Saudi Arabia Snooker
Ranking, Snooker Headlines

Saudi Arabia Snooker Masters to have 144 players

The Saudi Arabia Snooker Masters will welcome 144 players when its inaugural staging takes place in Riyadh this summer.

The World Snooker Tour made the announcement on Wednesday along with other details concerning the 2024/25 season.

The Saudi Arabia Snooker Masters will be the country’s first ever ranking event, coming just a few short months after the invitational Riyadh Season World Masters.

Ronnie O’Sullivan won that title with a 5-2 victory over Luca Brecel in the final, the Rocket pocketing a cool £250,000 winner’s share in the process.

The inaugural Saudi Arabia Snooker Masters at The Green Halls in Riyadh will be even more lucrative, however.

While the specific breakdown of the pot is yet to be revealed, the overall prize fund is expected to be in the region of £2,000,000.

That will provide every player in the tournament with a big opportunity to earn important money and ranking points.

The decision to open the field up to 144 players puts the event in line with the two most prestigious ranking events on the calendar – the World Championship and the UK Championship.

There have been no further details concerning the format.

But it suggests that it would follow a similar guise to the two important tournaments in Sheffield and York.

In the World and the UK Championships, the top 16 seeds are seeded through to the last 32 of the competition.

The remaining players enter in staggered rounds under a tiered system that is becoming increasingly common on the schedule again.

All 144 contenders will additionally be welcomed at the venue itself, which is a somewhat surprising move considering qualifying rounds are almost always held first in the UK.

Who will be added to the field, with only 125 professionals currently competing on the main tour, is also uncertain.

Yet it seems likely that quite a lot of positions would be taken up by local wildcards from Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region.

Saudi Arabian Omar Alajlani and Ali Alobaidli of Qatar were invited to participate in March’s World Masters, for instance.

Nevertheless, it’s the latest indication that the promoters are keen on living up to their promise to make the Saudi Arabia Snooker Masters a “fourth major” and one of the sport’s most important tournaments.

The ranking event runs from August 30th to September 7th.

2024/25 WST calendar

Note: Dates are provisional and subject to change

Championship League Snooker
Champion: Ali Carter

Shanghai Masters
(Shanghai, China)

25th to August 3rd
– Xian Grand Prix qualifiers
– British Open qualifiers
– Wuhan Open qualifiers
(Mattioli Arena, Leicester)

19th to 25th
Xi’an Grand Prix
(Xi’an, China)

26th to 29th
– Wuhan Open qualifiers
– British Open qualifiers
(Mattioli Arena, Leicester)

30th to September 7th
Saudi Masters
(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

12th to 22nd
English Open (including qualifiers)
(Brentwood Centre, Brentwood)

23rd to 29th
British Open
(The Centaur, Cheltenham)

28th to 30th
Northern Ireland Open qualifiers
(Ponds Forge, Sheffield)

1st to 3rd
International Championship qualifiers
(Ponds Forge, Sheffield)

6th to 12th
Wuhan Open
(Wuhan, China)

20th to 27th
Northern Ireland Open
(Waterfront Hall, Belfast)

28th to 30th
Scottish Open qualifiers
(Canon Medical Arena, Sheffield)

3rd to 10th
International Championship
(Tianjin, China)

11th to 17th
Champion of Champions
(Toughsheet Community Stadium, Bolton)

16th to 21st
UK Championship qualifiers
(Mattioli Arena, Leicester)

23rd to December 1st
UK Championship
(York Barbican, York)

4th to 7th
Shoot Out
(Mattioli Arena, Leicester)

9th to 15th
Scottish Open
(Meadowbank Sports Centre, Edinburgh)

16th to 22nd
– German Masters qualifiers
– World Open qualifiers
(Canon Medical Arena, Sheffield)

12th to 19th
The Masters
(Alexandra Palace, London)

27th to February 2nd
German Masters
(Tempodrom, Berlin)

10th to 16th
Welsh Open
(Venue Cymru, Llandudno)

World Open
(Yushan, China)

World Grand Prix

17th to 23rd
Players Championship
(Telford, England)

31st to April 6th
Tour Championship
(Manchester Central, Manchester)

7th to 16th
World Championship qualifiers
(EIS, Sheffield)

19th to May 5th
World Snooker Championship
(Crucible Theatre, Sheffield)

Featured photo credit: WST

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