A Comparison of Two Tournaments

Although there is virtually no crossover between the two disciplines in the professional game, both snooker and pool require a significant amount of skill. Players from each sphere compete in a number of tournaments throughout the year and these popular events are closely followed by fans of the sport worldwide. Both snooker and pool stage an annual Masters event, with these competitions inviting the best players in the professional game to compete at the same table.

In this article we take a look at the similarities and disparities between these two hugely popular cue sport events.

David Alcaide making a shot at the 2019 World Pool Masters

David Alcaide making a shot at the 2019 World Pool Masters. How do you rate David Alcaide’s chances in 2020?

World Pool Masters vs World Snooker Masters: A Comparison of Two Tournaments

World Pool Masters vs World Snooker Masters: A Comparison of Two Tournaments


Masters Snooker started in 1975 at the West Centre Hotel in London. Other venues have included the Wembley Conference Centre and the New London Theatre. The tournament moved to Alexandra Palace in 2012 and has been held at the North London venue for the last seven years.

The Pool Masters has also had a number of residencies since its inauguration in 1993. It has previously been staged in a number of towns and cities around the UK with Plymouth, Blackpool and Thurrock all taking it in turns to host the event. The tournament made its first trip overseas in 2003 and more recent destinations including Las Vegas, Kielce and Quezon City in the Philippines. In 2016, Matchroom Sport announced that the longest-running invitational event was moving to Gibraltar and it has remained at the Tercentenary Sports Hall ever since.


The Snooker Masters is the second-longest running tournament on the calendar and although there have been a number of tweaks to the format over the years, the policy of exclusively inviting the top-ranked players has remained in place since its inauguration. It started with just ten competitors, but was soon expanded to 16. Between 1990 and 2010, a couple of wildcard entries were handed out each year, although the qualifying rounds were abolished ahead of the 2011 event.

The top 16 will compete once again in 2020 with defending champion Judd Trump going into the event as top seed. As of October 22, 2019, the Londoner is the 3/1 favorite with Betway to secure back-to-back titles at Alexandra Palace, although he will have see off challenges from former winners Ronnie O’Sullivan, Shaun Murphy and Mark Allen.

The World Pool Masters has opted for a similar format with each of the top-ranked players invited to take part in the tournament. In 2010, it was announced that the field was to be expanded to 64 with the competition also being staged over an additional two days in order to accommodate these extra fixtures. The experiment was largely unsuccessful with Matchroom Sport opting to revert back to the more traditional 16-strong field the following year.

David Alcaide’s jump shot vs Niels Feijen at the 2019 World Pool Masters

The highest-ranked pool players take part each year with a number of household names taking to the tables over the two days. Regular participants have included Phillippines-born Efren Reyes, Dutchman Niels Feijen and Shane Van Boening. Veteran snooker player Jimmy White competed in the 1994 tournament, finishing as runner-up to Ralf Souquet.

Prize Money

Unsurprisingly, the prize money set aside for players at the World Snooker Masters is significantly higher with a total prize fund of around £600,000. In 2019, the winner of the prestigious event picked up a cheque for £200,000 whilst players who progressed to the round 16 were able to walk away with at least £12,500. The player with the highest break also claimed an additional £10,000.

In 2019, Matchroom Sport were offering a total prize fund of $100,000 with a quarter of the purse being awarded to the eventual winner. This total has steadily climbed over the last decade with an additional $20,000 being added to the pot this year alone.

TV Coverage and Viewing Figures

Coverage of the Snooker Masters can be easily accessed with both Eurosport and the BBC sharing the broadcasting rights between them. Every single match is televised throughout the week-long event.

Masters Snooker 2019 Venue

Masters Snooker 2019

Sky Sports signed a seven-year deal with MatchRoom in 2018 which allowed the broadcaster to show a number of the sport’s biggest events including the Mosconi Cup and the World Pool Masters. This has offered a significant boost to the sport with television coverage of both pool and billiards sorely lacking in recent years. The World Pool Masters was also broadcast on Facebook Live for the first time in 2019 with over 500,000 viewers tuning in to witness David Alcaide secure his second title in Gibraltar.

Prestige and Popularity

Although it can be fairly difficult to quantify the prestige of each tournament, it’s fair to say that both events have stood the test of time and rank highly in the popularity stakes. The World Snooker Masters is generally considered to be the second best competition on the calendar by many fans although some would also argue that the invitational nature of the tournament has helped eliminate any overly one-sided contests, thus making it more exciting than the World Championships.

It is listed as one of the triple crown events and the widespread coverage of the Masters has resulted in plenty of interest around the world. After multiple near-misses, Judd Trump was delighted to finally triumph at Alexandra Palace, and it is a tournament that every professional player dreams of winning.

Judd Trump becomes snooker’s 11th member of the Triple Crown club

Judd Trump becomes snooker’s 11th member of the Triple Crown club

The World Pool Masters is synonymous with high quality and reducing the field to 16 has certainly helped the tournament to generate an increased amount of interest. As recent online viewing figures suggest, the popularity of the sport is going from strength to strength and those numbers could increase further in 2020.

Although being invited to compete at the event comes with a fair amount of satisfaction, players are always keen to add their name to the roll of honor as they hope to come out on top in one of the biggest events on the pool calendar.

  • Title: World Pool Masters vs World Snooker Masters: A Comparison of Two Tournaments
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 10/29/2019 2:42:34 AM
  • Last Updated: 10/29/2019 2:12:59 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum

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