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Craig Edwards' Snooker and Golf Blog

World Snooker Championship Semi-Final Thoughts and Recap

Uncategorised Posted on 28 Apr, 2022 08:49AM

Dear snooker member,

Yan Bingtao’s defeat was a disappointing end for our outright, especially given we may never get those prices again and it’s been a solid four weeks betting profit that it would have been nice to put the cherry on with our big ante post bet. Certainly, cannot be unhappy how he played, he lost to the man of the tournament so far. Mark Williams is running for us still in our “winning quarter” bet and if he beats Judd, I would expect him to beat John Higgins but equally I would expect him to lose to Ronnie.

At the semi-final stage, bar Neil Robertson and Zhao Xintong, the four players are the other best players of the season and all proven former champions. It should be a feast of top-class snooker to end what has been a superb World Championship.

Judd Trump v Mark Williams

These two have crossed swords an awful lot in short format snooker but barely played any big matches, of the 27 times they’ve played I can only find two what I would call ‘matches of significance and won one each. Trump is dominant in the head-to-head by 18-9 but with so much best of 5 and 7, he’s bound to be.
Judd has a remarkable constitution for the battle in the last four years and that has served him well here, getting to the semi-finals with his C game. Noticeably, his best session in his last two matches was his last when it mattered most. Our outright McGill, lost little in defeat of their last session and threw the kitchen sink at him why he ran with the momentum against Bingham. That match, I expected Bingham to wilt late on so it was a shame for our handicap bet that traded at 1.10 or less at 8-5. I wouldn’t expect MJW to wilt the same and Judd will need to play to a higher-level, early doors, I imagine but he likely will.
On the snooker both have produced so far you could make an argument for Mark to win the opening session today at circa 2/1 and the match but I prefer to watch and enjoy given how much Judd has raised his game throughout his career at the later stages of events.

Ronnie O’Sullivan v John Higgins

I know long term members would have been expecting this bet, in the four years of my service it’s one we’ve taken several times except the one occasion Higgins was the fav. In that time, it’s only lost once and throughout my lifetime at prices 11/8 and above, often near 2/1 Higgins is always a bet. The matchup is a coin-flip pure and simple, in fact, John has much the better of their ‘matches of importance’ and could be theorized as favourite. Public money always talks though and Ronnie’s fans and cult followers, will bet him at any number. Ronnie has done what he had too, all event well and looks in a good place but his price has regressed ridiculously compared to the rest. John has looked a little off at times but that is to be expected after his Tour Championship reverse. Last night’s win must be like a shot in the arm having lost so many close ones and the way he closed it out will help him. Because of Ronnie’s brilliance, all your choices as a player are simple ones, you have to play well in your own mind. John has responded to this challenge on numerous occasions and it actually appears to switch him off a little. Flip side of that is Ronnie has huge respect for John, some would say, too much.
Ronnie could easily win but at the prices it’s a +EV situation we always exploit as bet sent last night.
I half expect John to have a great session tonight and 6-2 score line or better is possible in my mind if you want some small stakes interest, John Higgins might provide it. If John gets a long way in front we may hedge.

The season is over for the main tour but in the next 3 to 4 weeks there is he World Seniors and QSchool for us



World Championship thoughts

Uncategorised Posted on 15 Apr, 2022 09:30AM

I think we have the prospect of one of the most exciting renewals of the World Snooker Championship ahead of us at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield for the next seventeen days.
Rightly, Neil Robertson enters as favourite having been the best player in the world since winning the 2020 UK Championship. His recent struggles in winning a second World Championship are charted but this event is on the tip of his cue if he plays like he has, and can sustain it.
Judd Trump similarly has question marks to answer but he’s looked far from his best and he will need to play his way into form during the event.
Ronnie O’Sullivan has been consistent all season, yes, his game is on the decline slightly, but it was in 2020 when he last won and if he has a good frame of mind a seventh title is a realistic goal.
Hard to know how Mark Selby is feeling about playing but either way, his lack of recent match practice will make him nervous and potentially vulnerable early doors. There’s never been a tougher competitor at the Crucible so if he plays his way back into form and confidence, no one, would want to draw him.
John Higgins has been a new man all season and if it wasn’t for attacks of ‘clinchers disease’ in three finals he would have been second favourite. He’s liable to start slowly after the disappointment of the Tour Championship final but if he does, more potential heartache is around the corner with another runner up slot awaiting the Scot.
We have the younger brigade from China taking centre stage with Zhao Xintong and Yan Bingtao. If either, falls in love with playing snooker at the Crucible, longer format matches likely suit them better.
Kyren Wilson seems ideally suited by the demands of the World Championship but in harsh truth hasn’t won a decent event since the 2019 German Masters. He has pulled Ding Junhui in round one, but I believe he needs to win good matches against top players for his confidence to return so if he wins it could turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

I was talking to my tipping friend Ciaran and said the overall profiles of the qualifiers disappointed from a tipping perspective but remarkably all, but two qualifiers have drawn a range of seeds that I would have cherry picked for them.
Jamie Jones is twice a quarter finalist and last season made the last 16 here and is a tough enough cookie to not make Mark Selby’s introduction to competitive snooker easy. I rarely play odds on but the handicap looks solid.
Attending the qualifiers with my good friend and snooker tipping guru, George Weyham I am well aware how well Chris Wakelin played to beat Jimmy Robertson. Yan Bingtao isn’t the most intimidating of opponents for the lower ranked making Wakelin a live prospect if he reproduces the form that he produced here against Judd Trump a few years ago.
Head to head matters less these days, unless it’s skewed one way or the other and Michael White has drawn Mark Williams, a player he has an impressive head to head against. On his return to the Crucible White will be another live dog if he settles down early into the match.
Watching Jackson Page in qualifying with my friend George, I couldn’t help but be impressed by his performance against David Grace. If he was to reproduce against Barry Hawkins he would have a chance but it’s always a big ‘if’ on Crucible debut. Exciting talent but Hawkins is a Crucible specialist in good form.
Ding Junhui has pulled event specialist Kyren Wilson in the tie of the round. Whoever wins will have a shot of confidence at the right time and will have a live chance of reaching the semi final. To get further than the semi final is close to impossible for all qualifiers given the build up of mental fatigue in a short space of time.
Lyu Haotian was impressive in qualifying for the second year in succession. Having won a match previously at the Crucible he’s a live underdog against former champion, Stuart Bingham.
Liam Highfield like Wakelin has drawn a player that’s unlikely to intimidate him and could be live against Anthony McGill who needs to find his best form at the Crucible, but we know he can.
Hossein Vafaei makes his debut in a match up he could win against Judd Trump having dealt with the 2019 champion a few times before. His comments about Ronnie O’Sullivan are likely poor timing and will distract him from the more important job at hand. Shame because this was a perfect draw for the Iranian on debut.
Ashley Hugill has finally found his form on the Tour and his reward or poison chalice on debut is Neil Robertson. Hugill will need an early foothold to get over the nerves of a debut and a one sided defeat awaits if he doesn’t. If he was to play his way into the match the pressure would transfer to Robertson but again it’s a huge if. 16/1 seems too big if he does and it’s cheap to find out at the price. Stranger things have happened at the Crucible over the years.
Matthew Stevens put up a superb display to oust Ali Carter 10-8 from 4-0 behind. It’s hard to trust the ageing former runner up to reproduce but if he did, he would have the measure of Jack Lisowski.
Thepchiaya un Nooh never gets easy draws at the Crucible and this year is no different with John Higgins. John may be slow out of the blocks after the disappointment of the Tour Championship final and if the talented Thai gets into his flow he could be dangerous.
Noppon Saenghkam impressed here in 2020 when losing to Mark Selby in the last 16, 13-12. He has been in good form all season and the draw has been kind to him. Luca Brecel has yet to win a match at the Crucible and until he does, he will be vulnerable despite a brilliant season.
Stephen Maguire looks a bad draw for Shaun Murphy who has been out of form all season. Beset by off the table problems, Murphy will struggle to hold a sharp Maguire unless the Crucible lifts his spirits, which it did last year.
Jamie Clarke is potentially an awkward match for the young Chinese player to negotiate if he gets a foothold. Clarke has won a match at the Crucible which Xintong is yet to.
Scott Donaldson is one of two poor match ups for the qualifiers as he attempts to overturn a 1-7 head to head with Mark Allen. He is playing well enough and we’ve seen the effects Allen’s off table problems have had.
David Gilbert like Donaldson has pulled a wicked match up against Ronnie O’Sullivan who dominates their head to head 7-0. Still Dave is sharp and would benefit from a big match victory to lift his confidence at a venue he likes. Ronnie will need to be in a good frame of mind and there have been occasions here over the years when he hasn’t.

If you want to join my service for the bets we are having just for the World Championship at the one off price of £20 DM me on Twitter @EdwardsTips_ for more information.



Why did it take Ronnie O’Sullivan so long to win his first World Title?

Uncategorised Posted on 26 Mar, 2022 10:42AM

Why did it take Ronnie O’Sullivan so long to win his first world title?

I think the clues to the answers as to why Robertson and Trump have poor records in the World Championship can be answered by what the sport’s GOAT endured to win his first world crown.  Throughout the years, O’Sullivan has been honest enough to say he finds little enjoyment in the 17-day marathon at the Crucible Theatre.  Despite his persona, Ronnie is cleverer than most observers realise and one of the shrewdest things he did early in his career was to enlist the help of a psychologist.  Whether on a conscious or subconscious level, the Rocket realised he needed help in mastering the marathon event, so finding someone to help him with the mental process was a wise move.  If that wasn’t enough, he approached Ray Reardon to be his mentor and confidante to help him through the Sheffield experience. Who better to have the ear of than the six-time world champion?

For over a decade since his first world title, Robertson has dominated World Snooker Tour events with a high level of consistency, accumulating his ranking title count to 22.  The problem is that for all his success in other ranking events, the Australian has not been close to adding another world crown since his 2010 win. 

Likewise, Trump won the 2019 WC and his final display against John Higgins was the most impressive I can ever remember.  That said, it took him the best part of a decade to reach a second world final after losing to Higgins in the 2011 trophy match.  Like Robertson, Trump had been perpetually a top-eight player during that time and the last three years have been impressive in his domination of the sport as world number one.

Maybe because Trump and Robertson reached world finals early in their career, it still hasn’t occurred to them that they aren’t ideally suited to the event.  It’s also feasible that they didn’t have Ronnie’s expectations for themselves but regardless, like all things in life, hindsight is easy.  That hindsight though brings a sample size to cast opinions and theories so as a bettor, when the WC comes round with Trump and Robertson at 3/1 (4.00) and 6/1 (7.00) respectively, they are the first names to be crossed off my list from an easy math perspective.  Whether right or wrong those are the facts of the matter.

Edwards Snooker Form 2022 (Craig Edwards)



Why the World Snooker Championship needs change

Uncategorised Posted on 13 Mar, 2022 09:09AM

#WorldSnookerChampionship #lovesnooker

I make this thread in the hope that snooker people start discussing the issues, not to fall out in any way.  They need discussing in my opinion to aid the sport in moving forward and growing, after all, rightly the World Championship is snooker’s flagship event.

Firstly, it has to be stated that I don’t say this to he controversial, I say it because I care and the sport needs to change so the World Championship is more symbiotic with the rest of the snooker season.

When I was a player, you’re brought up believing the World Championship is the ultimate test of a snooker player and that’s not wrong.  The hegemony that surrounds the sport of snooker though never talks of the unfairness of the event making this discussion taboo.

We have seen in recent months Zhao Xintong, Fan Zhengyi and Joe Perry all win events as outsiders at prices of 150/1 plus so this is the perfect opportunity to discuss the obvious inefficiencies.  Matt Selt might win today at 150/1 plus just to strengthen my case if indeed it needs any.

Yes, it’s the betting side of me that’s seen the unfairness of the World Championship and it’s time people discussed it without being vilified.  I too love the Crucible Theatre, one of my best life memories was playing there in 1991.  I know it’s special, I understand it’s sacrilege for many what I’m about to say.

Any player outside the top 16 has to win at least 16 extra frames let alone how many they need to compete in during the days leading up to the main event.  That added mental and physical fatigue in the narrow window of time drops their World Championship winning probability down markedly.

This means even if you asked Mark Selby at his very best to do it, his chance would be diluted out of all proportion from 5/1 to as much as 16/1 for arguments sake.

What other world class sport prejudices 87.5% of the players chances so poorly?  None is the answer and maybe because if they did, they aren’t or can’t be considered a sport on a world level or footing.

People instinctively, worry I want to take the event away from the Crucible Theatre but that’s not true, I just want an event fairer to all players chances.  That means if you keep at the Crucible Theatre you need 3 weeks over a slightly shorter format, yes, I know sacrilege to many but World Championship Snooker needs an even 64 player draw more than ever for natural growth.

I’ve not even discussed the ranking unfairness of the event to the snooker professionals but last year’s Gibraltar Open semi finalists received only 6,500 ranking points which illustrates the skew as profoundly as any argument can do.

Snooker lovers, whether players, commentators or fans just get talking and discussing to help make the Snooker World Championship fairer and in keeping with a great sport.



European Masters – Monday’s matches

Uncategorised Posted on 20 Feb, 2022 09:12PM

Cao Yupeng to beat Joe Perry 5/4 (2.25)
I have a feeling that when the main firm price up this match, Cao Yupeng will go off favourite. The bookmakers make Yupeng 100 points shorter in the outright market so go figure?
Either way, any odds against Cao Yupeng beating Joe Perry has to be snapped up for several reasons. To bullet point them, Yupeng is enjoying a far better season on his return to the tour and has accumulated twice as much prize money/ranking points. Yupeng’s break building has been far superior to his better-known opponent so any odds against about high break scorer may also be worth a modest bet.

Jamie Jones to beat Kyren Wilson 4/1 (5.00)
Over 7.5 frames Kyren Wilson v Jamie Jones 6/4 (2.50)
Having watched yesterday’s high-quality win over Zhou Yuelong in Welsh Open qualifying, I believe Jamie Jones will be in good spirits for a rematch of last season’s Scottish Open quarter-final. On that occasion, Jones run out an easy winner, though it’s fair to mention Kyren Wilson had suffered a serious car crash travelling to the match. Funnily enough, this week’s venue of MK arena in Milton Keynes is the same one, and Jamie Jones will be pleased to be returning to a favourite venue after a below-par season. Equally, it’s prudent to point out Jamie Jones could be suffering from Second Season Syndrome after last year’s superb return to the WST tour after suspension. Yes, we know he’s no rookie but he’s still likely to be susceptible to his expectations being elevated out of all normal proportions after an outstanding return to professional snooker. With a price as big as 4/1 (5.00) on Jamie Jones, I like to twin a bet on the total frames which is often more than the handicap price.

Nigel Bond to win frame 1 vs. Ronnie O’Sullivan @ 5/2 (3.50)
Nigel Bond +48.5 frame 1 Handicap @ 5/6 (1.83)
An interesting spot for a bet has popped up on my radar for Tuesday’s qualifying round between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Nigel Bond.
Ronnie O’Sullivan is a habitual slow starter these past couple of seasons and rather amazingly lost 66% (18 from 26) of frame 1s pre-Xmas of the 2020/2021 season. This trend looks to have continued somewhat in recent months as he prefers to leave his entry late into many venues. In Coventry, pre-Xmas when winning the Grand Prix, he famously nearly got penalised in an early round when enjoying afternoon Scones and Tea at the local cafe.
Alternatively, Nigel Bond still plays a mean game despite the advancing years and last week’s Welsh Open saw him quickly out of the blocks with a 50 break in frame 1 vs. Si Jiahui. Importantly, those years of experience will help the Matlock man if Ronnie O’Sullivan is a little lacklustre in frame 1. Split stakes between Frame 1 win at 15/8 (2.88) and the frame 1, handicap of +48.5 because although Ronnie leads their head-to-head 6-0, more importantly, this handicap bet would have been profitable on four of those occasions.



2021 Complete review of Edwards Tips

Uncategorised Posted on 14 Dec, 2021 06:38PM

Snooker 2021

Lifetime: 2459 bets, 16.75% ROI

2021: 922 bets, 15.15% ROI

Please forgive me for completing the snooker review before next week’s finish but I don’t expect figures to be markedly worse.

The snooker model has delighted and frustrated me in equal measure during 2021.

Let’s get the frustration out of the way and that’s simply how poorly we’ve run variance/results wise in the outright markets.  In truth the previous 18 months was fantastic in snooker outrights while the previous 18 months to that was as frustrating as this current spell, though I’m hoping Xintong hitting in the UK Championship is the start of better form.  There’s no way of building up a big sample of bets quickly like at golf in snooker outright so all we can do is be patient.  When you look at near misses with Bingtao and Lisowski recently it’s variance and also a fact that the top of the market has dominated.  If recent events and younger winners have a changing of the guard effect, I’m hoping we have good days ahead and we already have a unique and unusual high volume of ante-post bets.

As mentioned in last year’s review, one aim was to increase volume in 2021 and we did by 80%.  Now I’ve proved what, I thought I learnt at the end of 2020, I will endeavour to increase stakes slightly also.  It’s encouraging to know that betting without outrights would have yielded 20%+ and as such as I’ve mentioned before, it’s okay to bet more on snooker than golf.  The main thing to do, if you choose to, is to be consistent and disciplined with staking perhaps reviewing yearly only.  What I also need to mention, is that if you increase stakes on side markets particularly by too much you allow bookmakers to mark and close accounts so make sure you have new ones ready to use.  Snooker is different to golf in fact that we have only the bookmakers to use as exchanges aren’t liquid apart from Money lines.

Overall, I feel more content with my snooker for the first time than any of my previous four years reviews.  Famous last words but I feel confident 2022 could be our best year yet.

Golf Outright 2021

Lifetime: 2297 bets, 48.67% ROI

2021: 708 bets, 38.44% ROI

After only breaking even in 2020, I was delighted to see the Golf Outright model back on track.  Golf is a great betting sport and there’s more than one way to skin the cat and my style has always been the highest variance route in the attempt to maximise profits long term.  This is a built-in ethos for my service as the lower variance of golf place and snooker manage our bankroll against those long losing streaks that hit the outright model.  That downside to high variance has hurt us since September with no outright winners despite many close shaves as the model was above 50% at the end of August.  That’s to be expected long term but the top of the market-dominating the PGA Tour events in the fall wasn’t helpful or the usual occurrence.   Noticeable that my volume is high at 708 bets and one aim is to reduce that by 10 or 15% in 2022.  The other aim is to improve my staking, as on occasion when we went 0.2ew or bigger our selections run poorly.  That was something I did well in the opening two years of service but has been a leak the last two years.  That’s likely variance but the short-term impact in 2021 hasn’t been ideal but the upside is we’ve had some serious CLV (closing line value) and unwittingly the bookies have dodged many good bullets in late 2021.

I need to mention, that like the golf place model, it’s entirely feasible someone betting exchanges at 30 to 40% higher win prices has a better ROI than our 38%.

Overall, I’m content we hit what we should on Golf outright in 2022 in the knowledge it would have been a little better in the second half of the year with kinder variance.

Golf Place

Lifetime: 1937 bets, 25.81% ROI

2021: 512 bets, -0.64% ROI

January to June: 281 bets, 79.45 staked, -11.75, -14.82% ROI

July to December: 231 bets, 41 staked, 11.13 profit, 27.12% ROI

It’s been the most difficult year of four on my place model and I’ve broken the year into two halves to illustrate the poor opening six months.  I adjusted in the second half of the year decreasing volume by approximately 20% and stakes by 50%.

Over the three previous years, the place model was my mainstay balancing variance perfectly and particularly in year 3 when golf outright only broke even.  The results are the results and all that matters but it’s plausible we had a ridiculously high number of blowups from positions trading at sub1.25+ on the exchanges, and it’s prudent to point out that taking exchange prices were at least 20% bigger on Wednesdays across the board.  That said, post-Covid-19, the strengths of the fields changed particularly at the top end so it’s not surprising that the profit was made in the second half of the year when the players’ schedules finally settled back into the previous status quo.

The success in the early years of the model brought me directly into conflict with the major bookmaker we all use and the compiler the golf industry relies on to formulate the initial model.  There was a period in 2020 when they had gained access to my tips and were cutting prices in moments post email.  Interestingly after 12 months of holding back the place markets until the last few months of 2021, they’ve been going up first again which cynically will be because they had stopped the leak.  That may have been to our advantage in recent months and can be going forward.

Variance is a cruel mistress and there’s little doubt we had the worst of it in 2021 but I also made mistakes with volume and staking during the opening six months. 

Overall review

Lifetime: 6842 bets, ROI 28.87%

2021: 2187 bets, ROI 18.71%

January to June: Bets 1158, staked 224, ROI 15.18

July to December: Bets 1029, staked 144, ROI 24.19

I hope you will forgive me for doing my yearly review a little early but after this week our figures won’t change markedly for the worse and I want some time away from betting.  This will allow me to digest this review and enjoy time with my family over the festive season to recharge my batteries for 2022.

It feels like an average year at bookmaker prices making 18.71% for members and like always in life, betting is a constant learning curve.  There’s no doubt, it’s the Golf Place model that brought our ROI down below 20% for the first time in a yearly review.

To help, I broke the year down into two halves which proves my point that Golf Place dragged the profit down given we know that it was profitable in the second half of the year from our earlier review.

That leads to the conclusion that the opening six months results on the Golf Place model dragged the overall ROI down.

That said, I’m immensely proud of my service and anyone using exchanges will have gone above 20%.  I have been lucky enough to build up a core of some great long-term members whose trust and support is much appreciated.

Betting is meant to be fun! I believe my service offers that opportunity while making some nice profits with the occasional big hits to enjoy.  If you ever feel betting isn’t fun, then take a break as there’s more to life than the next winner.

It leaves me to say, I hope you and yours have come through this troubling period in the World unscathed as there’s nothing more important than family and loved ones. 

Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Craig



Golf Outright 2021 review

Uncategorised Posted on 14 Dec, 2021 06:33PM

Golf Outright 2021
Lifetime: 2297 bets, 48.67% ROI
2021: 708 bets, 38.44% ROI

After only breaking even in 2020, I was delighted to see the Golf Outright model back on track. Golf is a great betting sport and there’s more than one way to skin the cat and my style has always been the highest variance route in the attempt to maximise profits long term. This is a built-in ethos for my service as the lower variance of golf place and snooker manage our bankroll against those long losing streaks that hit the outright model. That downside to high variance has hurt us since September with no outright winners despite many close shaves as the model was above 50% at the end of August. That’s to be expected long term but the top of the market-dominating the PGA Tour events in the fall wasn’t helpful or the usual occurrence. Noticeable that my volume is high at 708 bets and one aim is to reduce that by 10 or 15% in 2022. The other aim is to improve my staking, as on occasion when we went 0.2ew or bigger our selections run poorly. That was something I did well in the opening two years of service but has been a leak the last two years. That’s likely variance but the short-term impact in 2021 hasn’t been ideal but the upside is we’ve had some serious CLV (closing line value) and unwittingly the bookies have dodged many good bullets in late 2021.
I need to mention, that like the golf place model, it’s entirely feasible someone betting exchanges at 30 to 40% higher win prices has a better ROI than our 38%.
Overall, I’m content we hit what we should on Golf outright in 2022 in the knowledge it would have been a little better in the second half of the year with kinder variance.



Golf Place review

Uncategorised Posted on 14 Dec, 2021 06:28PM

Golf Place

Lifetime: 1937 bets, 25.81% ROI

2021: 512 bets, -0.64% ROI

January to June: 281 bets, 79.45 staked, -11.75, -14.82% ROI

July to December: 231 bets, 41 staked, 11.13 profit, 27.12% ROI

It’s been the most difficult year of four on my place model and I’ve broken the year into two halves to illustrate the poor opening six months.  I adjusted in the second half of the year decreasing volume by approximately 20% and stakes by 50%.

Over the three previous years, the place model was my mainstay balancing variance perfectly and particularly in year 3 when golf outright only broke even.  The results are the results and all that matters but it’s plausible we had a ridiculously high number of blowups from positions trading at sub1.25+ on the exchanges, and it’s prudent to point out that taking exchange prices were at least 20% bigger on Wednesdays across the board.  That said, post-Covid-19, the strengths of the fields changed particularly at the top end so it’s not surprising that the profit was made in the second half of the year when the players’ schedules finally settled back into the previous status quo.

The success in the early years of the model brought me directly into conflict with the major bookmaker we all use and the compiler the golf industry relies on to formulate the initial model.  There was a period in 2020 when they had gained access to my tips and were cutting prices in moments post email.  Interestingly after 12 months of holding back the place markets until the last few months of 2021, they’ve been going up first again which cynically will be because they had stopped the leak.  That may have been to our advantage in recent months and can be going forward.

Variance is a cruel mistress and there’s little doubt we had the worst of it in 2021 but I also made mistakes with volume and staking during the opening six months. 



2021 Yearly Review

Uncategorised Posted on 14 Dec, 2021 06:24PM

Overall review

Lifetime: 6842 bets, ROI 28.87%

2021: 2187 bets, ROI 18.71%

January to June: Bets 1158, staked 224, ROI 15.18

July to December: Bets 1029, staked 144, ROI 24.19

I hope you will forgive me for doing my yearly review a little early but after this week our figures won’t change markedly for the worse and I want some time away from betting.  This will allow me to digest this review and enjoy time with my family over the festive season to recharge my batteries for 2022.

It feels like an average year at bookmaker prices making 18.71% for members and like always in life, betting is a constant learning curve.  There’s no doubt, it’s the Golf Place model that brought our ROI down below 20% for the first time in a yearly review.

To help, I broke the year down into two halves which proves my point that Golf Place dragged the profit down given we know that it was profitable in the second half of the year from our earlier review.

That leads to the conclusion that the opening six months results on the Golf Place model dragged the overall ROI down.

That said, I’m immensely proud of my service and anyone using exchanges will have gone above 20%.  I have been lucky enough to build up a core of some great long-term members whose trust and support is much appreciated.

Betting is meant to be fun! I believe my service offers that opportunity while making some nice profits with the occasional big hits to enjoy.  If you ever feel betting isn’t fun, then take a break as there’s more to life than the next winner.

It leaves me to say, I hope you and yours have come through this troubling period in the World unscathed as there’s nothing more important than family and loved ones. 

Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Craig



2021 Snooker Review

Uncategorised Posted on 14 Dec, 2021 06:20PM

Snooker 2021
Lifetime: 2459 bets, 16.75% ROI
2021: 922 bets, 15.15% ROI

Please forgive me for completing the snooker review before next week’s finish but I don’t expect figures to be markedly worse.
The snooker model has delighted and frustrated me in equal measure during 2021.
Let’s get the frustration out of the way and that’s simply how poorly we’ve run variance/results wise in the outright markets. In truth the previous 18 months was fantastic in snooker outrights while the previous 18 months to that was as frustrating as this current spell, though I’m hoping Xintong hitting in the UK Championship is the start of better form. There’s no way of building up a big sample of bets quickly like at golf in snooker outright so all we can do is be patient. When you look at near misses with Bingtao and Lisowski recently it’s variance and also a fact that the top of the market has dominated. If recent events and younger winners have a changing of the guard effect, I’m hoping we have good days ahead and we already have a unique and unusual high volume of ante-post bets.
As mentioned in last year’s review, one aim was to increase volume in 2021 and we did by 80%. Now I’ve proved what, I thought I learnt at the end of 2020, I will endeavour to increase stakes slightly also. It’s encouraging to know that betting without outrights would have yielded 20%+ and as such as I’ve mentioned before, it’s okay to bet more on snooker than golf. The main thing to do, if you choose to, is to be consistent and disciplined with staking perhaps reviewing yearly only. What I also need to mention, is that if you increase stakes on side markets particularly by too much you allow bookmakers to mark and close accounts so make sure you have new ones ready to use. Snooker is different to golf in fact that we have only the bookmakers to use as exchanges aren’t liquid apart from Money lines.
Overall, I feel more content with my snooker for the first time than any of my previous four years reviews. Famous last words but I feel confident 2022 could be our best year yet.



UK Championship – Quarter Finals

Uncategorised Posted on 03 Dec, 2021 10:32AM

Ronnie v Kyren

These two have an interesting h2h with Ronnie leading 7-3 and appearing in charge. The matches however tell a different story and have been the route cause for Kyren’s Clinchers disease with Ronnie winning QF GP from 1-3 down 5-3, Shanghai masters QF losing 6-5 from 1-5 up and ofcourse the COC final when he lost 10-9 from 9-8 up and on a break of 61. Hard losses to take for anyone but it does show Kyren has the ability to outplay Ronnie for long periods. Sadly today he is 13/8 best price which is unappealing for a bet and possibly a bet in running if their learnt behaviour continues.

McGill v Brecel

Interestingly, h2h Brecel leads 4-0 and the bookmakers have made him favourite despite being behind McGill by 40 or 65 points in outright betting pre which is unusual and points to McGill on value as in truth if these two player Quarter Final of WC no way is Brecel fav. Also h2h domination has become a hinderance deep with player’s expectations causing the Domino effect this week which counterintuitively again leans to McGill winning but at 2.00 I am happy to pass.

Hicks v Hawkins

I’ve enjoyed watching and profiting from Andy’s progress, having spent many hours practising with him at the Norbreck Castle back in the day. It goes to show how class stays with a player and the power of his play broke DG in the end. Can he do it again today? I do hope so and like DG, the Hawk can crumble if you can keep pressure up. Cannot bet on Andy but I will be rooting for him on many levels especially as winner will play Xintong or Lisowski to make the final.

Liswoski v Xintong

When the players came out for frame 1 yesterday, Lisowski looked ultra focused to do the business in frame 1. I thought this is cool, he looks on it and would win easy. Frame 2 he got edgy and his shot selection and focus went. Overall he was fortunate to win, having played like a headless chicken. That mindset doesn’t bode well for out outrights and hearing him say they would both go for everything made me cringe (he has so much experience deep in events compared to his opponent, now is the time he needs to use it so let’s hope it was psychology but I doubt it). Whoever wins will never have an easier opportunity to make the UK Champs final.

Conclusion

As always deep in these events, bets become a rarer commodity in matches with pricing easy for bookie and players playing their truer form.
If Lisowski or Hawk play Ronnie in final it will be a done deal for the ‘Rocket’. Xintong may have the same chance the ‘Rocket’ did against Hendry in 93 however, so that would be one to revisit.
No official bets, I’m just going to enjoy the quarter finals while adding quarter 4 profits to an excellent two weeks, there will be bets with more edge in the coming days so no need to force any today



Level staking all snooker bets is viable long term

Uncategorised Posted on 22 Nov, 2021 06:27PM

Dear snooker member,

I had a couple of enquiries from new members how level staking would pan out. Last year it would have been both staking forms at 21% as blog entry shows. This year’s will be broken down over the new year but there’s not been the outright success thus far so it’s doubtful level staking would be the same or better. Currently in 2021 we are running at 15% across all snooker bets……

I certainly would never put anyone off level staking the snooker long term though

Blog entry 11 months ago below
The snooker model finished the year with 625 selections if I counted each way ones as 2 (counted as 1 on sheets). I did this to split up how many bets we had and could review them at level stakes in comparison to the staking plan. From late November I took a more gregarious approach with higher volume in the final weeks of 2020 while reducing individual bet stakes. Remarkably both ways came out with 21% ROI and that is counting Holt as each way winner at 67.00 in the shootout. Early 2020 we had fewer bets, but we had an excellent run on the Outrights with Holt winning (101.00 was available but counted as 67.00), we also had Yuelong and Dott as runner up for ½ two places at 67.00. After Ash Carty qualified for World Championship at 34.00 and McGill won his quarter at 23.00 (July) we then run dry until the UK Championship when Yuelong won his quarter at 19.00(December). During and after our volume increased on match selections and we run at over 20% on the match and break markets alone in this period that was dominated by favourites (11.00 sub) reaching all the finals. My main reason for building the volume was because players were in a monotonous situation and thus any upswings or dips in forms could be magnified and relied upon more by us as punters. 2020 was a year of two halves and in fairness, our snooker model was a microcosm. I plan to start 2021 slowly and feel my way in as always while intending to increase the volume of bets with higher staking than November and December if the Milton Keynes dynamic develops which looks likely. If my staking had increased with the volume of those two months, we would have made more profit but these new Covid 19 dynamics meant I was a little reluctant to believe a new dynamic without some plausible proof I was right. If I get this right in 2021 then I will increase snooker profits regardless of outright bets.

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Judd Trump v John Higgins

Uncategorised Posted on 21 Nov, 2021 09:46AM

Dear snooker member 
As dissappointing as it was again for Yan Bingtao to fall on the final match the truth is John Higgins played much the better after the interval. Hopefully you all hedged a few bob back.

These two have some wonderful matches and the World final that Trump won, was a watershed giving him the biggest injection of self confidence imaginable. That was because prior he hadn’t beaten John Higgins in the longer format of the game and put him on a pedastool mentally.

Interesting today how we are at a full circle with Trump winning the last 8 matches between the pair since the World final and reaching this week’s final having won 16 successive frames.

Then we see John has had a late night and coming off the two final disappointments.

Everything points to Judd Trump winning surely?

As long as John can keep the early exchanges competitive today, I feel he could get his own watershed moment.

Sadly, given John was going off at 10/3 and 7/2 versus Trump in last year’s semi finals they played prices between 2.68-2.88 make no appeal.

So will just sit back and enjoy the final, maybe cheer John on who has been brilliant on occasions in recent weeks.
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Bingtao the value tonight

Uncategorised Posted on 16 Oct, 2021 11:09AM

Subscribers have already landed Yan Bingtao to win quarter bet and tonight he needs to win to guarantee the each way money at 33/1.

Despite that, at the prices Yan Bingtao is a still bet tonight due to the merits of today’s dynamics.

Given Bingtao’s strong head to head against Higgins I was surprised to see the Scot as a strong favourite and indeed a bigger price than David Gilbert was yesterday.

Ofcourse, John Higgins is a great champion who could rise to the occasion tonight like great champion’s do but he looked drained of confidence on the conclusion of yesterday’s quarter final when his hard tip and thining cloth were to blame for a looser cue ball control than ideal.

If he doesn’t get an early foothold tonight, I believe the young Chinese star could be too strong and have taken two bets;

15  Yan Bingtao to beat John Higgins 13/10 b365, 2.40+ exchanges

5     Yan Bingtao -2.5 frames alternate handicap at 10/3 easily available.



A good time to oppose future world champion, Yan Bingtao

Uncategorised Posted on 09 Oct, 2021 09:52AM

Yan Bingtao v Hossein Vafaei

This match has a very similar dynamic as the previous one without the head to head dynamic.

Yan Bingtao was an impressive Masters champion last year adding to his already impressive CV from the previous year.
That highlight shone bright for the talented precocious talent from China in last year’s season when he came unstuck on many occasions in the other events and particularly best of 7s.
In the snooker world it’s become impossible to see future world champions like days of yore but Bingtao looks one to me.  His no frills deadpan Matchplay style looks perfect for the longer formats of the game where he wears down the opponent similar to Mark Selby and Kyren Wilson.  Like those two however, he’s a little more vulnerable in best of 7 without them explosives spells of form that the likes of Judd Trump and Jack Lisowski utilise to put their matches to bed in less than half an hour.
This makes him vulnerable tomorrow morning against Hossein Vafaei, a similar no frills player but in seemingly better form at the moment.  Vafaei comes from a tough upbringing in Iran that is likely to serve him well as he carves out a career.  That career is already underrated by bookmakers despite several semi finals and deep runs.  Importantly, he’s not the sort of player to be overawed as he proved against Judd Trump in the Welsh Open.
The clincher for a bet here is that Yan Bingtao is coming under a world of pressure with his world ranking plummeting despite winning the Masters.  So much so that unless he breaks his cycle of poor form he may fall out of the top 16 and even the top 32.  Psychologically that has to be at the back of his mind, I do think he will pull out of this nose dive by winning or going deep in several events but for tomorrow match he’s got an extremely difficult opener.
If Bingtao was in his best form, I would only make him the price that the bookmakers have opened but with all those dynamics applied, I don’t make him much better than a slight favourite tomorrow.  Plenty of 13/8 around and I’ve already been matched on exchanges above 2.90+

0.2  Hossein Vafaei to beat Yan Bingtao 7/4 (2.75) upwards, 0.1 below



Take Jimmy Robertson tonight!

Uncategorised Posted on 09 Oct, 2021 07:11AM

Zhou Yuelong v Jimmy Robertson

A brief write up on tonight’s match between Zhou Yuelong, last year’s UK Championship semi finalist and Jimmy Robertson who looks to be returning to his best form.
Subscribers will know how profitable Zhou Yuelong has been for us to follow these past fifteen months but today I’m deserting him.  The British Open was a good return to these shores for Yuelong but the way he lost to Elliott Slessor in their semi final when missing a match winning black off the spot wasn’t ideal.  Due to Covid-19 protocols he’s been unable to play in the qualifying events leaving him no opportunity to get it out of his system.  Losing those opening rounds through no fault of his own won’t have done anything positive for Yuelong who needs a strong run to make his first Masters in January.
Jimmy Robertson however, is ticking along very nicely with a semi final berth in that Briitsh Open and solid qualifying wins since.  He’s starting to look like the player who won the European Masters a couple of seasons ago.
As always snooker matches are 80% plus in the mind’s of the player’s and I can’t help but think that at this moment Jimmy Robertson has the impetus in that department.  There is also the small matter of their head to head record of 4-0 to Robertson.  For checks and balances it’s fair to mention that those meetings were prior to 2018 but it’s still a one sided dynamic and another small psychological factor pointing to Jimmy Robertson especially given the bookmakers pricing that has Zhou Yuelong as a solid favourite at between 8/13 and 4/6.  I actually managed to get matched on Jimmy at 2.48 on the exchanges but any prices north of 2.20 are a worthwhile play on Jimmy Robertson tonight.  For me it’s a 0.1 unit play upto 2.30 increasing to 0.2 units if you can get above 2.30 which should be easily obtainable on exchanges.

Jimmy Robertson to beat Zhou Yuelong 0.2 units if you can get 2.30 and above and 0.1 below.



Six month review of 2021

Uncategorised Posted on 28 Jun, 2021 09:16AM

After a poor couple of weeks on the golf, the perfect time to review how things have been going in 2021. The screenshot has top line of lifetime bets and bottom line of 2021.

Firstly, this week obviously Bubba was a major disappointment last night having traded at 1.52 as was Larrazabal, in Germany.

I will start with snooker as I know it’s been a quiet few weeks and it’s about to restart this month. There as a glut of outright winners around end of 2019 and start of 2020 but that has been barren since apart from Yuelong at 21.00 in the UK before xmas. With that considered, I am delighted by the figures given outrights have been costly and we have been left to accumulate profit on matches. Milton Keynes post covid helped the match betting while increasing our volume, no doubt but with a couple of exceptions all outright winners were less than 10.00 which was not helpful and maybe linked. Noticeable how Murphy was inspired by a venue in the Worlds so logically there may be better outright value post Milton Keynes.

The golf place model has performed poorly for the opening six months of 2021 and with exception of Coupland in the British Masters long priced winners have been thin on the ground. The average price of top 20 finishers has risen in recent weeks, yesterday 7 of top 18 in travelers were 200 or above while over in Germany there was 5 in top 14 or 8 in top 25, either way that trend suggests form is balanced back to pre covid times which is encouraging for our place model. I will keep stakes small through the British Open in four weeks and review again with a view to increasing stakes slightly during the later months of 2021. The place model had been such a brilliant performer maybe this is just an expected period of poor variance and we have had many players trade sub 1.2 in recent months only to implode while others have lost money by dead heating, either way I will review again post Open Championship.

The golf outright has been pleasing in 2021 having only broke even in 2020 but my high price and high variance style accounts for the most pleasing ROI (50% 2000bets) long term and the strength of the service despite one break even year. I have made several choices to increase stakes at different events and the results have been less than ideal so with that considered 35 units of profit in 2021 is gratefully accepted and actually could have been better.

The further I get into my tipster’s journey the more I realise that what I thought was a big sample is a perhaps a nothing sample and break even or periods of loss are maybe to be expected. As always the whole experience is a huge learning curve as dynamics change every day so thanks for the support and here’s to more profits in the later half of the year.



Opening Sunday at the 2021 Masters Snooker

Uncategorised Posted on 10 Jan, 2021 09:56AM

Difficult to equate what affect the withdraw of Trump and Lisowski will have on today’s quarter.  Certainly getting a life into these big events has proved profitable for Ali Carter (Masters last year) and Maguire (Tour Championship).  The problem for us is that Gary Wilson looks all wrong mentally although if being handed 15k doesn’t help maybe nothing will. 
Perry has been below his best all year but did reach the quarter finals of the UK Championship only to lose and play terribly against Lu Ning, Perry does have Masters pedigree however. 
Kyren Wilson (in form compared to the others) now looks the likely winner of this quarter and even at odds on looks slim value (needed 2.25+ to tip) in my book given I make him 1.20-1.25 to beat Gary Wilson today followed by a match against Joe Perry or David Gilbert who I make 3.75 and 3.25 to beat him respectively.  I think if Kyren is to get beat by one of those players I favour David Gilbert but if you put a gun to my head tonight Joe Perry would be the selection to beat him.
David Gilbert like Gary Wilson may be starting to get haunted by the thought of losing his 100000 ranking points after the World Championship and sadly has looked gone mentally in ranking events for the last 12 months since reaching the Masters semi final.  The only glimpse of his old form was in Champion of Champions and it may be that is to do with the fact that like the Masters there are no ranking points and Dave’s mind is a less cluttered.  I don’t think it’s Gilbert’s game that has gone just his mind, therefore if Dave was to beat Perry tonight and play well the confidence gained might be enough to beat Kyren who often looks a little wrong these days.

Sadly for those reasons it’s a no bet day for me and I can’t remember two worse matches to open a Masters.

For those lucky enough to have the tournament sponsor’s, betfred account they have Perry at 3.00 to make a 100+ break in the “pick your punt” section which is overpriced.  They also have an outright market whereby you get free £2 For every 100 break by your player and if Kyren Wilson wins this quarter he likely makes anywhere between 3 to 5 centuries.

One more withdrawal means Zhou Yuelong would get a start, now that would be interesting….



2020 Yearly review

Uncategorised Posted on 31 Dec, 2020 12:00PM

Dear member,

This is my yearly review and when looking at the figures it reminds you that you don’t have to stake big to win at sports betting and I’m an advocate of betting responsibly as it helps keep betting fun but also the enjoyment of the sport. For that reason, you will never see me on Twitter bleating about bad luck, bad beats or more importantly our player performing badly. Sportsman have bad days (I can still vaguely remember lol) and I always prefer to accentuate the positive. For those reasons, if you ever feel uncomfortable betting or in life, you can always reach out to me for a chat because I’m a believer in only betting if you can afford the downswings and you are happy in life.
The snooker model finished the year with 625 selections if I counted each way ones as 2 (counted as 1 on sheets). I did this to split up how many bets we had and could review them at level stakes in comparison to the staking plan. From late November I took a more gregarious approach with higher volume in the final weeks of 2020 while reducing individual bet stakes. Remarkably both ways came out with 21% ROI and that is counting Holt as each way winner at 67.00 in the shootout. Early 2020 we had fewer bets, but we had an excellent run on the Outrights with Holt winning (101.00 was available but counted as 67.00), we also had Yuelong and Dott as runner up for ½ two places at 67.00. After Ash Carty qualified for World Championship at 34.00 and McGill won his quarter at 23.00 (July) we then run dry until the UK Championship when Yuelong won his quarter at 19.00(December). During and after our volume increased on match selections and we run at over 20% on the match and break markets alone in this period that was dominated by favourites (11.00 sub) reaching all the finals. My main reason for building the volume was because players were in a monotonous situation and thus any upswings or dips in forms could be magnified and relied upon more by us as punters. 2020 was a year of two halves and in fairness, our snooker model was a microcosm. I plan to start 2021 slowly and feel my way in as always while intending to increase the volume of bets with higher staking than November and December if the Milton Keynes dynamic develops which looks likely. If my staking had increased with the volume of those two months, we would have made more profit but these new Covid 19 dynamics meant I was a little reluctant to believe a new dynamic without some plausible proof I was right. If I get this right in 2021 then I will increase snooker profits regardless of outright bets.
The Golf place model was as reliable as the previous two years though I did have a dip in form towards the end of the year bringing down the ROI from just under 40% to 30% which is the mean over three years. Remarkably we only had 60 winners from 456 bets which were slightly disappointing although logically most PGA Tour events were less exploitable with the average price I use. If we get a normal 2021, I expect this to change back to normal. If you had level staked my place model at the best price you would have returned 638 from the 456 bets bringing a slightly better ROI than our 28%. I realise how difficult it is to get the best price on all selections like Saddier 51.00, Potter 26.00 (settled at 17.00), Humphreys 26.00, Summerhays 29.00, Gordon 26.00 (settled at 17.00) and Papp 26.00 so I will ignore that but it must be said with a slightly higher strike rate which is achievable in normal year profits could go significantly higher to level staking. My aim for 2021 is to increase my strike rate slightly to nearer 1:7 from 1:8 but overall, it continues as the best and most solid form of sports betting I’ve found with the knowledge that any downswing is at a minimum. I think I can increase win rate and if the end 2020 was an inevitable downswing out of the way I would like to believe we should get above 30% for 2021.
After two huge years and an ROI over 50%, the Golf Outright model found bad variance post March after Perera won at 126.00 and post Covid-19, harder dynamics to deal with. We had more bets than previous years and our ROI was a disappointing 4%. Despite that, in three years the model is still functioning at 50% ROI due to a wider spread at smaller stakes in 2020 and that reflects the harder post-Covid-19 dynamics at least by staking less. That was to counteract the effect Covid had on the resumption on the PGA Tour where the percentage of 201.00 priced golfers in the top 20 was at an all-time low. There were however a few outsiders that won, Michael Thompson, Jim Herman, Robert Streb and Martin Laird that won and in harsh truth all made my lists for that week, but I chose to not tip. That goes to show that golf is the only sport where you can logically and skilfully back 201.00+ shots and expect that a certain percentage will win. In the previous years of course luckily, I chose a couple more of those priced winners that make a huge difference to a year. I intend to proceed cautiously particularly on the PGA Tour with less bets until field strengths return to normal, that said if we return to a normal schedule so will the elite player’s schedules and a normal equilibrium will be restored. Likewise, The Sony Open, the second week of the PGA season is often a big week and I’m hoping for a normal early season run of events in America. The European Tour not so much and with over 40 tournaments planned it could be the most profitable one of the two. Hopefully the Champions, Korn Ferry, LPGA and Challenge Tour will have strong schedules allowing us to dip in and out when the venues’ dictate, we should.
The service in three years has run at 30%+ ROI with Golf Place is 29%, Golf Outright at 50% and Snooker 18% which I am delighted and proud of but 2020 was the most difficult year to date with Golf place running at 28%, Golf Outright at 4% and Snooker at 21% which accounted overall for 16.8% ROI. That said the strength of the service as always is the models complement each other and allow members to steadily build their betting bankroll. There is another factor that affected our golf returns and that was a lack of champions tour events. In 2018 Tom Gillis smashed our profits sky high for a couple of events like Doug Barron in 2019. Lack of tournaments and the in-form rookies being Ernie Els and Jim Furyk hurt our profits undoubtedly. This brings me onto the subject of staking and how it potentially affects our profits long term; as mentioned above if you had level staked golf place and snooker model your profits would be close to our staking plan figures. How do I set stakes? When I started out as tipster and membership was small, we did exploit opportunities on Gillis in 2018 as mentioned above. The problem nowadays is that if I go 0.5 each way at 176.00 the firms will move that price so quickly the staking becomes untenable for us all to get our money down. Likewise on the golf place model if I suggest 0.8 at 26.00 because clinically I know it is nearer 6.00 in actual price we are mainly going to be matched at somewhere between 13.00 and 17.00 which means a lesser stake to 0.5 to fit perceived value therefore I will reduce my stake to fit the greater good.
If you choose to level stake all selections I suggest if you have £10 on snooker bet, then have £10 golf place and £5 each way (harder to get anymore on if selection is 151.00+) on all snooker and golf Outrights or the comparative level to your bankroll.
Personally, I will continue to set the staking plan despite 2020 being the first year my bigger stake selections on snooker and golf Outrights flopped. That said, the golf place models when we went in heavy did yield better than previous years. Therefore, one year is a small sample in the grand scheme of things and another year’s information will tell us more.
Hopefully you all have a good healthy Christmas and New Year with your loved ones because after all that’s what matters. It’s been nice to have a break and a chance to review and I’m looking forward to a healthy and wealthy 2021.



Championship League

Uncategorised Posted on 27 May, 2020 07:15PM

Championship League
A shot in the arm for so many that live televised sport is back on Monday in the form of the Championship League. World Snooker deserve the plaudits for being pro-active and Stealing a march on their rivals. Extensive ITV coverage will enhance the otherwise low-key reputation of the Championship League, the format now takes on a similar shape to ITVs British Gold Cup/Yamaha Organs Trophy that became the International Masters in the 1980s. While the prize money probably doesn’t excite the leading players’, they have been quick to support the event which can only add to the kudos of the event. The lower-ranked players will be thankful for an opportunity to earn sooner rather than later in an event that with qualification for the Champion of Champions means the winner’s purse is nearer £50,000 and potentially career-changing.
For five years in, the 80s the event consisted of best of 3 frame format matches before the latter stages and noticeably Steve Davis domination of the sport continued as he managed to win three from four that he competed in. The other two champions were Ray Reardon and Alex Higgins proving that despite the format, class rose to the top. When comparing the two we remember snooker back in the 80s lacked the strength in depth of the modern game however, during these events there were several shocks. Yorkshireman, John Dunning reached the final at the age of 57 while other veterans such as Dave Martin, Ray Edmonds and Doug French became adept at beating their higher-ranked opponents in the format.
For this reason, it becomes impossible to conclusively say that any player has no chance at the group stage while becoming quite the opposite. Should a lower-ranked professional play a match near his potential under the television lights this will immediately increase his confidence while of course should he play poorly the momentum and confidence could evaporate for the day. Momentum will be the key ingredient and should the higher-ranked players find it early in the group they have potential to steamroller given their experience under the television lights. The beauty of the format, however, is one major upset against the group favourite and all the others will fancy their chances of progressing which can quickly bring about the domino effect.
The group stages are extensively covered by ITV so I expect there will be plenty to learn in running and value bets to be found
Group A
Stuart Bingham – Will love the format and if he finds his momentum, he has the look of a player likely to win the tournament if he gets on a roll.
Ricky Walden – Not to be overlooked with his experience and fluent style. Fits the category of a veteran who could flourish in format.
Jordan Brown – Slow burner but already beaten Stuart Bingham and David Gilbert twice in the current season. Potentially an awkward opponent in group stages.
Jamie Clarke – Outsider in the group whose best results have come in the Shootout so could inflict an upset or two.
No bet

Group B
Judd Trump – A strong favourite even in this format
Daniel Wells – Performed well before under television lights reaching semi-final of the Scottish Open last season.
Elliot Slessor – Two Career victories over Ronnie O’Sullivan and could easily be the one to beat Judd Trump if anyone can
David Grace – Like Wells he has proven ability to play under televised conditions from his UK Championship semi-final appearance a few years ago.
Elliott Slessor at 12.00 (Betfred) or in his match v Judd Trump worth considering.

Group C
Michael Holt – Won the Shootout, an event he is well suited too and I expect this format and his new-found confidence look perfectly matched.
Mark Davis – Experienced sort who will flourish if he can get a few wins under his belt.
Mark Joyce – A player who impresses me when he reaches the television stages.
Louis Heathcote – Made an impressive start to his rookie season and a potential wildcard for the group.
A trappy group with Holt a deserving favourite but no bet. Holt is worth considering each way at 201.00 (Boylesports)

Group D
Joe Perry – Model professional who will be suited by the event if he finds his fluency.
Mark King – Northern Ireland Open winner and probably suited by pressurised format.
Sam Baird – Had a poor season but the three-month break can only help him clear his mind and re-set.
Harvey Chandler – Has promise but overall found life difficult as a professional. Could easily upset anyone at the group stage.
No bet

Group E
Mark Selby – Has performed superbly in the short format home nations events this season.
Liang Wenbo – Having a season of consolidation and gradually re-building his confidence looking through his results.
Joe O’Connor – Last season’s Rookie of the Year has struggled this season. Nothing unusual for a promising player to have a poor second season and not live up to expectations. This is a perfect opportunity to get back on track.
Lee Walker – Experienced journeyman professional who reminded fans what he is capable of by beating Judd Trump at the English Open. Not to be overlooked in the group stage matches.
No bet

Group F
Ali Carter – Gritty competitor who can never be discounted
Matt Selt – Winner of last year’s Indian Open who is always difficult to beat.
Sam Craigie – Having a poor season and failing to build on a good 2018/2019. Remains respected when his confidence returns
Dominic Dale – Just the type of experienced player to flourish in the format.
Wide Open group that Dale could have a say in but at his price it’s no bet.

Group G
Barry Hawkins – Having a poor season and the break should have allowed him to clear his cluttered mind.
Anthony McGill – I did think he was starting to return to his best before the break and a dark horse in all markets.
Craig Steadman – Will be there to pick up the pieces if the higher ranked players struggle.
Hammad Miah – Struggled all season and in need of a confidence boost.
A no bet group although McGill could be a dark horse in the outrights at 151.00 (Boylesports)

Group H
Jimmy Robertson – Winner of last season’s European Masters who has plenty of televised experience.
Ben Woollaston – Consistent fluent sort who could be well suited by the format.
Liam Highfield – His break-building stats indicated he had improved slightly this season so the perfect opportunity to prove that.
Alexander Ursenbacher – Plays well in short format home nations events who can go deep when he finds his momentum.
An impossible task to find the winner of this group with all players capable of going further should they progress.

Group I
Jack Lisowski – Obvious chance if he finds his momentum.
Luca Brecel – Exactly same comments apply as above.
Robbie Williams – Grinds away well and beat John Higgins in German Masters so the dark horse of the group if the favourites don’t fire.
Oliver Lines – Had a poor season but if he has cleared his mind remains a player of potential who on his day could win his group matches.
Robbie Williams opened at 8.00 for the group and I think the best now is 6.50 which still has a tad of potential should the two favourites be slow out of the blocks.

Group J
Ronnie O’Sullivan – A brilliant pro-am and short format player who has often found it has the affect of focusing his attention.
Chris Wakelin – The sort of player who will be around if the others play below par.
Michael Georgeiu – A momentum player as illustrated by his shootout win of 2018 and remains dangerous in this format.
Kishan Hirani – Struggled all season but could still cause opponents problems.
Ronnie plays well when returning fresh from a break but Michael Georgeiu could be dangerous if Ronnie has an unexpected loss.

Group K
Mark Allen – Happy to have had a break from the sport having looked fatigued since the UK Championship.
Martin O’Donnell – Martin is a proper grinder who will make the game difficult for his opponents.
Michael White – I was taken with his quarter final in the UK Championship reminding everyone what a fluent high-class player the Welshman still is. We know he liked the Shootout so this format will suit if he gets his tail up.
Nigel Bond – The UK Championship also reminded everyone that Nigel Bond could still play and he is just the sort of veteran to prosper.
I definetly like opposing the two favourites in this group with Michael White (6.00) and possibly Nigel Bond.

Group L
Kyren Wilson – Of all the top players I reckon Kyren Wilson will be the best prepared.
Ryan Day – Out of form but a momentum player if he can get some confidence building wins in the bank.
Alfie Burden – Without doubt a Masterchef candidate but not to be overlooked in this format where his relaxed style could be an advantage.
Chen Feilong – Cannot overlook anyone in the group stages but looks to have a mighty task.
Kyren Wilson looks a strong favourite but no bet at price.

Group M
David Gilbert – Fluent sort who will be suited by format if he is timing the ball well.
Stuart Carrington – Local lad to me and very capable as his results have proved.
Jak Jones – Had a good season and awkward opponent.
Jackson Page – A fluent player who appears capable of better.
Wide open group with perhaps Jak Jones a shred of value at 8.50.

Group N
Gary Wilson – Should be suited by this format and looks a strong group favourite.
Matthew Stevens – High-class performer who could be suited by tournament if he has been practising.
John Astley – Respected but has little television experience.
Mitchell Mann – Seems to be back close to his best after struggling with his mental wellbeing. Capable of a shock win or two during the group stage.
Gary Wilson a strong group favourite but his price is poor however at 81.00 this fluent Geordie who is comfortable on television looks overdue a breakthrough.

Group O
Tom Ford – Inconsistent but high-quality performer when he gets it right.
Rob Milkins – Re-building his game in recent months with encouraging results to help. If he could negotiate the group 301.00 would not look too bad.
Mike Dunn – His experience could serve him well in the format if he can remain competitive.
Ian Burns – Opened at 8.00 which I thought was too big for the group and thus I took some. Beat Judd Trump just before Christmas.
A group where the favourites could be caught cold and anything over 6.00 on Ian Burns could be worth a small bet.

Group P
Neil Robertson – Obvious chances
Kurt Maflin – 7.00 looked a tad big for Maflin given he should be suited be format.
Ken Doherty – Do not overlook the Irishman who will be suited by television coverage.
Ashley Carty – A big ask but a player capable of big breaks who has potential on his day.
Difficult to go against Neil Robertson but should he lose a match Kurt Maflin at 7.00 is tad of value with Ken Doherty not overlooked.

Outright
Judd Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Neil Robertson will be hard to stop in the later stages should they find their momentum. Gary Wilson 81.00, Michael Holt 201.00, Michael White 301.00, Anthony McGill 151.00 and Rob Milkins 301.00 are five random darts worth considering to small stakes.
Overall though it will be great to have competitive snooker back so keep stakes small while learning who is playing well for a few in-play bets.



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