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2019 Masters

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  • 2019 Masters

    Draw held at UK Championships 9th December 2018

    sd2 Mark Williams vs sd9 Neil Robertson
    sd4 Ronnie O’Sullivan vs sd12 Stuart Bingham
    sd3 Mark Selby vs sd14 Stephen Maguire
    sd7 Barry Hawkins vs sd11 Shaun Murphy
    sd5 John Higgins vs sd13 Ryan Day
    sd8 Ding Junhui vs sd16 Jack Lisowksi
    sd1 Mark Allen vs sd15 Luca Brecel
    sd6 Judd Trump vs sd10 Kyren Wilson
    Last edited by DeanH; 9th December 2018, 02:18 PM.
    Up the TSF!

  • #2
    Thats nice. The draw of the second triple crown event. I like the way the draws were held too.
    Looking for perfection is the only way to motivate yourself.


    • #3
      I like this draw - I'm always at this tournament as a week-10 days' holiday, so nice to have a couple of sessions I don;t care about(Williams-Robertson and Selby-Maguire) to go into London and do other things! Should make sure we get some exciting players in the final too - don't want Ding and Hawkins for example.


      • #4
        Only two more sleeps before coverage starts
        "Kryten, isn't it round about this time of year that your head goes back to the lab for retuning?"


        • #5
          Yes, can’t wait for the action.
          Looking for perfection is the only way to motivate yourself.


          • #6
            I'll be up again to watch some of the quarters and semi's this year. Great atmosphere and venue so always enjoy it.

            Even outside the arena you can grab a bit to eat, have a couple of shandy's and a few snooker related stalls to occupy you between matches.

            Well worth a visit if you haven't bee before.
            Snooker Crazy - Cues and Equipment Sales Website
            Snooker Crazy - Facebook Page
            Snooker Crazy - You Tube Channel


            • #7
              I think by as the crow flies, this event is the closest to me but I have never been and I don't think I will any time soon - get there and back would be a faff and - generally - I am not a fan of being in London

              Instead I will be curled up snug on the sofa watching it in wonderful techicolour
              Up the TSF!


              • #8
                Originally posted by fkhan View Post
                Thats nice. The draw of the second triple crown event. I like the way the draws were held too.
                Although its a bit annoying the way John Parrot always says 'sorry to whoever I pull out next' or something to that effect, when drawing ROS vs anyone.

                Its the Masters, there are no easy draws!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DeanH View Post
                  I think by as the crow flies, this event is the closest to me but I have never been and I don't think I will any time soon - get there and back would be a faff and - generally - I am not a fan of being in London

                  Instead I will be curled up snug on the sofa watching it in wonderful techicolour
                  I've been there for the Mosconi Cup and for the World Darts, great venue, but a complete pain to get to!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by vjmehra View Post
                    Although its a bit annoying the way John Parrot always says 'sorry to whoever I pull out next' or something to that effect, when drawing ROS vs anyone.

                    Its the Masters, there are no easy draws!
                    Bang on VJ, n + if you draw ROS and win are at least truly a "Masters" winner. 😉
                    No cheap shots...well maybe the odd one if its funny...


                    • #11
                      Whoever wins, we are guaranteed a tough competition.
                      Looking for perfection is the only way to motivate yourself.


                      • #12
                        here are the TV schedules
                        As usual the "Snooker loving channel" themselves, the BBC, is not showing any evening matches live until the end of the week; there is no listing for the Red Button channel (Sky981) but I would think those matches will be on the RB live; but you have to be a night owl to watch it on the BBC channels
                        Eurosport seems to give the event some credence and is showing every match on the TV and not enhancing their hours of coverage with only ES Player hours!
                        ES Player is not shown but I am sure it is on the player as well for those that do so

                        Schedule of Matches
                        Sunday 13th
                        1 13:00 Mark Allen v Luca Brecel
                        3 19:00 John Higgins v Ryan Day
                        Monday 14th
                        4 13:00 Ronnie O'Sullivan v Stuart Bingham
                        2 19:00 Ding Junhui v Jack Lisowski
                        Tuesday 15th
                        8 13:00 Mark Williams v Neil Robertson
                        7 19:00 Barry Hawkins v Shaun Murphy
                        Wednesday 16th
                        6 13:00 Judd Trump v Kyren Wilson
                        5 19:00 Mark Selby v Stephen Maguire
                        Thursday 17th QFs
                        10 13:00 Winner of Match 3 v Winner of Match 4
                        9 19:00 Winner of Match 1 v Winner of Match 2
                        Friday 18th QFs
                        11 13:00 Winner of Match 5 v Winner of Match 6
                        12 19:00 Winner of Match 7 v Winner of Match 8
                        Saturday 19th Semi-Finals
                        13 13:00 Winner of Match 9 v Winner of Match 10
                        14 19:00 Winner of Match 11 v Winner of Match 12
                        Sunday 20th Final
                        15 13:00 Winner of Match 13 v Winner of Match 14
                        15 19:00 Winner of Match 13 v Winner of Match 14
                        Up the TSF!


                        • #13
                          Okay, the Masters is almost upon us...

                          I think this is one tournament that almost never disappoints. It has matches of medium length, everything televised, an no real outsiders that are just making up the numbers. In fact, I don't think there are any real anomalies this year in terms of the rankings, so the 16 players who have made it here are pretty close to actually being the 16 best players in the world at this point in time. Let's have a look at the draw...

                          Quarter 1:

                          Mark Allen v. Luca Brecel
                          Ding Junhui v. Jack Lisowski

                          I guess if there is a weak link in this year's tournament, it has to be Luca Brecel, as he is here mostly due to the big points he earned in the first half of last season. Unless I've forgotten something, he hasn't actually featured at the business end of any ranking event, minor or major, in more than a year, which is a shocking statistic for a top16 player, especially someone who is supposed to be on their way up. Drawing the defending champion in the opening round here certainly doesn't help either. Mark Allen has been the complete opposite of Brecel, definitely playing the best snooker of his career over the last year or so. In the last four tournaments alone he's managed to win two titles and reach another final, and those tournaments included two of the biggest events on the calendar. He has scored really heavily in this period, and his play under pressure has been very strong as well. Whatever happens in the next couple of months, Allen will be going to the Crucible as the reigning champion of at least two events, which will surely make him one of the main contenders for the World title this year. These two met in the 1st round of the Masters last year as well, with Allen winning 6-3 on that occasion, and I can't really see this one going much differently.

                          There are a lot of similarities in the way Brecel and Jack Lisowski play the game. Both are very attacking players who are occasionally able to produce short bursts of one-visit scoring, but both also struggle to make rational decisions on the table, which has prevented them from rising further up the rankings and becoming serious contenders for titles. There is one major difference though. While Brecel has been struggling lately, Lisowski has finally found some much-needed consistency, and actually managed to get to at least the QF of half of the events he's played in this season, which is something almost no one would have been expecting. He is still doing stupid things that cost him frames from time to time, but definitely not as often as he used to. He is the only Masters debutant this year, and he probably couldn't have wished for a more favourable draw. Is he the favourite to beat Ding Junhui? Well, he is the lower seed, but he has definitely had the much better results this season. Ding has actually only played in about half of the events this season, and even then he hasn't really had any decent runs in events that carried ranking points. His only good result was the SF of the Shanghai Masters, but he only needed to win two matches to get there, so it's not really all that impressive. For some reason Ding just doesn't seem to be particularly interested in snooker at the moment, mostly looking bored and jaded whenever we see him on TV. But then again, his class has never been in question, and there is no doubt he could easily get through this quarter if he found a bit of form, especially with his good record against Allen over the years.

                          My prediction is for Allen to play Lisowski in the QF though, and here it's Lisowski who surprisingly has the better record, including a 5-1 victory in the World Open earlier this season. I'm still going for Allen though.

                          Quarter 2:

                          John Higgins v. Ryan Day
                          Ronnie O'Sullivan v. Stuart Bingham

                          John Higgins has not always been the most reliable when it comes to the Masters. He has won it on a couple of occasions, but he's also lost in the 1st round in 12 of his 24 previous appearances, even though he was the higher seed in the vast majority of cases. This season he got to the final of the China Championship and came within a couple of balls of winning it, but apart from that he has kind of struggled to put any results together, so I don't particularly like his chances here. Ryan Day has been a little more consistent, with four ranking quarter-finals in the short format in recent times, but he has done very little in the really big events. He lost 6-1 to Higgins here last year, then beat him 6-5 in the Shanghai Masters this season, so this one could go either way.

                          Ronnie O'Sullivan has traditionally been very strong in the Masters, with very few 1st round exits over the years, and even when he has lost it was always against very strong opponents. He hasn't played a lot of snooker at all this season, but he has still managed to win the UK title and two invitational events, with a couple of strong runs in the minor events on top of that. The decision to play in fewer events seems to be working out for him nicely, because he looks to be up for it most of the time these days, and he is still winning as many titles as in some of his best years, despite playing less. Stuart Bingham could be a tricky 1st round opponent for O'Sullivan here. He doesn't have a good record at the Masters himself, but he is of course the reigning English Open champion and a semi-finalist in the UK Championship last month. He always seems willing to take O'Sullivan on at his own type of game, open and high scoring, and while he loses more often than not, he has proved to be capable of beating him when he finds his very best form.

                          I guess a Higgins-O'Sullivan pairing is the most realistic prospect for the QF here. In the past that would have excited me greatly, but at the moment Higgins is not really at the top of his game, so I would make O'Sullivan a comfortable favourite. You never know though, Higgins comfortably has the better record in the big events over the past 12 years or so, so playing O'Sullivan clearly doesn't present any great mental obstacle for him. I still think current form is in O'Sullivan's favour though.

                          Quarter 3:

                          Mark Selby v. Stephen Maguire
                          Judd Trump v. Kyren Wilson

                          The strongest quarter of the draw for me. Mark Selby has won the Masters three times in his career, but in recent years he has kind of struggled in this event. I don't think many people have him right at the top of their list of favourites this year, but he is probably not too far down either. After all, he comes here as the reigning China Open and China Championship champion, two events with big prize money that are always tough to win, and he is still comfortably at the top of the world rankings. I'm sure he will want to redeem himself after going out in the 1st round of the UK Championship against an amateur opponent. Stephen Maguire is retuning to the Masters for the first time in three years, just getting into the top16 again, helped by a run to the QF of the UK Championship, as well as a couple of semi-finals in the minor ranking events this season. Tough prospect for him against Selby here, but the head-to-head between them is fairly even.

                          Judd Trump has been playing well for most of the season, but his only real reward is a minor ranking title in Northern Ireland, and a couple of decent runs in the big events. Reasonable season for a top16 player, perhaps even a top8 player, but I'm sure Trump is looking for more in the really big events, and this just might be his chance. Unfortunately for him, Kyren Wilson is one of the toughest opponents he could have possibly drawn in the 1st round, especially considering their previous meetings. Trump was of course the opponent Wilson beat in the final of the Shanghai Masters a few years ago to win his only notable title to date, then beat him again in the SF of the Masters a year ago from 5-2 down, and twice already this season in the Shanghai Masters and the Champion of Champions. I guess Wilson is another player who will be looking to win the big titles in the near future. He won the Paul Hunter Classic earlier in the season, but that is just not enough for him at this point in his career, at least it shouldn't be. I'm really looking forward to this match, it should be one of the higlights of the 1st round here.

                          It's tough to predict anything beyond that, because all four players could realistically get to the QF and beyond here. I guess Selby against Trump would be interesting to see, since they don't meet very often in the big events, in spite of their ranking and status in the game. On the other hand, Selby and Wilson have met in three big matches recently, and Selby has won them all. Definitely the toughest quarter to call, but recent history has taught me to just go with Selby when in doubt.

                          Quarter 4:

                          Barry Hawkins v. Shaun Murphy
                          Mark Williams v. Neil Robertson

                          It's nice to see Barry Hawkins enjoying a much better first half of the season than he did last year, although it's still nothing special for a top8 player. In fact, we have to go back almost two years to find his most recent title, so it's probably fair to say he isn't one of the tournament favourites this week. The same could be said of Shaun Murphy, who had actually had a pretty dreadful season before redeeming himself with a strong performance in the Scottish Open, where he narrowly lost in the final. I find Murphy to be fairly unpredictable in recent years, playing underwhelming snooker most of the time, then coming up with an occasional brilliant performance from nowhere. He certainly played brilliantly when he won this title in 2015, but he hasn't really reached anything close to that kind of form in recent years. Should be a close match.

                          As should the other one in this quarter. Mark Williams hasn't made the final weekend in the Masters in nine years, and has actually only reached the SF four times in his entire career, which surprises me somewhat. But then again, it just shows how inconsistent he has been in the second half of his career, with several prolonged periods of mediocre results. This time he comes to the event as the reigning World champion, with a major ranking title already to his name this season. There is no doubt he is playing less consistently than he was last season though, probably struggling to find the same kind of motivation after his huge success. That said, he did play pretty well in the UK Championship, and it was only a ridiculous performance from Maguire that stopped him going further. Neil Robertson is back at the Masters after missing out last year, looking more like his old self again. He has only won a minor title in Riga this season, but he has also managed to bring down the number of early exits, and he could have done even better had he avoided an in-form Allen on a couple of occasions. I think this is another match that could go either way and I very much look forward to watching it.

                          There is lots of history between the players in this quarter, so the QF match should be interesting whoever comes through. Murphy and Robertson have actually played each other in the Masters final on two occasions, while Hawkins has played Robertson in major matches in the World Championship and the China Open in the recent past, and of course he lost a close SF against Williams at the Crucible only last year. This one is tough to call, but my gut feeling says that Robertson could be the one who gets through.

                          Possible SF line-up:

                          Mark Allen v. Ronnie O'Sullivan
                          Mark Selby v. Neil Robertson

                          It should be a great week whatever happens. I am very much looking forward to tomorrow.


                          • #14
                            Great write up!
                            Looking for perfection is the only way to motivate yourself.


                            • #15
                              cracking write up again Odrl

                              here we go....

                              breathe, breathe!
                              Up the TSF!