IPA Tour heads to Newcastle this weekend.
As everyone in the World of pool knows by now, the IPA Tour is the pinnacle of the sport, playing the more popular (and IOC recognised) blackball rules, and attracting the best players from around the World to compete at the highest level, to prove themselves against their peers – the best versus the best and an attractive proposition with decent prize money and the best organised tournaments on the circuit today.
This weekend sees the UK Open, Amateur, and Professional events all played to a conclusion from Friday morning through to Sunday evening and with free entry to spectators and the sports at its most popular in the North-East, an electric atmosphere is all but guaranteed.
The IPA will be setting up at the home of Newcastle United for the first time this year as they expand and branch out thanks to the added publicity of betting partners Coral and other sponsors, and with a full field expected at 10.00am on Friday morning. The action will come hard and fast from the lag for the first match all the way through to the potting of the final black on Sunday evening, and with an audience expected to encompass over 100 countries via the industry leading HD livestream (available via http://ipapool.com/tour-extra/live-streaming/), those unable to attend can still sit back and enjoy all the action.
On to the tricky matter of who will or won’t win and Coral will be pricing up the overall event plus as many of the individual live streamed matches as they can (for those who like a flutter), with current number one Marc Farnsworth sure to head both the Open and the Professional markets. He is certainly the best player out there at present and very hard to oppose but there has been a month since the last tournament and his rivals will have been grabbing plenty of table time to look for ways to overturn his current advantage.
Current World Champion Craig Marsh will be a popular alternative and can beat anyone on his day and could go well if the draw is favourable, a remark that also applies to long list of the top players including Neil Raybone, Gareth Hibbott, Jack Whelan, Jordan Shepherd, Simon Ward and others, and with the vocal local crowd sure to cheer on their own, Chris Bowron is another who could yet enter the equation, along with on fire Scotsman Mark Boyle who will take some stopping if he can keep up his ridiculous recent form.
As for the amateurs, Mark Boyle is a stand out but priced accordingly but deserves his place at the head of the betting, though just like every player here is fully aware, if they get the rub of the green pretty much any of the top players can beat each other on their day, which is why we all love this sport as much as we do.
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