Northern Ireland Open Snooker 2023 Qualifying – Day 1 Tips and Betting Preview

After an excellent first ranking event back in China, the attention falls back to the Home Nations for the next two weeks as the Northern Ireland Open qualifying competition begins on Tuesday ahead of the main tournament beginning on Sunday.

The top 16 players have had their qualifying match held over to the venue as ever which means that it is those below the elite bracket who will be battling it out for a spot in the main draw in Belfast, beginning with one or two recognisable names on Tuesday.

Morning Session

We are accustomed to seeing the morning sessions in these qualifying events containing a number of Chinese players and that is the case on Tuesday. Two of them meet in the pick of the matches in the morning session where Fan Zhengyi takes on the English Open semi-finalist Liu Hongyu. There are Chinese players in the other two matches as well. One of those is Jiang Jun and he meets the veteran Andy Hicks while Long Zehuang will face off against the Ukraine player Anton Kazakov.

Early Afternoon Session

There are two sessions of action in the afternoon session and one of the featured players will be the multiple women’s world champion Reanne Evans. She has a test against a Hammad Miah who has started the season pretty well to navigate. On the other tables Dominic Dale will be looking to qualify for another main draw when he takes on Allan Taylor while Alfie Burden would look to have a good chance of reaching the final venue when he goes up against the Egyptian player Mostafa Dorgham.

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Later Afternoon Session

Three more matches take place in the afternoon session where Jackson Page is the highest ranked player on show. The Welsh youngster meets a young Scottish star in the making in the form of Liam Graham. Andrew Higginson is probably the player who has achieved the most in the game of the six players on show. He will be looking to overcome the challenge of Sean O’Sullivan while the other match will see the German leading light Lukas Kleckers going up against an Andrew Pagett who is still looking for a first win this term.

Evening Session

The final three matches on the opening day of qualifying come along in the evening session where the Scottish Open finalist of last season, Joe O’Connor, will be the leading player on show. Zak Surety is the man who will be in his way. Martin Gould has had a very slow start to the season, something he will be looking to turnaround when he takes on Dylan Emery. The other match sees the veteran Rod Lawler facing off against the women’s world champion Baipat Siripaporn, who is looking for her first win on the main tour.


There isn’t a huge amount that jumps out off the page on the opening day of the qualifying event but the 6/4 on Dylan Emery to take care of Martin Gould is just a little too big for me to ignore. We know that Gould is a confidence player and one win from seven matches this season and just 12 frames won out of 34 isn’t exactly going to have him flying in the confidence stakes. I think that makes him a little vulnerable to the Welsh talent.

I do like Emery and think he is going to establish himself in the game. Unlike Gould, Emery has a winning record so far this season with six wins from 11 matches and his record could have been even better had he not run into John Higgins in the first round and second round of two of the events. Emery beat Joe Perry over the best of 11 to qualify for the International Championship which shows the credentials he has got. He has also beaten Noppon Saengkham this season and looks fair value to add Martin Gould to the list.


Back D.Emery to beat M.Gould for a 3/10 stake at 2.50 with Bet365