Hong Kong Masters snooker betting tips: Judd Trump to see off quality field

Judd Trump is going for glory in Hong Kong

Our snooker tipster Simon Crawford is backing Judd Trump to see off a quality field at the Hong Kong Masters this week.

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2pts win Judd Trump at 9/2 - played well in the recent World Cup and comes into this with more time spent at the tabe than most of his opponents

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There is a new event on the snooker calendar with the Hong Kong Masters getting under way on Thursday.

It might only feature eight players, but this invitational event is packed with quality with no less than five world champions taking part - Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, John Higgins and Shaun Murphy - as well as ranking tournament winners Judd Trump, Barry Hawkins and home favourite Marco Fu.

Hawkins faces Fu and Selby takes on Robertson on Thursday, while 24 hours later Trump plays Murphy and O'Sullivan locks horns with Higgins in what could be potentially be the tie of the round, before the semi-finals and final take place over the weekend.

Organised as part of the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, you can easily make a solid case for any of these eight players to win the event.

Best of nine frames in the quarters before best of 11 in the semis and final, prize money totalling £315,000 is up for grabs and for some of the players it will be their first competitive action of the new season.

With this in mind, I have selected a player who may have a slight edge on most of the field in terms of match practice and that is Trump. 

The Bristol potter, 27, was in action earlier this month when, along with Hawkins, he helped England reach the final of the World Cup where they lost to China A in the final held in Wuxi.

With this being only the third event on the calendar, then few have had much table time so far so I think Trump's efforts in Wuxi will stand him in good stead.

Of course the left-hander is always one of the favourites for any event nowadays, such has been his performance level in recent seasons.

While the world title continues to elude him, Trump has won seven ranking titles and been runner-up in another eight.

Last season he won the European Masters and Players Chapionship, reached the final of the English Open, Welsh Open and Gibraltar Open as well as the semi-finals of the International Championship, Scottish Open and Championship League to justifiably lay claim to being the most consistent performer on a very competitive circuit.

Yet you sense he will not have been satisfied with that and you also feel that it is only a matter of time before he hits a purple patch and the major title wins - including the coveted one at the Crucible - will come.

Trump's game has matured from the flash, long-potter who first entered the professional ranks. While his potting is still as good as any of his rivals, he is now much more studious in his approach and as a result his safety play has improved dramatically.

He is just as likely now to embark on a safety battle to try and force an opening as he is to take on a risky pot and for me that makes him a far more dangerous player as he is no longer reliant on percentage shots.

Trump kicks off his campaign against Murphy, a player who has not been at his best for some time, and he leads their head-to-head 18-8.

Let's be honest here, any of these players is more than capable of stringing three wins together to lift the title.

But second favourite at a general 9/2, Trump's exploits in the World Cup could well give him a valuable advantage and I'm happy to make him my selection.

Posted at 1041 BST on 18/07/17 

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