Higgins was hoping to make it 3 invitational events in a row after winning the China Championship and the Champion of Champions late last year.
In a high quality battle, Higgins was first to show form as he quickly took a 2-0 lead. Then Mark Allen stepped up and took the next 2 frames to level the match going into the interval.
From there on, the frames were shared to 4-4 until Allen won the next on a re-spotted black to go 5-4 up. In the next, Higgins made a 77 break to force the deciding frame.
In the deciding frame, both players were given opportunities but it was John Higgins that had first blood, but a mistake from the Scot allowed Mark Allen in who converted his chance into a win.
In the post match interview Mark Allen said;
“I love this tournament. It’s a great occasion and you have to play well. John has beaten me the past few times so i owed him one.”
“I wasn’t at my best today but i thought my safety was good and i forced some errors from John.”
“It’s up to me to step up, get better and beat these good players.”
“You don’t win matches here playing poorly.”
Mark Allen will face either Judd Trump or Marco Fu in the quarter final on Thursday.