The boys are back on the baize in 2022 as we head to the iconic Alexandra Palace for the first silverware of the year.
And what a prize it is.
The Masters is one of the signature tournaments on the World Snooker Tour making up a third of the ‘Triple Crown’ and with a stacked field of talent, 2022’s event should be electric.
We’ve got a trio of tips for the first round action getting underway on Sunday:
Jack Lisowski +2.5 handicap v Ronnie O’Sullivan at 4/5 with bet365
Jack Lisowski is one of the more exciting players on tour, oozing in natural talent if not bagging the big career-defining wins as of yet.
The 30-year-old is a serial finalist on tour but finds himself the bridesmaid on too many occasions.
He’s been handed a nightmare draw in the opening round, taking on seven-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan, but we reckon Lisowski can push the “Rocket” close.
O’Sullivan can blow hot and cold in the opening rounds and if he’s not at the races this early into the new year then the youngster can pounce.
We’re going with Lisowski +2.5 here in what could be a tight one.
Yan Bingtao to beat Mark Williams at 4/6 with Paddy Power
Yan Bingtao lit up the Marshall Arena last year scooping his maiden crown on tour in real style.
He won the 2021 Masters the hard way, coming from behind twice in the final to beat John Higgins after a memorable tournament.
The defending champion has the tough and resilient Mark Williams in the opening round but after a solid year on tour – reaching two semi-finals and two quarter-finals – we’re expecting the Chinese player to advance.
Apart from winning the British Open, Williams has suffered early exits in a few tournaments.
Judd Trump v Mark Allen to go to the deciding frame at 3/1 with bet365
On his day, Mark Allen is good enough to mix it with the best on the tour.
The Northern Irishman is a terrific break-builder and consistent long-potter and won’t be phased by the challenge of Judd Trump.
Both men have a Masters title to their name – coming in successive years between 2018-2019 – but Allen leads the head-to-head 15-12.
Instead of picking a winner, we fancy this one to go down to the wire at a good price of 3/1 with bet365.