There is an increase in prize money for next month’s UK Championship – with the winner set to pocket a cool £250,000 in 2022.
The last three editions of the sport’s second-oldest ranking event have seen the champion take home £200,000 from York.
Ding Junhui in 2019, Neil Robertson in 2020, and last year’s winner Zhao Xintong all earned the sum for victories at the Barbican Centre.
Earlier this month the World Snooker Tour confirmed its prize money schedule for the 2022/23 snooker season, confirming a 25 percent rise for the UK Championship.
It makes it the second most lucrative ranking tournament on the calendar, behind only the World Snooker Championship itself.
Whoever emerges triumphantly at the Crucible Theatre at the end of this term will collect half a million pounds, the same figure that Ronnie O’Sullivan received this year for winning a seventh crown in Sheffield.
O’Sullivan, meanwhile, will head to next month’s UK Championship as the world number one and one of the top seeds after the rankings list was updated upon the conclusion of the Northern Ireland Open on Sunday.
An important change in the UK Championship format for 2022 means that the top 16 in the world rankings will gain automatic entry into the last 32 of the competition.
Adopting the same format that is used for the World Championship, players outside the elite bracket will be forced to compete in tiered qualifying rounds in order to reach the TV stages.
Anthony McGill was the last player in with a shot of breaking into the top 16 in time for an automatic place at the Barbican Centre.
The Scot reached the semi-finals of the Northern Ireland Open but needed to win the event in order to usurp Ryan Day.
The Welshman holds onto the last coveted position instead, thanks in large part to his triumph in the British Open at the beginning of October.
As the reigning UK champion, Zhao Xintong will be the top seed ahead of former winners O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, and Judd Trump – who all make up the top four.
Indeed, there are eight former UK champions in the top 16 who will definitely participate at the venue stages this year.
The others are Mark Selby, John Higgins, Mark Williams, and Shaun Murphy, with former finalists Luca Brecel and Mark Allen also in the hunt.
Allen’s odds have dramatically shortened after a rich spell of form culminated in him regaining the Alex Higgins Trophy on Sunday.
Kyren Wilson, Barry Hawkins, Jack Lisowski, Stuart Bingham, Yan Bingtao, and Day are the others who will be involved in the last 32.
The remaining players outside the top 16 will take part in the preliminary stages at the beginning of November in Sheffield.
UK Championship Top 16 Seeds
- Zhao Xintong (China)
- Ronnie O’Sullivan (England)
- Neil Robertson (Australia)
- Judd Trump (England)
- Mark Selby (England)
- John Higgins (Scotland)
- Mark Williams (Wales)
- Kyren Wilson (England)
- Mark Allen (Northern Ireland)
- Barry Hawkins (England)
- Luca Brecel (Belgium)
- Jack Lisowski (England)
- Shaun Murphy (England)
- Stuart Bingham (England)
- Yan Bingtao (China)
- Ryan Day (Wales)
Featured photo credit: WST