Stan Hey: 6-5 Against
Saturday 18 April 2009
Into the darkness we go, with the click-and-clack of the balls as company for two-and-a-bit weeks. The World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre comes round again today, with some new names, among them Michaela Tabb, who will become the first woman to referee the final.
But one significant old name, the veteran commentator Clive Everton, has been shamefully sidelined by the BBC. And there are rumours a future final might move to China or Dubai, so enjoy Everton's atmospheric sallies and snooker at the Crucible while you can.
In the tournament, everything depends on the mood of the champion Ronnie O'Sullivan, the 9-4 favourite. But if he goes into his "what's it all about?" funk he could go out early. O'Sullivan has never won back-to-back championships but I think he will this time. £10 win at 9-4, with £5 each-way at 14-1 on the former champion Shaun Murphy.
The bookies have reaped rich profits from the Nationals this season – Notre Pere at 16-1 in the Welsh; Mon Mome at 100-1 in the Grand; and 33-1 Niche Market in the Irish. So today's Scottish Grand National at Ayr should carry a wealth warning. Small each-ways on the Philip Hobbs duo, Out The Black (18-1 Bet 365) and Chiaro (20-1 generally) may reward.
*Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson eclipsed the bumbling play-off trio at the Masters with their thrilling last-day assault. I added to my stakes on Woods on Sunday morning, at 18-1, and was that rare thing, a happy loser.
Latest in Sport
Phil Jagielka: I may never win back England place, says Everton defender
Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
Rio Ferdinand mocks Jamie Carragher's Liverpudlian accent... but Liverpool man hits back at Londoner
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Just like Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United, Gareth Bale says he hopes to return to Tottenham 'one day'
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...