Costão do Santinho Resort, Brazil
15-18th September 2011
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Brazil Masters - Day 1
The first match of the day was between the two most recent major ranking event winners; Shanghai Masters champion Mark Selby and Australian Goldfields Open champion Stuart Bingham.
It wasn't the highest quality of play from both players as Stuart took to a 2-0 lead. The Jester from Leicester hit back to lead 3-2 with a top break of 82. Stuart recovered to 3-3 before Mark won the decider with top breaks of 31 and 41.
Mark will play Peter Ebdon in the quarter-finals who looks to be playing a lot better than he did at the start of the season in his 4-1 win over Stephen Lee, but the Trowbridge potter never really threatened the former world champion and missed multiple simple pots throughout the match.
In the second quarter we had an interesting encounter between former Shanghai and Grand Prix finalist Jamie Cope and Brazil's current no.1 and former pro Igor Figueiredo.
Unfortunately for Igor he was not able to compete on the pro tour for this season due to lack of sponsorship. Breaks of 56 and 41 put Igor 2-0 up early in the match. The shotgun from Stoke won the third before Igor made it 3-1 with a 74 break. Jamie pulled one back to 3-2 before Figueiredo finished to win the match with a fantastic break of 114.
Out of the 8 players today Igor seemed most at home with the conditions and is probably used to playing on tables in similiar conditions in his local club. If he can beat Graeme Dott on Saturday then I could see him challenging for the title.
Graeme himself came through in the early hours of the morning in a strange scheduling move that saw his match with Mark Davis start at 10pm local time. Both players are already looking sharp this season with both featuring in different PTC finals.
Graeme beat the Bexhill battler 4-1 which included breaks of 77, 50 and 73 from the former world champion.
About the event itself, the setup in the arena seems nice enough, however the bright red carpet does strain the eyes slightly after watching for to long! The biggest discussion on Twitter has been about the expensive Ticket prices for the event, with the cheapest tickets starting around the £40 mark.
For an event that is just supposed to be testing the water in a new country I believe this to be a little absurd. Apperently in the months leading up to it, the event was moved from a local city with plenty of people living nearby to a resort a fair distance away. This might of meant that they had to charge more for the tickets but why did they move it in the first place? Hopefully all will be resolved soon.
Day 1 Results;
Mark Selby 4-3 Stuart Bingham
Peter Ebdon 4-1 Stephen Lee
Igor Figueiredo 4-2 Jamie Cope
Graeme Dott 4-1 Mark Davis
Igor Figueiredo - 114