World Snooker is delighted to announce BetVictor as the new title sponsor of next week's Welsh Open.

 

The BetVictor Welsh Open will run from February 11-17 at the Newport Centre and will feature leading players including world number one Mark Selby, John Higgins, Judd Trump, defending champion Ding Junhui and Welsh wizards Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens.

 

The BBC Wales-televised tournament is one of snooker's longest standing world ranking events, ever-present on the calendar since 1992.

 

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: "We are extremely pleased to welcome BetVictor as it's the first time they have sponsored a snooker event. As a world-leading sports betting and gaming firm they are keen to get involved with a sport which can now provide a vast amount of exposure on a global scale, with the tournament to be televised in 77 different countries.

 

"We have introduced a new format for the Welsh Open this year, in line with our plans to create fairer structures for ranking events. Only eight players are guaranteed a place at the venue, the rest will all go through the qualifying rounds. This will give us a field of players in form for the televised stages. We have also increased the prize money, with the winner to receive £50,000, up from last year's £30,000.

 

"South Wales is a hotbed of support for snooker and every year we see the passion of the fans in Newport. We look forward to another successful tournament and to working with the BetVictor team."

 

Charlie McCann, Director of Online Public Relations for Victor Chandler Worldwide, added: "Snooker is a dynamic global brand and we are delighted to sponsor the Welsh Open and hope for a long and happy marriage; snooker has never been more competitive and we are thrilled to be associated with an event which will be televised in 77 different countries such is the sport's growing appeal.


"You only have to go down the list of previous winners, which reads like a who's who of the game, to get a feel for the history of the event with inaugural winner Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, John Higgins and Ronnie O'Sullivan all on the role of honour. Ding Junhui is the holder and we wish him well in his defence of the Title but with Newport looking to get back in the Football League, Cardiff City favourites for promotion from the Championship and Swansea heading to Wembley later in the month perhaps the time is right for another home success? We can't wait for the action to begin."


The deal was brokered by Essentially Group.

 

Tickets for the tournament are on sale now and fans are advised to book their seats quickly. All-day tickets start at just £12 and fans can buy tickets for any three individual weekday sessions for just £20. To book call 01633 656 757 or visit www.worldsnooker.com/tickets

 

The full draw and format will be available after the completion of the qualifying rounds, which run from February 6-9.

 

The BetVictor Welsh Open is supported by Newport City Council.