Relish Roberston’s Route to Final

We now have the draw for the 2019 World Snooker Championship and it is very bottom heavy. Ronnie O’Sullivan, as the No.2 seed, is in the very bottom bracket meaning he can meet Judd Trump, the only player who has truly stuck it to him all season, as early as the third round. Mark Allen, who has had a very strong season is also housed in the bottom half, alongside multiple World Champion Mark Selby and Jack Lisowski, who continues to climb up the rankings with a string of strong results and was runner-up in last week’s China Open. The…

Ning to Challenge Hawkins in China

The China Open starts in the early hours of Monday. It’s the last tournament before the World Championships and the penultimate competition of the 2018/19 season.  It’s also a ‘biggie’ with players squabbling over a £1 million prize-pool.  For many journeyman pros this will be their last opportunity to make money to see them through the barren summer months and, at the very least, an appearance in the ‘last 32’ will net them £11,000 apiece which will more than enough to cover the flight and hotel costs. The outright destination of the trophy looks between Judd Trump and Neil Robertson to…

Two of Interest in India

Defending champion John Higgins is favourite to win the 15th ranking tournament of the 2018/19 season, the Indian Open. Action started yesterday with a pile of mismatches - the business end begins on Saturday with the last 16 and quarter-final stages. John Higgins cannot win by the way. Nor can Shaun Murphy. This pair are simply playing some desperate snooker. In fact you can strike a line through much of this 128 player field. Despite the frequent flashes of brilliance we see from Chinese players, it is remarkable to think only Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo have won a ranking…

Looking for Wins in Wales

The World Grand Prix concluded on Sunday night – in Cheltenham of allplaces – and the Welsh Open began on Monday morning. The Snooker road-show is clearly very congested, meaning there is precious little time for players to rediscover lost form in-between competitions. From a punting viewpoint, this hectic schedule makes life a lot simpler and allows us to draw a line through John Higgins and Mark Williams when trying to identify the winner of the Welsh Open. And you have to question where Mark Allen’s head is at given he conceded a frame and match with 11 reds still…

From Rocket to Riches at English Open

I hate backing favourites, I really do. But I have to back and recommend Ronnie O’Sullivan in the Betvictor English Open which starts on Monday, live on Eurosport.  Here’s why:  This competition features a ‘best of seven’ format until the quarter finals (when it becomes ‘best of 9’, then 11 and finally 17) and ‘The Rocket’s’ 2017 record in ‘best of sevens’ is a remarkable 16 wins from 17 games played. Ronnie is the defending champion, winning this competition in 2017, the first of four ranking tournaments he won during the course of the season. We have seen O’Sullivan once…

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