Back again dear readers!
Apologies for not posting last night – I didn’t get back from Wolverhampton until gone 8pm and by the time I’d had my dinner I was way too tired to do anything other than slump in front of the television.
Continuing with the analysis of the top chances at The Crucible this year, lets have a look at:
Another one of the contenders who on ability is more than capable of winning this. I do, however, have some doubts about his temperament particularly here at the Crucible. For a player of his talent never to have gone beyond the last 16 here is a shocking stat and I am not convinced that he feels comfortable. It is also hard to forget his meltdown in the masters final a few years ago. I could see him really struggling against Shaun Murphy in the 2nd round if that is how it pans out. Stick with the advised small stakes saver on Ding.
Can anybody tell me why his nickname is “The Jester from Leicester”? I’ve never seen him do anything even remotely funny. A great player in recent years who is always there or thereabouts in the big tournaments. A big danger but I don’t feel there is any value in his price. If he gets past Hendry, he will face either O’Sullivan or Williams in the Quarter Finals – either of whom would give him a very tough match. I will consider backing him later in the tournament if he is looking strong against O’Sullivan/Williams.
I’m not a big fan of Neil Robertson – not sure whether it’s the over flamboyant hair or his antipodean background – but there is no denying his talent. It’s been a quietish year for him considering the form he was in last season. I think the 10/1 we took on Saturday represents a little value and if he can edge past John Higgins in the Quarters, who knows? ( I know this is a bit presumptuous as he still needs to beat beat Fergal O’Brien and Martin Gould – but I think he should)
Mark J Williams
My big fancy for the tournament at the prices. He has just won the China Open despatching Jamie Cope, John Higgins, Marco Fu and Ali Carter on his way to a final in which he crushed Ding Junhui 10-6. Pretty good form I would suggest and he is back up to World Number 6 in the provisional rankings as things stand. He’s won it twice before, he knows his way around The Crucible and I’m very happy with the 12/1 we got at the start of the tournament despite his less than fluent win over Marcus Campbell. That win has set up a mouth-watering clash with O’Sullivan in Round 2 – a match that could be worthy of the final in my opinion. If Mark can get past O’Sullivan, I think he has a very big chance indeed and that 12-1 will look absolutely massive. I could easily see him trading at 5/1 after a win like that – allowing us to make an nice easy profit on him.
That’s enough for today, dear friends. Tomorrow I will look at the chances of Shaun Murphy, Ali Carter, Ryan Day and Mark Allen – who are the only others I feel stand much of a chance.
A final word on the disturbing drift in the odds on Betfair for Shaun Murphy to win the title. I’m hoping there is not something I’ve missed. He is currently available to back at 24 on Betfair and, for the life of me I cannot fathom why he is that big and has drifted that fast. I advise a small top up of our bet on Murphy because, as long as his arm hasn’t fallen off, that is much, much too big a price for him. He plays his first round match this evening and, if he looks in any way fluent and on his game, that crazy price won’t be around at the end of the day.