British Open Snooker 2023 – Semi-Finals Tips and Betting Preview

It is semi-final Saturday at the British Open where four men will take to the baize to battle it out for a place in the final of the biggest ranking event on UK shores so far this season and all the potential benefits that could come with it.

We have two elite stars of the game on show on Saturday along with a couple of Asian players who know they are two wins away from the biggest day of their career so the action is nicely set up, especially now we are up to the best of 11 frames.

Afternoon Session

Mark Williams vs Hossein Vafaei

The afternoon semi-final looks to be the pick of the two as the former champion Mark Williams bids for a place in a second final in three years when he meets the man who beat him in the Shootout conclusion last year in Hossein Vafaei.

Aside from their matches in the Shootout, Williams has a 3-0 lead over the Iranian in their past battles but Vafaei is very much improved in that time and you would expect him to lay down a real challenge to Williams, especially given that he has already won a couple of matches from behind this week. Vafaei is scoring well which is important because he has no chance of outsmarting Williams. Williams is also scoring well but there is the odd miss in him these days which will keep Vafaei interested. Vafaei can be relentless when he gets on a run and the same can be said of Williams so the consensus might be that someone will run away with this but this is a huge chance for two men who wouldn’t be among the immediate favourites to win a tournament to get to a final so I think this has the potential to be much closer than expected. Both men are comfortable in the setup and when they met in a semi-final in China previously that went the distance. This might not go that far but I do think 6-4 or 6-5 either way is a distinct possibility. I like over 9.5 frames in this one.

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Evening Session

Mark Selby vs Xiao Guodong

The evening semi-final would appear to be all about Mark Selby who is having a brilliant 2023. He has reached the semi-final of the last six tournaments he has played and will be looking to make another final at the expense of Xiao Guodong.

Guodong is not a newcomer to the last four of a major tournament but he isn’t as regular in them as his opponent so you would think that to have any chance the Chinese player has to get off to a good start here. If he can build some confidence and have something to hold on to and get Selby under any sort of pressure he might have a chance. Selby hasn’t been blowing opponents away this week but he doesn’t need to, however when things have reached a crescendo he has held his nerve better than anyone and that might be how this one plays out too if Guodong gets off to a good start. If he doesn’t this could be the one that Selby does get in front and gallop away in. Ultimately there is too much on the start here for my liking and while I’m tempted to take over in frames because Selby hasn’t won easily this week, Guodong isn’t a regular at this stage of an event to be completely confident he will settle. I’ll leave this one alone.


Back M.Williams vs H.Vafaei – Over 9.5 frames for a 3/10 stake at 2.15 with 888sport

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