Masters Snooker Bet of the Day: Ronnie can storm to a fifth Masters title

Ronnie has been in majestic form this week
Ronnie has been in majestic form this week

The two best Masters performers of recent times, boasting seven titles between them, meet in what looks set to be a classic final. Past encounters have produced very close contests but Paul Krishnamurty can only see one winner this time...

"It is hard to escape the feeling that Ronnie is doing something quite extraordinary this week, carving out another piece of snooker history."

We have the final that the seedings and market predicted, and most neutrals would have wished to see. The defending champion versus the world champion. A re-run of the 2009 and 2010 finals, two Wembley classics shared one apiece between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Selby. Ronnie bidding for his fifth Masters title, Selby his fourth. If the match had been played 24 hours ago, O'Sullivan would have been an overwhelming favourite but, after Selby played much the better of the two in yesterday's semi-finals, the Rocket is a realistic betting proposition at 1.4840/85

The historical evidence points firmly towards a very close contest. Their six biggest matches, (triple-crown events and ranking finals), were shared 3-3. Of those, three went to a deciding frame, only one was separated by more than two. However while those stats count over a long period and cannot be dismissed, it is hard to escape the feeling that Ronnie is doing something quite extraordinary this week, carving out another piece of snooker history. 

As I argued when advising him pre-tournament at 3.8514/5, Ronnie is better than ever. Rather than the erratic, sometimes flaky character of old, the new version is serene, focused and consistent. The effect has been to turn the most talented player ever into the best player ever. Ronnie himself admitted in last night's post-match interview that whereas he used to struggle staying focused or interested when not playing well, his mindset has vastly improved over the last two years. 

Without underestimating Selby in any way, there is only so much he can do if Ronnie brings his A-game. It is doubtful whether anyone, ever, would be capable of beating O'Sullivan in this mood. He's only lost two frames all week, both last night to Maguire and even they were entirely forgiveable. In the first frame, he broke off and never got another shot. In the other, Ronnie threw the frame away by missing a simple blue when coasting within sight of the winning line. The rest of the time, he's generally needed only one or two chances to wrap up frames. Ronnie's performance against Ricky Walden, winning 6-0 in less than an hour, was in my view one of the two greatest ever performances. (The other is Stephen Hendry against Ken Doherty in the 1994 UK final). Just like Hendry in his pomp, O'Sullivan is a class apart and unopposable in this form.

Whilst I have no need to add to that pre-tournament position on Ronnie, despite generally being loathe to tip odds-on, I'm happy to recommend a sizeable bet at 1.4840/85. Alternatively, if odds-on betting isn't your thing, try some correct score bets on Ronnie to win 10-4, 10-5 and 10-6. Combined, that trio pays around 3.211/5.

Recommended Bets

Back Ronnie O'Sullivan 10u @ 1.4840/85 *(If you followed the pre-tournament bet on O'Sullivan, ignore this bet)
Back Ronnie O'Sullivan to win 10-4 1u @ 11.010/1
Back Ronnie O'Sullivan to win 10-5 1u @ 10.09/1
Back Ronnie O'Sullivan to win 10-6 1u @ 9.08/1

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