Amid the pandemonium surrounding Neil Robertson’s 147 and UK Championship success, the draw for the 2016 Masters was also made on Sunday.
Robertson has openly admitted that, having now claimed the first BBC major, he wants to go on and capture a rare Triple Crown achieved in the same season.
This means adding what would be second Masters and World Championship titles to his resume.
Robertson will be one of the hot favourites at the Alexandra Palace next month but a tournament featuring the 16 best players in the world is hardly going to be a walk in the park to triumph in.
Not helping the Australian’s cause is the return of Ronnie O’Sullivan, who confirmed his entry last week while on punditry duty with Eurosport.
The ‘Rocket’ hasn’t competed on the Main Tour since being beaten by Stuart Bingham in the quarter-finals of the Worlds back in April.
Seeking a record-equalling sixth Masters crown, O’Sullivan will start his campaign against old foe Mark Williams, while Robertson takes on Marco Fu.
All eight encounters are obviously intriguing but the battle between two main protagonists from the Class of ’92 in O’Sullivan and Williams should be enthralling.
Other standout ties include defending champion Shaun Murphy’s opener against Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen, while Stephen Maguire tackles Judd Trump.
The BBC-televised tournament runs from January 10 to 17 with tickets on sale now and fans should book fast because certain sessions are selling out rapidly.
For details visit www.worldsnooker.com/tickets
Shaun Murphy v Mark Allen – Sunday January 10 at 1pm
Barry Hawkins v Joe Perry – Monday January 11 at 7pm
Judd Trump v Stephen Maguire – Monday January 11 at 1pm
Neil Robertson v Marco Fu – Wednesday January 13 at 7pm
Mark Selby v Ricky Walden – Tuesday January 12 at 7pm
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Mark Williams- Tuesday January 12 at 1pm
John Higgins v Liang Wenbo – Wednesday January 13 at 1pm
Stuart Bingham v Ding Junhui – Sunday January 10 at 7pm