UK Snooker Championship Tips: Promising O'Connor the highlight of busy opening day

Snooker player Mark Allen
Mark Allen could be vulnerable to a dangerous opponent

Paul Krishnamurty kicks off our series of tips at the UK Championship with a slate of bets, including the first of our daily accas...

"Speaking of unreliable characters, Jack Lisowski continues to frustrate...I suspect this wily, experienced opponent is just the type who could cause him trouble."

Back Martin O'Donnell 1u @ 4.03/1

Throughout the rest of the UK Championship, in addition to single selections, we'll also be recommending a daily acca. This could comprise of anything from a double upwards. To start, try this treble among the less prestigious match-ups.

Daily Treble Pays 23/10

Mark Joyce to beat John Astley @ 8/15
Mark King to beat Gerard Greene @ 3/10
Wu Yize to beat Hammad Miah @ 4/6

Amateur John Astley caused an enormous upset in knocking out Neil Robertson on Thursday and played really well in the process. However there is very little in his pedigree to expect him to maintain that form, and experienced Mark Joyce should prove a cut above.

Likewise, former UK finalist Mark King against fellow veteran Gerard Greene. The latter also pulled off a big shock against Kurt Maflin but, again, that came pretty much out of nowhere. King, alternatively, reached the semis of the last ranking tournament, beating Judd Trump along the way and giving Robertson a tough match in that semi.

Finally Wu Yize produced an excellent win over Lu Ning and, given that wasn't the 18 year-old's first impressive win, he could be quite a prospect. I'll take him to beat Hammad Miah who, whilst registering a few decent wins of his own lately, had previously looked very limited at this level.

O'Connor a must-bet with Allen under a cloud

Onto the bigger games and singles, I like a couple of outsiders. First Joe O'Connor could prove cracking value as a trade and on the handicap, against Mark Allen.

Although in fine form when winning the Northern Ireland Open, Allen's participation was in doubt right up to the last here, and has been talking of quitting the game. He wasn't anywhere near his free-scoring best in beating Michael Judge. Of the top players, nobody is less reliable against outsiders when not on his game.

O'Connor is a very dangerous opponent too. The Englishman is on many a list of players to follow this term and isn't scared of competing against the big names.

Lisowski looks an unreliable favourite

Speaking of unreliable characters, Jack Lisowski continues to frustrate. Coming off an improved season which saw him finish runner-up three times, he's lost to Jackson Page, Barry Pinches, Liam Highfield and the aforementioned Joyce. Take 1.331/3 for his second round match at your peril.

Surprisingly, he hasn't played Martin O'Donnell since 2008. Defeat back then is irrelevant as 'Jackpot' was very young, but I suspect this wily, experienced opponent is just the type who could cause him trouble.

Lisowski did win 6-0 in the first round and could well turn up in blistering form. It really is anyone's guess what version we'll see. However I'm happy to have a small punt on the outsider as O'Donnell is well capable of holding his own.

A plethora of leading title contenders are also in action. Ronnie O'Sullivan plays Robbie Williams, against whom he's only ever lost one frame in three matches. John Higgins could find Sunny Akani slightly trickier, but must be fancied to progress on recent form. Yan Bingtao plays the very capable Ben Woollaston but, again, is hard to oppose on recent form. If short odds-on is your thing, that treble pays 1.625/8.

Yang is another dangerous Chinese youngster

Also at very prohibitive odds is one of my outright selections, Barry Hawkins. He's a 1-8 chance against 18 year-old Gao Yang. For me, those odds are a little too dismissive of a very capable youngster. He enjoyed an excellent 6-2 win over Lyu Haotian in the first round, scoring well, and has been generally making light work of lower-ranked types.

Hawkins often struggles in early rounds against opponents he should breeze past and, if taking Yang lightly, could have a match on his hand. Rather than backing the upset, try Over 8.5 Frames at 10/11. A 6-3 loss is certainly within range for the youngster.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

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