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2018 Paul Hunter Classic Betting Tips & Predictions

The Paul Hunter Classic is the third ranking event of the 2018-2019 season. The tournament is named in honour of the three times Masters champion who died in 2006. It will be held from the 22nd-26th August. The venue is Stadthalle in Fürth, Germany. 128 players will compete for the winning prize of £20,000 and coverage can be followed on Eurosport Player. Michael White is the defending champion having beat Shaun Murphy Kyren Wilson 4-2 in last years final.

Previous Winners

2004 Paul Hunter – Grand Prix Fürth (pro-am)
2005 Mark King – Fürth German Open (pro-am)
2006 Michael Holt – Fürth German Open (pro-am)
2007 Barry Pinches
2008 Shaun Murphy
2009 Shaun Murphy
2010 Judd Trump
2011 Mark Selby
2012 Mark Selby
2013 Ronnie O’Sullivan
2014 Mark Allen
2015 Ali Carter
2016 Mark Selby
2017 Michael White

Format

All rounds – Best of 7 frames.

Notable absentees (Top 16 Ranked Players)

Mark Selby, Mark Williams, Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins, Judd Trump, Ding Junhui, Barry Hawkins, Neil Robertson, Mark Allen, Stuart Bingham, Stephen Maguire, Ryan Day & Anthony McGill.

The format for this tournament is very short, only best of 7 frame matches from the first round all the way to and including the final. This should allow for some surprise results where some the favourites will inevitable fall before the later stages. Also with many of the worlds top players absent for this event the winning place is really wide open for the 128 players in the draw. Looking back at the previous winners there are some players on the list that don’t normally win tournaments like Michael Holt, Barry Pinches and even last season with Michael White. Therefore it may be best to oppose some of the shorter odds players in this field and take a chance on some promising players at bigger odds.

Looking at the draw by each quarter we can see where some of the higher ranked players are located.

Quarter 1 – Michael White(30), Zhou Yuelong(32), Tom Ford(33), Mark Joyce(43), Dominic Dale(45) & Scott Donaldson(55).
Quarter 2 – Luca Brecel(13), Mark King(23), Jamie Jones(38), Ben Woolaston(39), Stuart Carrington(44), Chris Wakelin(46), Michael Georgiou(51), Peter Ebdon(56) & Un-Nooh(63).
Quarter 3 – Kyren Wilson(9), Xaio Guodong(26), Gary Wilson(35), Robert Milkins(31), Andrew Higginson(52), Matthew Selt(57) & Liam Highfield(60).
Quarter 4 – Shaun Murphy(8), Jack Lisowski(21), Jimmy Robertson(36), Noppon Saengkham(40) & Mark Davis(42).

It looks like quarter 2 will probably have the most strength in-depth and will be difficult to predict who comes through. 128 players is a huge field so four selections are given for the outright betting market. All selections have all have reached the final of a ranking event previously and have experience at this event.

Jack Lisowski

“Jackpot” was one of the most improved players last season with a 67% match win rate in ranking events (7th highest). He has continued that with impressive form so far this season reaching the final of the Riga Masters and the Quarter final of the World Open. Lisowski also has a great draw here with the highest ranked player he could meet before the Last 16 being Jimmy Robertson.

[86% match win rate this season (12/14)]

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Xaio Guodong

“X-Factor” is a talented player who reached three Quarter-finals last season and also made the Quarter-final in the latest tournament (World Open). Outside the worlds top 16 ranked players there are not many better. Guodong is capable of mixing it with some of the best players as shown by some of his head-to-head records (leads John Higgins 2-1, tied with Mark Williams 1-1 trails Selby 3-2, Trump 3-2 & O’Sullian 4-1). Also as a bonus he is already through to the last 64 due to his first round opponent withdrawing.

[75% match win rate this season (6/8)]

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Gary WilsonEach-Way

“The Tyneside Terror” is another player that has been knocking on the door for his first ranking event win. Last season he reached a Semi-final in the Welsh Open and the Quarter-final of the previous Paul Hunter Classic. Wilson has also shown promising form this season by making the Quarter-final of the latest event (World Open). He should be considered a threat to go far again considering all the absent top players.

[75% match win rate this season (6/8)]

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Tom FordEach-Way

Ford seems to like this event he reached the final in 2016 missing out 4-2 to Mark Selby and got to the last 16 last season. The world ranked number 33 is a heavy break builder, he has made 187 career centuries (34th on the all time list) & has made 3 maximum breaks, only 14 players have ever record 3 or more. Ford has a good draw here there is no player in his quarter ranked inside the top 30.

[50% match win rate this season (3/6)]

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Type of Bet: Tournament Preview. Sports: Snooker.
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