The Masters will be sponsored by Betfair when Neil Robertson defends his title in 2013

Last Updated: 08/11/12 12:06pm

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Neil Robertson with the 2012 Masters trophy

Neil Robertson with the 2012 Masters trophy

Sky Bet

Betfair have been announced as the new sponsors of the Masters which will take place at Alexandra Palace early next year.

Snooker's most prestigious invitation event will again feature 16 players and sees Neil Robertson defend the title he won in 2012 by beating Shaun Murphy 10-6.

Robertson will face Ding Junhui in the first round and that will be the first game on the schedule when the tournament commences on 13 January.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: "It's a great pleasure to welcome on board Betfair for our biggest and best invitation event.

"We are already working with them on a range of tournaments so we know what a professional team they are and how much they value the outstanding global exposure they get from snooker.

"The Masters is such a wonderful event, with only the elite players invited to compete for the famous trophy. It's going to be an incredible eight days on the baize at Ally Pally and we look forward to joining Betfair to enjoy the show."

First round draw:

Sunday January 13

1pm: Neil Robertson v Ding Junhui

7pm: Mark Allen v Mark Davis

Monday January 14

1pm: John Higgins v Ali Carter

7pm: Stephen Maguire v Graeme Dott

Tuesday January 15

1pm: Judd Trump v Barry Hawkins

7pm: Shaun Murphy v Ricky Walden

Wednesday January 16

1.30pm: Mark Williams v Matthew Stevens

7pm: Mark Selby v Stuart Bingham

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