This was announced by WST today:
BetVictor Extends Involvement with WST
BetVictor Extends Involvement with World Snooker Tour by Adding Home Nations Series to the BetVictor European Series
BetVictor, a leading global gambling company, will be title sponsor of all four of snooker’s Home Nations events during the 2021/22 season, plus all four events in the European Series.
In all, BetVictor will sponsor eight tournaments on the World Snooker Tour in the coming season. The player earning the most prize money across the eight events will earn a massive £150,000 bonus. The BetVictor Snooker Series rankings will run throughout the events, as players strive to top the list and earn the bonus.
BetVictor Home Nations Series
BetVictor Northern Ireland Open, October 10-17, Belfast
BetVictor English Open, November 1-7, Milton Keynes
BetVictor Scottish Open, December 6-12, Venue TBC
BetVictor Welsh Open, February 28 to March 6, Newport
BetVictor European Series
BetVictor Shoot Out, January 20-23, Leicester
BetVictor German Masters, January 26-30, Berlin
BetVictor European Masters, February 21-27, Venue TBC
BetVictor Gibraltar Open, March 24-26, Gibraltar
The BetVictor Home Nations series has been running since 2016 and brings the world’s top stars to four countries across the UK. Each event is broadcast across the globe.
The BetVictor European Series is a quartet of world ranking events across the UK and continental Europe. All tournaments feature snooker’s leading players competing for prestigious trophies.
Broadcasters for the two series include Eurosport, Quest, BBC Wales, TrueSport, SportCast, Now TV, Sky Sports (NZ), Astro SuperSport, CCTV5, DAZN as well as a number of local broadcasters and digital streaming partners.
World number one Judd Trump won four of these titles last season: the English Open, Northern Ireland Open, German Masters and Gibraltar Open. Mark Selby lifted the Scottish Open and European Masters crowns, while Ryan Day landed the Shoot Out title and Jordan Brown won the Welsh Open.
WST Chairman Steve Dawson said: “We are thrilled to welcome BetVictor on board for a wide range of our biggest tournaments in 2021/22. We have worked with their fantastic team for many years and we are delighted to continue to build a successful partnership.
“These events have a vast audience across the planet as we continue to grow each year in terms of our international following. BetVictor are part of snooker’s success story, bringing tremendous exposure to their brand.
“We look forward to delivering top class events throughout the BetVictor Home Nations and BetVictor European Series in the coming months. The top players will have their eyes on the huge £150,000 bonus, giving them extra incentive to produce their best in every tournament.”
Director of Sportsbook at BetVictor, Matt Scarrott, added: “It’s a pleasure to team up with WST again and we’re really looking forward to what should be two fantastic series.”
This bonus system is clearly there to get the top players on board and to convince them to enter short-format tournaments carrying modest prize money. The short formats are a bit less predictable than the longer ones and it’s no surprise that they get the bookies interest and preference. I would rather have that money used to give the first round losers something to cover their expenses but I doubt that this idea would have the sponsor’s support.
Also those bonuses go to the ones who have already earned the most. It inflates the top earners “numbers”, allowing WST to boast about what the very top players earn. It’s all about the top 5, or even the top 3. It gives a misleading image of the sport as it quite efficiently hides the ongoing struggles of the majority of the tour.
2 thoughts on “Tour News – 2021/22 Home Nations and European Series”
Even worse than that, it provides a corrupt incentive for some players to collude with each other to get the £150000 bonus, which is a much larger amount than many of the winner’s cheques. It’s almost as if the sponsors want there to be rumours and suspicion: perhaps that increases the likelihood people will have a bet?
I notice they are keeping the same prizemoney structure for the Summer Championship League, which means there can be ‘dead’ matches and thus a disincentive for one of the players (if already qualified).
It begs the question, do WST actually understand what ‘incentive’ means? Are they really serious about snooker being seen as a clean sport? The structures they authorise suggest not…
On a similar vein, I find it incredible that Yu Delu has been allowed to play (and win) in Chinese 9-ball tournaments (https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/hC1rXIEiu_L8otO0l5VRnA). OK, this was not a CBSA event, but how can any credible organisation permit participation of such a clearly corrupt player, just 3 years into a 10-year ban? It’s just baffling what they must have been thinking.
That’s the thing Lewis, they want their players to be clean but they also want to please their main sponsors for many years, the bookies. It’s a very “unhealthy” position to be in. The original championship league that was shown only on bookies websites was the perfect example of that. There was a rather strong incentive not to win a group in order to get more money by playing in the next. It was of course a gamble because there was no guarantee to have the opportunity to win another group. But some players did take the gamble, and often there were no prices on the “group finals”. So the bookies knew it. But then, of course, it was a matchroom event, not a World Snooker event. It was sanctioned, but it wasn’t theirs… Right hand not knowing what left hand is doing. Déjà vu.
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