The 2023 European Masters commences on Tuesday with reigning champion Kyren Wilson and world champion Luca Brecel in the draw.
It will be the first appearance of the season for Brecel, who opted to skip the season-opening Championship League in favour of a longer summer break.
Shaun Murphy emerged as the champion of that event and will be among the favourites again in what is the second ranking tournament of the 2023/24 term.
The likes of Mark Selby, Mark Allen, John Higgins, and Judd Trump are also set to compete at the Kia Metropol Arena in Nuremberg.
World number one Ronnie O’Sullivan had been expected to feature but withdrew on the opening day of the competition.
Prize, history, and format
The European Masters was launched in its current form in 2016, when it was staged in Romania and won by Trump.
The Englishman successfully defended the title when the tournament was moved to Belgium in 2017.
Jimmy Robertson, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, and Fan Zhengyi triumphed in the editions after.
This time last year, Kyren Wilson beat Barry Hawkins 9-3 to lift the trophy aloft in Fürth, and although it stays in Germany this year, the venue has been moved to Nuremberg.
There is a total prize fund of £427,000 with £80,000 of that being awarded to the champion on Sunday.
The format is a traditional one, with best-of-nine frame fixtures up until the quarter-finals.
Eleven frames will then be required for the semi-finals ahead of a 17-frame title decider.
2023 European Masters draw
A qualifying phase took place at the Morningside Arena in Leicester last month, so the majority of the last 64 is already known.
However, the top eight seeds in the European Masters draw have had their preliminary-round encounters held over to the venue stages.
That means one extra match this week for the likes of top seeds Wilson and Brecel,
The latter begins his season with a clash against Jackson Page, while Wilson will start his defence versus Dean Young.
John Higgins, Mark Williams, Jack Lisowski, and Si Jiahui are among some of the higher profile contenders who have already safely negotiated their initial ties.
Round of 128
(held over fixtures)
Kyren Wilson 5-1 Dean Young
Shaun Murphy 5-2 Steven Hallworth
Judd Trump 5-0 Mohamed Ibrahim
Mark Allen 5-0 Anton Kazakov
Andy Hicks w/o Ronnie O’Sullivan
Mark Selby 5-0 Manasawin Phetmalaikul
Neil Robertson 3-5 Wu Yize
Luca Brecel 5-3 Jackson Page
Kyren Wilson 5-2 Alfie Burden
Si Jiahui 5-3 Ken Doherty
Hossein Vafaei 0-5 Allan Taylor
Dominic Dale 5-2 Duane Jones
Andrew Higginson 1-5 Zhou Yuelong
Dylan Emery 1-5 John Higgins
Ross Muir 5-3 Joe Perry
Daniel Wells 2-5 Shaun Murphy
Judd Trump 5-0 Jordan Brown
Chris Wakelin 5-0 Aaron Hill
Ben Woollaston 5-1 Xu Si
Tom Ford 5-2 Oliver Brown
Jamie Jones 3-5 Ricky Walden
Michael White 5-4 Jack Lisowski
Ashley Carty 5-4 Joe O’Connor
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 5-0 Mark Allen
Andy Hicks 5-2 Peng Yisong
Lyu Haotian 5-4 Elliot Slessor
Ben Mertens 5-3 Sanderson Lam
David Gilbert 5-1 Reanne Evans
Xiao Guodong 5-3 Stuart Bingham
Ashley Hugill 5-4 Ali Carter
Louis Heathcote 1-5 Anthony Hamilton
Adam Duffy 1-5 Mark Selby
Wu Yize w/o Liu Hongyu
Noppon Saengkham 5-2 Mark Davis
Mark Williams 5-3 Matthew Stevens
Jimmy Robertson 5-0 Scott Donaldson
James Cahill 3-5 Barry Hawkins
Jiang Jun 4-5 Zak Surety
Robbie Williams 5-1 Pang Junxu
Ishpreet Singh 3-5 Luca Brecel
K. Wilson 5-0 Si
Taylor 3-5 D. Jones
Zhou 2-5 Higgins
Muir 0-5 Murphy
Trump 5-4 Wakelin
Woollaston 5-4 Ford
Walden 5-4 M. White
Carty 5-1 Un-Nooh
Hicks 4-5 Lyu
Mertens 4-5 Gilbert
Xiao 4-5 Hugill
Hamilton 1-5 Selby
Wu 2-5 Saengkham
M. Williams 4-5 J. Robertson
Hawkins 5-1 Surety
R. Williams 4-5 Brecel
K. Wilson 5-0 D. Jones
Higgins 5-2 Murphy
Trump 5-0 Woollaston
Walden 3-5 Carty
Lyu 5-1 Gilbert
Hugill 2-5 Selby
Saengkham 5-4 J. Robertson
Hawkins 5-4 Brecel
K. Wilson 3-5 Higgins
Trump 5-1 Carty
Lyu 2-5 Selby
Saengkham 2-5 Hawkins
Higgins 5-6 Trump
Selby 4-6 Hawkins
Trump 6-9 Hawkins
How to watch the 2023 European Masters
For viewers in Europe, there is live coverage of the 2023 European Masters on Eurosport and discovery+.
For those outside Europe it will depend on your location, with a full list of options available on the WST website.
Featured photo credit: WST