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NI Open's switch to Waterfront hailed



Finalist: Barry Hawkins will be looking to go one better

Finalist: Barry Hawkins will be looking to go one better

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Finalist: Barry Hawkins will be looking to go one better

Former World champion Ken Doherty has praised the decision to move this year's Northern Ireland Open to the Waterfront Hall.

Last year's event was held in the Titanic Exhibition Centre but was criticised for the amount of background noise.

Organisers have made the decision to switch locations, with the event taking place from November 20 to 26.

"It really is a brilliant venue," Dubliner Doherty enthused.

"I played a testimonial there with Alex Higgins after I won the (1997) World title.

"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.

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

Last year's event, the inaugural NI Open, was a great success, with Mark King beating fellow Englishman Barry Hawkins 9-8 in an exciting final.

Part of World Snooker's Home Nations series, the tournament will once again be broadcast live on Eurosport and carries a £70,000 winner's prize as well as valuable ranking points.

Among the field of 128, some of the world's best players are expected to compete once again, with the likes of Ronnie O'Sullivan, John Higgins and Shaun Murphy in action in 2016.

The players will compete for the Alex Higgins Trophy, Belfast's two-time world champion passing away in 2010.

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