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By Steve Carpenter Thursday 15 August 2013 Updated: 15/08 14:19
FIVE-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan and world number one Neil Robertson lead a headline of top snooker stars heading to the Ricoh in November for the new Champion of Champions event.
O'Sullivan, who successfully defended his world title in April despite not competitively playing for almost a year, has been drawn in Group One of the eagerly-anticipated tournament which will be played in the Jaguar Exhibition Hall.
Mark Selby will face wildcard entries while China’s most successful ever player, Ding Junhui, will face this year’s World Championship runner-up Barry Hawkins in the other Group One match on Friday, November 22.
UK Champion Mark Selby will be the first on the green baize against his wildcard opponent in their Group Two clash on Tuesday, November 19, which will be followed by John Higgins against Stephen Maguire.
Judd Trump will face Hong Kong’s Marco Fu before the tournament’s sixth seed Ricky Walden takes on Stuart Bingham the following day.
And the two matches on Thursday, November 21, will feature reigning China Open Champion Robertson against Martin Gould followed by Mark Allen against Ali Carter, who has successfully returned to the game following treatment for testicular cancer.
“Ronnie O’Sullivan always produces a buzz whenever he plays and it is no surprise he has been seeded as number one,” said Liz Cooper, marketing director at the Ricoh.
“I am sure fans of the Jester from Leicester will be driving along the M69 to give Mark Selby their support and it will be fantastic to see Ali Carter back on the big stage following his recent illness.”
There is a total prize fund of £270,000 available and the group winners go forward to the play-offs at the weekend and the eventual champion on Sunday, November 24, will receive a cheque for £100,000.
“Tickets are selling well which shows the backing from sports fans for this new tournament and we are delighted to be hosting it as we bring snooker to the Ricoh for the first time.
“The Jaguar Exhibition Hall has already hosted other sports such as international tennis, darts and fencing and there is certain to be plenty of drama unfolding once again when the Champion of Champions competition gets underway in November.”
Tickets are now on sale with plenty of good value offers available from www.theticketfactory.com (search snooker) or by ringing 0844 3388000.
All-day tickets for the 800-seater arena on November 24 are already sold out. The afternoon sessions start at 1pm and the evening sessions at 7pm.
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