The opening Sunday in Alexandra Palace saw both the defending Champion and the World Champion in action, with very different fates. Shaun Murphy lost by 6-4 to Mark Allen in an excellent opening match that saw three centuries. Shaun Murphy lost a frame by failing to hit a red three times when he wasn’t snookered. This is a rare incident and the it was first time it happened at the Masters. Stuart Bingham won by 6-4 over Ding Junhui in what was overall a very poor match, even if Stuart made a 120, agonisingly missing the yellow en route to a maximum.
You can browse through my photos here on Facebook.
And you can listen to the players postmatch interviews on my soundcloud channel
As usual cuetracker.net provides all the scores and details about the matches.
Ronnie was in the house yesterday evening to practice.
Finally there was a strange article in the Daily Mail. The current version says next to nothing but some of you may have seen the previous one that claimed that Ronnie may fail to qualify for the World Championship and suggested that, if this were the case, he could get a wildcard. This is completely nonsensical. First of all there is no way Ronnie could be out of the top 16 come April with his 2014 World Final and 2014 UK Championship win still counting. Next, should that be the case in the future, he won’t get a wildcard: he would have to qualify like anybody else. I can tell you that the journalists in the media room yesterday weren’t happy as publishing such inaccurate information is truly unprofessional and reflects badly on their trade. Some of them do actually work for the Daily Mail and got it promptly amended.