The world’s top 16 snooker players collide in this year’s Masters which returns to the Alexandra Palace, London.

This year’s winner will be taking home a cool £250,000 from a total prize pot of £725,000.

Yan Bingtao is the defending champion going into the event after last year’s impressive triumph over John Higgins, becoming the first Chinese winner of the event since 2011. He could be considered an outsider of this year’s renewal, with odds of 18/1 and seventh in the betting.

In this blog, we look at who the market suggests are more favoured for the tournament.

Trump favourite to win second Masters title

It’s no surprise to see Judd Trump at the top end of the betting for any tournament, let alone one of the standard of the Masters. What is surprising, however, is that the 32-year-old has only won the tournament once, and that being the only final he’s appeared in. He had to sit out of last year’s competition due to a positive test, but he’ll be back with a vengeance this year.

He currently doesn’t hold any of the triple crown titles, so will be gunning to start the new year off by collecting this one. Trump won the Champion of Champions before the festive period and looked back to his best in that one, so could well bring that form here.

However, he does have a tough draw against Mark Allen, who was the victor last time the pair met in the Northern Ireland Open in October. Currently Trump is priced at 3/1 to take his second Masters title.

Rocket looking to increase Masters dominance

Ronnie O’Sullivan is currently the most successful player in Masters history, appearing in 13 finals and winning the event a record seven times. His last triumph came in 2017 when beating Joe Perry. Since then, he’s reached the final on one occasion, losing out to Judd Trump.

O’Sullivan found himself back in the limelight when winning the World Grand Prix in December – his 38th ranking title. He came from 7-5 down to beat Neil Robertson, a player with who he shares the top half of the draw. He’s the second-favourite in the market, priced at 5/1, but apart from Robertson, he’s only beaten one other player in the top 16 this season.

Robertson aiming for first Masters title in 10 years

2012 was the last and only time Aussie Neil Robertson won the Masters. He’s been in the final two more times since but hasn’t reached that stage in any of the last six tournaments.

As mentioned above, the way the draw is laid out Robertson and O’Sullivan will meet in the quarterfinals, given they both win their respected games to get there. He too is priced at 5/1 alongside the Rocket.

Selby seeks fourth Masters crown

Rounding off the betting is Mark Selby at 6/1. He’s in the bottom half of the draw and faces Stephen Maguire in his opening game. The current world number one was recently knocked out of the Champions League in the semi-finals by Zhao Xintong and a few weeks before that was eliminated by Neil Robertson from the World Grand Prix. He’s another that has the capability of winning this when at his best, so could well go far.

Check out all the latest snooker betting odds at William Hill