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A Brief Tour Of Major Snooker Tournaments

Snooker began as an idealistic derivative of billiards. It was created through the imagination of a Colonel in the British army who was stationed in India during the latter part of the 19th century. Since then, snooker has attracted millions of players and fans from around the world. Today, major tournaments are organized and sponsored by ruling governing organizations. In this article, we'll describe the top snooker tournaments and inject a bit of historical perspective so you can understand how snooker evolved into one of the most popular sports in the world.

World Snooker Championship

The World Snooker Championship is the most prestigious and anticipated snooker event of the year. Though there are many tournaments held throughout the year, this is the event that draws the greatest number of spectators, sponsors and prize money. It's held in Sheffield, England at the Crucible Theatre and attracts the best players from around the world. The World Snooker Championship was organized by a man named Joe Davis in 1927. With the exception of a few years during World War II and 1958 through 1963 (when infighting amongst snooker's prevailing governing bodies resulted in a decline in the sport's popularity), this tournament has been held each year. Today, it continues to be the biggest draw of the snooker world.

UK Snooker Championship

Behind the World Snooker Championship, the UK Snooker Championship is considered the second most-prestigious snooker event in the world. It was organized in 1977 and originally excluded all but British citizens. In 1984, this rule was lifted and players from across the globe began to participate. Though the UK Championship is a smaller competition than the World Championship, it attracts the best snooker players, including many top-ranking players such as Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Alex Higgins.

The Masters

The Masters Snookers Tournament made its debut in 1975. During its first competition, only 10 snooker players were invited to participate. Today, the number of players has climbed to 18 (though there were 19 players in 2007). Unlike the World and UK Snooker Championship events, the Masters in not a ranking event. Despite this fact, it's considered extremely prestigious amongst the elite players and draws a prize purse that rivals all other professional snooker tournaments with the exception of the World Championship. This event is held in a different location each year and attracts the highest-profile players.

Pot Black Tournament

The Pot Black event was originally created by the BBC network. In 1969, noticing an opportunity to capture the viewing audience with a new type of programming, the BBC organized and televised the tournament. This move proved to be perfectly-timed and is largely responsible for boosting the popularity of snooker. The event was discontinued during the 1980's. However, in 1995, the Pot Black Tour was revived and continues to draw top-ranked snooker players today.

Enjoying The Snooker Tournaments

If you're not a top-ranked snooker player, yet you'd like to enjoy watching the various tournaments, you can do so on TV or in person. Most of the prestigious snooker events are held in England. Even though the largest tournaments are televised, some snooker enthusiasts prefer to watch the events in person. Tickets can be purchased for most of these events online. If you're just beginning to learn how to play snooker, take the time to watch a couple of tournaments. Watching the pros play can provide a wealth of tips and strategies for any aspiring player.