February on the Baize

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A busy month on the month beckons as we look ahead to February and the latest events to be staged on the World Snooker Tour, as well as by World Disability Billiards and Snooker and World Ladies Billiards and Snooker.

Shoot Out (8-11 February)

To be staged as a ranking event for the second time following Anthony McGill’s victory at the event in 2017, the Coral Shoot Out takes on added significance a year on as the event also marks the crucial seeding cut-off to determine the 32 qualifiers for this year’s World Grand Prix.

The tournament returns to the Watford Colosseum this Thursday with a top prize of £32,000 on offer to the winner and will be broadcast by ITV4.

WDBS Parris Cues UK Open (16-18 February)

World Disability Billiards and Snooker returns with the Parris Cues UK Open, to be held at Barratts Snooker Club in Northampton later this month.

The event will be the second WDBS event of 2018 and the first with tournaments open to deaf players and people with visual disabilities. There will also be a competition for players with learning disabilities, run alongside a Friday Open Day for people with all disabilities to come along and try snooker with support available from WPBSA World Snooker coaches.

Entries are still open for the event, learn more and enter now at www.wdbs.info

WLBS British Open (17-18 February)

And the same weekend also sees the return of the World Women’s Snooker Tour with its fourth event of the season, the WLBS British Open.

To be held at the Stourbridge Institute, the event will see the likes of world number one Reanne Evans and winner of the last two WLBS events Ng On Yee battle it out to take the title. There are also set to be side-events contested for Under-21 and Seniors players.

The WLBS British Open is open to women players of all ages and abilities. The entry deadline for the event falls this Friday 9 February – learn more and enter now.

On Yee

Ladbrokes World Grand Prix (19-25 February)

Professional snooker returns to the Preston Guild Hall with the latest staging of the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix.

As in previous years, the top 32 players on the one-year ranking list (following the Shoot Out), will qualify to compete at the event, with a top prize of £100,000 to be won by the eventual champion. At the time of writing, the majority of the tour’s biggest names are set to take their place at the tournament, with defending champion Barry Hawkins and Hong Kong’s Marco Fu (currently out of action following laser eye surgery), the notable exceptions.

All eyes will be on the Shoot Out to see whether Hawkins – who must reach at least the final to qualify for Preston – can do enough to earn a late reprieve and a return to defend his title.

Welsh Open (26 February – 4 March)

The final tournament of the month will be the Welsh Open, the final event of this season’s Home Nations Series of events.

To be held at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena, the event was won last year by Stuart Bingham after a dramatic final with Judd Trump and Bingham will be among those looking to add crucial points to his ranking in order to secure a position at upcoming tournaments including the Players Championship and ultimately a top 16 seeding for the season-ending World Championship in Sheffield.

The draw for the Welsh Open will be made following the seeding cut-off, which falls after the Shoot Out.

Learn more about the World Snooker Tour at www.worldsnooker.com