2017 is only a day old but it’s straight into the action as this season’s Championship League gets under way at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
Indeed, the schedule is pretty unforgiving from now until the campaign’s conclusion at the Crucible for the blue riband World Championship in April and May.
Celebrating its 10th year, the Championship League is an invitational event streamed live on various online bookmaker websites.
The series initially features seven group stages played across two days, each incorporating seven players who will play one another once in a short best of five format.
The top four players from each group move into the knockout phase, where a group winner is ultimately determined.
These seven group winners subsequently compete in a final Winners’ Group, in which the emerging victor gains an invite into the lucrative Champion of Champions at the end of the year.
The Championship League has had its detractors but for the players invited to compete it is a good opportunity to play competitive snooker while also potentially being a nice earner.
Money is awarded for each frame won while bonuses are then given for reaching the play-off stages of each group, with the stakes then increased for the Winners’ Group in March.
Group One on Monday and Tuesday includes Anthony McGill, Ryan Day, David Gilbert, Matthew Selt, Ben Woollaston, Mark Davis and Robert Milkins.