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China Open prize fund set to break the million pound barrier

The winner will collect a huge £225,000 (credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

The China Open will become the only ranking tournament outside of the World Championship to feature a prize fund of £1 million following the agreement of a new four-year sponsorship deal.

The prestigious event will run from April 1-8 in Beijing with a top prize of £225,000 and a total prize fund of £1 million - almost double last year's total of £510,000, when the top prize was £85,000. 

The £225,000 winner's cheque will be topped only by the Betfred World Championship first prize of £425,000.

Another change will see the final of the tournament contested over the best of 21 frames for the first time.

The China Open has been staged annually in the country's capital since 2005, with Ding Junhui winning the title that year as an 18-year-old, helping to spark a surge of interest in snooker in China. 

Since then, top stars including Judd Trump, Neil Robertson and defending champion Mark Selby have lifted the trophy.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: "We are delighted to be working with Star Xing Pai and Beijing Fuhua for the first time on what will be a truly magnificent China Open event. 

"This is a fantastic announcement which establishes the China Open in Beijing as the flagship tournament in Asia. 

"It's remarkable to think that back in 2005 when this event was first staged, the total prize fund was only £200,000 and the top prize £30,000 - that shows how far we have come in the past 13 years in terms of the growth of snooker in China.

"This is a great deal for the players whose earning opportunities have never been better, and the fans who have this superb event secured for the next four years. We look forward to working with the Star Xing Pai and Beijing Fuhua teams for many years to come."

The qualifying round takes place from January 27-30 in Barnsley, with players needing to win one match to progress to the lucrative final stages.


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China Open prize fund set to break the million pound barrier

The China Open will become the only ranking tournament outside of the World Championship to feature a prize fund of £1 million following the agreement of a new four-year sponsorship deal.

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