Bingham Masters Shanghai

Bingham1Congratulations to Stuart Bingham who has today defeated Mark Allen 10-3 to win the 2014 Shanghai Masters. Earning him the top prize of £85,000, the victory represents Stuart’s biggest tournament success so far, as he continues his impressive recent record in Asia.

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Heading into today’s final in Shanghai, expectations were high for a closely fought encounter between two well-matched players, but as it would turn out, Stuart Bingham’s early 4-0 advantage would prove to be too much of a gap for Mark Allen to overcome.

As during his semi-final comeback against Mark Selby, Allen hit back to close to 3-5 with one frame of the opening session remaining, but the next two frames would go to Bingham, both on the pink and from there Stuart was able to close out an impressive victory with room to spare.

It was a final of the ‘not a classic’ description, but Stuart will not care one bit about that as the victory represents his biggest professional title to date, earning him the top prize of £85,000 and cementing his position in the top 10 of the world rankings. While he was not at his very best today, there is no doubt that he deserved to win the title, having already knocked out defending champion Ding Junhui in the semi-finals and previously come through a brilliant match against another Chinese player in Li Hang.


The result continues Stuart’s impressive run overseas, having won three Asian Tour events, the Australian Goldfields Open and also reached the final of the Wuxi Classic a couple of years ago. As is well documented Stuart is a player who rarely misses an opportunity to play, even in the days of six ranking events, Stuart could often be found winning a piece of glassware of some description at Pontin’s and with snooker’s recent expansion, this attitude and approach to events that others might not be up for is no doubt related to his success.

As for Mark, he will be disappointed not to have brought his best to today’s final but his run nevertheless caps an extremely productive month, which has seen him qualify for the Champion of Champions. Players Championship Grand Finals and move up into the top eight of the latest world rankings.

Much has been made by some of the rivalry between the two players, but the two are on better terms these days and it was good to see them exchange friendly tweets following the final.


Looking back at the tournament overall it has been a good week with upsets (on paper at least) early on, but come the latter stages it was been the world’s top players who were able to make it through. With discussions ongoing during the event, it has been interesting to note the speculation as to whether the current, traditional 32 man format will be retained, or whether the event will fall into line with the other flat draw events.

Clearly from a ranking point of view, it would be preferable for the event to be a flat draw event, along with the Australian Goldfields Open, but I can’t help but feel that as a TV viewer, I actually prefer the traditional format. Whether that is nostalgia or something else I am not sure, but putting aside arguments of fairness and considering the wider implications, it would be interesting to know how others feel on this.

Next stop was going to be the Indian Open qualifiers, but following the recent postponement of that event, the next professional snooker will come from Barnsley with the International Championship qualifiers from 22nd September 2014.