Category Archives: Snooker

Hearn – Snooker Is The Land Of Opportunity

This week’s BetVictor Northern Ireland Open in Belfast has seen more than half of the top-16 ranked players crash out in the opening round, underlining the strength in depth of players throughout the World Snooker Tour.

The tournament started on Monday with 15 of the world’s top 16 among the field, and eight of those lost their opening match. Seven of those defeats came against players ranked outside the top 60, with John Higgins (4) losing to Rory McLeod (61), Barry Hawkins (6) beaten by Chen Zifan (89), Mark Allen (7) losing to Niu Zhuang (90), Kyren Wilson (9) beaten by Lee Walker (95), Shaun Murphy (10) losing to Sam Baird (110), Stuart Bingham (12) beaten by Peter Lines (73) and Marco Fu (16) losing to Chen Feilong (126).

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “This amazing set of results justifies the format for this event and highlights the unprecedented quality of players throughout our tour. The players ranked among the top 16 are rewarded in the fact that they are seeded in the draw so that they can’t meet another top-16 player until the third round, but it’s a level playing field which is what top level sport should be. And they are vulnerable in the first round because there are so many good players throughout the rankings. The standard this season and the number of centuries and 147s being made has never been higher.

Barry Hearn

“Snooker is a land of opportunity and only the cream will rise to the top. All sport is about chasing dreams, but new players need the opportunity to chase that dream, and we have that now. We have a progressive system which is based on talent rather than reputation. The top 16 have huge benefits because they are invited to the Masters, the Shanghai Masters, the Championship League, seeded into the final stages of the World Championship, and seeded in the draw for every tournament. But in most ranking events they start in the same round as all 128 players and that is a fair system.

“Our overall prize money has grown from £3.5 million to £15 million within the past decade, and there are more and more players earning a good wage. In our current rankings there are 56 players who have earned £100,000 or more from ranking events within the past two years, whereas at the end of the 2015/16 season that figure was just 33. We are extremely ambitious in our plans to grow the sport further and create more opportunities for every player on our tour.”

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Indian World Snooker Open Postponed

It is with regret that we must announce that the decision has been taken to postpone the upcoming Indian Open in Kochi due to the flooding in the Kerala region.

We are heartbroken to hear of the loss of life and suffering in the area and our thoughts are with the people of India at this difficult time.

The tournament was due to take place from September 18th-22nd. However, the event will now go ahead at a later date and we are looking forward to travelling to the region in the near future. Further details on the re-scheduling will be released in due course.

The Indian Open has become a firm fixture on the World Snooker Tour calendar since Ding Junhui’s victory at the inaugural running of the event in 2013. Last year 30-time ranking event winner John Higgins became the fourth player to take home the title.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “The World Snooker Tour is fortunate to be able to visit Incredible India each year for this fantastic event. Everyone at World Snooker and the WPBSA has been devastated to hear about the horrendous flooding. There is no doubt in our mind that we will take our sport to this region at a more appropriate time in support of the people of Kerala.”

Hungary To Stage Snooker Challenge Tour Event

The Hungarian capital of Budapest will stage a tournament on snooker’s new Challenge Tour later this season.

The event will run on November 24 and 25 at the Snooker Terminal academy in Budapest, which has eight tables made by World Snooker’s official supplier Star. It will be the eighth Challenge Tour event of the season.

The new Challenge Tour is running for the first time this season, as a secondary circuit below the World Snooker Tour. There are ten events, with the top two players on the final Order of Merit earning a two-year card to the professional circuit.

Each tournament has 64 players from the Q School Order of Merit, plus a maximum of eight wild cards. As part of the agreement to stage an event in Budapest, the Hungarian national champion will receive a wild card to all Challenge Tour events this season, from event three onwards.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “We are delighted to bring a tournament to Hungary for the first time as our sport continues to move into new territories. To compete in this event in Budapest will be a fantastic opportunity for the Challenge Tour players. We look forward to working with our friends at the Hungarian Billiards Federation on a successful event.

“Having already staged the first two Challenge Tour events we can see it will be an extremely competitive circuit with a high standard of play, and a huge reward at the end for the two players who earn a World Snooker Tour card.”

Peter Varga, Chairman of the Snooker Department of the Hungarian Billiards Federation, said: “The Hungarian Billiards Federation is exceptionally honoured by the opportunity to host an event of this importance. We are looking forward to staging the Challenge Tour event in our capital Budapest, and to cooperating with the organisers of the Tour. We wish the best to all of the players on the Tour, we’ll do everything to guarantee an excellent event in Hungary.”

ManBetX Renew Welsh Snooker Open Sponsorship

World Snooker is delighted to announce that ManBetX has renewed its title sponsorship of the Welsh Open world ranking event.

The ManBetX Welsh Open will run from 11 to 17 February in 2019, at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. ManBetX sponsored the event for the first time in 2018, when John Higgins won the title for a record fifth time by beating Barry Hawkins in the final. Also among the field were top stars including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Mark Selby and home favourite Mark Williams.

The Welsh Open is snooker’s longest running ranking event other than the UK Championship and World Championship, as it has been staged every year since 1992. Contested by a field of 128 players, it is the last of the season’s Home Nations series.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “We are thrilled to extend our partnership with ManBetX on this fantastic tournament. ManBetX have become tremendous supporters of snooker in recent months through sponsorship of some of our biggest events. They are clearly delighted with the coverage they receive for their brand as our sport is watched by so many millions of fans around the world.

“The Welsh Open is always one of the highlights of the snooker calendar and we look forward to another week of outstanding action on the green baize in Cardiff in February.”

John Higgins won the 2017 ManBetX Welsh Open

Scott Taylor, Partner at Project11, said: “The continuation is superb and endorses the impact of the title sponsorship and superior product delivered by World Snooker and Matchroom Sport in their marquee sports portfolio, with which Project11 work closely. We are excited to see the event unfold and the ManBetX brand along with their client base increase. Project11 are proud to work with both ManBetX and World Snooker on this, one of many collaborations, as we continue to strive forward in the world of sports marketing.”

ManBetX added: “We are very happy to be placing the ManBetX brand alongside another of the most prestigious events in world snooker, taking our brand to the next level.”

Tickets for the ManBetX Welsh Open are on sale, for details see http://www.worldsnooker.com/tickets

Ladbrokes To Sponsor Trio Of Snooker’s Key Events

Ladbrokes has renewed its sponsorship of snooker’s World Grand Prix and Players Championship, and added the new Tour Championship to the series.

Those three events will make up the Ladbrokes Series of world ranking events in 2019.

The Ladbrokes World Grand Prix will run from February 4-10 in Cheltenham, followed by the Ladbrokes Players Championship from March 4-10 in Preston, then the new Ladbrokes Tour Championship in Llandudno from March 19-24. All three events will be televised live by ITV4.

The top 32 on the one-year ranking list will qualify for the first tournament at The Centaur venue in Cheltenham, then the top 16 will go on to the Guild Hall in Preston, and only the top eight will make it to the final event at Venue Cymru in Llandudno.

There will be a top prize of £100,000 available at the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix, with the winner to receive £125,000 at the Ladbrokes Players Championship, and £150,000 at the Ladbrokes Tour Championship. Any player winning all three tournaments will receive an extra bonus of £125,000, rounding up his total prize money to £500,000.

Ladbrokes has sponsored the World Grand Prix and Players Championship since 2016.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “The development of the Ladbrokes Series has been one of the most exciting innovations on our global tour in recent years. It means that from the very first ball of the season, players must earn enough money to qualify for these prestigious and lucrative events in the second half of the campaign.

“Adding the Tour Championship to the series makes it so competitive as we will go from 32 to 16 to eight players, with only the very best surviving until the end. And with a possible £500,000 to be won, it is a huge incentive for all of the top stars.

“We are delighted to have Ladbrokes on board for the full series, they have been fantastic supporters of snooker for many years and they are a superb team to work with. The viewing figures on ITV and the overall exposure that Ladbrokes receive for their brand from these three events is growing year on year.

Ronnie O’Sullivan won both the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix and Ladbrokes Players Championship last season

“We have three excellent venues for the Ladbrokes Series including a new location in Cheltenham. It’s going to be fascinating to find out which players can go all the way and lift the coveted trophies.”

Adrian Osman, Head Of Sponsorship and Events for the Ladbrokes Coral Group, said: “Having worked with Barry and the World Snooker team for many years we are delighted to be involved in yet another innovation in the sport, with the launch of the Ladbrokes Series.”

Tickets for all three Ladbrokes Series events will be on sale from Friday June 29th – for details see http://www.worldsnooker.com/tickets

D88.com To Sponsor Snooker’s European Masters

World Snooker is delighted to announce that the European Masters world ranking event will be sponsored by D88.com for the first time this season.

The D88.com European Masters will run from October 1st to 7th in Lommel, Belgium.

The tournament was staged in Lommel for the first time last season and Judd Trump lifted the trophy after beating Stuart Bingham 9-7 in the final. Top stars including Mark Selby, Mark Williams, Neil Robertson, John Higgins, Mark Allen and home favourite Luca Brecel were also among the field.

Judd Trump lifted the trophy Last year after beating Stuart Bingham 9-7 in the final.

The popularity of snooker has grown in Belgium in recent years, particularly through television coverage on Eurosport as well as the success of talented young player Brecel.

D88.com, one of Asia’s leading online gambling companies, also sponsor the German Masters in Berlin, which was won last season by Mark Williams. The 2019 D88.com German Masters will run from January 30 to February 3.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “We are very pleased to welcome D88.com on board for the European Masters. This is an extremely prestigious tournament contested by the world’s leading players at a superb venue. Last year’s event in Lommel was a great success.

“The popularity of snooker throughout Europe continues to grow and this goes hand in hand with our strategy of staging major tournaments in key locations throughout the continent, giving the fans the chance to see the very best players live in action.

“We look forward to working with the D88.com team on this event and building a strong relationship with them in the future.”

Dara Qin, Commercial Director of the Sponsor, added: “This is the second time that D88.com will be on the stage of World Snooker. We are so excited and more than happy to be connecting with the world’s most gentle and beautiful sport! We wish everyone at the European Masters a successful and fruitful event. We believe all snooker lovers will enjoy a great time.

“Apart from being title sponsor of the European Masters, D88.com will be title sponsor of the German Masters for the second time. D88.com are doing everything in our power to support snooker, as we love the sport. D88.com will work closely with the snooker world to present more excellence in the near future.”

Tickets for the D88.com European Masters are available now – for details see europeanmasters.eventsquare.co

Crawley To Host Snooker’s English Open

Crawley will welcome the best snooker players in the world later this year when the English Open comes to the town.

Taking place at K2 Crawley from October 15th to 21st, it will be the first world ranking event ever staged in the West Sussex town.

Ronnie O’Sullivan

The English Open is the first of the 2018/19 season’s Home Nations events, to be followed by tournaments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It brings together 128 of the world’s top stars, competing in a flat draw with all players needing to win seven matches to take the Steve Davis Trophy.

Ronnie O’Sullivan won the title last year in Barnsley by thrashing Kyren Wilson 9-2 in the final.

Once again there will be a £1 million bonus on offer to any player who can win all four Home Nations events over the 2018/19 season. The Home Nations series receives extensive live television coverage from Eurosport and Quest.

K2 Crawley staged the qualifying rounds of the Australian Open in 2015 and will now host the final stages of a tournament for the first time.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “This is fantastic news for the people of Crawley and the surrounding area as they will have the chance to watch the best players on the planet live in action. Having staged qualifiers at K2 before we know it is an excellent venue and I hope to see the place packed out with fans.

“The English Open is the first tournament to be staged on UK soil next season and what a fantastic event it will be, with 128 top stars battling for glory. Ronnie O’Sullivan’s performance in the final last year was arguably the best of the 2017/18 season as he had a 98 per cent pot success rate. And Ronnie definitely had his eyes on the £1 million bonus until he lost in the third round of the Northern Ireland Open.

“We’re really looking forward to working with the team in Crawley on staging another top class event. It’s always a pleasure to bring a big tournament to a new location and once tickets are on sale they will be selling fast.”

Details of how to buy tickets will be released soon.