2013 World Snooker Championship: Semi Final Outright Betting Preview
By Ian McCulloch on 2013-05-01 20:04:12
SHEFFIELD, UK - After twelve days of scintillating snooker action that has seen thoroughbred players like Robertson, Selby, Higgins, Allen and Maguire all bite the dust early only four men are left standing. At 1pm on Thursday Afternoon the semi finals commence, and see the only the fifth game to go to ceding in the entire tournament. With so many top names falling earlier than expected the bookmakers have cleaned up thus far, but the pre tournament favourite, Ronnie O'Sullivan, is still at the peak of the outright betting markets.
The -Rocket” who was a now very generous looking 13/2 before the tournament began, as the uncertainty of whether or not he would be up to the job was the question on the lips of the majority of the snooker playing fraternity. O'Sullivan is now only odds against with just one firm, Betdaq, they have the title holder priced at 21/20 (bet £20 to make £21 profit) and all other firms have gone shorter on O'Sullivan to make it five titles at 10/11 (bet £11 to make £10 profit) or less. It is arguable that his semi final show down with Judd Trump will produce the winner of the entire competition but you can be sure that his last four title contender, Trump, will not make life easy for Ronnie. Essex based Trump looks to coming into good form just at the right time and can be backed in the betting at 11/5 (bet £5 to make £11 profit) with Paddy Power which is an intriguing proposition for the prospective punter as Trump leads the career head to heads, six wins to five, overall.
With out a doubt all the semi final hype will be focused on the O'Sullivan/Trump clash which in a way may pave the way for marginal better value being sought out on the remaining two players, in the bottom half of the draw. Chester's Ricky Walden and Dartford's Barry Hawkins have both enjoyed excellent 2012/2013 seasons to date. They have each been in the winners circle for capturing full ranking event titles over the last ten months and should not be completely written off as just potential runners up. Walden was the first to taste victory this campaign when he hammered the reigning Premier league champion, Stuart Bingham, 10-4, in the final of the Wuxi Classic, the first ranking tournament of the season. Hawkins was soon to follow and the very next tournament, the Goldfields Australian Open; he demolished Peter Ebdon, the former World champion, 9-3, to lift his maiden ranking title. Precious little separates Hawkins and Walden in the betting, Hawkins can taken at 8/1 (bet £1 to make £8 profit) with Boylesports and Walden is just half a point larger at 17/2 (bet £2 to make £17 profit) with 32Red.
Both these two outsiders are playing in their first Crucible semi final, the unique set up of just the one table, and the atmosphere it creates, will be arguably the toughest tests of both players' careers to date, even though they have both got major titles to their credit. It looks hard to oppose O'Sullivan in his current form but from Walden and Hawkins perhaps it is Walden who could stand the O'Sullivan final test, the best, as in his only two previous meetings with Ronnie the scores are tied at one win apiece. Walden defeated O'Sullivan, 10-8, in the final 2008 Shanghai Masters and the other match was a close fought 9-8 win for Ronnie in the last 32 of the 2006 UK championship.