The Snooker Premier League takes the form of a small competition between a selection of 10 players, usually from among the most famous and successful in the world, invited to play a few games towards a large prize fund in a unique format.
Since 2008, the players who progress to the Snooker Premier League have been selected by another competition known as the Championship League.
The format of the competition was changed in 2011 to make a more competitive and challenging environment: each player attends four match nights, and on each match night two semi finals and one final are contested.
Each match consists of 5 frames, and points are given per frame and not per match. This means that a player can acquire 3 points per match, 6 points per match night, and a maximum of 24 points over the 4 match nights they play.
At the end of the group phase, the top 4 players compete in an overall semi final stage, which is contested over 9 frames, and the winners then play a final which is played over 13 frames.
The winner, from 2011, wins a prize of £60,000, while the runner up bags £30,000. Every player wins some prize, with the 10th place finisher still receiving a hefty £6,000.
The Snooker Premier League is unique among the major snooker competitions in implementing a time limit for every shot, which runs at 20 seconds.
The player must strike the cue ball before this shot clock runs out - beginning either when the balls settle after the previous shot, or when a potted ball is placed back on its spot. If the player overruns his time slot, it is classified as a miss, and he will be deducted 5 points.
The competition has been dominated by Ronnie O'Sullivan in recent years, winning it 8 times between 2001 and 2010, only missing out 3 times.