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Inequality in the tour

Postby snooky147

Firstly, let me say this is not a specific dig at the Tour. We all know what is was like before Hearn, but there are some issues that are deeply unfair to tour members, who after all are all supposed to be equal. They paid their membership fees. It's not a tiered fee whereby some members get benefits and others dont but tha'ts what is happening. Let's take the up and coming UK Championship as an example.
When our almighty dict....erm I mean leader Barry Hearn came up with the flat format he spouted off about how fresh talent would be showcased but really because of the sponsors and TV wanting the top names on TV they are ALWAYS on the main tables while the rest of the field languish in what is actually the practice tables.
How can you feel part of an event like this. I can absolutely guarantee That if you put some of the top 16 in there first round they would not reach the second but because they dont get put in there and are playing in TOTALLY different conditions they have an advantage that the rest of the field dont have. Now if we were on the old seeded ranking system I wouldn't have a problem because they worked their way through over the course of many seasons and earned their place but now one decent win can put you up there. Anyway's I digress, lets say you are fortunate enough to win enough matches and get to come into the main arena and play. You are still at a disadvantage because these players have already played these 4 matches on top quality tables, lighting etc. Its an entirely different experience. To add to the insult your not allowed even five minutes of practice on these tables just even to get used to the pace, whereas again your oppent has played on these the whole tournament. Its totally unfair.
Organisations like the WPBSA have a duty of care to ALL OF THEIR MEMBERS. They will say that the players are playing in the very best conditions but how can they be if they are playing three quarters of their matches in the practice room?.
The open arena format of the German open is a better example of how, if you must have this format how it should happen. All of the tables in the arena and the players at least feel they are in the tournament.
To me the devaluing of the UK by reducing the frames and playing in this ridiculous venue for most of the players means that Hearn and Ferguson etc do not care about any of the players outside the top 16.
There is enough money on the tour now to consider splitting the Tour. Either 64 with 16 or 32 being relegated to the second tier tour or 96 with 32 being relegated. This would ease some of the burden logistically and have the advantage of giving some of these newcomers more time to bed in.

Re: Inequality in the tour

Postby Badsnookerplayer

In principle, the current set up seems fair.

I would be interested to see a chart showing the years that players joined the tour so that we could see if many are making the leap from rookie to established (good ranking and money).

A quick look at the rankings seems (to me) to indicate there are really several races.

1. Anybody below or around 64 have their only goal as this - stay on tour.
2. Anybody comfortably above 64 but below 24 rarely makes the transition to top 16. The top 16 is remarkably stable.
3. Top 24 are aiming for top 16.
4. Elite few aiming for no. 1. This is currently on hold as Mr Selby has so much money.

The stability of the top 16 would suggest that Snooky is right. Once you get there, you eat from the top table and it is hard to be deposed. If you are at the bottom, you have to fight against unequal odds against the top professionals to make progress.