WORLD Snooker has today announced the full line-up of players competing in this season’s Premier League.
Mark Selby, Judd Trump, John Higgins, Stuart Bingham, Shaun Murphy, Peter Ebdon, Ding Junhui, Neil Robertson, Stephen Lee and Mark Allen will compete in the four-month long tournament starting in August battling for a winning prize of £50,000.
Last week, World Championship winner Ronnie O’Sullivan pulled out of the this year’s Premier League so he could take a break from the game. He is replaced by wild card and four-times World Champion John Higgins.
This year’s tournament the ten players drawn into two groups of five. The five players in each group play each other once with the top two in each group making the semi-finals of the competition.
Group One: Ding Junhui, Shaun Murphy, Stuart Bingham, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson
Group Two: Judd Trump, Stephen Lee, Peter Ebdon, John Higgins, Mark Allen
Matches will be six frames long and will take place in venues all over the UK. The winner gains two points and just one point for a draw. If two players in a group are equal on points their league position will be determined by most frames won. If this is still level then the result of the match between the two players will prove decisive.
Normal Premier League rules apply with a 25-second shot clock in operation with each player having two 25-second extensions in each frame.
Ding Junhui and Shaun Murphy will kick off the season’s Premier League when they take on each other at the Embassy Theatre in Skegness on Thursday, August 16. The Group 2 match that night will be between Judd Trump and Stephen Lee.
The Premier League will be held at other venues around the country including Biddulph, Carlisle, Banbury, Southampton, Malvern, Cornwall, Guildford, Doncaster, Durham with the semi-finals and final being staged in Grimsby on the weekend of November 24.
The semi-finals will be a race to five frames with the Sunday finale being the best out of 13 frames.
Thursday, August 16 7:30pm
Embassy Theatre, Skegness
Ding Junhui v Shaun Murphy (G1), Judd Trump v Stephen Lee (G2)
Thursday, September 6 7:30pm
Biddulph Valley LC, Biddulph, Staffordshire
Mark Selby v Neil Robertson (G1), Stephen Lee v Peter Ebdon (G2)
Thursday, September 13 7:30pm
The Sands, Carlisle
Shaun Murphy v Stuart Bingham (G1), John Higgins v Mark Allen (G2)
Thursday, September 27 7:30pm
Spiceball LC, Banbury
Neil Robertson v Shaun Murphy (G1), Mark Allen v Peter Ebdon (G2)
Thursday, October 4 7:30pm
Stuart Bingham v Ding Junhui (G1), Judd Trump v Peter Ebdon (G2)
Thursday, October 11 7:30pm
Mark Selby V Ding Junhui (G1), John Higgins v Stephen Lee (G2)
Thursday, October 18 7:30pm
Penzance LC, Cornwall
Neil Robertson v Stuart Bingham (G1), Mark Allen v Stephen Lee (G2)
Thursday, October 25 7:30pm
Stuart Bingham v Mark Selby (G1), Judd Trump v John Higgins (G2)
Thursday, November 8 7:30pm
The Dome, Doncaster
Mark Selby v Shaun Murphy (G1), Judd Trump v Mark Allen (G2)
Thursday, November 15 7:30pm
Spennymoor LC, Durham
Neil Robertson v Ding Junhui (G1), John Higgins v Peter Ebdon (G2)
Saturday, November 24 7:30pm
Semi-Final 1 (G1 winner v G2 runner-up), Semi-Final 2 (G2 winner v G1 runner-up)
Sunday, November 25 7:30pm
The Premier League Final