Austria will stage a world ranking event for the first time in January when the BetVictor European Masters take place in Dornbirn.
The event will take place at the Messe Dornbirn venue from January 22nd to 26th and it’s the first event in the new BetVictor European Series.
Dornbirn is a city in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg, in the west of the country close to the borders with Germany and Switzerland.
Tickets for the tournament are ON SALE NOW, starting at just 20 Euros. There are also VIP options available.
The qualifying rounds will take place in December, with 128 players each needing to win two matches to make it to Austria, and 32 going through to the final stages. All matches up to and including the quarter-finals will be best of nine frames with no intervals.
Total prize money will be £407,000 with a top prize of £80,000. The tournament will be televised by Eurosport.
The new BetVictor European Series also comprises the BetVictor German Masters, (January 29 to February 2), the BetVictor Shoot Out (February 20-23) and the BetVictor Gibraltar Open (March 13-15).
A unique ranking list will run throughout these events, with the player earning the most money across the BetVictor European Series receiving a bonus of £150,000.
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “We are delighted to be staging a world ranking event in Austria for the first time in our history. It’s another major step forward in our quest to make snooker a global sport. We have seen fantastic figures for television and digital audiences in Austria in recent years and now the fans there have the chance to see the world’s best players competing live for a prestigious trophy.
“The venue in Dornbirn is superb and it is a beautiful part of Austria so we will to see fans coming from far afield to experience the event.
“It’s the first tournament in the BetVictor European Series so the top players will aim to get off to a strong start, with their eyes on the £150,000 bonus. We look forward to a great event.”
Best of nine with no interval? That’s a novelty and I’m not quite sure I like it. Nine frame swithout a break is quite long: for the players, for the referee and for the audience. More importantly, the interval gives players time to refresh, regroup, to go to the practice table, or to think and sometimes overthink about the way the match went. Many intervals have changed the course of a match and getting rid of it, is also getting rid to some of the psychological aspects of the longer format.
I don’t think there is much chance to see Ronnie in this one…