The draw has been made for this year’s iconic Players Championships, and it includes some very interesting ties that are sure to create some brilliant moments.
Mark Allen is the top seed, after accumulating the most earnings from ranking evens so far this season, with more than £350,000 amassed so far. The Northern Irishman will face Stephen Maguire in the first round on the opening night, where pre-tournament favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan will face Barry Hawkins.
Other exciting first round ties include the in-form Judd Trump facing European Masters champion Jimmy Robertson, and Mark Selby taking on John Higgins.
2019 Players Championship first round draw in full:
Mark Allen (1) vs Stephen Maguire (16)
David Gilbert (8) vs Stuart Bingham (9)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (5) vs Barry Hawkins (12)
Mark Selby (4) vs John Higgins (13)
Neil Robertson (3) vs Joe Perry (14)
Mark Williams (6) vs Ali Carter (11)
Kyren Wilson (7) vs Jack Lisowski (10)
Judd Trump (2) vs Jimmy Robertson (15)
The overall winner of the competition will take home the £125,000 winners prize, as well as the trophy itself, with the runner-up taking home £50,000.
The 2019 Players Championship prize fund breakdown in full:
- Winner: £125,000
- Runner-up: £50,000
- Semi-final: £30,000
- Quarter-final: £15,000
- Last 16: £10,000
- Highest break: £5,000
- Total: £380,000
The "rolling 147 prize" for a maximum break: £5,000.
Three members of the current top 16 failed to quality due to disappointing seasons up until this point. Those three players are world number nine Ding Junhui, number 11 Shaun Murphy and number 13 Luca Brecel.
All of the matches are the best of 11 frames except for the final, which will be played for the best of 19 frames.
Last year’s competition was won by Ronnie O’Sullivan, who defeated Shaun Murphy 10-4 in the final in Llandudno, Wales. This year the competition will be held at Preston Guild Hall, Preston for the second time, after hosting the competition in 2014.