http://snookerscene.blogspot.com/2010/0 ... -work.html
NEW SEASON: BACK TO WORK
The World Cup is still going, Wimbledon is underway and the Open Golf Championship is yet to start but, on Sunday night, we will have the first updated ranking list of the new season.
This is unchartered territory for snooker, starting the season so early, and it will be interesting to see who has been practising and who is still rusty.
The new Players Tour Championship is a first rate concept because it gives the players what they have been asking for: more chances to play. Not only that, it is meaningful in terms of prize money and ranking points.
Barry Hearn has been unfairly characterised as an 'elitist' when, in fact, the PTC will chiefly favour the lower ranked players. Many of those who criticised him so vehemently are, needless to say, in the field.
The set up is pretty much like it is at the qualifiers where they play most of their snooker. It will be the top players who will have to adjust to alien surroundings.
For Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Williams it must feel like starting again. In 1992 they and many other hopefuls - John Higgins included - pitched up at Blackpool's Norbreck Castle Hotel for a long, long summer of snooker at the qualifiers.
The good news for them is that the PTC events are only three days long.
With no TV cameras or crowds, and given the time of year, the playing field is levelled so it wouldn't surprise me to see a player well down the rankings go a long way and perhaps even win the first event.
There are some big names missing: Steve Davis, Ken Doherty and Stephen Hendry are apparently on holiday; Ali Carter is playing in an exhibition in Austria; Neil Robertson is presumably back in Australia; Ding Junhui is presumably in China.
Sadly, snooker fans cannot watch the action in Sheffield as there is no room for spectators and no streaming. Hopefully there will be live scoring at the very least.
The qualifiers start today with former Scottish Open champion David Gray playing an amateur by the name of Greg Davis, who happens to be the son of Steve.
What a chance for these amateurs, to rub shoulders with some of snooker's top stars.
What a chance for the players in general: to earn more money, rise up the rankings and play more regularly.
For the first time in many years, they really are full time professionals again.
Posted by Dave H at 8:32 AM
- Posts: 4597
- Joined: 02 February 2010
- Location: Brussels
- Snooker Idol: Ronnie
- Highest Break: 25
- Walk-On: Kodachrome (Paul Simon)