It is the final day of qualifying in the World Open qualifiers on Saturday with those who have to play their qualifying match in Barnsley for the right to make it into the main event at the end of the month and who are yet to do so, competing on a final day schedule of three sessions.
Once again we’ve seen the majority of big names make it through, although as you would expect, one or two surprises have crept in along the way. A few other big names will be looking to seal their passage into the main draw on Saturday.
Two Chinese players headline the action on the first session of the day and both will be on the streamed tables. Xiao Guodong will look to book a spot in another tournament in his home country. He takes on Gerard Greene while the other Chinese player Lu Haotian goes up against the Swiss ace Alexander Ursenbacher on the second of the tables in front of the cameras. Matthew Stevens is one of the stars on the outside tables when he meets Thor Chuan Leong while Andrew Higginson takes on Luo Honghao. The other match in the first session sees Kurt Maflin going up against Harvey Chandler.
World Championship semi-finalist Dave Gilbert is the highest ranked player in the afternoon session and he is on one of the streamed tables too. He takes on John Astley while on the other streamed offering the former world finalist Allister Carter will go up against David Lilley. Three more matches will be battled out on the outside tables with Robbie Williams facing Eden Sharav in one of them. Zhou Yuelong faces Ashley Carty and then Fergal O’Brien meets Adam Stefanow in the other game.
Four matches make up the final session of the qualifying event with regular tournament winner Mark Allen being the headline attraction. He is naturally on one of the main tables and he’ll take on James Cahill for a place in the main draw. Ben Woollaston is the other occupant of a streamed table. He takes on the rookie Louis Heathcote while on the outside tables Chinese star Yuan Sijun takes on Igor Figueiredo and Chris Wakelin meets Alfie Burden.
It has been a good week in these qualifiers for us with profit secured on all three days thus far so I’m not going to push the boat out to finish with. To be fair there are a lot of short priced favourites who should go in safely enough but there is one match which catches my eye and where the favourite is a price which is acceptable for a punt.
That comes in the form of Robbie Williams who I believe should do a decent enough job on Eden Sharav. Williams hasn’t lit up this season yet but two of his three losses have come against Kyren Wilson who is probably a step or three above him at this stage. That is still better than Sharav, who has played three matches this season and lost the lot, last playing a match back in August so you’ve got to think there will be a little bit of rust in him. Although Williams was well beaten in China last week he did at least get his cue out and had something to practice for. I’m expecting him to have too much here.
WON – Back R.Williams to beat E.Sharav for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with William Hill
Back him here: