Snooker Antwerp Open Betting Preview

Not one of the tournaments that will grab the attention of many but the Antwerp Open is of great importance and will be fiercely contested until a champion is crowned on Sunday evening in Belgium.
With a seeding-cut off point fast approaching, gaining ranking points is crucial for a number of players and these along with a 12,000 euro winner’s prize are certainly not to be sniffed at.
Last year’s tournament at the Lotto Arena in Antwerp proved how highly sought-after this title is with the final seeing Judd Trump edging out Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-3 in the final and six of the final eight competitors coming from the world’s top 16.
It is again a first to four format throughout which will often throw up some odd results given how few mistakes it takes for you to lose a game that is that short. Especially as the big names come in at the last 128 stage on Friday when their opponents have been getting into a rhythm and used to the venue over the previous two days.
The tournament kicked off on Wednesday as an obscene number of competitors (mainly local) were whittled down to the 128 men that will rattle through the rest of the competition till the climax on Sunday. The favourite to be the last man standing is Neil Robertson who won the last European Tour event earlier this month in Poland. At 15/2 and clearly in form, the Aussie looks a decent price, but he could be faced with a tough match second up against Jimmy White who is playing some great stuff of late.
The defending champion and the world number one are just behind Robertson in the odds and both have really decent records on the European Tour as Trump obviously claimed this title last year, and Mark Selby one the first Euro event of the season at the back end of August. Trump could well have an edge here though, he is yet to win a tournament this year and will be absolutely seething about that, especially after his monumental crumble in the final of the Shanghai Masters. He is due a win and one is right around the corner and at 9/1 he looks a good bet.
There is plenty of quality behind these young guns though, not least with John Higgins who defeated Trump in Shanghai, and the likes of Mark Williams and Ding Junhui can never be written off. But of all the men heading to Antwerp, Trump sees the hungriest, and will desperate to get back on the winning track as we come closer to the UK Championship which he would love to defend.