Take the big prices on the World Snooker Shoot-out
There are not many snooker tournaments where the favourite to win is priced at 12/1 but that's the case when Barry Hearn's new creation the 'World Snooker Shoot-Out' is aired live on Sky Sports this Friday evening.
64 of the world's best players will meet in Blackpool for this inaugural tournament which will play out over the weekend with the finals taking place on Sunday. Each match is a one frame shoot-out with the winner progressing to the next round. Read the full rules of the tournament.
After each round there is a random FA Cup style draw for the next round meaning no seeding protection for the bigger names. The draw for the first round has drawn some of the best players drawn against each other with the ties of the round being Ronnie O'Sullivan (12/1 to win the tournament) meeting Marco Fu (33/1) and John Higgins (20/1) taking on Mark Williams (25/1).
We don't get to see much of Jimmy White (66/1) in televised tournaments these days but he will appear in Blackpool along with fellow legend Steve Davis (100/1).
Any professional player should be able to beat another in a one frame match so I think the value lies with some of the outsiders who I believe can best adapt to the new shot clock.
Liang Wenbo has an attacking style which should suit this format and made a minor-ranking final in Germany late last year. He takes on Tony Drago in the first round which is sure to be an entertaining game but the Chinese youngster will be confident of progression. He's 8/11 to win the match and 33/1 to win the tournament.
William Hill tipster Ian McCulloch has not had the best of times in the last couple of years but he's still a competent potter and over one-frame will be confident he can prove a match for anyone. He faces Stuart Bingham first up and is 10/11 to progress to the 2nd round. If he can manage that and gets on a roll the 125/1 on him to win the tournament could be a good bet.
Jamie Cope is a very talented player who has suffered a few final frame defeats in major tournaments which have cost him dear. He likes to attack and is a great one ball potter so he will be difficult to beat and he is a generous 33/1 to triumph in Blackpool.
Ricky Walden hasn't lived up some of his early career promise but is still a player capable of causing a shock. He's 50/1 to win the tournament. He faces Joe Perry first up.
Of the bigger name players Ding Junhui has what looks like an easier passage into round two (4/6 to beat Dominic Dale). He is in good form after his recent Masters success and he has an adaptable game which he showed when finishing runner-up in the first ever Power Snooker tournament last year. That makes the 20/1 that he wins the tournament look like a good bet.
My tip for this tournament is that anyone can win it so pick a few of your favourite outsiders at the big prices and sit back and enjoy the action. If you want to go with a big name then I think Ding Junhui is your man. It's sure to be a great weekend of Snooker and you can bet on every match here at William Hill.