AIPL Singles Semi-Finals Preview

15 April 2017 14:15:00 Posted By Luton
Last Updated: 15 April 2017 14:25:00

There is a running joke in our pool league and that is that when the AIPL Singles rounds are drawn and Larry Baker and Keith Jones are both still the competition, then they would be drawn to face each other.

But that theory doesn't hold for the semi-finals, when before this year, they had been drawn apart on two of the three occasions they'd both reached that stage in the last seven years.

And this year made it three from four as Keith was drawn against 2013-2014 semi-finalist Adam Jackow whilst Larry will play this year's Premier Most Wins champion Luke Butler.

Keith Jones vs Adam Jackow

The first semi-final sees current 8-time defending champion Keith take on last year's Quarter-Finalist and 2014 Semi-Finalist Adam.

Keith and Adam have had a very similar path to the Semi Finals, with both players playing at White Swan, New Zealand and Shootpool, albeit in different rounds. And with both Semi Finals taking place at Shootpool this year, both players have had enough practise at the venue this season. Adam got through a tough Quarter-Final at Shootpool in the last round, winning 4-3 against Paul Kanchanlall, whereas Keith was there in the round before, where he dispatched of both Daniel Wilkins and Shelley McDermott in the same night.

Both players have great records at Shootpool over the years. Since the venue opened, Adam has the second highest number of wins, with a staggering 239 wins, at a rate of 63%. Keith on the other hand, has played a lot less, but has a phenomenal 83% win ratio in the 66 matches he has played at Shootpool.

This season, the two players have had contrasting seasons. Keith won 22 of his 24 games in the league, at a win ratio of 91.67%, by far the best percentage in the top 50. Adam, however, has had better seasons, winning 13 matches and losing 14, with a win ratio of 48.15%

The two players are a lot closer on career form. Going back to when data began for this site, Keith has won 325 matches with a win ratio of 82.28%, with Adam only a few wins behind on 319, but with a win percentage of 60.42%

The two players have somehow never faced each other in any pool match, be it league, cup or individual competition. The only time the two have faced off is in a Penalty Shootout Competition, which Keith took 4-3.

The players respective teams have done battle many a time though, however, with Keith's New Zealand "B" winning 8 times, and Adam's SP Blacks winning once, with 3 draws.

Clearly the advantage on paper in this match-up lies with the multiple-time champion, but if Adam can get off to a confident start, on a familiar table, an upset could well be on the cards.

Route to the Semi-Final

KEITH JONES

Round 1 Group 8 at White Swan

Semi Final beat Derek Aughton (The Rivets) 3-0

Final beat Elliot Riley (Shootpool Blues) 3-0

Round 2 Group 7 at Shootpool

Semi Final beat Shelley McDermott (Shoot 8-Ball) 3-0

Final beat Daniel Wilkins (SP Blacks) 3-2

Quarter-Finals at New Zealand

Beat Julian Lefevre (New Zealand "B") 4-1

ADAM JACKOW

Round 1 Group 8 at White Swan

Semi Final beat Stuart Ladyman (The Roths) 3-0

Final beat Doug MacDonald (The Yeoman) 3-0

Round 2 Group 2 at New Zealand

Final beat Vince King (Shootpool Snipers) 3-1

Quarter-Finals at Shootpool

Beat Paul Kanchanlall (New Zealand "B") 4-3

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Luke Butler vs Larry Baker

The second Semi-Final sees a mouth-watering tie between the top two players in the AIPL Premier this year, Luke Butler of Swanky taking on Larry Baker of New Zealand "B".

On paper, this match will be very close. Looking at the two players' AIPL records over history, Larry holds a very minimal edge on win ratio. Larry has an AIPL win ratio of 73.18%, compared to Luke's 71.43%. Overall, based on website data, Luke has a ratio of 73.02%, which is just higher than Larry's 72.73%.

This season alone has been a great year for both players, as the two of them were the top two players in the Premier Most Wins table. Luke topped the entire division, winning 31 matches and only losing 5, giving him a win percentage of 86.11%. Larry was only narrowly behind, winning 28 and losing 7, at a ratio of 80%. The two players haven't played since last season, so this will be an exciting encounter after two very good seasons.

With the match being played at Shootpool, it is important to look at the two players record at the venue. Larry has played a lot more matches at Shootpool than Luke, 143 compared to only 37, but the win ratios gives the favour to Luke, as his win percentage is 75.68%, whereas Larry only has a 69.23% ratio at Shootpool.

The head to head record between the two players actually gives the slight advantage to Luke, as he has won 2 out of the 3 matches that he has played against Larry to date. All three matches have been single-frame matches, and all have been played at Vic Club, in the AIPL Premier, and the pair haven't played each other in any multi-frame singles competitions so far.

Route to the Semi-Final

LUKE BUTLER

Round 1 Group 3 at The Bricklayers Arms

Semi Final beat Dan McIntyre (Swanky) 3-1

Final beat David Gray (Swanky) 3-0

Round 2 Group 1 at Shootpool

Semi Final beat Ian Dover (Shoot 8-Ball) 3-1

Final beat Andy Mepham (Shootpool) 3-2

Quarter-Finals at New Zealand

Beat Peter Ward (SP Blacks) 4-0

LARRY BAKER

Round 1 Group 14 at Weavers

Semi Final beat Nigel Playford (Aristocrat) 3-0

Final beat Ryan May (Shootpool Blues) 3-0

Round 2 Group 3 at John F Kennedy

Semi Final beat Danny Lee (SP Blacks) 3-2

Final beat Mark Game (Shoot 8-Ball) 3-1

Quarter-Finals at White Swan

Beat Martin Langley (New Zealand "B") 4-2

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Lastly, just a reminder to all that at the last AIPL AGM, it was voted to increase the number of frames in the semi-finals to best of 9 (first to 5), and also to increase the amount of frames in the final too, to best of 11 (first to 6).

Good luck to all four players on Wednesday, and hope to see lots of support and neutrals out to spectate.