WST Pro Series Draw
The group draw for the new WST Pro Series has been made. Stephen Hendry is set to make his long-awaited comeback, while the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump and Mark Selby are also among the 128-man field.
Click here to watch the draw. The groups are:
The schedule and details of how to watch will be confirmed in due course.
The new WST Pro Series will have total prize money of £420,500. The innovative world ranking event will take place for the first time in 2021 at Arena MK in Milton Keynes.
Players are split into 16 groups of eight for the initial round-robin phase. All matches are best of three frames, and the top two in each group will progress to the second group stage.
The second phase will feature 32 players split into four groups of eight. Once again the top two in each group will go forward.
The player who finishes top of the final group of eight players will be crowned the champion.
The dates for the event are:
January 18-25: Groups one to eight
March 9-16: Groups nine to 16
March 17-20: Second group stage
March 21: Final group
Prize money will be as follows:
First group stage
3rd Place: £2,500
4th Place: £2,000
5th Place: £1,500
6th Place: £1,000
7th Place: £500
8th Place: £0
Second group stage
3rd place: £5,000
4th place: £4,000
5th place: £3,000
6th place: £2,000
7th place: £1,500
8th place: £1,000
Final group stage
3rd place: £7,500
4th place: £5,000
5th place: £4,000
6th place: £3,000
7th place: £2,000
8th place: £1,000
If, like me, you are confused about the groups being “named” by a letter, and then, when it’s about the schedule, the letters being replaced by numbers … here is the explanation I got from Ivan Hirschowitz : it’s because, although the “composition” of the groups are known, the order in which they will play is yet to be decided… so it’s not that Group A is the same as Group 1 f.i.
Four members of the top 16 gave the event a miss: John Higgins, Stephen Maguire, Ding Junhui and Neil Robertson. The latter also withdrew from the Championship League this week.
The big news of course is Stephen Hendry’s return in Group G. It’s a good idea to come back in a rather minor event, where he will play intensively for one day and face different opponents, with different styles. I would be surprised if he gets through to the second stage though. However, he has to start somewhere, and this is a good place IMO.