While the International Championship qualifiers come to a conclusion today, the hot topic on Thursday has surrounded the unusual betting patterns that embroiled Irishman John Sutton’s encounter with Jamie Burnett yesterday.
The sport of snooker has for a long time been plagued by match fixing and allegations of the sort.
Some of these cases, most notably Stephen Lee in recent times, have resulted in lengthy bans; others have come and gone without little or any ramifications.
Prior to Sutton and Burnett’s clash, governing body World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association had been warned about unusual betting patterns surrounding the outcome.
The match ended 6-0 in favour of Scotsman Burnett.
Sutton, an amateur who was invited to play in the pro event because of his strong performances in May’s Q-School, has been a frequent contributor on this site in the past – on his experiences on the Irish circuit in particular.
The TerryRogers Snooker Club player admitted that the previous day had been “tough“.
He added, “All I can tell you is that I am a snooker player who has always and will always try my best to win every match and I have completely cooperated with WPBSA on this matter and snooker means the world to me.”
Earlier in the day, the WPBSA released this statement:
“Yesterday, the WPBSA Integrity Unit received an early warning notification from partners in the betting industry of unusual betting on the match between Jamie Burnett and John Sutton at the International Championships Qualifiers in Barnsley. The match took place last night resulting in a 6-0 win for Jamie Burnett.
“The WPBSA Integrity Unit undertook specific measures both to monitor the match live and to examine the circumstances surrounding the match and player. Together with the Sports Betting Intelligence Unit at the Gambling Commission we are analysing the available information on this match to determine what action is appropriate.
“With their partners the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), the WPBSA Integrity Unit have information sharing agreements with the betting industry and closely monitor worldwide betting on all competitive snooker.
“The WPBSA Integrity Unit operates with complete autonomy from the WPBSA Board and World Snooker Limited. The Unit is always made aware of any unusual betting on snooker matches and will take appropriate action in every case.”
Sutton said that his focus now turns to the Bulgarian Open next week, in which fellow Irish amateurs Josh Boileau and TJ Dowling are also competing in.