The Masters Snooker 2024: Records Tumble

The Masters Snooker 2024: Records Tumble

Sourav Duleep

What is the Masters Snooker?

The Masters is the second Triple Crown event on the snooker calendar and the only Triple Crown event that does not carry ranking points. An invitational tournament celebrating its 50th year in 2024, The Masters comprises only the top 16 players in the world competing for the coveted Paul Hunter Trophy. To put things into perspective, there is no easy draw in the tournament, with a one-table setup from Round 1 adding to the pressure and intensity of the atmosphere. A knowledgeable crowd of 2000 engrossed in every shot of every tussle between snooker’s best makes Alexandra Palace the greatest venue in the world for the sport.

The Masters 2024

147s Galore

A maximum break or a 147 is the highest possible break in a frame of snooker. A player achieves the feat of a maximum break by potting all 15 reds in tandem with 15 blacks, amassing 120 points, and then clearing the table with all six colours for an additional 27 points. A testament to immaculate potting and cue ball control, 147s had only been achieved 3 times in the history of the Masters until 2024. The 2024 edition witnessed both China’s Ding Junhui and Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen make maximum breaks, signifying that the standard of professional snooker is at its peak. Ding Junhui added to his accolades by becoming the first player to make 2 maximum breaks at the Masters following his 147 at the 2007 edition. 

Records Tumble

Five-time ranking event winner Ali Carter scored 9 century breaks in the form of his career, defeating former Masters champions Mark Williams, Judd Trump, and Mark Allen en route to the final. ‘The Captain’ looked unstoppable and was potting everything in sight with an average shot time comparable to the speedsters of the game. Only one man could come in between Carter’s quest for a first Triple Crown title. The same man who had defeated him in the World Championship finals in 2008 and 2012, the usual suspect, Ronnie O’Sullivan. The Rocket on Sunday became the oldest ever winner of the Masters 29 years after his first Triumph in 1995, when he was the youngest ever winner. The victory puts his Masters titles count at 8 and Triple Crown tally at 23. It also provides him the opportunity to achieve the unfathomable record of winning all three Triple Crown events in a single season, a feat he is yet to accomplish.

The Final

Ali Carter produced the best snooker of the week with solid gameplay capable of taking down the greats of the game. This was evident when he went 6-3 up on O’Sullivan in the final showing no signs of nerves. Ronnie O’Sullivan was far from his best throughout the tournament and may not have made it to the final without plenty of help from his struggling opponents. The crowd was abuzz with feeling that it was finally Carter’s time to shine, and he should have put the match away comfortably, but their head-to-head record of 18-1 to O’Sullivan was clearly lingering in his mind. A few unexpected misses and a defensive approach allowed The Rocket to swoop in and gain the advantage, eventually winning 10-7. Roars echoed through the Ally Pally as the crowd favourite was once again crowned champion. The final served as a firm reminder to not take one’s foot off the pedal when they have their opponent, especially Ronnie O’Sullivan, on the back foot. 

Conclusion

The 2024 Masters was the most captivating edition in the tournament’s history. Records were shattered, audiences entertained, and fans satisfied. All eyes will be on Ronnie O’Sullivan as he enters the World Championship to complete his third Triple Crown victory of the season. Sourav and Charlie, avid snooker fans from Team Cue & Case, attended the opening session at Alexandra Palace between World Champion Luca Brecel and Jack Lisowski. To their delight, several of their heroes were present beside them as they watched two of the most exciting young talents in snooker go head-to-head. Experiencing the electrifying atmosphere at the Masters further magnified the team’s passion for snooker, a cornerstone of the ethos and activities at Cue & Case.