The final quartet of first round matches are played tonight, with a number of potential upsets on the cards. Jaymes Monte reports...
"Cullen’s run to the last 16 of the UK Open last month could, on reflection in a couple of year’s time, mark the beginning of a special career."
Tuesday night's matches involve four odds-on favourites at odds around 1.501/2 or shorter, but I could make a case for all four outsiders progressing to the second round. I certainly wouldn't be averse to suggesting backing all four outsiders to level stakes, with only two needing to come in for a healthy profit.
There is, however, one that I believe to be slightly better value than the others. The 3.211/5 available on Joe Cullen to beat Justin Pipe.
Cullen's run to the last 16 of the UK Open last month could, on reflection in a couple of year's time, mark the beginning of a special career. A player in control of his emotions and, on top of his game, Rockstar looks to have all the attributes required to make it in this sport. Now the youngster needs to take the next step and start establishing himself in the rankings and thus making TV appearances a regular occurrence.
Pipe is also looking to make a significant breakthrough on the big stage this year. The Force's quality is unquestionable as evidenced by results on the tour, but he needs to start doing it in front of the cameras. It is in front of the big crowds, in the biggest tournaments, where the best players are crowned and, ultimately, remembered.
Although Pipe has gained some invaluable big-stage experience over the last 12-18 months, he's still a long way from being an established performer in front of the cameras and he has a lot to do in order to convince me that he should be priced as short as 1.4640/85 to win a match in any major event against any opponent. Least of all, against a young, talented upstart with very little to lose and everything to gain.
Back Cullen to beat Pipe @ 3.211/5