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UK Championship '15

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  • UK Championship '15

    No thread yet? Need Orl's preview


    Stuart Bingham v Jordan Brown
    Anthony Hamilton v Peter Lines
    Dominic Dale v Michael Wild
    Peter Ebdon v Lyu Chenwei
    Robert Milkins v Vinnie Calabrese
    Andrew Higginson v David Grace
    Graeme Dott v Nigel Bond
    Jack Lisowski v Zak Surety

    Gary Wilson v Martin O’Donnell
    Martin Gould v Allan Taylor
    David Morris v Michael Georgiou
    Mark Allen v Zhao Xintong
    Matthew Stevens v Chris Wakelin
    Michael Holt v Fraser Patrick
    Joe Swail v Joel Walker
    Ding Junhui v Adam Duffy


    Judd Trump v Hammad Miah
    Stuart Carrington v Liam Highfield
    Liang Wenbo v Gareth Allen
    Jimmy Robertson v Lu Ning
    Mark Williams v Hamza Akbar
    Tom Ford v Scott Donaldson
    Kyren Wilson v Paul Davison
    Mike Dunn v Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon

    Gerard Greene v Michael Leslie
    David Gilbert v Jason Weston
    Yu De Lu v Michael Wasley
    Marco Fu v Hatem Yassen
    Mark King v Ross Muir
    Ben Woollaston v Steven Hallworth
    Zhou Yuelong v Craig Steadman
    Shaun Murphy v Ashley Hugill


    Neil Robertson v Alex Taubman
    Aditya Mehta v Sam Baird
    Fergal O’Brien v Thor Chuan Leong
    Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v Darryl Hill
    Stephen Maguire v Jimmy White
    Rory McLeod v Jamie Cope
    Dark Mavis v Rhys Clark
    Ken Doherty v Tony Drago

    Jamie Burnett v Sanderson Lam
    Alan McManus v Eden Sharav
    Li Hang v Lee Walker
    Ricky Walden v Itaro Santos
    Rod Lawler v Daniel Wells
    Ali Carter v Alfie Burden
    Tian Pengfei v Ian Burns
    John Higgins v Leo Fernandez


    Barry Hawkins v Andy Hicks
    Robin Hull v Zhang Anda
    Anthony McGill v James Cahill
    Luca Brecel v Hossein Vafaei Ayouri
    Joe Perry v James Wattana
    Robbie Williams v Mitchell Mann
    Matt Selt v Zhang Yong
    Kurt Maflin v Sean O’Sullivan

    Dechawat Poomjaeng v Chris Melling
    Ryan Day v Duane Jones
    Mark Joyce v Barry Pinches
    Michael White v Sydney Wilson
    Xiao Guodong v Noppon Saengkham
    Jamie Jones v Ian Glover
    Cao Yupeng v Oli Lines
    Mark Selby v Joe O’Connor

  • #2
    Looking forward to this. Got the week of the televised stages booked off work. Already got a case of discount lager and several rolls of Pringles in for it.

    Going to try and catch some of the pre-televised bit on my World Snooker live stream this week too.


    • #3
      Originally posted by motorhead View Post
      No thread yet? Need Orl's preview
      Sorry, I couldn't be bothered to do it over the weekend, so it will have to be tonight, late night or early morning.


      • #4
        Is the first week not televised then? I was hoping to watch the all Leicester clash Thursday.
        After 15 reds and 15 blacks i did this


        • #5
          Originally posted by scottley View Post
          Is the first week not televised then? I was hoping to watch the all Leicester clash Thursday.
          No, which is great considering the excuse for butchering the format was "Well TV wants to show all the matches"

          Turns out TV doesn't give a toss, so can we have our frames back?


          • #6
            Originally posted by Odrl View Post
            Sorry, I couldn't be bothered to do it over the weekend, so it will have to be tonight, late night or early morning.
            good to hear


            • #7
              Alright, this tournament starts shortly, so we better say a few words about it...

              First of all, last year's event was one of the least enjoyable UK Championships I can remember. The main talking point of the week seemed to be the horrible playing conditions, the format was dumbed down even further, introducing one-session, best-of-11 semi-finals for the first time, and Ronnie O'Sullivan produced one of the least-impressive performances of anyone who has won one of the big three events in the time I've been watching snooker. So I definitely hope we can get a better tournament this time.

              The field is almost complete, with O'Sullivan the only big name missing. I cannot go through all 128 players in detail, so just a few words about the main contenders in each section...

              Quarter 1:

              Stuart Bingham v. Jordan Brown
              Anthony Hamilton v. Peter Lines
              Dominic Dale v. Michael Wild
              Peter Ebdon v. Lyu Chenwei
              Robert Milkins v. Vinnie Calabrese
              Andrew Higginson v. David Grace
              Graeme Dott v. Nigel Bond
              Jack Lisowski v. Zak Surety

              A very experienced top section, with most players close to the age of 40. Stuart Bingham is the only one of them playing the best snooker of his career at the moment though, so he starts as a strong favourite to make it through. He was a semi-finalist in the last two editions of this tournament, but just missed out both times, losing in deciders. He actually led O'Sullivan 4-1 last year, before his game completely collapsed for some reason. This season he has mostly struggled, with early exits in all major tournaments, apart from the Shanghai Masters where he reached the semi-finals. The last16 match here could be a repeat of the QF last year, between Bingham and Graeme Dott. It went 6-5 to Bingham, but you may remember all the bad luck Dott had when it seemed like he had the match won. Dott has played most of his best snooker abroad in the last five years or so, but last year's UK Championship was one of the few exceptions. Peter Ebdon won this event in 2006, but since then hasn't been back to the quarter-finals. In fact, he failed to reach a single major ranking QF last season, I think for the first time in more than 20 years. He is still waiting for a good result this season as well, and one of the few times we've seen him on TV was that match against Murphy in Shanghai, where he really should have won but bottled it badly. The last of the main contenders here is Robert Milkins, usually a great player in the summer months, but this season was an exception. Still, he has proved he can compete in the slightly longer matches by reaching the SF of the International Championship last season, in a format very similar to this one. He does usually do better on travels though. Any of these four could go through here, but obviously Bingham is by far the most consistent of them these days, so I think he is the safest bet. Some other names worth mentioning here are Dominic Dale, a good player on his day, but hasn't won a match at the venue stage of the UK Championship for ten years, Andrew Higginson, another decent player who has had some harsh draws this season, losing to Liang Wenbo at the last64 stage of two major events, and perhaps Anthony Hamilton, although his good days are very few these days. Jack Lisowski is also here, doing his best to lose the status of a "dangerman" in recent times, unfortunately showing very little progress. And of the real outsiders, I would also mention David Grace, who made it to the last16 of the Shanghai Masters this season, although helped slightly by the withdrawal of Selby.

              Gary Wilson v. Martin O'Donnell
              Martin Gould v. Allan Taylor
              David Morris v. Michael Georgiou
              Mark Allen v. Zhao Xintong
              Matthew Stevens v. Chris Wakelin
              Michael Holt v. Fraser Patrick
              Joe Swail v. Joel Walker
              Ding Junhui v. Adam Duffy

              The second section of this quarter is much younger and features some strong names, but the form of some of the players is a little suspect. The obvious exception is Mark Allen, who has appeared at the business end of a few major tournaments already this season. He also won the PTC in Bulgaria and reached the final of the Champion of Champions (which I think he wouldn't have been in without the Bulgaria win). In a way his season is similar to the last one, lots of good results before the new year, but still waiting for a major title. Last season things started going badly for him around this time, so hopefully he can maintain his form better this year. The other in-form player in this section is Martin Gould, the runner-up in the Australian Open at the start of the season. Early signs are that this could be the best season of his career to date, although he did lose early in the recent International Championship. He also seems to be a specialist for the shorter format, and hasn't had a good run in any tournament with best-of-11 or longer matches in the past. Gould and Allen could meet as early as the last32 stage, in a match that would surely be the most exciting prospect of the round. Ding Junhui would have been the favourite in this section in normal circumstances, but he has been out of form for a long time now. Once again, I think he is not playing enough snooker. He skipped Australia, skipped the recent PTC in Bulgaria, and he failed to qualify for the Champion of Champions, since he no longer holds any major title. And in the few events he did play in, he had a couple of close defeats in matches he should have probably won. Michael Holt hasn't had much impact this season either, with 2nd round exits in all three major events, but the players that beat him were all in great form at the time, two eventual champions and one runner-up. There are another couple of possible contenders in this section, but it would surprise me a little if they came through. Matthew Stevens still shows glimpses of quality on occasion, but it's been more than a year since his last appearance in a major quarter-final. Gary Wilson was the China Open finalist not too long ago, but he has lost in the qualifiers of all three major events this season, and same story in the last World Championship, which means he hasn't even played at a major venue since Beijing. David Morris has had a poor season as well, but he reached the last16 in this tournament in the last two years, so perhaps things could get better for him here. Joel Walker is an interesting player, but like Lisowski, he hasn't really progressed since reaching the QF of the Welsh Open two seasons ago. His best result last season was only a last32, but it came in this very tournament, and the same with Fraser Patrick, who is probably the only one of the real outsiders who could do something. Also here is the young Zhao Xintong, a player I always mention ahead of the Chinese events, but he will probably find playing in the UK a little tougher than playing at home. That total clearance of 142 in the International Championship was class though, a great talent. And finally, the experienced Joe Swail is also here, well suited to the slightly longer format, and in quite a decent form in recent times.

              Quarter 2:

              Judd Trump v. Hammad Miah
              Stuart Carrington v. Liam Highfield
              Liang Wenbo v. Gareth Allen
              Jimmy Robertson v. Lu Ning
              Mark Williams v. Hamza Akbar
              Tom Ford v. Scott Donaldson
              Kyren Wilson v. Paul Davison
              Mike Dunn v. Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon

              Perhaps the strongest section of the entire draw. The last16 could see a repeat of the Shanghai Masters final between Judd Trump and Kyren Wilson, a match Wilson won 10-9, after being in front right from the start. He also won when they met in the Champion of Champions recently, and he has generally looked okay since his Shanghai title, unlike most players after they have an unexpected success. On the other hand, Trump had that peculiar whitewash defeat in the International Championship qualifiers, against a player who was himself whitewashed at the venue (by a player who was then whitewashed in the following round as well ). He recovered with a QF appearance in Bulgaria, but of course in a much smaller event. Unfortunately some of Trump's performances at the business of major events have been suspect recently, at least compared to the way he often plays in the earlier rounds. He came through a difficult draw in Shanghai and then underperformed in the final, and I would say the same about last year's UK Championship, where his poor start in the final gifted O'Sullivan the title, at least in my opinion. The third obvious contender here is Mark Williams, who hasn't reached the business end of the UK since that narrow defeat to Higgins in the 2010 final. He had a strong last season, but he failed to capture a major title, which meant the Champion of Champions has eluded him once more. Instead he played in the General Cup in Hong Kong last week and lost in the final. He also reached the semi-finals in Bulgaria, which shows he is in decent form at the moment, so we could see another round of the Trump-Williams rivalry, which has been quite entertaining in the last two seasons. The other dangerman in this section is Liang Wenbo, although he doesn't have any good recent results to list. What about the outsiders? Jimmy Robertson reached the last16 of both the International Championship and the Bulgarian Open recently, and he beat his 1st round opponent here, Lu Ning, in the IC qualifiers. Mike Dunn was a quarter-finalist in Bulgaria, also in decent form recently. There are also two interesting young players here, Liam Highfield and Scott Donaldson, but unfortunately they haven't done much recently, and I suppose it's a worrying sign when the ageing Dunn is having more success than some of the better youngsters. As for Tom Ford, at 32 years of age he should be playing his best snooker, like the likes of Gould and Selt are doing, but he seems to be really struggling at the moment...

              Gerard Greene v. Michael Leslie
              David Gilbert v. Jason Weston
              Yu Delu v. Michael Wasley
              Marco Fu v. Hatem Yassen
              Mark King v. Ross Muir
              Ben Woollaston v. Steven Hallworth
              Zhou Yuelong v. Craig Steadman
              Shaun Murphy v. Ashley Hugill

              A fairly weak section to follow. Shaun Murphy is the biggest name here, still searching for the kind of form that brought him success in the Masters and the World Championship last season. He has become quite an inconsistent player, losing in the early rounds a lot, but his best game can compete with anyone. He got to the QF in Bulgaria, so perhaps the form is returning, although it has to be said that his draw was very easy. He is seeded to meet Marco Fu in the last16, a player he has enjoyed a good rivalry with over the years. They played each other in the 2008 final, and they also met in the last16 last year, when Murphy had that easy clearance to win the decider, but somehow managed to snooker himself on the final yellow behind the blue. Fu then cleared up to win frame and match on the black. Fu has had the better season of the two so far, but he too lost a decider he definitely shouldn't have, against David Gilbert in the QF of the International Championship. It was Gilbert's first appearance at the QF stage of a major event, and he of course went on to reach the final, where he played quite well, ultimately losing 10-5 to Higgins. A repeat of the match with Fu is quite possible here, but I suspect Gilbert will not be able to follow up that result with further good runs in the near future. In any case, Fu has just won the General Cup in Hong Kong, so he will probably be tougher to beat this time. There are another couple of good performers from the International Championship here... Ben Woollaston beat Yu Delu in the last16 there, and Yu had a great win over Bingham in the previous round. Zhou Yuelong also got to the last16, his best win coming in the 1st round against Gould. I suspected he might struggle in the UK tournaments, but he made a promising start with a good win over Bingham in the Champion of Champions last week, having qualified for the tournament with that superb win for China in the World Cup in June. I do not fancy any of the lower-ranked players to do anything in this section, but the remaining two seeds, Mark King and Gerard Greene, probably shouldn't be dismissed, as they have a lot of class and experience between them, even if their form has been mediocre in recent times.

              Quarter 3:

              Neil Robertson v. Alex Taubman
              Aditya Mehta v. Sam Baird
              Fergal O'Brien v. Thor Chuan Leong
              Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v. Darryl Hill
              Stephen Maguire v. Jimmy White
              Rory McLeod v. Jamie Cope
              Mark Davis v. Rhys Clark
              Ken Doherty v. Tony Drago

              Neil Robertson is a strong favourite in his little section, especially after just capturing the Champion of Champions title, his first notable win in more than a year. Before that, his season wasn't going too well, with a couple of close 1st round defeats in major events, but it's nice to see him back to winning ways. He has had a great rivalry with Stephen Maguire over the years, and he might have to play him in the last16 here. It's Maguire that has the better record of the two though. Maguire's season started much better than Robertson's, with a SF appearance in Australia, but since then he has been poor, and he even missed out on the venue stage of the International Championship, which happens very rarely to him. The UK Championship is arguably his best event though, so I wouldn't be surprised at all if he had a good week here. Mark Davis also likes this event, having reached the semi-finals a few years back, which remains his best result in snooker to date. He too missed out on the International Championship, but played well to reach the QF of the Shanghai Masters the previous month. Thepchaiya Un-Nooh did make it to Daqing, and won a series of deciders to reach the semi-finals, a run that came out of nowhere really. But like with Gilbert, I am not sure whether he can follow it up with a good result here. We've also seen a minor resurgence from Jamie Cope and Fergal O'Brien this season, both making it to the last16 stage in a major event, and O'Brien reached the same stage in the recent Bulgarian Open as well, in spite of a really tough draw. Sam Baird did even better in Bulgaria, with a run to the semi-finals, and he could be one of the lower-ranked players to win their 1st round match here. He certainly has a good chance against the underwhelming Aditya Mehta, but obviously Robertson will be a very high obstacle. Rory McLeod has been in decent form as well, winning a PTC title earlier in the season, but it's worth noting that he has never been to the quarter-finals of any really big event in his career. The opposite is true of Ken Doherty and Jimmy White, both with plenty of success down the years, but no recent form to speak of. I usually don't like it when White's match gets picked for TV, since it's rarely entertaining these days, but it has to be said that he played quite well against Ding here last year, so hopefully he can find similar form.

              Jamie Burnett v. Sanderson Lam
              Alan McManus v. Eden Sharav
              Li Hang v. Lee Walker
              Ricky Walden v. Itaro Santos
              Rod Lawler v. Daniel Wells
              Allister Carter v. Alfie Burden
              Tian Pengfei v. Ian Burns
              John Higgins v. Leo Fernandez

              John Higgins is probably playing the best snooker in the world at this point in time. He holds three major titles, including the two he has already won this season. It's interesting that he hasn't actually appeared at the business end of this tournament since it was dumbed down to the best-of-11 format though. His results in this format are not all that great when you take the Masters into account as well, but of course the recent International Championship was played over best-of-11s too, and he had no problem there. Neither did Ricky Walden when he won it last year, and it might be time for him to win one of the big three now. He hasn't done anything of note this season yet, but of course he had to withdraw from one of the events, and he missed the Champion of Champions as well. Another obstacle for Higgins could be Ali Carter, as early as the last32 stage, which seems a little harsh on both players. No major runs from Carter this season yet, but he does tend to struggle on his travels these days. He is a better player than his ranking suggests though, so Higgins won't have much time to play himself into the tournament before having to face some really tricky opponents. This section is a little weird in terms of recent results, it's the outsiders that have had decent runs recently, Daniel Wells in Bulgaria, Ian Burns in Australia, and Tian Pengfei in Daqing. On the other hand, the more familiar names such as Alan McManus, Jamie Burnett and even Li Hang have struggled recently. Rod Lawler also, no major runs for almost a year now, after a good showing in last year's UK Championship. Will things turn around this week for the more experienced players?

              Quarter 4:

              Barry Hawkins v. Andy Hicks
              Robin Hull v. Zhang Anda
              Anthony McGill v. James Cahill
              Luca Brecel v. Hossein Vafaei Ayouri
              Joe Perry v. James Wattana
              Robbie Williams v. Mitchell Mann
              Matthew Selt v. Zhang Yong
              Kurt Maflin v. Sean O'Sullivan

              The entire bottom quarter is a little weak, it has to be said. It has quite a few possible contenders, but not a lot of the really top players. I think Joe Perry deserves to be mentioned first. He has reached two major ranking quarter-finals this season, which doesn't sound all that impressive, but as I've gone through this draw I've realized how few players have actually done that. On top of that, Perry has lost to the eventually champion in all three major ranking events, and the same in the Champion of Champions as well. Barry Hawkins is actually the highest seed here, but he is not playing at the same level as Perry is at the moment. It took him almost an entire season to wake up last season, and he has started this season with similarly unimpressive results. It's a little disappointing, at least compared to his results and consistency in the 2012-2014 period. Anthony McGill has failed to impress at the start of the season as well, but he has shown that he is a big-occasion player by reaching the quarter-finals of both the UK and the World Championship last season, so I am expecting better from him here. Matthew Selt has also established himself as a dangerman over the last season and a half, although it's a little weird that all three of his major ranking quarter-finals so far have been in Australia. To continue with disappointing players, Luca Brecel hasn't had a good run since reaching the SF of the Welsh Open last season, even though it looked like a breakthrough tournament for him. He seemed very confident that week, almost arrogant in fact, but unfortunately he has gone back to the kind of results we are used to from him. To be fair though, he has had some tricky draws recently, playing the likes of Allen and Murphy in 1st rounds at the venue stage of major events. The UK was where he reached his first major QF, back in 2012. Can he do it again? Kurt Maflin is a similar story in many ways, although obviously a little older. He was a semi-finalist in the China Open last season, then predictably failed to push on, although he was on the verge of knocking Selby out of the WC at one stage. I have nothing positive to say about James Cahill either. I am usually very sceptical about young players after only one good result, but I kind of made an exception with Cahill after his performance in this tournament last season, mainly because of the maturity and the bottle he showed. Unfortunately he too has failed to push on, in fact, I think he has failed to qualify for any major venue since, apart from the Welsh Open which had no qualifiers. It will be interesting to see how Hossein Vafaei does here, after some decent efforts in the qualifiers this season, including a run to the venue in the Australian Open, all the way from the first qualifying round. As for Robin Hull, he is another player who has been in fairly poor form recently, but obviously well capable of doing something here.

              Dechawat Poomjaeng v. Chris Melling
              Ryan Day v. Duane Jones
              Mark Joyce v. Barry Pinches
              Michael White v. Sydney Wilson
              Xiao Guodong v. Noppon Saengkham
              Jamie Jones v. Ian Glover
              Cao Yupeng v. Oliver Lines
              Mark Selby v. Joe O'Connor

              Mark Selby is a big favourite for the final QF spot. He is a real specialist for the best-of-11 format, and he has been a very consistent performer in recent years, with some exceptions here and there. He got through a tough draw to reach the semi-finals in Daqing, and we expected a really good match against Higgins, but Selby had no answer for the inspired form Higgins was in. More recently Selby reached another QF in Bulgaria, but lost his opening match in the Champion of Champions. It will be tough to surprise him in the slightly longer matches here though. I suppose the man to do it would be Michael White, who is playing some decent snooker at the moment, his best result this season being a QF in Australia, a match he lost on the final black. He has risen above that group of decent players who occasionally get results. It now mostly takes the top players to beat him, including Selby himself, 6-3 in the International Championship. Another danger for Selby could be Jamie Jones, a semi-finalist this season in Australia, where he beat Selby 5-1 in the last16. Ryan Day has also had a few wins over Selby in the past, most recently in Bulgaria, on his way to reaching the final. In the bigger events Day has got to the last16 on two occasions, renewing his rivalry with Ding in the process with two matches between them, both going to a decider. It's interesting though, Day has played at the business end of a lot of tournaments over the years, in various places, but he has never been to the quarter-finals of the UK Championship, even in his very best years. The only other player in this section with any sort of form behind him is Mark Joyce, a former UK quarter-finalist, who got to the last16 in Australia at the start of the season, as well as in the recent Bulgarian Open. Xiao Guodong seems to be on a run of particularly bad form, and has been for over a year now, while Dechawat Poomjaeng and Cao Yupeng have also underperformed.

              Possible QF line-up:

              Stuart Bingham v. Mark Allen
              Judd Trump v. Shaun Murphy
              Neil Robertson v. John Higgins
              Joe Perry v. Mark Selby

              I think that's all that needs to be said. Luckily I will have a bit more time over the next two weeks, so I can enjoy this tournament in full. Hopefully it's a good one.


              • #8
                Originally posted by SnookerFan View Post
                Looking forward to this. Got the week of the televised stages booked off work. Already got a case of discount lager and several rolls of Pringles in for it.

                Going to try and catch some of the pre-televised bit on my World Snooker live stream this week too.
       vacation days left, so I'm forced to watch taped matches each night when I get home from work. But...looking forward to it in any case

                Odrl...cheers for yet another excellent write-up.

                Btw any place online (other than WS Live) to watch the snooker matches in the upcoming days (until saturday)?
                Last edited by daffie; 24 November 2015, 10:38 AM.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by gavpowell View Post
                  No, which is great considering the excuse for butchering the format was "Well TV wants to show all the matches"

                  Turns out TV doesn't give a toss, so can we have our frames back?
                  I've signed up to the World Snooker site, which lets you watch qualifiers and things. I think you can watch the first round that way, but you have to pay.

                  May try and catch the Ding match tonight.


                  • #10
                    Been doing a bit of snooping around to see if there's any free (and legal) coverage. If anyone happens to have a William Hill account they stream it free on there, although as far as I tell it's only in a small screen.


                    • #11
             (tv table 1)
             (tv table 2)


                      • #12
                        Fantastic...thanks a lot!


                        • #13
                          Cheers, bookmarked.


                          • #14


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by motorhead View Post
                              Played v David last pro am in Leeds,lost 3-1, could tell he was playing well whilst I was mugging balls for had 65,56,43 and 129....