Ali ‘the Captain’ Carter and Ronnie ‘the Rocket’ O’Sullivan are two of the biggest names in a sport that just loves to give out ridiculous ‘stage-nickname’ style monikers, and it is a source of great comfort to the fans watching their match that they won’t be introduced by the excitable MC more than once a session. A lot of noise has surrounded this final and the two men in it, but as the first session gets underway we can finally settle down and enjoy the action.
There are a lot of decent in-play markets for this sport, as you’d imagine, and those are worth a look, but at present Ali Carter is 9/2 to win it (Bet365) with O’Sullivan a 2/11 favourite (BetFred). This is largely down to the simple fact the Essex player has come back to his best form after a tough few years, and is playing as well as he has for some time, and also the struggle Carter has had with illness over the past couple of years and the affect that has had on his practice and game.
BetFred have 8’s at ‘Ronnie O’Sullivan to win 18/12’ sort of range, with the same price also available for 18/10 and 18/11 wins for the Rocket, giving you an idea of what they think the eventual margin will be, but from the opening exchanges it is clear Carter has a plan to stifle any enjoyment Ronnie might get from the game and hopefully bog him down in tactical play. The first score available for Ali Carter to win is 18/1 on an 18/17 victory with Bet365, and he’ll be hoping O’Sullivan is aware of the overwhelming odds in his favour, possibly creating some tension.
Whichever way this final turns out we’ve heard a lot about Ronnie quitting afterward, although that hardly sets it apart from any other tournament he’s played in recently. I’d not be surprised to see combination win/retire bets available on him if he begins to close in on the victory, but I’d also be amazed if he retired and then stuck to it. Ronnie is the kind of sportsman who needs to be loved, praised and constantly attended to, and the burst of publicity he’d get for winning a fourth title would surely leave him craving more of that.