World Snooker German Masters Preview
2019 got off to a thrilling start on the green baize with the Masters tournament at Alexandra Palace. Judd Trump ultimately came through after battling the top 16 in the world and his demolition of Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final points to a big year for the exciting left hander.
We now head to The Tempodrom in Berlin for the first ranking event of the year which is the German Masters. It all kicks off on Wednesday January 30 so let’s take a look at the format of this tournament before attempting to identify a winner.
History and Format
Technically, the German Masters is one of the oldest ranking events on the calendar, having first been held back in 1995. However, its history has been sporadic and after the 1998 edition, the tournament didn’t return to the circuit for another 13 years.
That first competition, known as the German Open at the time, was won by John Higgins who went on to claim a second victory two years later. The Scot, along with Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Williams, are the only men to have won this event twice and Williams will go into the 2019 renewal as the defending champion.
Two rounds of qualifying took place in December 2018 and from there, 32 players have progressed to Berlin for the tournament proper. Nobody came straight through via the order of merit so we have some unfamiliar names lining up alongside most of the world’s best.
The tournament involves a straight knockout and in the first round, it’s the first to five frames who goes through. That same format applies for the second round and quarter finals and then, in the semis, it’s a race to 11. We then move to the final which is an elongated, best of 17 affair.
With some quickfire games in prospect in those earlier rounds, there is the potential for an upset so who is in the bookies’ frame for the 2019 German Masters?
Man to Beat
Following such an impressive performance at the Masters in London, Judd Trump is our clear favourite for Germany and you can back the left hander at 4/1 with most bookmakers, including Betway and 10Bet.
Trump looked impressive from the start, brushing aside Kyren Wilson by six frames to two in the first round but it was his dismantling of the great Ronnie O’Sullivan that has snooker tipsters pointing to a potentially prolific year. Trump has always been exciting but has been an erratic player to date and if he can add some consistency to his game, many more titles will come his way.
The chasing pack is led by former world champion and world number one Mark Selby who is on offer at 5/1 with SportingBet and SportPesa. The Jester from Leicester ended 2018 in subdued fashion but there were glimpses of his best form at the Masters, despite the fact that he missed out on on a place in the final.
From there, the market really starts to move out until we find Ding Junhui at best industry odds of 10/1 with Betway and RedZoneSports. Ding came within five balls of registering a maximum break at the Masters and is another player hinting at a productive second half of the season.
The betting is quite bunched at this point and behind Ding, we have three players who can all be claimed at the same top price of 11/1. Kyren Wilson, Neil Robertson and Mark Williams can all be found at that figure with 10Bet and SportPesa. Williams is the defending champion and he went on to claim the world title a few months later but 2019 hasn’t been as productive for the Welshman so far.
Wilson looked particularly out of touch at the Masters while Robertson did progress but none of those three look to be in sparkling form as they head to Germany.
Two-time German Masters winner John Higgins is close behind at 12/1 with Betway and 10Bet while the same two bookmakers have Barry Hawkins available at 14/1. At the far end of the chasing pack are Shaun Murphy at 20/1 plus Jack Lisowski and Stuart Bingham at 25/1 and all of those prices are with SportingBet.
Ryan Day overcame John Higgins in the first round of the Masters and while he is as short as 22/1 in places, SportingBet list best odds of 40/1 on the Welshman. Stephen Maguire is available at a top price of 50/1 again and from that point, it seems unlikely that any player will come through to upset the market.
There could be some interest in Joe Perry at that same best of 50/1 with SportingBet while other players worthy of mention include Matthew Stevens at 150/1 with SportingBet and Snooker Shootout Champion Michael Georgiou at a very distant 200/1 with SportingBet yet again.
There are some big names missing from this German Masters line up including Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Allen so that does clear the path for some of the favourites here. The formatting can, however, play a part in the outcome with quickfire contests up to the quarter finals that produce their fair share of shocks.
Of the players that are here, Judd Trump’s display at Alexandra Palace last week may seem to make the left hander a worthy favourite but he needs to prove he can deliver those performances on a consistent basis.
This really is very open with Mark Selby also looking a little short for comfort at the top of the betting. There is definite value as we move through the list and, with that key element of consistency in mind, our tip for this tournament is Barry Hawkins. We know, with Hawkins, that he will always battle until the end and while he isn’t the most exciting player on the circuit, that consistency will usually offer a good run for our money.
Each Way terms are available with certain bookmakers but 14/1 looks a generous price and worth a punt in the straight win betting.
Best Bets for German Masters 2019:
- Barry Hawkins to win at 14/1 with Betway