Snooker continues to try and widen its captive audience this week as it spreads its wings to Gibraltar for the jojobet.com sponsored Gibraltar Open, the 2016/17 season’s 16th Ranking Event.
Ranking points and a comparatively small first-prize of just €25,000 haven’t been enough to attract Ronnie O’Sullivan, but the sponsors will be pleased with the stars on show. World Number One Mark Selby headlines, and he’s ably supported by Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, John Higgins, Ding Junhui, Sean Murphy, Barry Hawkins, Mark Allen, Sean Maguire and Joe Perry.
Qualifying has been taking place on Wednesday and Thursday, and the qualifiers will join the world’s elite players when the tournaments starts on Friday March 3rd at the Tercentenary Sports Hall, with the event televised on Eurosport 2. All matches are the best-of-7-frames.
2017 Gibraltar Open Snooker Betting
Mark Selby 5/1, Judd Trump 13/2, Neil Robertson 11/1, John Higgins 12/1, Ding Junhui 16/1, Sean Murphy 20/1, Barry Hawkins 20/1, Mark Allen 40/1, Sean Maguire 40/1 and Joe Perry 50/1, Anthony McGill 66/1, Ryan Day 66/1.
The Gibraltar Open may not sound the most exciting tournament on paper, but the fact it’s now a ranking tournament means it could be an ideal chance for some players to cement their place in the all-important top-16, of even for one of the lower-ranked players to make a bid for a top-16 spot and an automatic place in the World Championship.
As world number one, Mark Selby has no such worries, and he’s been looking out of form recently anyway, as has third-favourite Neil Robertson.
Therefore, the player at the top of the market that I want on my side this week is Judd Trump, who’s improving safety play has seen him become a more consistent player of late. That consistency hasn’t quite reaped the rewards it deserves so far this season but, with plenty of his fellow top-seeds not playing as well as him, this looks an ideal opportunity for him to win his seventh world ranking tournament.
Judd isn’t short on confidence either and, despite a disappointing loss to Start Bingham in his last final, his comments suggest he won’t let the next winning opportunity pass him by easily – “It has taken superb performances to beat me this year. You have to take something from that and, if you keep playing that well, eventually you will win a lot of tournaments.”
However, just in case that final defeat takes its toll on Trump, I also can’t resist throwing a few quid at Anthony Mcgill and Ryan Day. The world’s number 16 and 18 are very much in the hunt for an automatic place in the World Championships, and victory here could go a long way to securing their spot.
2017 Gibraltar Open Snooker Tips
Judd Trump 2 Points @ 13/2 (Stan James)
Anthony McGill 0.5 Points Each-Way @ 66/1 (Betfred, Betvictor) ½ odds 2 places
Ryan Day 0.5 Points Each-Way @ 66/1 (Various Bookies) ½ odds 2 places