Snooker's top guns head to Romania this week for a new addition to the World Snooker calendar - the Romanian Masters in what is a busy month coming up before the climax of the season.

Held in Bucharest, 16 of the World's best snooker players descend to battle it out for a top prize of £44K.

The tournament, although non-ranking comes days after Ryan Day lifted his second ranking title in Gibraltar over the weekend.

Romania held the first European Masters a couple of years ago, but it was replaced by the ranking event being held in Belgium, Lommel.

However, Romania is becoming a popular country as a fan of the sport, and the likes of Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Selby, Stuart Bingham among others have held exhibitions there.

Busy Busy Busy

Over the next couple of Weeks or so it is a busy time for both amateur and pro snooker.

With the Romanian Masters this week, the top players on the pro circuit then travel to Llandudno in Wales next week for the ranking event the Player's Championship which sees a top first prize of £125K.

Interestingly, this week, the women head to Malta to play in the World Women's Championship 2018 - and eight players will also compete in the new WSF Snooker Amateur Championship where the winner will take home a £10,000 first prize and a tour card for next season.

Ng On Yee goes into the tournament as the defending Champion after winning a second World title - and Reanne Evans will be hoping to make it a 12th record-breaking title - having won her very first in 2005.

The On Yee and Evans rivalry has been going for at least three years with On Yee picking up her fair share of titles denying the dominance of Reanne in women's snooker.

In the last couple of years, the women's tour has seen more players emerge from Thailand and Asia, as well as India with India's Vidya Pillai brilliantly making the final last year.

It was the second time in the space of three years that Dudley's Evans had not made the final in the event.

The winner is also entered into the World Championship 2018 in Sheffield for the qualifying rounds where 16 players must win three matches of best of 19 to qualify for the Crucible.

Never before has there been a mixed gender event creating opportunities for both men and women to have the opportunity to qualify for the World Snooker Tour.

It's part of snooker's determination to provide equality for both genders and to try and bridge the gap between the two.

The Romanian Masters kicks off on Wednesday 14 March - and can be watched via the Eurosport player.

The Women's World Championship also kicks off on the 14th and ends on the 17th to be played at the Dolmen Hotel where also the WSF Championships will be held.

World Seniors tour

Next week, the World Seniors Championship tour returns to Scunthorpe where 16 players will compete for a share in prize money with the winner picking up a £10K top prize plus a chance to go to World Championship qualifying at the English Institute of Sport for a chance to get to the Crucible.

The qualifiers for that event include Jonathan Bagley, Rhydian Richards, John Farrell, who was the final qualifier in Dublin and regular Seniors tour player Patrick Wallace - to name a few.

Seven-times World Champion Stephen Hendry will play Bagley in the first round.

Bagley, like Wallace, is also a regular qualifier on this new and lucrative seniors tour.

There is also a representation from China, as a Cao Kalsheng will meet Snooker Legend player the 1991 World Champion John Parrot in the round of 16.

The final is a best of 7 with all the others leading up to a best of 5 frames.

It was a great first event last year with Peter Lines daring to dream and picking up the Trophy and the cheque as well as a qualifying spot at Ponds Forge.

However, will this year see a Snooker Legend going to Sheffield or will it be one of the qualifiers?

The event kicks off on the 20th March and ends on the 24th.

China's Grand Final ranking event

The final ranking event on the pro tour before the World Championship is the China Open.

This sees big payday of £225K for a potential winner and could be a make or break for some players inside the top 64 with a chance of automatic qualification for the Crucible!

It's better to be in form this side of the snooker season, than right at the start!

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