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snooker backer
11 Dec 09 06:07
Date Joined: 10 Jan 08
| Topic/replies: 572 | Blogger: snooker backer's blog
Well, if ever conclusive proof were needed as to who the two best players in the world are, yesterday you saw it. Both taking their in-form opponents to pieces without breaking sweat. It seems strange to say but Ronnie was justified in his post match assessment that:

"The scoreline flattered me, Mark had his chances but he didn't take them," said 34-year-old O'Sullivan. "It's a win I suppose, but it's hard to be happy or filled with any joy. I could have been more clinical."

Selby missed chances that Higgins will not miss. But Ronnie will up his game against John you'd think. To me, Higgins would have probably won at least four of the frames that Selby lost yesterday against Ronnie and to me that makes him ever so slight favourite for their semi-final. But he won't be, so let's wait and see. One bet that is too good to miss this morning is the 7/2 on Higgins in the outright market, too big at the nanny goat, so I'm on. If Higgins wins the semi, I'd have him at a minimum 4/9 chance for the final, regardless of opponent.

Today's semi-final sees the comeback king and part-time sulker Ding against Maguire, who it is becoming increasingly rare to see at this stage of tournaments. A tough one to call, Maguire seems to have benefitted from the laser ete surgery he had done in the summer, but having to only dispatch of Holt, Bingham and Lines to make a ranking semi-final is the stuff of dreams. Ding on the other hand has beaten an (albeit off colour) Murphy and an in-form Carter to get here. He also registered his first win against the Scot in October at the Grand Prix. But Ding does have a tendency to disappear for frames on end in these long matches and then come to life when he thinks he might lose, which leads me to believe that this might be a close one.

But with Ding steadily making his way back into the player he was two seasons ago and with Maguire, to me, with his best behind him, I'm going to side with the Chinaman. So it's a Higgins Ding showdown for me, which I'd expect John to win.
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Report snooker backer December 11, 2009 6:16 AM GMT
Just as a final note on Higgins and Ronnie. Unless you class the Premier League as a major event, with the exception of the Shanghai Masters this year, you have to go back to the 2001 World Championships to Ronnie winning a major event match between the two. However, in their last 32 meetings in all competitions the frame score between the two is Ronnie 194, Higgins 193! Watch out for that stat on BBC tomorrow!
Report michael knight December 11, 2009 7:29 AM GMT
as always, good write up.
Report Will I ever learn? December 11, 2009 8:14 AM GMT
Think the total frames market has to be favourite with both players performing at their best.

Its a hard match to call, so taking the total frames, you wont have to.

9-6 or more @ 4/6
9-7 if feeling brave @ 11/8

Anyone know the last match scores between the pair?
Report Will I ever learn? December 11, 2009 8:16 AM GMT
^ that post was referring to the Ronnie v Higgins match, complete toss of a coin the other game, as the odds confirm
Report I Win All The Tim December 11, 2009 8:32 AM GMT
Not entirely sure about the ronnie match, the odds don't offer a lot.

However, i fully expected to come on here and see ding's starting price at around 1.8.

I think the last 2 frames he played against a very good ali carter, were magnificent, the last frame in particular, he knew if he missed just 1 of them balls, he'd lost the game, every single shot was difficult and he made it look easy.

Now im not doubting at times he will be sulking in his chair, but i expect him to beat maguire who, tbh, has had it VERY easy up till now. bare in mind lines lost by 4 frames, but in the first 2 frames should've won (got 60+ pts in both) and about 3 other frames in the match a more experienced player would have finished.

I expect ding to win, and evens is VERY generous imo
Report Phil December 11, 2009 8:42 AM GMT
Good stuff SB.

I think Ding is a good bet on current form. He is clinical when in the balls and can create openings with tremndous long-potting.Maguire will need his A-game to compete. Ding 9-5/6.

The other match will surely be close.

Ronnie's long-potting is still not where it needs to be against a bang in form Hig.

That should give John openings and he does not tend to waste them. Saying that OS matchplay this week has been top-class and, despite what he says, he has been producing one-visit breaks at the right time.

At the prices Higgins must be the bet (especially with SB's excellent frame stat between the pair that the BBC should jackdaw LOL).

If Higgins does succeed in a hard-fought battle, and Ding does win easily, the chinaman will be the bet in the final for me with the fresh factor in mind and confidence very high.

Report snooker backer December 11, 2009 10:37 AM GMT
That 7/2 on Higgins on the outright market gone completely, good luck to the fellow early risers that forced the price down!
Report They think it's all over.... December 11, 2009 10:40 AM GMT
nice work SB.
Report snooker backer December 11, 2009 10:41 AM GMT
Also played at Spoils on the Ding Higgins double, pays 4.75.
Report I Win All The Tim December 11, 2009 10:49 AM GMT
God only knows why you would do a double on 2 events that are happening on seperate days.

Surely backing ding today with the stake that you used for your double, then with the winnings, backing higgins tomorrow, would get you more profit?
Report snooker backer December 11, 2009 11:04 AM GMT
I like the odds Tim, simple as that really. I can't see the 6/4 they have on Higgins currently lasting.
Report tennis plums done December 11, 2009 11:27 AM GMT
dont think mags ding will be an open affair, mags will be settling in for the night shift, trying to control the pace of the game,making every shot count. he'll win more scrappy frames, and that could be a decisive factor, on the contrary i dont think i've ever seen ding take more time and effort over what look like simple shots, running into baulk after breaking down etc where it really is vital you dont just get down and play it annoyed. very small details as always will be key
Report Jimmy Commas December 11, 2009 3:02 PM GMT
Why do they insist on joke scheduling? Players that get a day off today won`t be as fresh as the players playing today when the final starts.
Play both over the 2 days imo
Report snooker backer December 11, 2009 3:16 PM GMT
Jimmy, traditionally it was to give the holder (number 1 seed) the day before the final off. It would have been Murphy had he got through. However, the length of these matches isn't so long as to make any difference in my opinion. Higgins and O'Sullivan aren't likely to finish too late tomorrow and the final doesn't start until the following afternoon, don't think it makes much difference at this stage myself.
Report snooker backer December 11, 2009 3:31 PM GMT
The 6/4 on Higgins tomorrow has gone now by the way. He's as short as 6/5 with some, which to me is a more realistic price.
Report snooker backer December 11, 2009 3:33 PM GMT
For those who like to play it safer you can get 4/6 currently on Higgins +2.5 frames.
Report Jimmy Commas December 11, 2009 4:49 PM GMT
Thanks for that snooker backer. As you probably know 1992 was the last year the final was best of 31, do you know what the semi`s were best of back then?
So 1993 until now finals are best of 19 so I agree may not be much of an advantage as I thought unless the 2nd semi is close. Then the 1pm start for the final just may give the fresher player an early edge, but I take your point.
Report Shamus December 11, 2009 6:10 PM GMT
Interesting write up snooker backer, I believe the 1.65 osullivan higgins match is about right i would go as far to say it was a tad generous, i think higgins concentration and overall match play has been at his personal max over the last 2-3 seasons but i do believe recently his form has dropped(only slightly)
As for osullivan i believe his overall game has improved recently especially his shot selection and temperament and his overal out look on life and the game. as for stats i wouldn,t get to involved with them as they can be misleading. In the here and now i exspect osullivan to win with 2-3 frames to spare, where he will meet ding in the final which will maybe a slightly tougher game but exspect osullivan win.GLx
Report snooker backer December 11, 2009 8:49 PM GMT
Best of 17 jimmy?
Report snooker backer December 12, 2009 6:59 AM GMT
Thought I'd post the pair's meetings in major events since 2001 (I don't count the PL as a major event but if you do Ronnie's record is a lot better). With the exception of Shanghai this year, John does have the better record. Arguably you have to go back to the world final of 2001 for Ronnie's last big success against him. Higgins is also in cracking form at the moment, again arguably the form of his life. Ronnie isn't in the form of his life but so far has been admirably adapting to snooker life without his 'A' long game. A great match awaits, but given the facts, make no mistake the prices on Higgins are too long (though as I mentioned the 6/4 has now gone).

John Higgins Ronnie O'Sullivan Grand Prix 2009 Round 2 5-4
John Higgins Ronnie O'Sullivan China Open 2009 Quarter-final 5-4
Ronnie O'Sullivan John Higgins Shanghai Masters 2009 Semi-final 6-1
John Higgins Ronnie O'Sullivan World Snooker Championship 2007 Quarter-final 13-9
John Higgins Ronnie O'Sullivan The Masters 2006 Final 10-9
John Higgins Ronnie O'Sullivan Grand Prix 2005 Final 9-2
Ronnie O'Sullivan John Higgins Regal Scottish Masters 2002 Final 9-4
John Higgins Ronnie O'Sullivan Regal Scottish Masters 2001 Final 9-6
Ronnie O'Sullivan John Higgins Embassy World Championship 2001 Final 18-14
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