More tickets have already been snapped up for the 2015 Dafabet Masters than were sold in total at the event last season.


Several sessions for the showpiece invitation tournament are close to sell-out..


The tournament at Alexandra Palace in North London runs from Sunday January 11 to Sunday January 18, with 16 of the world’s best players contesting the title and £200,000 top prize. Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson and Mark Selby are among the favourites to lift the trophy.


A spokesman for World Snooker said: “We are thrilled to have beaten last year’s ticket total, with still nearly three weeks until the start of the event. Every session looks strong and any fans who want to come to this iconic event MUST BOOK FAST because tickets will sell out for certain days. To give someone who enjoys live sport a ticket for the Masters for Christmas is a wonderful gift, as the atmosphere at the famous Alexandra Palace will be magical”


The schedule for the first round is:


Mark Selby v Shaun Murphy (Sunday January 11 at 1pm)
Stuart Bingham v Marco Fu (Sunday January 11 at 7pm)
Judd Trump v Stephen Maguire (Monday January 12 at 1pm)
Neil Robertson v Robert Milkins (Monday January 12 at 7pm)
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Ricky Walden (Tuesday January 13 at 1pm)
Barry Hawkins v Ali Carter (Tuesday January 13 at 7pm)
Mark Allen v John Higgins (Wednesday January 14 at 1pm)
Ding Junhui v Joe Perry (Wednesday January 14 at 7pm)


Format for subsequent rounds:


Quarter-final one (O’Sullivan / Walden v Bingham / Fu): Thursday January 15 at 1pm
Quarter-final two (Hawkins / Carter v Robertson / Milkins): Thursday January 15 at 7pm
Quarter-final three (Ding / Perry v Allen / Higgins): Friday January 16 at 1pm
Quarter-final four (Trump / Maguire v Selby / Murphy): Friday January 16 at 7pm


Semi-final one: Saturday January 17 at 1pm
Semi-final two: Saturday January 17 at 7pm


Final: Sunday January 18