Judd Trump’s 2011 was a year to remember – and 2012 can get off to an even better start for the young Englishman.
Trump burst onto the scene thanks to a memorable run to the final of last year’s World Championship where he was eventually defeated by John Higgins.
‘Mr. Haircut 100’ also won two ranking events in the shape of the China Open and the UK Championship and he is currently joint second favourite to win the Masters alongside three-times world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Trump had the better of O’Sullivan when the pair met at the UK Championships and he looks far more likely to win the Alexandra Palace event.
Following that defeat O’Sullivan announced he was once again giving serious consideration to quitting snooker and he has slid to 16 in the world rankings.
However, Trump was disappointing in his last outing at the Players Tour Championship in Sheffield and he crashed out in the quarter finals 4-1 to eventual winner Tom Ford.
He should have no problems in his opening game of the tournament though and is heavily fancied to sweep past Stuart Bingham.
Trump is 4/9 to make it through the first round after losing in the wild card round last year, while his opponent – who won the Australian Goldfields Open last year – is 7/4 to bag the win.
Meanwhile, World No.1 Mark Selby is the 11/2 favourite to win the tournament and he should have no problems in his first round game against World No.15 Steven Lee.
Finally, defending champion Ding Junhui is out at 10/1 to retain his title after being drawn against O’Sullivan in the first round.