Haikou To Stage Snooker’s World Open

Snooker’s World Open will be staged in the city of Haikou on Hainan Island in South China for the next five years.

The world ranking tournament, which was announced at a press conference in China today (Monday), will be known as the Haikou World Open.

This season, the event runs from February 27 to March 4. The world’s top 16 players are automatically seeded into the event, to be joined by 16 players who come through the qualifying rounds, which run from January 11 to 14. There will also be eight wild cards at the final venue.

All matches up to and including the quarter-finals will be best of nine frames. Total prize money is £400,000, with the winner to collect £75,000.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “We are delighted to announce the staging of the World Open in Haikou for the next five years. The popularity of snooker in China continues to grow at a phenomenal rate and we have capitalised on that by establishing a third full ranking event, alongside the China Open and Shanghai Masters. We expect to make more announcements about events in China in the coming weeks.

“My warm gratitude goes to Star Xing Pai for promoting the new Haikou World Open, and to the China Billiards and Snooker Association under the leadership of Mr Zhang Xiaoning, as well as the Haikou Government.

“Hainan Island is one of the most beautiful places on Earth and an ideal place to stage one of our world ranking tournaments. The players competing in the event are in for a wonderful time and it’s fantastic to be taking snooker to a new part of China. I have no doubt that the fans there will show the same passion and enthusiasm for our sport that we have seen at our other tournaments in China.”

  • snoopy2608

    those skipping World Open are:

    Figueiredo, Meara, Filipiak, Hogan, Hull, Bedford, MacKenzie, Couch, Haneveer and Li Yan.

    only surprise is Li Yan – have no idea why he’s not entered

  • JIMO96

    Just had a look at the draw….only 89(!) entries!

    I can understand Hull, Haneveer & Figueirido not entering, but MacKenzie? Bedford? Couch? Most staggeringly, top 64 debutant Li Yan has not entered, putting his new status immediately under threat.

    Mark Allen stated recently that Joe Meara wouldn’t be playing beyond Xmas, and thats confirmed, as well as David Hogan who hasn’t entered. The tenth non entry is Filipiak…….Matt is there maybe a case for a WSA grant of some sort to help players in their first season, particularly non UK players?

    It’s very worrying that the more global the game gets, the more UK dominated it becomes….

    • matt2745

      I don’t have access to World Snooker’s accounts, but you would think from all of the Q School entry fees that they will be generating, they can afford to give something back I agree.

  • Rob Freeman

    What incentive is there for Mackenzie, Couch, Hogan, Hull, Meara or Filipak to enter? With the criteria being the Top 64 + Top 8 PTC Order or Merit – next season’s 72 retained players are already decided as far as those ranked towards the bottom are concerned.

    Scott Mackenzie (for example) has 12440 points for the season. He needs 4350 more points than Joe Swail (64th on the two-year list) to stay on the Tour. And if he doesn’t win two qualifying matches, he doesn’t get any prize money to cover his expenses. Much better for him to not enter the last few tournaments, save himself some money and enter the Q School.

    The PTCs are slowly killing the game. Giving them importance over the year long qualifying route, and only giving the top 64 prize money is making the sport a laughing stock.

  • snoopy2608

    it will be interesting to see when the tour gets expanded to 128 – and the calendar continues to get refined as to whether this reduces the level of withdrawals.

  • ANON

    Might be going off at a tangent, but it raises the prospect of a load of players skipping the World Open / Welsh Open / China Open (and saving themselves £300 in entry fees plus the travel expenses) and just having a crack at the worlds (given that there is usually one player who makes it to the Crucible from the 1st or 2nd qualifying round).

    One thing that I haven’t seen any announcement on is whether WS will retain the qualifying round for non-tour pros (that allowed the likes of Sean Storey / Les Dodd to enter every year). Because the PIOS was an amateur event I believe a pro dropping off the tour had to resign their WSA membership to be allowed to play in PIOS events? Presumably this doesn’t apply any more, so if none of the players who dropped off the tour at the end of 2010/2011 resigned their memberships they would be entitled to enter.

    What this could mean is the worlds having 30+ of last years pros (plus the likes of Tony Knowles / Del Smith who always enter) in the preliminary round, then maybe another 10+ players from this years 96 for whom the worlds will be their first competitive match of 2012. At least it might be an experiment for Mr Hearn in running a 128 player ranking tournament!

  • Kim Yo-han

    For anyone wondering, the ‘kou’ in Haikou is pronounced similarly to the vowel sound in ‘though’, so it shouldn’t be confused with the Japanese verse form, if you were thinking of making any quips along those lines.