After the conclusion of the Riga Masters last Sunday, the 2017/18 season is well and truly under way.
As we soon enter the second half of this calendar year with the beginning of July on Saturday, it’s a good opportunity to take a look at what’s in store for the next month.
Unfortunately, there are no more ranking events until August so Welshman Ryan Day will have to wait a while longer to see if he can maintain the run of form which helped him to a maiden ranking event crown in Latvia.
The 37 year-old is, however, set to compete in the upcoming World Cup which takes place in China next week.
Snooker returns to Wuxi for the first time in two years with 24 teams from 23 different countries competing for global honours.
The Chinese, as hosts, are the only country to boast two units with teenagers Zhou Yuelong and Yan Bingtao returning to defend the title they sensationally won a couple of years ago.
A lot of the big names will be present with the likes of Judd Trump representing England, John Higgins featuring for Scotland, Neil Robertson flying the Australian flag, and Ding Junhui fighting the cause for the other Chinese outfit.
It’s hard to know who will be the favourites in a doubles format which isn’t the norm in snooker, but Big Free Bet provides plenty of betting offers to help follow the action.
Later in July there are two more invitational events to take place.
The inaugural Hong Kong Masters replaces the old General Cup which was won by the likes of Neil Robertson, Marco Fu, and Ali Carter.
The first two names have been asked to play in the revamped competition, in what will likely be a lucrative outing for the eight competitors taking part.
Mark Selby and Ronnie O’Sullivan will kick start their campaigns with John Higgins, Judd Trump, Shaun Murphy, and Barry Hawkins also in the star-studded line-up.
Meanwhile, organised and governed by the International World Games Association (IWGA), under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the 2017 World Games are set to be held in Wroclaw, Poland from 20-30 July 2017.
Snooker will be included for the fifth time since its introduction at the 2001 Akita Games and is to be contested over the final five days of the 2017 event.
The field features nine current or former professional players including Ali Carter and Kyren Wilson – which means two members of the world’s current top 16 will compete for the first time at a World Games – as well as defending champion Aditya Mehta
They will be joined by a number of players who have achieved success in amateur competition at international level, including women players Ng On Yee and Wendy Jans.
Ireland’s Michael Judge has been selected thanks to his finishing position in the IBSF World Championship in Qatar, with the Dubliner set to face On Yee in the last 16.
WCBS President Jason Ferguson said: “I am delighted that snooker will once again be part of the World Games this year.”
“Since the previous staging of the Games in Cali, we have experienced hugely exciting times in snooker, seen many developments, and the tour has grown into a truly global sport.
“Being part of the World Games is an opportunity to showcase our great sport on an international platform.
“I am looking forward to seeing our strongest field yet in action, including two top 16 players who are both major international event winners and for the first time two women players competing in what will be a mixed gender competition, a significant step for our sport.”