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14 Apr 17 13:01
Date Joined: 30 Aug 04
| Topic/replies: 831 | Blogger: gobelins's blog
Most considered opinion seems to think J.Trump and M.Selby are the one's to beat this year, and maybe R.O'Sullivan if he can produce one final huge effort to win it for a sixth time. But, the prices of all 3 are too prohibitive for me and there must be value further down the pecking order. With that in mind, here are cases for 3 of them at big prices.

L.Wenbo - 80/1 (100/1 in a place). Is finally starting to show just how talented he is of late. He won his 1st ranking event this season, The English Open, beating J.Trump in the final (as an aside anyone thinking of backing Trump outright at 4/1 should look at his poor conversion rate when he reaches SFs and Finals - including this season). He also reached the UK final last season, losing to N.Robertson in the final. He has spoken of having learned so much from O'Sullivan recently who will undoubtedly have helped him in trying to control his emotions. He outplayed O'Sullivan in The Masters this year before missing 'that black' to win 6-4, and O'Sullivan went on to win the title. His form has tailed off of late but he's got an excellent all round game and despite a poor looking Crucible record at first glance he usually plays well here (losing in R1 to O'Sullivan 7-10, Higgins 9-10, Ding 8-10 and last year to Trump 8-10 in his last 4 visits). He has got a big Crucible run in him, and a potential 2nd round clash with Ding won't phase him as it may have done previously.

M.Allen - 40/1. There are lots of negatives about Allen: he's over weight, his application and dedication to practice is questionable, and his inability to channel his aggression in the right way being but 3 of them. But, there's a big Crucible challenge inside him at some point - I'm convinced of it. He has stalled over the last few years with 2 ranking event titles (both in China) being scant reward for a player of his ability. He beat R.O'Sullivan here, from behind, in 2009 enroute to reaching the SF before losing to the eventual champion J.Higgins 13-17. He's had some problems with depression in the past but he's a real street fighter as he showed in 2011 when he discussed his problems on the eve of the championship and considered pulling out before beating M.Stevens 10-9 and B.Hawkins 13-12. His recent form isn't overly impressive and there is a suspicion that he's just below top-class (he has a habit of playing well but losing unluckily to the highest ranked players) but he has a decent draw and is the sort of player who can be difficult to hold when he gets on a roll.

A.McGill 100/1. Since the draw there appears to be a lot of confidence in S.Maguire beating McGill in R1, and while it's the most evenly matched 1st round encounter - if McGill can negotiate it he's got a lively chance. He's not the most consistent player on the circuit and he's reached the top 16 primarily on the back of winning his sole ranking event, The Indian Open, last season, and his performances at The Crucible. His 2 visits here have seen him beat S.Maguire and M.Selby (who was defending champion) in 2015, and S.Murphy last year. He has looked comfortable at The Crucible, which is a huge positive (you certainly can't say that about Maguire) and he isn't going to be overawed against anyone in the draw. He has a good all round game, and handles the pressure really well. He can be a bit laboured, particularly during safety exchanges, but his recent win in the shoot out shows he is capable of more fluent snooker.
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Report gentlemanjohn April 14, 2017 3:52 PM BST
Great write up. I'd probably edge for Liang out of those three. He's a player I like to watch and still think he's a bit underrated even though he's pushing to get inside the top 10, maybe even after these championships. The draw is tough enough but probably the best he's had yet, i think i'd fancy him to take Ding and then put it up to whoever he meets in the quarters. Not going to fear anybody anyway.

The dark conundrum that is Mark Allen, a player who says he only practises an hour a day now because they are away on tour so much. Given the kind draw, it's the year for him to make an impression if he's ever going to do it. I'd quite like him to do well, but couldn't back him at 40s while the likes of Liang are over double that.

I dont rate McGill as highly as some, think Wilson is the better of the UK young(ish) guns, but he is slightly under the radar alright. That's a tight match I don't want to call, Maguire has the talent to win it, but McGill's composure and level-headedness will ensure he won't lose it easily.
Report moondan April 14, 2017 5:31 PM BST
The bottom half of the draw looks as easy as the top looks impossible.

I think Ronnie's luck with easy draws has deserted him bigtime and while he might scramble a result his game won't hold up for long . In fact I hear he has been studying his excuses book long into the nights recently.Sad

Selby is probably the player I would like to make the final from the top because he is a class act but cannot see his D game being good enough over 5 matches and while he has won a few this season its been more his opponent has lost the match.
As for the rest, though all great players, who Ding should munch  up but just get the feeling he is controlled because his shot selection is hard to justify at certain times and 16s is hardly a carrot.

The bottom seems to give Trump an easy journey but as others have said Wilson has the all-round class to not be such a big shock and a few quid on McGuire could be a smart move.
Its sods law they are all in the lower draw because I think the winner will come from those 3.

Anyway this championships is what the game is all about so will enjoy every match and if Hearn and his partner try to diminish it in any way I will happily take out a contract on them.Wink
Report bobby 1 April 14, 2017 5:54 PM BST
ive backed allen and robertson outright,

fancy allen to beat higgins in rd2 and who knows what happens after, agree that allen is a massive price on betfair

robertson is my main fancy though, im convinced that the longer format suits him, his form over the past year has not been great, however there was glimpses recently (beat trump 6-0) that he was coming back to form.
he has fu in 2nd rd, then selby in quarters and possibly ronnie in semis. most if not all would say that was a nightmare draw, however selby and ronnie this season have shown that they are struggling to find consistency that we are all accustomed to.
for me robbo at 14/1 is just too big to ignore.
Report peckerdunne April 14, 2017 6:08 PM BST
Mark Allen can not win....................

Mark Allen will not win.............
Report moondan April 14, 2017 6:10 PM BST
Steve Davis was the guy that stupidly said that Mark Allan wasn't premiership class on one of those pre match insights into the
Quite a ridiculous comment when the man has been inside the top 10 for a good few years but stupid comments from Davis is nothing new.
This comment had more to do with Davis being spiteful because Mark told Davis and Hearn a few home truths and they did not like it.
Davis is such an idiot as he brands the type of snooker we watch as much better than anything seen before so by his own words its ridiculous to brand a player as not top class when he has occupied the top 10 for years.
Davis has always been a nasty piece of work.
Report gobelins April 14, 2017 6:16 PM BST
I've done Allen - I got 50 on here before the draw, and after a decent draw I expected him to drop further than his current 46. There's going to be some negatives about a 50/1 chance but I'm taking a punt that his freshness may be a factor (admittedly after a quiet few months results wise). The schedule suits players in the 3rd quarter, so if he can win the quarter he may be fresher than Trump/Hawkins/Carter.
Report moondan April 14, 2017 6:26 PM BST
Goblins,  you have had far worst bets, he can blow anyone away.
Report Stevie28 April 14, 2017 7:05 PM BST
Come on, Allen is a slob whose heart isn't in it anymore. The dedication to be a world champion, guys like and Maguire just don't have it, only need to look at them to rule them out.
Report BornToWin April 14, 2017 7:14 PM BST
There have been no obese world champions. There won't be one this year.
Report gobelins April 14, 2017 7:35 PM BST
Haha. I expected that and you're probably right. Although J.Higgins and S.Murphy were a pound or two over their fighting weight when they won it.
Report BornToWin April 14, 2017 8:09 PM BST
Higgins and Murphy were not obese. I reckon Higgins at least a stone over his last winning weight now though and can be ruled out.

Hey this is like the horses, I like it. Laugh
Report thegiggilo April 14, 2017 8:35 PM BST
BornToWin 14 Apr 17 19:14  

There have been no obese world champions. There won't be one this year

Joe Johnson..Cool
Report BornToWin April 14, 2017 9:07 PM BST
I am not having it, he was the snookering Ian Woosnam. A powerhouse with a great tan.
Report thegiggilo April 14, 2017 9:44 PM BST
Report peckerdunne April 14, 2017 11:09 PM BST
I don't get it Jimmy White must hardly eat anything so...........Laugh
Report BornToWin April 15, 2017 10:36 AM BST
Looking great there Joe.

His wife in her dressing gown, didn't think it was that late a finish...
Report RozelKid April 15, 2017 8:13 PM BST
Im very suprised that A.McGill has been hammered so badly by Maguire  and that Maguire was odds on before match started - maguire hasn't won a match at the crucible for the last few years.

Im completely baffled as to how the market had Maguire as fav - they've played each other 4 times and McGill had won all of them.
Report wondersobright April 15, 2017 8:18 PM BST
maguire was match sharp, which is a big advantage, although I agree mcgill the better player

mcgill has been wimpish today most disappointing
Report wondersobright April 15, 2017 8:20 PM BST
the signs were there earlier in the day when mcgill was in a snooker and tried the hit and hope which was totally uncalled for

and to make it worse he was laughing and joking about it afterwards, knew his head was elsewhere at that point
Report wondersobright April 15, 2017 8:23 PM BST
I like him but he deserves to get the fck off for that performance, unacceptable in a world championship head in the clouds
Report RozelKid April 15, 2017 8:30 PM BST
I agree , wonders. Its like he has played the match without no intention of being competitive.

Joking his way through the whole match ....even in the last frame.
Report gentlemanjohn April 15, 2017 8:38 PM BST
Despite the hth i couldnt agree McGill is a better player than Maguire. What's he really done in the game apart from one eyecatching World Championship and winning the lottery that is the shoot out? People seem to like his temperament - which would give him an advantage over a guy like Maguire - but from what i'm reading here (didnt see much of the match), it was questionable at the least today.

Psychology of it probably in Maguire's favour today, unlike the last time they met at this stage when all the pressure was on him.
Report RozelKid April 15, 2017 8:45 PM BST
I understand it was a tight match to call before it started - pre match....i wouldn't have been totally surprised if Maguire would have won as i couldn't say who was the better player  - it was just the fashion in the way Maguire did it and how McGill played with his overall attitude to the match.

Utterly bizzare,  imo.
Report wondersobright April 15, 2017 8:48 PM BST
it has been known for years that maguire's head can go at any time if he's not playing well

he played well in parts today though and mcgill was never at the races

mcgill has had a major climb through the rankings which linked with his age is an encouraging sign for his future but if you judge him on today you'd say he's got a lot of work to remain in the top 16

I am prepared to forgive him today if he works hard and comes back next ssn in the major events as a better player

but if he doesn't I will gladly hammer him because he deserves it after today
Report gentlemanjohn April 15, 2017 8:49 PM BST
I think he's a hard guy to figure out. Anytime i switched over to the match he seemed to be sitting there with his eyes closed while maguire was at the table, i guess that's some sort of visualisation technique he uses or something. He seems to give off an aura of confidence and composure about himself, but i have a feeling it's a bit deceptive. The joking and laughter could be a sign of nerves maybe, must have a look at the highlights later on.
Report wondersobright April 15, 2017 8:57 PM BST
I thought he looked nervous, wimpish

extremely tame and timid performance
Report RozelKid April 15, 2017 8:58 PM BST
I can't stand players like that - Mark Allen is another one who does my head in and carries the same attitude in matches.

Its like some players have Achievemephobia - fear of success and act nervously when called upon to go on and win !
Report BornToWin April 15, 2017 9:00 PM BST
A bad draw for him but an unacceptable performance by the sounds of it.
Report gentlemanjohn April 15, 2017 9:16 PM BST
Can be awkward when your playing your best friend and practice partner alright..but at same time shouldn't be making a jot of difference at this level.
Report Mark1977 April 15, 2017 10:00 PM BST
McGill isn't the better player, though at one point last year he was pretty much on a par. However since winning the Indian Open it's been a gradual slide back to mediocrity this season, and with Maguire showing some good form in the qualifiers he had to be favourite. H2H's don't really mean much either as in snooker you are mainly playing the table, not the man.
Report peckerdunne April 16, 2017 10:01 AM BST
Had a small wager in the out rights on McGill however i do believe that (a) Maguire is a better front runner and (b) his very best game is definitely better than Mcgill's.
Report gobelins April 16, 2017 2:08 PM BST
I saw the opening frames and although the standard wasn't fabulous it was typical of the early stages in one of these matches, but it had the look of a tight match (as it did beforehand). I don't think S.Maguire being match sharp explains a 10-2 scoreline and from the frame scores A.McGill scored only 1 point in 7 frames (frames 5 to 11). McGill was cueing directly below his right eye and I've not noticed it to that extent before. I was surprised to see McGill drift to 2.3 pre-match, as it looked an even call to me, so maybe something was amiss.
Report Blackrock April 16, 2017 3:08 PM BST
Anyone who thinks McGill is or was a better player than Stephen Maguire, needs a visit to the shrink.

Maguire has been working his socks off in practice for a good while now, but wasn't seeing the results that it deserved. Consequently lost his confidence. But he has been buzzing lately and is a class act when on song.
Report peckerdunne April 16, 2017 5:43 PM BST
Gobe, yes noticed that strange alignment from ginge.
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