Snooker’s Welsh Open returns to Cardiff for the first time in over a decade and all the sport’s biggest names will be in action, live on BBC Wales and British Eurosport from February 16-22.
Five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan enters as defending champion after thrashing Ding Junhui 9-3 in the last year’s final, capping a supreme display with a brilliant 147 in the last frame, the 12th maximum break of his career.
The tournament has now moved to Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena and ‘The Rocket’, who has been in superb form in recent months, winning the Champion of Champions and UK Championship titles, hopes he can succeed at the new venue.
O’Sullivan opens his campaign against Australian Vinnie Calabrese in the opening round of the tournament, while recently crowned Masters winner Shaun Murphy faces youngster Steven Hallworth, while world number one Neil Robertson takes on James Cahill.
Arguably the most intriguing tie of the opening round sees former world champion Peter Ebdon face the experienced Maltese snooker star Tony Drago, with both players looking to role back the years this week in Cardiff.
Welsh snooker fans will also get to see many of their heroes this week, including two-time world champion Mark Williams, former UK champion Matthew Stevens and Ryan Day, as well as rising stars Michael White, Jak Jones and Jamie Rhys Clarke.
All 128 players will start in the first round and with 11 tables in the arena it is a fantastic chance to see a host of top stars on the same day.
Alongside O’Sullivan and Ding, players chasing the title will include Judd Trump, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, Shaun Murphy, Jimmy White and John Higgins.
The opening two days of the event will see 48 matches be played across both Monday and Tuesday, before the event settles down to see just four tables in action from Wednesday.
Commenting on the tournament’s move back to Cardiff, World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said: “The BetVictor Welsh Open has grown dramatically in recent years with increased prize money, growing live attendances and a new structure.
“While we are grateful to the people of Newport for their support, it is time to move the event down the M4 to the capital city to allow it to continue to build momentum.
“The Motorpoint Arena is a top class venue and a fitting stage for the world’s very best snooker players. This is a tournament with such a rich history, ever present on our calendar as a world ranking event for over 20 years.
“I have no doubt that the people of South Wales will be out in force to make the 2015 Welsh Open a truly spectacular week of snooker.”
Over the next seven days, 128 players will contest the title, with the winner picking up a cheque for £60,000, and fans can watch all the action live on BBC Wales and British Eurosport.
Live scores, daily reports and interviews during the 2015 Welsh Open can be found via the official World Snooker website.
BBC Wales is once again the host broadcaster for the event and will have live coverage of all the key action from the last 64 stage onwards on BBC Two Wales and online, starting on Monday, February 16.
Ian Hunt introduces live coverage from Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena thoughout the week, which includes daily afternoon and evening coverage, plus nightly highlights, all on BBC Two Wales.
Viewers across the UK will be able to follow the live action from BBC Wales throughout the week via BBC Red Button, while full coverage of each day’s play can be seen by all via the BBC Sport website on PCs, laptops and mobiles, as well as via internet-connected TVs.
Commentary and studio analysis comes from Terry Griffiths, Darren Morgan, Dominic Dale and Willie Thorne.
British Eurosport will have full live coverage of the 2015 Welsh Open, including action from every session via its two channels.
Eurosport’s commentary team includes World Champion Joe Johnson, Mike Hallett, David Hendon and Philip Studd.
Click here for full details of British Eurosport’s live TV schedule for the 2015 Welsh Open.
Monday 16th February Round 1 / Round 2 LIVE: 1.00pm-4.45pm & 7.00pm-8.00pm BBC Two Wales / BBC Red Button Highlights: 11.20pm-12.00am BBC Two Wales
Tuesday 17th February Round 1 / Round 2 LIVE: 1.00pm-4.45pm & 7.00pm-8.00pm BBC Two Wales / BBC Red Button Highlights: 11.20pm-12.00am BBC Two Wales
Wednesday 18th February Last 32 LIVE: 1.00pm-4.45pm BBC Two Wales / BBC Red Button LIVE: 7.00pm-8.00pm BBC Two Wales / BBC Sport Website Highlights: 11.20pm-12.00am BBC Two Wales
Thursday 19th February Last 16 LIVE: 1.00pm-4.45pm BBC Two Wales / BBC Red Button LIVE: 7.00pm-8.00pm BBC Two Wales / BBC Sport Website Highlights: 11.20pm-12.00am BBC Two Wales
Friday 20th February Quarter Finals LIVE: 1.00pm-4.45pm BBC Two Wales / BBC Red Button Highlights: 9.00pm-10.30pm & 11.05pm-11.45pm BBC Two Wales
Saturday 21st February Semi Finals LIVE: 1.00pm-4.30pm BBC Two Wales / BBC Sport Website LIVE: 7.00pm-9.00pm BBC Two Wales / BBC Sport Website Highlights: 11.30pm-12.10am BBC Two Wales
Sunday 22nd February Welsh Open Final 2015 (Best of 17 frames) LIVE: 1.00pm-4.30pm & 7.00pm-10.00pm BBC Two Wales / BBC Red Button .