The German Masters returns to the Tempodrom this week, with the play’s schedule commencing on Wednesday in Berlin.
It represents the third ranking event of the calendar year so far, and it’s the tenth of the ongoing 2022/23 campaign overall.
The German Masters is usually a fan-favourite event, but this year’s edition of the competition has taken a number of knocks.
Hardly any members of the elite top 16 will be participating, and the German Masters draw has already lost four players as a result of the ongoing case into alleged match-fixing in the sport.
Prize, History, and Format
There’s a top prize worth £80,000 on offer with the event representing the seventh outing on the BetVictor Series schedule.
The player with the most prize money accumulated following the eight events sponsored by BetVictor this term will accrue a tidy bonus of £150,000.
Mark Allen currently leads the way on that front, but the Northern Irishman lost in the preliminaries and won’t feature at the venue stages of this year’s German Masters.
First staged in its current guise at the Tempodrom in 2011, Judd Trump and Mark Williams are the only two players who have managed to triumphantly emerge with the trophy twice.
Neither player will feature further this year, and both of last year’s finalists are also absent despite having made it through the qualifying rounds in November.
That is because Zhao Xintong and beaten finalist Yan Bingtao are two of the ten Chinese players currently embroiled in the corruption scandal, with the former’s 9-0 victory in the 2022 title-deciding bout among the matches reportedly under investigation.
The only former winners in the field this year then are Ali Carter, who triumphed a decade ago and reached the final again in 2017, and 2019 champion Kyren Wilson.
Matches are the best of nine frames for the first three rounds before the format is increased, with eleven frames required for the semi-finals and 17 for Sunday’s final.
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2023 German Masters draw and schedule
In addition to Zhao and Yan, countrymen Li Hang and Zhao Jianbo have also been withdrawn from the tournament.
That means early byes through to the second round for Tom Ford, Ricky Walden, Ali Carter, and Jimmy Robertson.
There are only four top 16 competitors left, something that will have been a headache for the local promoters in terms of marketing the tournament.
Neil Robertson is the highest ranked as the world number five and will begin the week as the obvious favourite for the title.
The Australian has one of the trickiest opening clashes, though, and must face Joe Perry in a repeat of their recent clashes at the same stages of the UK Championship and the Scottish Open.
Kyren Wilson – winner of the European Masters in Fürth near the start of this season – Jack Lisowski, and Luca Brecel are the other top 16 contenders in the field.
However, another unexpected marquee name in the German Masters draw is 60 year-old Jimmy White, who has been in somewhat resurgent form over the last couple of months.
After winning four matches to qualify for the UK Championship, the ten-time ranking event winner subsequently won another two to reach the last 32 of this event.
White is paired with tour rookie Peng Yisong in the first round and will fancy his chances of going a little further in the tournament.
Elsewhere, last week’s Shoot Out champion Chris Wakelin will look to continue his winning streak when he takes on Si Jiahui.
Times in GMT
Tom Ford w/o Zhao Xintong
Tian Pengfei vs Anthony McGill (Wed, 2pm)
Jimmy Robertson w/o Zhao Jianbo
Sam Craigie vs Kyren Wilson (Wed, 7pm)
Peng Yison vs Jimmy White (Wed, 7pm)
Jack Lisowski vs Zhang Anda (Wed, 2pm)
Xiao Guodong vs Fan Zhengyi (Wed, 7pm)
Ellior Slessor vs Joe O’Connor (Wed, 2pm)
Neil Robertson vs Joe Perry (Thurs, 2pm)
Chris Wakelin vs Si Jiahui (Thurs, 9am)
Matthew Stevens vs Luca Brecel (Thurs, 9am)
Robert Milkins vs Daniel Wells (Thurs, 2pm)
Louis Heathcote vs Cao Yupeng (Thurs, 9am)
Ali Carter w/o Li Hang
Ricky Walden w/o Yan Bingtao
Pang Junxu vs Ross Muir (Thurs, 2pm)
Where to watch the German Masters
Live coverage of the 2023 German Masters schedule will be available in Ireland, Britain, and across Europe via Eurosport.
Other options are available for viewers around the world, which you can view by clicking here.
Featured photo credit: WPBSA