2019 Masters: Back Wilson to master the Palace


SNOOKER specialist George Weyham (@GWSnookerTips) shares an ante-post fancy ahead of the 2019 Masters from Alexandra Palace.

The Masters | 13th-20th January 2018 | BBC

Just over a month away is the second triple crown event in the snooker calendar, The Masters, at Alexandra Palace in London.

There is currently a race on during the UK Championship to see who makes the top 16 cut and who's seeded where. Six of the top eight are already sealed into the draw itself, leaving two spots up for grabs for that, plus the remaining eight (9-16).

As it stands, Kyren Wilson, after getting through to the quarter-finals in York, currently sits ranked 10th. If he makes the semi-final, he will go up to ninth. If he makes the final, he's guaranteed eighth. If he wins the UK Championship, he'll be the seventh seed.

Now some will say, why does it matter? Well with the draw how it is, and knowing that first seed (Mark Allen, reigning champion) faces 16th seed (at the moment, that's Jack Lisowski) then second seed (bottom half, Mark Williams) facing 15th seed (could be a whole host of players) you get an idea of who will be playing who…

At the moment, if Kyren remains at 10th (will only go down if he were to lose to Stuart Bingham in the UK quarters, and Bingham went on and won it), he would currently face Barry Hawkins, who is in the bottom half currently with Mark Williams.

That’s a lot of if, buts and maybes, however, if Kyren got to the final in York (and lost) he would be eighth seed, due to face Allen in the last-eight in the top half. Wins it, he'll replace Hawkins and be in the bottom half. All very complicating.

It's looking more likely, he'll be in top half though, which might be harder for him (it contains Ronnie O'Sullivan). If pinned against a wall, I'd probably just prefer Kyren in the bottom with the likes of Mark Selby, Judd Trump and Mark Williams. Probably like him though, I'm not overly fussed.

Wilson too big to ignore

Either way, Wilson is currently 20/1 at 188BET, to win four matches for the Masters title in the New Year. I've said before, there will be a time very soon when 20/1+ will be exempt from being next to Kyren's name in outrights.

He's currently a top price 16/1 for the World Championship next April. He has to win five to win the blue riband event, in some ways, harder. Some say he's tailor made for the Worlds. To be honest, he's tailor made for every event going.

I've been going on about this lad for a long time now and I don't get fed up about talking about him either. He really is the real deal in snooker. He's nicknamed the Warrior. I would call him the Terminator – he puts an end to people's hopes very quickly and saps their confidence.

He's so mentally strong, he loves a battle and he's made of granite. He's got a demeanour of ‘owning' the table – only the best do that – and you literally have to tear him off it. That then leads to his incredible appetite and dedication to improve. There is no rest for the wicked.

Wilson absolutely loves winning and practising, and hates losing. He fears absolutely no one and has the belief (which is enormous in snooker) that he can beat anyone put in front of him. Before he faced O'Sullivan in Coventry, he was asked by the reporter, what about playing Ronnie in the final? He wasn't bothered. It's all about him. Play the table, not the man.

Kyren made the Masters final last year losing to Allen which was possibly a step too far. He's grown up since then, gone up an extra gear and he's having an awesome season overall. He's won in Germany and Thailand ,plus lost in a decider of the Champion of Champions final to O'Sullivan.

After the match Ronnie said this about his opponent, “Kyren will be a World Champion for sure because he has got bottle, he has the right attitude, he loves the game and he is dedicated.”

In the meantime, he can conquer the Ally Pally in January. In the 2020 Masters, Wilson could well be single figures for this, if his consistent improvement continues. Enjoy the 20/1 whilst you can, is all I have left to say!

Best Bets

The Masters – Kyren Wilson to win outright (20/1 each-way 188BET)

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