The third major event of the 2018/19 ROKiT World Seniors Snooker Tour takes place this Sunday with the inaugural ROKiT 6-Red World Seniors Championship.
Held at the beautiful Waterfront Hall in Belfast, this one-day extravaganza features a mixture of legends from the sport and amateur qualifiers who have earned the right to join them on the big stage.
Played across two sessions, the eight-player knockout tournament will adopt the quicker six-red discipline, as opposed to the traditional format of snooker that fans are accustomed to.
Another unique element to proceedings will be the ‘winner-takes-all’ prize pot, with a cool £20,000 going to the last man standing. All matches will be the best-of-seven frames and a thirty-second shot clock will be in operation throughout the day.
Fresh from his Seniors Irish Masters victory south of the border in January, Jimmy White is looking for his fourth career title at this level.
The former World and UK Seniors champion has a tough opening assignment, though, against Leeds-based amateur Jonathan Bagley, who emerged from the competitive Newbury qualifier last month. One of the most consistent players on the circuit since its inception a few years ago, Bagley currently sits top of the World Seniors amateur ranking list.
Elsewhere in the top half of the draw ‘King of the Crucible’ Stephen Hendry will be trying to get his seniors career on track after an unsatisfying run of results from the events he has appeared in so far. The Scot’s bid for a maiden triumph begins with Englishman Joe Johnson, the 1986 world champion.
Should White and Hendry both advance, the pair would resume their long-time rivalry in the semi-finals.
Reigning world seniors champion Aaron Canavan heads the bottom half of the draw as he attempts to secure another world title. The Jersey cueman clashes with the ever-popular Tony Drago, who after a health concern last year is back in the limelight and in front of the TV cameras and crowd. Known for speed around the table, the Maltese maestro could well be suited to this shortened format of the sport.
The Republic of Ireland will meet Northern Ireland when tournament favourite Ken Doherty, the current UK Seniors champion, plays former professional and Crucible quarter-finalist Patrick Wallace in the final match of the first round on Sunday afternoon.
Another stalwart of the WSS tour, eight-time national champion Wallace was the Northern Ireland Billiards and Snooker Association (NIBSA) nominated wildcard for the Waterfront.
From start to finish, every shot will be covered live in the UK and Ireland by Freesports. Learn more about how you can watch here.
Jimmy White (England) v Jonathan Bagley (England)
Stephen Hendry (Scotland) v Joe Johnson (England)
Aaron Canavan (Jersey) v Tony Drago (Malta)
Ken Doherty (Republic of Ireland) v Patrick Wallace (Northern Ireland)
All the matches above will take place during the afternoon session starting from 13.00.
The semi-finals and final will take place during the evening session from 19.00