Free tips Snooker: 2016 World Grand Prix (Tues-Sun)
2/1 Ronnie is Human and Beatable
There is no surprise in Ronnie O’Sullivan heading the betting for the World Grand Prix Snooker which gets underway on Tuesday 8th March. The big question is, does the 2/1 offered by event sponsors, Ladbrokes, represent value?
Despite an eight month absence in 2015, O’Sullivan has looked unstoppable this year with wins in the Masters and Welsh Open snooker events. He had won a remarkable 24 consecutive matches in 2016 before losing in a lowly Championship League group game against Mark Williams last week.
‘The Rocket’ still proceeded to the final of that event where he was beaten again, by Judd Trump, 3-2 despite posting breaks of 119 and 134. It proves he is human after all and you could take a cynical view on his Welsh Open victory, where he came from 5-2 down to win 9-5, by pointing out he would have been beaten if that decider was the best of nine frames.
It wasn’t but Ronnie O’Sullivan is beatable and given all Ladbrokes World Grand Prix matches are over the best of seven frames until the best-of-11 semi-finals and a best-of-19 frame final, he is beatable in Llaandudno this week.
So, while 2/1 represents a 33.3% chance of O’Sullivan winning this tournament, I’m going to take him on as the true probability of him winning is probably less.
Judd Trump, who picked up a £20,000 cheque in this week’s Championship League is definitely over-priced at Paddy Power and Stan James 9/1. He is in the opposite end of the draw than O’Sullivan and appears to have some very easy opening round matches – against Mark Williams and then David Gilbert or the out-of-sorts Stuart Bingham.
The bookies don’t know what to do with Martin Gould (I do, back him at Sportingbet’s 66/1!). Some firms, like Betfair and Totesport, make him as low as 20/1. He comes into this 32-runner tournament ranked No.3 on the back of his German Masters win, a final table appearance at the Australian Goldfield’s Open and quarter-final spots in both the Shanghai Masters and UK Championship.
The winds of confidence are clearly billowing in his sails and while the German Masters represented Gould’s first ranking victory of his career, these four solid recent performances mean it was no fluke.
World Grand Prix second favourite Neil Robertson could meet O’Sullivan in a mouth-watering semi-final match in the bottom half of the draw so we will take a third selection from the second quarter bracket of the draw (away from Trump) in the shape of Mark Selby.
Selby has been the World Ranked No.1 player for four season’s in a row and while the 2014 Wold Champion has not won a major since the China Open 11 months ago, his game remains solid and he has made the latter stages of plenty events this season.