Following another day of extraordinary upsets at the Barbican Theatre including tournament favourite Judd Trump, the draw is opening right up for Ronnie O'Sullivan as he bids to extend his own record to eight UK Championship titles. Kyren Wilson is the only other player from the top-13 in the current world rankings still left in.
If both win their matches today, they will meet in the quarter-finals. Both are heavily odds-on to do so, and form part of today's treble. The recommended stake is once again a single unit.
Daily Treble (Pays £9.97 for a £1 stake)
Ronnie O'Sullivan to win the 1st Four Frames @ 8/11
Kyren Wilson to win the -3.5 Frame Handicap @ 13/8
Over 9.5 Frames in McGill/Brown @ 6/5
I don't regard O'Sullivan as a certainty to beat Noppon Saengkham, who was one of my initial eight picks for the tournament at 500/1. The Thai was brilliant for the most part in beating Stuart Bingham in the last round - especially in holding his nerve after 'Ballrun' had levelled from being 5-0 down. Hope of a miracle springs eternal!
Saengkham's lowly ranking is due to his inconsistency, but he has the tools to beat the game's very best, if given the chances. Ronnie was far from perfect against Mark King and did offer chances. However his snooker this week has been characteristically brilliant in patches and one must expect him to come through this with plenty to spare.
Two generous oddsboosts available on O'Sullivan
Odds of 8/11 about him winning the first four frames is a fair offer to start the treble. For single bets, I like a couple of enhanced prices. 5/1 about the Rocket hitting three centuries in the match is certainly within his compass in a best-of-11. Also 9/2 about a 6-2 win - the same score as when they met in this event two years ago - is another generous offer.
Wilson takes on Ben Woollaston, whom he beat 4-3 in the recent English Open. That was closer than their matches usually finish - Kyren leads the head-to-head 6-2 in matches, 27-14 in frames. The pick here, only for the treble, is 13/8 about him beating the 3.5 Frame Handicap.
Woollaston has already put paid to Yan Bingtao, so cannot be taken for granted. However I prefer the favourite, who is generally extremely reliable against inferior players. After whitewashing the very capable Jak Jones, Wilson struggled against Wu Yize but I reckon that will prove to be his blip. In any case, a 6-3 win was a good outcome from 2-1 down.
McGill and Brown could be hard to separate
For the final leg of the treble and also as a single, back Over 9.5 Frames in the match between Anthony McGill and Jordan Brown. This is the likeliest of today's games to go the distance in my view. Their only previous encounter in 2019 went to a deciding frame, with Brown prevailing. He's the outsider and a better player now.
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