It’s another quick turnaround in the world of snooker, fresh from Yan Bingtao’s brilliant Masters win on Sunday night a brand new tournament gets underway at the Marshall Arena on Monday.
The WST Pro Series begins with 16 groups in action over the coming weeks, featuring some of the biggest names in the sport.
The event starts with 128 players split into groups of eight playing a round-robin format ending with the top two players in each group whittling the field down to the last 32.
Another four groups are formed under the same round-robin format with the top two progressing to the final group.
The tournament is played over the next three months, culminating on Sunday 21st March, when the winner of the final group will be crowned. Very similar to the Championship League, all matches are best-of-three frames.
Perry to Set the Pace?
World number 18 Joe Perry was very disappointing at the Masters last week after receiving a late call-up following the withdrawal of Judd Trump.
However, the experienced 46-year-old is the top seed in action on the opening day and ‘The Gentleman’ will be the favourite to top Group M.
The other big name lining up in this group is two-time Crucible finalist Matthew Stevens, who is an appealing bet to turnover Perry on Monday night at
The 43-year-old is fancied to thrive under these conditions of regular play, the Welshman has under-performed so far this season but will be a match for anyone in this format.
Both Perry and Stevens are expected to feature at the top of the table, along with the talented Xiao Guodong.
Group B at the Mercy of Wilson
There are lots of similarities that can be drawn between this new event and the Championship League – won this season by Crucible runner-up Kyren Wilson.
The world number four beat Judd Trump in the final three months ago and will be a short price favourite for all seven of his Group B matches on Tuesday.
‘The Warrior’ gets underway in the morning against 19-year-old Fan Zhengyi and is priced up at
1/10 to come out on top.
Wilson is one of the elite and strongly fancied to top the group, and it may prove prudent for punters to follow the four-time ranking event winner by backing him to win his matches without dropping a frame.
The 29-year-old is
20/33 to win 2-0 against Zhengi.
Li Fancied to Go Well
In opposition to the well-fancied Wilson, those featuring in Group B on Tuesday include some very inexperienced faces.
Recent Scottish Open semi-finalist Li Hang does not fall into that category though, and he may well be the man to join Wilson in the next phase of play.
The 30-year-old has been playing professional snooker for over a decade now and impressed in the Scottish Open last month.
He is another player punters can follow to win without conceding a frame, starting with his opener against inexperienced Scottish player Dean Young.
World number 31, Hang, is
20/23 to win 2-0.
*All odds correct at time of writing.