The next event in snooker's ranking tournament season has reached the semi-final stage, with some familiar faces contesting a place in the final.

Each of the four semi-finalists is a previous winner of a major tournament, according to Snooker Scence. At stake is a first prize of around $128,000.

Contesting the first of the two semi-finals are Mark Allen, the sometimes contravention player from Northern Ireland, and three-times world champion John Higgins,

To reach this stage of the event, Allen defeated Ryan Day 5-2, with a top break of 84. In his second match he accounted for Robert Milkins, also by a 5-2 score line and again with the aid of an 80+ break (this time 82). In his quarter-final game, Allen beat Ricky Walden 5-1, helped by a top break of 72.

Higgins' path has been more impressive. In round one he beat compatriot Alan McManus 5-3, aided by three breaks of over 60. In the second round Higgins powered past Stuart Bingham 5-0, where he had a break of 105. In his semi-final, Higgins blew past China's top snooker player Ding Junhui 5-0. In this match Higgins compiled breaks of 141 and 113.

Higgins told the BBC: "I didn't really miss any easy shots and when I did miss I got a bit lucky."

The other semi-final will be between Australia's Neil Robertson and Welshman Matthew Stevens. Robertson's run to this stage of the event consisted of wins over Dominic Dale 5-2, Graeme Dott 5-0, and Mark Selby 5-3. Against Selby Robertson knocked in a 107 break.

Stevens' path consisted of wins over David Gilbert 5-4, Shaun Murphy 5-3, and Judd Trump 5-3. Stevens, like Allen, has yet to make a century break, having a top run of 79 against Trump.

The tournament is taking place between February 25 and March 3, 2013. The venue is Hainan International Exhibition Center, Haikou, China.
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