Northern Ireland Snooker Open Preview and Top Outright Tips

Craig Edwards

Sunday, November 10, 2019 4:20 PM UTC

Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019 4:20 PM UTC

Former snooker professional Craig Edwards @EdwardsTips_ previews the Northern Ireland Open for
<div><p><strong>November 11-17<br />Waterfront Hall, Belfast</strong></p><h2><strong>Introduction </strong></h2><p>The Home Nation's series of tournaments on the World Snooker tour returns to Northern Ireland after Mark Selby won the first event of four in the series at the English Open. The £1,000,000 bonus for winning all four will be incentive enough for the ‘Jester' this week.</p><p>With 128 players and best of 7 frame format shocks can be plenty so keep stakes small.</p><h2><strong>Quarter One </strong></h2><p>Defending champion Judd Trump enters at the top of the draw in the first quarter as number one seed. He has an awkward opening match against the World Championship, giant killer James Cahill who famously best Ronnie O'Sullivan as the first amateur to qualify for the main draw. Two promising young players in the top section for Trump to negotiate are Iranian, Hossein Vafaei and Riga Masters champion, nineteen-year-old Yan Bingtao.</p><p>Bottom half of quarter one looks strong with the English Open runner up <strong>David</strong> <strong>Gilbert</strong> the leading contender and his relentless progress up the rankings in the last year has been a revelation. Kyren Wilson looks back close to his best after a semi-final appearance at the Yushan World Open. A noticeable improvement in his break building, that means he is at second place in the list of multiple century break makers in the current season. Norwegian, Kurt Maflin has also been a big improver since the Welsh Open earlier in 2019 and he too is a prolific century break maker. When mentioning century break makers, it in this part of the draw it would be remiss of me not to mention Tom Ford who has the season's two maximum breaks so far.</p><h2><strong>Quarter Two</strong></h2><p>Mark Selby enters the top section of this Quarter and as mentioned in the introduction he looks back to his best and has the £1,000,000 bonus for winning all four events to guarantee a big effort. He looks to have a reasonably easy section of the draw with exciting left-handers Jack Lisowski and <strong>Thepchayia</strong> <strong>un</strong>-<strong>Nooh</strong>, his main competition. Un-Nooh is in the form of his career after winning the Hainan Open followed by Yushan World Open final and last week a quarter-final at the Champion of Champions.</p><p>The bottom half of the quarter appears easier than average with John Higgins the highest seed and his fellow Scot, good friend Stephen Maguire the other top 16 player. This is a great opportunity for a relatively unknown player to come through. Thailand's <strong>Noppon</strong> <strong>Saengkham</strong> could be inspired by his compatriot, Un-Nooh efforts in recent weeks and be that player.</p><h2><strong>Quarter Three</strong></h2><p>Australian, Neil Robertson leads the way at the top of quarter three after looking back to form at last week's Champion of Champions. A tough opening round encounter between Joe Perry and Zhao Xintong could supply a strong competitor for this quarter and Robertson in the last 16.</p><p>The bottom segment of quarter three sees the home country hero, Mark Allen enter the tournament. It has always proved something of a nightmare event for the talented Northern Irishman with the weight of home fans expectation weighing heavily on his shoulders. Maybe this year he can take heart from Shane Lowry winning the Open Championship who used the partisan support to his advantage. Things will be difficult from the off for Allen who has a tough opening round against Sam Craigie to negotiate. The winner of another tough opening round encounter between Stuart Bingham and Lu Ning will have a good chance of going deep.</p><p><a href=";a=4417b7df-a48f-47f3-9b45-f79858bc083a&amp;f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="" style="width:100%" /></a></p><h2><strong>Quarter Four</strong></h2><p>Ronnie O'Sullivan enters the tournament in this quarter, but he has been susceptible to shock results against lowly ranked players recently. If he can negotiate the early rounds, he could be a factor and the Irish fans love to support him and see him play. World Championship semi-finalist Gary Wilson played well in the English Open and could face the ‘Rocket’ in the last 16. <strong>Zhou</strong> <strong>Yuelong</strong> was another surprise package at the World Championships, reaching the round of 16 and has a good opportunity to go deep from an easier than average looking draw</p><p>The other segment of the quarter sees two Englishman as the players to beat. Shaun Murphy has had a superb season so far but appeared to be suffering from a cold last week at the Champion of Champions. If he is back to full fitness his main competition will be in the form of Barry Hawkins who has been consistent thus far in the season without winning a tournament. One player in this section with much-improved form is Nottingham's <strong>Michael</strong> <strong>Holt</strong> with wins over Mark Williams, Barry Hawkins and Ding Junhui.</p><h2><strong>Outright </strong></h2><p>These home nations events with early rounds of best of 7 frames are susceptible to plenty of upsets and Mark King was the surprise first winner of the Northern Ireland Open in 2016 at 501.00. The fluency that <strong>David</strong> <strong>Gilbert</strong> shows is perfect for the format of winning matches in quick succession and at the price of 26.00, there is each-way value.</p><p>Quarter two has English Open winner, Mark Selby aiming to keep the £1,000,000 dream alive, but it looks a great opportunity for Thailand’s, <strong>Thepchayia</strong> <strong>un</strong>-<strong>Nooh</strong> to keep up his scintillating form in a format that suits.</p><p>The bottom half of quarter two looks wide open and another Thai, <strong>Noppon</strong> <strong>Sanghkam </strong>possess the break building quality of a higher ranked player and is one to take advantage this week.</p><p><strong>Michael</strong> <strong>Holt</strong> looks to be returning to his best form and at 41.00 is a bet to win the Quarter along with Chinese sensation <strong>Zhou</strong> <strong>Yuelong</strong>.</p><h2><strong>Recommended Bets </strong></h2><p><a href=";a=95095aa3-ae41-43ba-886d-99a97893c4a3&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Snooker Betting Odds"><strong>David Gilbert each-way @ 23.00 (22/1) Boylesports </strong></a></p><p><a href=";a=1ba923f3-5341-4bda-b457-0138ac61ae7a&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Snooker Betting Odds"><strong>Thepchayia un-Nooh - each-way @ 101.00 (100/1) Betfred</strong></a></p><p><a href=";a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Snooker Betting Odds"><strong>Noppon Saengkham – Quarter 2 @ 17.00 (16/1) Bet365 </strong></a></p><p><a href=";a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Snooker Betting Odds"><strong>Zhou Yuelong – Quarter 4 @ 34.00 (33/1) Bet365 </strong></a></p><p><a href=";a=b4150791-892f-469b-9b6a-7dfc6df0fb07&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Snooker Betting Odds"><strong>Michael Holt – Quarter 4 @ 41.00 (40/1) Ladbrokes</strong></a></p></div>
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