What Is The Prize of The World Snooker Championship?

The World Snooker Championship

Held every spring at the iconic Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England, the World Snooker Championship is professional snooker’s oldest and most important competition. Winning the title is a dream for every top pro. In addition to its prestige, the tournament is known for being the highest-paying event on the snooker calendar. What is the prize of the World Snooker Championship? Keep reading to find out all about the tournament’s first prize, total purse, and legendary trophy.

First Prize

It is a significant honor and a milestone accomplishment for a professional snooker player to win the World Snooker Championship. Winning the championship is rewarding in itself and typically boosts a player’s ranking. However, a major part of the World Snooker Championship’s appeal for snooker players is its hefty purse. Every year the winner’s name is inscribed at the base of the World Championship Trophy, alongside that of every winner since the tournament began in 1927.

The biggest and most attention-grabbing prize in the World Snooker Championship is the tournament's £500,000 cash prize for the first-place finisher. This is the largest cash prize for any professional snooker championship, even beating out the other two tournaments that make up snooker's Triple Crown: the UK Championship and the Masters. Both of those tournaments award £250,000 to their champions. 

The now-massive first prize for the World Snooker Championship is a sign of how much snooker has increased in popularity and importance since its early days. For comparison, Joe Davis took home less than seven pounds in cash for winning the first World Championship in 1927.

Total Purse

At the World Snooker Championship, the second-place finisher is also well compensated, receiving £200,000 cash for their trouble. In fact, the entire field wins some amount of cash prizes, with the individual amount depending on the round in which a competitor is eliminated. 

The generous prize pool contributes to the enticing £2.395 million total purse for the world championship. This massive purse is also record-setting for being the largest in the world for a snooker tournament, beating out the UK Championship’s £1.009 million purse and the Masters’ £725,000 prize pool.

No competitor goes home without a prize from the World Snooker Championship. Even players who compete in the preliminary qualifying tournament but fail to make it to the main event receive a cash payout. The half-million-pound grand prize and £200,000 second-place prize are the biggest and most attention-grabbing. Still, all entrants are paid proportionally to the round in which they are eliminated, making the World Snooker Championship potentially profitable for all competitors.

The cash prizes for competitors in the main event who fail to make it to the final are awarded in the following amounts. Players eliminated in the semifinals receive £100,000, with quarter-finalists getting £50,000. Those who make it to the (second) Round of 16 take home £30,000 for their troubles. Players get £20,000 if they are eliminated in the first round, simply for qualifying for the main event.

The payout doesn’t stop there, with all 128 entrants in the World Snooker Championship’s three-round qualifying tournament also receiving cash prizes. Competitors who are eliminated in the final round of the qualifying tournament get a £15,000 prize, those eliminated in the second round get £10,000, and players eliminated in the first round of the qualifying tournament take home £5,000.

In addition to the cash prizes for every level of finisher, the World Snooker Championship offers a high break prize of £15,000, which is awarded to the player who scores the highest-valued break during the main event. As the high break prize is added to the winner’s overall cash prize, the total amount a single player could win at the World Snooker Championship is £515,000, in the event that the tournament winner also records the highest break.

World Championship Trophy

The winner of the World Snooker Championship is presented with the World Championship Trophy. Made of 46.5 troy ounces of silver, the trophy is in the shape of a cup featuring a trumpet base, two squared art deco handles, and is topped with a figure of a Greek shepherdess. 

Purchased in 1926 for £19 by Joe Davis (the tournament’s first winner), the trophy has been presented to every world championship winner, whose names are engraved at the bottom. In a tradition reminiscent of the challenge-style format of the tournament’s early years, the winner of the World Snooker Championship is not permitted to keep the trophy. Instead, if they are unable to defend it the following year, they must relinquish the trophy to the new winner.