Post a reply

End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby donthittheblue

So Ken just mentioned the board are actively discussing the return of the old style of tiered qualifiers rather than flat 128s for events outside the world champs. Finally starting to realise how daft having no incentive to be in the top 16 and demoralising your journeymen players is?

Anyone else excited by this prospect?

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby donthittheblue

HustleKing wrote:Yes because top 5 player John Higgins has really scarred Joe O'Connor for life :roll:


I mean O'Connor has barely achieved anything of note after 6 years on the tour. I feel like the old system would have benefited him.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby Empire State Human

Seems fairer.

There are so many tournaments you'd probably play around the same number of top players as anyone else across a season with a flat 128, but you don't get a say in which tournaments you draw them, and it's of bigger consequence to your ranking if you draw them in the UK compared to the Indian Open.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby donthittheblue

The reason this is such a good think is opens up the possibility of 32 at venue and as such the ability to run Tuesday to Sunday tournaments. And introduce longer matches back in the latter stages.

By running Tuesday to Sunday tournaments, it means you can stack tournaments next to eachother and enable travel time between them i.e - at the same time as making these tournaments feature the consistently best players.

Scottish Open - Tuesday 1st to Sunday 7th
Welsh Open - Tuesday 9th to Sunday 16th
English Open - Tuesday 18th to Sunday 25th
Northern Irish Open - Tuesday 27th to Sunday 1st


Match 1 L32 Best of 11 Tuesday 09.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 2 L32 Best of 11 Tuesday 09.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 3 L32 Best of 11 Tuesday 12.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 4 L32 Best of 11 Tuesday 12.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 5 L32 Best of 11 Tuesday 16.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 6 L32 Best of 11 Tuesday 16.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 7 L32 Best of 11 Tuesday 20.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 8 L32 Best of 11 Tuesday 20.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 9 L32 Best of 11 Wednesday 09.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 10 L32 Best of 11 Wednesday 09.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 11 L32 Best of 11 Wednesday 12.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 12 L32 Best of 11 Wednesday 12.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 13 L32 Best of 11 Wednesday 16.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 14 L32 Best of 11 Wednesday 16.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 15 L32 Best of 11 Wednesday 20.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 16 L32 Best of 11 Wednesday 20.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 17 L16 Best of 11 Thursday 09.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 18 L16 Best of 11 Thursday 09.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 19 L16 Best of 11 Thursday 12.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 20 L16 Best of 11 Thursday 12.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 21 L16 Best of 11 Thursday 16.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 22 L16 Best of 11 Thursday 16.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 23 L16 Best of 11 Thursday 20.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 24 L16 Best of 11 Thursday 20.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 25 QF Best of 13 Friday 09.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 26 QF Best of 13 Friday 12.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 27 QF Best of 13 Friday 16.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 28 QF Best of 13 Friday 20.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 29 SF Best of 17 Saturday 13.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 30 SF Best of 17 Saturday 19.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
Match 31 F - S1 Best of 19 Sunday 13.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last
F - S2 Sunday 19.00 Or Roll on Roll Off if later finish last

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby lhpirnie

The main issue is to fix the ranking system. That would open the door to all kinds of formats.

I have to say I like the Home Nations events as they are. But all other tournaments would benefit by changing the qualifier system, or just having a restricted draw. For example, the German Masters could include a couple of German players, alongside the top-30, say.

Even the tiered WC and restricted WGP, PC and TC cause problems for the ranking system, which they just fudge over at present.

Abolish ranking points!

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby lhpirnie

donthittheblue wrote:
HustleKing wrote:Yes because top 5 player John Higgins has really scarred Joe O'Connor for life :roll:


I mean O'Connor has barely achieved anything of note after 6 years on the tour. I feel like the old system would have benefited him.

This is only his second season. Was a good first season, followed by a setback, which is quite normal. I think he's a fine prospect.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby Wildey

If it happens it will be for next season or next 2 season because of covid it ont be long term

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby HappyCamper

Did they not announce that the n Saudi tournament was going to be tiered? I'd be surprised if 5hey returned for every event.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby Dan-cat

lhpirnie wrote:
donthittheblue wrote:
HustleKing wrote:Yes because top 5 player John Higgins has really scarred Joe O'Connor for life :roll:


I mean O'Connor has barely achieved anything of note after 6 years on the tour. I feel like the old system would have benefited him.

This is only his second season. Was a good first season, followed by a setback, which is quite normal. I think he's a fine prospect.


Some actual sense. He beat Higgins and got to a semi of a ranker in his first season.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby SnookerFan

Dan-cat wrote:
lhpirnie wrote:
donthittheblue wrote:
HustleKing wrote:Yes because top 5 player John Higgins has really scarred Joe O'Connor for life :roll:


I mean O'Connor has barely achieved anything of note after 6 years on the tour. I feel like the old system would have benefited him.

This is only his second season. Was a good first season, followed by a setback, which is quite normal. I think he's a fine prospect.


Some actual sense. He beat Higgins and got to a semi of a ranker in his first season.


First time for everything.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby lhpirnie

SnookerFan wrote:
Dan-cat wrote:
lhpirnie wrote:
donthittheblue wrote:
HustleKing wrote:Yes because top 5 player John Higgins has really scarred Joe O'Connor for life :roll:


I mean O'Connor has barely achieved anything of note after 6 years on the tour. I feel like the old system would have benefited him.

This is only his second season. Was a good first season, followed by a setback, which is quite normal. I think he's a fine prospect.


Some actual sense. He beat Higgins and got to a semi of a ranker in his first season.


First time for everything.

Yes true! My predictions haven't been very successful!


Joe O'Connor was one of the young players I'd been following - I usually choose around half-a-dozen each season. I only watch the top players in the later rounds. Often, players are under a considerable amount of ranking pressure in their second season, trying to scramble into the top-64. Luo Honghao is in a similar position.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby PLtheRef

Catching up on this.

I was an original sceptic on the Flat 128 who warmed to it over time, particularly when there was a little bit more variety brought into the events, such as only seeding 16 or 32 for some events, having a fixed bracket 128 draw for others - it made it a little better than having, 1, 64, 32, 33 in the same sections of the draw (which would be no different to the tiered protections. The fact that the World Championship used the format its always had since going to 32 players, 16 seeds plus qualifiers meant that the biggest tournament of the season had a further

As strange as it sounds, it was a tiered event - the 2012 World Qualifiers which convinced me most about a Flat draw structure - though in hindsight, whether it would have been better to stay at 96 and give the top 32 entry to the last 64 remains to be seen whether a it would have been popular with the tour, and b if it would have been more beneficial to the lower ranked players.

Now it seems we are going back to how things were before - will be interesting to see what happens but I think the fact that a seeded loser will receive £0 in ranking money should mean that the rankings should change very quickly and that the concepts of 'protection for those in the top 16, 32, 64 seeds will be very much reduced than before when there would be ranking points, and a reduced tariff for seeded players losing their opening matches.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby Iranu

I’d only want the tiered format to come back if earlier rounds were still televised, otherwise we’d go back to qualifiers getting pumped in the first TV round because they’re not used to it. At least the flat 128 gives a chance of TV exposure depending on who you draw.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby SnookerFan

Have we got any proof that this is happening? The only link I see is about Hearn slightly rejigging how The Crucible qualifiers happened.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby Wildey

SnookerFan wrote:Have we got any proof that this is happening? The only link I see is about Hearn slightly rejigging how The Crucible qualifiers happened.

Theres this thought because of Covid reducing players at the Venues so by having tiered you could play qualifiers over 4 days and the event over 7 days so you get less players at the main venue in Home Nations etc

Same with Chinese Events taking just 32 to china instead of 64 so seeding top 16 to china and have 96 instead of 124 qualifying.

But as i say that will only be in the short term as soon as Barry Can he will be back flat 128.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby PLtheRef

The main benefit of tiered matches is that in the main in early stages of the competition players are meeting opponents with a similar ranking and thus should have more of an equal chance of winning. The problem with it is that you then have the potential for a relative unknown to come through qualifying, make their big TV debut up against Trump, O'Sullivan, Robertson or Selby and end up freezing and getting absolutely thrashed.

Personally I would prefer the 128 to stay (as players, fans, pundits etc. have more or less gotten used to it.) Who is the highest ranked player not yet to have reached the 16?

The only things that need changing is that there needs to be a bit more variety:

Seeding 16 or 32 in some draws rather than 64.

Drawing both seed and unseed like they do for the World Championship rather than first player drawn is against seed 1, second player against 64 etc.

Not having a completely fixed bracket for seeds other than for the World's, UK and other events where the first round draw is based on some sort of seeding list. Tennis is a good example because you put seeds 1 and 2 in the standard positions at the top and bottom of the draw, but then randomly draw 3 and 4 into the standard spots in the draw, then 5-8, followed by 9-16.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby Wildey

Snooker is a Sport you want to see players come through and winning 20 matches against players ranked 65 or under in a season would mean very little and pointless in the development of players. however if you play Ronnie, Trump or Selby in a last 128 that would mean more to a player and gain experiance of playing the best and if you won well the publicity and help to get sponsors that would include would be imense than winning 20 against others.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby PLtheRef

Wildey wrote:Snooker is a Sport you want to see players come through and winning 20 matches against players ranked 65 or under in a season would mean very little and pointless in the development of players. however if you play Ronnie, Trump or Selby in a last 128 that would mean more to a player and gain experiance of playing the best and if you won well the publicity and help to get sponsors that would include would be imense than winning 20 against others.


Indeed. Who is going to feel that they had the better season. The player who reached the Last 32 and qualified for nearly all the venues but lost in the first round of the TV events or the player who only managed to qualify for one or two venues but was able to shock a Robertson or Selby in reaching the second round.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby eraserhead

Hope this happens. Just have it like the worlds where the seeded player doesn't get ranking points for winning first round.

Wildey wrote:Snooker is a Sport you want to see players come through and winning 20 matches against players ranked 65 or under in a season would mean very little and pointless in the development of players. however if you play Ronnie, Trump or Selby in a last 128 that would mean more to a player and gain experiance of playing the best and if you won well the publicity and help to get sponsors that would include would be imense than winning 20 against others.


We've seen players play pretty much everyone at this point. It's hardly helped young players improve, when they do win first round against a top player they rarely do anything else in the tournament.

Also think the tour has too many players at this point though.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby SnookerFan

I wouldn't mind if they left the flat 128 behind, personally. The early rounds are never much of a spectacle.

I'd be surprised if it happens as anything other than a temporary coronavirus measure.

We're takking about it as if it's been confirmed.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby SnookerEd25

Whatever occurs, we’re going to have something of a truncated 20/21 season due to the virus; what better time to try new things logistics-wise? If something different proves popular with players & fans, great! Keep it. If not, ditch it and try something else.

No sport is perfect, and all need to evolve to suit changing times. I hope snooker takes advantage of this period of uncertainty & uses it to advance constructively.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby PLtheRef

SnookerEd25 wrote:Whatever occurs, we’re going to have something of a truncated 20/21 season due to the virus; what better time to try new things logistics-wise? If something different proves popular with players & fans, great! Keep it. If not, ditch it and try something else.

No sport is perfect, and all need to evolve to suit changing times. I hope snooker takes advantage of this period of uncertainty & uses it to advance constructively.


Well said, it does seem the ideal time to try things out that wouldn't ordinarily happen. In all likelihood next season any event that cannot reasonably accommodate all players on tour to take part whether that be with a flat or tiered structure in all likelihood would need to be either scrapped or be held as a non ranking tournament

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby Iranu

Wildey wrote:Snooker is a Sport you want to see players come through and winning 20 matches against players ranked 65 or under in a season would mean very little and pointless in the development of players. however if you play Ronnie, Trump or Selby in a last 128 that would mean more to a player and gain experiance of playing the best and if you won well the publicity and help to get sponsors that would include would be imense than winning 20 against others.

I strongly disagree with this.

I don’t think getting thrashed by top players week-in week-out is as helpful as winning 20 matches in a season against players of a similar skill level. At least you’d feel like you’re actually part of the tour and deserving of a spot. It would build confidence which is what new players need.

I wonder how Jamie Clarke for example is enjoying having got past the first round three times in 6 years (excluding the Shoot Out), all at the Gibraltar Open with a reduced field. I’m sure he really values the experience of beating Sam Baird, Jamie Curtis-Barrett, Luo Honghao and Chen Feilong.

Re: End of the Flat 128 at last

Postby lhpirnie

There are merits in all the systems, and weaknesses.

I think the best approach is to have a variety of formats: flat draws, tiered, invitational, challenge matches, leagues, even Swiss.

I enjoy the flat draw for the Home Nations events, but the others could happily be tiered or limited to top-32 or top-16.