World Snooker has today confirmed which seeds will play in the group stages at next month’s Champion of Champions event in Coventry, with two-time defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan scheduled to get underway on Wednesday 11th November 2015.
O’Sullivan’s participation would of course represent his first professional outing of the new season, though it should noted that the official press release does state that ‘the participation of all players is subject to contracts being agreed.’
It is then unclear whether anything has changed at this point and whether Ronnie has indicated that he does intend to play, after his recent tweet suggesting that he would not be entering the event.
The official press release follows…
World Champion Stuart Bingham will break off snooker’s Champion of Champions tournament next month with Judd Trump also in opening-day action at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, live on ITV4.
Bingham, the beaten finalist in the inaugural Champion of Champions in 2013, will play the opening match on Tuesday, November 10 against an unseeded player to be drawn into Group 3 once the field is complete.
Defending Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan is set for action on Wednesday, November 11 with Joe Perry also in Group 1. Thursday, November 12 sees Neil Robertson and Crucible runner-up Shaun Murphy both in Group 4 action while world number one Mark Selby begins his Champion of Champions campaign on Friday, November 13 where he is joined in Group 2 by Barry Hawkins.
Each seeded player will play an unseeded opponent in a best-of-seven group match in the afternoon session with the two winners clashing over 11 frames in the evening.
The four group winners will proceed to the best-of-11 semi-finals on Saturday, November 14 before Sunday, November 15 sees a two-session final played over 19 frames.
Fifteen players have already received an invite to the 16-man tournament with the winner of the International Championship in Daqing, China to join the field. If the Euro Tour and Asian Tour events prior to the Champion of Champions are won by players already qualified, then Six Reds World Champion Thepchaiya Un-Nooh will join the field.
Tuesday November 10, Group 3 (first match at 1pm)
Stuart Bingham (3) v To Be Drawn
Judd Trump (6) v To Be Drawn
Wednesday, November 11, Group 1 (first match at 1pm)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (1) v To Be Drawn
Joe Perry (8) v To Be Drawn
Thursday, November 12, Group 4 (first match at 1pm)
Neil Robertson (4) v To Be Drawn
Shaun Murphy (5) v To Be Drawn
Friday, November 13, Group 2 (first match at 1pm)
Mark Selby (2) v To Be Drawn
Barry Hawkins (7) v To Be Drawn
Tickets for this year’s Champion of Champions are now on sale at The Ticket Factory from just £10. Standard priced tickets for the weekend sessions are now sold out, but in anticipation of extra seats being released a waiting list has been set up at www.championofchampionssnooker.co.uk/tickets
The participation of all players is subject to contracts being agreed.
Champion of Champions features winners of tournaments in the preceding 12 months. Promoted by Matchroom Sport, this is the third year of the showpiece event.
Qualifying events take order of precedence with the 14 major tournaments on the World Snooker schedule in the first group of events. The second group comprises Euro Tour events and the third group has Asian Tour events. The final group is the three tournaments – Shoot Out, World Seniors and Six Reds – that fall outside the other three groups.
Champion of Champions 2015 Qualification List
1. 2014 Champion of Champions (Nov) – Ronnie O’Sullivan: 1
2. 2014 UK Championship (Dec) – Ronnie O’Sullivan
3. 2015 Masters (Jan) – Shaun Murphy: 2
4. 2015 German Masters (Feb) – Mark Selby: 3
5. 2015 Championship League (Feb) – Stuart Bingham: 4
6. 2015 Welsh Open (Feb) – John Higgins: 5
7. 2015 Indian Open (March) – Michael White: 6
8. 2015 World Grand Prix (March) – Judd Trump: 7
9. 2015 Players Championship (March) – Joe Perry: 8
10. 2015 China Open (April) – Mark Selby
11. 2015 World Championship (May) – Stuart Bingham
12. 2015 Australian Goldfields Open (Jul) – John Higgins
13. 2015 Shanghai Masters (Sept) – Kyren Wilson: 9
14. 2015 International Championship (Nov)
15. World Cup (June) – Zhou Yuelong: 10
16. World Cup (June) – Yan Bingtao: 11
17. Ruhr Open (Nov) – Shaun Murphy
18. Lisbon Open (Dec) – Stephen Maguire: 12
19. Gdynia Open (Feb) – Neil Robertson: 13
20. Riga Open (July) – Barry Hawkins: 14
21. Paul Hunter Classic (Aug) – Ali Carter: 15
22. Ruhr Open (Oct)
23. Bulgarian Open (Nov)
24. Asian Tour 3 (Jan) Joe Perry
25. Asian Tour 1 (Oct)
26. Six Reds World Championship (Sept) – Thepchaiya Un-Nooh: 16
27. The Shoot Out (March) – Michael White
28. World Seniors Championship (March) – Mark Williams