I'm still very much at a wait and see stage to how things go, but to be honest, I'm not as excited by some of these things as some. The ranking systems could do with a bit of a rejig, in that jabronis like Mark King can get there for doing feck all, and stay they for doing about as much. But I'd like to see how that would pan out first. If it works, great, if not tweak it. I'm not sure excitement is the words I'd used when discussing a new ranking system, but y'know, if it improves things can only be a good thing.
The World Open isn't an exciting, innovative new idea, it's a necessity. The BBC didn't want to show the Grand Prix any more. I think it's a novel idea, but the fact that it has replaced a ranking event that had finally come up with a decent format disappoints me, as does the fact that matches are shorter. How the hell can matches be this short in a ranking event? I'd be much more excited if this had been added to the main tour as a non-ranking tournament, and the Grand Prix had been kept as well. But that's the BBC's fault, not Hearn's. I have the week off work that week, so it's exciting in the sense I'll be able to watch snooker without being at work, but can't see this replacing the Grand Prix in my eyes. I hope I'm wrong, at least I have the chance to let it grow on me.
The World Snooker Shoot Out won't grow on me, it's just an utter marmite idea. The fact it's on Sky doesn't help. How, when we are trying to attract new fans, does putting it on a channel that not everybody has make sense? And shot clock snooker is never exciting, to me. It takes the tension right out of it. I have really tried to get into the Premier League, but only ever watch one or two events a season at most. (And the at most means if they come anywhere near me.) And the fact that the frames at the World Open are going to stop after 12 minutes isn't going to help. How does that make it more exciting? They might just be stopping when something good is about to happen.... Hearn might as well call it the Sky Snooker Is rubbish, So Lets Get This Over With As Quickly As Possible Tournament....
Which leaves the PTC. That is what I clicked on, to be honest. At least it's something new and different, and fills a few holes in the calendar. I still don't understand quite how it's going to work, but at least can see the point to it, unlike the Sky Shoot Out. I was a bit gutted to find out the first few tournaments aren't going to be on telly though, which seems pointless, but at least that meant I was up for watching it and giving it a go, so I must be pretty psyched about that.
If I'm honest, the thing I am looking forward to the most is the German Open as well. The crowds in Germany loved the World Series when it went there, hopefully we'll see some good snooker in front of enthusiastic crowds.