England Blackball Pool international Michael Day is back with tips for Monday's Masters action.
Judd Trump v Stephen Maguire | Monday | BBC
Monday afternoon welcomes the arrival of the in-form Judd Trump, as he faces fellow multiple ranking event winner Stephen Maguire.
Neither player have ever won the Masters, in fact neither have even reached the final, but both this year have a good opportunity to do damage. Trump and Maguire come in to the event with very impressive performances over the last two months.
It’s well documented that ‘The Ace in the Pack’ Trump is finding the form that led him to the top of the World Rankings back in 2012 with this season's Australian Goldfields Open under his belt. He’s also reached two further major finals, where it has needed the strength of Ronnie O’Sullivan to deny him more silverware.
En route to one of those finals, the UK Championship, he defeated his opponent Stephen Maguire in the last four. The Scotsman, prior to this good run in the UK’s, had a very poor start to the 2014/2015 season with only a quarter final at the Wuxi Classic to write home about.
But from mid-November onwards he’s lived up to his nickname of ‘On Fire Maguire’ after winning the inaugural Lisbon Open (PTC event) and qualifying for the German Masters.
In my outright betting article I may have done Stephen Maguire an injustice, as in fact he leads in their overall head to head stats. However, if you read between the lines, many of Maguire’s wins have come in the unique Championship League format where players compete in best of fives and with no live audience.
With the blistering pace Trump has set over the last few months I think he will run out the victor and can now be backed at 3/5 with 888 Sport. Mags is 2/1 with Bet Victor which may allure some people, but not me.
In their last three meetings of either major or PTC play Trump has come out the block quickly winning the opening frame each time. In fact the last two of those occasions JT has raced into 3-0 and 4-0 leads, so Paddy Power's Evens on him winning the first frame and going on to win the match looks nice.
Neil Robertson v Robert Milkins | Monday | BBC
Next on the course is current World Number One Neil Robertson, a former winner here, taking on the number 15 ranked Robert Milkins who is making his second consecutive Masters outing.
It obviously doesn't get much easier for him though, after last year being comprehensively beaten by the Rocket in the first round. However there is potential hope for the man from Gloucester as he has previously beaten the Aussie in the 2013 World Championship. Milkins is capable and very dangerous on his day.
Robbo (1/4 Ladbrokes) is far more used to the one table set up and being the centre of attention. I feel whilst Milkins (7/2 Paddy Power) has natural talent, he is more comfortable in the multi table arena and is still fairly raw in this tournament scenario.
Looking at each players recent results, I would suggest there’s not much to go by, but both have had real purple patches earlier on in the season.
Robertson began with victory in defending his Wuxi Classic title and then reached the final of his home ranking event in Bendigo. Since then though he has been somewhat underachieving.
His opposition had a great October / November period where he reached the semi-finals of the lucrative International Championship in Chengdu, and was runner up in a German PTC event.
As previously claimed, I think the favourite will win here, but won’t have it all his own way. Robertson has been in real scraps this season and I’d expect Milkins to get at least three of the six frames required.
Over 8.5 Frames in the match is an outstanding 8/11 with Sportingbet. If you step back and think about, that’s just one in every three frames the underdog has to win.
Judd Trump v Stephen Maguire – Trump to win the first frame and win the match (Evens Paddy Power)
Neil Robertson v Robert Milkins – Over 8.5 Frames (8/11 Sportingbet)