The 2022 Masters is already upon us.
After recently witnessing and enduring three weeks of great darts action at the 2021/2022 World Championships, the snooker is now underway.
This is the 48th Masters tournament which was first held in 1975, with John Spencer from England defeating Ray Reardon of Wales 9-8 to win the first ever Masters event.
The week-long event, which kicked off on January 9 and ends on January 16, features 16 of the world’s best at snooker, and those taking part are invited based on the world ranking they held after the UK Championships.
Some players spoke out about what they thought was a poor choice for a cut-off date. One of these players was Belgian-born Luca Brecel, who, despite winning the 2021 Scottish Open, did not qualify.
Another world famous player in Ding Junhui, who had made an appearance at the Masters on 15 consecutive occasions between 2007 and 2021, fell out of the top 16 after the UK Championship, and therefore did not qualify.
The only debutant at this year’s Masters is Zhao Xintong, who broke into the top 16 by winning the UK Championship, sweeping aside Brecel in the final.
With his appearance at this year’s Masters, John Higgins has set a new record of 28 appearances, surpassing both Jimmy White and Steve Davis, with both snooker legends registering 27 appearances at the event.
The defending champion, Yan Bingtao, who won the 2021 Masters, has already been eliminated as he suffered a 6-4 defeat to veteran Mark Williams, falling at the first hurdle.
Where is the 2022 Masters snooker being played?
The non-ranking event is taking place at the Alexandra Palace in London, with a total prize fund of £725,000 to be shared, whilst the winner pockets £250,00. The final will be held on January 16.
Last year, in order to comply with Covid-19 regulations, the tournament took place at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
You can watch the Masters on BBC and Eurosport.
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.