The Dafabet Masters, generally just referred to as The Masters, is the second-leg of Snooker’s Triple Crown, which also features the UK Championship and the World Championship. This season, The Masters takes place between 14-21 January at the Alexandra Palace, it’s home since 2012.
Only the World Championship has been on the snooker calendar longer than The Masters, which was first played in 1975. The event is an invitational, with only the top-16 available players invited to compete. It therefore carries no World Ranking Points.
It’s no surprise that reigning Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan is favourite to win the event for a record eighth time, especially after he won this season’s UK Championship. That means the Triple Crown is on for snooker’s best-ever player and, as he’s yet to achieve it in the same season, he will surely be motivated to try and join the elite club of Steve Davies, Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams.
However, 10 players have won all three Triple Crown Events, with John Higgins, Alex Higgins, Mark Selby, Terry Griffiths, Neil Robertson and Sean Murphy completing the list.
Past winners of the Masters competing this year are Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby, Mark Williams, Ding Junhui, Neil Robertson and Sean Murphy.
2018 Dafabet Masters Betting Guide:
Ronnie O’Sullivan 13/5, Mark Selby 5/1, Judd Trump 13/2, John Higgins 9/1, Shaun Murphy 14/1, Ding Junhui 14/1, Mark Williams 33/1
2018 Dafabet Masters Draw
Round 1 (Best of 11 frames)
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Marco Fu
Mark Allen v Luca Brecel
John Higgins v Anthony McGill
Ding Junhui v Ryan Day
Judd Trump v Liang Wenbo
Shaun Murphy v Ali Carter
Barry Hawkins v Kyren Wilson
Mark Selby v Mark Williams
Round 2 – Winners Of (Best of 11 frames)
Match 1 vs Match 2
Match 3 vs Match 4
Match 5 vs Match 6
Match 7 vs Match 8
Semi-Finals – Winners Of (Best of 11 Frames)
Match 1 or 2 vs Match 3 or 4
Match 5 or 6 vs Match 7 or 8
Final (Best of 19 frames)
It’s hard to argue with the bookies assessment of the market, with 7-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan a best-priced 13/5. Those wins have come over 23-years, but he’s won 3 of the last 4 Dafabet Masters, and 7 of the last 17 Triple Crown Events. If you want a saver, then it probably should be Selby, who has won 2 of the last 8 Dafabet Masters, and 6 of the last 16 Triple Crown Events, making him look a value-bet at 5/1.