Snooker - Drastic changes to take effect for new season

The Capital Venue in Gloucester will be the setting for the start of the 2013/14 World Snooker tour, as a revolutionary change to the structure of tournaments takes effect.

Snooker - Australian Open qualifying results

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Snooker, generic. (PA Photos)

The venue in the south-west of England will host the qualifying rounds of the Wuxi Classic from May 27 to 29 and the Australian Goldfields Open from May 30 to June 3. Both will feature an array of the best snooker players on the planet.

Under new reforms led by World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn, all players on the main tour will start in the first round of eight of next season's 11 ranking events.

This means that new up-and-coming players could face top 16 stars in their first match.

The Wuxi Classic will be the first ever tournament to adopt this new format. A spokesman for World Snooker said: "It's going to be fascinating to see how the leading players fare under the new system, and who can rise to the challenge.

“It's a great opportunity for the new generation to qualify for venues and make their mark.

"We know that the Capital Venue is an outstanding location for professional snooker events and the ideal place to launch the new season."

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