Stevens faces an all-Welsh showdown against Mark Williams in the first round of one of snooker's traditional big three titles at London's Alexandra Palace.
The 35-year-old, who returned to form during the last calendar year with runs to the World Championship semi-final and UK Championship last-eight, gets his Masters campaign underway on Wednesday.
And the world number 15 knows he must be at the top of his game to stand any chance of success.
"The standard is really good so if you play badly the chances are you are going to lose, so you have to play well," he said.
"It is one of the biggest tournaments. We always look forward to this time of year.
"I have got Mark Williams so it will be a tough match. We have played dozens of times over the years, we grew up together with the Welsh juniors and we know each other's games inside out so it will be tough but at least one good thing is we will have a Welshman in the next round.
"It was nice to win the Masters, I think it was 13 years ago now so I can't remember much about it. My record hasn't been that great since but one good week and you can win the title."