Good Morning Dear Readers!
In today’s post I complete my look at the runners and riders I feel have a chance in The World Snooker Championships. Over the last couple of days we have examined the chances of Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins, Ding Junhui, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson and Mark J Williams. Today is the turn of Shaun Murphy, Mark Allen and Ali Carter. I had intended to look at Ryan Day as well but he somehow managed to lose his 1st round match to Mark Davis, who registered only his 2nd win at the Crucible in 6 attempts (his only other victory coming back in 1995!)
Before we come to that, however, a quick word about our top up bet yesterday morning on Shaun Murphy. I felt that the 24 available to back on Betfair was much too big and was convinced that he would be shorter this morning if he put in any kind of performance in his match against Gerard Greene. My opinion, on this occasion, has proved to be right as he is currently available to lay at 18. I will be laying him off now for a free bet. I leave the decision to you as to whether you wish to join me.
Right then, off we go:
Another victim of the snooker nicknames idiocy – “The Captain”- because he has a pilot’s licence (chortle) – Ali is a steady, if unexciting player who finally broke his duck in ranking tournaments when winning the Welsh Open last season. He’s certainly improved in recent years and these days is an ever present in the later stages of the big tournaments. He reached the final here in 2008 going down 18-8 to an O’sullivan who was pulling up trees at the time. My concern with “The Captain” is his seeming inability to convert his good form into a series of wins. He strikes me as a bit of a nearly man and he really doesn’t make much appeal at the current odds of 20/1 generally.For my money, he is likely to come unstuck against either Ding Junhui or Shaun Murphy in the quarter Finals (assuming he manages to edge past Joe Perry in Round 2 – which is certainly not a given)
Not my favourite player by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, if I was put in charge of snooker nicknames he would find himself being announced as Shaun “The Prissy, Hypocritical Red-Cheeked Clown” Murphy. However, putting aside my personal distaste for the man, I have to grudgingly admire his talent as a snooker player. To reach the final here last year, while dodging his wife’s attempts to serve divorce papers and featuring in lurid kiss and tell stories in the tabloids, was some achievement. He appears to thrive on the crucible atmosphere and I am sure he could go close again this year. He did look a little shaky last night in the first few frames against Gerard Greene but he managed to get to a seemingly unassailable lead of 8-1. The 14/1 generally available offers a few points of value and I am happy with our ante post bet on him ( plus the nice free bet we managed to secure yesterday)
A very interesting young player who seems to have improved every time I see him play. Yet to win a ranking tournament and the owner of an impressively crooked nose, I don’t think he will have to wait much longer before winning a big tournament. His odds of 14/1 generally don’t hold much appeal for me but I do think he is worth a small interest at 17 on Betfair as he appears to have a relatively easy run to the semi finals. He faces Mark Davis in Round 2 and either Stephen Maguire or Graeme Dott in the quarters. I think he is eminently capable of beating any of those players. I will, however, be laying him off for a free bet at the semi final stage if he manages to get there.
And that, dear readers, concludes the final part of my crucible analysis. There are likely to be further opportunities as the tournament progresses so I will keep you up to date on any changes in my positions.