The crowds: People who believe snooker starts and finishes with Ronnie O'Sullivan make me laugh. Without snooker's biggest draw present, we had crowds of around 2000 at most stages. Hugely impressive. Clearly, their will be life after O'Sullivan, as proven by Europe's snooker fans.
The format: it was something refreshingly different. The ideas of quarter-finals & semi-finals in the same day, along with the ditching of dividers, gave this tournament it's own identity, and I think it worked very well. May I say that it has the potential to work for other competitions, and the four day set-up may leave room for even more events of this nature.
Change: it was nice to see good, proper snooker on tv again. I was a big fan of the snooker shoot-out, but it's not material for ranking snooker. This is real snooker, and it was nice to see it still has it's place.
Mainland Europe: with the popularity of snooker in this region ballooning in recent years followin Eurosport's coverage of all ranking events, Mainland Europe has been crying out for a proper ranking tournament. They finally got it this weekend, and they made a success of it.
The tournament itself: Well, that have we learned? I think Mark Williams along with John Higgins will be the man to beat at the Crucible, I really believe that. I doubted his ability to overcome his agonising UK final loss, but considering how great a player he is, I shouldn't have. He could deservedly join Higgins & O'Sullivan on three World titles in May. As for Mark Selby, he can take a lot from it, but my doubts remain. A great player who is not a natural front runner nor winner in my opinion. Made a final not at his best, but the fact remains: he's a fine player, with one ranking title to his name.
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