Betfair Sponsor The Masters World Snooker is delighted to announce that Betfair will sponsor the Masters for the first time this season.Snooker’s most prestigious invitation event will be known as the Betfair Masters. Featuring 16 of the world’s leading players, it will run from January 13 to 20 at Alexandra Palace in London. Betfair is already the title sponsor of the Shoot-Out and the German Masters and the tour sponsor of the European Tour. The company has added to its portfolio of world class snooker tournaments by sponsoring the Masters, one of the most keenly anticipated events on the sporting calendar.   It will receive extensive live television coverage from the BBC and will also be broadcast live in 68 countries with highlights coverage in seven others. The estimated global audience is an astonishing 181 million.Australia’s Neil Robertson will be defending the title, having beaten Shaun Murphy 10-6 in last year’s final. Also set to compete for the £175,000 top prize will be the likes of World No 1 and crowd favourite Judd Trump, legend John Higgins and Chinese star Ding Junhui. The first round draw and format is shown below.World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “It’s a great pleasure to welcome on board Betfair for our biggest and best invitation event. We are already working with them on a range of tournaments so we know what a professional team they are and how much they value the outstanding global exposure they get from snooker. “The Masters is such a wonderful event, with only the elite players invited to compete for the famous trophy. It’s going to be an incredible eight days on the baize at Ally Pally and we look forward to joining Betfair to enjoy the show.”Betfair’s Head of UK Sports Brand Marketing Andy Lulham said: “We are delighted to add The Masters to our World Snooker sponsorship portfolio. It’s exciting to be involved in one of the most prestigious invitation events and it’s a great way to enhance our brand’s position in the sport.”   Neil Robertson added: “It’s fantastic that Betfair are sponsoring this event. The feeling of winning the Masters last year was amazing, it was up there with winning the World Championship in 2010. Especially as my son was there to watch, that made it extra special. The atmosphere at Ally Pally was brilliant and I can’t wait to get back there. “The Masters was the first tournament I ever watched on TV. Someone brought a video of the 1994 final between Stephen Hendry and Alan McManus to my dad’s snooker club and I watched it over and over again. I’ve got great memories of seeing the likes of Hendry and O’Sullivan win it, so to hold the trophy myself was unbelievable.” The tournament starts at 1pm on Sunday January 13 with a cracking international match between Robertson and China’s Ding Junhui.   TICKETS FOR ALL SESSIONS OF THE TOURNAMENT ARE ON SALE NOW! For details call 0871 620 7052 (calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras) or visit www.worldsnooker.com/tickets The final sold out quickly last year so fans are advised to book now. The full first round schedule is: Sunday January 13 1pm: Neil Robertson v Ding Junhui 7pm: Mark Allen v Mark Davis   Monday January 14 1pm: John Higgins v Ali Carter 7pm: Stephen Maguire v Graeme Dott   Tuesday January 15 1pm: Judd Trump v Barry Hawkins 7pm: Shaun Murphy v Ricky Walden   Wednesday January 16 1.30pm: Mark Williams v Matthew Stevens 7pm: Mark Selby v Stuart Bingham for more informations vist www.worldsnooker.com and thanks to them for the article.