It’s the first month of 2024, so let’s take a look at some of the key snooker events that will be taking place in January.
It was an exciting end to 2023, with plenty of silverware claimed during the month of December.
Ronnie O’Sullivan captured the UK Championship in York for a record-extending eighth time.
Soon after, Mark Allen became the first current member of the top 16 to win the unpredictable Snooker Shoot Out.
Gary Wilson subsequently defended the Scottish Open title in Edinburgh before the calendar year concluded with a batch of qualifiers for the German Masters.
In the month of January, there will be more big prizes up for grabs, including one of the most prestigious snooker titles.
Generally now considered the second most important tournament on the schedule, the 2024 Masters takes place next week in London.
As usual, the top 16 from the official world rankings list have been invited to participate at the Alexandra Palace.
Judd Trump is the defending champion and will hope to extend his reign when he plays Kyren Wilson in round one.
World number one Ronnie O’Sullivan has drawn Ding Junhui, the same player he beat in the final to win the UK crown a month ago.
World champion Luca Brecel faces Jack Lisowski while Mark Allen, Mark Selby, and Neil Robertson are a few of the others marquee names involved.
A full preview of the tournament will be available on SnookerHQ.com ahead of Sunday’s opening day.
This year’s Masters champion will collect a cool cheque worth £250,000.
– draw, live scores, results –
Last 16 (bo11)
Judd Trump 6-5 Kyren Wilson
Mark Williams 4-6 Ali Carter
Mark Selby 6-1 Robert Milkins
Mark Allen 6-5 John Higgins
Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-3 Ding Junhui
Neil Robertson 3-6 Barry Hawkins
Shaun Murphy 6-2 Zhang Anda
Luca Brecel 2-6 Jack Lisowski
Judd Trump 5-6 Ali Carter
Mark Selby 5-6 Mark Allen
Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-3 Barry Hawkins
Shaun Murphy 6-3 Jack Lisowski
Ali Carter 6-3 Mark Allen
Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-2 Shaun Murphy
Ali Carter 7-10 Ronnie O’Sullivan
World Grand Prix
Immediately following the Masters will be the World Grand Prix, the first of three events on the Players Series.
The top 32 competitors from the one-year rankings – based on money earned during the 2023/24 snooker season – have qualified.
That includes Judd Trump and Ronnie O’Sullivan, the top two seeds who will represent the two bookies favourites in Leicester.
Luca Brecel, Neil Robertson, and Kyren Wilson are among the high-profile cueists who have missed out, however, after disappointing periods of form on the tour.
The World Grand Prix, won last year by Mark Allen, carries a top prize worth £100,000.
(January 29 to February 4)
A qualifying phase for the German Masters was held in December, but the main event commences towards the end of January in Berlin.
The top eight seeds have had their initial fixtures held over to the venue stages at the Tempodrom.
The German Masters will be the penultimate event on this term’s BetVictor Series.
Judd Trump leads the way in those rankings, with the highest earner after the eight counting tournaments landing a £150,000 bonus.
The top prize for the German Masters itself is £80,000, with Ali Carter returning as the defending champion.
Championship League Snooker
The first piece of snooker action for 2024 begins at the very start of January with the invitational version of Championship League Snooker.
Group 1 takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Group 2 following on Thursday and Friday.
Kyren Wilson, Stuart Bingham, Ryan Day, Gary Wilson, Chris Wakelin, Robert Milkins, and Noppon Saengkham are the first seven players to enter the fray.
Mark Selby, Ali Carter, and Zhang Anda are set to join the competition in Group 2.
As usual, the seven group winners will enter the Winners’ Group in March to determine the overall champion.
What other snooker events are on in January?
There is plenty of snooker action on the Q Tour this month.
The amateur snooker circuit heads to Bulgaria for Q Tour 6 from January 5-7, and there are three tournaments on the Global Q Tour as well.
Middle East Q Tour 1 (Jan 4-10), Middle East Q Tour 2 (Jan 11-17), and Middle East Q Tour 3 (Jan 18-24) will all be held at the Cue Sports Academy in Abu Dhabi.
Back on the World Snooker Tour, there will be a batch of qualifiers for the World Open (Jan 22-24) and the Welsh Open (Jan 25-27).
On the World Women’s Snooker Tour, the Belgian Women’s Open runs from January 19-21 in Bruges.
The Albanian Women’s Open then takes places from January 29 to February 2 in Golem.
There are several other amateur events happening during January, with Snooker Hub offering a great resource to find local competitions across the UK.
If you know of any more tournaments being staged around the world in January, let us know in the comments section below.
Featured photo credit: WST