Shanghai Masters Snooker 2013 Preview
After a couple of non-ranking events, the tour continues in Asia with the Bank of Communications Shanghai Masters. This is the 7th running of this event, and it will be of no surprise that there have been six different winners thus far.
The previous winners taking part are John Higgins (2012), Marky Selby (2011), Ali Carter (2010), Ricky Walden (2008) and surprisingly Dominic Dale (2007). The only other winner is Ronnie O’Sullivan (2009), but he has decided not to take part this year. All matches are best of 9 until semis. With the semi-final best of 11 and the final best of 19. It may be worth noting that the last 2 finals have finished with final frame deciders.
With £80,000 and 7000 ranking points to the winner, the race to be seeded in the top 15 for lucrative Masters event in January is hotting up. A decent run by Ali Carter, Mark Davis, Graeme Dott or even Martin Gould will certainly put pressure on Mark Williams who currently holds the last spot ranked 15th.
Of the top 28 seeded players in the world, only Mark Williams, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Peter Ebdon are missing. This underlines the strength of player in this tournament. Six of the top 32 in the world will have to play wildcard matches against mainly local amateurs to get to the 1st round proper. This could prove to be an advantage as they will have the opportunity to get used to the match tables and conditions.
Having looked closely at the draw, there are no real clear indicators of how this is going to pan out. The fact it is 11/2 the field highlights this, with any of the top 7 in the betting you could easily make a case for. I have decided to plump for snookers self-proclaimed playboy Judd Trump. He is a big crowd player, and with the players treated like royalty here, red carpet etc, this is his type of event to get flashy. He is more than overdue a tournament win. My second selection is a rank outsider David Gilbert. He certainly has the ability to go deep, and with a couple of decent recent runs in the PTC’s he will certainly go under many radars.
Judd Trump 13/2 at Coral
David Gilbert 100/1 at Coral