Snookerbacker

church66

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
1991 – Stephen Hendry (Quarter-Finalist). The Curse of the Crucible? Not on your nelly, the bookies laughed off this idea by making winning-machine Hendry a firm favourite to retain his title. But dark forces were at work as Brummie Biker Steve James unexpectedly ran over Hendry in the Quarter Finals. Scouser John Parrott was to take his one and only title defeating that man Jimmy White in the final.

1992-1996 – Stephen Hendry (Winner, Winner, Winner, Winner, Winner). There’s not really much more to add to that is there? Starts hot favourite every year and wins five on the bounce, beating Jimmy a further 3 times (don’t mention 1994) as well as Nigel Bond and Peter Ebdon. This was truly a period of pure dominance, the like of which we will probably never see again.

1997 – Stephen Hendry (Runner-Up). Hendry’s quest for a six-timer may have been what the bookies thought would happen, but the ever-popular and jovial Ken Doherty had other ideas and defied the odds to prevail 18-12 to let Stephen know for the first time what it felt like to be the runner-up.

1998 – Stephen Hendry (1st Round Loser). Hendry became only the second bookies favourite ever to lose in Round 1. His match up against Jimmy White giving Jimmy the chance to shine one last time against his old foe, unfortunately for him in the first, not the last round. Sadly for his millions of fans he couldn’t sustain the form and it was John Higgins who won his first world title and became instantly many people’s idea of the next man in line to dominate snooker, beating the valiant reigning champion Doherty in the final.

1999 – John Higgins (Losing Semi-Finalist). Holder of the UK Championship and the Masters as well as defending champion, Higgins was surely the one to break the Crucible Curse? But it wasn’t to be as Hendry returned to reclaim the rights to the decade that belonged to him, for once not as the bookies main man, he defeated Mark Williams to claim his record-breaking seventh title. What an amazing achievement this truly was from the sport’s greatest ever champion.

2000 – Ronnie O’Sullivan (1st Round Loser). A new name at the top of the bookies list was now materialising. But the explosive talent of Ronnie O’Sullivan, a marginal favourite in an open betting heat which also saw Higgins, Williams and Hendry well backed was beaten first round. Who by you may ask? Snookerbacker Classic Champion 2013, David Gray, that’s who. It was Welshman Mark Williams who was to claim his first World Championship with a win over fellow Taffy Matthew Stevens.

2001 – Ronnie O’Sullivan (Winner) / John Higgins (Runner-Up) – Joint Favourites. The bookies couldn’t split them and in the end only four frames could in a year that went true to form. O’Sullivan taking his first World Championship after his two closest contemporaries Higgins and Williams. Williams himself falling foul of the old Crucible Curse, losing in the second round to Joe Swail.

2002 – Ronnie O’Sullivan (Losing Semi-Finalist). Those bookies never learn do they? The Crucible Curse is real and Ronnie proved that again in 2002. He lost in the semi-finals to Hendry, who reached an incredible ninth world final. He couldn’t make it a historic Hendry the Eighth though and lost to Peter Ebdon in a dramatic decider to avenge his final defeat of 1996. This was to be Stephen’s last final, even he couldn’t maintain this level consistently anymore.

2003 – 2007 – Ronnie O’Sullivan (1st Round Loser/Winner/Losing Quarter Finalist/ Losing Semi-Finalist/Losing Quarter Finalist). Through the years Ronnie has proved himself the most prolific, least successful favourite in Crucible history. No other player has failed to justify favouritism more times than him. Only once in this five year sequence did he justify the punter’s confidence, making him, at least until recently, someone who was proving very costly to back at The Crucible. Two new champions in this era emerged in the form of Shaun Murphy in 2005 and Graeme Dott in 2006.
 

church66

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
2008 – John Higgins (Round 2 Loser). Higgins failed to justify the renewed faith the bookies put in him in 2008 and instead, Ronnie, now not quite the warm order he had been the previous 8 years was to claim his third crown, defeating Ali Carter in a fairly one-sided final, this continued a bad run for favourites during the Noughties.

2009 – Ronnie O’Sullivan (Round 2 Loser). This was the last year until his resurgence more recently that Ronnie started clear favourite, he lost early on again, this time in an epic match against Mark Allen. This meant that of the nine times Ronnie had started Crucible favourite with the bookies, he had only won the title twice. Perhaps he preferred being the underdog? John Higgins claimed the title a third time to draw level with O’Sullivan in championship wins.

Rocked Higgins in 2010.
Rocked Higgins in 2010.
2010 – John Higgins (Round 2 Loser). This was the year which saw Neil Robertson storm to victory and the pre-tournament favourite and defending champion get himself into something of a pickle with the newspapers. Steve Davis time-travelled in a DeLorean into this year from the 80’s to claim Higgins’ scalp in Round 2, which still remains an amazing Crucible tale. Robertson beat Graeme Dott in a marathon final, played unfortunately under something of a cloud in dark days for the sport. But in brighter news, his 14/1 triumph paid for a large chunk of mine and Mrs SB’s wedding making him a firm favourite of ours, even if he wasn’t with the bookies.

2011 – John Higgins (Winner). It was an altogether different Higgins who entered the arena in 2011, having returned from his ban and after the loss of his father he had looked in superb form with a new found determination and purpose to his game. From the off he looked like justifying the bookie’s faith in him and he duly did in true Higgins style, breaking the pattern of losing favourites along the way and beating a new kid on the block, Judd Trump, in the final. He now led Ronnie 4-3 in title wins in their own personal battle.

2012 – Judd Trump (Round 2 Loser). Judd’s Crucible performance the previous year and the fanfare which surrounded him was enough to convince the bookies that he should start favourite marginally ahead of Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, John Higgins and Ronnie O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan however proved too good for the field and under the influence of Dr Steve Peters looked a different player to the unreliable and inconsistent one of the previous decade or so. Bear in mind however that he wasn’t favourite to win or widely fancied with many citing his inability to stay focused for the full duration of the tournament. After his triumph, clearly exhausted, he vowed to have a lot of time off, a promise he was to keep. He once again beat Ali Carter in a final which he described afterwards as being the best he had ever played.

2013 – Mark Selby / Neil Robertson / Judd Trump (Round 2 Loser/Round 1 Loser/Losing Semi-Finalist). O’Sullivan’s now legendary return to the baize after a season off saw him take his fifth title largely untroubled and never headed in any match, this also meant he overtook Higgins again in their own game of world championship leapfrog. He was available as long as 9/1 a few weeks before the tournament and many claimed he had ‘no chance’ of simply returning after a year off and winning again. But he did just that, beating Barry Hawkins in the final.

2014 – Ronnie O’Sullivan (Runner-up). As Ronnie attempted the treble the bookies by now had wised up to him and made him the shortest priced favourite for many years. He’d been playing more events and going into this in strong form, unlike the previous year when he hadn’t played at all in the run up. But it wasn’t to be and the final against Mark Selby was to prove one step too far for The Rocket as Selby became the first new champion since Robertson. Ronnie yet again was a losing favourite.

2015 – Ronnie O’Sullivan (Losing Quarter Finalist). Again being favourite at the bookies did Ronnie no favours, he was to come unstuck against the eventual champion Stuart Bingham in the Quarter Finals after a mentally fragile first week when most saw the signs that he wasn’t quite up to the job. Losing as the bookies favourite was now becoming a very annoying habit for him and his backers. Selby in the meantime was the latest victim of The Crucible Curse.
 

church66

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
2016 – Ronnie O’Sullivan (Round 2 Loser). The bookies again made Ronnie favourite following a mercurial display in the Welsh Open and rumours of him hitting the practice table hard in the run up. But this time the man who he beat to win dare we think it, his last world title Barry Hawkins, was his conqueror in Round 2. It was the World Number 1 Mark Selby who ended up with the trophy in his hands for the second time, beating first time finalist Ding Junhui 18-14. It was another ‘Curse’ year, Stuart Bingham beaten by Ali Carter on Day 1 this time in a decider.

2017 – Mark Selby (Winner). Selby came here as the standalone favourite on the back of a mediocre season by his own standards but having won the China Open a few weeks earlier. Judd Trump was touching joint favourite with a couple of firms keeping faith or wanting bets just like in 2013. The match of the tournament was Selby’s semi-final win over Ding Junhui, who was beginning to look like it might be his time after a memorable win in the Quarter Final over Ronnie O’Sullivan. But Selby’s granite proved too much for him and in the end also for a tired looking John Higgins who again featured in the final after a few years away from the one table set up. Selby coming back after a first day slump 18-15, landing the 7/2 favourites tag for the first time since his opponent did it in 2011.

2018 – Ronnie O’Sullivan (Round 2 Loser). Once again, O’Sullivan returned to the mantle of favourite and once again, he failed to justify it. A fine season leading into the big one had his fans hopes up but once he got to Sheffield he once again came up short, losing a bad tempered match to Ali Carter, who gained some revenge for the two final defeats Ronnie had inflicted on him. The winner however was another ‘Phoenix from the Flames’ in the shape of Mark Williams, who miraculously completed one of the sports great comebacks and beat his fellow veteran John Higgins in a pulsating final. The less said about the press conference afterwards, the better.

2019 – Ronnie O’Sullivan (Round 1 Loser). Again the mantle of bookies favourite proved the undoing of O’Sullivan, paired against amateur James Cahill in Round 1 most expected a flying start for the bang in form Rocket, but it wasn’t to be. He claimed later to be feeling unwell but in reality he would have had to produce some consistently spectacular stuff to see off the eventual winner and first time champion Judd Trump, who stormed to victory with some stunning snooker.

2020 – Judd Trump (Losing Quarter Finalist). Despite the overwhelming evidence of the Crucible Curse, the bookmakers saw no clear alternative to Judd defending his title successfully in what can easily be labelled the strangest World Championship on record. Played in summer, mostly behind closed doors amid the grip of a global pandemic, it’s something of a miracle we got a champion at all. But we did, in the shape of that man O’Sullivan again, clearly much more at home without the gaze of the rabble than others, the Rocket coasted to victory in the final after a dramatic semi-final against Selby.
 

church66

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
So, the figures as they stand are since 1981:

Winning Favourites (Including Joint Favourites): 15

Losing Favourites (Including Joint Favourites): 26

Most Successful Favourites: Steve Davis (6 wins out of 9 attempts) and Stephen Hendry (6 out of 9).

Least Successful Favourite: Ronnie O’Sullivan (2 wins out of 14 attempts).

Most Successful Non-Favourite: Ronnie O’Sullivan (4 times winner when not favourite)

Clear Favourites who have lost in Round 1: Ronnie O’Sullivan (three times), Stephen Hendry (once), Steve Davis (once).

Co/Joint Favorites who have lost in Round 1: Neil Robertson (once).

Victims of The Crucible Curse: John Spencer (1978), Ray Reardon (1979), Terry Griffiths (1980), Cliff Thorburn (1981), Steve Davis (1982), Alex Higgins (1983), Dennis Taylor (1986), Joe Johnson (1987), Stephen Hendry (1991), John Parrott (1992), Ken Doherty (1998), John Higgins (1999), Mark Williams (2001), Ronnie O’Sullivan (2002), Peter Ebdon (2003), Shaun Murphy (2006), Graeme Dott (2007), Neil Robertson (2011), Mark Selby (2015), Stuart Bingham (2016), Judd Trump (2020)….

Defeaters of The Crucible Curse: NOBODY. EVER.
 

church66

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

Snookerbacker https://www.snookerbacker.com/2021/04/06/in-conversation-with-ronnie-osullivan/

April 6, 2021​

In Conversation with……Ronnie O’Sullivan

Filed under:
— snookerbacker @ 3:01 pm
The restraining order was lifted a few weeks ago so today I got a chance to catch up with snooker’s main man and current World Champion Ronnie, ahead of his title defence beginning. Amongst other things we talked about Liverpool and an urban myth, what it’s like to be a famous face, his thoughts ahead of Sheffield, his recent cue issues and who he’d invite to his ultimate dinner party…..

SB: Alright Ronnie, how’s tricks?


ROS: I’m fine mate, all good.

SB: Did you manage to catch the Hendry match against Jimmy last night?

ROS: I watched a little bit of it, I didn’t see it all as I was busy doing some bits and pieces.
SB: What do you think of the result? Do you think it will hurt Jimmy a bit?

ROS: Yeah, he just really still cares so much and wants to do well so he’ll definitely be hurt by that, but that’s just the way it goes isn’t it?

SB: What do you think about the whole Hendry thing? I suppose he retired in his early 40’s, a bit younger than you are now, can you ever see yourself retiring and then coming back for another try?

ROS: What, have 9 years off?

SB: Well maybe not that long.

ROS: No, I can’t see myself doing that, I’d hope after a couple of years out I’d have found something else to do so when I pack in it will be for good, but it’s his call and if he wants to do it then fair play to him.

SB: As you know I’m from the great city of Liverpool, now you’ve got a bit of an affinity with Liverpool haven’t you? How did that come about?

ROS: I just had a group of friends from Liverpool and I used to go up there and go out and I liked it so much I stayed there for a couple of years. I’ve got strong ties to Liverpool, it’s like a second home to me really. I used to play at George Scott’s Club on Derby Lane and George and Violet were so kind to me, amazing people who treated me like family, I had great times there, probably the happiest times of my life looking back.

SB: I played a frame with you there once, but I don’t really want to talk about that….

ROS: OK, I can’t remember that but I’m sure it was close.
 

church66

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
SB: Yes, I’m happy with that. It was definitely close. Anyway, can you clear something up? This is either something I have made up, something someone else made up and became an urban myth or it’s true. When you lived here, did you stay above The Rocket pub?

ROS: Stay above it? No no, I think you must have made that up. I know where you mean, I stayed around there, around the corner but I didn’t stay above it.

SB: Well everyone here thinks it’s true anyway so that’s an exclusive.

ROS: Haha, well OK then it must be.

SB: Moving on to snooker. Sometimes when I speak to and hear snooker players talking I get the impression that they’d rather be something else, like a golfer or something, so what is it like being a snooker player? Do you enjoy it?

ROS: I enjoy the benefits of snooker, I get to travel, I get to stay in nice hotels, I get to see different friends on different weeks. The playing side of it, not so much, I like practice and I like exhibitions but I think sometimes tournaments get a bit too serious for me and I sometimes just want to have a bit of fun, I try to expose myself as little or as much as I feel like I need to in matches, but I suppose that’s the bit you have to put up with to enjoy the good side.

SB: Do you like being famous?

ROS: I’d rather not be famous, if you’d have asked me when I was 16 if I wanted to be famous I’d have said yes, but now at 45 I’d rather not be noticed when I go out and when that happens it’s quite a nice feeling.

SB: It’s quite ironic that you are one of the players that has adapted best to the crowdless situation given you are snooker’s biggest attraction. You seem to have found it quite easy to adapt to the silent surroundings, how have you done that?

ROS: I just think that the game doesn’t change, it’s like club practice conditions, like the football, it’s like a practice match. I know a couple have struggled a bit but it’s invariably the same people winning the tournaments as most other years.

SB: On the flip side we have Jordan Brown? Do you think he would have performed so well with a crowd?

ROS: I think Jordan would have won a tournament at some point as he’s always been a great player, it just all fell into place for him on that week, that can sometimes just happen. I don’t think you can say anyone won because of this or that, they won because they were the best player over that week of snooker.
 

church66

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
SB: How do you feel about The Crucible being used as a COVID test event? Potentially 1000 people a day in there?

ROS: I don’t really care to be honest, I’m looking forward to the chance to run and explore different routes, see my friends there and a bit of al fresco dining coming into play, I’m looking forward to it actually, hope the weather is nice. If it’s anything like last year it should be a great time in Sheffield.

SB: How’s the cue?

ROS: Yeah, I’ve had some repair work done to it, John (Parris) and Paul have done a great job getting the cue back to virtually 95% of what it was so I’m happy with that, I also managed to find a good spare cue which is what I really wanted so that if something goes wrong with mine I can always use that as a substitute.

SB: Had you damaged it in some way? What was the problem?

ROS: Nah, it’s just that every ten years you need a good service on it, chop a bit off, add a bit on, change the balance, just a proper piece of work like an Formula One car where they feel the balance isn’t right. I was worried I’d not get it back to anywhere like how it was, but even at it’s worst it was playable, but with the improvements made to it now I’ve had a result really.

SB: OK, a couple of Twitter questions now, firstly from Alex, he wants to know what you would say to your 20 year old self if you had the chance to meet, errmm, you.

ROS: I’d tell him to educate himself, become wise and wordly, look outside the box and use any little advantage you can.

SB: Do you think you’d have listened?

ROS: Probably not!

SB: Last one, someone else asked for your ultimate four dinner party guests?

ROS: Ermm, Stephen Fry, Damien Hirst, Steve Peters and errmm Barry Hawkins.

SB: I had a tenner on Ali Carter. Oh well, Barry will be pleased anyway. Thanks for the chat Ronnie and best of luck in Sheffield.

ROS: No worries, take care and say hi to everyone in Liverpool.
 

church66

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

Snookerbacker : https://www.snookerbacker.com/

April 21, 2021​

World Championship Last 16 Preview

Filed under:
— snookerbacker @ 2:08 pm

Once 16 players have progressed and 16 are out of the way, it’s time to look forward to the second round which gets underway on Thursday to a notional 50% crowd, though based on the take up in Round 1, I’d not get too excited about that.

Anyway, these are obviously now played over the best of 25 over three sessions, just click on the match to take you to the head to head stats and the safe haven for all anoraks that is Cue Tracker.

Match previews will be completed once all match ups are known and the bookies have priced them up.

TABLE 1


Ronnie O’Sullivan v Anthony McGill

Thurs 1pm, Fri 10am/7pm

Ronnie took a while to get going in Round One against Mark Joyce, whether that was down to his own mood or the fact the table was playing badly in the first session I don’t know but what is for certain is that when he did get going he looked as good as ever and that is a good sign for his fans. He told Rob afterwards that the fans had ‘plenty more to look forward to’ which knowing Ronnie is a cryptic way of him saying that he’s here to defend his title successfully, but who knows? As for McGill, he did what he had to do against Ricky Walden who doesn’t really seem to be able to raise his game to the level he used to these days and McGill pulled away impressively at the end and never looked like losing. The head to heads here show that in six attempts, the Scot is yet to beat Ronnie but we know that McGill tends to save his best form for The Crucible and they have never met here. I think the clues are there that Ronnie is bang up for this and fancies his chances of retaining the title so I’d not rush in to back against him just yet. This has a feel of a match where O’Sullivan takes command at the start and McGill never quite gets back on level terms.

PREDICTION: O’Sullivan 13-7

BETS: O’Sullivan -4.5 frames at 5/6. Over 4.5 centuries in the match at 10/11.


Stuart Bingham v Jamie Jones

Sun 10am/7pm, Mon 1pm

Heralded on the BBC as being a ‘massive shock’ Jamie Jones came from 3-1 down to absolutely steamroller Stephen Maguire in the last round, looking exactly the same determined, tenacious and busy player that he looked when he qualified. To me at least, that result was very predictable and far from the skyscraper shocker that some may pretend it was. Bingham came through the mill in a three session thriller against Ding and it’s the two qualifiers who do battle for a Quarter Final place. Avid readers and followers will know that I think Jones may be this year’s Gilbert/Gary Wilson/McGill (delete as appropriate) and I’m still convinced that he’s got the game to really make a name for himself in this. Bingham remains one of the biggest names in the sport and his scoring of late has been extremely impressive so I expect this to be a fast paced high scoring affair. Of the two in the first round I think Jamie made less mistakes but Stuart looked the more comfortable in the balls so it’s a really tough one to call. The bookies make Bingham a very heavy favourite, I don’t think it’s anything like that clear cut so that to me means there is some value out there.

PREDICTION: Jones 13-11

BET: Jones -1.5 frames at 11/4. Bingham over 2.5 centuries in the match at 11/10.


John Higgins v Mark Williams

Fri 2.30pm, Sat 10am/7pm

What more can be said about these two that hasn’t already been said? 29 years as professionals and still at the top of the sport. Many may have believed that their last epic encounter here in 2018 when Williams made off with the trophy on his way to a season long bender was to be their last, but no, three years later they are here again and both have live and realistic aspirations of landing yet another title to their tally. Of the two, Williams was most impressive in the first round, Higgins was uncharacteristically poor but I think it’s unlikely that he’ll play like that again, if he does, it goes without saying that he’ll lose. Williams seems very relaxed, confident even in so much as talking up his chances for a change. He’s still a fantastic asset to the sport and even though he has his critics for his negative break-off shot you can’t underestimate his thought patterns behind it, he is doing it for a reason that he thinks benefits him and to hell with the critics. I think they’ll again bring out the best in each other here and to me Williams has the look of a player with another big run on his mind.

PREDICTION: Williams 13-11

BET: Williams to win at 6/4. Over 22.5 frames in the match at 11/10

Mark Allen v Mark Selby/Kurt Maflin


Sat 2.30pm, Sun 2.30pm, Mon 7pm

PREDICTION:

BET:

TABLE 2


Neil Robertson v Jack Lisowski

Thurs 7pm, Fri 2.30pm, Sat 10am

The head to head record between these two shows that in 5 attempts, Jack is yet to get the better of Neil with their last meeting being over 19 frames in the recent Tour Championship with Robbo coming out a comfortable 10-5 winner. Jack is another who came through a really tense first round and the way he held himself together in the decider against Ali Carter shows how much he’s developing as a player in the more tense situations. Neil on the other hand did an absolute demolition job on Liang and looks very much like he’s bringing his recent form here with him to the main event. Neil is a heavy favourite to win this match and on that this time I agree with the bookies, Jack, despite his impressive win, was still missing balls against Carter which he won’t get away with missing here, he’s also not in the same county as Neil when it comes to the tactical side of things. I think the only way Jack can beat Neil here is by playing near on no miss snooker for three sessions and that is a very tall order for anyone.

PREDICTION: Robertson 13-7

BET: Over 4.5 centuries in the match at 5/6.


Barry Hawkins v Kyren Wilson

Fri 10am/7pm, Sat 2.30pm

Two of the most consistent Crucible performers meet up in what is likely to be a very high quality encounter judging by their first round form. I’ve been so impressed with Kyren recently, the one part of his overall game that was lacking, the heavy scoring, is now well and truly fixed and I can’t actually think of any weakness in his game. He can score, he is tactially astute and his temperament is superb. As for Barry, I’ve been guilty in the past a few times of underestimating him and it’s come back to bite me on the backside. He hardly missed a ball when let in against Selt, OK Selt had lots of chances early on in frames so Barry will need to tighten up on that side of things, but when he missed the Hawk well and truly swooped and won deceptively easily if you just take the scoreline at face value. I think Kyren just has the edge here but these two are really evenly matched so I’d not bother with the match odds, instead I can’t see any way that this won’t be close.

PREDICTION: Wilson 13-12

BET: Over 22.5 frames in the match at Evens. Kyren to make more than 2 centuries at 11/8.

Shaun Murphy/Dark Mavis v Yan Bingtao


Sat 7pm, Sun 2.30pm, Mon 7pm

PREDICTION:

BET:


Dave Gilbert v Judd Trump

Sun 10am/7pm, Mon 1pm

Another potentially mouth-watering second rounder if Dave Gilbert can carry over his first round form to a meeting with the championship favourite. The first round was the best Gilbert has played all season and he seemed to be thoroughly satisfied with himself afterwards. As with Mark Allen, sometimes a quiet (let’s not beat about the bush, not very good) season can focus the mind and he’ll approach this match I’m sure with a ‘nothing to lose, everything to gain’ attitude and that makes him dangerous. Judd was eager to stress (three times in about two minutes) that he wants to play ‘with a smile on his face’ this year, he’s not making a very good job of it as he still doesn’t always look that happy out there but perhaps I’m taking this too literally. Expect a wide open attacking match with plenty of frames decided in one visit.

PREDICTION: Trump 13-11

BET: Gilbert +4.5 frames at 5/4
 
Last edited:

church66

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Snookerbacker : https://www.snookerbacker.com/

Snookerbacker



April 21, 2021​

World Championship Last 16 Preview

Filed under:
— snookerbacker @ 2:08 pm

Updates to the above thread.....

Mark Allen v Mark Selby

Sat 2.30pm, Sun 2.30pm, Mon 7pm

The immediate thing you notice on the head to head stats between these two is that of the 12 times they have faced each other, no fewer than 7 times they have gone to a decider, with the 6-5 scoreline being an incredibly regular outcome. On first round showings there is also little to choose between them with them both scoring runaway wins to get here, so all the evidence points to another very close match here. Allen was my pick to make it out of this half at the beginning and I don’t see any reason to change my mind but whoever emerges from this as the winner is obviously a massive contender to win it, Selby looked more or less back to his best but he wasn’t tested in the first round and Allen’s opponent similarly offered little resistance so they both come into this fresh and unscathed. Sit back and enjoy.

PREDICTION: Allen 13-12

BET: Over 22.5 frames in the match at 11/10


Shaun Murphy v Yan Bingtao

Sat 7pm, Sun 2.30pm, Mon 7pm

Masters Champion Yan made his Crucible debut 4 years ago against Murphy, he gave him a bit of a scare but the seed emerged on that occasion a 10-7 winner. A lot has changed since then and Murphy has had a quiet season while his opponent has been busy scooping up his first triple crown win, presumably of many. The last time they met was over a year ago and Yan dished out a right old pasting to Shaun so there is a score to settle on Murphy’s part to cancel out that Crucible first rounder. This is another that I think will go very close and might be decided with not many frames to spare. I think Yan looked the stronger of the two in his first round performance so on the strength of that alone I’ll side with him to just nick it.

PREDICTION: Yan 13-10

BET: No Bet.
 

church66

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

Snookerbacker : https://www.snookerbacker.com/ :​


Snookerbacker

April 26, 2021​

World Championship Quarter Finals Preview

Filed under:
— snookerbacker @ 3:04 pm
Crucible-2.jpg

Who will make the one table situation?
We’ve now reached the last eight stage and although there is a general feel that this has not yet been one of the classic championships of recent times that can all change if we get some memorable matches from here on in.
Off the table and before I get to the match previews, the big news is that I managed to get my Twitter account suspended last Saturday for a week, which can only be described as careless.
The crime for which I have been accused and convicted in the space of around 10 seconds without access to legal advice actually had nothing whatsoever to do with snooker. I merely pointed out that anyone who starts making loads of noise in the garden with power tools when it’s sunny should be rounded up and shot.
Clearly only someone utterly insane would believe that I actually meant this, but these algorithms don’t have a sense of humour. The idea that I was truly advocating the shooting of people for this is both inaccurate and unfair. Why would I do this when it’s much easier and far less messy to just administer a lethal injection?
Anyway, you can now follow me on this Twitter account until I’m allowed off the naughty step for the final.
Remember to click on the match to take you to the head to head record.
Anthony McGill v Stuart Bingham
Tues 10am/7pm, Wed 2.30pm
There were plenty of connotations in terms of who would meet in this round from this section and I’m not sure many would have picked these two to be battling it out for a place in the semi-finals. McGill withstood all that Ronnie could throw at him in the final session and his clearance to win was unflappable, he is quickly developing into the Pokerface of snooker and it’s a real asset to have under these intense conditions. Bingham seems destined to win the ‘worst walk on tune ever’ trophy at the end of this but that’s not the only title he’s got his sights on and he starts a marginal favourite for the match. In terms of a winner, I’d not touch this, it’s far too evenly balanced to plump 100% on one of them, I think I marginally favour Bingham if it goes close but with no confidence really. The way he is scoring though the 8/11 on him to make the highest break of the match makes more appeal to me than backing him to win and the 6/5 on him making more than 2 centuries looks too big to me.
PREDICTION: Bingham 13-10
Mark Williams v Mark Selby/Allen

Tues 2.30pm, Wed 10am/7pm
PREDICTION:
Neil Robertson v Kyren Wilson
Tues 10am/7pm, Wed 10am
The head to head here reads 2-2 but it’s noticeable that in their last two meetings the score in frames is Kyren 11, Robbo 2, this includes a 5-0 drubbing in the 2020 Welsh Open so it’s clear that Kyren will go into this rightly feeling he’s in with a big chance. Both have been really impressive in the early rounds so I’m a bit surprised what a heavy favourite the bookies make Neil. I suppose one worry for Kyren’s camp may be the way he was limbering up his neck throughout his last 16 tie with Hawkins and he was clearly in some discomfort towards the end of the match. Robbo has no such malfunctions and his game when tested is proving up for the job so far. The obvious bets here involve the number of century breaks being high, but how often have we approached a match expecting a tonfest only to end up with a cagey tactical affair? I don’t think it will be as one sided as the bookies seem to be suggesting so if you fancy them both reaching double figures in frames which I think is perfectly possible, you’ll find 5/4 on there being over 22 frames in the match appealing.
PREDICTION: Wilson 13-11
Shaun Murphy/Yan Bingtao v Judd Trump

Tues 2.30pm, Wed 2.30pm/7pm
PREDICTION:
http://www.parriscues.com/


Updates when available .
 

church66

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

Snookerbacker : https://www.snookerbacker.com/

April 26, 2021​

World Championship Quarter Finals Preview

Filed under:
— snookerbacker @ 3:04 pm

Mark Williams v Mark Selby

Tues 2.30pm, Wed 10am/7pm

Another classic match up here between the two Mark’s in form. Williams floating around the table in his customary carefree manner knocking them in from all angles and Selby, dismantling opponents like a small inquisitive child taking a train set apart to see how it all works before carefully putting it back together again to a higher specification. The way they are both playing reminds me of the way they both play when they win this which makes this a very difficult match to predict as it could easily be a runaway victory for one of them or an absolute classic which is decided by the odd shot at the end. They’ve met plenty of times over the years but have only met here once, way back in 2006 long before Selby became the force in the game he is now, it took Selby 5 tries before he could finally beat Williams but since then he has the upper hand in the head to heads, including most recently a 6-4 win in the Players Championship a couple of months ago. I’d like Williams to win as he’s still my favourite player to watch and as with every year since he won it, I backed him months ago, but Selby in this form is a very tough proposition.

PREDICTION: Selby 13-10

Shaun Murphy v Judd Trump


Tues 2.30pm, Wed 2.30pm/7pm

These two met at this stage back in 2013 and produced a very dramatic spectacle which saw Judd run out a 13-12 winner so given the feel of the lack of dramatic finishes this year it would make a nice late Wednesday evening thriller most welcome if they can do that again please. Murphy has been very impressive in his opening two matches and from speaking to him I know that he’s really enjoying the whole Sheffield experience having been a player who it’s fair to say, has struggled with the ‘no crowd at Keynes’ tour this season. It’s clear that this is making a huge difference to his game and now he gets a pop at the favourite to win it. Judd’s been clinical so far without really doing anything special, you can easily point to his opponents bad form but there is usually a reason that this happens, mainly that the player in the ascendancy is putting you bang under it. I did tip up Judd to justify the odds in the main preview and also predicted he’d face Murphy at this stage but now is where we’ll truly find out if he really should be clear favourite in a field where everyone left in it has brought their A+ game with them. I think this one could produce the drama we have been craving.

PREDICTION: Judd 13-12


Snookerbacker updates .
 

church66

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

Snookerbacker : https://www.snookerbacker.com/ :​

April 29, 2021​

World Championship Semi-Finals

Filed under:
— snookerbacker @ 8:11 am
Crucible.jpg

Table for two.
A rather lacklustre World Championship so far sparked into life on Wednesday with the conclusion of the quarter finals with two of them going very close, so we’re now set up to see four Englishmen battle it out over the next three days to see who can make the two day final.
This first day of the semi finals always bothers me a bit I have to say, I understand that the table fitters have to move through the night to transform The Crucible from it’s previous guise to the one table situation but I’d still prefer there to be three sessions today with one of the semi-finals reaching the half way stage rather than backloading them on Saturday.
It’s a bit of a nothing day today and having both matches have just their final session on Saturday seems a much fairer schedule than the bottom half semi potentially having to play as many as 15 frames the day before the final with a morning and an evening session. It seems a little unfair on the winner of that match going into the final if they’ve had a late night the night before, not just playing, but with all the media demands and moody BBC montage film shoots that follow their win.
Anyway, as people say these days ‘it is what it is’, which to me is a really irritating phrase only used by people who either can’t be arsed changing things or haven’t got the intellectual capacity to at least have a conversation about it.
It is what it is because it is and you can’t be arsed thinking about changing it.
Anyway, another thing that ‘is what it is’ is my current period of reflection which is my Twitter suspension. This lifts in time for the conclusion of the semi-finals on Saturday, in the meantime you can follow me here where you will be able to find out in real time when the century of centuries bet flagged up at 17/2 at the start of the championship lands, my guess being that this will happen before a ball is struck in the final. With us needing only ten more for the remainder of the championship the bookies will have had to break into the arena armed with spanners for it not to land now surely Shirley?
Right, let’s have a look at the matches. Click on the match to take you to the previous head to head encounters courtesy of the anorak heaven at Cue Tracker.
Semi Final 1 Stuart Bingham v Mark Selby
Thursday 1pm, Friday 10am/7pm, Saturday 2.30pm
Stuart Bingham has already used up all the frames in two of his matches here and it doesn’t get any easier as he lines up to face the new championship favourite Selby. In the preview to the Williams bulldozer job I described Selby as being similar to an inquisitive child dismantling a train set to discover it’s inner workings, well he’s now moved through this phase and is now operating on small animals to fix them and see how organs work, but in the case of Williams he forgot to resuscitate. The way Selby is playing nobody left in this field will beat him, it’s just a case of how many he will win by, but The Crucible does strange things and there is always the possibility that he’ll throw in a bad session just when his opponent is stepping on the accelerator. I think that’s the only way he can be beaten in this match, for Stuart to have a session of no-miss snooker and keep him at bay from then on. The one thing however that Stuart can take into this is his previous record against Mark, which is pretty good. But I think Selby still feels he has a score to settle after last year’s championship when he was clearly thoroughly cheesed off with how Ronnie treated both him and the game towards the end of their semi-final. I’d bet if you asked him he’d rather have been playing O’Sullivan here to get his revenge.
Prediction: Selby 17-9
Bet: Bingham to have the highest break of the match at 5/4

Semi Final 2 Kyren Wilson v Shaun Murphy
Thursday 7pm, Friday 2.30pm, Saturday 10am/7pm
The final of the 2020 Welsh Open is a memory that Kyren Wilson will want to remove from his thoughts as he steps into the arena to face a rejuvenated Shaun Murphy. A 9-1 drubbing in that being the latest in Shaun’s series of wins over The Warrior. If you discount Wilson’s 2-0 win in a recent Mickey Mouse event at Milton Keynes, he’s not beaten Shaun in nearly a decade although they’ve never played anything like a match of this prestige before. Kyren is definitely a Crucible player these days, much like Barry Hawkins of old and Anthony McGill he inevitably turns on his A game whenever he emerges from behind the curtain. Murphy on the other hand is very much a player who just needs a crowd to show off to, wherever that might be. His game has suffered badly during lockdown in terms of results but as he made clear after beating Judd, it’s meant he’s had time with Chris Henry to fix things and he’s clearly found something that he’d been lacking just at the right time. We could see another thriller here come Super Saturday night and it’s impossible to call if it goes to the wire. But I’ll side with Kyren just based on how he’s been closing out matches, I think to win, Shaun will need to have a decent lead going into the final session.
Prediction: Wilson 17-13
Bet: Wilson -2.5 frames at 5/4
 

church66

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Snookerbacker was back but I missed the post.....

https://www.snookerbacker.com/ :

Snookerbacker



August 31, 2021​

Calling all Players and Coaches

Filed under:
— snookerbacker @ 10:32 am
Are you a snooker player or a snooker coach looking to increase your existing traffic? Perhaps as a player you are considering doing some coaching regionally to bump up your earnings or perhaps you are starting out as a coach and need to drum up business?
Whatever your situation one thing that you need is a strong web presence. I’ve recently set up a webpage for none other than Nottingham’s finest Michael Holt, you can take a look at it here. If you like what you see then get in touch and I’ll do the same for you for a one-off annual fee.
What you will get:
  • An exclusive homepage for your coaching with as much or as little details as you want on there and up to 4 images. This could include rates, locations, levels of ability etc.
  • A guaranteed 24/7 presence online and a bespoke page that you can attach to all your social media outlets and any flyers or business cards you have made.
  • On launch, a social media campaign to drive people to your page via Twitter and Facebook, currently amassing a total of over 17,000 followers.
All this for a one-off annual fee of just £75, payable on launch.
Interested? If so contact me at snookerbacker@ymail.com
 
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