pro-am snooker
Main News, Non-Ranking

Top players enter Chinese snooker event this week

Judd Trump, John Higgins, and Mark Allen are among a number of top players competing in a Chinese snooker event this week.

The tournament in Huangguoshu in south-west China begins on Tuesday and will feature 64 players from China and abroad.

Sanctioned by the Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association (CBSA), it is similar in style to the Haining Open or the old Asian Players Tour Championship (APTC) competitions from around a decade ago on the main tour.

Mark Williams, Kyren Wilson, Jack Lisowski, and Ryan Day are other highly ranked players set to compete in the five-day event, in addition to seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry.

Zhou Yuelong, Xiao Guodong, and Cao Yupeng are some of the familiar Chinese names participating.

The top 32 players on the CBSA Tour will also be in action.

Jiang Jun, Long Zehuang, and Xing Jihao all qualified to compete on the World Snooker Tour this term through their recent performances on the CBSA Tour.

The total prize fund is 700,000 RMB (converting to about £75,000), with a top prize of 200,000 RMB, although the star names may have been offered extra incentives to travel.

The tournament comes during a lull in the new 2023/24 snooker season, with nothing on the WST calendar between now and the British Open qualifiers in mid-August.

There had been some confusion around how top snooker pros were allowed to compete on what is effectively a different tour.

But World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association chairman Jason Ferguson has said that it is permitted under special circumstances.

“We have an agreement with the CBSA, a long-standing agreement,” Ferguson told Metro.co.uk.

“We work together on a number of ranking events plus the Shanghai Masters.”

“We co-operate in a number of other areas to do with academies, training, general sports development, pathways to the tour and the CBSA Tour falls within that.

“There’s one or two events that pop up each year where the CBSA make a request for tour players to play in them and those requests are generally granted.

“But it’s limited under the agreement, there’s a finite number of events.

“We’re very supportive because the CBSA are a long-term strategic partner.

“They’re not doing these events to break away or create opposing events.

“They’re doing these events to help us help promote the sport in new areas. It’s all part of a plan.

“It’s exactly the same as the Haining Open – that has always done quite well.

“It will be streamed through our existing partners in China.

“We’ve got exclusive TV agreements in China and it is those agreements that will pick that up.”

6 Comments

  1. “It’s not clear what the prize money is…?” What! How can an event of ‘international significance’ be held, publicized, and Snooker HQ has not been notified of the prize money? Then again, why subjects from a democracy would want to support communism is beyond my comprehension in the first place. The players are saying, ‘we don’t care how you treat your population, you put up the dosh and we’ll perform.”

  2. The prize fund is 700000 RMB (roughly £70k), with top prize 200000 RMB (£20k). There is a ticket booking link on the Migu Sports site. Unfortunately, I’m too busy this month to go to what is a very beautiful part of the country! The 8 invited British players, the top-32 on the Chinese rankings, plus 24 qualifiers from regional events in Zhengzhou, Ningbo and Guangzhou will make up the draw. Amongst those qualifiers are former professionals Lei Peifan and Eden Sharav, whilst players like Mei Xiwen, Huang Jiahao, Jin Long, Cai Jianzhong (pictured on the poster), Gao Yang, Bai Yulu, etc. qualify as members of the top-32.

    A number of current Chinese professionals have also made the trip, and directly after this will be a teams event in Xi’an, with 120 players, a long-standing tournament won last year by the ‘Shaanxi Team’ comprising Ding Junhui, Fan Zhengyi and Mei Xiwen (this year Ding will be replaced by Lei Peifan in their line-up).

  3. Mark Wallace

    Any way we can watch it in the UK

    • Yes, it’s broadcast by Migu, Douyin and Star Sports. You can probably get the regular streams… They have 5 tables, and sessions are at 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and sometimes 10am, local time, which is +7 hours British time. So, if you’re in the UK, the Trump-Bai match will be tomorrow at noon!

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