AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
November 23, 2018
UK Championship Preview
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — snookerbacker @ 10:29 am

It’s a great time of year for snooker fans this as we all shift attention to The Barbican in York for the UK Championship, the first of the BBC events this season and only a few short weeks later the other side of Christmas we have The Masters, for which the final field of 16 will be decided in York.

There is a lot of talk amongst snooker fans that the UK isn’t the event that it used to be. Indeed, I myself feel a bit less excited about it than I used to, the eroding of the match lengths and the flat 128 draw to me make it feel a bit less prestigious, but weigh that against the excellent venue, apart from the Sports Hall, and the fact that the BBC give it some airtime (though again not as much as they used to) and it is what it is.

As you’d expect, all the big names are involved and once we get past the first three rounds (or as Ronnie prefers to refer to them, the Numpty Rounds) things will begin to take shape. Looking at the draw, the main protagonists all seem on paper to have a strong chance of making the latter stages but I’m sure we’ll see someone take on the mantle of David ‘Amazing’ Grace a few years back and go deep when you least expect.

I’m firmly of the opinion however that we’re not going to see an unexpected name lift the trophy at the end, the draw simply can’t allow it as the players who come good in major events are mainly keeping out of each others way until the last 16 or in some cases the last 8. I’ve looked at each quarter individually below and given my usual masterful, crystal-ballesque insight.

Quarter One:

The holder Ronnie O’Sullivan is a firm favourite to make the semi-finals and you have to say that the draw has been particularly generous to The Rocket. His form is rock solid and he’s winning and knocking in tons for fun so he is definitely the man to beat here. On balance I’d say the two players with the best chance of doing that in this section are Jack Lisowski and Shaun Murphy. Last year’s runner-up Murphy is in desperate need of a run in this to get into the ranking events later in the season as he is languishing currently at 54th in the one year list and struggling to find his game, conversely, Lisowski is flying and continuing where he left off last season and is assured of his place in at least 2 of the Coral series of events. If Jack ends up playing Ronnie in the last 16 I think he’ll run him close and from there anything is possible. The prices on Murphy being quoted at some firms are bordering on farce and are worth a punt regardless, but on balance this quarter should go with the seedings.

Predicted Quarter Outcome: O’Sullivan to beat Murphy in the Last 8.

Quarter Two:

Another who seems to have benefited from a pleasant draw is John Higgins, as if he needs it. I can’t see any issues that he can’t overcome prior to a quarter final meeting with Judd Trump, the only potential banana skin for me being Liam Highfield. Man of the moment Judd will be buoyed by his win in Belfast and hungry to add another major to his CV, he has form here of course and something tells me that the win last week will get that pesky monkey off his back and he too will fly through to a quarter final match up with Higgins, with only Ryan Day who I feel might have something to say about that. I really fancy Higgins to go deep in this and add this title to his list of major successes.

Predicted Quarter Outcome: Higgins to beat Trump in the Last 8.

Quarter Three:

The bottom half of the draw to me looks much more competitive than the top half. There are a multitude of possible outcomes and my guess is that if we are to see a ‘shock’ semi finalist it will come from this half of the draw. The obvious name that stands out is of course Mark Selby, he’s looking a bit more like Mark Selby these past few weeks rather than the Mark Selby who has been doing an impersonation of Mark Selby for much of the last year or so but without the winning titles bit. His path to the last 8 though isn’t easy and amongst others he’ll have to possibly tackle the in form Dave Gilbert, who could be the man to be on at a huge price if you fancy an upset this year. Other live contenders in this section are Barry Hawkins and Judd’s best mate Kyren Wilson, both with proven big stage pedigree, I’d be surprised if the quarter final from this section didn’t feature two of the names mentioned here, which includes the four times I mentioned Mark Selby, OK five times.

Predicted Quarter Outcome: Selby to beat Hawkins in the Last 8.

Quarter Four:

Another fairly open quarter which involves the in-form Mark Allen and snooker’s newest international playboi Mark Williams. Drinker and part-time snooker world champion Williams has said that he’s not arsed if a) he doesn’t win another match all season and b) he isn’t ranked number one in the world. He’s as mad as a hatter so he’s probably telling the truth. Allen will be coming here on the back of a disappointing homecoming in Belfast after his most recent triumph in China and I’d say he’s favourite for this section of the draw on his current form. Neil Robertson is coming back to form too so it would be no surprise to see him at the business end again at a venue that I know he enjoys and for me his predicted last 16 with Allen holds the key to the winner of this quarter, with possibly Stephen Maguire coming through to meet the winner in the quarter final.

Predicted Quarter Outcome: Robertson to beat Maguire in the Last 8.

You can play around with the draw here to arrive at your outright conclusions.

You can view the match schedule here.

Recommended Bets: John Higgins to win the UK Championship at 11/1. Each Way – Dave Gilbert (250/1), Neil Robertson (22/1), Shaun Murphy (55/1 – Boosted) and Jack Lisowski (40/1).

Quarter Winners Acca: O’Sullivan, Higgins, Selby and Robertson pays 114/1.

Match bets will be posted when the championship gets underway.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

November 30, 2018
The UK Championship – The BBC comes to town
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — snookerbacker @ 10:31 am


It’s that time of year again when Joe Public in the UK thinks the snooker season starts. Yes, the first BBC coverage of the six month old season gets underway tomorrow in York with the last 64 of the UK Championship.

I’ve had a lovely time this week, we’ve just rescued another hound so I’ve decided to stay at home for the duration of this event, apart from a couple of days next week when I’m heading there, and I’ve been watching the excellent live streaming on Eurosport Player.

The reason it’s been so enjoyable is because firstly, there is no commentary, just the relaxing clicking of the balls and polite audience applause and secondly, they leave the cameras rolling all day so you really get a sense of what it’s like to be there.

If I could wish one thing it would be that they did this for all events; that we at least had the option of watching and listening and just interpreting the action on our own instead of being subjected at times to inane babbling and daft catchphrases and jokes as old as Anthony Hamilton’s trousers. That’s what I want for Christmas.

But for all that, I do still look forward to the BBC coming back, granted my sense of heightened anticipation is more or less done the minute Dennis opens his mouth but there’s still something nostalgic about it all, like slipping on a comfy old pair of fluffy slippers and having a mug of tea while listening to Val Doonican’s greatest hits, we all love a bit of nostalgia don’t we? No? Just me then? Oh well.

The first round has thrown up two big shocks, firstly Mark Selby continuing his ongoing York-based nightmare and getting pumped by James Cahill and secondly, the woefully out of form Shaun Murphy falling to the Chinese player Chen Feilong. Both big surprises and even more so when you see that Murphy was seemingly coasting at 3-1 up then managed to lose five on the bounce.

This prompted one particular poster on Twitter to suggest that Shaun pursue a different career, which I’d suggest is a little harsh given he’s made quite a bit of bunce out of knocking balls around with a stick, he’s even got one of those mowers that you sit down on, that’s how you know life is going well. Anyway, I’m sure Shaun won’t follow this well-meaning chap’s advice, instead he’ll probably double his effort in an attempt to silence the critics. Failing that he can always wave to them from his sit-down mower.

All the other big names are through though Anthony McGill counted himself out of the race to The Masters with a defeat, with Jack Lisowski still in the driving seat for the 16th spot as things stand and the likes of Ali Carter, Marco Fu, Joe Perry and Dave Gilbert in hot pursuit and Maguire, Brecel and Day (also out) still not certain of their starting place at Ally Pally.

I’ll be posting match bets on Twitter and anyone who has been following will know that it’s been a pretty good week on the punting front, particularly yesterday, we were also just one frame shy of landing a whopper from the main preview, I’ll be having stern words with Eden Sharav next time I see him. The main acca only missed out because Ken Doherty rolled back the years and he now meets Ronnie on Sunday afternoon, I wonder if he can raise his game again?

Here is also a look at the latest standings in the Tipster Contest, the exit of Selby hitting a lot of those involved with a hammer blow.

The match schedule can be found here. Over to you Hazel….


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

Quote .

" Snookerbacker
December 3, 2018
UK Championship Last 32
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — snookerbacker @ 11:40 am

Ronnie’s been at it again

It’s time to say goodbye to the Sports Hall as all the players now move into the 4 table main arena for the Last 32 of the UK Championship, with 8 matches played today and the remaining ones tomorrow.

It’s been an eventful few days not just on the table, but as ever off it.

First off we heard the news about Cao Yupeng and Yu De Lu. This pair of cheats have been coining it in at the expense of punters by fixing matches all over the shop, rightly they have both received lengthy bans, in the case of De Lu probably a career ending one, whilst Cao seems to have plea bargained by dobbing in a few of the others so hopefully we can expect more of them to be rooted out, as I’m pretty certain there are more than just the two of them who have been at it for substantial personal gain.

Then John Higgins said he was considering retiring at the end of the season following his loss to Alan McManus. He was really down in the dumps and seems to have totally fallen out with the sport. The obvious solution to me would seem to have a few months off and try and prepare for the World Championship, but perhaps the thought of trying his heart out there only to fall short at the end for the third year running is what is behind his current mood, we’ll see.

Not to be outdone by us talking about someone else for five minutes, the man grabbing the headlines back again is Ronnie. Old Rent-a-Gob is outdoing himself this week and has been telling anyone who’ll listen that he’s ready to make a move away from the current tour and form his own lucrative one in China. He seems oblivious to what Higgins said after his match as he claims he’s on board with him as well as ‘a few others who are fed up with the current set up’, so it sounds like they’ll be playing a lot of round robins and seeing quite a lot of each other.

He also claimed that De Lu and Cao were harshly treated, which is of course absolutely ridiculous. Barry Hearn rightly served him with a public rap on the knuckles for this and seems on the face of it to be getting a bit sick of his constant babbling, aren’t we all?

On the table we’ve seen a few shocks, notably Higgins, but also some fine performances, notably from Neil Robertson who staged a marvellous comeback against Un-Nooh and from Dave Gilbert who knocked in four tons in his defeat of Peter Ebdon, another who is considering retirement at the end of the year, along with Dominic Dale, there will be none of them left at this rate.

We’ve also seen the debut of Shaun ‘Ten Jobs’ Murphy on the BBC team. He’s slotted right in and is already kitted out in the regulation knitwear favoured by the team, though Alan McManus, ever the rebel, broke ranks yesterday with a patterned cravat, making him look quite the dandy Scotsman of the team. Get you Angles.

Here is the draw as it stands and you can have a look at the schedule here.

RECOMMENDED LAST 32 BET – 4 FOLDS AND AN ACCUMULATOR ON ALL THESE MATCHES TO HAVE OVER 9 FRAMES: Bingtao/Wilson, Ford/McManus, Carter/Maguire, Pengfei/O’Donnell, Bingham/Gilbert – acca pays around 29/1.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
A belated post from our friend Snookerback but it's ok to back track and look forward to the future :

Quote .

December 9, 2018
The UK Championship Final
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — snookerbacker @ 11:27 am
It’s the final of the UK Championship today as the defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan takes on the Masters champion Mark Allen, assuring us again of a very familiar name being engraved on the trophy this season, O’Sullivan aiming for a record number of UK titles, while Allen hopes to add his first to his CV.

You would probably say on balance that these have been the best two players in the tournament, but they’ve had very different paths here, with Ronnie coasting to his victories after a scare from Ken Doherty against players, other than world number 16 Jack Lisowski, all outside of the higher ranks. Allen on the other hand has had a much tougher path and has had to take care of Neil Robertson, Stephen Maguire and Stuart Bingham to get here.

The big question is whether Allen will bring his trademark fighting spirit to the table against not just the best, but the most intimidating player in the world. Ronnie seems to have such a hold over some players that he’s more or less got a three frame start before the off, but you’d like to think that Allen is in an elite bunch of players that this doesn’t apply to.

Their head to head confirms this. The most recent meeting between to the two came in Allen’s march to the Masters with a very convincing 6-1 victory over The Rocket and indeed over the years, just one match and two frames seperate them in the seven matches they have played.

I’m going to stick my neck out today and go for Allen. I think the 5/2 available on him to win is decent given their most recent meeting and the fact that the Northern Irishman is in sensational form. I also think if he does win he’ll win with a bit to spare so there are some decent handicap odds around if you agree.

As well as the final, today sees the draw for The Masters, which no doubt will be live on the BBC to varying degrees of ooooo’s and aaaaaahhh’s from the audience when the matches are called out.

The top eight in the seeding list below will be randomly drawn against the players seeded 9-16 in the opening round draw.

Mark Allen (Holder)
Mark Williams (World Champion)
Mark Selby
Ronnie O’Sullivan
John Higgins
Judd Trump
Barry Hawkins
Ding Junhui
Neil Robertson
Kyren Wilson
Shaun Murphy
Stuart Bingham
Ryan Day
Stephen Maguire
Luca Brecel
Jack Lisowski
The Scottish Open starts tomorrow but I’ll not be covering that on here, just all a bit too congested and it’s nearly Christmas."


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
January 17, 2019
The Masters Quarter Finals
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — snookerbacker @ 7:15 am

Quote .

" With eight of the original sixteen still left it’s now time to move on to the Quarter Finals of this great tournament. The first round produced quite a few moments of drama and the odd shock with notable early fallers including the defending champion Mark Allen and four times World Champion John Higgins who both lost in deciders. So who can make it to the last four?

Click on the match for the head to head stats.

Luca Brecel v Ding Junhui (17th Jan – 7pm)

A match up between two players who’ve not really been quite themselves this season but one of them will find himself in the semi-finals after this. Luca produced the goods in the first round against Mark Allen but his big issue has always been maintaining that high standard consistently. Ding put in a workmanlike performance in Round 1 against a hapless Jack Lisowski but on first round form he’ll need to step up a gear here to win. Luca appears from his interviews to have a new hunger for the game, he’s had issues with his cue and his shoulder that now both appear to be sorted and it also seems that he’s been a little hurt by criticism on social media that he doesn’t practice very much, so much so that he’s decided to do the sensible thing and bin it. Ding however looks happy and incredibly relaxed, the family life clearly suits him and as ever when he gets going he is absolutely devastating in the balls. I’ve ummed and aaared on this one as I initially thought Luca would step up and win, but as the hours have passed I’ve now come to my senses, experience wins here and that has to be Ding.

Prediction: Ding to win 6-3

Ryan Day v Ronnie O’Sullivan (17th Jan – 1pm)

Not for the first time in my life I was called ‘careless’ the other day, this time it was by the World Champion, who said that I was careless for not noticing how often Ryan Day wins deciders in one visit, as he did against John Higgins on day one. I’ll admit it’s a trend that I hadn’t noticed and I still haven’t checked the validity of Mark Williams’ claims, so if anyone would like to I am happy to accept the tag. Ronnie, by his own standards was not fizzing in round one but we’re getting so used to him looking unbeatable it’s a surprise when he only knocks in a couple of tons in a match, his opponent Stuart Bingham for whatever reason just didn’t turn up and Ronnie simply went about his business to win in a canter. Surprisingly, these two haven’t met in anything meaningful since 2011 and Day has in fact won their last two meetings, but back then Ronnie’s chimp was totally out of it’s box and causing carnage wherever it went, he’s a different kettle of chimps these days and I expect him to do the job here, he’ll probably lose the first frame again though

Prediction: O’Sullivan to win 6-3

Mark Selby v Judd Trump (18th Jan 1pm)

Two players coming into this in good form and without doubt on paper this is the tie of the round. Judd ditched the naughty snooker in dispensing with Kyren in round 1, the first four frames were as good as I have seen him play in terms of maturity and matchplay, he looked determined, played the right shots on all occasions and was ruthless in punishing Kyren’s carelessness. Selby started to be Selby again in his match against Maguire, tons for fun and looking like he’s getting his game back in shape just in time for the run up to Sheffield, where this year I think he’ll be the man to beat. It’s surprising how few times these two have met in anything meaningful, but where they have it’s 3-3, with Trump winning all three they have played over more than best of nine. It’s so difficult to predict what will happen here and in terms of a bet I’d say it’s a just sit and watch it match rather than wasting your money. I’ll side with Trump because he has the look of someone who means business this week and you have to factor in that Selby hasn’t been as consistent as him this season.

Prediction: Trump to win 6-4

Barry Hawkins v Neil Robertson (18th Jan 7pm)

I’m really looking forward to this one. The Hawk was clinical in putting away Shaun Murphy in round one, who like Bingham, Lisowski and Wilson seemed to fall apart at the seams when faced with the Ally Pally crowd. Robbo looked very impressive from 3-1 down against Williams and in full flow it’s very difficult to see him missing at times, if he keeps up the kind of form he showed in winning those last five frames I fancy him to make the final this week. Barry tends to save his best for the big occasions and it doesn’t get much bigger than this so this is an intriguing match up. Hawkins got the better of the two in last season’s China Open semi-final but in meaningful matches Robbo holds a slight advantage, their most famous encounter saw a 13-12 win for Barry at The Crucible in 2015 and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if this one goes the distance too, but on first round form, it’s Robbo for me.

Prediction: Robertson to win 6-4 "


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

Quote .

" Snookerbacker
January 19, 2019
The Masters Semi-Finals
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — snookerbacker @ 7:51 am
Well, that was fun while it lasted. Anyone who has been keeping up to date with all things snooker on Twitter this week will have seen the centuries bet I requested gain some momentum, but alas, last night saw the end of the 66/1 dream as Neil Robertson and Barry Hawkins failed to muster up a ton between them, but at least you are spared me going on about it forever and a day so every cloud…..

It’s a stellar line up for the last four as you’d expect from The Masters. Ronnie O’Sullivan remains a strong favourite to lift the Paul Hunter trophy on Sunday and while he’s not been at his sparkling best he’s not yet been troubled and has eased his way through, he plays Ding Junhui (head to head here) who came through a decider against Luca Brecel in the last round which included of course the three miss frame forfeit on his part.

These two met in the famous final here back in 2007 when the London racists were out in force and made Ding cry. The crowd are getting rowdier and rowdier as the weekend approaches with one particular absolute helmet having to be removed as he shouted ‘Barry’ for the millionth time, clearly an oxygen thief with a very limited vocabulary.

Ding is a totally different human being these days and in both his walk-ons he’s come down the steps with a big smile on his face and fist-pumping people who aren’t even asking for one, I swear he fist pumped someone’s head the other day, hopefully it was the racist from 12 years ago. Anyway, he’s clearly in a very good place mentally at the moment and while his game isn’t as sharp as it might be, his bonce is bang on the money.

Ronnie gave a strange interview to his pals at Eurosport the other day, seemingly a little frosty early on towards Colin Murray whilst almost sitting on top of a stoic Alan McManus, who looked at one point like Ronnie’s ventriloquist dummy with The Rocket’s arm lodged up his backside, but eventually Ronnie released a clearly relieved Angles and let him sit undisturbed once he got his mouth into gear. It’s as close to unhinged as we’ve seen him in a while but on the table his chimp is definitely in its box eating bananas rather than swinging from the TV lights in a tyre throwing shit at the referee. I can see a better performance from him today and perhaps a couple of tons, I’ll go with 6-3 to O’Sullivan. His old pal Andy Goldstein is back today as Colin heads off to the footy so his interview later will probably be less of a spectacle, much to Alan’s relief.

In the other semi-final Judd Trump takes on his Grove stablemate Neil Robertson (head to head here). They last met here in 2016 when Judd won in a decider and there won’t be many out there who won’t be expecting another close one tonight in what I’m sure will be a real ‘Saturday night’ atmosphere in London, god help us.

Judd has definitely looked a lot more solid this week and is keeping the naughty snooker to the bare minimum, only occasionally showing signs that he’d like to really lamp one. He’s been working hard on his game and practising more than ever and it’s clearly paying off, he’s getting the game that he needs to have now to be any threat in Sheffield and his fans, while missing the old Judd, will I’m sure be hoping new Judd keeps this winning attitude going.

By a similar token, Robbo is regaining his form and looks to be approaching something like his best as we move into the juicy part of the season. How he didn’t make at least one ton against Barry is beyond me but the main thing (for him at least) is that he’s winning a lot of frames in one visit, something that Judd is perhaps not doing as regularly as he is so I’m thinking that might be the difference between the two today.

In terms of a prediction, I’ll take Robbo to edge it 6-4 and set up a final against O’Sullivan, in terms of a bet, a bit of interest only for me as I deflate from the excitement I’ve been having since day one, those 66/1 pokes don’t come round too often….

Recommended Bet: Double pays just over 11/2 on O’Sullivan to make more than 1 century and Robertson to win. "


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

January 20, 2019
Masters Final
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — snookerbacker @ 7:38 am

Quote .

" I’m not going to waffle on about this, we’ve potentially a riveting final in store between Ronnie and Judd and hopefully it will showcase snooker to the wider audience in the best possible way.

It’s fair to say that Judd has as good a record against Ronnie as most if not all other players on the tour, apart from Elliot Slessor, so it’s all set up to be a close run thing. Despite this, Ronnie is a heavy favourite with the bookies so if you fancy Judd to turn him over again there is a bit of value there.

Personally, I think whilst Judd will probably rise to the occasion, we are due a virtuoso display from the Rocket and part of me feels this is all geared up for the 147th 147 (25/1 at Boylesports). I’ve managed to predict all Ronnie’s correct scores this week and weirdly not for the first time. It’s a bit like when Muhammad Ali used to tell everyone how many rounds he’d take to knock someone out, except I do it for Ronald and it’s not boxing so the similarity is somewhat tenuous.

Needless to say I haven’t had a penny on any of them so today I’ll be investing in him to win 10-7 and lose. Let’s hope for a great final and weep that Hawkins and Robertson let that century bet down as if there isn’t one today I’ll eat my vegan hat. "


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

January 29, 2019
The German Masters
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — snookerbacker @ 7:00 am

The Templedrum

Most bloggers and fans will proclaim the German Masters to be one of their favourite events on the calendar. Having made the trip to Berlin myself I can confirm that there is a great atmosphere and packed crowds inside the Tempodrom (or if you are Phil Studd ‘The Templedrum’) with a unique table set up that offers the crowd a great viewing experience, so what’s not to like?

I ask this question as it’s become obvious to me over the years that whilst this is a firm favourite with fans, it’s not so for the players. They site a few quirks that they aren’t that happy with, the lighting levels on the outside tables and the fact that often the crowd near their table are busy watching (and clapping) shots from another match are often top of the list of moans but overall, for the viewing public both at the venue and at home, it’s a pretty entertaining few days.

The starting field for the qualifiers was pretty strong, though as ever Ronnie didn’t grace this one with his presence. Masters champion and the boy who would be king Judd Trump is here though and faces his first outing after being much touted by many in the know as the new ‘man to beat’ in snooker, his win in London even prompted some to talk of the great coronation, the new Davis/Hendry moment, when the pupil became the master and Judd finally assumed the mantle from O’Sullivan.

I’m not so sure I have to say. O’Sullivan had a howler in the final and it’s clear he was outplayed, but I really need to see more of this new style of play from Judd on a consistent basis before I believe that this new dawn isn’t another false one that we’ve seen now a few times from him. A win in similar style this week would go some way to really rubber-stamping his Crucible credentials so it’s interesting too from that viewpoint.

It’s a nice compact 32 man field this and my main focus from the betting point of view is trying to call Shaun Murphy home to complete this bet, he qualified for this before Xmas in some style, knocking in 8 tons in the 10 frames he won, but his subsequent performance at Ally Pally wasn’t that encouraging and I hope he finds what he had in December back soon or I fear he may be the man to let me down.

It will also be interesting to see if the Mark’s at either end of the draw can get their season going. World Champion Williams shows no signs of letting up on his kebab drizzled lifestyle while Selby clings on to the Number 1 spot like a one armed man clinging to the side of a skyscraper with no help in sight, with only a matter of time before the inevitable drop occurs.

One player I sense might have a decent week here is Ding Junhui, for me he looked pretty decent at The Masters and he at least looks like he’s enjoying it again now, which is of course half the battle with him, I’d also have a look at the 147th 147 man Dave Gilbert, who might be able to take advantage of a Selby wobble if it happens in his section of the draw. In the top half, I think Joe Perry stands a fighting chance in the top quarter after a fairly quiet season with Judd battling it out in the second quarter, though something tells me he won’t win it.

It’s covered on Eurosport from Wednesday and if you haven’t tuned in before, do so. It gets really pumped as the days go by.

Recommended Bets: Win – Ding Junhui (13/1 – Boosted), Each Way – Joe Perry (40/1), Dave Gilbert (100/1).

You can plot your own German Masters here, I will be posting match bets on Twitter of a morning.

Here’s the updated draw and format for the final stages of the 2019 German Masters at the Tempodrom in Berlin, following the completion of the qualifying rounds.

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

February 4, 2019
The World Grand Prix
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — snookerbacker @ 11:52 am
The snooker takes no rest and it’s now time for the World Grand Prix to take centre stage on ITV. This forms the first part of the three ‘Coral Series’ events, a new innovation this season, and pits together the top 32 players on the one season list (or to be more specific the 7 month list) in a 32 man knockout.

Ronnie O’Sullivan returns to competitive action following his dismantling by Judd Trump at The Masters, Judd however, rather than realising that he might have discovered a way to win consistently returned to his old habits in Berlin, whizzing and banging all over the shop in a homage to Naughty Snooker, something that he’s going to have to consign to the snooker history books if he’s going to ever be World Champion.

Ronnie plays Marco Fu tonight, I’ll have to admit I’m surprised to see Marco in this as I can’t remember seeing sight nor sound of him so far this season. He must have done well in something I took no notice of. Among other names that you might not usually expect to see in an event like this are Martin O’Donnell and Noppon Saengkham.

The MO’D is of course a huge favourite with myself, having been the first ever champion of the SB Classic, he’s really improved in all aspects of this game his season under the coaching of Ian McCulloch and he’s having a fantastic season, including of course that run to the Quarter Finals in the UK, he takes on Ali Carter in the first round. As for Thailand’s Noppon (aka the Palindomic Potter), he’s been ploughing away and is a prolific scorer, very much like his fellow countryman Thepchaiya Un-Nooh although nowhere near as quick, he faces John Higgins first up.

German finalists Kyren and Gilberto get a couple of days off and don’t play until Wednesday so fatigue shouldn’t be an issue for them, so all in all it’s an intriguing line up.

In terms of outright bets, the two I like in the top half are Mark Allen and Neil Robertson. Allen didn’t enter Germany and of course lost on Day 1 of his Masters defence, but prior to that he was playing the snooker of his life and I think a couple of bookies might have forgotten that and made a bit too much of his recent absence, at 12/1 he has to be backed.

Robbo is clearly ready to win again and surely it’s just a matter of time before he’s back with a trophy in his hand, whether it’s this week I don’t know as I do fancy Allen in that top half but he’s worth a few quid at 16/1.

In the bottom half, plenty will be looking at a Judd/Ronnie/Selby combo of the probable semi-finalists. But I’m going to take a punt on Barry Hawkins at 33/1, for no other reason than that he usually starts putting in the performances around about now, it might be a bit early and the draw isn’t easy to say the least but he’s worth a bit of shrapnel with Ronnie being far too short in the betting. It’s a while since Selby has been double figures but his inconsistency is still a concern so he’ll not be backed by me this time.

Unfortunately, this is a return to the best of seven format so that kind of takes the shine off it for me, I can’t see why they couldn’t make the matches a bit longer as it’s hardly a rammed schedule, it make the match betting too much of a lottery for me.

You can play around with the draw here.

The first round schedule is:

Monday February 4


Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Marco Fu
Mark Allen vs Gary Wilson
Barry Hawkins vs Ryan Day
Stuart Bingham vs Zhao Xintong

Tuesday February 5


Martin O’Donnell vs Ali Carter
Jimmy Robertson vs Dark Mavis
Mark Williams vs Yuan Sijun
Neil Robertson vs Xiao Guodong


Joe Perry vs Tom Ford
Stephen Maguire vs Mark King
Judd Trump vs Stuart Carrington
Jack Lisowski vs Ding Junhui

Wednesday February 6


Mark Selby vs Shaun Murphy
John Higgins vs Noppon Saengkham
David Gilbert vs Yan Bingtao
Kyren Wilson vs Matthew Stevens

Recommended Bets: Mark Allen 12/1, Neil Robertson 16/1, Barry Hawkins 33/1.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
February 26, 2019
Indian Open Preview (well sort of)
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — snookerbacker @ 8:30 am :

February 26, 2019
Indian Open Preview (well sort of)
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — snookerbacker @ 8:30 am

Captain Mohan – The Main Man.

Tragic circumstances surrounded the postponement of the Indian Open earlier in the season, but as promised, the World Snooker Tour returns to Kochi in the Kerala region of India for the short but sweet Indian Open, which starts on Wednesday.

There has been a rare two day break in the calendar following Thepchiaya Un-Nooh’s win in the Shootout. I didn’t watch much of it but what I did see didn’t offend me too much in terms of the action on the table, but off it the crowd of shaved chimps continues to annoy so it wasn’t something I was ever going to embrace again with open arms.

They add nothing with their primitive, repetitive and frankly meaningless chants. They remind me very much of hardcore jazz musicians, in that the noises they emit are pure enjoyment and genius to them, but an absolute load of ****ing bollocks to everyone else.

Before that, Judd Trump continued his namesake’s bid for world domination with another big trophy win in the World Grand Prix in Cheltenham. He’s truly the man to beat at the moment and appears to have the advantage over all the other main players, including O’Sullivan. It remains to be seen whether he can retain this form for the rest of the season but if he can, it’s surely the most justifiably fancied he’ll ever have been going into Sheffield.

Following that, another player who will really fancy his chances in Sheffield Neil Robertson, ran out the winner in Cardiff at the Welsh Open beating one of the favourites for this week Stuart Bingham in a great final.

At the other end of the spectrum, we continue to try and find out where Mark Selby has left his A Game, he’s leaving it late this year but he’s done similar in the past and turned up nigh on unbeatable at The Crucible so it would be folly to write him off as a big contender just yet.

At least he’s only looking for his A Game though, Shaun Murphy is half way through the alphabet and must be approaching the high Scrabble scorers when it comes to his current form. As ever, he’s been publicly lamenting his invisible game on the airwaves and explaining the negative effect that social media was having on him. In fact with this and his various ambassadorial and committee duties, plus of course his commentary work one wonders where he finds the time to put some practice in, perhaps there lies the problem, it’s usually the simplest solution that is the correct one after all.

‘I’m sure I left it round here somewhere’

Shaun is back in action this week and faces one of the Indian wildcards, Lucky Vatnani, who can play a bit and is double figure prices to beat him. Make no mistake, given that Shaun also recently lost to Adam Stefanow in a match in which he played at times like a man with no eyes and as a consequence also misses the China Open, any repeat of that form will see him on the way home no sooner than you can say Chicken Madras, or most likely he’ll just rock up to the commentary box to tell the others where they are all going wrong.

In terms of this week, the short best of seven format again presents an opportunity for a new name on a ranking trophy. The final of course is just the best of nine so this really is a whistlestop tour of the region before we head to Preston for the Players Championship, which should be a decent ‘Masters style’ 16 player event next week.

This event is usually available on the bookies sites and if you are really lucky you will be able to hear the in-country commentary. This is a thing of great beauty, unashamedly biased towards the home players, scathing in it’s criticism of ‘club standard’ snooker and totally populated by people called Captain who have wonderful facial hair.

There is also a rumour circulating that it will be covered on Eurosport Player, which at this time of year is well worth investing in on a month by month basis if you are an avid snooker fan, given that it’s only a few weeks to the World Championship qualifiers.

I make Bingham quite a strong favourite for this one, the draw he has is kind and it strikes me that he’s in great form, but at 6/1 I wouldn’t say he’s exactly value given the format. Instead I’ll plump for a few of the others each way and the first ranking win for Lisowski, all those below I think are capable of a decent week at long odds, including Un-Nooh who can be boosted to absurd odds at Ladbrokes if you are quick, like he is.

Recommended: Win – Jack Lisowski (11/1). Each Way – Luca Brecel (28/1) Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (60/1) and Sam Baird (160/1)

You can play around with the draw to select your outright picks here.

Click here for the format


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
March 4, 2019
The Players Championship
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — 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 what’s 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 it’s 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 O’Sullivan 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. It’s 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 O’Sullivan, 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 you’d 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 O’Sullivan (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.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member :

March 13, 2019
The Gibraltar Open – Who will Rule the Rock?
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — snookerbacker @ 10:16 am
It’s 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 it’s UK population wanted to cling to the EU, sadly for them that isn’t 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 I’ll be sitting this one out but I have had a few wagers on the outrights after a scan of the draw so I’ve 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.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

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

It’s all about the raaaannkings (photo credit Pete Burns)

We’re 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 we’ve 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 Llandudno’s Venue Cymru and sees the top eight players from this season’s 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 it’s 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 don’t think we’d 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 Taylor’s jokes.

As you would expect it’s an all star line up and I’d 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 it’s no real surprise that he hasn’t 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 won’t be too upset at missing out and he is still available at daft prices for Sheffield for anyone interested (I took 190/1 yesterday). He’s playing well enough to have a run there and played very well against Ronnie last time he was there back in 2016, he’s 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 it’s 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 latter’s 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 he’s 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 he’s to knock out the worst Australian impersonator since Michael Caine trying to be Chips O’Toole at the end of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

It’s 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 ‘not their fault’ 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 O’Sullivan vs Stuart Bingham (Tuesday 7pm and Wednesday 7pm)

Predicted First Round Winners: Allen, Robertson, Trump, O’Sullivan – fourfold pays nearly 6/1 at Black Type.

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

Recommended Enhanced Treble – Trump (-2.5), Robertson (-1.5) and O’Sullivan (-3.5) is 10/1 at Ladbrokes.

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

Special Bet – More than 2 centuries in every match, 50/1 at Ladbrokes.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

March 27, 2019
The China Open – The Crucible countdown begins
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — snookerbacker @ 7:25 am
The China Open has been staged in the country’s 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 I’m 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 it’s full steam ahead on here with regular World Championship Qualifier and Main Event previews.

It’s 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 O’Sullivan’s 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 ‘provisional number one’ rather than ‘actual number one’ for the briefest of periods. Selby or Williams would have to win the title to get that top slot back.

As usual, it’s 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 – John Higgins at 11/1, Barry Hawkins at 20/1. Each way – Jack Lisowski at 33/1, Lu Haotian at 250/1, Yuan Sijun at 160/1.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
April 16, 2019
It’s Judgement Time
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — 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.

I’ll 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. It’s a real show that they put on and it perfectly captures the drama of this nerve jangling finale. Rob’s 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 can’t 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 can’t 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 O’Connor (11am)
Michael Judge 0-0 James Cahill (11am)
Lu Ning 0-0 Scott Donaldson (5pm)
Matt Selt 0-0 Zhao Xintong(5pm)
Martin O’Donnell 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.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
April 16, 2019
It’s Judgement Time
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — 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.

I’ll 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. It’s a real show that they put on and it perfectly captures the drama of this nerve jangling finale. Rob’s 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 can’t 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 can’t 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 O’Connor (11am)
Michael Judge 3-6 James Cahill (11am)
Lu Ning 2-7 Scott Donaldson (5pm)
Matt Selt 2-7 Zhao Xintong(5pm)
Martin O’Donnell 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.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

April 24, 2019
World Championship Round Two
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — snookerbacker @ 3:07 pm
As the opening round draws to a close it’s 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.

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


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 Williams’ 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 wouldn’t 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 it’s fair to say that he’s 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 you’d be a fool to oppose him on his first round form, he’ll 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 Murphy’s 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 he’s right, but I detected some flaws in Murphy’s game that are still there, he wasn’t punished at all when he got a bit careless and that won’t happen here. I can only see one outcome in this and it has to be Robertson, comfortably.

Prediction: Robertson 13-6


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 he’s happy to get rid of, but he’d better not be too sick of it because there is every chance with the early exit of O’Sullivan that at the end of this he’ll be back there again. As for this match, I can’t see Gary getting too close, if it goes tactical which I’m 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 I’d 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 doesn’t always here. I’ve always thought both of these two are vulnerable in the two table set up and don’t 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 I’d have to plump for Ding, who like Selby, looks like a man with a weight lifted from him, but I’d 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 don’t really have to elaborate why he might think he is dreaming do I? It’s 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 he’d 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 Maguire’s heavier scoring. Cahill was knocking tons in for fun in the qualifiers but he didn’t get near one against Ronnie, despite some very good frame winning breaks. I’ll side with history here and plump for Maguire but I wouldn’t be surprised if Cahill gave a decent account of himself again.

Prediction: Maguire 13-9

RECOMMENDED BETS: Total Frames Treble – Williams/Gilbert Over 21, Robertson/Murphy Under 21, Ding/Trump Over 22 – 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.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

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

It’s 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 it’s fair to say even Nostradamus couldn’t have predicted this eight correctly.

Click on the match for the previous head to head meetings. Pick and choose the recommended bets if you’d 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 he’s 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 he’ll be delighted to hear that I’m 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 John’s 7 victories over Neil have come over the best of seven frames or less, when the frames rack up, it’s 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 ‘ten jobs’ Murphy in the last round. He’s 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 we’ll see the Aussie back at the one-table set-up again, after all it’s been long overdue. But I don’t 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 won’t 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 you’d told him he’d 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 I’d 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 it’s 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 I’m sure will just be there to give it a go and I would not be surprised at all if he pulled off the win, I’m not sure how this one will go, I’d 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.


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.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

May 2, 2019
World Championship Semi Finals
Filed under: Snooker Betting Snooker News — snookerbacker @ 10:02 am
It’s been a tournament of shocks so it’s no surprise that a couple of names that are still alive and kicking for the famous ‘one table situation’ are not ones that a lot of people will have expected.

I think it’s 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.

I’m 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.

I’ve 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 it’s far from the nailed on certainty that the bookies seem to want to have us believe. Let’s 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)