Joe Perry will begin the defence of his BetVictor Welsh Open title against Mark King in February when snooker’s greatest stars head to Llandudno.
The draw for the tournament has been made, with the qualifying rounds to run from January 11 to 13 in Barnsley, followed by the main event from February 13 to 19 at Venue Cymru in Llandudno, North Wales.
Click here for the draw
Click here for the qualifiers match schedule
Tickets for Llandudno, which will host this event for the first time, are on sale now and start at just £10 – book fast now that the draw has been announced. For details click here.
Perry won a ranking title on British soil for the first time when he beat Judd Trump in the final in Newport last season, and he’ll be up against King in round one in Llandudno. World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan will meet Oliver Lines, while three-time Crucible king Mark Williams will face Michael White in an all-Welsh clash.
Other great names in the field include Trump, Mark Selby, John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Shaun Murphy, Mark Allen and Kyren Wilson. Matches involving the top 16 seeds have all been held over to the venue in Llandudno, as well as two matches involving the national wild cards. They are:
Liam Davies, age 16 from Newport, will face Noppon Saengkham in the first round. Davies has won multiple World and European titles at junior level, and last season he became the youngest player to win a match in the World Championship.
Oliver Briffett-Payne, age 17 from Risca, will face Robbie Williams in the first round. Briffett-Payne is a regular finalist in junior ranking events and captained Wales Under-21s at the Home Internationals in 2022.
In the qualifying rounds in January, notable matches include Matthew Stevens against Fan Zhengyi, David Gilbert facing Marco Fu and Ken Doherty against Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.
The Welsh Open has been ever present on the snooker calendar since 1992 – the sport’s longest running ranking event other than the World Championship and UK Championship. It has an international television audience of hundreds of millions, with live coverage from broadcasters including Eurosport, discovery+, Quest, BBC Wales and CCTV5 in China.
It is the last in the season’s BetVictor Home Nations Series, and also the last event in the 2022/23 BetVictor Series, with the money-list leader at the end of the week to collect a huge £150,000 bonus.
Details on the match schedule for Llandudno will be announced soon.