The snooker season is in full swing and the Players Championship is the next ranking event on the horizon so here is everything you need to know about the tournament.
The Players Championship has been a fixture on the calendar since 2011. It is the second event in the Players Series, after the World Grand Prix and preceding the Tour Championship.
The tournament features the top 16 players on the one-year ranking list, pitting the in-form competitors against each other in what will be an ultra-competitive event.
|Where||Aldersley Leisure Village, Wolverhampton|
|When||Monday 20th February - Sunday 26th February 2023|
|How to watch||bet365 Live Sports Streaming, Eurosport, ITV|
The Players Championship starts on Monday 20th February with the final scheduled for Sunday 26th February.
The Players Championship this year will be held at Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton. The venue has previously held the Grand Slam of Darts and various other sports tournaments and events.
The competition has been held in previous years at various venues around the country including the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, the Convention Centre in Southport, the Guild Hall in Preston and the Venue Cymru in Llandudno.
Before that, when the event was known as the Players Tour Championship Finals, it was held at EventCity in Manchester, the Montien Riverside Hotel in Bangkok, the Bailey Allen Hall in Galway and the Helix in Dublin.
Only two players have won the Players Championship more than once with Ronnie O’Sullivan doing the double in 2018 and 2019 and Judd Trump winning in 2017 and 2020.
Neil Robertson is the reigning champion, having won last year. Before that, John Higgins, Mark Allen, Joe Perry, Barry Hawkins, Ding Junhui, Stephen Lee and Shaun Murphy have all got their names on the trophy.
The Players Championship sees the top 16 players in the world do battle and they are seeded by the amount of points they have secured in the one-year ranking list.
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Before the beginning of the Welsh Open big names such as O’Sullivan and Higgins were missing from the provisional top 16 list and were therefore in line to miss out on a trip to Wolverhampton for this event.
There is £385,000 total prize money for this event, with the winner pocketing £125,000 of that. Robertson took home the title last year, beating Barry Hawkins 10-5 in the final. That snapped a run of three defeats in the final of this competition for the Australian.
The runner up will take home £50,000 while the defeated semi-finalists will each earn £30,000. There is a £10,000 prize for the highest break in the tournament.
The tournament will be televised on Eurosport and on ITV.
O’Sullivan is at the top of the world rankings, ahead of Mark Selby and Allen, who is 11/1 to win the World Championship.
Then come Robertson and Trump, while Higgins, Mark Williams, Kyren Wilson, Zhao Xintong and Luca Brecel make up the rest of the world’s top-10 snooker stars.
This will be the fifth ranking tournament of 2023, although the invitation-only Masters was the first competition of the New Year and that was won by Trump, who defeated Williams 10-8 in the final.
Trump, 4/1 to win the World Championship, was unable to follow that up with a victory in the World Grand Prix last month, when he was beaten 10-9 in a thriller against Northern Ireland’s Allen.
Chris Wakeling stayed the course to win the Shoot Out with a victory over Julien Leclercq, while the most recent champion was Ali Carter, who posted a 10-3 victory over Tom Ford in the final of the German Masters last week.