Scottish Open Snooker 2023 – Tournament Outright Tips and Betting Preview

The final trophy of 2023 will be won this week when those who qualified will head to Edinburgh for the Scottish Open, the third Home Nations event of the season and the last qualifying event for the World Grand Prix next month.

Gary Wilson qualified for that by winning this tournament a year ago and he’ll be looking for a similar result this week but there are a bunch of players who will be heading to Scotland looking for their own Christmas bonus.

Recent Winners

2022 – Gary Wilson

2021 – Luca Brecel

2020 – Mark Selby

2019 – Mark Selby

2018 – Mark Allen

2017 – Neil Robertson

2016 – Marco Fu

The Format

These Home Nations events have been around for a while now and while the format of them hasn’t changed, the way the arenas have been put together have. There are four tables in action throughout the event, which allows us to follow the action a lot easier, and there has been a qualifying round to avoid taking the whole 128 players in the field to the main venue. Some of those qualifiers have been held over and will be played on Monday though with the main draw also beginning on Monday. The tournament is the best of seven frames up to the quarter finals which are played over the best of nine frames on Friday with the two semi-finals the best of 11 frames on the Saturday and the title will be won on the Sunday of the event over the best of 17 frames.

Top Quarter

Gary Wilson is the number one seed as the defending champion this week which means that he is placed right at the top of the draw bracket. The three other top 16 seeds at the time the draw was made for this tournament were Kyren Wilson, who will be hoping to improve his form in this competition, the British Open winner Mark Williams and a man who looked on course to win the UK Championship before running into the eventual winner in Hossein Vafaei.

There are plenty of other competent challengers in this quarter of the draw this week too. Ryan Day looked in good order at times at the Shootout last week and he is in this section, as is another former winner of that tournament in Chris Wakelin. Dave Gilbert is a danger in any tournament that he enters while Joe O’Connor was beaten in the final of this event 12 months ago. Scott Donaldson is on home soil this week while Sam Craigie, Yuan Sijun, Robbie Williams and Jordan Brown have all shown good form at times.

Second Quarter

Judd Trump is looking to win a third Home Nations event of the season which would be quite something. He will look to do it from the second quarter where he has been drawn to potentially face Mark Allen in what would be a tasty quarter final should it happen. Two members of the top 16 at the time the draw was made will be out to stop that clash from happening. Jack Lisowski has a good record in this Home Nations events without winning one while Robert Milkins won the Welsh Open earlier in the year.

We have plenty more solid names in the remainder of this quarter of the draw with the International Championship winner Zhang Anda in this section along with the World Championship semi-finalist Si Jiahui. Stuart Bingham probably needs a big week soon if he is going to be in with a chance of automatic qualification for the World Championship while Zhou Yuelong looked in good touch at the UK Championship. Dominic Dale comes in here off the back of a run to the last four of the Shootout while Jamie Jones, Aaron Hill and Martin Gould are others who will be out to be competitive.

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Third Quarter

The newly crowned UK Championship winner Ronnie O’Sullivan is the headline draw in the third quarter of the draw. He goes in search of a second title within the space of a fortnight but could run into the world finalist Mark Selby in what would be a quarter final plenty would like to see. Two men who won’t want to see that are the European Masters winner Barry Hawkins and German Masters champion Ali Carter as they are the other top 16 players in this part of the draw.

In truth, this quarter is probably the weakest in terms of the qualifiers into it although it does have the man who made it to the final of the Shootout last week in Cao Yupeng. Matthew Selt has had some good results at various times this season while Anthony McGill will be looking to deliver the goods on home soil. Noppon Saengkham can never be ruled out of a tournament with this format while Matthew Stevens, Xu Si and Oliver Lines can all be dangerous.

Bottom Quarter

The bottom quarter looks like a tasty section of the draw. It has the world champion and winner of this event two years ago in Luca Brecel in it. He is scheduled to meet the maximum man from the Shootout last week in Shaun Murphy in the quarter final but one man who will very much to be out to stop that from happening on home soil is John Higgins. The UK Championship finalist Ding Junhui is the other member of the top 16 in a very strong quarter.

Tom Ford was a finalist at the International Championship earlier in the season and he will be looking to make some progress from this quarter of the draw while Lyu Haotian is another who has had strong tournaments this term looking to make hay. Liu Hongyu has already beaten Shaun Murphy this season and he’ll be looking to do that again in the first round while youngsters Jackson Page and He Guoqiang will hope to be dangerous. Ricky Walden and James Cahill are others in the field.


Hossein Vafaei was my main pick at the Shootout last week only for him to pull out with illness but on the assumption that he is better, I think he is worth chancing this week as he has landed in a plum part of the draw. I always wanted to target the top quarter this week because Gary Wilson isn’t in the top 16 so we only have three players from that band in this section, although Vafaei has dropped out of it now but it won’t be long before he is back in there and a good run this week can help with that. Vafaei has reached two semi-finals in Home Nations events and two quarter finals and he has already reached a pair of semi-finals this season. A final at the very least is the next step for him and I think he has the draw to deliver it. He was knocking in centuries for fun at the UK Championship and as long as that illness hasn’t lingered I think he’ll be tough to stop here.

Tom Ford is having a good enough season to make me think that he shouldn’t be 66/1 to win this tournament. He made the final of the International Championship and although that was over a longer format he has some good runs in Home Nations events under his belt. He has been to the semi-final of the English Open and the quarter final of the Welsh Open in the past and that final at the International Championship was the second one he has competed in this year. The bottom quarter is competitive so he’ll need to play well but I actually think the better opponents bring out his better form at present. Ford feels overpriced this week.


Back H.Vafaei to win Scottish Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 34.00 with Coral (1/2 1-2)

Back T.Ford to win Scottish Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 67.00 with Betfair (1/2 1-2)