The largest prize in snooker is up for grabs this bank holiday weekend at the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield.
A record prize money pay cheque of £425,000 will be rewarded to this year’s winner, a 13 per cent increase on the £375,000 won by last year’s champion Mark Selby.
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) this year increased its total prize money offering for the tournament from £1.75m to £1.97m.
That means the runner-up will take home £180,000 — compared to last year’s £160,000 — while defeated semi-finalists will take home £85,000.
Defending champion and world No1 Selby crashed out in the first round after suffering a shock 10-4 defeat to Joe Perry, leaving him with only the £9,000 paid to first round losers as consolation.
The World Championship’s financial value to players has steadily increased in the last decade after the WPBSA’s total offering briefly dipped below the £1m mark in 2005 and 2006 following the loss of tobacco sponsorship.
Next year it is set to rise again according to WPBSA chairman Barry Hearn who says that the winner will take home £500,000.
No other tournament on the ranking ciruit currently pays its winner even half of what this year’s champion at the Crucible will receive. The closest is the UK Championship which paid 2017 winner Ronnie O’Sullivan £170,000.
That was just one of many lucrative paydays enjoyed by O’Sullivan, the highest-earning snooker player in history with a total career haul of £6m.