The 2022/23 snooker schedule continues next week with the Champion of Champions commencing on Monday in Bolton.
A fan favourite and one of the most prestigious tournaments on the calendar, the Champion of Champions boasts an exciting field of recent winners from various tours.
Judd Trump is the reigning champion, with the Englishman facing stiff competition this year from the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, and the in-form Mark Allen.
Prize, History, and Format
The Champion of Champions has been an annual fixture on the Main Tour’s schedule since 2013, when O’Sullivan won the first of his record three titles in Coventry.
Robertson is the only other player to enjoy success more than once with victories in both 2015 and 2019.
John Higgins and Shaun Murphy captured glory at O’Sullivan’s expense in the 2016 and 2017 editions that were previously staged at the Ricoh Arena.
The title went to Trump last year after a dominant display that saw him lose just five frames across the whole week in Bolton.
There’s a top prize of £150,000 on offer for the winner, a sum that won’t count towards the official rankings but does represent the highest amount that will be dished out so far this term.
As usual, there are 16 players in the draw, but among them 15 have actually collected silverware – with a barren Selby accepting the final place on the back of his high world ranking.
The event is effectively a straight knockout, although for marketing reasons Matchroom Sport – the promoters – separates each quarter into groups with miniature “semi-finals” and “finals”.
The first match is played over seven frames with the format increasing to eleven frames for the following two rounds, before a best-of-19 frame final determines the champion.
|Judd Trump||Champion of Champions; World Championship runner-up|
|Ronnie O’Sullivan||World Championship; World Grand Prix, Hong Kong Masters|
|Neil Robertson||Masters; Players Championship; Tour Championship|
|Zhao Xintong||UK Championship; German Masters|
|Fan Zhengyi||European Masters (21/22)|
|John Higgins||Championship League (invitational)|
|Luca Brecel||Championship League (ranking); Scottish Open|
|Kyren Wilson||European Masters (22/23)|
|Joe Perry||Welsh Open|
|Mark Allen||Northern Ireland Open|
|Ryan Day||British Open|
|Robert Milkins||Gibraltar Open|
|Hossein Vafaei||Snooker Shoot Out|
|Nutcharut Wongharuthai||Women’s World Championship|
|Lee Walker||World Seniors Championship|
|Mark Selby||World Rankings|
2022 Champion of Champions Draw and Schedule
Group 1 features top seed Trump, with last year’s winner facing a difficult prospect of Luca Brecel in his opening fixture.
The winner will take on either Joe Perry or Mark Allen, with the latter looking to continue the form that has seen him reach the finals of the last two ranking events, a hot streak of form that culminated in his Northern Ireland Open triumph a week ago.
Whoever emerges from this section will entertain the winner from Group 4, which includes a couple of four-time world champions in John Higgins and Mark Selby.
Selby opens the tournament on Monday against world seniors champion Lee Walker, while Higgins has a potentially dangerous opponent in Hossein Vafaei.
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In the other half there’s Ronnie O’Sullivan and Neil Robertson, who between them have featured in eight out of the last nine Champion of Champions finals.
Robertson has been drawn against Fan Zhengyi in Group 3, with Kyren Wilson and Ryan Day also in this quarter of the draw.
World champion O’Sullivan, meanwhile, meets Robert Milkins in Group 2 before a possible clash with either Zhao Xintong or women’s world champion Mink Nutcharut.
|Group 1 (Wednesday)||Group 4 (Monday)|
|Judd Trump vs Luca Brecel||TOP HALF||Mark Selby vs Lee Walker|
|Mark Allen vs Joe Perry||John Higgins vs Hossein Vafaei|
|Group 3 (Tuesday)||Group 2 (Thursday)|
|Neil Robertson vs Fan Zhengyi||BOTTOM HALF||Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Robert Milkins|
|Kyren Wilson vs Ryan Day||Zhao Xintong vs Mink Nutcharut|
How to Watch the Champion of Champions
Live coverage of the 2022 Champion of Champions will be on ITV in Ireland and the UK, with various other options available around the world.
Visit the Champion of Champions website for more information on the worldwide coverage.
Featured image credit: Champion of Champions