So enough of the off table stuff...

The Pukka Pies UK Championship starts in Telford tomorrow and the standout tie of the first round pits world champion John Higgins against the dangerous Ricky Walden.

Walden currently sits 13th in the provisional rankings having won last season’s Shanghai Masters. He has played Higgins twice before and beaten him on both occasions.

Higgins, though, has been very consistent this year, reaching the semi-finals at least of the last four ranking events.

Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis have 11 UK titles between them and contested the final in 1989 and 1990.

They are meeting yet again in the first round, with Davis well placed to get one over on his old rival who, in Davis’s words, “has bashed me up down the years.”

Hendry certainly has a good record with 43 wins against him to Davis’s 18 but is struggling for form and Davis has a victory under his belt, having beaten Michael Judge 9-7 earlier this week to qualify.

It’s a first round with several matches that are tough to call, but Grand Prix champion Neil Robertson should beat Tom Ford and Ding Junhui will be heavy favourite against Mike Dunn.

Where will the shocks come?

Well, Crucible semi-finalist Mark Allen, rusty through lack of matches, could be vulnerable against the experienced Stephen Lee.

And Stephen Maguire, who like Allen hasn’t played competitively for two months, won’t have it all his own way against Michael Holt, who played well to beat Dominic Dale 9-4 in the qualifiers.

Mark Selby, who has fallen to 15th in the latest rankings, faces a tough opening test in the shape of Jamie Cope, whose long potting and all out attacking game can be very effective.

Peter Ebdon, the winner three years ago, will have to call on all his years of experience to handle another dangerous young potter, Judd Trump.

World no.6 Ryan Day is also up against it as he tackles Liang Wenbo, this season’s Shanghai Masters runner-up.

The outright market makes Ronnie O’Sullivan favourite for the title but he has his own problems having drawn Matthew Stevens, the 2003 UK champion, in the first round.


Anonymous said...

I would place Selby v Cope, Day v Liang and Ebdon v Trump ahead of Higgins v Walden in terms of tie of the round.

I can't see Walden troubling Higgins.

jamie brannon said...

I can see where you are coming from with Higgins v Walden, but do you think it's better than Ronnie v Stevens. I know Matthew has dropped a bit, but he is not far behind Walden in the official and then you have his pedigree to consider. It wasn't long ago Matthew was in a final. I was going to say Ronnie v Stevens was the glamour tie, but I suppose Hendry v Davis is that!Also are we getting an outright tip from you for the title?

Anonymous said...

Walden has won both their past meetings remember.

So come on Dave, give us a tip to avoid!

Anonymous said...

Ding look's happy on hearing he's Dave's tip to land the pukka pies uk...


Anonymous said...

Snooker The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Dave
Shocks are, and always be part and parcel of snooker. The game cheats Dave. A 35 break a fair safty shot followed by another 35 and the games over. There should be an answer to this Dave? maybe Barry has it sussed.
If you are looking for shocks Dave there may be a few at the Leeds tournament tomorrow. Mr hey you

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr hey you how is the game over when your 70 points ahead???

Greg said...

Is Hendry vs. Davis going to be on TV?

I can't wait for it, it's going to be up there with such classics as Muhammad Ali vs. Leon Spinks, and Holyfield vs. Valuev

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr hey you how is the game over when your 70 points ahead???

There would only be 67 left on the table, and under Hearn's new proposals you probably won't be able to play for snookers!
Not Mr hey you

Anonymous said...

Well Jimmy came third last night which from his point of view was probably preferable to second. I thought he came across really well. Wouldn't it be nice if this gave him a boost on the table? I hope all the players voted for him.


Hi David. I just want to say stat at every tournament, two men I think of, without fail, are Paul Hunter, and, our govenor for many years, David Vine. R.I.P both of you. Both are greatly missed and never fogotten, and I am sure, in your own way, you both will be watching this U.K. Championship. From Myself, A MASSIVE snooker fan.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Mr 12:09
How are you! The 35 breaks if taken by lesser colours would take more red balls from the table; therefore would ensure victory without the aid of successful “snookers” by the opponent.

A mere fifty break can be enough points also if compiled only with baulk colours. Stealing red balls from the table is an early lesson acquired when playing for pocket money.
May the balls run kindly! Mr hey you

Betty Logan said...

Can't say the Higgins/Walden tie excites me to be honest. Walden is solid top 16 standard, but beyond that?? Surely the tie of the round in terms of quality is Ronnie Vs Stevens - Stevens is the draw none of the seeds want at a long format event and Ronnie is the seed none of the qualifiers want. I honestly feel Stevens is still good enough to win tournaments and the UK is probably the one he feels most comfortable in.

In many ways the tie of the round is probably the Davis/Hendry tie - it may fall short in terms of quality but the drama is going to be incredible, especially if it runs close. I don't like watching either player much these days but put them together and I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

so, will Hendry V Davis be on tv live ?

if so, what channel please...

Anonymous said...

Does Wenbo Have A Double Jointed Hand?

Andy said...

Has Clive been left out of the commentary team by the BBC?

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else hear Willie and Virgo during commentary on the Mcguire v Holt match last night, the mics where off but you could hear them on about someone called Penny, i can only think they were watching Rod Stewart on itv :o

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Mr. 5:40 PM
How are you! It may interest you to know that two world champions in discussion agreed that having a double jointed thumb gave an advantage.

This of course is unadulterated rubbish, but it is on record as a technical and real snooker advantage.

Then again Mister 5/40, if Jimmy White was to say that the highest breaks are made on Sunday afternoon all snooker clubs would be crowed out each Sunday.
Mr hey you