With the second annual Champion of Champions set for the prestigious Ricoh Arena, Coventry, the four seeded players for this year’s event are Ronnie O’Sullivan (1), Mark Selby (2), Neil Robertson (3) and Ding Junhui (4).
Taking place from Monday 3rd to Sunday 9th November, the Champion of Champions features all winners of World Snooker events over the preceding 12 months, with the field topped up from the current World Rankings.
With a £270,000 prize fund, including £100,000 for the ultimate winner, the Champion of Champions will be screened live throughout on ITV4 in the UK.
Proceedings get underway at 1.00pm on Monday 3rd with Ding Junhui heading up Group 4. Tuesday 4th sees Group 2 lead by Mark Selby and Wednesday has defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan star in Group 1.
After a day off, Group 3 commences on Friday afternoon with reigning UK Champion Neil Robertson the seeded player.
With most of the field competing in the International Championship in Chengdu, which ends the day before the Champion of Champions commences, the remaining players will be allocated to groups as they are eliminated in China.
Matchroom Sport Chairman Barry Hearn said: “The Champion of Champions is the best of the best and fans at the Ricoh Arena and those watching on ITV4 will be guaranteed world class snooker from start to finish.
“The venue is superb and the format proved very popular last year. Looking ahead, the field is very open such is the quality but it would take a brave man to back against defending champ Ronnie O’Sullivan!”
With two more events to be played, there are currently 12 players qualified for the Champion of Champions:
1. Ronnie O’Sullivan (Champion of Champions; Masters; Welsh Open)
2. Mark Selby (World Championship; ET1)
3. Neil Robertson (UK Championship; Wuxi Classic)
4. Ding Junhui (German Masters; China Open; AT1)
5. Judd Trump (Championship League Snooker; Australian Goldfields Open)
6. Shaun Murphy (World Open; ET8; ET3)
7. Barry Hawkins (Players Championship Grand Final)
8. Stuart Bingham (Shanghai Masters; AT4)
9. Mark Allen (ET2)
10. Stephen Maguire (Six Red World Championship)
11. Dominic Dale (Shoot Out)
12. Steve Davis (World Seniors)
With just two events to be played out, there will be less than 16 different champions and the shortfall in players will be filled from the World Snooker rankings after the recent Bulgarian Open (ET3) event. The next four highest ranked players not already qualified are:
No.9 Marco Fu
No.11 Ricky Walden
No.12 John Higgins
No.14 Joe Perry
Tickets for the 2014 Champion of Champions are available from www.Theticketfactory.com or 0844 338 8000
That seems a bit strange if I have read that correctly. Does it mean the players eliminated first in Chengdu (and therefore those who may be considered “out of form”) will be in Ding’s group? If that is so, isn’t it a bit unfair?
It is a bit odd alright. But I guess something had to be done with the tournaments being so close. Why they were scheduled so close together is another issue entirely!