UK Snooker Championship Tips: Ronnie is no certainty against childhood rival King

Six-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan
Could O'Sullivan follow Robertson and Selby out of the competition?

The first two rounds have seen some huge upsets and Paul Krishnamurty says Ronnie O'Sullivan could also be vulnerable against a player who has troubled him for decades...

"Prior to this event, the Welshman had won only one match this season...Hicks has produced two cracking wins so far, against players I'd regard as superior to Dale."

Back Andy Hicks 2u @ 3.65

It has been a decent start for our daily accas. Saturday's treble landed at odds of 23/10 and yesterday's one unit treble only fell short by one frame in the Walden/Hang match. For Monday, the plan is again a one unit treble with singles also advised in two of the matches.

Daily Treble (pays £7.69 to a £1 stake)

Back Mark King for the +3.5 Frame Handicap @ 10/11 (v O'Sullivan)
Back Andy Hicks for the +2.5 Frame Handicap @ 5/6 (v Dale)
Back Over 9.5 Frames in Saengkham v Bingham @ 6/5

First, a match I regard as another potential massive upset, to follow the defeats of Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, Yan Bingtao and Mark Williams.

King leads O'Sullivan throughout their long careers

Ronnie O'Sullivan is now very much the one to beat in the top half of the draw but he is no certainty by any means to beat a gritty opponent, who he's been playing since their childhood days in Essex. I'm quite sure most will be shocked to learn that Mark King actually leads their head-to-head 5-4.

Whilst lacking anything like O'Sullivan's natural talent, King is the type of player whose grinding skills can get under the skin of the very best. Only last month, he beat Judd Trump en route to the English Open semi-finals, where he only went down 6-4 to Neil Robertson.

Ronnie is far from bombproof nowadays and backing him at 1.152/13 for this should carry a health warning. I wouldn't deter anyone from a trade on King at 7.413/2 but prefer taking 10/11 about him winning three frames via the +3.5 Frames Handicap. This bet is also recommended as a single bet, for a five unit stake.

Hicks good value in veterans' battle

The betting for the lowest profile match of the day also looks too one-sided. Dominic Dale and Andy Hicks' head-to-head goes back 25 years, with the latter leading 5-3. (Dale did win their last match but, as it was over an insufficient best-of-three at last year's WST Pro-Series, I've discounted it.

Whilst Dale is definitely superior nowadays, I reckon odds of 3.65 for Hicks overstate it. Take those odds as a single, for two units.

Prior to this event, the Welshman had won only one match this season and his bad can be very bad. 48 year-old Hicks has produced two cracking wins so far, against players I'd regard as superior to Dale - Liang Wenbo and Michael Holt.

Saengkham to go the distance with Bingham

For the final leg, try Over 9.5 Frames in the match between Stuart Bingham and Noppon Saengkham. The Thai was one of my outright selections at 500/1 and I'm quietly confident he can give 'Ballrun' a real test, having downed Ali Carter in the last round. I'll be surprised if he's thrashed.

Finally a correct score in the game I regard as the only banker of the day. Kyren Wilson is extremely reliable against lesser opposition and in solid form. I'm confident he'll make light work of Wu Yize. Try a 6-2 win at 16-5.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

UK Championship Profit/Loss:

+15.8 units

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