The WST Classic gets under way on Thursday at the Morningside Arena in Leicester with all the big names in the draw.
Acting as a late replacement for the cancelled Turkish Masters, most of the ranking tournament will be staged behind closed doors.
Only the final day of action next Wednesday will welcome fans through the doors, but it still represents an important week on the calender.
As players advance on the World Snooker Tour ranking list, see these FanDuel snooker odds.
Prize, history, format
It was important that the World Snooker Tour was able to get this event on given how the schedule has been decimated by absent events.
Boasting a top prize of £80,000, the WST Classic draw is filled with players chasing different goals on the various ranking lists.
The competition will be the penultimate opportunity for most players to earn money and ranking points this term.
That means every pound earned will be vital in terms of the scrap for tour survival – particularly around the top 64 cut-off point – and also in the race to gain a seeding position for the World Championship among the top 16.
In the one-year rankings, there are still a number of competitors who are hoping to gain an invitation to the Tour Championship later in March.
Only the top eight from this season’s standings will qualify, with the likes of defending champion Neil Robertson and world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan among the high-profile stars provisionally set to miss out on Hull.
This will be the inaugural WST Classic, and it could well be the only time that the makeshift tournament is staged, so there’s no history to go on.
There will be sprint best-of-seven frame matches until the semi-finals which will increase to nine frames, followed by an 11-frame title decider.
A hectic schedule will see the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final all played on the final day when fans can attend.
WST Classic draw
Mark Allen, Shaun Murphy, Ali Carter, Kyren Wilson, Ryan Day, Robert Milkins, Ding Junhui, and Mark Selby are the players currently occupying the top eight on the one-year rankings.
They stand to qualify for the lucrative Tour Championship at the Bonue Arena later in March.
But the likes of Luca Brecel, Jack Lisowski, Gary Wilson, and Judd Trump are within striking distance.
Both Robertson and O’Sullivan are in serious danger of missing out, and even winning the title might not prove to be enough in their last-gasp efforts to break into the top eight.
All 128 players are entering the WST Classic draw in the first round, with seven victories required to capture the trophy.
Matches to be played on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Mohamed Ibrahim
David Grace vs Ryan Thomerson
Sam Craigie vs Hammad Miah
Jamie Jones vs Rory McLeod
Gary Wilson vs Lei Peifan
Yuan Sijun vs Andy Lee
Ryan Day vs Steven Hallworth
Cao Yupeng vs Craig Steadman
Jordan Brown vs Allan Taylor
Jimmy Robertson vs Lukas Kleckers
Elliot Slessor vs Himanshu Jain
Luca Brecel vs Haydon Pinhey
Liam Highfield vs Marco Fu
Zhou Yuelong vs Julien Leclercq
Jackson Page vs Anton Kazakov
Mark Williams vs Sean O’Sullivan
Judd Trump vs David Lilley
Wu Yize vs Ashley Hugill
Joe Perry vs Duane Jones
Graeme Dott vs Jimmy White
Jack Lisowski vs Louis Heathcote
Dominic Dale vs Si Jiahui
Ricky Walden vs Ben Mertens
Pang Junxu vs Jenson Kendrick
Ben Woollaston vs Dylan Emery
Hossein Vafaei vs John Astley
Scott Donaldson vs Zak Surety
Barry Hawkins vs Barry Pinches
Lyu Haotian vs Michael Judge
Joe O’Connor vs Jamie O’Neill
Oliver Lines vs Mitchell Mann
Neil Robertson vs Luke Simmonds
Mark Allen vs Peter Lines
Mark Davis vs Fergal O’Brien
Noppon Saengkham vs Ian Burns
Fan Zhengyi vs Andres Petrov
Stuart Bingham vs Ng On Yee
Matthew Stevens vs Victor Sarkis
Anthony McGill vs Peng Yisong
Martin Gould vs Andrew Higginson
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh vs Asjad Iqbal
Ding Junhui vs Xu Si
Mark King vs Muhammad Asif
Ali Carter vs Dechawat Poomjaeng
Anthony Hamilton vs Farakh Ajaib
Matthew Selt vs Michael Holt
Andy Hicks vs James Cahill
Shaun Murphy vs Oliver Brown
Kyren Wilson vs Dean Young
Stuart Carrington vs Adam Duffy
Chris Wakelin vs Reanne Evans
Tian Pengfei vs Alfie Burden
John Higgins vs Michael White
Mark Joyce vs Gerard Greene
Tom Ford vs Andrew Pagett
Jamie Clarke vs Rebecca Kenna
Jak Jones vs Sanderson Lam
David Gilbert vs Ian Martin
Robbie Williams vs Aaron Hill
Robert Milkins vs Mink Nutcharut
Stephen Maguire vs Alexander Ursenbacher
Xiao Guodong vs Daniel Wells
Zhang Anda vs Peter Devlin
Mark Selby vs Fraser Patrick
Where to watch the WST Classic
Other than China, Hong Kong, and Thailand, the WST Classic will be available to viewers around the world on Matchroom Live via a subscription.
Featured image credit: WST