The Grand Prix is a professional snooker tournament. It has previously been known as the LG Cup and the Professional Players Tournament.
The tournament was created in 1982 as the Professional Players Tournament by the WPBSA, in order to provide another ranking event. Ray Reardon beat Jimmy White by 10 frames to 5 in the final to win the first prize of £5000.
In 1984 Rothmans started sponsoring the tournament, changed its name to the Rothmans Grand Prix, and moved its venue to the Hexagon Theatre, Reading. The tournament has had various sponsors and venues since. Previous sponsors include LG Electronics, who took over in 2001 and changed the tournament's name to the LG Cup, and totesport, who sponsored the event in 2004.
The tournament is currently played at the Preston Guild Hall in October, at the start of the snooker season although the venue will be changed to Scotland in 2006. Prize money for 2005 totalled £400,000, with the winner receiving £60,000.
The tournament has a flatter structure than most tournaments, with the top 32 players all coming in at the last 64 stage (in other tournaments there are only 16 players left when the players ranked 17-32 come in, and then the 16 winners of those matches face the top 16). It has usually been the season opener under its various guises.
These two facts have made it more common to see surprise results than in most other tournaments, with players such as Dominic Dale, Euan Henderson and Dave Harold all surprise finalists at the time. A player from outside the top 16 has reached the final roughly half the times the contest has been played, and few of those have become consistent stars. Until his victory in 2004 it was the only major title Ronnie O'Sullivan had not won.
In the 2005 final, John Higgins set two records:
- His century breaks in the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth frames marked the first time a player had ever recorded centuries in four consecutive frames in a match during a ranking tournament.
- He scored 494 points without reply, the greatest number in any professional snooker tournament.