Former snooker professional Craig Edwards @EdwardsTips_ previews the World Snooker Qualifying School for BetWithUs
Ponds Forge, Sheffield
16th May to 21st May
BetWithUs Snooker Picks
Alfie Lee @ 81.00 (80/1)
Liam Davies @ 23.00 (22/1)
Aaron Hill @ 15.00 (14/1)
Ryan Davies @ 67.00 (66/1)
Robbie McGuigan @ 23.00 (22/1)
Jamie Curtis Barrett @ 81.00 (80/1)
Snooker players dreams will be made or broken in these next three weeks of World Snooker’s three Qualifying School. Snooker professionals will lose their status and some will gain their playing privileges back as over 150 players via for 12 two-year tour-cards at three Qualifying School events.
I am going to give you some big priced alternatives, particularly amongst the younger brigade, as the process can be quite draining for the older players, many of whom will be looking to be a snooker professional for the first time so keep stakes modest.
I’m going to start in section one with Alfie Lee who is a promising eighteen year old English player. His father Stephen Lee is better known for his snooker at this point having formerly been as high as number five in the World Rankings. Alfie Lee has been catching the eye recently by reaching the final of the well known Pro-am at Minnesota Fats Snooker Club in Scotland where he reached the final. Losing to former World Champion, Graeme Dott after victories against Michael Holt and Tom Ford is strong eye catching form and at quotes of between 67.00 (66/1) and 81.00 (80/1) makes plenty of sense to small stakes.
In section two, Liam Davies sticks out as the value play after his run in the World Championship where funnily enough he beat Fergal O’Brien who he plays in his opening match at Qschool. The veteran Irishman is still a fine player on his day, a difficult opening match but that plays a big factor in Liam Davies price. I am prepared to take the chance that he will beat him again as his age will stand him in better stead for the gruelling run of matches to follow than his older opponent. At 23.00 (22/1) it’s worth the gamble to small stakes on young Welshman Liam Davies qualifying for professional status next week.
Section three sees Aaron Hill trying to regain his status having lost his playing privileges this season. The Irishman is a young player of huge potential having already beaten Ronnie O’Sullivan and Zhao Xintong in these last couple of seasons on the World Snooker Tour. To have beaten the reigning World and UK Champions is an impressive CV and the twenty-year old from Cork makes huge appeal to win his tour card straight back at prices around 15.00 (14.00). I need to give mention to young Ryan Davies in this section who has built up a solid plethora of Pro-am form and worth adding at prices of 67.00 (66/1).
At the prices Robbie McGuigan’s chances of winning a tour card stick out and like Liam Davies he showed what he could do at the World Championship by beating Alfie Burden. The seventeen year old is a prodigious talent and who better to learn off than his step-dad Mark Allen. At 23.00 (22/1) Robbie McGuigan is a value play to make professional status.
I need to mention my friend and local player, Jamie Curtis Barrett in this section as quotes of 81.00 (80/1) seem ridiculous. Jamie has indeed been through the process of Qschool successfully before which was a remarkable achievement at the time. I say this because Jamie was going through some dreadful off table issues very bravely. Now with his life in a better place this young father is ready to go again and after Qschool finishes, he plays the English Amateur Championship final, qn event in which he showed the improved form that nearly beat Luca Brecel in the Gibraltar Open.
Keep stakes modest and all these players are worth following in the coming weeks at Qschool and hopefully as professionals.