The concept of a pro-am, I don't mind. In fact, I don't mind the sound of the tournament at all, really. But I think it's a somewhat poor replacement to the Grand Prix. After that stupid-arse group stage thing they did a couple of times, which the players hated, as well as a lot of the fans, I personally think the random draw thing had finally got the right idea. It was an exciting concept, not knowing who was going to play who in the next rounds, and the draw was fun.
I appreciate this is a similar concept, and gets all 96 players on the tour playing. But a ranking tournament? How the hell can it be a ranking tournament when there are 32 amateurs in it? And how can it be fair to have best of fives in a ranking tournament? I mean, all anybody does on these forums is whinge that best of nines are too short, and there aren't enough longer matches, but as soon as Barry Hearn suggests best of fives until the final, which is best of 11, everybody starts going What's happening there?
If this event was a televised, non-ranking tournament, seen as a specialist annual event to attract new fans to the event and give up-and-coming players publicity, or the female players that are criminally held back publicity, I'd be all for it. I'd be congratulating Barry Hearn on that... But it seems unfair as a ranking event, and a shame to replace one that had finally found it's identity with this. Can they not have the World Open and The Grand Prix. Surely if Mr. Hearn is so determined with making more tournaments, replacing one with another isn't a good start.
Or am I alone in thinking this?
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