Chigwell's Ronnie O'Sullivan will be vying to win his fifth Masters title when the prestigious tournament gets underway at Alexandra Palance on Sunday.

The competition is usually reserved for the 16 top-ranked players but O'Sullivan, rated world number 24, qualified by virtue of winning the World Championships in Sheffield last year.

Rocket Ronnie has been seeded second behind defending champion Mark Selby but Chigwell's prolific potter has been widely installed as the pre-tournament favourite.

He faces debutant Robert Milkins in the first round.

The 38-year-old has won the title four times in the past and were he to add another to his trophy cabinet, O'Sullivan would be only one short of Stephen Hendry's record of six.

The first major snooker tournament of the year, the Masters winner also secures a top prize of £200,000.