Barry Hearn has announced that there will be a potential bonus of a million pounds pot for 147 breaks during the 2019/20 snooker campaign.
In his annual press conference at the Crucible Theatre during the World Snooker Championship, the World Snooker chairman also revealed that Betfred will be the title sponsor of the blue riband tournament for another two years.
Additionally, Hearn said that from next season the World Snooker Championship will revert to a tiered qualification system.
There will also be four extra spots attributed to May’s Q School – bringing the total number of graduates to 16 – while it was confirmed that legend Jimmy White will receive another two-year tour card.
However, perhaps most interesting was the news that there will be a potential bonus of a millions pounds pot for 147 breaks during the next term.
For the last few years, the sport has adopted a rolling 147 break prize, starting at £5,000 and escalating in each ranking event in which a maximum isn’t compiled.
But from next season, that system will be scrapped in favour of an eye-catching incentive to get players to score even more heavily than is currently the case.
Should a minimum of 20 players construct the perfect frame throughout the entire campaign, all of those competitors will share the million pounds pot for 147 breaks.
That means if it is made by 20 different players, they will each share a tidy sum of £50,000 at the climax of the 2019/20 period.
Presumably, if a player makes more than one maximum, he will be awarded with a greater share of the jackpot.
There has never been this many accumulated in a single season with just a dozen 147 breaks being made during 2018/19 so far.
Barry has also announced a new £1m pot next season for 147 breaks – if there are at least 20 maximums next season then the players will share the pot.
— Matt (@ProSnookerBlog) May 1, 2019
Meanwhile, the other notable announcement regarded the changes to next year’s qualification for the World Snooker Championship.
Not since the 2014 edition has a variation of the tiered system been utilised but that traditional method is to return in twelve months.
From 2020, the 16 WPBSA amateur invites will enter in the opening round alongside the 48 lowest ranked players from the Main Tour’s tally of 128.
The 32 winners will face players ranked from number 49 to number 80 in the pecking order, with those victors finally facing off against the players ranked from 17 to 48 – across two final rounds.
It means that there is a greater reward for finishing higher up the rankings as was previously the case, when formidable players like Ali Carter and Graeme Dott were forced to emerge from three hurdles in qualifying to reach the Crucible.
Elsewhere, there was no great deal of surprise as Hearn confirmed that the “Whirlwind” will continue to blow on the circuit for the upcoming couple of campaigns.
Former UK and Masters champion White, who failed to break back into the top 64 on the back of his initial invitational tour card, had already let the cat out of the bag in a recent interview with The Guardian.
Hearn said that the Londoner, who turns 57 on Thursday, was being rewarded for “undisputed services to snooker.”