Ronnie O’Sullivan won the title for the third consecutive year in 2019 by beating Shaun Murphy 11-9 in the final. O’Sullivan also won the title in 2018, beating Barry Hawkins 11-9, and 2017, beating Judd Trump 10-3.
The Shanghai Masters became the richest invitation event in snooker history in 2018.
The tournament had been a ranking event since 2007 but from 2018 it became a 24-man invitation event with a total prize fund of £725,000.
A five-year agreement between World Snooker, promoter Juss Sports and the Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association sees prize money increase to £750,000 in 2019, £775,000 in 2020, £800,000 in 2021 and £825,000 in 2022.
The 24 invited players are the top 16 on the two-year ranking list, the next four players of Chinese origin, two players from the CBSA China Tour and two from China’s Amateur Masters series.
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “Snooker continues to grow at a rapid rate in China and our portfolio of major events provides a great opportunity for the players, fantastic viewing for the fans and keeps our sport’s momentum going at the grassroots level.”
Jason Ferguson, Chairman of the WPBSA, said: “I cannot express in words the tremendous relationship the WPBSA and World Snooker has with the China Billiards and Snooker Association. We share a global vision for our sport which has allowed for the unprecedented growth of snooker here in China and around the World. Through this co-operation, we are excited about the future of all billiard sports globally. WPBSA shall continue the close relationship with CBSA and work on other projects outside of China. WPBSA will be a strong partner for CBSA during the structure revolution.
“This new agreement demonstrates the next step in the evolution of snooker here in China and with our new partners, Juss Sports, we believe we will take snooker to the next level.”
Mr. Fan Jianlin, General Manager of Shanghai Juss Sports Development (Group) Co. Ltd., said in 2018: “A brand-new Shanghai Masters will be presented to you all. It is the initiative of active consultation and innovation by Juss Sports, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, and the Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association. It reflects our ambition to support snooker’s progression in China. It will promote the sport of snooker and fulfill the wishes of our fellow snooker lovers by inviting some of the top players in the world, providing more in-game opportunities for the Chinese professionals, and our elite amateur players to have a place to compete with other professional players. Juss Sports’ philosophy to operate international tournaments is always to build top-level games and cultivate the market. In the future, we will continue to specialise in operation management and services, to further enlarge the tournament’s platform, and to enhance our audience’s experience. We will continue to promote snooker’s development in China, and help Shanghai to become the world’s most famous sporting city.”