ME JUST LAST WEEK wrote:The 128 has grown on me as the last couple of years have gone on. I appreciate all the complaints the top players have had about having to work their way up, Learn their trade and work their way up the rankings playing players of a similar standard, and to tell the truth there aren't many faults with the old system. For anyone just breaking into the top 16 at the time of the change gets a lot of sympathy from me. That said there was never going to be a perfect time to make a change.
The 2012 World Championships two years ago suggested that a flatter format would work in the competition sector. But I do think a lot was rushed through, particularly introducing it midway through a season. The format was nothing new, but it seemed a race to get it on, and led to venues needing to accommodate more players than they were prepared for. That said 128 has worked well and initial fears seem to have subsided.
The World Championship needs to keep the qualifiers though. This is what makes it unique, players are on the road to the Crucible, the race is on to get there and the battle to be in the 16 to be assured of a place at Sheffield is on. It needs to be there, to make the race intense, otherwise it becomes another tournament on the calendar.
One thing I would change is how the World Championship Qualifiers are conducted, With 112 players, I'd conduct that in the flat format. With the 96 players outside the top 32 making up 48 first round ties, with the 16 seeded players in the qualifiers joining the 48 winners to make a second round of 64 players, the 32 winners then contesting the Crucible places. It would mean three rounds but still the same number of matches as this week has needed. The difference being seeds winning two matches rather than one.
You could seed the draw so that seeds 33-48 couldn't face 17-32 opposition until the third round.
Obviously I have a little bit of influence on Bazza