UK Championship Snooker 2023 – Day 3 Tips and Betting Preview

The first round of the UK Championship continues inside the Barbican Centre in York on Monday when the players in the second quarter enter the competition as they bid to make it through to the last 16 of the opening Triple Crown event of the season.

Former champions Judd Trump and Mark Selby are the headline acts on show over the two sessions of play but there is a pretty decent support card to go with those two standout stars so we should get another decent day of snooker.

Afternoon Session

Judd Trump vs Pang Junxu

The main table in the afternoon will see the player of the season so far in Judd Trump, who begins his quest for another Triple Crown title against the Chinese qualifier Pang Junxu who will be aiming to reach the last 16 of the tournament for the second time.

Trump has already won three titles this season but you sense he would swap all three for one of the biggest trophies in the game and that will be his goal this week, to add this one to his growing collection. If this match was to be settled on form then it would be something of a no contest but Pang showed what he is about at the qualifiers and has gained enough experience over the course of 2023 having made the Welsh Open semi-final, the final of the WST Classic and reaching the Crucible to suggest he will play his best game here. The question is whether that best game will be good enough to get the win here. I’d say it is unlikely but in truth the bookmakers look to have this one about right so I’m happy to leave this one alone.

Barry Hawkins vs Ben Woollaston

Over on the other table another man who has hoisted silverware this season will be on show when the European Masters champion Barry Hawkins takes on a Ben Woollaston who should be nice and sharp having had to win three matches to qualify for this tournament.

Hawkins started the campaign in excellent touch landing the title in Germany when he defeated Judd Trump in the final, a win which has seen the form from it sky rocket since that match, but he has got to the business end of events but then flattered to deceive. To be fair to the Hawk, he has lost a couple of semi-finals to Trump and but for running into him in insane form he could have three titles on his mantelpiece this term. Woollaston has had a bit of a slow start to his season and this is the first time since the European Masters that he has won more than one match in the same tournament. With the exception of Cao Yupeng, he didn’t beat anyone in qualifying that you wouldn’t expect him to so I think he could be a touch overrated here. In saying that, he is match sharp and the handicap is in the 2.5 frame area which is probably a little higher than I’d like on the Hawkins side of the board but I wouldn’t be convinced Woollaston gets four frames. This is an easy one to sit out.

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Evening Session

Mark Selby vs Mark Joyce

The match on the main table on Monday evening sees the former champion Mark Selby looking to push towards a first title of the campaign when he takes on the lowest ranked player to make to the final stages in Mark Joyce.

Joyce has done very well to make it through to this stage of the competition with qualifying wins over Xiao Guodong and Joe Perry particularly appealing and now you suspect he’s got a free shot at the former world champion. Selby hasn’t won a title yet this season but he was a match away from winning the British Open and he has made a couple of other semi-finals on the year so it isn’t like he has been showing terrible form of late. Selby has won all five meetings between this pair and I would be very surprised if he doesn’t make it six from six here but that is reflected in the odds so I’ll leave this one well alone too.

Jack Lisowski vs Jamie Jones

The match away from the main attention on Monday evening sees the semi-finalist from last season in Jack Lisowski taking on a player who is more than capable of delivering the goods at this level in the Welsh cueist Jamie Jones.

Lisowski has had a bit of an all or nothing season so far. He made the quarter final of the British Open where he lost to Mark Selby and the semi-final in Northern Ireland where he would have been disappointed to lose to Chris Wakelin but that aside his season has been a frustrating one but he has lost in three deciders so I’m not convinced he is doing too much wrong. This tournament came along at a good time for Jones because he hadn’t really done anything of note prior to it this term. Even then though, in world number 109 Jiang Jun and 77 Zak Surety it is open to debate what he beat to make it here. A theme of both matches was that he needed more than one chance to win most frames and generally when you don’t score against Lisowski you don’t win. I don’t think Lisowski is going as badly as his season would suggest and while we haven’t had too many easy wins this week I think this could be a comfortable one for Lisowski.


Back J.Lisowski (-2 Asian handicap) to beat J.Jones for a 3/10 stake at 1.82 with Bet365