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The World Grand Prix 2019

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As quick as Kyren Wilson wins the Masters on a Sunday night, the day after we have the World Grand Prix to start. It all kicks off tonight when Mark Allen gets it underway against Gary Wilson. This event was won last year by Ronnie O'Sullivan (no suprise) who returns this year. However, what is suprising is it was the first time he had won the event in 4 attempts. The players who have been heavily involved in the back end of the Masters I will avoid. The likes of Kyren, Gilbert etc do not play until midweek but Germany to Cheltenham after all that snooker doesn't appeal to me backing them. That being said I am going to give Robertson another chance here as I think he is close to being back in-form.

Round 1
M.Allen Vs G.Wilson
M O'Donnell Vs A.Carter
J.Lisowski Vs D.Junhui
D.Gilbert Vs Y.Bingtao
N.Robertson Vs Z.Guodong
J.Robertson Vs M.Davis
S.Maguire Vs M.King
M.Williams Vs Y.Sijun
M.Selby Vs S.Murphy
J.Higgins Vs N.Saengkham
J.Perry Vs T.Ford
J.Trump Vs S.Carrington
K.Wilson Vs M.Stevens
S.Bingham Vs Z.Xingtong
B.Hawkins Vs R.Day
M.Fu Vs R.O'Sullivan

The main two players I like are in the top half and that is Mark Allen and Neil Robertson. Robertson, much like the Masters preview, I think is "due" a big performance. Allen was not involved with the German Masters and has had a nice break here. He also has a decent draw as you would fancy him to beat Wilson and Carter or O'Donnell which puts him into a last 8 spot. In the bottom half you would expect Ronnie to come through. There is a cluster of good players in the bottom half including Ronnie, Bingham, K.Wilson, Trump and Selby so it would be a tough draw to get to a final but i will throw a point at Saengkham who break builds well at this format that could be dangerous.

2.5pts M.Allen to win the Grand Prix 12/1 BetVictor
2pts N.Robertson to win the Grand Prix 16/1 boylesports
0.5pts E/W N.Saengkham to win the Grand Prix 150/1 bet365

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Day 1 Preview :

Tonight we get underway with 4 matches. Mark Allen against Gary Wilson which is normally a quite tight affair, Ronnie against Marco Fu, Hawkins plays Ryan Day and Bingham has Xingtong.

Marco Fu has had some awful form and I really cannot see anything but a 4-0 or 4-1 so i think the -2.5 handicap although generally risky in a 1st round encounter is a good choice here. Ronnie has beaten Fu 6-0 twice and 6-1 once in the past 5 meetings and with Fu's recent results is why I'm swayed.

Ryan Day will be my secnd pick. Hawkins I expected more from in the Masters. He took the lead well against Milkins but let him back in and made far too many mistakes. Day has a good record against Hawkins and I think that the value is there with Day.

4pts R O'Sullivan (-2.5 frames) to beat M.Fu Evens Bet365
4pts R.Day to beat B.Hawkins 11/10 Bet365

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Day 2 Preview :

Well, I'm starting to think Hawkins is trolling me. Sure enough the performance comes when he's opposed. Ronnie goes out which at first seemed bad for the single bet, but ultimately it opens the tournament up. Plenty of matches today. 8 matches accross the day.

Main couple of bets today are (as El says), Ding to beat Lisowski. Ding wasn't even at his best form when he beat Lisowski so easily and a matter of weeks later I see Ding coming through this again. Maguire was also in some good form at the Masters and he beat king 4-0 in their recent match at the Romanian Masters. I'm also going to go with Martin O'Donnell to overcome Ali Carter. He had some good form prior to the German Masters and had a great UK Championship last year.

4pts S.Maguire (-1.5 frames) to beat M.King 5/4 Coral
5pts D.Junhui to beat J.Lisowski 4/5 Coral

2pts M. O'Donnell to beat A.Carter 8/5 BetVictor

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Better day yesterday although should have been a clean sweep. Watching Ding lastnight, he looked very good and very agressive. I am going to throw a couple of points at Ding at this stage he has impressed me.

Day 3 Preview :

Today we have another 8 matches. We'll complete Round 1 and get started on the Last 16. First up in the afternoon we have Mark Selby against Shaun Murphy and Higgins against Saengkham. Once they are finished we have Master's finalists Kyren Wilson & Dave Gilbert facing Matthew Stevens & Yan Bingtao respectively.

In the evening we have Guodong who was very good against an ill Robertson, against Mark Davis and Tom Ford against Judd Trump who looked suspect in places against Carrington. When them two matches are done we finish with Maguire against the impressive Sijun and Barry Hawkins against "Ronnie slayer" Marco Fu.

I'm going with a few here. Firstly, I like Selby here. Not only because of the form of Murphy but also Selbys own form, which altough sometimes patchy, looks solid enough to me. He has a good head-to-head against Selby winning the last 3 matches and winning the most recent 3-0 in 2017. He went out to eventual finalist Gilbert at the German Masters on a deciding frame but he looked good there and he has hit 6 centuries in his last 3 matches. I actually not suprised to see Selby in the final this week. Murphy on the other hand has only beaten Jimmy White this year.

Noppon Saengkham is a player I like alot. He is a great break builder and in this kind of format, I think that is very beneficial. He faces an out-of-form John Higgins today and at 2/1 he is abit of value in my eyes. One thing these two have in common is they both lost their last match 5-4 to Sijun (interesting) the h2h shows 2 wins out of 2 for Higgins but at a time he was a much better player. Most of Higgins most recent matches have been pretty tight and I expect this to be atleast 6 frames.

Tom Ford has been in some pretty decent form recently and I'm quite suprised that he is 8/11 to get 2 frames. Ford has beaten Trump in 4 of the 12 matches. Ford has been scoring well and prior to this event he had hit 10 50+ breaks and 2 centuries in his last 3 matches. I'll take him to grab a couple of frames atleast.

Xiao Guodong has hit some good form in the last couple of weeks. Prior to the German Masters he had lost a deciding frame to Ding in the Last 16 having smashed Ryan Day. 5-1. Head-2-head between these shows Davis had won 4 out of the 7 they have played but last year in China, Guodong beat Davis 5-0 and you would have to say that he is playing better than Davis. He beat an in-form Neil Robertson and that was 3-1 down (to win 4-3) although admittingly, robertson had a cold/flu and looked like crap. Davis also went 2 down (to Jimmy Robertson) and came back to win (4-3) however you couldn't say Jimmy is in good form like Xiao is. I'm going to take Xiao to win this one.

2pts D.Junhui to win the Grand Prix 10/1 betway
5pts M.Selby (-1.5 frames) to beat S.Murphy Evens bet365
5.5pts Over 5.5 frames (J.Higgins Vs N.Saengkham) 8/11 Betfred
2pts N.Saengkham to beat J.Higgins 2/1 WillHill
5.5pts T.Ford (+2.5 frames) to beat J.Trump 8/11 Coral
5pts X.Guodong to beat M.Davis 4/5 bet365

 

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Much more like it. 5/5 full house.

Day 4 Preview :

Today we have 4 matches in the afternoon to finish the 2nd round and then the Quarter-Finals get started tonight in the evening session. The afteroon session begins with Mark Allen against Ali Carter and Ding Vs Gilbert and then once them two are done, we have Selby Vs Saengkham and Kyren Wilson against Bingham.

The afternoon session will see the winner of Allen/Carter against the winner of Ding/Gilbert and Guodong taking on Sijun. So we will know 2 of the 4 Semi-finalist by the end of the night.

Ding Vs Gilbert is an interesting one. Gilbert is still looking very good and beat Bingtao without a sweat. He beat Ding in the last match-up between these two and looks abit of value, but I maintain that Ding impressed me alot with his match with Lisowski and other than Selby, has looked one of the best players here. I would expect a close one.

In the other match, I think Mark Allen can win with abit to spare. H2H Carter actually had a very good record against Allen (post 2014) but in the last 3 matches (all last year) Allen has won quite easily. He beat Carter 3-0 in the Champions League, 4-2 in the Riga Masters and most recently 6-0 in China. Carter looked good when he got in, but looked very dodgy in parts and O'Donnell should have won. I'll take Allen on the -1.5 handicap.

Selby Vs Saengkham I am going to leave alone. I have Saengkham each-way, so would not make alot of sense taking Selby on the handicap and there is no value in it. I would love Noppon to win here and he has it in him, but Selby has the most one-sided head-2-head against Saengkham you'll ever see and i expect this to end maybe 4-1 Selby.

The final afternoon game points to Bingham. Wilson was pretty poor against Stevens and really shouldn't have won (3-0 down) Stevens threw it away. Bingham has a good head-2-head and has won the last 2 matches easily 6-1 and 3-0. I will take a small gamble at Bingham on a handicap.

4pts M.Allen (-1.5 frames) to beat A.Carter evens bet365
6pts Over 5.5 frames (Ding Vs Gilbert) 4/6 bet365
2pts S.Bingham to beat K.Wilson 7/4 bet365

 

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Pretty awful from Mark Allen. Annoying that I fancied Gilbert to win but went with the frames. 2 for this evening :

Carter is not playing well. Allen looked a mess, and O'Donnell gave it away. Gilbert is on-fire at the moment. Sijun looked very good against Maguire. Maguire missed a few balls he would normally get but I also feel Davis did so too. Moreso, against Guodong. I'll take them both to come through tonight.

5.5pts D.Gilbert to beat A.Carter 10/11 bet365
4pts Y.Sijun to beat X.Guodong evens boylesports

 

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One to add

6pts D.Gilbert (highest break scorer) 5/6 bet365

Find this abit bizarre. Gilbert has hit 138,118,101,81,74,66 + 54 in 2 matches. Carter has hit 4 50+ and has a maximum of 86. Surely Gilbert wins this bet.

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Not the best day. Atleast Gilbert got the highest break during his tank. Would have expected Sijun to win at 4-3 up but we move on.

Quarter-Final/Semi-Final Preview :

We have Mark Selby playing Judd Trump in the afteroon session with Kyren Wilson and Barry Hawkins occupying the other table. The level of snooker seems to have been pretty poor last few games I've watched and looking at the scoring and also what the players are saying i think it's an issue. Does put me off abit on the coin flip matches. I will leave the Hawkins match alone as although Wilson isn't playing anywhere near his best, much like Carter he's being gifted alot.

I'm alittle unsure on Selby. One moment he looks great and the next he is struggling. I see abit of value on Trump today. Trump tends to do well in the latter stages of tournaments and beat Selby 6-2 only a month ago in the Masters.

We don't know Semi-final 1 where the winner of Trump/Selby will play Hawkins/Wilson but the other Semi-final will be Carter against Guodong which takes place tonight. Carter has a good record against Guodong winning 4 of the 5 matches these two have played. Carter has been a thorn in my side this week so I will leave this one alone

6pts J.Trump to beat M.Selby 5/6 Boylesports

 

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I won't be betting on the winner but one bet I do like the value of tonight : 

5pts X.Guodong (Highest break scorer) Vs A.Carter 6/5 bet365

I had some success in the last round against Carter going against him for breaks and I think Guodong has a chance here of getting the highest break. Carter still hasn't hit a century since the Scottish Open last year away from the Champions League and in this event, his highest is 86 and that is despite Gilbert giving him free-reign in every frame with balls wide open.

Guodong has only hit one century himself in this event but he hit 4 in the German Masters also prior to that and I just think if it opens up for both players, Guodong is more likely to hit the big break. 

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The second semi-final tonight for a place in the final against Ali Carter. Both have played well this week. Hawkins hit 2 centuries against Kyren Wilson and Trump tends to improve at the latter stages of a tournament so although Trump would be a favourite, I expect Hawkins to give him a game.

4pts Over 9.5 frames 5/4 Ladbrokes (J.Trump Vs B.Hawkins)
 

 

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So we come to the final. Trump Vs Carter. Carter has had some very one-sided results this week and has really surprised me. I do think that this final depends on Judds long potting as the safety play of Ali has been the one thing I have been impressed with. Carter beat Judd 3-0 in the CL and the head-2-head is pretty close.

I'm going to take Carter on the handicap purely based on how well he is playing his safety game. I will have a small punt on Carter aswell.

5pts A.Carter (+3.5 frames) to beat J,Trump 4/5 Coral
2pts A.Carter to beat J.Trump 11/4 Coral

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