YORK Barbican is gearing up for the start of the 2019 Betway UK Snooker Championship.

The venue hosts the first of 13 days of top class snooker action on Tuesday, culminating in the showpiece final on Sunday, December 8.

Seven-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan, who beat Mark Allen 10-6 in last year’s final, will open his defence of the title on Thursday night against amateur Ross Bulman.

Mark Allen takes on ‘people’s champion’ Jimmy White in the opening round at the same time.

Reigning world champion Judd Trump faces African champion Amine Amiri in round one on Thursday afternoon.

The tournament gets under way at 2.30pm on Tuesday, with the eight initial matches including Ali Carter against Brandon Sargeant, Liang Wenbo against Dominic Dale, Stuart Bingham against Lei Peifan and Neil Robertson against Alex Borg.

Tickets for the tournament, snooker's second biggest ranking event, are available by visiting the website worldsnooker.com