Another quick turnaround for the World Snooker Tour means the Gibraltar Open kicks off on Monday morning fresh from the Players Championship final between Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins on Sunday evening.
Pistol Ready to Fire
Former Masters champion Mark Allen produced some of the best snooker of his career earlier this season when taking down the £150,000 Champion of Champions.
In the last eight, the Northern Irishman beat world champion O’Sullivan, world number one Judd Trump in the semis and then defending champion Neil Robertson in the final.
However, that is The Pistol’s only win in the last two years and this week in Milton Keynes it may be his turn again to land some silverware.
Allen, who recently turned 35, is a great each-way play to triumph at the Marshall Arena at
Close friend and fellow Northern Irishman Jordan Brown, who is also a practice partner of Allen, recently defied enormous odds to land his maiden ranking event title when winning the Welsh Open at Celtic Manor. Having watched on, that may prove to be the inspiration to spark Allen back into life.
For a player of his enormous talent, the Belfast man should have more on his CV than a Masters title and five ranking event titles. He is fresh, having not played at the Players Championship over the last week, and has a great draw to work from. He is a strong fancy to go close.
Jones One to Keep an Eye On
Welshman Jamie Jones has had his issues away from the table, but having returned to the tour, the 32-year-old is one for punters to monitor.
Jones was banned for 12 months back in 2019, but is back on the scene and is expected to climb up the rankings and go well in a number of events, including this week.
He reached the semi-final of the Scottish Open earlier this year, where he was beaten by eventual winner Mark Selby and could be considered to be overpriced
He is another player well drawn this week and a third round clash with compatriot Mark Williams for a place in the last eight is the only notable stumbling block in the early rounds.
The former Crucible quarter-finalist is worthy of a small each-way play.
Tough Return for the Crucible King
Green baize legend Stephen Hendry is out of retirement and back in action for the first time since 2012.
The seven-times Crucible hero is up against world number 25 Matt Selt in the first round but is expected to struggle on Tuesday night.
Selt is a strong fancy at
1/3 but a play on the handicaps appealing most.
The 2019 Indian Open winner is
20/29 giving up 1.5 frames in the best-of-seven contest.
*All odds correct at time of writing.