You look at the major darts tournaments, and it's easy to see why the sport has thrived in recent times. Each one has an identity and brings it's own qualities to the table.
So what about snooker? Well let's have a look...
Shanghai Masters: Maybe needs something to distinguish itself from the China Open, perhaps a new innovative format (no, not shot clocks or something that messes with the general 22 ball dynamic). Otherwise, it's a great tournament, always provides entertainment. Not in dire need of restructuring, that's for sure.
World Open: Well, it's a random draw FA Cup style tournament. I'm not sure about best-of-5's, or a best of 9 final, but otherwise, I think it's an excellent idea. Introduce the top players a bit later, non-stop action, exciting draws for sure... looking forward to this one.
PTC: Look, we've got to be patient. The first few events didn't have televised coverage, nor were they open to audiences, but I think that was the best decision for now. The first PTC event was a little bit chaotic schedule-wise by the sounds of it, and that's no more than we could have expected. Hearn needs to test the water a bit, get the faults ironed out. The ranking points are a crucial addition, otherwise these events would carry no substance. Not massive points on offer but why would there be? Over the course of twelve events, you have 24,000 points to play for, and that's an awful lot. The prize money is substantial considering it's a twelve event series, and is only held over a few days. Let's look at the EPTC to see what we can really expect in the future. It's open to the public, and should be a good advertisement in Mainland Europe. Should form the bread and butter of the tour, and I'd be surprised if we don't have audiences for the PTC next year. Give it time.
UK Championship: It's my second favourite tournament, but the casual viewer probably isn't aware of it's significance. The UK needs to be billed as the second biggest event. I'd love a longer semi-final and final, and if that meant a shorter opening round or two, so be it. Best of 31 final would be ideal, but it's unlikely. New venue (Telford is amazingly unpopular with fans), bring back the Guild Hall I say.
Masters: It's perfect. More raucous crowd, elite line-up, sensible format. Always brings drama, and has identity in buckets.
European Masters: If what we're hearing is true, we'll have four tables and no divides. Innovative? Yup, I like it, should bring a different feel. Not to mention, it's a badly needed Mainland Europe ranker.
Welsh Open: This is a problem one. I think it should be re-named (Welsh Open sounds intensely boring), and ought to be given a format change. I've always advocated a sets format, and I think the Welsh Open is a perfect candidate.
China Open: It's a great tournament, has that Oriental feel to it. I'd re-name it (again with the China Open, Welsh Open, Irish Open, Scottish Open... yawn), but other than that it's a great event.
World Championship: Perfection, barring the late start to the final on the bank holiday Monday. It's the Grand-daddy, longest format, stick to traditions, firmly the 'test match cricket' of snooker. The purist's dream, and rich in drama.
PTC Finals: It's a great idea. 24 players, rewarded for consistency, and an exciting finals series. Will probably have TV coverage, crowds and may be seen as the fourth major.
- Posts: 5009
- Joined: 02 October 2009
- Location: Ireland
- Snooker Idol: Ronnie OSullivan
- Highest Break: 49