This tournament was won in scintillating fashion last year by Ronnie O'Sullivan and judging by what we've seen from the great man this season with his victories in the Champion of Champions & the UK Championship, he will once again take all the beating here.
Such is his superiority it is probably not even a case of who can stop him at his best,but rather how much bellow his peak must he perform to be vulnerable to the would be challengers?
Suppose the first place to look for an alternative to another Ronnie win is with the man who pushed him so hard in those two big finals Judd Trump. After a couple of difficult seasons Judd seems to have put his career back on its upward trajectory and will come here full of confidence.
Other players coming here in form include the likes of Stephen Maguire & Shaun Murphy and they will be hoping to continue where they left off in 2014 in this busy second half of the season.
By contrast Neil Robertson,Ding Junhui & world champion Mark Selby will be hoping this week can prove a springboard to greater things after an indifferent first half of the season for them all.
Throw in John Higgins,Mark Allen,Marco FU as well as few other and we are truly in for a fascinating week.
As you will have guessed above I don't see anything other than Ronnie collecting a sixth Masters title next weekend,but when you have the worlds to 16 players gather together anything can happen.
The actin gets under way tomorrow afternoon & what a match to start with as Shaun Murphy takes on Mark Selby.Let battle commence.