Skip to content
Join
The Masters
  1. More Sports & News
  2. Snooker

The Masters: Five players to look out for

The first Triple Crown event of 2023 sees snooker's elite compete for Masters glory at the Alexandra Palace, where Ronnie O'Sullivan has his eyes set on claiming a record-extending eighth win in the event.

The Rocket is already the most-decorated player in Masters history with seven tournament wins and, despite being unable to add to his tally since 2017, is 10/3 to reign supreme again.

But, in what is a star-studded line-up featuring the best 16 players available, the competition is fierce and defending champion Neil Robertson is 4/1 to follow up this year.

Judd Trump, who won his sole Masters title in 2019, is 9/2 to lift the trophy, while three-time champion Mark Selby is a 7/1 chance.

Next in the betting is this season's form man and UK Championship hero Mark Allen, who is 12/1, while Kyren Wilson is 16/1 for a first Masters title and John Higgins is 18/1 for his third win at the event.

WhatThe Masters 2023
WhereAlexandra Palace, London
WhenSunday 8th January - Sunday 15th January 
How to watchBBC or Eurosport
OddsRonnie O’Sullivan 10/3, Neil Robertson 4/1, Judd Trump 9/2, Mark Selby 7/1, Mark Allen 12/1, Kyren Wilson 16/1, John Higgins 18/1

Ronnie hoping to keep Palace love affair going

With 21 Triple Crown titles already to his name, O'Sullivan is rightly considered the greatest snooker player of all-time and the Rocket will again be hoping for lift-off at Alexandra Palace this year.

The reigning world champion will be chasing his eighth Masters crown this month and, after quarter-final exits in each of the last two renewals, he should have the motivation required to give it his all.

The world number one gets his Masters campaign underway against recent English Open runner-up Luca Brecel and has a decent draw to work with as Mark Williams or Dave Gilbert could be lying in wait.

The 47-year-old avoids the likes of Robertson, Trump, Allen and Wilson until the final so it is understandable why many may be interested in him at 10/3.

The Rocket is a worthy favourite but he hasn't won the competition since 2017 and, being early in the calendar year, it isn't always a tournament that goes to form.

Defending champion seeking a change of fortune

Robertson was in scintillating form as he won last year's Masters title, defeating O'Sullivan and Williams before an emphatic 10-4 win over Barry Hawkins in the final.

That was only a second win in the event for Robertson, who also stole the show in 2012, but things look tough for the Aussie in his title defence.

Robbo gets his tournament underway against Shaun Murphy, who has hinted at a return to form, before a potential quarter-final clash with Kyren Wilson.

A semi-final showdown with Trump could also be on the cards, highlighting the difficulty he is tasked with given he is still awaiting a first ranking-event success of the season.

The Thunder from Down Under is supremely talented and this could be the tournament that launches his season, but quotes of 4/1 look short enough given the calibre of opposition.

Related Snooker News

The Masters Snooker: Start date, TV details, match schedule & odds

Allen out to keep Triple Crown dreams alive

Without a doubt Allen has been the player of the season so far with the rejuvenated Northern Irishman making three finals and taking two titles, including the UK Championship.

With a semi-final run and quarter-final appearance also on his card from just seven tournament outings this term, few should be writing off his chances.

The Pistol has also tasted some success in this event having claimed the title in 2018, although his last four visits have all ended in the first round.

That said, Allen appears to have a completely different mindset this year and, after winning the UK Championship in November, he should be fully focused on claiming the second of this season's Triple Crown events.

First up for Allen is a clash with Hawkins and if he comes through that test then he is likely to face Trump in the quarter-final. At odds of 12/1, there is definitely worse value to be had.

Selby wants winning run to continue

Selby finished 2022 in style as he won the final tournament of the year, the English Open, and the Jester from Leicester will be hoping to continue where he left off.

Selby had been hinting that a title triumph was around the corner with four quarter-final runs and one semi-final appearance from his first seven events of the season.

And the 39-year-old lived up to that promise when winning the English Open, where he outclassed Brecel in the final having also overcome Robertson, Murphy and Ali Carter.

A reproduction of that effort would make Selby a live contender for success at Ally Pally, where his opening opponent is stand-in Hossein Vafaei.

Vafaei defeated Selby at the UK Championship in November but expect roles to be reversed in the Masters. At 7/1, Selby should have plenty to offer, although a second-round clash with Higgins or Jack Lisowski looks thwarted with danger.

Williams may have one last hurrah

If O'Sullivan is to falter then perhaps Williams, another member of the Class of '92, could prosper.

The Welshman is a two-time Masters champion and although he hasn't won the event since 2003, there have been some encouraging signs this season.

Williams made the semi-final of the European Masters, as well as the quarter-final of the Northern Ireland and English Open, suggesting he is holding his form well.

A semi-finalist in this event last year, Williams also went on to make the final four at the World Championship in April, showing he still has plenty to offer the game despite his advancing years.

An opening-round match with an out-of-sorts Dave Gilbert looks very winnable and his likely quarter-final opponent O'Sullivan can be hit-and-miss, so he isn't discounted.

Odds of 20/1 may seriously underestimate his chances and if there is to be a surprise then Williams winning may be it.

Related Articles

bet365 uses cookies

We use cookies to deliver a better and more personalised service. For more information, see our Cookie Policy