My last blog post two weeks ago was in theory an easier one having crushed the golf across all models, so its only proper I should discuss this last week and in particular the opening salvos of a long snooker season ahead .
With nine days of qualifying ahead a well ago I felt reasonably confident that I had identified several players who would hit the new season running and in particular high in my thoughts were Lou Honghao and Hammad Miah .
I will start with Lou Honghao who pulled one if the world’s leading players former World Champion Neil Robertson in the best if 7 Riga Masters , Lou had impressed many a good judge with solid wins against seasoned professionals Stuart Carrington and Anthony McGill in what was effectively the 18 year old’s debut event last March the China Open.
Neil has shown last couple of seasons he is prone to the odd shock ,however he quickly stamped his authority on the match winning the opening three frames with one visit , Lou then pulled two frames back himself showing the potential we know he has but eventually lost 4-2 in a high quality match .
Considering we backed Lou at 9/2 although we didn’t win Lou showered his potential so I was happy without getting result , then this week he was onto the Haikou World Open qualifying were he had drawn a real journeyman professional Alex Higginson who himself lost his opening match against Mark Davis thus again at small stakes we put up Lou and especially on the alternate handicap -1.5 line, again Lou played solidly after losing the opening two frames in what appears a decent match .
Another player I wanted onside in the opening matches when I saw the draws was Hammad Miah who was starting his fifth season having gone back to Q School and won his card back first hit , his opening draw was seasoned amateur David Lilley who played respectable at all four Q school events without gaining his playing rights , the bookmakers early shows made Hammad Miah the slight favourite when I actually had him as short as 1.44 so he was as confident early season selection as we get or so I thought as David Lilley produced three 90 plus breaks in one of the most impressive performances of the week .
Apart from the result we had nothing to be disappointed about here and when Hammad was paired against Dominic Dale in next event again a player who lost his opener and was priced near 2/1 it was a no brainer for a small bet , again Hammad lost nothing in defeat losing a close decider having never been in front in the match .
As I have talked about previously I will always start a new season with small stakes and let them grow once we are in full swing as players have had time away from game which gives a fresh start before any learnt behaviour kicks in later in year.
Make a note of both these players names we lost with this week as both have potential and youth on their side but for now though experience was the winner……
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