May 18, 2022

Why the UK Snooker Championship in York adopts the same competition format as the World Championship in Sheffield

In recent years, the 128 players have started with a draw at the Barbican in York, but now the world’s best 16 will be ranked – and guaranteed to feature in the televised stages – and joined by 16 players who will go through the qualifying rounds.

The prize money for next season’s British Cazoo Championship has been increased to £1,205,000, with the top prize increasing from £200,000 to £250,000.

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World Snooker Tour chairman Steve Dawson said: “This format works perfectly for the World Championship, so it is also ideal for our second biggest ranking event, the UK Championship.

Defending champion: Sheffield-based Zhao Xintong is the current holder of the British Championship crown. Photo: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.

“It guarantees a star-studded line-up for the final stages, while the qualifying event itself also creates drama and big storylines as 128 players battle it out for 16 coveted places at the fabulous York Barbican venue.

“We are also delighted to increase the prize money for the event, for the benefit of all players on the circuit.

“These changes will enhance the Cazoo UK Championship’s status as one of the standout events on our calendar.”

The final stages will take place from November 12-20 at the Barbican, his home since 2011.

On the brink: Ronnie O’Sullivan needs two frames to reach the semi-finals of this year’s Betfred World Snooker Championships – leading Stephen Maguire 11-5 overnight. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire.

This will be preceded by a qualifying event involving 128 players, made up of 112 professionals and 16 invited amateurs. Matches will remain best of 11 frames until the final.

China’s Zhao Xintong – who lives in Sheffield and trains at the city’s Victoria’s Academy – is the current champion after beating Belgium’s Luca Brecel in the 2021 final.

Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Williams took control of their respective quarter-finals on the eleventh day of the World Championship in Sheffield.

O’Sullivan capitalized on an error-strewn display from Stephen Maguire to open a 6-2 lead after their opener, with Williams leading Yan Bingtao by the same margin after winning four frames in a row.

Front: Judd Trump leads Stuart Bingham 5-3 overnight. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire.

Maguire won a scrappy opening frame that had threatened to escalate into a stalemate, with green, brown and blue all clustered around the same corner pocket, but O’Sullivan quickly leveled the scores and pulled away. moved ahead with a streak of 54 in the third.

The six-time champion looked unhappy with the state of his point on several occasions but stretched his lead with breaks of 70 and 123 before Maguire crucially won an eventful eighth frame.

The Scot first missed a double attempt on the final red, then came on when he doubled it after a safety from O’Sullivan, but O’Sullivan failed to place the yellow down the middle and Maguire gratefully cleared.

Yan fought back 2-0 with breaks of 102 and 85 but Williams found his scoring touch after the half-term interval to produce breaks of 60, 106, 72 and 77 as Yan failed to pocket a single ball in the last three. frames.

By the end of the evening session, six-time champion O’Sullivan had extended his lead to 11-5, needing two more frames to reach the semis.

It was much closer at the other table, where Williams and Yan were tied at 8-8.

In Tuesday’s afternoon matches, Judd Trump and John Higgins both came out on top in the opening sessions of their respective quarterfinals.

Trump, a world champion three years ago, took a 5-3 lead over Stuart Bingham, whose own memorable Crucible triumph came in 2015 at the age of 38.

Both players scored century-long breaks, with Bingham’s 106 the highest in the seventh frame, before Trump edged a tense final frame of the session 73-35.

On the other table, four-time champion Higgins also built a 5-3 advantage over Jack Lisowski, who was back in action after his dramatic 13-12 win over Neil Robertson late Monday night.

Stephen Hendry and Ken Doherty have received wildcards to participate in the World Snooker Tour (WST) for the next two seasons.

The decision was announced by WST chairman Steve Dawson on day 11 of the world championship at the Crucible, an event seven-time champion Hendry did not attempt to qualify for.

The 53-year-old Scotsman has won just three times in 11 appearances after coming out of retirement in September 2020 and accepting a two-year invitational calling card.

Doherty, who beat Hendry in the 1997 World Championship final, lost 6-4 to Rory McLeod in the second round of qualifying for this year’s event.

Dawson said: “We have decided to offer Ken Doherty and Stephen Hendry invitational tour cards for the next two seasons. “They are both great ambassadors for our sport and they have both done a tremendous amount to develop snooker around the world over many years.

“Ken and Stephen continue to generate interest from fans, TV and the media.

“We wish them the best for the next two seasons.

“We will review this invitation at the end of the two-year period.”

Dawson also announced that the format of November’s British Cazoo Championship in York has changed to reflect that of the World Championship, with the top 16 players seeded in the last 32 and the remaining 16 qualifying.

The prize money has been increased to £1.2million, with the top prize increasing from £200,000 to £250,000.


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