Snooker Championships Preview

Published: 01/12/2012

While Golf and Tennis have Grand Slams, Snooker has the Triple crown. The UK Snooker Championship is the first of three BBC televised events this season (along with the Masters and the World Championship) and it gets underway Saturday morning.

I find the best strategy in Snooker betting is to reduce the field to four by looking at who will win each quarter. Judd Trump is the 4/1 (paddy Power/ladbrokes) favourite and this is deserved as he is the form player at the moment making the final of four of the last five events on the tour (winning two of these). Trump has a nice draw with Mark Joyce his first round opponent, before facing either Ali Carter or Steve Davis in the second round. Not until the last eight (when he could face Stephen Maguire or Stuart Bingham) does he have a game that should concern him. I think Trump may worry over Bingham (who beat him in the Premier League final) however at 5/4 (paddy Power/ladbrokes) to win the quarter he must be backed.

The second quarter looks an intriguing one as it features both Shaun Murphy and Mark Williams who could meet in a cracker of a quarter final. It is 5/2 (Murphy) wins the quarter though neither him nor Mark Williams (11/4-Skybet/boylesports) are playing anywhere near their best. Ricky Walden and Graeme Dott are dangerous opponents and it is Walden who is the headline selection in the second quarter at 7/1 (ladbrokes/Coral). Walden has won the Wuxi Classic already this season and reached the semi-final here last year. He is a player who is frustratingly inconsistent however at that price I am willing to take the risk.

John Higgins is 6/4 (paddy power/Coral) to win the third quarter and this looks difficult to oppose. Higgins has made the final of two of the last three events and looks the most reliable and most consistent of all those in the third quarter. Mark Allen (16/5-sportingbet), Matthew Stevens 8/1 (bet365/boylesports/ladbrokes), Mark Davis 11/1 (bet365/Boylesports) and Marco Fu 14/1 (betfred/sportingbet/Stan James) are all capable players however none of them has the consistency or the form of the Scotsman.

The fourth quarter is being dubbed ’the quarter of death’ as it features three potential winners in Neil Robertson at 21/10 (sportingbet), Mark Selby 3/1 (general) and Ding Junhui 10/3 (boylesports/Coral). If asked to name one I would be tempted most by Selby as I think he is starting to show signs of recovering from that neck injury. That said I will avoid this section because as well as the big three we have a number of dangerous dark horses in Barry Hawkins (12/1-bet365/Stan James/ladbrokes), Liang Wenbo (20/1-boylesports/paddy Power) and Ryan Day (22/1-sportingbet).

Now we have reduced the shortlist to four who should we backing for the outrights? I think John Higgins at 7/1 (general) each-way is the smart play. The Scot has a nice route to the semi-final while his potential opponent (Robertson/Junhui/Selby) all could feature in a number of long battles before they even get to Higgins. His opponent is most likely to be Judd Trump however I find Trump a little short to be backing and therefore would recommend a little of the 50/1 (Bwin) that he wins the event (BWin are win only) and then an extra bet on the 20/1 (Totesport/betfred) that he makes the final.


GOLD: Quarter winners: Judd Trump 5/4 (paddy power/ladbrokes), John Higgins 6/4 (Paddy Power/Coral) and Ricky Walden 7/1 (ladbrokes/Coral)
SILVER: John Higgins EW for the tournament, 7/1 (general)
BRONZE: Ricky Walden to win 50/1 (BWin), to make the final, 20/1 (Totesport/betfred)

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Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (01/12/2012) but are subject to change.

01/12/2012     © Frixo 2019

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