Snooker tables used in the Snooker Masters since 2009 is made by Star. Prior to 2009 snooker tables used in all World Snooker competitions was the Riley Aristocrat Tournament Champion. All match snooker tables have steel block cushions and the rubbers are cut to make the pockets less generous when potting a ball.
Once again The Snooker Masters did not disappoint. It is unique in the World Snooker Calendar because it is the only tournament that only accepts the top sixteen players in the world with no wildcards given out this year.
The first Masters was held at The Center Hotel in London and the top 10 players in the world were invited. The venue changed in 1979 to The Wembley Conference Centre, which in my opinion was the best venue. In 2007 The Wembley Conference Centre was demolished and the venue moved across the road to the Wembley Arena. In 2012 the Masters was moved to The Alexander Palace where it is currently held.
I have been to The Masters on several occasions, both in a working capacity on the snooker tables and as a spectator and it never disappoints. Some of the memories it holds for me are special. Paul Hunter winning the Masters on three occasions. Ken Doherty missing the black on the way to a 147, which would have won him that yellow sports car out in the foyer of the Conference Centre. The tears of Alex Higgins. The once only win for Jimmy White in 1984. Cliff Thorburn, Steve Davis and The Machine Stephen Hendry to name but a few of the greats.
There was talk at one stage that The Masters should be renamed The Paul Hunter Trophy. It was decided that a more fitting tribute would be for a Paul Hunter Scholarship to be set up which would assist young gifted players improve their game. Their is also The Snooker Academy based at Sheffield which consists of 10 Star snooker tables which are maintained to match standard.
This years final was held at the Alexander Palace between Ronnie O’sullivan and Mark Selby which Ronnie, in my opinion won easily 10-4. Ronnie has got rid of those Demons and all week other players looked mediocre in his wake. His break building has been outstanding and the potting was like watching an artist on a green baize instead of a white canvas. O’sullivan is playing some of the best snooker of his career and has been consistent all week. Whoever played Ronnie in this years Masters needed to be on top of their game and none delivered, an unbelievable player.