Free tips World Snooker Championship 2021: Jimmy White & Stephen Hendry Meet in the Qualifiers! (7.30pm, Monday)
The 2021 World Snooker Championship gets underway at its spiritual home, Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre on April 17th and runs until May 3rd. Here you will find some World Snooker qualifiers bets and picks from our resident snooker tipster.
A relaxation in Covid restrictions means this will be the first snooker event of the season which will have a live audience – albeit it is likely to be severely restricted in size.
Recommended World Snooker Qualifiers Bets
- Jimmy White to beat Stephen Hendry 8/11 with BetVictor (7.30pm, Monday)
- Lee Walker (+1.5 frames) to beat Ken Doherty at 10/11 with bet365*
- Brian Ochoiski (+2.5 frames) to beat Rory McLeod at 4/6 with bet365*
2021 World Snooker Prize Money
The winner of the 2021 event will receive £500,000 from a total prize fund of £2,395,000. There’s a lot to play for, just consider a first round casualty will pocket £20,000.
The trick is getting into the first round. This is accomplished by being in the current top-16 of the world, or winning your way through a qualifying tournament which will take place between April 5th and April 14th at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield where participants will play in qualifying rounds hoping to book their place in the ‘big one’.
How World Snooker Qualifying Works
All qualifying matches are best of 11 frames, up until the final round (on April 13th and 14th), they are the best of 19. The round structure is:
- Players seeded 81-144 (plus 16 invited amateurs) contest the opening round
- In round two those 32 round one winners will face players seeded 49-80
- In round three those 32 winners will face players seeded 17-48
- In round four those 32 winners play each other with the 16 winners going through to the main competition
In 2020 11 of the sixteen seeded players made it through the first round. twelve did in 2019, ten did in 2018, twelve in 2017 and only nine in 2016. In short, get through those qualifiers and there is a very good chance you can find yourself in the last 16 of the World Championship.
White vs Hendry – a classic for the ages
So who are the players to look out for in the World Snooker 2021 qualifiers?
Doubtlessly the outstanding game of opening round is the face-off between seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry, who recently returned from almost nine years of retirement, and six-time world championship runner-up Jimmy White.
Hendry may have got beaten on his return to the sport at the start of March (4-1 to Matthew Selt in the opening round of the Gibraltar Open) but he posted a century break in the frame he won. White has never retired or left the tour albeit he has needed an ‘invitational tour card’ to do so.
So far this season White has posted just two century breaks (an average of one in every 57 frames) and he’s recording just one 50+ breaks per five frames. But, and it’s a big but, the bulk of his 21 50+ breaks recorded this season have come in his last four games which were the first four rounds of the Gibraltar Open at the start of March.
The ‘Whirlwind’ knocked in four against Joe O’Connor, one in an outstanding victory against Stuart Bingham, four against Chen Zifan and two more against Chris Wakelin when losing out in their ‘last 16’ clash.
Jimmy, not the player he once was, is clearly in good form. He will relish the big occasion – this game is broadcast live and has already been hyped-up by Snooker’s governing body – and against a rival whose comeback run showed glimpses of the old brilliance but was ultimately disappointing, at 8/11 with BetVictor he’s the better bet.
Odds-on shots will tumble
At the current snooker odds the White/Hendry is supposed to be the closest game of all. Despite the first round having lowly but relatively closely ranked players facing off there are some massively short favourites – such as the 1/9 about veteran Andy Hicks to beat female player Reanne Evans and the 1/14 about Soheil Vahedi beating Julien Leclercq.
Backing long odds-on shots in this event at this stage is a sure-fire way to the poor house and so we are concentrating on outsiders but taking the safety-net of having them with a handicap start.
Lee Walker should at the very least keep former world champion Ken Doherty honest and should never be 13/8 to beat the Dubliner based on recent results. Our selection is 10/11 with bet365* with a +1.5 frame start.
France vs Jamaica
Rory McLeod missed the 2019/20 season and had to re-qualify for the tour to play on this term. But his results have been dire and he’s not progressed beyond the second round of any one of the ten competitions he has played. In other words, he has not won two consecutive matches.
His opponent, 22-year-old Brian Ochoiski has a bright future and his 2020/21 record of 64 frames won against 81 lost is not too shabby given the calibre of opponent he has faced.
Crunching the figures McLeod is fully justified to be the odds-on favourite but Ochoiski will surely net a few frames and there’s a great deal to like about him with a +2.5 frame start at 4/6 with bet365*.
* World Snooker betting odds correct at the time of writing. All odds are subject to change.
Image credit – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0794w47