Alexandra Palace hosts annual invitational tournament for top baize potters, with Ronnie O'Sullivan returning to action at the Masters Snooker 2016.
Snooker’s sweet 16 are all set for the most prestigious non-ranking tournament of the season, as Alexandra Palace prepares to host the Masters between January 10 and 17.
Reigning champion Shaun Murphy, who is an 8/1 shot with Sky Bet to retain the title, begins his defence of the Masters crown in the afternoon session against Champion of Champions finalist Mark Allen.
World Championship winner Stuart Bingham will also take to the baize on the opening Sunday, as he takes on Ding Junhui.
Judd Trump, who holds a best price of 6/1 with Betfair in the outright betting, meets Stephen Maguire on Monday with Barry Hawkins battling Joe Perry the same day.
Tuesday, January 12 marks Ronnie O’Sullivan’s first major outing since bowing out of the World Championship, and this genius with a cue in his hand faces old adversary Mark Williams in round one. The rested Rocket has top odds of 4/1 with 888Sport to be Masters champion again.
World number one Mark Selby, meanwhile, takes on Ricky Walden, while the final opening encounters taking place on the Wednesday. John Higgins meets UK Championship runner-up Liang Wenbo, while his conqueror Neil Robertson (a best-price 5/1 with Coral to add the Masters to that success) faces Marco Fu.
Each of these first round fixtures, plus the quarters and semi-finals, are all best off 11 frames affairs, with the final taking place over two sessions on Sunday, January 17.
Masters Snooker 2016 first round draw (best of 11 frames)
Shaun Murphy (1) v Mark Allen (11), January 10, 1pm
Stuart Bingham (2) v Ding Junhui (9), January 10, 7pm
Judd Trump (5) v Stephen Maguire (16), January 11, 1pm
Barry Hawkins (8) v Joe Perry (10), January 11, 7pm
Ronnie O’Sullivan (6) v Mark Williams (13), January 12, 1pm
Mark Selby (3) v Ricky Walden (12), January 12, 7pm
John Higgins (7) v Liang Wenbo (15), January 13, 1pm
Neil Robertson (4) v Marco Fu (14), January 13, 7pm
Masters Snooker 2016 quarter-finals draw (best of 11 frames)
Shaun Murphy or Mark Allen v Barry Hawkins or Joe Perry
Judd Trump or Stephen Maguire v Neil Robertson or Marco Fu
Mark Selby or Ricky Walden v Ronnie O’Sullivan or Mark Williams
John Higgins or Liang Wenbo v Stuart Bingham or Ding Junhui
Games to be played on January 14 and 15
Masters Snooker 2016 semi-finals (best of 11 frames)
Murphy/Allen/Hawkins/Perry v Trump/Maguire/Robertson/Fu
Selby/Walden/O’Sullivan/Williams v Higgins/Wenbo/Bingham/Junhui
Games to be played on January 16
Masters Snooker 2016 final (best of 19 frames)
To be played across two sessions on January 17