Mark Selby holds a slim lead in group three at BetVictor Championship League Invitational, winning three of his four games played on the opening day at the Morningside Arena, Leicester.
The newly crowned English Open champion’s first match in 2023 wasn’t one to remember for Selby, losing 3-2 to Matt Selt who knocked in a group high break of 127.
Selby bounced back with victory in his second match of the day, beating Jordan Brown 3-1, his highest break of the match (40) coming in the opener.
Selby then faced off against group leader Ricky Walden, with Ricky looking for a third consecutive victory of the day after earlier 3-1 wins against Matthew Selt and Jamie Jones.
For the first time in the group, Selby looked himself on the baize, beating Walden 3-1 with breaks of 66, 47, and 118. Walden knocking in a century break of 112 himself in the third frame.
Selby rounded off the day with a hard fought 3-2 victory over former Gibraltar Open champion Robert Milkins in his fourth and final match of the day, two half century breaks of 60 and 53 helping the Jester to top the group on frames won – winning one more (11) than Walden (10) – both tied on points at three each.
Elsewhere in the group Jordan Brown secured a crucial 3-2 win over Kyren Wilson in his final match of the day to win his first point of group three. Brown now sitting in 5th but having played two more than Kyren Wilson and Jamie Jones who sit in 6th and 7th respectively.
BetVictor Championship League Snooker Invitational sees each of the seven players faces each other once in the round-robin group stage, after which the top four players in the league table progress to Wednesday’s evening’s play-offs. The eventual group champion advances to February’s Winners’ Group with the remaining players who finished in the top five during the league phase continuing to Group Four which begins on Thursday when three new players join the tournament. The bottom two players in each group phase are eliminated. All matches are best of five.
The tournament carries a prize fund of £205,000 with players earning £100 per frame won with significant bonuses for their final group position and increased prize money in the Winners’ Group. A place in the 2023 Champion of Champions is also on the line with each group featuring seven players with matches being held over two days.
Action continues tomorrow from 11 am with the conclusion of Group 3.