Friday afternoon sees Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Kishan Hirani in the the newly-formed Championship League Snooker tournament in Milton Keynes.
Some long-awaited professional sport has been gratefully received, however, so far we have seen some very nervous and out-of-form snooker following the delay in the Snooker Season. My little trick of laying the player at the table has lead to some healthy profits due to the lack of frame winning breaks.
Welshman Kishan Hirani, currently ranked 93 in the world, is a relatively new player on the pro tour and unfortunately for him he hasn’t really managed to get the ground running in the minor tournaments since winning his spot on the circuit. Hopefully for Hirani he has used this time to get some practice in to put together a decent challenge for legend Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Based on past performances against top 32 players in the world and the thrashings he’s had against similar high reputation players, I fully expect nerves to get the better of him.
Ronnie O’Sullivan turned down the invitation to play in the Masters at Alexandra Palace but he has taken the opportunity to perform in the Championship League at the Marshall Arena in MK instead.
The five-time World Champion earlier this week threatened not to take part if he couldn’t bring his own food to the hotel establishment, which was obviously made stricter due to the health & safety matters in today’s climate.
O’sullivan has been quoted as saying:
“I don’t trust people cooking my own food at the hotel during these times. I have been told that will be okay, but you never know until you arrive there and see what happens.
“If I feel the food situation is not right and I am not allowed to bring in my own pre-prepared stuff, I will feel my health is the most important. So when I get there, hopefully I feel safe, and if I don’t and I’m not happy, then my health has to come first and I could leave.
“I asked about the food before I agreed to play. I explained that I have had no one touch my food for the last 10 weeks. I haven’t had takeaways, or let anyone else cook for me.
“That would be a deal-breaker for me, I am funny about it. They said it would be fine, but let’s wait and see on the day.”
Ronnie O’Sullivan is obviously hot favourite to emerge from the group tomorrow and join Judd Trump, Dave Gilbert, Mark Joyce and Luca Brecel who have already booked their places in the second group stage.
There isn’t a lot of value in this group but you can still get 4/7 for a 3-0 win. His odds are currently as short as 1.25 with Betfair. As I don’t expect Ronnie to win the frames in one visit, I recommend remaining calm and collected and to back Ronnie to win each frame when Kishan gets among the balls.
Best bet: Back Ronnie O’Sullivan to win the frame whenever Kishan Hirani is at the table