UK Snooker Championship Tips: Hamilton fair value to maintain recent edge over Williams

Three-times world champion Mark Williams
Mark Williams has a terrible recent record against Anthony Hamilton

Paul Krishnamurty runs through his best three bets for Sunday's action at the Barbican Theatre, in which he's taking on both Mark Selby and Mark Williams...

"Their head-to-head is surprising given their relative achievements. The 'Sheriff of Pottingham' leads 9-6, including four of their five meetings in the past decade."

Back Anthony Hamilton 3u @ 4.03/1

Daily Treble (pays £8.10 to a £1 stake)

Back Over 9 Frames in Hang v Walden @ 2.255/4
Back Anthony Hamilton for the +2.5 Frame Handicap @ 2.01/1
Back Hossein Vafaei for the +3.5 Frame Handicap @ 1.84/5 (v Selby)

Three matches catch the eye for betting value on Sunday. The plan is to have single bets on two of them, and add the other to our daily treble.

The one only advised in the treble is Over 9.5 Frames in the match between Ricky Walden and Li Hang. Four of their previous six encounters required a deciding frame and, while Walden is entitled to start clear favourite on recent form, I doubt this will be one-sided. Hang took Kyren Wilson to a decider last month and is a good competitor.

Hamilton is Williams' bogeyman

Mark Williams has had an up and down season, winning the British Open title despite being well below his best, and being forced out of two events with Covid. I don't regard him as reliable against a certain type of opponent, who can match him for experience and tablecraft. Anthony Hamilton exactly fits that description.

Their head-to-head is surprising given their relative achievements. The 'Sheriff of Pottingham' leads 9-6, including four of their five meetings in the past decade. Last term, he looked a spent force, plagued by health worries, but Hamilton has bounced back. He's been winning early round matches and, in recent weeks, took Ronnie O'Sullivan to a deciding frame and gave Judd Trump a run in a high-quality affair.

I recommend backing Hamilton for both the handicap, and as a back to lay with a view to a partial cashout if he hits 1.758/11 in-running.

Vafaei presents a stern test for Selby

Whilst one takes on world champion Mark Selby in majors with reluctance, he's too short in the betting against Hossein Vafaei. The Iranian is a super talent and could well break through this term. He surely will eventually.

They've met five times previously with Selby leading 4-1, but the true picture is less one-sided. In four meetings over the past three seasons, Vafaei won at the Welsh Open, lost a deciding frame at the English Open and went down 5-3 in the World Grand Prix. The only one-sided match was here last year, when Selby won 6-2.

At 7.06/1, the Iranian could offer some trading mileage, but I'd prefer to have a confident bet that he fares one frame better than last year, and back him to win the +3.5 Frame Handicap.


Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

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