World Snooker Federation Championship runner-up Adam Stefanów will take his place on the World Snooker Tour for the first time at the start of the 2018/19 season.
After Lyu Haotian climbed into the top 64 of the world rankings at the end of last season following the first year of his two-year tour card, an extra place has now become available on the professional circuit.
Following consultation between World Snooker, the WPBSA and the World Snooker Federation it has been decided that Poland’s Stefanów is to receive the invitation to join the tour, based on being next in line as runner up in the WSF Championship which was held in Malta earlier this year.
Having described the WSF Championship as his ‘last chance’ to qualify for the professional circuit, the tournament proved to be bittersweet for the 24-year-old as he performed brilliantly to reach the final at the Dolmen Hotel, before falling short to eventual champion Luo Honghao of China.
But Stefanów, who for the past three years has lived in Sheffield, England, will now become the first Polish player to compete on the professional circuit since Kacper Filipiak during the 2011/12 season.
Stefanów said: “This is a dream come true for me! There are millions of people playing snooker around the world and to receive the ticket to the dream that I have had for 13 years of being one the 128 players to play on the main tour is absolutely fantastic.
“I feel ready for the opportunity, I am at the perfect age and I know that I can continue to improve as a player. I have been so dedicated to this sport since I was 11 and am so proud that I will be the first player to represent my country on the professional circuit with a two-year tour card. Snooker is such a huge sport in Poland and I am determined to be able to do something special for our game.”
WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “It is a pleasure for us to be able to welcome Adam Stefanów to the main tour as the next player in line following his exceptional performance at the WSF Championship in Malta.
“The WSF is providing inspirational opportunities to amateur snooker players across the globe who demonstrate their commitment to the sport at the highest international level. Adam is a hard working passionate player who has improved tremendously in recent times, he is exactly the type of competitor that the World Snooker Tour requires and he thoroughly deserves a chance to compete amongst the world’s best players.”