World Snooker secure title sponsor for new event
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn expressed his delight on securing Partycasino.com as the title sponsor of the inaugural Players Tour Championship Grand Finals.
The Partygaming-owned online casino website is increasing its association with the sport, having sponsored the Matchroom Sport-run Premier League Snooker since 2008, taking over from previous title stablemate Partybets.com who sponsored the 2007 tournament.
The new Partycasino.com Players Tour Championship Grand Finals, the culmination of 12 short tournaments staged around Europe earlier in the season, will be held at The Helix in Dublin between Wednesday 16th and Sunday 20th March and is classed as a minor ranking series.
Barry Hearn said: “It’s a great pleasure to bring Partycasino.com on board for this exciting new event. Partycasino.com also sponsor Premier League Snooker so they have a close association with the sport and they are clearly delighted with the exposure they receive through snooker.
“It’s fantastic to be going to Ireland for a world ranking event for the first time in six years. The fans have been starved of top draw snooker for too long and I hope they will be out in force to see the stars in action.”
The Players Tour Championship (PTC) mirrors the format of the Hearn-chaired Professional Darts Corporation’s (PDC) Players Championship, in that an order of merit, a seeding system separate from the world rankings, determines the grand finalists on the basis of the money they have won in earlier PTC events.
Over 200 players, including professionals and amateurs from around the world, competed in this year’s series, with the grand finalists including Shaun Murphy, Mark Williams, Mark Selby, Stephen Maguire and Marco Fu. It will be the first ranking event to be held in Dublin since the final edition of the Irish Masters in 2005.
“I know all of the players competing can’t wait to get over there, show what they can do and experience the atmosphere. The PTC series has given them the chance to play in events every week so they are all match sharp. Alongside Partycasino.com we’re looking forward to an outstanding five days of snooker,” added Hearn.
This is the latest in a long line of Partygaming-sponsored events associated with Hearn and his Matchroom Sport company. To date the Partycasino brand has sponsored the 2010 Weber Cup tenpin bowling championship, the 2009 World Cup of Pool and the Mosconi Cup pool since 2008. Partygaming, through their Partybets and Partypoker brands, also sponsored the Grand Slam of Darts tournament between 2007 and 2009.
The PTC Grand Finals will be broadcast on Eurosport across Europe, on Beijing TV, Shanghai TV and Guangdong TV in China and on Now TV in Hong Kong.