WST Pro Series Draw, Preview, and Where to Watch

The new ranking tournament will run for three weeks in total between January and March.

Judd Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan, and Mark Selby are among the 128 players in the draw for the inaugural WST Pro Series that gets under way on Monday.

After the Masters was completed on Sunday, there has only been one night in Milton Keynes to get ready for what is the newest ranking event introduced to the snooker calendar.

With so many tournaments cancelled this season – particularly several lucrative competitions in China – it was important to come up with a new plan to keep the tour active.

Prize, History, and Format

As a new ranking event to the schedule, there obviously haven’t been any previous winners.

The format is quite similar to that which was unitilised for two out of the three editions of the Championship League that were staged during 2020.

There are 16 groups comprising eight players in each, with a round-robin phase determining the top two who will advance to the second group stage.

Eight groups in the first stage take place this week, while the remaining eight groups are in March.

The 32 players who progress to stage two will be split into four more groups of eight, with the top two again moving forward from each to contest the final group.

That remaining set of eight players will subsequently battle it out in the same fashion to become the overall champion.

There is a total tournament prize fund of £420,500, broken down in various ways through the three group stages.

The winner, however, stands to collect at least £30,000 in an event that incorporates a sprint best-of-three frames format throughout.

It’s not the most innovative creation of all time and it mimics the Championship League style that is already pretty unpopular with the majority of supporters, but the tournament does serve a purpose in terms of keeping the players active.

As an event tailor-made for the betting market, it also perhaps earns a few brownie points with the sport’s primary backers at a time when sponsorship has been a little harder to attract.

2021 WST Pro Series Draw

There was some excitement that this could finally be the event in which Stephen Hendry made his eagerly anticipated comeback.

Yet, the seven-time world champion announced his withdrawal last week to the disappointment of many of his fans.

The likes of Trump, O’Sullivan, and Selby are set to feature in addition to Mark Williams, Mark Allen, and Masters champion Yan Bingtao.

John Higgins, Neil Robertson, and Ding Junhui are among the high-profile faces that won’t be seen during the competition, having each decided not to enter.

Monday’s opening group in the WST Pro Series draw – Group M – comprises Joe Perry, Xiao Guodong, Matthew Stevens, Allan Taylor, Jamie Jones, Daniel Wells, Rod Lawler, and amateur Haydon Pinhey.

First Group Stage Draw

Group A (Saturday, January 23)
Shaun Murphy
Michael Holt
Alan McManus
Louis Heathcote
Xu Si
Ken Doherty
Fraser Patrick
Brian Ochoiski

Group B (Tuesday, January 19)
Kyren Wilson
Li Hang
Yuan Sijun
Sunny Akani
Pang Junxu
Kacper Filipiak
Aaron Hill
Fan Zhengyi

Group C (Thursday, January 21)
Stuart Bingham
Scott Donaldson
Sam Craigie
Chris Wakelin
Jamie Clarke
Ashley Carty
Billy Castle
Jamie Curtis-Barrett

Group D (Friday, March 12)
Barry Hawkins
Ricky Walden
Jimmy Robertson
Alexander Ursenbacher
Gerard Greene
Duane Jones
Farakh Ajaib
Paul Davison

Group E (Sunday, March 14)
Mark Selby
Matthew Selt
Joe O’Connor
Stuart Carrington
Eden Sharav
Soheil Vahedi
Lukas Kleckers
Daniel Womersley

Group F (Thursday, March 11)
Mark Allen
Ben Woollaston
Noppon Saengkham
David Grace
Igor Figueiredo
Jordan Brown
Riley Parsons
Fergal O’Brien

Group G (Wednesday, January 20)
Gary Wilson
Lu Ning
Martin O’Donnell
Liam Highfield
Jamie O’Neill
Zhao Jianbo
Rory McLeod
John Astley

Group H (Wednesday, March 10)
Yan Bingtao
Ali Carter
Mark Davis
Tian Pengfei
Chang Bingyu
Simon Lichtenberg
Amine Amiri
Kuldesh Johal

Group I (Monday, March 15)
Ronnie O’Sullivan
Tom Ford
Lyu Hoatian
Mark Joyce
Chen Zifan
David Lilley
Ben Hancorn
Jamie Wilson

Group J (Tuesday, March 9)
David Gilbert
Martin Gould
Elliot Slessor
Ian Burns
James Cahill
Peter Lines
Oliver Lines
Iulian Boiko

Group K (Friday, January 22)
Anthony McGill
Zhao Xintong
Mark King
Dominic Dale
Andy Hicks
Si Jiahui
Peter Devlin
Lee Walker

Group L (Sunday, January 24)
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Zhou Yuelong
Anthony Hamilton
Luo Honghao
Mitchell Mann
Lei Peifan
Ashley Hugill
Leo Fernandez

Group M (Monday, January 18)
Joe Perry
Xiao Guodong
Matthew Stevens
Daniel Wells
Jak Jones
Rod Lawler
Allan Taylor
Haydon Pinhey

Group N (Monday, January 25)
Jack Lisowski
Graeme Dott
Luca Brecel
Andrew Higginson
Jackson Page
Brandon Sargeant
Zak Surety
Michael White

Group O (Tuesday, March 16)
Judd Trump
Hossein Vafaei
Ryan Day
Jamie Jones
Barry Pinches
Jimmy White
Steven Hallworth
Sean Maddocks

Group P (Saturday, March 13)
Mark Williams
Kurt Maflin
Robert Milkins
Nigel Bond
Robbie Williams
Gao Yang
Alex Borg
Oliver Brown

Click here to view the full draw (Times in CET)

Where to Watch the WST Pro Series

The inaugural WST Pro Series is not being televised across Ireland and the United Kingdom.

However, the action will be available to watch via an account with several online bookmakers, as well as around the world through the Matchroom.Live streaming service.

The tournament in its entirety is being staged behind closed doors.

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