Causeway Chronicle

Mark Allen meets Mertens in BetVictor Northern Ireland Open

Mark Allen will begin his quest to win the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open for a third consecutive year with a first round tie against Ben Mertens in Belfast later this month.

The draw is out now and has pitched Antrim’s Allen, who lifted the trophy in 2021 and 2022, against talented Belgian teenager Mertens.

The event runs from October 22 to 29 at the fantastic Waterfront Hall in Belfast, with over 80 player battling for the Alex Higgins Trophy.

All matches involving the top 16 seeds, as well as the two local wild cards, will be played in Belfast, with the match schedule to be announced soon. Those fixtures are:

Mark Allen v Ben Mertens

Ricky Walden v Ben Woollaston

Jack Lisowski v Rebecca Kenna

Robert Milkins v Cao Yupeng

Shaun Murphy v Ryan Thomerson

Ryan Day v Ma Hailong

Gary Wilson v Louis Heathcote

Neil Robertson v Wu Yize

Judd Trump v Jenson Kendrick

Anthony McGill v Jimmy White

Robbie McGuigan v Muhammad Asif

Hossein Vafaei v Mark Joyce

Kyren Wilson v Sam Craigie

Mark Williams v Tian Pengfei

Barry Hawkins v Elliot Slessor

David Gilbert v Joel Connolly

Tom Ford v Haydon Pinhey

Ronnie O’Sullivan v Ahmed Aly Elsayed

The evening session of the final on Sunday October 29th is SOLD OUT but tickets for most sessions are still available, including a limited number for the afternoon session of the final. Fans must book fast from just £15 before seats sell out. For all details visit

All other first round matches will be played at the qualifiers which run from October 17-20 in Sheffield, with players needing to win one match to make it to Belfast.

Marco Fu v Jamie Jones

Zhou Yuelong v Stan Moody

Northern Ireland’s Jordan Brown v Stuart Carrington

Ken Doherty v Liam Highfield

Stephen Maguire v Fergal O’Brien

Si Jiahui v Zhang Anda

Matthew Stevens v Stephen Hendry

For the full draw and format see

Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson