The Masters is one of the biggest events on the snooker calendar and with the 16 best players in the world lining up in the second oldest tournament in the game it promises to be a cracker. Taking place at Alexandra Palace in north London, and with the winner taking home £200,000 in prize money, competition will be fierce and the standard of snooker should be exceptional.
Ronnie O’Sullivan is the defending champion and the Rocket will be looking to add a sixth Masters crown to his locker and join Stephen Hendry as the event’s most successful player. It’s a great way to start the year and with so many top players bang in form we’re expecting lots of centuries and plenty of enthralling action.
As said, Ronnie is the defending champion and he also won the UK Championship last December and so many will feel he is the man to beat, not least because this is a tournament in which he clearly thrives. As ever, if Ronnie produces his best snooker he will win – it really is that simple – and all of the rest will have to hope the genius of the baize has an off day or two and, equally, that they are able to find their own A-game.
One man who has shown signs of doing that in the past few months is Judd Trump, viewed by many as the heir to Ronnie’s thrown, at least in the entertainment and natural talent stakes. Trump staged a brilliant fight-back against O’Sullivan in the final of the UK Championship before eventually losing 10-9, and given the pair also contested the final of the Champion of Champions event, many will be hoping for more of the same here.
If you fancy a bet on the Masters then Betfred have a very worthwhile promotion that will reward you each time your player makes a century during the tournament. Just place a £10 bet on the outright winner market of the Masters – £5 each way also qualifies – and you’ll then earn a £2 free bet for every ton your man knocks in.
Qualifying bets must be placed by 1pm on the 11th January, in-play bets don’t count and every break of 100 or more will get you a £2 freebie, the free bets being added within 24 hours of the qualifying break. Note that these tokens are stake not returned.
In terms of what to bet on, unoriginal as it may be, it simply has to be Ronnie. The Rocket is the clear favourite at odds of 7/4 but that still looks like decent value and Ronnie is also one of the most prolific compliers of centuries ever. At longer odds (6/1) Neil Robertson may be worth a punt, especially as he is another who rattles in the big breaks, but in truth we can’t see past the favourite here.