judd represents a bit of value and I might have a nibble of it.

But I suppose it would be silly not to expect the final to be contested between Trump and Higgins, but as we know, this championship does sometimes throw up the unexpected, so itís far from the nailed on certainty that the bookies seem to want to have us believe. Letís just hope for two cracking semi-finals and if the losers could see fit to win 12 frames it would be greatly appreciated.

Dave Gilbert v John Higgins (Thursday 1pm, Friday 10am & 7pm, Saturday 2.30pm)

Gary Wilson v Judd Trump (Thursday 7pm, Friday 2.30pm, Saturday 10am & 7pm)
  
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Thumbs up Snookerbacker - 05-05-2019, 04:57 AM

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May 5, 2019
The World Championship Final
Filed under: Snooker News ó snookerbacker @ 7:18 am


So today sees the start of a repeat of the 2011 final between John Higgins and Judd Trump at The Crucible.

The first time around it was a very different Judd Trump that faced the Grand Master, one full of youthful exuberance and a fearless potting machine and it has to be said, one which we probably all thought wouldnít have to wait this long to get back there. Higgins was coming back after a career threatening ban and since then heís dipped again before his latest comeback to make his third successive final.

Higgins showed an almost superhuman side of his snooker character in the semi-final, seemingly down and out during the middle of the match he played almost flawless snooker towards the end to deny Dave Gilbert in a decider, Judd had a slightly easier ride against Gary Wilson and youíd imagine heíd be the fresher of the two going into the final.

Iíve no idea who is going to win, based on the semi-final performances youíd be a brave person to bet against Higgins, but since when has snooker followed the script? Particularly during this past couple of weeks.

Higginsí all round game to me looks in the better shape of the two but Judd may be saving his best until last. The one thing I will say is that I hope they have sorted out the table which seems to be all over the shop and quite why they canít get it right for the biggest event of the season is beyond me. As fans, I think weíve all had more than enough of all this endless kick/chalk/big bounces natter so it would hopefully stop all that too if they can sort the table out. Letís hope the snooker can distract from this side of things over the next couple of days.

In terms of a prediction, if someone threatened to shoot me Iíd side with Higgins, Iím not particularly rooting for anyone but I think it would be nice to see Judd finally fulfill his potential and stop being labelled the new Jimmy White.

Thanks as ever for tuning in here over the past month or so, as ever itís been quite a ride.
  
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Thumbs up http://www.snookerbacker.com/2019/06/09/season-specials/?fbclid=IwAR0Kf4vyAhtVeK26UAO - 06-09-2019, 07:11 AM

http://www.snookerbacker.com/2019/06...07IsQQFh8uY4Lc

Snookerbacker
June 9, 2019
Season Specials
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News ó snookerbacker @ 12:21 pm

Off we go again

This is more of a memory jog post for me really but today a couple of firms are pricing up some season long bets and as I did last year, Iíve decided to have a play on them.

The markets in question are on individual players to have a ranking event success over the course of the season and Black Type Bet are happy to accept multiples on these markets so Iíve gone with four players who at the prices to me represent a great bet to sit down and cheer on this season.

Iíd go as far as to say that I would be disappointed if the first fourfold at a shade under 7/1 hadnít landed by the end of January.

Iíve followed those four as bankers with variations on a further three riskier players, two of whom are still seeking their maiden ranking title but are getting closer as the seasons pass and the other who is usually reliable to produce the goods during what is an increasingly lengthy season.

I have steered clear of the obvious picks as youíd imagine Judd, Ronnie, Selby and Robertson will all get their hands on some silverware at some point this season, indeed in the case of Robbo, itís basically an annual tradition now for him.

If you do fancy going at the really short prices, you would have to factor in that Ronnie wonít be playing as much this season, indeed if his latest rant can be with taken with anything more than a pinch of salt heís planning to skip all three Ďtriple crowní events. Youíd also imagine that Judd will be a little more choosy now heís World Champion and that Selby and to a lesser extent Robbo will continue to pick and choose, but thatís more of a gamble.

So if you decide to have a play head over to Black Type or Ladbrokes/Corals to see what you can find, my bets are below. Remember these are ranking events only, The Masters and any other invitational events donít count.

Recommended Season Specials (all with Black Type Bet):

Fourfold pays over 13/2 on John Higgins, Kyren Wilson, Mark Williams and Mark Allen.

Fivefold pays over 21/1 on those four plus Jack Lisowski.

Sixfold pays over 35/1 on those five plus Stuart Bingham.

Sevenfold pays over 121/1 on those six plus Dave Gilbert.
  
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Thumbs up Snookerbacker - 06-14-2019, 11:29 AM

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Snookerbacker
June 13, 2019
Tipping Point
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News ó snookerbacker @ 6:43 pm
There has been a noticeable rise lately in the number of snooker tipsters on social media. Tipsters exist in all sports so there is no reason whatsoever that snooker should be any different, but the way itís increased lately, particularly in what Iíd term the Ďwet behind the earsí brigade, has awoken me from my semi-blog-retirement to recount my own experiences in this area, and hopefully offer some advice to those new to these shark-infested waters.

It may or may not interest you to know that I have never called or considered myself a snooker tipster. This is not the reason that I set up this website many years ago. My passion, if you can call it that, as well as snooker itself, was always the writing side of things and Iíd been more or less bullied, in the nicest possible way on the old Betfair Snooker Forum to set it up, no doubt because everyone on there was sick of me and wanted to chat amongst themselves without me sticking my oar in all the time.

Indeed, the name of the site (Originally Ė Top Drawer Ė The Snookerbacker Blog) was only named as such because that was the name I chose at random for my Betfair handle, I was a backer not a layer, a lover not a fighter and it seemed obvious to me that simply carrying this over onto a new and different site would bring my online friends from Betfair here with me, which it duly did. A happy by-product of my chosen name (or as many have laughably referred to it in the past Ďmy brandí) was the double meaning it gave later to my ambitious 5 year amateur tournament adventure backing grass roots snooker. This was purely by accident.

As I rambled on and on, sometimes posting several blogs daily, it became apparent from the increasingly busy comments section on here that it was gaining quite a following. The early obsession with Ďhitsí and Ďvisitorsí which all bloggers have came and went and people seemed to enjoy what they were reading as much as I was enjoying writing it, but soon the questions started being asked by my original chums, those who put me up to it in the first place Ė Ďthis is good and all that, but errrmm, whereís the tips snookerbacker?í

So, the almost accidental, and largely reluctant fall into writing previews for snooker events and accompanying them with bets began, with me trying as best I could to carry on enjoying the writing side of things while putting my neck on the line with my supposed in-depth knowledge of the sport.

To be fair, it started pretty well, and I have to say at this point that it was becoming rather enjoyable writing up conclusions and seeing the winners roll in, the very definition of beginners luck was happening to me. Of course there were bad calls, which inevitably brought about the odd, literally, negative comment.

One particular call that stands out was a recommended bet on Sam Baird in a World Championship qualifying match in the early days which he impressively managed to lose 10-0. This brought about probably my favourite insult of all time when one person, who had presumably been convinced enough by my rationale on Samís credentials to carry off a comfortable win and not lose 10-0 to follow me in accordingly with his pocket money, decided that he wanted me to ĎDIE in a house fire in my wheelchair clutching my benefit bookí, quite why he dreamt this very specific scenario up Iíll never know, but suffice to say it didnít happen, well not yet anyway.

It turned out that a very nice member of Samís family contacted me not long after the match to tell me heíd been in bed with flu in the week before the match. To be fair, I have met Sam a few times since those days and he always seems to have a cold, but how was I to know that then?

Anyway, where was I? Before I start losing the point and getting all rose-tinted about the good old days. Oh yes, thatís it, the pressures that tipping brings.

I was beginning to get interest from bookmakers wanting to advertise on the site and unlike now, in those days they were quite prepared to pay a decent sum of money for this once they saw the traffic this place was getting and the customers it could get for them in a market that was at this point just emerging in the early days of Barry Hearnís dictatorÖI mean leadership. However, this increased the gambling focus of the site and with that came a more intense period of tipping up matches and tournaments, to such an extent that it was almost expected on a daily basis and the level of subsequent thought going into the bets diminished accordingly.

Coupled with this and a massively increased amount of traffic, people Iíd never encountered before were starting to demand I publish my profits and losses even though Iíd never reached into anyoneís pocket to tell them to back my tips, nor asked anyone for any subscription fee of any kind and I really couldnít be arsed, but the inevitable accusations then began that I was Ďcovering upí and Ďhiding somethingí (quite what I donít know) and that I was Ďin bed with the bookiesí, which I most definitely wasnít as I always demanded a flat fee up front for any deal and not, unlike some I have heard about, who stood to gain more by people following in any losers they flagged up Ė the old Ďprofit shareí payment agreements, I was always, and remain, on the side of the punters.

I didnít really like where this was beginning to head to be honest and my honeymoon period was definitely over.

You have to remember that this was at a time when very few snooker websites existed and in terms of blogs, I was beginning to be talked about in the same sentence as Dave Hendonís pioneering Snooker Scene Blog, where people went for in-depth behind the scenes news and the legendary Pro Snooker Blog, which was the information and rankings bible for anoraks. The only difference was that my clientele came for toilet humour and degenerative gambling. I did however consider myself, almost certainly delusionally, as one of the golden triangle of snooker bloggers and now it was all beginning to fall on its arse because of betting.

Anyway, as the sleepless nights worrying about flagging up losers and wondering where the next winner was coming from increased my lack of enjoyment, a saviour arrived in shape of a blog follower called Mark who offered to do all the profit and loss maths for me and send me a chart every time it needed updating, all I had to do was put it on here and not worry about people asking stuff like that anymore, he also reassured me that heíd checked already and that I was holding my own with reputable tipsters heíd encountered in other sports, so that made life a little easier and my deflated ego feel a little more stroked.

So in conclusion, to the new breed of tipster that has started inhabiting the old bogs and cesspits in which I used to forage and emerge stinking of shit, I can offer some advice and observations gained from experience, mostly because I have either done, or at least considered doing, all of them. You can take the advice if you like, you can ignore it, I really donít give a toss, but here it is.

You are never profiting as much as you think you are, take a step back, if you tip on things just because they are happening you can never win in the long term, you have to be selective and be prepared to leave whole events alone if nothing takes your fancy.
Donít cry when you lose, donít make excuses, donít claim that the match was bent and definitely donít personally insult the player that lost. Oh and (quite specific this one) donít claim that a fellow tipster was lucky to select a massive priced winner because youíd done the research and it shouldnít have won, that can only make you look stupid and the other tipster look even better.
Donít take it, or yourself, too seriously, most rational people understand that you lose more than you win, in terms of quantity of bets. In my case that happened a lot and the reason I remain in decent profit year on year is that the winners are quality over quantity when it comes to the prices. In other words, nobody rational cares if you win or lose a few quid backing 20 short prices if you bag them a big winner every few weeks. On a personal level, at the end of this, the best you can hope for is that people respect your opinion if not always listening to it, the next best is that you are forgotten and not ridiculed and hated by the people you led astray with your awful tips. The worst does not bear thinking about.
Unless you have a tried and thoroughly tested method which is solidly based on mathematical theory, donít even think about charging for tips because you think youíve got it sussed. You havenít, you will end up stressed out, looking stupid and people wonít trust you ever again.
Even if you think you are having a fair strike rate on a certain event, donít go down the subscription route, refer back to Point 1 and read all these points again.
Anyway, itís largely been fun being a reluctant tipster, with the occasional Ďoh **** itís time to end it all, whereís the matches, oh **** they are in my other wheelchair with the benefit book iní moment to spice it up. But Iíve definitely noticed a change of tone amongst those doing the tipping recently and Iím glad I did it when I did as I think youíd need either nerves of steel, a masochistic personality, a never ending supply of hard drugs or probably all three to take it on at the level I did. Iíll factor in that I think betting on snooker is much more difficult now than it was when I started out, so youíll probably need more drugs.

Just remember, when the fun stops, make sure that big winner isnít far away or youíre ****ed.

Here endeth the lesson.
  
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Thumbs up Snookerbacker - 07-25-2019, 03:50 AM

http://www.snookerbacker.com/2019/07...MNP1Q9DIPmtp7Q

July 25, 2019
Itís Snooker Time!
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News ó snookerbacker @ 11:09 am

Snooker: A*, Model Painting A*, History: U

This weekend sees the return of competitive snooker on Eurosport as the potters, well some of them at least, head over again to Riga in Latvia for the Riga Masters.

The qualifiers for this were held about a month ago and since the Snooker World Cup, which I didnít watch a ball of, itís been a welcome break to allow both players and fans to regroup and look forward to the months ahead on the baize.

Despite it being holiday season, there are still a few big names who have decided to make the trip. Mark Selby will be attempting to put a fairly miserable season last time behind him and rediscover his winning ways early doors, Mark Williams is going there not having picked up his cue for a month, which he said when he won The World Open last season too, and Neil Robertson, fresh from his realisation that Chernobyl was actually real also adds prestige, if not an in depth understanding of political and nuclear history, to the starting line up.

But this has to be seen as a chance for some of the lower ranked players to pick up a bit of pocket money to help them on their way to another busy season, despite the fact that there are mutterings afoot that not all those lower down the rankings are that happy with the way the calendar is beginning to shape up.

There does seem to be an increasing move toward invitational events with the odd free for all car boot sale so beloved of Ronnie OíSullivan falling by the wayside. You donít want to go upsetting those numpties too much Bazza, theyíve been propping the purse strings up for the last few years.

Ronnie himself as we know has vowed to not play in any of the Triple Crown events this season, which I will believe when I see it, instead opting for the likes of the Champions Cup (Champion of Champions) and the Regal Welsh (Welsh Open) to dazzle us with his brilliance, though Iíd say weíll definitely see him at Ally Pally in January and probably also at The Crucible, for his annual meltdown.

Iím going to be flitting in and out of tournaments this season and other than the three big ones Iíll not be going too heavy on the old gambling, unless something really stands out. Iíll bash up a couple of recommended outright bets for these lesser tournaments, but with the best of sevens back in town here, no match betting for me until the longer matches come around again.

Recommended Outright Bets (all E/W): Ali Carter (18/1), Joe Perry (25/1), Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (33/1), Lyu Haotian (66/1).

Enjoy if you are tuning in, here is the Eurosport schedule.

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format
  
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Thumbs up Snookerbacker - 08-02-2019, 07:17 AM

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August 2, 2019
International Championship
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News ó snookerbacker @ 12:01 pm

Mark wonít want to let go of the vase

The International Championship burst onto the snooker calendar a few years ago with record breaking prize money and it remains one of the most prestigious tournaments in terms of cash prizes around, it gets underway on Sunday in Daqing where Mark Allen defends the title he won 12 months ago.

There are 8 heldover matches from the qualifiers kicking things off, these include Allenís potential banana skin against Peter Lines and recent Riga Masters Champion Yan Bingtaoís opener against Alfie Burden.

It is also the first outing of the season for the World Champion Judd Trump, who comes into this as favourite, something that heís going to have to get used to every time he lines up from now on, such is the expectancy following his dazzling Crucible performance.

As you would expect itís a high quality field with only OíSullivan missing from the big hitters so it will be very interesting to see who has been putting the hours in over the extended break and who has got a decent tan and a dusty cue case.

Itís always difficult to gauge form this early in the season but in the seven years this has been running it has only really produced one eyebrow raising winner, Ricky Walden (remember him?) back in 2014, from outside the upper echelons of the game, with Trump, Higgins, Selby and Allen sharing the other titles, so history tells us that youíd have to gamble that the winner will be someone with proven trophy pedigree and not from the lower ranks. The big question of course is who will be taking home the vase, I mean trophy?

In the top quarter, assuming Allen doesnít slip on that banana skin early on youíd have to give him a favourites chance of reaching the semi-finals given heíd have a very winnable path to the last eight. In Quarter two, you have a few big hitters in the shape of John Higgins, who has already lifted the World Cup this season and has form here, recent Pink Ribbon winner Stuart Bingham and lurking at the bottom of the quarter, Neil Robertson, who I am assured will turn up on time for this one. It will also be interesting to see if Shaun Murphy can get back to anything like any form this early in the season at fancy prices in the outrights, but the bad news is that heís in probably the toughest section of the draw.

Quarter three would usually be an automatic tick in the Mark Selby box, but until he starts playing like Mark Selby again I think Iíd give him a wide berth and for me this is the section that could produce a semi-finalist from a little lower down the ranks, Crucible semi-finalist Dave Gilbert perhaps. The bottom quarter is where Judd opens his account for the season and heís seeded to meet another member of the Riga Careless Crew Kyren Wilson in the semi-finals but there are obstacles for both along the way if there is any rustiness there. It will be interesting to see how Judd reacts to his new status of the man they all want a shot at, itís a whole new ball game for him this season.

So, itís potentially a very decent week of snooker ahead and it is of course all covered on Eurosport, Iíll back a couple to low stakes for some interest and just use this as an assessment early on of who might be looking good for a decent season.

Recommended Bets: (All E/W) Mark Allen @20/1, Stuart Bingham @22/1, Dave Gilbert @40/1, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh @190/1. Quarter Betting Doubles/Trebles/Acca on Allen, Bingham, Gilbert and K.Wilson, acca pays 749/1 at Ladbrokes.

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