UK Championship Snooker 2023 – Day 5 Tips and Betting Preview

The second round of the UK Championship gets underway in York on Wednesday when the top half of the draw are back on show as we find out who will face who in the quarter finals of that section inside the Barbican Centre on Friday.

We saw a number of shocks in this part of the draw in the opening round but we still have the likes of Judd Trump, Mark Selby and Mark Williams on show and looking to make progress into the last eight of the competition.

Afternoon Session

Jamie Jones vs Judd Trump

The opening second round match on the main table sees the man of the season so far in Judd Trump looking to make it through to another quarter final in this campaign. Jamie Jones will be the man looking to stop his progression.

This is a tough assignment for Jones but to be fair he got better the longer the match with Jack Lisowski in the first round went on and that can’t be a bad thing. That said, he probably didn’t reach the levels he will need to beat Trump the way he is playing. Trump probably wasn’t at his best in the opening round but he still had far too much for Pang Junxu and you would imagine he is only going to improve from here. I think the odds reflect the high chances of Trump winning the match so I’ll give this one a miss from a betting standpoint.

Ding Junhui vs Tom Ford

The match on the other table might be the biggest match of this entire round as the finalist of last year, Ding Junhui, takes on the man he beat to reach that final in the shape of Tom Ford with not just a quarter final spot on the line here but also a place in The Masters.

These two are ranked 16 and 17 in the world and unless someone outside the top 16 wins the title this week the winner of this match will secure the final spot at The Masters in January so there is a lot at stake in this one. That makes me think that we are going to get a tight encounter here. Ford might feel like he has a free roll in this tournament after coming from 5-1 down in the first round to beat Noppon Saengkham. Ding looks to be playing well again and he’ll have seen some big names exit the tournament and will fancy his chances of another deep run in an event he loves. When you throw in what is on the line I don’t see this one ending before we get to the tenth frame.

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Evening Session

Mark Selby vs Barry Hawkins

The pick of the matches on Wednesday graces the main table in the evening session as Mark Selby takes on Barry Hawkins in the one real heavyweight clash on the day with both men eyeing up a spot in a Triple Crown quarter final.

Hawkins came into this tournament having had the better season of the two having won the European Masters but he was nowhere near as impressive in the opening round as Selby was. Selby won 6-0 against Mark Joyce, who to be fair offered up very little against him, in what was a masterclass from the world finalist of earlier in the year. Unless there is a serious improvement in Hawkins I’ve got to think that Selby wins this match and if Hawkins continues to struggle with his concentration then Selby could win this going away but Hawkins can easily go with Selby when he is on his game, as he showed when beating the Jester in the semi-final of that European Masters earlier in the season. There are enough doubts over Hawkins’ recent form to make this a trappy betting proposition so I’ll leave this one alone.

Mark Williams vs Jamie Clarke

Over on table two we have two Welshmen battling it out in this tournament for the second year in succession as Mark Williams takes on the lowest ranked player left in the competition in the form of his compatriot Jamie Clarke.

Clarke won this battle of the pair last year but that was when Williams was suffering with Covid-like symptoms and had it so bad that he was falling asleep in his seat during the match so we can’t really take a whole lot from that. What we can take into this one is that Clarke played very well to see off Kyren Wilson in the previous round. Williams has room for improvement from his first round win but he has already won the British Open this season so we know he has that in him. I would imagine this will be fairly tight because both men know they have someone outside the top 10 in the world waiting for them in the quarter final but the tighter the match you have to think the experience of Williams will get the job done. He is my outright pick though so I’m happy to let that ride.


Back D.Junhui vs T.Ford – Over 9.5 frames for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with Betway