The draw and format for the 2020 BetVictor Gibraltar Open is now available.
Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, John Higgins, Mark Selby, Mark Williams and defending champion Stuart Bingham are among the top stars in the line up for the world ranking event which runs from March 13-15 (preceded by the amateur rounds on March 11-12).
It’s the fourth and final event in the BetVictor European Series, with a £150,000 bonus to go to the player winning the most money across the series. Robertson heads the race but can still be caught by Trump in the concluding showdown.
World Champion Trump will face Gibraltar’s top player Lee Prickman in the opening round.
The tournament is supported by the Ministry of Sports, HM Government of Gibraltar.
Unsurprisingly no Ronnie in there. What does surprise me though is the high number of amateurs who entered this. There are “local” players from Spain and North Africa of course: for them it’s a rare occasion to play against pros and former pros. I’m still impressed by the number of them. For me there is a case there in favour of reviving the PTCs and maybe give a chance to the Paul Hunter Classic to be properly revived as the major pro-am and festival of snooker it used to be.
There are amateurs who have competed in the Challenge Tour, including most of those who will compete for a tour card in the Challenge Tour playoffs. That also is understandable.
There are a significant number of WSS (Seniors) players and this confirms that the WSS Tour is definitely needed: most players still crave opportunuties to play after their “professional years” are over.
Also nice to see Nucharut Whongaruthai and Kwaan Poomjaeng in there.
I have to say, I’m not one bit “excited” about the “Bonus race”. For me, this money would be better used in growing the prize money for the events themselves, especially in the early rounds, rather than further inflating the wallet of those already loaded (*). This tournament is very important for many players in terms of their ranking ahead of the Crucible. For all but eight on the tour it’s their last chance to improve their ranking.