The Masters - Day 1

21:01:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Rob Walker is introducing the boy to the baize :-)
First day and the first surprises were on the house (meaning the Wembley house :-P) as both of the favorite players lost in a very incredible way. Not that they were defeated by "no-names" because you can’t speak about no names at the Masters, but as always from certain players the public and mostly the bookies expect more :-P. But let’s leave these details and let’s get on to real business, shall we?

Before the opening match BBC 2 presented Masters` best moments from that crazy year of 1975 when the "madness" started until our days. Such a great short documentary to watch...makes you feel proud of the boys achievements over the years :-) And of course, because the first match was the one between the defending champion, Mark Selby and Mark King, a short, yet very interesting film was presented also by the BBC 2 channel so we could remember Selby’s greatest moments here, at Wembley arena.
In the commentary box both Ken Doherty and Dennis Taylor were ready to "chew" the first match of the Masters as the most cool referee in the world was entering the arena and made sure everything was set up for the Marks clash. Of course, I’m talking about Eirian Williams :-)

King: "This might look like a winner..."
Selby takes the first two frames, the first one with a 70 break and the second one with a 32 clearance and seems ready to defend his crown. But just like that, "out of the blue" as Americans say, Mark King fights back and hits a marvelous 139 break to win his first frame of the match. What followed was mainly a very tight and kind of scrappy battle with too many misses and too many odd shots, both players struggling to build nice and steady breaks. Still, in the end, King was the one who succeeded in winning not one, not two, but three frames, this putting him in the lead with a 4-2 scoreline.
"The Jester from Leicester" hits a wonderful 106 to prove that he is still there, still fighting, despite the fact that he has had a really ugly haircut :-P so things got level up at 4-4. Still, with a series of 44 and 79 “King Mark” took one step closer to the total victory. The score was now 5-4 and Selby had to urge another frame winning opportunity his way.

Bad haircut...bad day for Selby :-(
The tenth frame started good enough but the boys succeeded in moving those balls in such way that it could have taken an hour to pot them all, so King asked for a re-rack that Selby agreed on and...well, that was the moment when everything changed for after a short break King was... the King of the arena as he hit in breaks of 50 and 77 to book himself a place into the quarter-finals.
That was it for Selby who seemed gutted in his chair, but I must admit King’s way of playing the game was a more confident one and a better one, in the end. I blame Selby’s bad haircut for his lost...I mean look at King, no hair and he goes on winning the match! :-)) Kidding, both players are very good at what they do, but unfortunately for Selby yesterday wasn’t his day.

Ebbo is potting his way through the victory
Next was the battle between Ali Carter and Peter Ebdon, battle that took forever (almost 5 hours!), but that’s only normal when Ebbo is playing, as we all know :-)) It wasn’t the best match ever, as both players were struggling but we’ve seen some really good pots along the way. In charge of commentating were Willie Thorne and John Virgo as for the referee… the beautiful Michaela Tabb was going to be the boss of the arena :-)
Ali made a pretty unlucky start and Peter took full advantage of that so after two frames he was leading 2-0, a break of 76 making its way through the game :-P Ali seemed very annoyed by the situation so he rushed in with a beautiful 83 break to win his first frame of the evening, but Peter redone the gap as he won the next frame in line with an 88 break.

A troubled day for "The Captain" Carter
Breaks of 78 and 56 assured "The Captain" was back in the game as he leveled things up at 3-3 and from that moment on the boys were just one frame apart all the way through the end. It wasn’t raining beautiful breaks, no centuries were hit during those last frames and more then one pot was oddly chosen to be played, so the boys ended on a decider. So 41 minutes later, two breaks of 15 points and one of 13 after and Peter Ebdon was the last man standing. After six encounters with Ali Carter, Ebbo finally takes the victory in his hands and earns a place into the next round.
And so it ends the first day of the tournament, a pretty surprising day and a pretty twisted one. With the defending champion out and Ali Carter`s early exist, The Masters continues today with two more matches as it follows:

13:30 (UK time) – Mark Williams v. Ding Junhui
19:00 (UK time) – John Higgins v. Graeme Dott

TV coverage
08:00-10:00 (British EuroSport) Masters 1st round highlights
13:30-16:30 (BBC 2) Masters Snooker
13:30-16:30 (British EuroSport 2) Masters Snooker
19:00-20:00 (BBC 2) Masters Snooker
19:00-22:00 (British EuroSport 2) Masters Snooker
23:20-00:00 (BBC 2) Masters Snooker: Highlights
01:10-03:10 (BBC 2) Masters Snooker: Extra

Not to forget, you can watch the matches online at by selecting the snooker competition. See yaaa!!!