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The Welsh Open 2019

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As quick as we finish the Grand Prix on Sunday night, we have the Welsh Open kicking off tomorrow. Matches start at 10 am so let's take a look at the draw: 

The bold is the matches tomorrow. The rest is the draw for Round 1 :

L.Yuan Vs D.Dale
S.Vahedi Vs C.Feilong
A.Burden Vs C.Steadman
S.O'Sullivan Vs K.Doherty
S.Craigie Vs M.King
C.Wakelin Vs H.Miah
S.Maguire Vs Z.Yuelong
R.Day Vs T.Un-Nooh
J.Higgins Vs G.Dott
T.Pengfei Vs M.Fu
J.Jones Vs M.Stevens
R.Williams Vs R.Lawler
A.Hamilton Vs S.Baird
J.Clarke Vs M.Selt
M.O'Donnell Vs H.Akbar
L.Highfield Vs L.Wenbo
Z.Jiankang Vs F.Zhengyi
A.Ursenbacher Vs Y.Bingtao
A.Taylor Vs Y.Sijun
S.Murphy Vs A.Stefanow
M.Williams Vs K.Hirani
M.White Vs P.Lines
J.Lisowski Vs N.Zhuang
J.Trump Vs H.Chandler
A.Duffy Vs Z.Yong
E.Sharav Vs X.Si
S.Carrington Vs N.Saengkham
L.Kleckers Vs P.Ebdon
A.Hugill Vs H.Vafaei
R.Muir Vs D.Wells
D.Gilbert Vs J.Robertson
M.Allen Vs M.Joyce

F.O'Brien Vs O.Lines
D.Junhui Vs C.Totten
X.Guodong Vs D.Jones
R.Walden Vs L.Walker
N.Bond Vs A.McManus
S.Donaldson Vs J.Astley
J.Swail Vs L.Hang
J.Cahill Vs G.Greene
J.O'Connor Vs R.Clark
R.O'Sullivan Vs S.Lam
L.Hongao Vs I.Burns
M.Wen Vs M.Holt
B.Hawkins Vs S.Akani
L.Ning Vs B.Woolaston
M.Georgiou Vs D.Lilley
J.White Vs A.Higginson
K.Wilson Vs A.Lee
S.Bingham Vs A.Carter
G.Wilson Vs R.Hull
R.McLeod Vs T.Leong
L.Haotian Vs P.Davison
Z.Xintong Vs J.Page
M.Selby Vs A.McGill
R.Milkins Vs M.Dunn
J.Wattana Vs C.Zifan
B.Castle Vs S.Lichtenberg
L.Brecel Vs K.Maflin
A.Taubman Vs E.Slessor
A.Carty Vs T.Ford
M.Gould Vs Z.Anda
M.Davis Vs J.Perry
N.Robertson Vs J.Brown

Many games to be played over the next couple of days. This is the 5th year this event has been held at the Motorpoint Arena. Current holder last year is John Higgins but this year, despite Ronnie being in town, it looks wide open. Looking at the outright bets Ronnie is in the top half but doesn't tend to do well in this event over the years, well not by Ronnie's standard. He won it back in 2016 but has been dumped out in round 2 the year after and got to the Quarter-Finals last year. I like the look of Bingham in the top half. Bingham is starting to find abit of form and has a good record here winning it in 2017 and finds a nice draw other than Ronnie of course. As an outsider, I will also keep an eye on Sijun. 

In the bottom half, there are much more options. Players in form, and playing against eachother I am going to give Robertson one more chance. I like his chances this week and really, only a cold held him back last week or I feel he would have made the final. I am also giving Hawkins another chance and Martin Gould. Gould looked good when I watched him in the Champions League (which he won in that group) and despite only getting to Round 4 here last year, I feel the winner of him and Robertson has a chance to go deep here.

2pts N.Robertson to win the Welsh Open 14/1 bet365
1.5pts B.Hawkins to win the Welsh Open 20/1 bet365
1pt S.Bingham to win the Welsh Open 33/1 bet365
0.5pts E/W M.Gould to win the Welsh Open 150/1 Paddypower

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Day 1 Preview :

Far too many matches to do a full preview of Day 1. Looking at some value for day 1 I will take on Mark King, who looked pretty ordinary when he played Maguire and lost 4-1 in the Grand Prix. He also went out early, in the 2nd round of the German against Peter Ebdon. I think Craigie can give him some problems this morning. Craigie beat King back in 2016 6-2 and although King has beat him since 5-3 last year, King doesn't seem to be in that kind of form right now.

I will also go with Steadman to beat Burden. h2h shows 2 wins each here with Steadman winning the last. You wouldn't say Steadmans recent form is all that good but he was beat by a deciding frame against Gilbert in the German Masters which is no awful result with Gilberts form and he beat Hawkins 4-0 in the European Masters so I think it's time he gets a result here

Next up I'm taking Baird to beat Hamilton in the 1pm sessions. Hamilton got beat easily 5-1 by Honghao and even last year he had some shockers losing to Lawler 6-1 and losing to Wattana so Baird looks a good pick.

3pts C.Steadman to beat A.Burden 5/6 betway
2.5pts S.Craigie to beat M.King 11/10 bet365
3pts S.Baird to beat A.Hamilton 5/6 betway

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Decent start to the tournament. One to add for tonight :

2.5pts D.Gilbert (-1.5 frames) to beat J.Robertson 11/10 Paddypower

Gilbert has played alot of snooker recently and perhaps that showed against Ali Carter but he's had a couple of days off now and I think he will come through this at no worse than 4-2. Head-2-head shows these two have met 3 times and all 3 times Gilbert has won. Robertson had a 2-0 lead over Mark Davis before losing that match 4-3 and despite a century in frame 5 of that match, I fancy there to be a big enough gap in this one to go for the handicap.


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Well that is very annoying. 3-1 up, loses 4-3. Straight into today

Day 2 preview :

Scott Donaldson faces John Astley in the morning session. Astley beat Scott 6-2 last year, but it's the only shining light of a poor year. Prior to that win he went out of the Riga Masters, the World Open and Paul Hunter Classic in Round 1. Out of the European Masters and English Open in Round 1. After that win, he went out of the Nortern Ireland Open in Round 1 4-0 to King and out of the UK Championship in Round1 6-0 to Perry. Add to that out in Round 1 in the Scottish Open to McManus and this points to the underrated Donaldson to get revenge.

Ben Woolaston has a good record here. He's had a final and a quarter-final placing here during the years and has beaten Lu Ning 4-1 albeit a while ago. Lu Ning has some good form recently but Ben has also got off to a good year beating Dunn and Selt pretty convincingly and only losing out to in-form Gilbert at the German.

Luo Honghao is a very good up and coming prospect. Another chinese whizz-kid in the snookering world and he had a fantastic English Open, bursting onto the scene and beating Carrington, McGill, Robertson and pushing Ronnie close. However, since then and more recently in the last 3-4 matches he has not looked as good and has only beaten players out of form such as Hamilton. I fancy Ian Burns to beat him today. Burns has a good record here, getting to the Quater-Final last year and he is very underrated. He has lost his last 2 matches convincingly because he has had Trump and K.Wilson. He is the kind of player that tends to only lose to the players that are better than him in general. 

Michael Georgiou faces David Lilley today, Lilley has beaten the likes of King and Ford not too long ago but for me he isn't scoring heavy enough and I think Georgiou has a chance today. He lost to Maguire heavy in the German Masters but prior to that he beat Dott and Xiwen and has scored reletively well recently.

Rory McLeod faces Thor Leong in the afternoon session and I fancy Rory to win that one. He won when they met last year 5-3 in the World Open andhe gave Kyren Wilson a game in the German Masters (inwhich he knocked out Gould) Leong has no real recent form to beat Rory today.

2.5pts S.Donaldson (-1.5 frames) to beat J.Astley 4/5 Coral
3pts B.Woolaston to beat L.Ning 4/6 Boylesports
2.5pts I.Burns to beat L.Honghao 6/5 bet365
2.5pts M,Georgiou to beat D.Lilley 11/10 bet365
5.5pts R.McLeod to beat T.Leong 8/11 Coral



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Would like to publicly congratulate McLeod on his match today. Let me down on the full sweep. Thor didn't even need to hit a break above 40 to win 4-0. That shows you how bad McLeod was.:D Also good to see Bingham and Hawkins both win via a whitewash. Good signs. Robertson plays tonight in the "outright market" and also Gould, however, Gould has the trickier round 1 tie.

Couple to add for this evening : 

Luca Brecel is in some good form right now and takes on Kurt Maflin. I actually fancy Brecel to win this with a couple to spare but I'm starting to dislike handicaps in this format, so I'm going to take Brecel to be the highest break scorer. He has regularly hit centuries and 50+ breaks and you would say he is better in the balls than Maflin so we'll go with that.

Secondly, Joe Perry has a brilliant Head-2-head record against Mark Davis (won 11 of the 15 matches played) and he also won the last 2 which were played last year. You would also say Perry is in the better form out of the two. Davis went out of the German in Round 1 and Round 2 of the Grand Prix. Perry went out hard in the German Masters once we reached the Last 32 (losing to Williams 5-0) however,  his form in the qualification of that was strong, getting a century in each round.

3.5pts L.Brecel (Highest Break Scored) Vs K.Maflin 4/7 bet365
5.5pts J.Perry to beat M.Davis 8/11 Coral

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Will take that. 7 out of 8 yesterday. The outrights are all still on barring Gould, who I thought was very unlucky not to beat Zhana. Robertson meanwhile got a 147 in his match.

2nd round draw :

S.Vahedi Vs C.Steadman
J.Lisowski Vs M.Fu
K.Doherty Vs S.Craigie
J.Jones Vs P.Lines
R.Williams Vs A.Hamilton
M.O'Donnell Vs R.Walden
J.Robertson Vs N.Bond
J.Cahill Vs S.Murphy
O.Lines Vs D.Junhui
J.Trump Vs D.Jones
Z.Jiankang Vs A.Ursenbacher
X.Si Vs N.Saengkham
T.Un-Nooh Vs L.Kleckers
H.Vafaei Vs R.Muir
S.Donaldson Vs J.Swail
I.Burns Vs L.Wenbo
Z.Xintong Vs Z.Yuelong
Y.Sijun Vs R.O'Sullivan
M.Xiwen Vs M.Allen
T.Leong Vs P.Davison
H.Miah Vs J.Perry
M.Dunn Vs J.Wattana
B.Castle Vs K.Maflin
J.O'Connor Vs K.Wilson
S.Bingham Vs M.Selt
M.Selby Vs A.Duffy
M.Georgiou Vs J.White
E.Slessor Vs T.Ford
Z.Anda Vs M.Williams
J.Higgins Vs D.Dale
B.Hawkins Vs B.Woolaston
N.Robertson Vs G.Wilson

And all played today/tonight. I think today is "the underdog day" so straight into it :

Day 3 Preview :

Of the 10am matches, I am relunctantly going to back Marco Fu to beat Lisowski. I was watching Lisowski when he was 3-1 down to Zhuang thinking could he have any less confidence and then he banged in 3 big frames in which he looked like himself. Them last 3 frames make me wonder which Jack turns up but if it's not the latter, then quite simply, Fu will win.

In the 1pm matches, I think we have a few matches that have the potential for an upset. First up, I'm going to take on Ding with Oliver Lines. Ding whitewashed Totten in the first round, but didn't hit even a 50 break where as Lines, in his 4-2 win over Ferg O'Brien hit 2 centuries. Lines beat Ding in their last match too, winning 6-4 in 2017. in China too. Lines seems the value.

Next up we have Judd Trump facing Duane Jones. Both are actually in form right now. Trump is flying, but I have to think he is getting tired. He had no worries atall against Chandler, but he gave Chandler chances of which he couldn't beat a good enough break to put the pressure on. I think Jones pushes Trump abit closer here. The 2 head-2-head between the two have been close 4-2 and 4-3 to Trump and the welshboy is in his home town too here.

I'm going to stick with Ian Burns today also. He has been priced up at 2/1 today to beat Wenbo which suprises me. He has won the last 2 head-to-heads against Wenbo 5-3 in 2017, in China and then last year again 6-4 in China. Both players looked good in round 1 and I would expect it to be a close one, so the value is with Burns

Next up, I will take Sijun to push Ronnie. I think this could be a very open match in which both score well. Ronnie was way past his best in the first round, where as Sijun blasted past Taylor with 4 50+ breaks. You would expect Ronnie to raise his game when needed ofcourse, but I think Sijun can get 2 frames atleast.

In the post interviews, they interviewed Mark Allen and he was saying how angry he is at the moment and that he was going to withdraw from the Welsh but didn't. That is enough alone to put me to lay him, but he hasn't looked that good either. Xi Wen is the value call today and he won the last match between the two also.

2.5pts M.Fu to beat J.Lisowski 6/5 Paddypower
2.5pts O.Lines (+2.5 Frames) to beat D.Junhui Evens Betvictor
2pts O.Lines to beat D.Junhui 9/2 Boylesports
2.5pts D.Jones (+2.5 Frames) to beat J.Trump
2pts I.Burns to beat L.Wenbo 2/1 bet365
2pts Y.Sijun (+2.5 frames) to beat R.O'Sullivan Evens betvictor
2pts Xi Wen to beat M.Allen 5/2 bet365
2.5pts P.Davison to beat T.Leong 11/10 ladbrokes


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Looks a decent day so far. Such a shame Lines couldn't win against Ding. He had some really bad luck with the run of the balls. Should have won in my eyes. The better player today.

Few more for tonight. No time for reasoning.

4pts S.Bingham (-1.5 frames) to beat M.Selt 8/11 bet365
3pts M.Georgiou to beat J.White 4/6 Boylesports
3pts Over 5.5 frames (Z.Anda Vs M.Williams) 4/6 bet365

2pts Z.Anda to beat M.Williams 12/5 Betfred

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Underdog day it was with Trump, Mark Williams & Kyren Wilson going out. A good day again yesterday 9/12 winners. Draw for the last 32 :

J.Lisowski Vs S.Craigie
J.Perry Vs D.Junhui
J.Jones Vs J.O'Connor
D.Jones Vs R.WIlliams
J.Robertson Vs Z.Xintong
L.Kleckers Vs H.Vafaei
S.Donaldson Vs J.Cahill
M.Dunn Vs K.Maflin

S.Bingham Vs M.O'Donnell
A.Ursenbacher Vs R.O'Sullivan
I.Burns Vs M.Allen
B.Hawkins Vs M.Georgiou
N.Robertson Vs P.Davison
E.Slessor Vs Z.Anda
J.Higgins Vs C.Steadman
M.Selby Vs N.Saengkham

Not a whole lot of time this morning to do a full preview, as the matches start in an hour. BOLD matches are 10am, the other 1-2.30pm. I will look at the 10am matches, then perhaps come back to the other matches after.

2.75pts D.Jones to beat R.Williams 10/11 ladbrokes
3pts Z.Xintong to beat J.Robertson 5/6 betfed


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Nothing too exciting for the afternoon matches really. I fancy Robertson to win with the handicap, but the value is really not there. With Allen and Burns it will depend on which Allen turns up as to how Burns could fair. I thought about highest break bets with Slessor and Burns tempting but I will leave it until tonights matches. The Last 16 starts tonight and hopefully can find some value there.

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Wow! Ronnie goes, as does Allen and Hawkins. Wide open contest now although you would feel Selby would be a big favourite. Onto tonight's matches. We will know the final 8 tonight.

Last 16 Preview :

Ding Vs O'Connor
R.Williams Vs Bingham
Xintong Vs Ursenbacher
Donaldson Vs Burns
Georgiou Vs N.Robertson
Maflin Vs Slessor
Higgins Vs Lisowski
Selby Vs Vafaei

I'm glad to see Robertson get through after going 3-1 down but he didn't play anywhere near his standard today by all accounts. Stuart Bingham continues to play really well and he has every chance of making a semi-final or final here.

Slessor must be the value pick against Maflin. Head-2-head shows 2 wins each, but Slessor won the last match-up 4-2 and I would say he has impressed me more this week, despite Maflin's good scoring. Georgiou has had a very good week this week. He has blown Jimmy White away and of course, beat Hawkins today without too much fuss too. This is one bet that I kind of feel like I shouldn't make as I have Robbo in an outright bet, but 4/1 is just a daft price and screams value.

Ian Burns is flying this week too. Another one I tipped early on to do well in the earlier rounds, but even I didn't think he would see off Allen today. He always had a chance of making it close with his scoring, and looking at his next opponent, I make him a favourite so I'm not sure what this price is about. He has played Scott twice and won 4-0 and 5-1 and whilst Donaldson has only hit 1 +50 break in each of the last 2 rounds, Ian has hit 5 including 2 centuries.

Finally, I'm taking Lisowski to beat Higgins. He is scoring far, far greater than Higgins, so unless he has a day where nothing goes his way, I expect him to win this one and go on to beat Ding and make a Semi-final placing (hopefully against Bingham) Higgins destroyed Lisowski last time they met, but I'm beginning to see Jack build some confidence. 

2.5pts E.Slessor to beat K.Maflin 11/10 Boylesports
2pts M.Georgiou to beat N.Robertson 4/1 Paddypower
5pts I.Burns to beat S.Donaldson 6/5 bet365
2pts I.Burns (-1.5 frames) to beat S.Donaldson 9/4 bet365
2.5pts J.Lisowski to beat J.Higgins 7/5

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Poor evening yesterday. All the coin-flips went the other way but on the plus side, Robertson and Bingham are through to the quarter-finals and also Selby and Lisowski have gone. Two very dangerous players.

Quarter-finals :

S.Bingham Vs Z.Xintong
J.Higgins Vs O'Connor
H.Vafaei Vs S.Donaldson
N.Robertson Vs K.Maflin

I will leave Bingham, and Robertson alone and Higgins Vs O'Connor doesn't appeal to me. I do think Vafaei beats Donaldson though. Donaldson has had it easy this week in my view and Burns really tanked. Vafaei had a really good result in beating Selby and he beat Donaldson 4-2 in their only match, back in 2016, in Ireland.

4pts H.Vafaei (-1.5 frames) to beat S.Donaldson 13/8 Ladbrokes

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Vafaei looking very good last night. I think he will give Robertson a game today. 

Semi finals :

Bingham vs O'Connor

Robertson Vs Vafaei 

I will leave the Bingham match alone again. I do think Bingham wins on a handicap there though. 

I will take over 9.5 on the Robertson game as Robertson has won 2 or the last 3 this week with deciding frames

3pts over 8.5 frames (Vafaei vs Robertson) 4/6 bet365

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5pts over 3.5 centuries (S.Bingham vs N.Robetson) 6/5 bet365

Bingham hit 4 centuries in the 5 frames he won. Robertson hit a couple himself. Both of these have been hitting them for fun so I just can't imagine less than 4. You would expect atleast 15 frames in this.

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