There are currently nine major televised ranking tournaments on the World Professional Snooker calendar, each offering a significant amount of prize money as well as valuable ranking points counting towards the world rankings.
Professional snooker tournaments can take the form of ranking tournamants, which are open to players on the main tour and award ranking points based on a player's performance, and non-ranking tournaments.
Ranking tournaments are the only events on which a player can enhance his position in the world rankings and therefore work towards gainaing a place in the world's elite top 16, menaing automatic qualification for major televised events.
Since Barry Hearn took over as Chairman of World Snooker in 2010, the tour has been expanded on a global scale, with ranking tournaments being held in countries with a booming interest in the game such as China.
There are now four ranking tournaments held in China each season, alongside popular events in Australia, Germany, Wales and England.
The pinnacle of the snooker season - the World Championship - continues to be held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and offers more than £1million in prize money.