The world ranking event, the last of the season’s Home Nations series, runs from February 26 to March 4 at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. The Ray Reardon Trophy and a top prize of £70,000 are up for grabs.

Welsh favourite Mark Williams, who has won two ranking titles within the past three months, faces a tough opening tie against Mark King, who won the Northern Ireland Open last season.

Ronnie O’Sullivan begins his bid to win a fifth Welsh Open title against Robin Hull while John Higgins, who has also won the event four times, will take on Matthew Selt.

Last year’s runner-up Judd Trump will be up against Welsh potter Duane Jones while crowd favourite Jimmy White faces Northern Ireland Open finalist Yan Bingtao. World Champion Mark Selby will play Christopher Keogan.

Defending champion Stuart Bingham will face Chen Zhe while Carmarthen’s Matthew Stevens will be up against former World Champion Ken Doherty.

High demand from fans meant the final sold out weeks in advance, so new seats have now been released in the balcony area. These are expected to sell rapidly so fans must book fast. Tickets for all other sessions are still available.

A SPECIAL OFFER is currently running which means session tickets start at just £9 and all-day tickets at £18. But fans must get in fast to take advantage.