WST has published three important news.
Turkish Masters Snooker Postponed
The new Turkish Masters world ranking event has been postponed until March 2022.
The tournament was due to take place from September 27 to October 3 in Antalya, but has now been put back to March. The qualifying rounds have also been postponed until 2022.
Turkey remains on the UK Government’s red list for travel, and the country is currently battling severe wildfires. Based on these factors, and in consultation with the Turkish Billiard Federation and Big Break Promotions, WST has taken the difficult decision to postpone the event.
The qualifying rounds of the BetVictor English Open and BetVictor Scottish Open tournaments will be brought forward to September, around the dates previously occupied by the Turkish event.
WST Chairman Steve Dawson said: “It is a huge disappointment for ourselves and the Turkish Billiard Federation to have to postpone this event and I am sure the players will share that sentiment, as well as the fans in Turkey who had looked forward to seeing their heroes for the first time.
“We fully intend to be in Antalya in March. In the mean time our thoughts are with the Turkish people and those affected by wildfires in country.
“We are living through tough times, constantly facing the challenges of travel and commercial restrictions on a global scale. Our sport has coped much better than most over the past 18 months and we continue to strive to provide the best possible calendar of events for our players and fans. Despite postponing Turkey, we have a packed schedule for most of the season, while our worldwide linear and digital audiences continue to grow.”
Ersan Ercan, President of the Turkish Billiard Federation, added: “It is unfortunate that we have to postpone this event due to circumstances beyond our control. We look forward to welcoming WST, players and officials to the beautiful destination of Antalya in March.”
WST has agreed a four-year deal with the Turkish Billiard Federation and Big Break Promotions to stage the Turkish Masters every season until at least 2024/2025. Overall prize money will start at £500,000 and increase each year.
Antalya is renowned as one of Europe’s outstanding destinations, known for its culture, history and ideal location on the Mediterranean coast.
The revised WST calendar for the 2021/22 season will be announced shortly.
This is certainly the right decision given the circumstances. It’s no big surprise and WST had said that if this was to happen, there would be another ranking event in Barnsley instead, but they apparently changed their plans.
Hong Kong’s Ng On Yee has pulled out of next week’s British Open and has been replaced in the draw by the next available player on the Q School 2021 Order of Merit, Mark Lloyd.
Lloyd will face David Grace in the first round in Leicester.
Note that the afternoon session on Saturday 21 August will start at 1pm and not 12noon as previously advised.
This is unfortunate and is certainly caused by travel restrictions put into place by the Hong Kong authorities. On Yee was really looking forward to play on the main tour and there is no way she would miss the action if it was possible for her to travel.
Belfast Set For Extra Evening Of Action
Snooker fans in Belfast will be treated to an additional session of play at the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open on Saturday October 9th.
The event was set to run from October 10th to 17th at the Waterfront Hall, but a special extra session has been added, which will commence at 7pm on the 9th.
Tickets for the tournament are on sale now and fans are being encouraged to act quickly to snap up the chance to be there for a bonus Saturday night at the snooker. Click here to buy now.
Broadcast details for this extra evening of action will be released in due course.
This year’s BetVictor Home Nations Series will see a change in format, with round one being staged at qualifying venues. However, the first round matches of the world’s top 16, plus up to a maximum of four additional games will be held over to the final venue.
I suppose that we might see something similar in (some of) the other Home Nations. The additional games will almost certainly feature local lads.