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A brand new ranking event comes to town this morning, just several hours after the completion of The Masters. This event was supposed to be showcasing the return of Stephen Hendry, but he has pulled out. Along with the likes of Neil Robertson, John Higgins and Ding Junhui.

The tournament reminds me of the Championship League event. It's group play, with 16 groups of 8. (128 players). The top 2 go through in each group to give us the last 32. Those 32 will be split into 4 more groups. Same rules apply (top 2 through) to give us a final group of 8.

Here are the groups :

Group A :
S.Murphy
M.Holt
A.McManus
L.Heathcote
X.Si
K.Doherty
F.Patrick
B.Ochoiski

Group B :
K.Wilson
L.Hang
Y.Sijun
S.Akani
P.Junxu
K.Filipiak
D.Young
F.Zhengyi

Group C :
S.Bingham
S.Donaldson
S.Craigie
C.Wakelin
J.Clarke
A.Carty
B.J Castle
J.C-Barrett

Group D :
B.Hawkins
R.Walden
J.Robertson
A.Ursenbacher
G.Greene
D.Jones
F.Ajaib
P.Davison

Group E :
M.Selby
M.Selt
J.O'Connor
S.Carrington
E.Sharav
S.Vahedi
L.Kleckers
D.Womersley

Group F :
M.Allen
B.Woollaston
N.Saengkham
D.Grace
I.Figueiredo
J.Brown
R.Parsons
F.O'Brien

Group G :
G.Wilson
L.Ning
M.O'Donnell
L.Highfield
J.O'Neill
Z.Jianbo
R.McLeod
J.Astley

Group H :
Y.Bingtao
A.Carter
M.Davis
T.Pengfei
C.Bingyu
S.Lichtenberg
A.Amiri
K.Johal

Group I :
R.O'Sullivan
T.Ford
L.Haotian
M.Joyce
C.Zifan
D.Lilley
B.Hancorn
J.Wilson

Group J :
D.Gilbert
M.Gould
E.Slessor
I.Burns
J.Cahill
P.Lines
O.Lines
J.Boiko

Group K :
A.McGill
Z.Xintong
M.Selby
D.Dale
A.Hicks
S.Jiahui
P.Devlin
L.Walker

Group L :
T.Un-Nooh
Z.Yuelong
A.Hamilton
L.Honghao
M.Mann
L.Peifan
A.Hugill
L.Fernandez

Group M :
J.Perry
X.Guodong
M.Stevens
D.Wells
J.Jones
R.Lawler
A.Taylor
H.Pinhey

Group N :
J.Lisowski
G.Dott
L.Brecel
A.Higginson
J.Page
B.Sargeant
Z.Surety
M.White

Group O :
J.Trump
H.Vafaei
R.Day
J.Jones
B.Pinches
J.White
S.Hallworth
S.Maddocks

Group P :
M.Williams
K.Maflin
R.Milkins
N.Bond
R.Williams
G.Yang
A.Borg
O.Brown

I tend to search for the winner of these events by playing out whom I think will win/qualify for each group, to get an idea. However, I've not seen any markets open for the outright winner yet, so I'll just focus on Group M.

Although he should be winning this group, I'm happy to rule out Perry. I can't take Stevens at 3/1 and I'm not interested in Wells, Lawler or Pinhey. Guodong is a good player and it wouldn't surprise me to see him win this group but at 3/1 it's a no, thank you!.

I'll take a chance on Jak Jones winning this group. The last time we saw him, at the German Masters, he beat Jiahui and Kyren Wilson. In-between some not so great performances; he has also beaten Bingtao and Jack Lisowski over the last few tournaments that he has competed in.

2pts J.Jones to win Group M 13/2 bet365

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On 1/18/2021 at 1:07 AM, Fader said:

Group B :
K.Wilson
L.Hang
Y.Sijun
S.Akani
P.Junxu
K.Filipiak
D.Young
F.Zhengyi

No joy with Jak Jones, yesterday. Joe Perry comes through to win the group Guodong also goes through.

Group B gets played today and Kyren Wilson is the headliner. We saw Wilson only recently at the Championship League but he didn't really perform to the standard you would expect and at evens, the price seems far too short to win the group.

I'm going to take a chance on Li Hang and Pang Junxu. This event is a best of 3 in each match and so you need to score well. Hang has that ability. Junxu showed everybody what he's about at the Scottish Open and German Masters. He's beaten the likes of Maguire, Allen and Tom Ford. At 10/1 he looks abit of value if the form remains.

2pts Li Hang to win Group B 5/1 betvictor
1pt P.Junxu to win Group B 10/1 betvictor

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On 1/18/2021 at 1:07 AM, Fader said:

Group G :
G.Wilson
L.Ning
M.O'Donnell
L.Highfield
J.O'Neill
Z.Jianbo
R.McLeod
J.Astley

Group G today and a group that looks quite open. I think Lu Ning has a good chance here but I just can't be having 3/1 on a player to pretty much win 80 per cent of his matches atleast. I'll take a chance on O'Neill. He has shown some nice form recently at the German Masters and has beaten Murphy and pushed Ding to a decider. He shouldn't be down at 12s.

1pt E/W J. O'Neill to win Group G 12/1 paddypower

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Well I needed O'Neill to come 1st or 2nd and he finishes 3rd. Group C today :

On 1/18/2021 at 1:07 AM, Fader said:

Group C :
S.Bingham
S.Donaldson
S.Craigie
C.Wakelin
J.Clarke
A.Carty
B.J Castle
J.C-Barrett

I think it's worth giving a chance to Jamie Clarke today. I also like Donaldson. Bingham is favourite here but in a best of 3 match, it's quite an open group. 

2pts S.Donaldson to win Group C 7/2 paddypower
1pt E/W J.Clarke to win Group C 13/2 paddypower

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Not the best of events then, so far. Today's group :

On 1/18/2021 at 1:07 AM, Fader said:

Group K :
A.McGill
Z.Xintong
M.King
D.Dale
A.Hicks
S.Jiahui
P.Devlin
L.Walker

I think I'm going to take McGill in this group. He has had some recent good form,  making the UK Championship last 16 and also the Grand Prix last 16. Xintong is the big threat but he is the type of player who runs hot and cold. Dale is the other player that has been hitting abit of form but the likes of Jiahui, Hicks, Devlin, just seem to have that one or two bad performances to be consistent enough to win the group.

2pts A.McGill to win Group K 5/2 betfred
1pt D.Dale to win Group K 6/1 betfred

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Yet to find a winner in these little mini-leagues. It's actually surprised me how many favourites have won the group, when you think it's just a "best of 3" match. It seems less random than the Championship League, which is a best of 5. Anyway, despite a poor start, I'll keep going. Group A tomorrow :

On 1/18/2021 at 1:07 AM, Fader said:

Group A :
S.Murphy
M.Holt
A.McManus
L.Heathcote
X.Si
K.Doherty
F.Patrick
B.Ochoiski

I thought Murphy (although amazing at times), looked quite average, on the whole, at The Masters. I'm not sure I can back him here at odds on. I'm not keen on Holt because he hasn't ever done well at the Championship League (although he has won the shootout) 

If I had to pick somebody in the top 3 of the betting, it would be Holt. I'm going to take Ken Doherty though. Ken actually has a good record against Holt and if he can get a good start going then his 8/1 could look very big. I'll throw change at Ochoiski too, but that's more for a value interest.

1pt K.Doherty to win Group A 8/1 betfred
0.25pts E/W B.Ochoiksi to win Group A 100/1 betfred

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Group N played out tomorrow. It had to be one of the highest overall quality groups we've had so far :

On 1/18/2021 at 1:07 AM, Fader said:

Group N :
J.Lisowski
G.Dott
L.Brecel
A.Higginson
J.Page
B.Sargeant
Z.Surety
M.White

There are a good 3/4 capable winners in this group. Lisowski is the favourite and that's no real surprise with his current form. I like Dott here though. Dott has a nice start and if he can get a few wins under his belt then he has every chance of finishing the day on top. The other that looks like a spot of value is Michael White. Brecel/White/Higginson all are great players on their day but White at 7/1 looks a great outsider shot.

2pts G.Dott to win Group N 5/2 bet365
1pt M.White to win Group N 7/1 bet365

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  • 1 month later...

This continues this morning. Much like the Championship League, group snooker. Group J consists of the following :

Gilbert
Gould

Slessor
O.Lines
P..Lines
Burns
Cahill
Boiko

I'm going to take Gould in this weaker looking group. I'm also taking a half point on Boiko though. Purely as he is 100/1 to win probably 4 out of 7 matches in this weaker group. He played well last week.

4pts M.Gould to win group 7/4 bet365
0.5pts J.Boiko to win group 100/1 bet365

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no joy. Typically, I was contemplating taking either Gould or Olly Lines. I went with what I thought was safe and ofcourse, Lines wins. Another group gets played tomorrow. Here is the line up (Group H) :

A.Carter
D.Emery
M.Davis

T.Pengfei
C.Bingyu
S.Lichtenberg
K.Johal
H.Hussain

I'm going to keep faith with Carter and have an outsider half point on Emery. Bingyu was tempting but at 9/2 it's not appealing enough. In a "first to 2" match, anybody can get on a roll, really. Carter has been quite consistent recently and won his Championship League group, recently.

4pts A.Carter to win Group 7/2 bet365
0.5pts D.Emery to win Group 25/1 bet365

 

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another group tomorrow. Quite a weak group. Here is the line-up :

J.Brown
Saengkham
Woollaston

Grace
Ferg O'Brien
Figueredo
Parsons
McGuigan

I'm not convinced on Jordan Brown. I feel like you could rule out McGuigan, Figs, Ferg and perhaps Woollaston. I like Saengkham and Grace tomorrow and I think Parsons is a good outsider chance. I'll take the 9/2 on Grace and the 66s on Parsons.

2pts D.Grace to win Group 9/2 bet365
0.5pts R.Parsons to win Group 66/1 betfred

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We're into Phase 2, 4 days of phase 2, with the top 2 going through and completing an 8-man final group, on Sunday, Here's the group listing for tomorrow :

Hancorn
Akani
O'Donnell
Cahill
M.Williams
Haotian
Carter
Heathcote


Mark Williams always seems to under-perform when I back him. I like Ali Carter and Haotian tomorrow. I'll take Haotian to win the group, but with Carter, i think it's better value to back him to win the event, at 20/1. He ony has to make the top 2 here, and then he is a 20/1 shot in the final group. Better value in my eyes

1pt e/w A.Carter to win WST Pro Series 20/1 paddypower
1pt Haotian to win group 1 15/2 paddypower 

 

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Carter wins the group. Only losing one match, to Williams, who comes 2nd. Both go through to the final group. The 2nd "phase 2" group looks like this :

Xintong
Ning
Murphy
Carrington
K.Wilson
Milkins
Woollaston
Guodong

This is a much tougher group than todays. You could see 3-4 of these guys winning the group. Kyren Wilson and Murphy are the two short favourites. Both won their Phase 1 group with ease. Murphy won 7 from 7 in his group and hit 3 centuries. Kyren won 5 from 7 and hit 5 centuries. Both groups were quite weak though and I'm happy to leave them both alone. I like Xintong tomorrow. He has already hit 5 centuries in his first phase group. He tends to be a player who either turns up and is on fire, or is awful. I'll take him to win the event, much like the Carter bet, as I see that as better value. 

In the group betting, I'll take an outside punt on Carrington. He has some good form at the moment.

1pt e/w Xintong to win WST Pro Series 25/1 willhill
1pt S.Carrington to win group 2 12/1 betfred

 

 

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Tomorrow will be the Phase 2 final group, which will compete the final, which will be played on Sunday. Tomorrow's group :

Trump
Bingham
Selby
O.Lines
Day
Dale
Yuelong
Walden

Some serious players in this group, but only 2 can go through to the final on Sunday. It looks most likely that Trump and Selby will be top 2 but Bingham won 7 from 7 in his group with a 100% record, winning all 7 matches 2-0 and not dropping a frame.

I think the best outsider punt would be to go on the tournament outright market. Trump is likely to win this group so if we can find a player who sneaks in top 2 and has a shot tomorrow, much like Ali Carter, who won his group. I'll give Zhou Yuelong a chance. He tends to do well in these short formats. Won his group in Championship League and also has done well in this event.

1pt e/w Z.Yuelong to win WST Pro Series 22/1 paddypower

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