Three Underrated Snooker Players

Written by Brett Marie
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We’re all well aware of the legends of snooker. From players like Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry, the class of 92 members Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins, and Mark Williams, to modern-day greats like Judd Trump, Mark Selby, and Neil Robertson.

There are plenty of players who continue to steal the headlines with every passing tournament.

However, beneath that elite bracket, there are players who perhaps don’t get the credit they deserve — cueists who aren’t necessarily at the forefront of the Betfair snooker betting odds Here, we’ve taken a look at three players who we feel are slightly underrated in the snooker world.

Yan Bingtao

Yes, Yan Bingtao may still only be 21 years of age, but any notion that this young player isn’t already the real deal can be thrown out the window. Having won a ranking event and the prestigious Masters at such a young age, Yan is one of the toughest competitors on the tour, playing in a way that belies his youth.

Whenever you see Yan play, commentators have a tendency to say that they ‘still haven’t figured him out’, but in many ways that is a testament to the all-around game, the Chinese talent has honed.

The one aspect of his play that perhaps needs developing further is his scoring, which is in contrast to most of the current crop of Chinese youngsters on the tour. Yan has mastered the art of suffocating opponents, and he is a very difficult character to read around the table, keeping his emotions in check at all times.

With the decline of Ding Junhui over the last couple of years, Yan is undoubtedly China’s best player at the moment, even if many don’t always view him as a tournament favourite in the snooker betting predictions.

Stuart Bingham

At the other end of the age, spectrum is Stuart Bingham, a player who is now 45 years of age but still has plenty left to give. Although he hasn’t won a tournament since the 2020 Masters, there is always a sense that Bingham is the kind of player who, if he gets on a roll, can do serious damage.

A total of six ranking titles is an impressive haul when you consider the talent that Bingham has been up against for the duration of his career. He has always been fighting against the likes of O’Sullivan, Higgins, Trump, and Selby for the biggest titles, making that modern collection of trophies more significant.

Indeed, Bingham is one UK Championship title away from completing a career Triple Crown, having already added the World Championship and Masters to his CV. Given how consistent a scorer he is, you wouldn’t rule him out of winning the UK before his career is out.

Barry Hawkins

In a similar bracket to Bingham is Barry Hawkins, a player who doesn’t boast as many titles, but has plenty of talent and a number of close-run things in the biggest tournaments. Hawkins has won three ranking events in all, and is renowned as one of the best Crucible performers in recent memory, consistently making it to the one-table set up in the mid-2010s.

Having lost in the final of both the World Championship and the Masters, both to Ronnie O’Sullivan in 2013 and 2016 respectively, Hawkins might count himself unlucky not to have landed a really big win, but those on the tour know just how good he is when at his best.

Blessed with an elegant cue-action and a mastery of all aspects of the game, Hawkins’ only weakness is his inability to assert his dominance on occasion. He featured in three semi-finals last season and frankly should have won them all, losing close matches to Trump in the German Masters last four, and to O’Sullivan in the semi-finals of both the Players Championship and Tour Championship.

 

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Read 304 times Last modified on Wednesday, 01 December 2021 09:38
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Brett Marie

Brett Marie

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