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World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May


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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Tournament preview: 1pt ew J.Higgins to win World Championship 33/1 Skybet (1/2 1-2) John Higgins has looked back to his best in recent weeks and he is a man who knows how to prepare for this tournament and perhaps more importantly pace himself for it too. He goes into the competition as the 14 seed which isn’t ideal in terms of the fact he’s in the bottom half of the draw but as I said nobody is going to win this without playing their best snooker so I’m ok with that. What I like about Higgins’ seeding is he gets a nice schedule. He plays the first and second rounds early enough to get good rest time going into the quarter finals from which it is a mentally taxing seven days of flat out snooker so rest time before hand is so important. Higgins has won the Welsh Open and looked in great form in Beijing earlier in the month and at 33/1 looks a very big price in what looks a really wide open tournament this year. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/world-championship-betting-former-champion-can-win-a-fifth-title-at-the-crucible

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Quarter previews: 2pts S.Maguire to win 1st Quarter 6/1 Stan James Stephen Maguire’s record in this tournament probably isn’t as strong as he would like it to be but he has made the semi-final on two occasions so he knows how to come through the quarter. He last made the semi-final in 2012 and the three years either side of that he went out in the first round, amazingly losing in a deciding frame each time so if he can avoid a deciding frame in the first round this year he can build into the tournament. This quarter could open up quite quickly and with Maguire’s all round game being good and him being relatively fresh I’m expecting a decent run from him if he gets over that first hurdle, which he should do. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/world-championship-betting-top-quarter-can-have-a-strong-scottish-influence 1pt R.Day to win 2nd Quarter 25/1 Boylesports Ryan Day has made it to the quarter finals of this tournament on three occasions without making the semi-final but he looks to have a lovely draw to come through here. He faces a really out of sorts looking Mark Allen in the first round and if he comes through that he’ll face either Hawkins or perhaps more likely Selt and then he is in a quarter final against either Robertson, Jones, Carter or McManus so the Welshman really has landed himself in a plum part of the draw. Day hasn’t had the best year so far but that isn’t always a bad thing going into this event but he scored fairly well in the qualifiers and that week of momentum should see him right here. At his best he’s still very capable and at 25/1 he’s surely overpriced in a quarter as wide open as this one. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/world-championship-betting-welsh-qualifier-looks-overpriced-in-the-second-quarter

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Highest break preview: 1pt ew R.Hull to make highest break 80/1 Boylesports (1/4 1-3) One man who goes into this tournament in excellent scoring form is Robin Hull. He made it to the last 16 of the China Open at the start of the month and banged in two centuries along the way but even more remarkably in his three matches in qualifying for this he made five more tons including a 139 and a 138 break so he is scoring really well. He has drawn Shaun Murphy in the first round which isn’t ideal in terms of long term tournament prospects but at least Murphy likes to get the balls open so if Hull gets in he could score big. The Finn made a ton against Ronnie O’Sullivan in this tournament last year and with the scoring power he has shown this month at 80/1 he is well worth a punt to nail the highest break in this year’s tournament. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/world-championship-betting-heavy-scoring-qualifier-can-nail-the-highest-break

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May A few outrights for me: J.Trump to win World Championship, 4pts @ 6/1 Betfred Seeded 6, Judd has definitely got the tougher half of the draw with Higgins, Fu & Ding in his quarter and a potential classic with O'Sullivan in the semi final. However, I think this is his year. Interestingly, in the last 9 years, 10 finalists have started their campaign on the Wednesday, suggesting a late start is a plus. This fits with Judd perfectly and he should have a relatively easy start against debutant Stuart Carrington. Next up would likely be Marco Fu who he beat in the second round 2 years ago. Judd has had a good year and his game seems to be more than just the potting he was associated with when he burst onto the scene. Definitely a confidence player so his late start (Wednesday) is a plus as is his excellent form. The biggest stumbling block appears to be a potential semi with O'Sullivan but I have a feeling that Ronnie's loss to Selby last year may just have a bigger effect on him that people believe. I'm not even sure Ronnie will get through his quarter. Judd has decent form at the Crucible so the venue holds no fears and, now, it appears all the ingredients are there to see this more mature player land his first world title. J.Perry to win World Championship, 0.5pts EW @ 80/1 Betfred (1/2 odds 1-2) J.Perry to win 1st Quarter, 2pts @ 9/1 Betfred J.Perry to hit highest break, 1pt EW @ 40/1 Boylesports (1/4 odds 1-3) This bet is made out of the fact I think Quarter 1 is much weaker that it probably appears at first glance and Gentleman Joe is one of the seasons form players but has been underestimated massively by the bookies. I can't see Selby following up last years win, especially as so many people (including himself) have talked about the curse whilst Maguire might be lucky to see off a very promising talent in Anthony McGill. Even if he does, I just think he's a bit too hit and miss to really go deep. Murphy too has been doing a lot of talking pre-Championship and he has a really tough start in Robin Hull, who Kev has already mentioned earlier. I actually think he's feeling the effects of a hard season and I think Joe, assuming they meet in the second round, will be too good. Joe is up to 5 in the world provisionally and he now has a first ranking title under his belt. I've already mentioned the late starters and he kicks off on Wednesday which I'm happy about. I've also been looking at how finalists fared in their previous year at the Crucible. Of the last 18 finalist, 10 got no further than the second round in the previous. Of the other 8, 1 didn't play previous year and 3 were Ronnie! Joe got back 12 months ago in a close match with O'Sullivan 13-11 and perhaps should have won. The omens are on our side here so, at 80/1, he must be worth a little tickle. 9/1 seems fair too for him to win the quarter especially as I think he has one of the easier first round draw. With regards to the high break, in the last 9 years, there have been 12 high break winners (including ties); 11 of them have been seeded and 10 of those 11 have made at least the quarter finals. On the basis I fancy him to get at least that far and the fact he's seeded, surely 40/1 is way too big. Not always thought of one of the favourites for high break prizes but I like the odds on offer. M.Allen to win World Championship, 0.5pts EW @ 33/1 Boylesports (1/2 odds 1-2) M.Allen to win 2nd Quarter, 3pts @ 5/1 Coral M.Allen to hit highest break, 1pt EW @ 25/1 Boylesports (1/4 odds 1-3) This bet could be all over with after the first round but, assuming Mark comes through a tough tie with Ryan Day, he's got a great chance this year. In horse racing terms, he's quite lightly raced recently and, by all accounts, has been preparing hard for the Crucible after a few difficult years at the venue. Other than Day, only Robertson worries me in this quarter but I feel his game is on the decline if anything. It's a strange bet in that I feel his first match could be his toughest. To me, he's better over the longer formats and does have form here to his name with 2 QFs and 1 SF in the years 2009-11 inclusive. He lost in the second round last year and doesn't kick off his campaign until Tuesday so the points I made earlier about late starts and previous season form are with us again. Another confidence player, a win over Ryan Day will do him the world of good and I think the relatively open style of Hawkins & Robbo (his next 2 likely opponents) will suit him too, although he did lose to Robbo here last year. Coming here relatively fresh, I think 33/1 is a fair price for a very talented player in a weak draw and, if he goes deep, this talented potter will get plenty of chances to score heavy making the 25/1 on highest break scorer a tad on the generous side. Basically, the first round is pivotal so hoping Tuesday night delivers some good news.

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Onto tomorrow. K.Maflin (+4.5 frames) to beat M.Selby, 4pts @ Evs Stan James K.Maflin to hit highest break, 2pts @ 41/20 SportingBet The Norwegian, Kurt Maflin, comes here in terrific form and provided he isn't overawed by playing at the Crucible against the current champion, I think he has a fair chance. He recently reached the semi final of the China Open, losing 6-3 to today's opponent but was 3-3 at one stage. En route, he beat both Ali Carter and Shaun Murphy which is no mean feat. He'll come here match fit after coming through 3 rounds of qualifying including a 10-1 demolition of Steve Davis. In those 3 games, he hit 18 50+ breaks, converting 3 into centuries whilst in his China Open match against Selby, he hit 2 centuries in the 3 frames he won, his highest being 129 versus Selby's 131. At a shade over 2/1, he's got a great chance of the higher break, especially if Maflin settles early on his debut here. Selby isn't the fastest starter and with the pressures of being the champ, he might just have to grind this out and I fancy Maflin to close out at least 6 frames. M.Fu (-2.5 frames) to beat J.Robertson, 5pts @ 10/11 Betfred Marco will be pleased that, for the first time in 5 years, he has avoided Martin Gould or Matthew Stevens in the last 32. It will be a relief he hasn't been handed the traditional tough 1st round draw and he'll look to take advantage of that. What I like about Marco is his calm style and being first up on the opening morning won't phase him, something I can't be so sure about with his opponent. Robertson has only been here once, back in 2011, and was comprehensively beaten 10-1 by Mark Selby. That's not going to be good for his confidence and it's not a draw he will relish with Fu being Mr Consistent, without being spectacular. I think Robertson could get frustrated with Fu's good safety game and I fancy the seeded player to win comfortably, conceding no more than 7 frames en route to round 2.

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May First afternoon bets. J.Higgins v R.Milkins, no player to win 3 consecutive frames, 1pt @ 18/1 Bet365 J.Higgins v R.Milkins, over 16.5 frames, 3pts @ 21/20 Coral R.Milkins to beat J.Higgins, 3pts @ 7/4 Bet365 Ok, so the first bet looks very speculative but 18/1, seriously? This is the world no 13 versus the world no 16 and is far closer matched than odds are suggesting. Milkins has won the last 4 clashes and whilst Higgins record at the Crucible is excellent, his recent visits have been less than fruitful. I expect this to be nip & tuck all the way so it's possible no-one will get far ahead and therefore a 3 frame run may not happen. Whichever way, I see this going the distance and odds against for either player to win by less than 4 frames seems very reasonable indeed. Reputation can count for a lot and I appreciate that Higgins is in great form but I feel his best Crucible days are behind him and he's definitely not the frightening opponent he once was. If he brings his recent A game, Milkins will have a lot on but it's a big if and remember Milkins did beat Robbo on his last visit here, 10-8. At just under 2/1, I'll go for the qualifier here to cause a shock.

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Another bet for the opening afternoon. A.McGill to win first session v S.Maguire, 4pts @ 2/1 Skybet Maguire comes into this as strong favourite but hasn't had an ideal prep. Add to that he faces a friend & fellow countryman in McGill and this might stretch him. The qualifier is making his debut here but, whilst I'm not sure he'll have enough to get over the line, I fancy him to more than match his opponent early doors. 2/1 to win the first session looks big value especially looking at Maguire's slow starts at the Crucible as well as the fact all the qualifiers come here 'match fit' from 3 best of 19 matches over the last week. In 3 of the last 4 years, Maguire has lost 10-9 in the opening round but, in each of them, he has been down at halfway. Last year he was 6-3 down to Ryan Day after 9, the same score Hawkins led in 2011 whilst Poomjaeng led 5-4 2 years ago. I was tempted to back McGill to win outright at a slightly bigger price but worried about the nerves later on so settling on a first session lead for the younger of the 2 Scots.

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Saturday previews: 4pts K.Maflin (+4.5 frames) to beat M.Selby Evs Stan James I think Mark Selby will probably come through this match but a combination of the occasion and the opponent can see this tighter than we might expect. Historically number one seeds do find it tricky in this round and with Maflin playing well and having nothing to lose in the tournament now I expect him to give this a really good go and if he’s close at half time he might even pinch this but however he goes overall he’s good value for six frames. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/selby-vs-maflin-betting-selby-unlikely-to-dominate-in-start-of-title-defence 4pts M.Fu (-2.5 frames) to beat J.Robertson 10/11 Betfred In truth two out of form players meet in this first round match so I think Marco Fu’s experience will turn out to be important here. Robertson qualified in the end but he didn’t look great doing it until the final round. Fu doesn’t stand out but he is very hard to beat particularly when he scores well and you would think he’ll get chances to score well here so he should come through with a bit in hand. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/fu-vs-j-robertson-betting-marco-fu-should-enjoy-routine-win 4pts J.Higgins vs R.Milkins - Over 16.5 frames 11/10 Coral Milkins’ record against Higgins suggests he will give the former champion a real good game here and if he does then this one can easily cover the 16.5 frame line. Higgins is in good nick at the minute and I don’t think he’ll go down without a fight but there is something in Milkins’ game that he struggles with or something about Higgins that inspires Milkins when they meet but the potential is for a number of frames here. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/higgins-vs-milkins-betting-these-two-can-play-out-one-of-the-matches-of-the-round 4pts S.Maguire (-2.5 frames) to beat A.McGill 3/4 Betfair Anthony McGill showed a few signs of nerves in the qualifiers and could easily have lost from a dominant position to Mark King. Credit to him for getting over the line in that match but I’m not convinced it bodes well for him here. Maguire may well think he has a point to prove here but whether he does or not he definitely has the experience on his side and I fancy him to come through here. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/maguire-vs-mcgill-betting-all-scottish-tie-can-go-the-way-of-the-seed 4pts G.Dott to beat R.Walden 8/5 Unibet Graeme Dott came through the qualifiers comfortably enough and looked pretty good in the process and given that he knows how to get up for this tournament and often plays his best snooker in it I fancy him to come through here. He is one of the qualifiers you’d want to avoid given that he has plenty of momentum and Walden might be a little rusty so I’ll go with the Scot here. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/walden-vs-dott-betting-former-champion-can-move-into-the-second-round

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May One for tonight. R.Walden (-1.5 frames) to beat G.Dott, 4pts @ 10/11 Betfred Going against Kev here but I like Walden here. I accept Dott's Crucible pedigree but Walden seems to be improving all the time and has had a pretty decent season, winning the longer format International Championship and runner up at the Indian Open. Walden still struggles, I feel, against the really top players but he's looked pretty ruthless in disposing qualifiers this season and I expect that to continue. Dott, on the other hand, doesn't seem quite the battler he once was and whilst he's still a tough nut to crack, I think Walden's heavy scoring might just be too much. In search of a slightly better price, I've gone for the handicap for Walden to win no worse than 10-8. There's another angle to the handicap in that, if the match did go to a decider, then I'd definitely make Dott favourite. Here's hoping Walden has closed it out early enough to progress into the last 16.

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Sunday previews: 4pts M.Selt to beat B.Hawkins 17/10 Boylesports These two met at the World Grand Prix last month and Selt won 4-0 in no time and I think he’s a great price to win here too. He’ll need a good start to settle any nerves but if he gets that he’ll have Hawkins under pressure and he hasn’t been coping too well with that in recent times. Selt carries plenty of momentum into this match with him and at the prices he’s the value here. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/hawkins-vs-selt-betting-former-finalist-can-be-an-early-casualty 4pts J.Jones (+4.5 frames) to beat N.Robertson Evs Coral Jones is another qualifier bringing good momentum with him into this tournament and like some before him he has the capabilities to make this a tough show for Robertson. Robertson has been known to start tournaments slowly and if he begins the first session of this match in that manner then Jones is perfectly capable of staying with him long enough to get to six frames if not all 10. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/n-robertson-vs-jones-betting-australian-may-not-have-it-all-his-own-way-in-opener

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Bet for tomorrow morning. B.Hawkins to beat M.Selt, first 4 frames only, 3pts @ 7/4 Betfred Barry has had a very poor season but showed some signs in China that his game is returning just in time for his favourite tournament, the Worlds. Loves it here and will completely fired up to beat Matt Selt and shut him up once & for all. Selt has won their last 2 encounters without dropping a frame, another reason why I think Barry will be very focused on getting off to a fast start. It may also work against Selt too as he may come into this overconfident. Looking back at Hawkins first round performances, he has been ahead at the first mid session interval in 4 of the last 5 years, against better players than Selt. Assuming this venue brings about the improvement I expect, 7/4 is too big for a player with an 80% success in landing this bet in the first round since 2010.

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Cheers Graham :ok Onto this afternoon & I'm having one of those quick start bets again. N.Robertson to beat J.Jones, first 4 frames only, 5pts @ 4/5 PaddyPower Whilst I agree with Kev that Robbo can start tournments slowly, it's very rarely been the case at the Crucible. In the 8 years he has been seeded for the Worlds, he has taken a mid session interval lead back to the dressing room on 7 occasions. That's an amazing statistic and I see no reason to oppose that here. In fact, the only time anyone has held him over the first 4 frames was back in 2011 when some young upstart by the name of Judd Trump burst onto the scene! Early this year at the German Masters, these 2 players did share the first 4 frames but, in their other 2 encounters in the last 18 months, Robbo has again been safely ahead. This type of bet is always a risk but the odds are rewarding enough to have a go and, particularly in this instance, the stats are heavily in our favour.

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Just a word of note that last year, there were 7 first round matches that finished 6-3 after the opening session: 5/7 converted into victories 7/7 went to at least 17 frames Hopefully this bodes well for the Milkins/Higgins overs & put Mags in with a chance of coming back against McGill tonight :ok

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Adding a crazy bet this afternoon. R.Walden to beat G.Dott 10-6, 0.5pts @ 11/1 BetVictor G.Dott to beat R.Walden 10-5, 0.5pts @ 16/1 BetVictor G.Dott to beat R.Walden 10-6, 1pt @ 9/1 BetVictor After such a tight first session, I fancy one will run away with it this afternoon. It's not often you get 2 tight sessions one after another and, of the 6 to finish 5-4 after the first session 12 months ago, 3 of them were converted with the runner up not managing to 7 frames; one sided fare! Even Marco Fu went on to comfortably beat Jimmy Robertson 10-6 having been the odd frame up at the break in session. Tactical battle, I'd fancy Dotty all day long but I think if Ricky has his scoring boots on, it's no forlorn hope he'll come back to win. Again, another worth risking a couple of points at.

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May One more for later on. S.Maguire v A.McGill, over 17.5 frames, 6pts @ 23/20 SportingBet I really think the bookies have this priced wrong. Maguire is not a stranger to opening round 10-9 scorelines, and they have usually come off the back of a poor opening session. Neither player was actually that great yesterday and we all know that Mags can score heavily once he's in so I don't expect him to cave in tonight. McGill will surely feel the pressure tonight, as the favourite on his first visit here. We don't actually need a final frame decider to bring this; 10-8 either way will be enough and I'm confident we'll get that. Too close to call on the winner market although I was tempted by Mags at a shade over 2's but I'll stick with this bet and settle down in front of the TV for what I hope will be a great night of snooker.

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Good shout on Robbo, Russ. Good luck tonight :ok Monday previews: 4pts S.Bingham to beat R.Williams in first four frames 5/6 Bet365 Stuart Bingham often comes out of the blocks pretty quickly and I see no reason why he won’t do that again here. Robbie Williams will be eager to get on the board early after the bashing up he got here last year and the longer he goes without winning a frame the more anxious he will get so if Bingham can jump into an early lead he should be able to sustain that to the first mid-session interval. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/bingham-vs-r-williams-betting-seeded-star-can-get-off-to-a-fast-start 4pts Ding (-2.5 frames) to beat M.Davis Evs Paddy Power This match is all about Ding for me. If he plays well he should win and win with a bit in hand but if he doesn’t then he could face a bit of a battler. Davis has the capabilities to cause problems if he is given the chance but you would think there will be times Ding gets chances of his own. Ding looked better in China. He beat Davis 5-1 out there and can be as comfortable here. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/ding-vs-davis-betting-ding-can-take-care-of-tricky-first-round-obstacle 3pts A.McManus to beat A.Carter 7/4 Coral McManus’ scoring got better and better as qualifying went on for this tournament and I think that gives him a great chance of winning here. There will be a fair bit of emotion in the room with what Carter has been through and that might add to the tension too but McManus is experienced enough to deal with that and I fancy him to edge his way through what has the potential to be a tight match. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/carter-vs-mcmanus-betting-former-finalist-can-fall-at-the-first-hurdle

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May After the weekend, I'm at +9.45pts. 3 matches starting tomorrow. S.Bingham (-4.5 frames) to beat R.Williams, 4pts @ Evs Bet365 Like Kev, I like Bingham here. He's had a good season & I almost backed him outright but a potential QF against Ronnie & SF against Judd put me off. However, his first round draw has been very kind. I think this match could be as good as over by the end of the morning because as Kev alluded to, Bingham has a habit of starting quick. His opponent got trounced by Neil Robertson the last time he was here & this draw is no easier. What really worries me about Williams is his scoring; he doesn't score heavily enough & will need plenty of chances to convert against the seeded player here. I really think 10-5 or better is well within Bingham's grasp & will therefore take him on the 'cap. M.Davis to beat D.Junhui, race to 4 frames, 3pts @ 33/20 Coral This has the potential to be a cracker. Ding has undoubted talent but hasn't always shown it here, losing 10-9 to Michael Wasley 12 months a great example. Davis, meanwhile, has always been one of the qualifers the seeded guys don't want to meet. Davis had a nice run in the 3 matches last week and should carry momentum into this. I do fancy Ding to win a tight match but I wonder whether he'll need a few frames to settle with Davis match fit. Admittedly Ding won comfortably recent on home soil but this is a different kettle of fish and I think the price makes this bet worth taking on. I'm leaving the other match alone. Alan McManus is never a betting proposition for me whilst you've no idea what Carter's recent issues will mean for his game. Just hope he does himself justice. Good luck Kev :ok

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Tuesday early matches preview: 3pts R.Day to beat M.Allen 19/10 Boylesports All the pressure is on Mark Allen here really. He is too good a player to have a record as indifferent as he has here so he will be looking to improve on that. Secretly I’m sure he will have looked at the draw and will notice the opportunity to go a couple of rounds in this tournament so he may well be under more pressure than Day. Day’s aggressive and that can sometimes be his downfall but he holds it together when the pressure does arrive and he’s good value here. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/allen-vs-day-betting-welshman-can-claim-another-first-round-scalp 4pts R.O'Sullivan (-4.5 frames) to beat C.Steadman 4/5 Betfred O’Sullivan will win this match. If he doesn’t it will be the biggest shock the Crucible has ever seen. The question is how many will he win it by and we’ve seen all of his career that O’Sullivan wins frames in batches in quick time in this tournament and that is possibly Steadman’s biggest problem. Even when he’s struggling a little if you give Ronnie two chances in a frame you’ll pay the price and I’m not sure Steadman scores well enough to win more than four frames in one visit. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/o-sullivan-vs-steadman-betting-steadman-can-find-life-difficult-in-sheffield

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Really liking the look of the 12/5 about Matthew Stevens to beat Mark Williams with bet365. Obviously Williams has had quite a renaissance this season and comes into this as one that many are talking about, but I get the feeling that he peaked slightly too early (in relation to the world championships) in the season. We've seen already this week that those who have come through the qualifiers are looking particularly match sharp and I just feel that the odds are skewed in favour of Williams slightly too much.

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Tuesday evening preview: 4pts M.Williams (-2.5 frames) to beat M.Stevens 17/20 Coral This one has the potential to be a really close match if Stevens plays to his potential. If he doesn’t you have to think that Williams will come through here with a bit to spare. Surprisingly these two haven’t played very often but the matches they have played recently Williams has dominated and he is in the sort of form that makes me think the longer the match goes the better he will get so I think he’ll be too strong here. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/williams-vs-stevens-betting-former-champion-can-win-the-all-welsh-clash

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May A couple for me. R.Day v M.Allen, over 1.5 centuries, 4pts @ 17/20 SportingBet A close match expected with 2 very open players in opposition. Ryan Day will come here fresh from 3 qualifiers whilst Mark Allen has already been talking about his desire to do well & the extra practice he's been putting in. Both of these guys will get chances and you have to feel they'll convert at least 2 centuries between them in a match that is likely to go the distance. The last time they met here (best of 25), they shared 5 centuries and looking at both their recent Crucible records, it's evident that they score heavily against positive players but struggle against the more tactical ones. M.Stevens to win first session v M.Williams, 3pts @ 2/1 Skybet Whilst I agree with Kev that MJW will prevail over 19 frames, I think 2's is crazy for Stevens to be in front at halfway. As it's a 9 frame shootout, it's only a 2 horse race and the draw isn't in play so I'm delighted with the odds. Neither of these are traditionally fast starters and in what should be a nervy opening, I'll take the one with recent match fitness to go well. The pressure will definitely be on MJW as he's had a great season, is the seeded player and comes up against an old foe in his fellow Welshman. Many have called this the tie of the round and it may turn out to be that but I feel Stevens could start well; we've already seen seeded players struggle early on (Bingham being a prime example).

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Wednesday previews: 5pts J.Perry (-3.5 frames) to beat Z.Anda 8/11 Spreadex These two have met twice this season already in smaller events and Perry has won 4-0 on both occasions. I don’t see him winning this one without conceding but I do think he is going to be far too good for his Chinese opponent. Zhang has nothing to lose and might be competitive for a short while but once Perry slips into gear I expect him to pull away to what should be a comfortable win. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/perry-vs-zhang-betting-perry-can-race-past-the-chinese-qualifier 5pts R.Hull (+4.5 frames) to beat S.Murphy 10/11 Coral Shaun Murphy has landed himself with a bit of a horror draw here. It may look comfortable in terms of rankings but in reality it is anything but that. Hull showed what he can do here against O’Sullivan last year and in the last month he has really started playing well. Murphy is in great form but he has this habit of failing to clinch frames in one visit. He can’t afford to do that here else Hull will take him out. However it pans out I expect Hull to win six frames and probably a few more. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/murphy-vs-hull-betting-murphy-faces-a-tough-test-in-the-opening-round 4pts J.Trump vs S.Carrington - Over 1.5 centuries 5/6 Bet365 Trump is rightly such a heavy favourite but the handicap line looks about right because Carrington can play even though it is his debut here. With that in mind I like the over 1.5 centuries more here. We know on his day Trump can blow this line away over this distance but we’ve seen all season that Carrington is capable of scoring. He made the highest break of the Indian Open and he had a ton in the final qualifying round so he might contribute himself making the line perfectly achievable. Full preview here: http://www.punterslounge.com/trump-vs-carrington-betting-trump-s-opener-can-be-full-of-big-breaks

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Up to +12.40pts for the tournament so far. 1 for the earlier kick off tomorrow. A.Zhang to hit highest break v J.Perry, 4pts @ 2/1 Bet365 Admittedly, I've backed Joe to hit a high break this fortnight but that's more borne from the fact I think he'll go deep in the event & will improve game to game. In this first appearance, I expect him to win through but without hitting top gear and that gives Anda a chance of the high break. Joe is a different player to what he has been for the last 4/5 years but you can't ignore his first round breaks here; in his last 4 last 32 matches (of which he's won 3 and lost 1 10-9, meaning he's won 39 frames), his highest break is just 87. In fact, by match, his high breaks have been 87, 80, 64 and 59. Contrast that with Anda last 3 qualifiers where he hit 1 century in each match and they were big centuries too; 137, 134 and 132. The Crucible is, I agree, a different stage entirely but the stats make 2/1 a price worth playing at. For reference, he's been here once before, 5 years ago, losing to Hendry 10-9 and that day, hit 2 breaks of 80+ and 3 more 60+ breaks.

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May

Really liking the look of the 12/5 about Matthew Stevens to beat Mark Williams with bet365. Obviously Williams has had quite a renaissance this season and comes into this as one that many are talking about, but I get the feeling that he peaked slightly too early (in relation to the world championships) in the season. We've seen already this week that those who have come through the qualifiers are looking particularly match sharp and I just feel that the odds are skewed in favour of Williams slightly too much.
Happy with that... never really in doubt.
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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Hi folks, I was betting on this year WC since the qualies and made decent profit, but I never posted my tips over here (maybe because superstitions..). Now I changed my mind and post a few tips, hopefully it won't turn my luck around :) Back John Higgins to beat Ding Junhui at 2.50 with Coral Ding does not have a good record at the Crucible and I was backing Davis against him with frame handicap in the first round. I would not even have been surprised to see the Chinese eliminated, as Davis could be a tricky opponent. Now he faces John "match-fixing" Higgins, and I do think the Scottish will go through from this encounter. If somebody, then he really knows how to succeed at this stage, and he will profit from every mistake Ding makes. The latter will have to put his really best on the table in order to beat Higgins. Back Graeme Dott to beat Stuart Bingham at 2.38 with Coral Almost all the top players admitted already that's very difficult to play against Graeme. He plays almost perfect snooker tactically, is mentally strong and even able to produce winning breaks from a single visit at the table. He puts you under real pressure and this is something Bingham won't like in a 25 frame encounter. Let's also admit that Stuart has an awful record at the crucible, being able to pass the 2nd round only once in his whole career (I was shocked to see him loosing against Doherty last year, practically having no chance in that match). Barry Hawkins might also worth a shot, but only because of the odds. I have a feeling that Allen will reach the semis this year... GL!

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Re: World Championship - 18 Apr - 4 May Bets for tonight. S.Carrington to beat J.Trump, first 4 frames, 1pt @ 8/1 Skybet S.Carrington to draw with J.Trump, first 4 frames, 3pts @ 9/4 Betfred Whilst I think Judd will win comfortably, he's not always the fastest starter. In the 4 years since he burst onto the scene with a trip to the final in 2011, he's yet to be ahead after the 1st mini session. Admittedly, Carrington will be nervous but he has nothing to lose whilst pressure is on Trump. What I also like about Carrington is his ability to score; he doesn't necessarily need 2-3 chances to win a frame so, if Judd lets him in, it's perfectly feasible he could get a couple of early frames on the board. Against Peter Ebdon in qualifying, Carrington was 2nd favourite yet managed to race into a 4-0 lead (in fact, he went 7-0 up). At the odds, he's worth a shot at starting well here.

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