No-one is safe in red-hot Betfred Masters combat
London bus syndrome struck at the Betfred Masters on Tuesday with back-to-back shocks, courtesy of Mark Selby following Neil Robertson out of the tournament.
The first four games had largely gone to form/market leadership (Murphy edged favouritism versus Williams) and although they cannot be deemed earth-shattering shocks as all matches here are worthy tournament finals featuring the best 16 players in the game, they certainly weren’t expected as odds of 1/5 and 2/7 reflected, although both were beaten in very different fashion.
Robertson looked in control from the early stages of his game, and even at 5-3 had one foot in a quarter final. But Yan Bingtao, only 20 years old and making his Masters debut, showed incredible maturity to rattle off three successive frames.
Here what Dennis Taylor made of the match – play the video
Many expected Yan Bingtao to face Mark Selby in the last eight, but the ‘Jester from Leicester’ had told us what a great front runner Stephan Maguire was and after Maverick opened up a 2-0 lead, he was never headed, taking three successive frames himself at 3-3 to record a 6-3 victory, his first Masters win over Selby at the fourth attempt.
Listen to Maguire talking to Rob Walker after his win – play the video
The winners are certainly though on merit and set up a mouth-watering quarter final themselves, taking pace on Friday evening.
The quarter final line up will be completed today with either Ronnie O’Sullivan or Ding Junhui (who are replaying their 2007 Masters final) and John Higgins or Mark Allen completing the last eight.
There is a £15k prize for the highest break at the tournament, a lead currently held by Kyren Wilson who fired in a 136 in his opening game, one of nine century breaks made already this week.
The boys have been putting on a show, so the best thing we can do is stay in, stay safe, and watch them battle it out on the baize.