Hearn has been sensible in his approach to the events. No big venues & no crowd just yet. Will it remain this way? I very much doubt it. Hearn, for me, is testing the water with this first year, perfecting the organisational aspect of the tournaments before releasing it in all it's glory. Yes, question marks certainly loom over organisation for now (are best of 7's too long for the earlier stages? Should there be more tables? At what time should play commence?), but it's all early days and very much a learning curve for all involved. This is why you'll find no crowds for the home events.
[*] Prize money
Not bad at all for three day's work, and a meagre best of 7 format, eh? Did we mention there's twelve of them?
[*] Ranking points
Let's be honest: if these events had no ranking points, nobody would care less about the PTC, reguardless of any other incentives. With rolling rankings enforced, these events needed to be in place to really reflect current form (more events, better indication). The quality fields for the first two events, and it looks better again for the third, show that these events mean something. Look at World Snooker's foray into a similar format last year to show how disastrous things could have been if not done properly.
[*] Promotion in Europe
Not only do we have a ranking event in it's purest sense taking place in Berlin, we now have six other minor ranking events taking place on the continent, and it's open to crowds. It's a big market, and the PTC should tap into it well.
[*] Meaningful playing opportunities
The biggest gripe in recent years was the lack of meaningful action on the table. Last year we had six, SIX, ranking events. With a required number of tournaments to play, decent prize money and potentially crucial ranking points on offer, there really is no excuse.
To conclude, I wish these events the best, and hope that Hearn maximises their potential, and I've no doubt he will.
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