Neil Robertson, Matthew Selt, and Xiao Guodong share top spot of Group 5 at BetVictor Championship League Snooker on day one at the Morningside Arena, Leicester live on broadcasters worldwide including on Matchroom.Live and Viaplay.
Selt who first entered in Group 1 tipped over £14,000 in earnings in the tournament thanks to wins over David Gilbert, Saengkham, and Robert Milkins only conceding one frame in the process to set the early pace.
Both Xiao Guodong and Neil Robertson will fancy their chances of a playoff spot going into tomorrow with the pair getting three wins on the board each to be at the top alongside Selt. Robertson did the early running with a comfortable 3-0 win over Milkins before defeat to a buoyed Xiao who reached the quarter-finals of last week’s BetVictor German Masters. The Australian completed his day with a 3-2 triumph over John Higgins. Xiao finished the afternoon session in style with a point against Higgins in a high-quality affair that saw the Chinese cueist take it with a clearance of 131 in the final frame 3-1. Higgins did set the group high break so far though of 141 in the contest.
Elsewhere in the group, David Gilbert struggled early on with three defeats to compound early misery but recovered to down Xiao 3-2 thanks to winning contributions of 70, 115, and 70 to keep hopes alive on day one. It was a miserable day for Saengkham who lost all three of his encounters whilst Milkins has work to do if he wants to progress to Winners’ Group.
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 the group 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 Six which begins on 9, February 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 5.