Mark Allen is the defending champion, but he will have Ronnie O’Sullivan and a resurgent Judd Trump to deal with if he wants to win the 2023 Northern Ireland Open. Allen is not just the defending champion, he is attempting the three-peat. Here we look at his chances in our latest snooker betting picks.
- What; 2023 Northern Ireland Open
- Where; Waterfront Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland
- When; Sunday, October 22nd – Sunday, October 29th
- Prize Fund; £427.000 ($515,000)
- Defending Champion; Mark Allen
The Northern Ireland Open is the sixth-ranking competition of the 2023/24 snooker season. It is also part of the Home Nations Series, along with the English Open, Scottish Open, and Welsh Open. This is the second of the Home Nation events, with the English Open held at the start of October (won by Judd Trump).
If the tournament is half as controversial as the build-up, the 2023 Northern Ireland Open promises to be a classic.
Five renegade players – Luca Brecel, Ali Carter, John Higgins, Mark Selby, and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh – refused to enter the event, instead deciding to play in a lucrative Macau exhibition event that clashed with the competition. The WST (World Snooker Tour) wasn’t happy and threatened to sanction the renegade five and accused them of breaching their contracts, which could have resulted in fines and suspensions.
Remarkable statement from WST. Mark Selby, John Higgins, Luca Brecel, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh & Ali Carter will be in breach of player contract and face disciplinary action if they play Macau exhibition over Northern Ireland Open. https://t.co/5XCf1RiRl3
— Phil Haigh (@philhaigh_) October 10, 2023
Eventually, a deal was reached to reschedule the Macau event for late December when it wouldn’t clash with any WST events. This hasn’t helped the Northern Ireland Open from a playing perspective, as the five players are still not part of the draw. The loss of Brecel, Higgins, Carter, and Selby will be felt. But at the very least, the row significantly raised the profile of the event.
Betting to win the 2023 Northern Ireland Open
Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump usually lead the way in any snooker futures market, and it’s no different in the Northern Ireland Open.
Trump (+400) is just edging favoritism after his back-to-back wins in the English Open and the Wuhan Open. And due to the recent successes of Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan (+425) looks set to start the competition as a rare second favorite. But only just.
Don’t be surprised if the odds flip around by Sunday when the competition starts. Ronnie is a big draw who can attract plenty of bets, and the odds could also change with qualifiers still taking place across the rest of the week.
Thanks to the withdrawals of Selby, Brecel, and Higgins, Neil Robertson is the third favorite at +800. The Aussie usually drops in behind Selby in the betting but has seen himself elevated thanks to the Leicester man not playing this event.
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|2023 Northern Ireland Open|
Trump in Red Hot form
Judd Trump is the in-form man in World Snooker. At the start of October, he won the English Open, defeating Zhang Anda 9-7 in the final in Brentwood. Trump didn’t have the trickiest route to the final, but he did have to dig deep in his semi-final to defeat John Higgins 6-5 in a titanic battle that saw Trump come back from 5-2 down.
Any talk that this was just a one-off tournament win from Trump was quashed in the following event when the Bristol man won the Wuhan Open. Trump saw off Ali Carter 10-7 in the final to win his second ranking event in a row.
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) October 15, 2023
When Trump is hot, he can be unstoppable. And at the moment, he is extremely hot.
Allen not looking good for the three-peat
Mark Allen is +1600 in the betting to win his home competition. The world number four player hasn’t had a great start to the 2023/24 season. In the Wuhan Open, he got as far as the last eight, where he lost 5-2 to beaten finalist Ali Carter.
It’s going to take something special if the Antrim man is to win his home event for the third successive year.
Northern Ireland Open Betting Picks
When it comes to betting picks, sometimes you have to make the obvious call. Okay, it’s never easy to win three competitions in a row, and that’s what needs to happen for Judd Trump to win the Northern Ireland Open.
But his form is just red-hot at the moment. And with the no-shows from Brecel, Selby, Carter, and Higgins, a clearer path to the final is available. Our first betting pick to win the Northern Ireland Open is Judd Trump.
We also feel it might be worth having a small wager on Mark Williams. The Welshman withdrew from the Wuhan Open to recharge his batteries. But before, Williams won the British Open (beating Mark Selby 10-7 in the final), and was also the runner-up in the Championship League (lost 3-0 to Shaun Murphy).
Williams is in good form this year, and at +1600 is a good value pick.
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