Snookerbacker

June 15, 2010

The Players Tour Championship – Barry's First Big Initiative

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 10:40 am
  
 

Is Ron likely to take this event seriously?

The start of Barry Hearn’s reign over the world of snooker begins in earnest soon with the Players Tour Championship first event on 25-27th June at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield.

This is a significant starting point in the new snooker season as not only does it offer the chance for amateurs to mix it with the big boys but it also offers:

  • £10,000 first prize money for the winner
  • £50,000 in total prize money for each of the 12 events
  • World Ranking Points available to all professional entrants with 2000 points being awarded to the winner of each one.
  • A seperate ‘Order of Merit’ ranking list and the establishment of a ‘top 24’ to play in a further televised event for more world ranking points with prize money of £200,000.
  • The chance for the players to play more regularly (there are 12 events in all)
  • The opportunity for snooker fans in Europe to watch top players live in action.

It will be interesting to see who enters these events and word has it that the first has attracted a quality field including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby, Mark Williams and Shaun Murphy. There is no mention as yet of Ding Junhui, World Champion Neil Robertson (who last I heard was spending the summer in Melbourne), Stephen Hendry or Ali Carter.

(FULL LIST OF ENTRANTS NOW IN COMMENTS SECTION – PETER EBDON SUPPORTING THE EVENT, A CHANCE FOR YOUNG LUCA BRECEL TO SHINE, BUT SURPRISINGLY NO SIGN OF REANNE EVANS?)

The ranking points on offer are not to be sniffed at and a good run from a player lower down the ranks in a few of these events could see him (or her, sorry Reanne) make big gains in the rankings.

Similarly, if a few of the big boys such as Ronnie and company decide to be selective in the ones that they enter their final ranking may suffer as a result of their decision.

The tournament is made even more significant given that the ranking system has had such a radical shake up and for all but a few of the players a starting place at the Crucible next April is no sure thing, with those currently just outside the top 16 snapping at the heels at those that made it after Sheffield.

Any amateurs wishing to enter can find the entrance form here 

This should be the first real test of how receptive the players are to the changes that have been put in place by Bazza. Given that he only squeezed the vote to take his plans forward it’s a ‘watch this space’ brief for this first event.

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