snooker in December
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Snooker in December

The 2019/20 campaign is heading for the midway point so let’s take a look at the snooker in December that we have to look forward to.

UK Championship (in progress until Dec 8)

The UK Championship got under way at the end of November but the important rounds are all set to take place during the first week or so of this month.

Ronnie O’Sullivan is the defending champion and is bidding for a record 37th ranking event title in total.

The “Rocket” hasn’t dropped a frame so far in the tournament, managing to secure successive whitewash victories in safely reaching the last 32.

World number one Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, and Mark Allen are among the other players who will be having a key say in where the trophy ends up.

In what is the game’s second biggest ranking event, with a prestigious history that dates back to 1977, the champion next Sunday will receive a tasty £200,000 top prize.

Click here to view the draw (Times CET)

Scottish Open (Dec 9 – 15)

Snooker in December doesn’t let up after the UK Championship, with the Scottish Open commencing immediately after the silverware is handed out at the Barbican Centre.

It perhaps wouldn’t have been a huge surprise to see several players skip this event but it’s actually more or less a full draw.

The only marquee figure who hasn’t entered is Mark Williams, just as he didn’t in either the World or Northern Ireland Opens in recent times.

Along with that latter tournament in Belfast, the English Open, and the Welsh Open, the Scottish Open is one of a quartet of competitions that comprises the Home Nations series.

These tournaments, though not the richest on the calendar, have proven to be popular with players and fans alike since being introduced as a series in 2016.

It also represents the last opportunity of this decade to enjoy success in a ranking event.

Click here to view the draw (Times CET)

Qualifiers (Dec 17 – 22)

If that wasn’t enough, the players will be cueing up practically all the way up until Christmas Day itself.

That’s because there are two batches of qualifiers to undertake at the Barnsley Metrodome – the German Masters first, followed by the preliminaries for the European Masters.

A new European Series this season, consisting of the above two events, the Shoot Out, and the Gibraltar Open, will provide a £150,000 bonus for the player who performs the best across all four events.

In recent seasons, those tournaments had suffered from a lack of entries from the top players so this initiative could act as a motivator to play.

No information about either qualifying draw has yet been made available.

What Else?

There’s still enough time for a little more snooker in December as the Challenge Tour has its final outing of the calendar year.

De Maxx in Neerpelt, Belgium will be the host for Challenge Tour 7 (Dec 14-15) as the amateur players continue to jostle for the tour places that are on offer.

After all of that, it’ll finally be a well-earned period of respite until the New Year.

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