World number one Mark Selby’s hopes of progressing in the Championship League are hanging by a thread after a poor opening day in Group Three.
The 35-year-old suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat in his opening match against Barry Hawkins on Monday, before recovering to edge past Jimmy Robertson 3-2. He was unable to build any momentum from that triumph and subsequently ended the day with another defeat at the hands of Stuart Bingham.
Selby, who can be backed at 8.00 to win the Dafabet Masters, begins day two sitting sixth in the Group Three standings and he has just three more games to try and mount a recovery.
The Jester from Leicester can seal a spot in Group Four if he climbs up to fifth place, while he will need at least a couple of victories to stand any chance of reaching the play-offs.
Meanwhile, Robertson will need a miracle to avoid elimination after losing all four of his matches on Monday.
Hawkins looks set to seal his place in the play-offs following three successive victories with Luca Brecel also on the verge of making the last-four. The Belgian, who kicks off Tuesday’s action against Selby, saw off Kyren Wilson, Robertson and Judd Trump to secure a clean sweep of results.
Judd Trump still has work to do, having finished fifth in Group Two with three wins and three defeats, and currently holds on to the final play-off spot with two matches left to play.