The first round is out of the way and the quality should find the going a little easier at the World Grand Prix, says Wayne Mardle as he searches for Wednesday winners
"The Power makes the betting lark easy doesn’t he? The great man was in fantastic nick when recording a straight sets win against Michael Smith in the first round and I’ll back him to do the same when he meets Robert Thornton tonight."
Farewell then first round of the World Grand Prix. It was a funny old affair but pretty much what we've come to expect from the event with a host of big names usually falling in the first round.
There was some pretty average play throughout the early games with Phil Taylor and Wes Newton the only top players who performed to the standard we expect, and I would add Newton to our Taylor bet in the winner market. He came back brilliantly to beat Ronnie Baxter against an opponent who didn't buckle. A back price of 14.013/1 is decent and I will add him to the portfolio in the hope that he can reach the final against Taylor.
I suspect that the upsets will dry up now that the tournament moves to a longer format and the betting should get a little easier.
That said, The Power makes the betting lark easy doesn't he? The great man was in fantastic nick when recording a straight sets win against Michael Smith in the first round and I'll back him to do the same when he meets Robert Thornton tonight.
Thornton beat Taylor in the final of the UK Open in Bolton but The Power is one of those players with a long memory! He will mention that match to Robert, and will let him know that he won't get away with it again. Phil was the only player out of the 32 to average more than 100 in the first round and his class will shine through tonight.
My second bet is also at odds-against but that is purely a quirk of the double first format - under normal conditions Vincent van der Voort would be a 1.51/2 shot against Brendan Dolan so I'm happy to back him at 2.3211/8 tonight.
Vincent has been suffering with a viral infection and that is obviously a worry, but speaking to him after his last game he was pleased to be first off tonight as he won't be so fatigued.
Dolan was a losing finalist last year and the Grand Prix format suits him, but at the prices it's the Dutchman for me.