The qualifying competition for the Turkish Masters continues on Thursday when another 24 players take to the baize looking to come away with the one win which will earn them a spot in the main draw next month.
We saw the main hitters make it through to the main draw on Wednesday and a couple of form horses will look to do likewise over the course of the three sessions of action which makes up the schedule on Thursday.
Robert Milkins is the highest ranked player in action on Thursday morning which means that he gets the main table treatment. He is in danger of coming off the tour at the end of the season so he could really do with winning through when he takes on Nigel Bond. The British Open semi-finalist Jimmy Robertson is in action on the other streamed table. He goes up against the Scottish player Dean Young who won his first matches as a professional at the recent Shootout and will be looking to build on that.
There will be two matches which will only be available to watch with the bookmakers. They are on the outside tables with Jak Jones up on one of them. He meets Gerard Greene a match which gives both of them a big opportunity while on the other table two men who need results to keep their tour survival hopes alive meet when Andrew Higginson looks to build on a solid run at the Shootout when he takes on Jamie O’Neill.
Alexander Ursenbacher might not be having the best season of his career but he remains the highest ranked player on show in the afternoon session and as such he will be on one of the main tables when he takes on the amateur James Cahill, who is no stranger to knocking off the big names. The other main table match will see Sam Craigie looking to quality for the main draw when he takes on another of the invited amateurs in the form of Sanderson Lam.
There are two matches on the outside tables in this session as well with Joe O’Connor looking to qualify for the main draw. He’ll be glad there is no crowd in the venue to be entertained as he takes on the man who relished getting the crowd going at the Shootout recently in Mitchell Mann while the other match sees Alfie Burden looking to make progress when he faces another amateur in Dylan Emery who has come into the event in place of Robbie Williams.
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Anthony McGill is the one member of the top 16 who is in action over the course of Thursday. The Scot has had an up and down season and he will take on Jamie Clarke in a match which will revoke memories of their World Championship clash of a few seasons ago when they got into an argument. Dave Gilbert is the other leading light on show in this session. He’ll be on the other main table when he takes on the seasoned campaigner Andy Hicks.
Two matches take place on the outside tables and for Michael Holt the one involving him has a big say on his future on the tour. He needs a decent finish to the season so he can’t afford to slip up when he takes on the amateur player John Astley. The other match sees Sunny Akani look to get an up and down season sailing in the right direction again when he faces Michael White whose form this term has been terrible despite his undoubted talent.
I’ll go with the one bet over the course of Thursday and it comes in the opening session of the day where I think Andrew Higginson can get the job done with a bit to spare against Jamie O’Neill. Higginson had a decent run at the Shootout but then went to Berlin and ran into a storm of a performance against Fan Zhengyi which he could have done without. That means he could really do with a win here but on the plus side for him he takes on a man who has only played one proper match since the end of October.
O’Neill is a talented player but he hasn’t exactly had a positive season and he hasn’t been very active recently. He pulled out of the Northern Ireland Open citing personal problems and the only person he has beaten in that time is Hammad Miah on two occasions. Higginson does have the knowledge that he has won both previous meetings between these two although they were a long while ago. I would prefer to take the active player over the recently inactive one and I’ll take Higginson to win no worse than 5-3.
Back A.Higginson (-1.5 frames) to beat J.O’Neill for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with Betfair
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