Macau Masters
Main News, Non-Ranking

Mark Selby wins postponed Macau Masters that caused controversy

Mark Selby won the postponed Macau Masters on Christmas Eve courtesy of a 6-3 victory over Ali Carter in the final.

The unsanctioned invitational event caused controversy earlier this season when its dates originally clashed with the Northern Ireland Open.

Selby and Carter were among a quintet of stars infamously branded as the Macau Five for their involvement in the competition.

World champion Luca Brecel, former world number one John Higgins, and Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh were the others involved.

At the time, the five players in question had chosen to participate in the Macau Masters instead of entering the Home Nations series tournament in Belfast.

Allegedly in breach of their players’ contract, which must be signed each year to compete on the World Snooker Tour, they received threats of fines and even bans from the sport.

Eventually, the promoters of the three-day Macau Masters decided to postpone their event until this month – ending the impasse, temporarily at least.

Barry Hawkins joined the six-player field but was knocked out in the group stages along with Un-Nooh.

In the semi-finals, Selby compiled a 147 break during his 6-3 defeat of Higgins, who had also made a maximum in the round-robin phase a day earlier.

After topping Group B, Carter beat Luca Brecel 6-1 to reach the final, but the Captain’s run ended there as Selby duly got his hands on the trophy.

As an unsanctioned event there were no ranking points on offer, but Selby collected a handsome cheque of £50,000 for his victory.

The six players additionally likely received lucrative sums of appearance money just to participate.

Shaun Murphy previously alluded to this fact when he spoke about the topic a couple of months ago.

“There’s been two or three exhibition events out in China since the summer – I’ve been invited into them all,” Murphy said on the OneFourSeven Snooker Podcast in October.

“It’s not a small amount of money that you’re offered to go.”

“I mean, just to give you some clarity, to earn more money in the Northern Irish Open than what I was offered to go, let alone what I might have won, you’d have to get to the final (in Belfast).

“From a player’s point of view trying to earn money, I can understand why players would go.

“There’s no stress, it’s not a tournament really – it’s an exhibition event, you get flown out and looked after like a rock star.

“You get all the red carpet laid out for you everywhere, all of your expenses are paid, and you’re given an appearance fee worth more than the runners-up cheque at the Northern Irish Open.

“So I get it. It’s very, very difficult, and if it were up to me they wouldn’t get a sanction.

“If it were up to me, we should be able to do what we want. We should be able to play when we want to play and wherever we want to play.

“It should be up to the promoters, of which WST are one of, to make their product as good as they possibly can.

“WST need to ask themselves why some players are preferring to go to Macau than go to one of their prestigious events.”

A second, unrelated, Macau Masters invitational event will take place later this week from December 26 to 29.

Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Mark Williams, Ding Junhui, Jack Lisowski, Kyren Wilson, Si Jiahui, and Marco Fu are taking part.

Featured photo credit: WST

3 Comments

  1. I’m confused as to whether these are exhibition events or not. Wikipedia has added this title to Selby’s career total. Snooker.org are also publishing results when ordinarily they wouldn’t for an exhibition. However, centuries made in this event are not being added to their official tallies.

  2. I have already commented on the Snooker tournaments but there is another issue I am bothered about.
    Why can’t there be more televised snooker on the BBC & ITV?
    My neighbour is 96 years old and like me enjoys snooker. She has very bad eyesight and has to watch very close to her tv. Like me, she does not have SKY or any other way to watch snooker and cannot afford to pay to watch.
    It would be nice to enjoy some of the overseas matches but we are not the privileged
    few.

    • The BBC and ITV do offer 11 events (including the Welsh and Seniors) which is more than at any point. Free-to-air coverage is also offered on freeview channel DMAX of all Home Nations and YouTube provide free coverage of the Championship Leagues in addition to the latter stages of qualifying for the World and UK Championship. It’s not unreasonable for them to have no desire to show more. That said, a team event could be a useful fourth network BBC event. It would be useful to fill a lean sporting weekend on the Beeb and be distinctive enough not to be seen as a regular event that would perhaps suffer with comparisons to the Triple Crown events.

      I do understand your frustration over the non British events but Eurosport has to fund itself through subscriptions. I’ve not always been able to afford access.

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