The Masters


The tournament was held for the first time in 1975 at the West Centre Hotel in London, when ten leading players were invited. The event was sponsored by the cigarette company Benson & Hedges. John Spencer won the inaugural tournament by defeating Ray Reardon 9Ц8 in the final. The following year the event moved to the New London Theatre and in 1979 to the Wembley Conference Centre. In 1981 the number of players invited to compete was increased to 12, and then increased again to 16 in 1983.

From 1984 onwards the top 16 players in the world rankings were automatically invited to the tournament. In 1984 Kirk Stevens became the first player to make a maximum break at the event against Jimmy White in the semi-final. In 1988 Mike Hallett became the first and to date only player to be whitewashed in a Masters final, losing 0Ц9 to Steve Davis. Stephen Hendry maintained an unbeaten record in the event, a run which included five successive championship victories, from his first appearance in 1989 until his defeat by Alan McManus in a final-frame decider in the 1994 final. Hallett reached his second final in four years in 1991, but lost 8Ц9 against Hendry, despite leading 7Ц0 and 8Ц2. This defeat effectively ended Hallett's days as a major force in the game.

In 1990 the sponsors introduced two wild-cards, granted by the game's governing body at their discretion, who would play wild-card matches against the players seeded 15th and 16th for a place in the first round of the tournament. For the 1991 tournament, the Benson & Hedges Championship was introduced: this granted the winner one of the two wild-card places. The other continued to be granted by the governing body.

In the 1997 final, Steve Davis defeated Ronnie O'Sullivan in a match disrupted by a streaker. Davis came back from 4Ц8 down to win the remaining six frames in a row, clinching the final at 10Ц8. The 1998 final went down to a re-spotted black in the deciding frame; Mark Williams defeated Stephen Hendry 10Ц9 after having trailed 6Ц9. In the 2000 final Ken Doherty missed the final black in a 147 attempt, and eventually lost to Matthew Stevens.

After the 2003 Masters, Benson & Hedges had to end their sponsorship of the event due to UK restrictions on tobacco advertising, and the tournament was unsponsored in 2004. In 2005, Rileys Club became the sponsor of the event. There was also no qualifying competition, and both wild-card places were awarded by the governing body, but the competition returned the following season. SAGA Insurance took over sponsorship of the tournament in 2006 and later the same year agreed to a deal to sponsor the event until 2009. 2006 was also the last year the tournament was held at the Wembley Conference Centre, before it was demolished in the same summer to make place for redevelopment. Following the death of Paul Hunter in October 2006, Jimmy White led calls for the Masters trophy or tournament to be renamed in honour of Hunter, who had won the title three times in four years between 2001 and 2004. Lindsey Hunter, widow of Paul Hunter, later expressed her wishes for the trophy to be renamed, claiming that "...everybody expected it. Every player I've spoken to, every fan, thought it would be a definite". World Snooker, the sport's governing body, decided against renaming the trophy, stating "Our board unanimously agreed that the Paul Hunter Scholarship was the most fitting tribute. Just as Hunter himself rose swiftly through the amateur ranks, the scholarship will give a gifted young player the chance to fulfil his talent through elite training."

In a slight change for 2007, one extra discretionary wild-card place was awarded, bringing the total number of players up to 19. The event was held at the Wembley Arena. For 2008 the tournament reverted to having only two wild-card players.

Ronnie O'Sullivan appeared in four successive finals from 2004 to 2007, winning in 2005 and 2007. Paul Hunter won the first of these, recovering from 2Ц7 down to win 10Ц9 against Ronnie, making five century breaks along the way. This was Hunter's third Masters win in four years. O'Sullivan put on a great display to defeat John Higgins in the 2005 final, 10Ц3. The next year, they met once again in the final, which saw a very high standard of play throughout the match, including back-to-back total clearances of 138 and 139 for O'Sullivan to win frames 2 and 3, before losing the next five frames in a row. In the deciding frame, O'Sullivan made a break of 60, before letting Higgins back in the frame. Higgins made a clearance of 64 to win the title on the black. However, O'Sullivan redeemed himself the in 2007 by dominating Ding Junhui, winning 10Ц3 and then comforting the clearly upset youngster afterwards. In the same year Ding Junhui became the second player to compile a maximum break at the event, a feat he achieved against Anthony Hamilton in the wild-card round.

In the summer of 2008 SAGA Insurance pulled out of the sponsorship of the event,[28] and the event was unsponsored in 2009. The event was sponsored by in 2010. The qualifying competition was removed again for the 2011 Masters, no wild-card places were given, and the event was sponsored by Ladbrokes Mobile. The final of the event made history, as it was the first to feature two Asian players in the final. In 2012 the event was moved to the Alexandra Palace in London, and was sponsored by BGC Partners. The event was sponsored by Betfair in 2013. Since 2014 until at least 2017 the tournament is sponsored by Dafabet.

Source: Wikipedia

Year Winner Runner-up Final score Season
1975 John Spencer Ray Reardon 9:8 1974/75
1976 Ray Reardon Graham Miles 7:3 1975/76
1977 Doug Mountjoy Ray Reardon 7:6 1976/87
1978 Alex Higgins Cliff Thorburn 7:5 1977/78
1979 Perrie Mans Alex Higgins 8:4 1978/79
1980 Steve Davis Alex Higgins 9:5 1979/80
1981 Terry Griffiths Alex Higgins 9:6 1980/81
1982 Alex Higgins Terry Griffiths 9:5 1981/82
1983 Steve Davis Terry Griffiths 9:7 1982/83
1984 Jimmy White Terry Griffiths 9:5 1983/84
1985 Cliff Thorburn Doug Mountjoy 9:6 1984/85
1986 Cliff Thorburn Jimmy White 9:5 1985/86
1987 Dennis Taylor Alex Higgins 9:8 1986/87
1988 Steve Davis Mike Hallett 9:0 1987/88
1989 Stephen Hendry John Parrott 9:6 1988/89
1990 Stephen Hendry John Parrott 9:4 1989/90
1991 Stephen Hendry Mike Hallett 9:8 1990/91
1992 Stephen Hendry John Parrott 9:4 1991/92
1993 Stephen Hendry John Parrott 9:5 1992/93
1994 Alan McManus Stephen Hendry 9:8 1993/94
1995 Ronnie O'Sullivan John Higgins 9:3 1994/95
1996 Stephen Hendry Ronnie O'Sullivan 10:5 1995/96
1997 Steve Davis Ronnie O'Sullivan 10:8 1996/97
1998 Mark Williams Stephen Hendry 10:9 1997/98
1999 John Higgins Ken Doherty 10:8 1998/99
2000 Matthew Stevens Ken Doherty 10:8 1999/00
2001 Paul Hunter Fergal O'Brien 10:9 2000/01
2002 Paul Hunter Mark Williams 10:9 2001/02
2003 Mark Williams Stephen Hendry 10:4 2002/03
2004 Paul Hunter Ronnie O'Sullivan 10:9 2003/04
2005 Ronnie O'Sullivan John Higgins 10:3 2004/05
2006 John Higgins Ronnie O'Sullivan 10:9 2005/06
2007 Ronnie O'Sullivan Ding Junhui 10:3 2006/07
2008 Mark Selby Stephen Lee 10:3 2007/08
2009 Ronnie O'Sullivan Mark Selby 10:8 2008/09
2010 Mark Selby Ronnie O'Sullivan 10:9 2009/10
2011 Ding Junhui Marco Fu 10:4 2010/11
2012 Neil Robertson enland Shaun Murphy 10:6 2011/12
2013 england Mark Selby australia Neil Robertson 10:6 2012/13
2014 england Ronnie O'Sullivan england Mark Selby 10:4 2013/14
2015 england Shaun Murphy australia Neil Robertson 10:2 2014/15

SEASON 24/25
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