188BET CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS DRAW ANNOUNCED
The draw for snooker’s prestigious 188BET Champion of Champions at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena has been announced.
Ding Junhui will open proceedings in Group One on Monday, November 6. The World Open champion takes on Anthony Hamilton, with Barry Hawkins up against Ryan Day in the second Group One semi-final.
Tuesday sees Marco Fu take on Michael White and Shaun Murphy face Mark King in Group Two. On Wednesday, World Champion Mark Selby takes on Liang Wenbo before Judd Trump comes up against Luca Brecel in Group Three action.
Two-time 188BET Champion of Champions winner Ronnie O’Sullivan gets Thursday’s Group Four action underway against the winner of the International Championship, which concludes on Sunday. John Higgins will then begin his tournament defence against fellow Scot Anthony McGill.
The 188BET Champion of Champions features 16 players, all tournament winners over the last 12 months. The players are split into four groups of four players with each group comprising two semi-finals played over seven frames in the afternoon session, followed by a final in the evening played over 11 frames.
The four group winners proceed to the best of 11 semi-finals, with the Group One winner facing the Group Four winner on Friday, November 10 and the players emerging from Groups Two and Three up against each other on the evening of Saturday, November 11.
The 19-frame final will be played over two sessions on Sunday, November 12.
The last remaining player to join the 188BET Champion of Champions line-up will be the winner of the International Championship. Should the winner of the International Championship have already earned entry to the 188BET Champion of Champions, the invite will go to the next player on the qualification list – Hong Kong Masters winner Neil Robertson.
Broadcast throughout by ITV4 in the UK and on networks around the world, the 188BET Champion of Champions marks its fifth year in 2017 and pits tournament winners from the previous 12 months head to head for the prestigious title and the £100,000 winner’s prize.
Tickets are on sale now at www.championofchampionssnooker.co.uk priced from just £11 for group stage sessions.
So the good news is that Ronnie is playing in it, the less good news is that, again, he’s facing an extremely hard draw. He will face Neil Robertson or the winner of the International Championship (if he hasn’t already qualified), in his first match, and John Higgins is likely to be awaiting next. But, as we know, if Ronnie is on his game it won’t matter who he faces, he will relish the challenge.
Mark Selby is also in an extremely hard group, with Judd Trump, Luca Brecel and Liang Wenbo.
Comparatively Groups 1 and 3 look relatively “easy”.