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This gets started on Monday. Bingham looking to keep hold of the trophy. Ronnie O'Sullivan in town and a few players realy on form makes me think this tournament could be a good one.

Top half of the table is likely to yield a Bingham Vs Murphy quarter-final. The winner of that is likely to make the final in my eyes. In the other half it's all about Ronnie O'Sullivan, but that also means there is plenty of big outsider value picks.

I'm going to take Bingham first up. I said it before. I was looking at Bingham a month ago to be honest. I backed him for the Champions League and he's already qualified for that in March and I'll be backing him here to defend his crown. Not easy ofcourse, but maybe Mark Davis can do him a favour like last year in beating Ronnie. It's very close between Murphy and Bingham, but Murphy after his win hasn't played a whole lot and I just feel Bingham will be alittle sharper. I'll also be taking a couple of big outsiders in Quarter bets too. I don't think these guys can win, but McGill and Ali Carter are far too big to hit some form here.

I'm giving Maguire one last chance here. He had a good tournament last year in reaching the Semi-finals and the draw is quite kind to him. Again, there are a couple of big outsiders to win Quarter 2 that I like too.

The bottom half houses Ronnie O'Sullivan. I actually really fancy Selby this week but I can't be having 12/1 that he beats Judd, Ronnie, Murphy, Bingham etc. The value is just poor. Instsead, some big priced quarter winners once again. First up, Vafaei is in the form of his life right now and I'll take him to win Quarter 3

2pts E/W S.Bingham to win English Open 16/1 betfred
1pt E/W S.Maguire to win English Open 80/1 ladbrokes

1pt A.Carter to win 1st Quarter 20/1 ladbrokes
1pt A.McGill to win 1st Quarter 33/1 ladbrokes

1pt N.Saengkham to win 2nd Quarter 35/1 bet365
0.5pts L.Honghao to win 2nd Quarter 50/1 ladbrokes
0.5pts J.Cahill to win 2nd Quarter 66/1 bet365

1pt Vafaei to win 3rd Quarter 18/1 betvictor
1pt Guodong to win 3rd Quarter 28/1 ladbrokes

1pt G.Wilson to win 4th Quarter 14/1 ladbrokes

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Day 1 :
Plenty of matches tomorrow. In the first sessions the ones I like are Ben Woollaston to beat Higginson, first up. Woollaston won the previous h2h between the two, at the China Open this year, in April. In that 6-3 win, Woollaston scored one hundred and 5 50+ breaks. He has been scoring well recently and Higginson is out of form. His only wins this season have been against out-of-form players.

One outsider I like tomorrow night is Harvey Chandler to beat Mike Dunn. Dunn has looked pretty poor recently, losing 5-0 to Trump and 5-3 to Steadman without so much as a 50 break. Add to that going down 6-0 to Jak Jones and a top break of just 61 this season and you can see you would oppose him against most. Harvey Chandler is a good, improving player. He has beaten Maflin and Carrington already this season and is scoring much heavier than Dunn.

6pts B.Woollaston to beat A.Higginson 4/6 boylesports
4pts H.Chandler to beat M.Dunn 11/8 williamhill

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level for the day, but an air of randomness about the tournament already with the small framed format. Looking at today, I like the following.

Bond goes up against Ferg O'Brien at 10am. Bond, I backed last time out against Daniel Wells last week and he looked decent in that match, scoring a century and winning 5-2. Infact, Bond has only lost to Neil Robertson and an on-fire Saengkham this season and has already beat O'Brien 6-2 in June, so I'm not sure why he is such a dog here.

Elliot Slessor faces Carty and I'm going to risk the handicap on Slessor. He beat Carty on their only h2h and Carty has only won once this season. Next up, Anda has beaten Haotian 4-0 in their last two h2hs and Haotian has lost to the likes of Mann and Duane Jones. They are the type of players he was beating last season.

I'm going to take a punt on Wembo beating Kyren Wilson. Wilson won the last h2h but Wenbo has won all the previous matches and funny enough all those other matches were from a shorter format. Michael Georgiou has already beaten Grace 5-2 this season and indeed won all 3 head-2-heads, so I'll be taking Georgiou to win that tie. Finally, I'll take Mark Davis to beat Dott. Davis had a great tournament last year and Dott just isn't performing right now at the shorter format.

4pts N.Bond to beat F.O'Brien 6/4 betfair
4pts E.Slessor (-1.5 frames) to beat A.Carty evens betfair
3pts Z.Anda to beat Haotian evens bet365
2.5pts Wenbo to beat K.Wilson 9/5 bet365
5.5pts M.Georgiou to beat D.Grace 10/11 bet365
5pts M.Davis to beat G.Dott 6/5 bet365

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3/6 then lastnight. Round 1 over with and only to Round 2.

Ricky walden has beaten Craigie in the two h2hs between the two, however it's been years since they have played and Sam Craigie has come on leaps and bounds since then.Craigie had a real hard match in round 1 against the talented Honghao and despite being down in that match, he came back to win. Walden faced an easy passage really against Borg. I feel like Craigie is the value here.

Xu Si faces Dom Dale at 1pm. Xu Si has been in form for a while now and I get the feeling that Dales win over Ding is abit masked not by the form of Dale, but Ding. Dale only managed one break over 50 in that match. I'll go with Si on this one. Finally, Tom Ford is the so inconsistent for me that he's worth taking on against Lu Ning. Ford won well against Peter Lines, but you wonder if Ning could cause him problems. They have one h2h in which Ford won on a deciding frame and Ning at 6/5 is my pick there.

Ronnie is up against Sijun and I am going to be laying Ronnie here. Sijun is a decent up and coming player but to be honest, I would lay Ronnie with just about anybody at the moment. He cares so little for this tournament that 4/1 on Sijun is huge value. He had the faster average shot time of anybody this season in that last match because he was just smashing it around. Perhaps, against Sijun he will get down and think but 4/1 is worth the opposing.

Kurt Maflin is still looking the player i've backed in the previous couple of tournaments and it suprises me that he is the underdog against Jimmy Robertson. Jimmy hasn't performed for me in a while and his stint with the Champions League shows me even more so.

5pts S.Craigie to beat R.Walden evens bet365
5pts X.Si to beat D.Dale 6/5 bet365
5pts L.Ning to beat T.Ford 6/5 bet365
3pts Sijun to beat R.O'Sullivan 4/1 bet365
5pts K.Maflin to beat J.Robertson evens bet365

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Not the best of days. Fine lines, with Sijun 3-1 up and losing 4-3 which would have meant profit but 1/4 today and a -8pter. Craigie/Walden was voided. No match there. I'm going to take Georgiou to beat Hawkins. This tournament is very much an underdogs dream with the format of "first to 4" we've seen many players go early, after getting a poor start and Georgiou is scoring well enough to trouble Hawkins.

4pts M.Georgiou to beat B.Hawkins 11/4 bet365

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Just the 3 for me today. We have two rounds of matches today. I'll take Guodong to beat Lisowski. Lisowski hasn't impressed too much and is always open to the odd bottling. I'll take Gary Wilson to beat Perry. He beat him last year at the China Open and for me, is in the better form so I'm not sure why he's such an underdog there. Finally, Un-Nooh to beat Dott.

4pts Guodong to beat J.Lisowski 6/4 bet365
4pts G.Wilson to beat J.Perry 11/8 boylesports
5pts Un-Nooh to beat Dott 11/10 bet365

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In an hour we get straight into the Last 16. 3 picks that I like :

First, I'm going to take Guodong, against Selby. I just think the price is too big. Guodong has won the last 2 h2hs and although Selby is bang in form and someone I liked pre-tournament, it's all about the value on this one. 

Secondly, I'll take Mark Allen to beat Hawkins. Hawkins can be abit dodgy on the shorter format. Georgiou couldn't hit the proverbial arse in the last match. I think Allen will give him much more trouble.

2.5pts X.Guodong to beat Selby 11/5 bet365
6pts M.Allen to beat B.Hawkins 5/6 betway

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an extra 2.5pt profit there on Allen winning. Allen is looking very good. Looks inbetween him and Selby from here.

Quarter-finals today. Few I like. First up, in the Gilbert Vs Walden match, I'm going to take a punt on both players getting a century. Both have near enough a 50% century total in the matches they've played and combined in 35 matches they have 17 100s and 66 more 50+s. I just Gilbert the edge in that one. Un-Nooh had chances that he spurned. I'm also going with the market on "3 sucessive frames won" and I'm going "No" on that. I think this match will be a tight one.

I fancy Selby to win with a few frames in hand. It's rare that a player will beat Ronnie O'Sullivan and then turn up and do the same feat and that's against an average player. When you think of how well Selby is playing, I can see this one being a 5-1/5-2 job.

Tom Ford is abit of a troll for me. Everytime I go against him he is immense and everytime I back him, he is pony. I'm going to have to back him against Pengfei though. I just think Pengfei has had a nice run in this tournament and facing a kid who buckled under the pressure. I actually fancy Ford to win this with abit in hand.

2pts Both players to get a century 11/4 bet365
2pts Either player to win 3 successive frames? No! 5/2 bet365
4pts M.Selby (-2.5 frames) to beat Xiwen evens bet365
5pts T.Ford to beat Pengfei 4/5 boylesports

1pt Accy - Gilbert / Selby -2.5 / Allen -2.5 / Ford -1.5 12/1 bet365

 

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