A press conference for the 2019 World Snooker Shanghai Masters and National Amateur Snooker Masters was held at the Regal International East Asia Hotel today, attended by defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan and China’s top player Ding Junhui.
Tickets for the tournament are now on sale – fans can buy them at http://www.jusstickets.com or call 021-962123.
This year’s Shanghai Masters is sponsored by the Bank of Shanghai and will run from September 9-15 at the Regal International East Asia Hotel. It will be a 24-man invitational event, featuring the world’s top 16 plus the next four highest ranked Chinese players, two CBSA nominations and the two winners of the Amateur Masters.
O’Sullivan and Ding were announced as the mentors of the Amateur Masters. The amateur events will be officially launched on June 15 and will be divided into two stages: the trials and the national finals. The trials will be held in Shanghai, Wuxi, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xiamen, Shenzhen, Wuhan and Xi’an in June and August. The top three players in each of the trials will enter the national finals in Shanghai in September. The champion and runner-up of the national finals will receive the 2019 Shanghai Masters wild cards, to compete with the world’s top stars.
Speeches were made by Luo Wenhua, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Sports Bureau, Liu Chunsheng, deputy secretary general of the China Billiards and Snooker Association and Yang Yibin, deputy general manager of Shanghai Juss Sports Industry Development (Group) Co., Ltd. Barry Hearn, Chairman of World Snooker, also expressed support and greetings to the event and the fans through a video.
The press conference also featured an exhibition match, involving Ding, O’Sullivan and eight amateur players.
It’s great news and at the same time you have to wonder why this is happening now, at the same time as the Riga Masters and International Championships qualifiers as obviously neither Ding nor Ronnie can be in two places simultaneously. There are plenty of “gaps” available in the summer calendar… Ding of course would always have his matches held over in “Chinese” events, but there would be no such certainty for Ronnie. Anyway…
Here are a few images that were shared on weibo:
And some short videos…
Big thanks to a very good friend who is helping me so that I can bring these to this blog to share them with the fans. He’s doing a stirling job!
Hopefully more will emerge in the coming hours, and maybe, even the full exhibition…
If so that will come in another post tomorrow. Fingers crossed!