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Wilson On Top In Group 7 Of 2022 Betvictor Championship League Snooker Invitational

Kyren Wilson leads the way in Group 7 of the 2022 BetVictor Championship League Snooker Invitational at the Morningside Arena, Leicester live on FreeSports in the UK and broadcasters worldwide.

Schedule and Scores

Wilson is vying for the final place in Winners’ Group with Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins, and Ricky Walden all joining at Group 7 alongside Martin Gould, Ding Junhui, and Ali Carter.

The Warrior claimed the 2021 title and has collected the most prize money so far this year and continued his momentum with four wins from four dropping only one frame along the way with whitewashes over O’Sullivan, Gould, and Ding as well as a 3-1 win over Walden. Those four wins meaning he has already qualified for tomorrow evening’s playoffs.

Carter sits inside the playoff spots alongside Ding and Higgins with Carter overcoming Higgins and Walden so far. Ding meanwhile beat Gould and Carter by the scoreline of 3-1 on both occasions before falling to the imperious Wilson. O’Sullivan sits outside of the playoff places in fifth whilst Walden is all but out with four losses.

The tournament carries a prize fund of £205,000 with players earning £100 per frame won with significant bonuses for their final group position and increased prize money in the Winners’ Group. A place in the 2022 Cazoo Champion of Champions is also on the line with each group featuring seven players with matches being held over two days.

Winners’ Group gets underway on Thursday, 3 February to Friday, 4 February with Graeme Dott, Wenbo Liang, Zhao Xintong, Yan Bingtao, Stuart Bingham, and Scott Donaldson already booking their places.

Gould will meet Carter in tomorrow’s opening clash from 11 am on FreeSports in the UK and Ireland as well as networks worldwide. Table 2 is available globally on Matchroom.Live excluding the Nordic and Baltic regions with Wilson taking on Ding first up.

Where to Watch 

Lively start for the 2021-22 World Snooker Tour

For avid fans of snooker, nothing else quite compares whenever watching their favorite sport. The sight of each smartly dressed protagonist standing next to the table, meticulously chalking their cue as they size up the next shot. Tension building as competitors take their shots, wincing in frustration at missed opportunities, maybe grinning with satisfaction after potting the black.

Despite the inevitable disruption caused by a global pandemic, the 2021-22 World Snooker Tour is now underway, as the top players target the biggest prizes and tournament success. Two tournaments have already been held in July and August this year, as we embark upon a schedule that provisionally features 17 world ranking events, alongside prestigious non-ranking events that include the 2021 Champion of Champions and 2022 Masters.

Opening the season was the Championship League, a huge event which features 128 professional snooker players and numerous group matches, offering £328,000 total prize fund and £33,000 for the winner. Rising through the ranks to triumph was 40-year-old David Gilbert of England, nicknamed “The Angry Farmer” but undoubtedly thrilled to win the first ranking title of his career.

Second on the agenda was the 2021 British Open, notable for its return to the World Snooker Tour calendar for the first time in 17 years, when John Higgins of Scotland claimed the 2004 title. Interestingly, he was one of just two players who hit 147 breaks this year, although he didn’t make it beyond the Last 32. The winner this time was Mark Williams of Wales, telling snookerhq.com it was “almost destined” after pocketing the £100,000 top prize.

The next big event scheduled is the Northern Ireland Open starting on 17 October, held at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. Qualifiers have already taken place in August and September, with veteran snooker star Jimmy “The Whirlwind” White suffering elimination. This just goes to show that at any major snooker event, quite literally anything can and will happen. Leading players can be beaten, while underdogs can rise to the fore.

Predicting winners at snooker tournaments can be tricky business, especially whenever backing the favorite players. That’s why it always pays to compare odds at the best US betting sites, making use of detailed sportsbook guides provided by the experts at SBO.net. They rate American betting sites based on trust and reputation, the quality of betting lines and bonuses offered, plus safety and security alongside the speed of payouts.

Often one of the favorites heading into any major event, Judd Trump of England is a name instantly recognizable to snooker fans around the globe. 32-year-old Trump topped the 2020-21 World Snooker Tour season rankings and money charts, having won five ranking events from seven finals reached, although the latest wpbsa.com ranking table suggest indicates he will face an almighty challenge this season.

By the end of August 2021, fellow Englishman Mark Selby had jumped slightly ahead of Trump for overall earnings, as the 38-year-old reached number one spot in the WPBSA rankings. Not far behind both is iconic Ronnie “The Rocket” O’Sullivan, as the 45-year-old seeks to recapture his best form. Likewise, they will all be wary of 39-year-old Neil “The Thunder from Down Under” Robertson, who remains the only Australian pro to win a ranking event.

Throughout what promises to be an exciting 2021-22 World Snooker Tour campaign, the ebb and flow of competition amongst the best players will be thrilling to observe. Beyond the top-ranking stars, there are also plenty of other talented snooker players, all waiting for their opportunity to claim glory at major events. For the fans, those potential surprises and upsets are what make snooker such a compelling sport.

Strong Field For Snooker’s British Open In Leicester

Mark Selby

Star names including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, John Higgins, Stephen Hendry and home favourite Mark Selby will be in the line-up for next month’s British Open at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.

The world ranking event will run from August 16th to 22nd and fans will be welcomed through the doors to see the greatest players on the planet.

Special offers, with tickets from just £5, are running now with limited availability and fans should book quickly to see the biggest stars in the sport. For details visit www.wst.tv/tickets

Players will include:

Mark Selby – Current World Champion and one of Leicester’s sporting greats

Judd Trump – Snooker’s world number one and the outstanding player of recent seasons

Ronnie O’Sullivan – Six time World Champion and crowd favourite

John Higgins – All-time legend who won the British Open when it was last staged in 2004

Shaun Murphy – Flamboyant cueman who reached the World Championship final in May

Stephen Hendry – King of the Crucible – this is the first chance for fans to watch his comeback live

Reanne Evans – All-time greatest female player, now competing on the pro tour

Plus Kyren Wilson, Mark Williams, Jack Lisowski, Leicester favourites Tom Ford, Ben Woollaston, Joe O’Connor and Louis Heathcote…and many more. In all there will be 128 players battling for the trophy and a top prize of £100,000.

The event will have a completely random draw for all rounds, and the first round draw and match schedule will be released on Wednesday July 28th.

The British Open previously ran from 1985 to 2004 and now returns to the WST calendar after a 17-year absence. It will receive extensive live coverage in the UK from ITV, as well as a range of broadcasters worldwide.

All matches up to the last 16 are best of five frames, the quarter and semi-finals are best of seven frames, and the final is best of 11 frames.

Snooker has led the sporting world in the post-lockdown return of live audiences, and WST will continue to work closely with the UK Government and all of our venues and partners on Covid-19 regulation.

Matchroom Live To Broadcast World Snooker Championship

Fans across the globe will have the chance to watch snooker’s biggest tournament, the Betfred World Championship, as Matchroom Live will broadcast the event in all countries without alternative coverage.

Go to Matchroom.Live to register

The Matchroom Live platform was launched in May, giving fans across the planet the chance to watch live content from the outstanding portfolio of Matchroom sports, including snooker, darts, boxing, pool and many more. There is also a wealth of classic archive content featuring great moments from the past 40 years.

And one of the most prestigious events in sport, the Betfred World Snooker Championship which has a history dating back to 1927, will receive extensive live broadcast every day.

This will start with the qualifying rounds, running from July 21st to 28th, with 128 players, all chasing one of 16 coveted spots for the final stages at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. From veteran Jimmy White to 14-year-old Iulian Boiko, the field is packed with a range of legends and young talents.

All eight days of action from the qualifying rounds will be available FREE for all fans where broadcast is not available.

The final stages at the famous Crucible then run from July 31 to August 16. Judd Trump won the title for the first time in sensational style last year, making a record seven century breaks as he beat John Higgins in the final. He will be defending the trophy against the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and many more of the sport’s top stars.

This will be available on Matchroom Live’s new subscription service. Fans can sign up for a monthly fee for the chance to watch not just snooker, but a wide range of world class sports content. There is also the option to watch a single day of action.

WST Chairman Barry Hearn said: “Matchroom Live is a fantastic innovation for sports fans internationally as it makes top class live events available to everyone in all corners of the globe.

“We have created a price structure which is fair and affordable for sports enthusiasts based on the percentage of the content available to access in each country.

“Around the world, people love live sport. But there are territories where they are starved of the big events because of a lack of television coverage. Matchroom Live gives them that opportunity to see the elite events and the star names. It is all about spreading the joy which live sport can bring.

“The popularity of snooker, darts, boxing and our other sports has grown so much in recent years and we want to reach out further to more and more people, and make the action available.

“And it’s not just live content because Matchroom Live contains a remarkable wealth of archive footage, going back to the 1980s, featuring names from Steve Davis and Ronnie O’Sullivan, to Chris Eubank and Anthony Joshua, to Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen, and many more. I could spend weeks on there just watching the classic moments!

“Anyone who loves sport must register for Matchroom Live today, it is the perfect new platform for those who share our passion.”

Matchroom Live is a video-first platform, with the ability to cast to virtually any device whether that be a console, Smart TV, or connected device. The services will also allow fans to watch up to four live events at once with ‘QuadPlay’. The service is built and powered by sports streaming and video technology specialists StreamAMG.

2017 CBSA “YAQI Group Cup” Chinese Pool World Championships Slated for March

The People’s Government of Yushan County of China and The Beijing Xingpai Sports Development Co., Ltd. are very proud to present the 2017 CBSA “YAQI Group Cup” Chinese Pool World Championships, taking place March 13th – 16th at The First High School Stadium of Yushan County in Shangrao Yushan China.
 
The sixty-four player Men’s division will be made up of…
 
Top 15 International players from the qualification events
Top 15 Chinese players  from the qualification events
Top 8 ranked Chinese players from 2016 CBSA Chinese Pool Events
Top 4 players from the Chinese Pool International Qualifier held after the 2016 US Open 9-Ball Championship
Top 8 ranked WPA players
4 players recommended by the Chinese National Team
2016 Chinese World Pool World Champion
2015 Chinese World Pool World Champion
 
The thirty-two player Women’s division will be made up of…
 
Top 7 International players from the qualification events
Top 7 Chinese players  from the qualification events
Top 4 ranked Chinese players from 2016 CBSA Chinese Pool Events
Top 8 ranked WPA players
4 players recommended by the Chinese National Team
2016 Chinese World Pool World Champion
2015 Chinese World Pool World Champion
 
Before the Main Event, six days of qualification events will take place, offering entry to Chinese and International players. The Chinese player's qualifications will take place March 6th – 8th, with the International player qualifications, will take place March 9th – 11th. Entry into the qualification events will be $100, and entry into the final event will be $400 for all qualifying players. The organizing committee will cover the accommodations for all players including hotel and food expenses during the competition.
 
The qualification events will be best of 13 games for the Men’s division, and best of 9 games for the Women’s division. 
 
The main event will be played in two phases. Phase one will see four divisions (32 International Men, 32 Chinese Men, 16 International Women and 16 Chinese Women) compete in double elimination brackets. Those matches will be best of 17 games for the Men and best of 13 games for the Women. 
 
Phase two of the main event will see 32 Men and 16 Women playing in single-elimination brackets. Men will play best of 21 games in the first two rounds, best of 25 games in the quarter and semi-finals, and best of 41 games (spread over two sessions) in the finals. Women will play best of 17 games in the first round, best of 21 games in the quarter and semi-finals, and best of 33 games (spread over two sessions) in the finals. 
 
The total prize money for the YAQI Group Cup Chinese Pool World Championships will be $442,350 with $89,555 being awarded to the Men’s Champion and $59,700 being awarded to the Women’s Champion.
 
The Official Equipment for the YAQI Group Cup Chinese Pool World Championships is provided by STAR Billiards Tables, Cyclop Tournament TV Balls, Tianjin Junyao Sports Cultural Communication Co. Ltd (Lights) and Andy Billiards Cloth. The scoring system and Video Service Provider is Beijing Crand Science and Technology Co., Ltd.
 
The YAQI Group Cup Chinese Pool World Championships is hosted by The World Pool-Billiard Association, The Multi-ball Games Administrative Center of General Administration of Sports of China, The Chinese Billiards & Snooker Association, The Sports Bureau of Jiangxi Province of China and The People’s Government of Shangrao City of China. The event is supported by The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association and The International Billiards and Snooker Federation. 
 
Notable players already confirmed for this prestigious event include Darren AppletonGa-Young KimMark WilliamsNeil RobertsonJohn HigginsSiming ChenSha Sha Liu and Han Yu.

Sanlig China Billiard World Championship Final Stages Underway

Daryl Peach

One day of play is complete in the final stage of the Sanlig China Billiard World Championship, taking place in Yu Shan China, and the field has been cut in half in both the men’s and women’s divisions. 
 
Thursday play saw players separated into four divisions (Chinese Men, International Men, Chinese Women and International Women), and the goal of the day being to win two matches in order to advance to the single elimination brackets that will be contested on the final three days. 
 
With the Chinese players in their own brackets, the theme of the day was Snooker Stars vs English 8-Ball Stars, and in this event it was 8-Ball experience that won the day more times than not. 
 
#3 ranked Snooker Star Neil Robertson had a chance to qualify for the single elimination stage after dropping his first match to Yu Lung Chang 9-8. Robertson followed that up with a 9-6 win over #12 ranked Snooker Star Jun Hui Ding, but failed to show up for his final match against Scotsman Scott Gillespie, allowing Gillespie to advance. 
 
Other players that made it through to the single elimination stages with one loss were Daryl Peach, former World Snooker Champion Mark Williams, 2016 Player of the year Pin Yi Ko, Lee Van Cortezza and John Morra (who survived a tough match with John Higgins to end his day). 
 
International players who took a more direct (undefeated) route to the final stage included reigning champion Darren Appleton (with dominating wins over Judd Trump and Thorsten Hohmann), Reigning English 8-Ball World Champion Mick Hill and former World 8-Ball Champion Wu-Jia Qing. 
 
The ladies division saw WPA #1 ranked Ga-Young Kim advance undefeated with wins over Iris Ranola and Wei Tzu-Chien. Joining Kim with undefeated paths to the single elimination stages were Shin Mei Liu, Si-Ting Guo and Russian Anastsiia Nechaeva. 
 
WPBA star Kelly Fisher made her way to the single elimination stages with one loss, after recovering from a second round loss to Guo. Fisher eliminated Belgium’s Kamila Khodjaeva in her final match of the night. 
 
The players are now playing in single elimination brackets until a winner is crowned on Sunday. Follow all of the action with our online brackets and streaming coverage at http://www.azbilliards.com/tours_and_events/314-china-billiard-world-championships/7141-sanlig-china-billiard-world-championship-2016/live/

Llandudno To Stage Snooker’s World Grand Prix

Judd Trump

The best snooker players on the planet will be back in Llandudno next March for the World Grand Prix.
 
The tournament was new to the calendar last season and received a fantastic reception in North Wales. It proved a great success as fans flocked to Venue Cymru to see an array of green baize stars including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, John Higgins and Mark Selby.
 
This season’s World Grand Prix runs from March 8 to 13 at the same venue in the beautiful coastal town of Llandudno. Tickets are on sale now and they are already selling fast. All supporters are strongly urged to book fast and make sure of their seats, as many sessions will sell out rapidly.
 
And for a limited time only there is a HALF PRICE OFFER for standard tickets for the first three days of the tournament, from Tuesday March 8 to Thursday March 10. That means you can buy a ticket to see top class sporting action from just £5…amazing value! For details call 01492 872000 or visit www.worldsnooker.com/tickets
 
The 2016 World Grand Prix will be a ranking event for the first time, with money earned to count towards the world ranking list. The field for the ITV4-televised event will comprise 32 players, chasing the trophy and a top prize of £100,000.
 
A unique ranking list will run from the 2015 Australian Goldfields Open until the 2016 Gdynia Open, with the top 32 players on that list to be eligible to enter the World Grand Prix.
 
Young potting sensation Judd Trump won the title last season, coming from 7-4 down in a superb final to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-7. “The World Grand Prix is a fantastic addition to the calendar,” said the player nicknamed The Ace. “I’m pleased to see it become a ranking event because that means there is more at stake and it will help the tournament grow.
 
“The crowds in Llandudno were brilliant last time and I thrive on that type of atmosphere. It was a great result for me to beat Ronnie in the final and hopefully I’ll be back defending my title next March, with a lot of support.”

Bai Ge Crowned World Women Chinese 8-Ball Champion

Bai Ge

The first ever "China Billiard World Championship" (Chinese 8-Ball*) was held from 29 January 2015 in the beautiful YuShan City (JiangXi Province) of China.  A total prize money of RMB¥ 3 million (approximately US$480,000), out of which ¥600,000 was awarded to the Men's Champion, while ¥400,000 was awarded to its lady counterpart.  Although it might seem to be "odd cents" when comparing to most major snooker championships, the tournament is already head-to-head with the World 9-Ball Championship in terms of prize monies paid.
 
The tournament was hosted by the China Billiard Association (CBSA), and in a scale much larger than any snooker or pool tournaments.  Apart from regular Chinese 8-Ball players, many current snooker and pool professionals joined the scene, 23 countries, spanning all 5 continents, and over 300 renowned international players participated in the event.  Shaun Murphy, John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Thorsten Hohmann, Chris Melling and so on are just a few names to mention.  Almost all the top women players came to YuShan to compete for the honour.
 
In the Women's Division, world champions including Liu ShaSha, Han Yu, Kelly Fisher, Jasmin Ouschan, Allison Fisher, Kim Ga-Young, together with some other top class players are in the final round of Stage 2.  In the end, Bai Ge (白鸽), a player registered in Shanghai) claimed the championship by beating another seasoned Chinese 8-Ball player Zhang XiaoTong (张晓彤), walking away with a US$60,000+ first prize.  The final score was 17-13.

The direct translation of the name Bai Ge is "Pigeon", and the champion really spreaded her wings and won the tournament with flying colours.  She eliminated two world champions, Han Yu (韩雨) and Kelly Fisher, in the semi-finals and quarter-finals respectively.  Another world champion Liu ShaSha suffered from serious flu during the tournament and lost to Kelly Fisher in the last 16.  Zhang XiaoTong stormed into the final as strong as Bai Ge did, also took on two world champions (Allision Fisher and Fu XiaoFang) befoer meeting Bai Ge for a race to 17 final.

 
The two-session women's final was played one day before the men's last match.  In the first session, Bai Ge took the lead very soon and led by 7-3.  Zhang worked hard and fought back to close the margin at 9-7 before the session ended.
 
The final session started on the next day, Bai Ge again was dominating the games.  When the score was 15-11 in Bai Ge's favour, and when she sunk the 8, she literally jumped up and started celebrating.  Obviously she forgot that it was a race to 17.  "I was too emotional and thought I had won after sinking that black." said Bai Ge, "When I started celebrating, the crowd was dead quiet, then I realised that the match was not over yet.  After that I warned myself that I have to cool down immediately."

This is the first international event that Bai Ge had even won.  "My form was better than the day before!" said the Champion. "I did not feel any pressure and I was just trying to play my best.  I was physically tired in the first session and hence I was not playing too well.  My original target was to make it into the quarter-finals and that had already been acquired.  I got into form very quickly in the final session.  Whoever got into the final would like to win, and that was why I had that embarfassing 'early celebration' earlier on".
 
Bai Ge expressed her gratefulness to her parents who had supported her all the way.  The champion also made appreciation to the Shanghai Billiards Association and the PuDong Billiards Association, both councils have been taking care of her billiards career.

The Shanghai Billiards Association is planning to present a special "Non-Olympic Athlete Award" to Bai Ge.  Previously, Pan XiaoTing, Fu JianBao, Liu YuZhen and Chu BingJie had also received this honour.

Appleton is the First Chinese 8-Ball World Champion

The first ever "China Billiard World Championship" (Chinese 8-Ball*) was held from 29 January 2015 in the beautiful YuShan City (JiangXi Province) of China.  A total prize money of RMB¥ 3 million (approximately US$480,000), out of which ¥600,000 was awarded to the Men's Champion, while ¥400,000 was awarded to its lady counterpart.  Although it might seem to be "odd cents" when comparing to most major snooker championships, the tournament is already head-to-head with the World 9-Ball Championship in terms of prize monies paid.
 
The tournament was hosted by the China Billiard Association (CBSA), and in a scale much larger than any snooker or pool tournaments.  Apart from regular Chinese 8-Ball players, many current snooker and pool professionals joined the scene, 23 countries, spanning all 5 continents, and over 300 renowned international players participated in the event.  Shaun Murphy, John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Thorsten Hohmann, Chris Melling and so on are just a few names to mention.  Almost all the top women players came to YuShan to compete for the honour.
 
In the Men's Division, Darren Appleton was the one who laughed to the last, with tears and on his knees, by claiming the title in the end and pocketed away the US$90,000+ first prize.
 
It was 4 days before the stage 2 of the tournament came to its Final.  Ironically, the two biggest name in its own category staged in this "clash of the titans".  Mark Selby, world snooker champion, and Darren Appleton, world pool champion, met in a race to 21 for the first ever world title in Chinese 8-Ball.

The path to the final was never easy for either player.  Selby had to take on Chris Melling on the way then Liu HaiTao (China #1) in the semi-final, while Appleton saw off Neil Robertson (former world #1 in snooker) then the 2015 CBSA World 9-Ball Champion Chu Bingjie of China in the other semi.
 
Soon after the award ceremony completed as Bai Ge of China claimed the women's title, the 20-racks first session of the men's final commenced.  In the first 16 racks, Appleton led only by a mere 2-rack margin (9-7).  At the end of the session, the differnce remained the same when Appleton and Selby (11-9) left the battlefield during recess.
 
The final session started at 7:30 in the evening, and Appleton immediately increased the lead by winning the first 4 racks after returning.  Mark Selby, who is renowned for his "comebacks", took the next three racks, then two more in the next three to make it all square at 18-18.
 
Selby then took the 37th, and made the score 19-18 in his favour and took the lead for the first time in the match.  The 38th rack was a tough one and after far too many attempts by both players in making pots, Appleton demonstrated top-level defense and gained "ball-in-hand" to clear the table.
 
Selby had the break in the 39th.  With balls potted on the break, the audience was about to witness a clearance by this world snooker champion.  Dramatically, Selby missed an easy pot.  Appleton once again taught the world what top class defensive play is and reached the hill.
 
"Break and Run" was what the almighty Darren Appleton did in the 40th rack and brought himself down to his knees celebrating the tough and difficult win.  Appleton could not hold back his tears, it was a sweet revenge for Appleton after losing to Mark Selby in the English Blackball final in 2006 for a prize of £10,000.

Some might not understand why Appleton had four fingers up when receiving the trophy.  This was because, after 24 years of hard work, he finally has in his pocket four world titles in the different categories of 9-Ball, 10-Ball, 14.1, and now Chinese 8-Ball.

Appleton revealed that the prize money could relief his recent mortgage.  As well, buying a few drinks for his friends waiting for him to party in the Philippines (where the next tournament is being held) is inevitable.  However, since Appleton has been too busy lately, the most important of all will therefore be going on a honeymoon trip with his newly wedded (in 2014) and beautiful wife Angie.
 


AZBilliards would like to thank our colleague Samuel Lai from TOP147.com for providing use this report.
 

 

Ronnie O’Sullivan – Welsh Open Is Special

Snooker ace Ronnie O’Sullivan admits the BetVictor Welsh Open is one of his favourite tournaments on the calendar, and hopes the event will be a success at its new home in Cardiff.

 

The world ranking event will run from February 16-22 in 2015 and will take place in the Welsh capital for the first time in over a decade, having moved from Newport to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.

 

Tickets are ON SALE NOW and start at just £8, incredible value for the chance to see the world’s best players in action. Book immediately as tickets for many sessions will sell out fast, plus there’s a HALF PRICE OFFER for the first four days of the event (Monday February 16 to Thursday February 19) and the offer ends soon so don’t miss out!

 

Call 02920 22 44 88 or visit www.worldsnooker.com/tickets

 

The tournament will feature 128 players, all starting in the same round, and with 11 tables in the arena, fans will have the chance to watch several matches in one day.

 

O’Sullivan has won the Welsh Open three times, most recently in March this year when he thrashed Ding Junhui 9-3 in the final, and capped a supreme display with a stunning 147 in the last frame, the 12th maximum break of his career. He conceded just ten frames in seven matches on his way to winning the £60,000 top prize.

 

“The Welsh Open has been good to me over the years, I always enjoy it and I’ve played some of my best snooker there,” said the five-time World Champion. “That 147 against Ding is up among the high points of my career. I’ve watched it back on YouTube a few times since, particularly the last red which is one of the best shots I’ve ever played.

 

“I always liked the venue in Newport. But I understand the event needs to grow, and we need space for more tables and more players, and hopefully that will help create a great atmosphere.  I remember playing in Cardiff when the event was there before, it’s a good place.” 

 

O’Sullivan also won the Masters, the Champion of Champions and the Paul Hunter Classic last season, though he finished it on a low note, losing 18-14 to Mark Selby in the World Championship final. He is yet to confirm his schedule for 2014/15 but added: “I want to play in as many events as I can. I just have to look at the calendar and structure my season properly.”

 

Other winners of the BBC-Wales televised Welsh Open in recent years include Stephen Maguire, Ding, John Higgins, Ali Carter, Mark Selby and Neil Robertson.