It was a great start to the BGC Masters yesterday: a packed house for an absorbing contest between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Ding Junhui.
O'Sullivan's long potting was at times sensational and he responded well after Ding launched his fightback.
Afterwards, there were nice scenes in the BBC studio as Ronnie's son, Ronnie junior, joined his dad for some post match analysis.
O'Sullivan spoke thoughtfully about the future of his career, explaining that he still wanted to play but not to the extent that it becomes an endless slog which he doesn't enjoy.
I thought this made perfect sense. Snooker players tend to be more persuasive when they are speaking cogently and politely rather than indulging in boorish swearing or crass metaphors.
The evening match was a more protracted affair but still dramatic. Mark Williams was coasting at 4-0 up against Stephen Maguire but failed to clinch what seemed a likely comfortable victory and Maguire dug in well to put him under all sorts before the Welshman came through 6-4.
And so to today...
JUDD TRUMP V STUART BINGHAM
There's no real logical reason not to back Trump. He is riding the crest of a wave of confidence and success. He's a big occasion player, cueing superbly - as he proved once again at the Championship League last week - and, perhaps most importantly, hasn't let it all go to his head.
After his talent, the most impressive thing about Judd is his composure. He remains a quiet lad who enjoys what he does and despite receiving bags of publicity, hasn't started believing it all.
Bingham of course beat him 5-1 at this season's Shanghai Masters and is a fine break-builder no doubt relishing his third Masters appearance and first as a member of the top 16.
But he knows this is a very tough draw, although Trump did start his UK Championship campaign slowly before getting better as the event wore on.
Prediction: Trump to win 6-2
SHAUN MURPHY V MARTIN GOULD
Gould becomes the 82nd player to compete in the Masters since it was first staged in 1975. What a proud moment for the Londoner, who loves playing snooker and has improved rapidly over the last few years.
He's never beaten Murphy but Murphy has never done well in the Masters, failing to make it past the quarter-finals in seven previous appearances.
But as with most things there are historical parallels. Dennis Taylor had won only one match in the tournament before he won the title in 1987. Murphy is always going to be a threat in any tournament and had four solid days hard match practice in the Championship League last week.
Prediction: Murphy to win 6-3