Obviously, we all know that the World Championship is definitely (and monetarily) the top prize in the sport of snooker. And it always has been/will be. Most consider prize money to be one of the main factors to determine the ‘importance’ of an event. If this is the way we view it, what were the most ‘important’ events this season, based on prize money?
Let’s just get WSC out of the way to begin with – top prize worth £500,000. By the way, this just considers top prize winnings as opposed to total tournament prize fund. However, they both tend to go hand in hand. This is followed by the China Open, with a winner’s prize of £225,000. Not surprising, considering the impressive and growing viewership of the Chinese audience. Also, even though it isn’t a ranking event, it’s always worth mentioning the Masters and the £200,000 winnings.
So that’s just top 2. Third place (but only by £5000) goes to the International Championship with top prize of £175,000 then the last of the triple crowns in a calendar year; the UK Championship with a taking of £170,000 for the champion.
If you wanted to win £150,000, you go to either the World Open, China Championship or the newly introduced Tour Championship. The next high prize tournaments rest with the rest of the Coral Cup events: the Players Championship and Grand Prix with first places taking £125,000 and £100,000 respectively.
Next, we have what the Top 16 probably consider as the peasant tournaments, where top prizes take less than £100,000. Firstly, the German and European Masters which award £80,000 and £75,000. Then, you have the home nations, each providing their winners £70,000 for victory.
Lastly, you have the Riga Masters and Indian Open, both with £50,000 winnings; then the Shoot Out, Gibraltar Open and Paul Hunter Classic with winnings of £32,000, £25,000 and £20,000 respectively.
Now, prize monies and funds are subject to change – in general, they are on the up for certain tournaments whereas, in others (i.e. home nations) it has mainly stayed constant. But this gives a pretty reasonable idea as to the top tournaments in a season, with the exception of the Triple Crown.