The first prize in the new Shanghai Masters will be £48,000, which is £13,000 more than Graeme Dott received for winning last season’s China Open.
The total prize fund is £250,000 - £24,500 more than for the Beijing event.
World Snooker has taken a decision to plough the increase into the business end of the tournament. The runner-up will receive £22,500 (£5,000 more than in Beijing) and the losing semi-finalists £12,000 (£3,250 more than at the China Open). The prize money in the other rounds remains the same as for the previous Chinese event.
I think this is the right thing to do. In sport, excellence should be rewarded. Of course, to most of us £35,000 would be a lot of money for a week’s work but winning a tournament is a great achievement and this should be reflected in how the pot is divvied up.
Also, by increasing the first prize the prestige of the tournament grows as well. To the casual observer, it makes the event appear more worthy of their time and suggests snooker’s fortunes are improving.