The opening leg of the new BetVictor European Series, which consists of the ongoing European Masters, German Masters, Shoot Out and Gibraltar Open, is down to its final table.  There’s £80,000 for Sunday’s tournament winner and another big cash incentive comes with the leading player after all four European Series events, based on the total prize-money won, receiving a £150,000 bonus.

Neil Robertson an overwhelming 2/9 favourite to take the European Masters and he was the first player to book himself into Sunday’s the final with a 6-1 demolition of Ali Carter in the semi-finals.  Despite the score-line it was not a high scoring match, the Australian’s highest break was just 79 in a tactical affair.  However, he posted a remarkable three century breaks in the quarter-finals when brushing Thepchaiya Un-Nooh by five-frames-to-one and recorded two more at the ‘last 32’ stage against Lyu Haotian.

Of course Neil Robertson was amongst the favourites at the outset of the competition and he has been towards the front end of the betting in a number of recent tournaments.  He’s certainly enjoyed some good draws which has contributed to his short prices but most judges clearly believe he is playing close to his best too.

European Masters

In opposition today is Chinese player Zhou Yuelong who only turned 22 a few days ago.  The young player has dispatched Mark Williams, Barry Hawkins and Gary Wilson on his way to the final. Last night’s victory (over Wilson) was a gutsy effort as he came from 3-1 down to win 6-5.

At 10/3 BetVictor’s odds compilers clearly believe Zhou Yuelong has a job on his hands.  On all known form they are correct and the 2010 World Champion won this pair’s only previous meeting, 6-1 in April 2018.

 

Final reckoning

As Yuelong’s career still in its infancy he probably needs the winner’s £80,000 prize a lot more than Robertson.  The prospect of BetVictor’s £150,000 bonus will obviously appeal as will ranking points which can elevate the youngster closer to the revered ‘top 16’ …if he can win this decider.

But with the final being a long-format ‘best of 17 frame’ contest it’s hard to envisage the upset no matter how much he wants it and I fear he could actually be beaten by a wide margin.

 

Recommended Bets

Neil Robertson (-2.5 frames) to win on the handicap 

Over 1.5 match centuries 

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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