World Snooker today announced that this season’s Players Tour Championship Grand Finals will be staged in Thailand.
It is good news for the South East Asian country, which has a long history hosting snooker tournament dating back to the 1980s.
But it is a major blow for professional snooker in Ireland, losing the event from the calendar having been its permanent resident for each of the first three years it was held.
Full World Snooker News Release:
Snooker’s Players Championship Grand Finals will be staged in Bangkok, Thailand for the first time this season.
The tournament will run from March 25 to 29, 2014, and will feature 32 of the world’s leading players competing for total prize money of £300,000, with the winner to receive £100,000.
The field will comprise 24 players from the European Tour Order of Merit plus eight more from the Asian Tour Order of Merit, based on events which have run throughout the season.
The Grand Finals were staged in Ireland last season, with Ding Junhui taking the top prize by beating Neil Robertson 4-3 in a dramatic final.
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “We are delighted to be taking this tournament to Thailand for the first time. It’s a country with a rich snooker history, having produced great players and hosted many fantastic events. Bangkok has staged the Six-Red World Championship for the past two years which has been a tremendous success.
“There is wonderful support for snooker in Thailand and the fans will have another chance to see the world’s leading stars. And the opportunity to play in Thailand gives an extra incentive for the players striving to climb the Order of Merit, as we approach the final qualifying event in both Europe and Asia. It’s already looking like a superb field.
“My thanks go to the promoter of the event BEC-Tero for their support, and to Sindhu Pulsirivong and his team at the Billiards and Snooker Association of Thailand for their hard work in developing the growth of snooker in Asia.”
BEC-Tero Managing Director Brian L. Marcar said: “It is with great delight that we welcome the Players Championship to Thailand. We look forward to staging an amazing event featuring the world’s top snooker stars.”
Ticket details for the tournament will be announced soon.
The last European Tour event is the Gdynia Open in Poland from February 7-9, and the last Asian Tour event runs from March 4-8. The line up of 32 players for the Grand Finals will then be announced.