The World Masters, known for sponsorship reasons as the Mita/Sky World Masters, was a snooker tournament held in January 1991. Conceived by promoter Barry Hearn, the tournament had a similar format to the Grand Slam events in tennis, with men's singles, men's doubles, women's singles, women's doubles, mixed doubles and a junior competition. As in tennis, players had to win a match by two clear frames. If a match went to 6–6, there would be a tie break deciding frame with just one red and all the colours.
There was controversy when Alex Higgins was invited to participate, despite being banned from snooker for the whole of the 1990/1991 season for punching an official at the 1990 World Championship, as the World Masters was not a WPBSA-sanctioned event. A number of players, among them reigning world champion Stephen Hendry, were unhappy with Higgins' inclusion and threatened to boycott the event if he appeared in it. Higgins voluntarily withdrew, and Hendry took his place in the tournament.
Staged at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, it carried a record amount of prize money; the winner of the men's singles won £200,000, more than the world champion would receive that year. During the tournament James Wattana made the ninth official maximum break against Paul Dawkins. However, the break was not filmed due to it being on one of the outside tables. Meanwhile, a 13-year-old Quinten Hann became the youngest player to make a televised century break. The tournament was subsequently unable to find sponsorship, and was not staged again.