Mark Allen had Saturday night off after his superb afternoon comeback semi-final win over world champion and world No1 Mark Selby – and chose to spend it taking advantage of one of the perks of the Regal Shanghai East Asia hotel used by the players.
The 12th-floor VIP Executive lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows looking out Skybox-style over the Shanghai East Asia Stadium, and on the Saturday night the home side – in 4th place in the Chinese Super League – hosted champions and league leaders Guangzhou Evergrande, managed by former Italy and Juventus boss Marcelo Lippi.
And Allen spent a relaxing evening before Sunday’s final with a pizza in the comfortable seats enjoying a magnificent view of the proceedings.
The goalkeepers at Shanghai East Asia are coached by former England, Spurs and Leicester keeper Ian Walker, and in the first half his charge was all that stood between Guangzhou and a cricket score. But the club with by far away the biggest budget in China kicked clear in the second half and the match finished 3-0 to Evergrande.
Photograph by Monique Limbos