Yesterday in a nutshell: Judd Trump turned it on when he had to; Shaun Murphy was superb against Martin Gould.
And so to today...
JOHN HIGGINS V MATTHEW STEVENS
Higgins regards this as his bogey tournament, despite winning the Masters twice and reaching two other finals.
It does seem to be an all or nothing event for him. From the other 13 times he has played in the Masters and not reached the final he has lost nine times in the opening round.
Higgins has yet to really hit his stride this season. We all know he can, and indeed that he probably will, but it isn't bound to happen today.
Stevens was Masters champion in 2000 but has only won one match in the event since. He is playing in the tournament for the first time since 2007.
The Welshman has done well to get back in the top 16 but is lacking wins over the top players of late.
I think it'll be a close match and, if it is, that Higgins will win.
Prediction: Higgins to win 6-4
NEIL ROBERTSON V MARK ALLEN
This could be a classic. Allen is riding high after reaching his first major final at last month's UK Championship. Robertson has emerged as a fiercely competitive big occasion player.
It's a clash of styles: Allen is fast and attacking; Robertson is attacking but has slowed down and is now as dogged and determined as his late compatriot Eddie Charlton.
They played in the quarter-finals last year and Allen won 6-4. He will be full of confidence after his York exploits and is yet to lose his first match at the Masters in three previous appearances.
His strength is his scoring power but he is also great in adversity, a trait he shares with fellow Northern Irishmen Alex Higgins, Dennis Taylor and Joe Swail.
Robertson took a good break over Christmas, visiting Norway from where his partner hails. When he came back to Cambridge he was unable to practise with Joe Perry as he was in Germany for the PTC.
Robertson had two days of Championship League snooker last week. He was clearly rusty at first but soon hit his stride.
I don't see either player running away with it.
Prediction: Allen to win 6-5