50/1 Martin Gould looks a good each-way play in the China Open Snooker

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Mark Allen meeting Ricky Walden in the final of last weekend’s Ladbrokes Player’s Championship underlines the state of snooker right now. It is fiercely competitive with no player truly dominating the sport.

No snooker player has dominated the China Open either, with nine different winners during the past ten years. Mark Williams is a three-time winner but does not play this year, likewise Ronnie O’Sullivan has won this competition twice but he too is absent.

Peter Ebdon is also a dual winner but his 2016 odds of 200/1 say a lot about his current form.  So local favourite Ding Junhui (14/1, Skybet) with two previous wins and a runner-up spot, is the primary contender based on previous results.

Defending champion Mark Selby has withdrawn from this competition citing ‘personal reasons’ so 2013 winner Neil Robertson tops the betting (4/1 William Hill), followed by Judd Trump, the 2011 China Open winner, at 13/2 (Skybet).

They are in different ends of the draw so could conceivably meet in the final.  Third favourite Shaun Murphy can potentially clash with Judd Trump in the quarter final while Robertson’s quarter final stumbling block could come in the form of John Higgins.

But that is a lot of ‘Ifs’ and, with the game proving anything other than predictable, a small each-way play on 2016 German Master’s winner Martin Gould (50/1 BetVictor) is our recommended bet.

Wattana over the Hill?

There are some great opportunities in opening round matches with Darryl Hill fancied to beat James Wattana in their best of 9 first round match.

Hill, 19-years-old, is the reigning European Under-21 Champion.  Wattana is the 1988 World Amateur Champion!  Indeed, there is 27 years between this pair.  Hill is up-and-coming while Wattana has been on a 21-year freefall since the days when he was World Ranked No. 3.

The word from the practice table indicates the up-and-comer can more than account for the former Thai star and Coral’s 11/8 about him winning on Tuesday (12.30 UK time) is simply massive.

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