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Saudi Arabia to host inaugural snooker event with US$2.5m prize pool


Saudi Arabia is set to make its mark on the snooker world with the debut of the Saudi Arabia Snooker Masters later this year. This event will feature a prize fund exceeding US$2.5 million, making it one of the most lucrative tournaments in the sport – second only to the World Championship.

Branded as the ‘fourth major’ by the World Snooker Tour (WST), the Saudi Arabia Snooker Masters will join the ranks of snooker’s traditional triple crown events, the World Championship, UK Championship and Masters. The tournament is slated to take place from August 31-September 7 in Riyadh and marks the beginning of a 10-year agreement.

Open to the entire snooker tour, the event will also offer six wildcard entries for local players, adding an exciting element of regional participation. Additionally, Riyadh will host the Riyadh Season World Masters in March, featuring the world’s top eight players in a non-ranking event. This tournament will introduce a unique ‘golden ball’ rule, potentially elevating the maximum break to 167.

Saudi Arabia will also host the World Pool Championship from June 3-8 in Jeddah.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has forged a reputation for growth and creating new opportunities for sports to grow in a new market to new fans,” Matchroom Sport chairman Eddie Hearn said.

“The country has hosted some of the world’s premier sporting events in recent years, welcoming visitors from all over to experience its passion for sport and unique culture.

“The addition of both the Saudi Arabia Snooker Masters and World Pool Championship over the next decade further enhances that as it heralds an exciting chapter for snooker and nine-ball pool.

“We have seen the incredible impact boxing has had in this region. Now, I believe we will see billiards cement its legacy here too, creating incredible opportunities and competition for the finest players on the planet.”

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