I’ve lost top spot in the PTC Order of Merit, but hopefully it won’t be too long before I get it back! Barry Pinches beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final of the fourth event in Sheffield, meaning I drop down to second. The next one starts in October so I hope I can win that one, to add to my victory in the second event, and get back on top of the pile.
I lost 4-0 against Ronnie in the last 32. I didn’t play brilliantly, but he did play well, to be fair! I’d done okay in my first two games, beating Anda Zhang 4-2 and Dave Harold 4-1. But then I came unstuck against Ronnie, so I’ll have to wait until the next time to get my revenge over him.
The are good little competitions and are a great bonus if you win one. But essentially what they provide is good match practice leading up to the bigger tournaments.
The first ‘major’ of the season is the Shanghai Masters in September, and I hope to carry on the good form I have shown in the past couple of months. As well as winning a PTC, I also won the Six Reds World Championship in Thailand.
Mind you, having done so well already I’m a bit worried that I might have played myself out of form! I hope that’s not the case.
Playing in all these tournaments has meant I’ve got a lot more match-practice under my belt, and that has got to be much better than not playing at all, which was mostly the case last season.
I was over the moon to win the Six Reds. Even though a lot of the big names were missing, it was still a hard title to win. There were plenty of good players involved. And anything that has ‘world’ before it can’t be bad. It’s just a shame no ranking points were available.
The trophy has been on pride of place in the lounge at home, but I can’t keep milking it so it has been put away now. I don’t want to keep looking at it because, if it’s not there, it gives me the incentive to go out and win another one to put in its place.
Next up is a trip to Furth in Germany for the first of the Euro Players Tour championships. It is a hectic schedule at the moment but I’m not knocking it at all, it’s great to be so busy.
I’m really looking forward to going back to Shanghai too. One thing that will help will be the experience of winning the Six Reds. The conditions in China will be very hard, just like they were in Bangkok. The tables are not easy to play and the humidity can get to you.
Hopefully, that will stand me in good stead in China and give me an edge over the other players. I know what to expect. The standard is so high that anyone can beat you but, if I play like I have been doing these past few weeks, I’m sure I will come through it.