Welsh Open Betting

Riding the new wave of interest in snooker, betting on the Welsh Open has become big money for bookmakers in recent years, and fans of the sport are finding more and more ways to get in on the action. The event takes place in February each year as a key component of the World Snooker schedule.

When the Welsh Open was inaugurated in 1980, it was known as the Welsh Professional Championship and entry was initially limited to players from Wales only. In 1992, it shed its national limitation to allow players from abroad to compete, undergoing the name change in the process.

Until 2003, the event had a primary sponsor—Regal, a brand of cigarette produced by Imperial Tobacco. However, when the U.K. introduced restrictions to the advertising of tobacco products, Regal was forced to withdraw. It was not until 2009 that the Welsh Open found it current sponsor—Wyldecrest Park Homes.

The Welsh Open is one of the earliest of eleven “ranking events” on an annual calendar that includes the German Masters, the Australian Open, the Shanghai Masters and the U.K. Championship, to name a few. It is preceded in January by a seeding cut off and then four days of qualifiers in early February.

Wagering on the Welsh Open Snooker typically takes one of three forms. First, ante post bets can be made well ahead of the tournament, with bookmakers offering fixed odds on who will win it outright as much as a month before play begins. Second, once the tournament begins, bets can be placed on each match, backing one or the other of two players to emerge the winner in head-to-head competition.

For match betting, most bookmakers offer handicaps to help even out the odds, especially when some of the top-ranked players face weak or unknown opponents. The better player is typically given a frames deficit, rather like Asian handicaps for football or so-called “spread betting.”

Third, another type of snooker wager gaining in popularity is “frame betting,” predicting the final score of a match before it starts. Bookmakers that feature in-running or live betting may also permit wagers to be placed as the game is in progress. Some of the snooker betting options include next frame winner, top break, come from behind, total centuries over/under 70.5, and more.

The 2011 Welsh Open saw John Higgins beat Stephen Maguire 9-6 in the final, whereupon the champion dedicated the victory to his father. It was Higgins’ second Welsh Open title in a row after trouncing the 2009 winner, Ali Carter, 9-4 to take the 2010 trophy. Higgins got his very first triumph here in 2000, so he now has three in total.

There have been just two other back-to-back winners in the history of the Welsh Open: Steve Davis in 1994-95 and Ronnie O’Sullivan in 2004-05. Stephen Hendry became the first three-time winner of the event in 2003, after having previously been victorious in 1992 and 1997.

More than a few online bookmakers now accept Welsh Open snooker bets. betfred, sponsor of the World Championships, is perhaps the best known of them. Sportsbooks such as Bodog, ladbrokes and william hill have sections dedicated to snooker, and betfair, the Sports Betting Exchange, also offers markets.

One smart strategy when wagering on the Welsh Open is to look for web sites that provide free bets of up to £50 to newcomers. By shopping around, one can find a number of bonus-orientated bookmakers who offer money-back rebates on matches lost, which makes it easier and less risky to wager.

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