MARK Williams says he is at a “crossroads” in his career after falling at the first hurdle in the Dafabet Masters with a 6-2 loss to Stuart Bingham.

The world number two went into the Alexandra Palace event a two-time winner but lacking in form after a second-round defeat at December’s UK Championship – a result he labelled the worst of his career.

And although he showed signs of improvement in the early stages in north London, the Cwm cueman lost four frames on the bounce after the mid-session interval to leave him wondering whether he will return to the tournament in the future.

“It wasn’t great, I missed quite a lot of easy balls,” he said. “A crossroads is probably a good phrase.

“You want to practice, otherwise you end up playing like that. I deserved to lose. He was much the better player, he played quite well.

“He had some rubs here and there. I could have made it 3-3 but went into the pack and couldn’t get on anything, but they don’t call him 'Ball-Run' for nothing.

“I was just poor. How the hell I’m number two in the world I don’t know, if you’ve seen the UK and this. This wasn’t as bad as the UK, but it wasn’t great.

“It does motivate me, but I’m not getting any younger. I don’t know how many times I’m going to come back here.

“If I’ll come back, I don’t know, but it’s just one of those things I’ve got to have a think about.”

Still struggling with his dedication to putting in the hours on the practice table, Williams nonetheless looked assured in the opening frames, taking a 2-1 lead thanks to some eye-catching shot-making, before Bingham levelled at the interval.

But it was a completely different story after the break with Bingham making the most of a few moments of good luck as Williams faded badly.

“He played well after the interval, he had a lot of one-frame visits,” the 44-year-old Welshman continued.

“I had a couple of chances and didn’t make the most of them, I was unlucky not to go 3-3.

“The frame after he was lucky to snooker me and I hit it and left it on the hole, but that’s the way it goes – someone has a run and someone doesn’t.”

Watch the Masters live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Ronnie O'Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.