The tournament at K2 Crawley runs from October 15 to 21, with 128 players competing for the Steve Davis Trophy.
O’Sullivan beat Kyren Wilson 9-2 in last year’s final and is now set to play in a ranking event for the first time this season. He will face Norway’s Maflin on Monday October 15 (not before 1pm).
World Champion Mark Williams will take on fellow Welshman Dominic Dale in the same session. And in Monday’s evening session, world number one Mark Selby will play Sanderson Lam.
On Tuesday October 16, showpiece matches will include John Higgins facing Li Yuan and Judd Trump playing Robin Hull.
Televised by Eurosport and Quest, it is the first of the season’s Home Nations series, to be followed by tournaments in Belfast, Glasgow and Cardiff. Any player winning all four trophies will bank a massive £1 million bonus.
Well, once again this isn’t the kindest draw for Ronnie, but maybe it’s as well because he sure knows how dangerous Kurt can be and that will give him a challenge.