Masters Snooker: Handicapped Robertson to ease through

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Hot on the heels of the PDC Darts World Championship, Barry Hearn takes another of his pub sports to Alexandra Palace, as snooker’s Masters tournament gets underway for a second day of action.

Following Mark Selby and Marco Fu’s curtain-raising matches for the opener, we bring you the best bets for the next two battles, which pay out as a double of around 3/1 when combined:

Over nine frames in Judd Trump v Stephen Maguire @ 11/10

There aren’t many more intriguing first-round matches than Trump’s battle with the number 12 seed Maguire, who owns a positive 5-4 head-to-head record over the Englishman.

Despite being on the wrong side of the tale of the tape, Trump has been victorious in all of the last three matches with Maguire, but they’ve all been close and there has only been one shutout in nine tussles the pair have had.

Expect this one to be a thriller.

Neil Robertson (-2.5 frames) to beat Robert Milkins @ 8/11

It says a lot about how heavily fancied the Australian is in his first-rounder that he still finds himself as an odds-on chance when his opponent is given a head start.

Robertson has won three of the four matches he has played against Milkins during his career and on each of those occasions has won by three frames or more.

Milkins doesn’t come in to the tournament in the best of form either, having lost his last three matches before this tussle.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.