Northern Ireland Open snooker tournament moves to Waterfront

Mark King won the 2016 Northern Ireland Open
Mark King was presented with the Alex Higgins Trophy after winning the 2016 Northern Ireland Open

This year's Northern Ireland Open snooker tournament is to be staged at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast from 20-26 November.

The 2016 event took place in the city's Titanic Exhibition Centre with Mark King beating fellow Englishman Barry Hawkins 9-8 in an exciting final.

The NI Open will be the second leg of the season's Home Nations series and has a top prize of £70,000.

There will be 128 players competing in the first round.

The 1997 world champion, Ken Doherty from Dublin, described the Waterfront as a brilliant venue.

"I played a testimonial there with Alex Higgins after I won the world title," recalled Doherty, now a BBC television commentator.

"Before the match I went out with the trophy and the reception I got was wonderful. We packed it out and there were 2,500 people there, the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up.

"It was one of the greatest nights in my snooker career."

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