September 27, 2011

The Month Ahead: October

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 11:59 am

It’s time once again to look ahead to another month on the baize as we are only a few days away from the beginning of October. The month that signals the beginning of the dark nights closing in and the heating being turned up that extra notch as the first signs of frost appear. It is also the month when horrible chavvy kids start scrounging for money on the streets under the guise of that great tradition of Halloween; a dreadful Americanised non-event which apparently gives the little monsters the right to scare the living daylights out of frail pensioners in the name of fun and frolics, without fear of prosecution.  

Given the darker nights it is always a month where I begin to look forward to the big events and some snooker on the TV. But disappointingly for me at least, despite the extensive changes to the calendar this season, October is again dominated by short match PTC’s and quickfire Premier League snooker.

Oh what I wouldn’t give for a good old fashioned best of 17 all the way tournament with a best of 25 frame final wrapping up on a chilly Sunday afternoon in front of the fire. We must wait until November for the next ‘proper’ event when the UK qualifying matches get under way. But of course even these have now been shortened in this seemingly endless crusade to make every match the best of 1 with a shotclock to pander to the lowest form of snooker fan. That’s why they invented pool.

I think a ‘WE DEMAND LONGER MATCHES’ campaign is long overdue. Anyone wishing to join me please sign the comments section below.

After the conclusion of this weekend’s PTC6 in Poland the main talking point for all us snooker anoraks will be the ranking list changes, which kick in on 3rd. It is then that we will discover which three from Matthew Stevens (37,815 points), Stephen Lee (37,470), Martin Gould (37,210) and Mark Davis (36,500) will book their top 16 slot in time for the UK and the Masters. Mavis currently in 17th and needing a run and results to go his way this weekend.

The South West Snooker Academy plays host once again to a PTC and the 7th event which kicks off with the amateur stages on the 5th and runs through to the 9th is sure to be another successful one at a venue far better suited to these tournaments than Sheffield is. We will also be treated to the sight of the players in pink as the tournament is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness, a cause close to Academy owner Paul Mount’s heart. The event has been renamed The Kay Suzanne Memorial and you can buy tickets here.

A rare free week follows before the players hotfoot over to Killarney for PTC8 which has also been renamed, this time in honour of the most exciting unpredictable player ever to grace the game, the Alex Higgins International Trophy takes place from 20th-23rd and is sure to have a unique feel. It’s a fitting tribute to a fabulous snooker player and a legendary hellraiser.

Alex: Nutcase.

It remains to be seen if we will ever see his like again, but in these days of political correctness, acting nice in case it upsets the Chinese sponsors and fines for breathing out of place, I’m not sure we ever will. But I for one will be hoping that the players leave their etiquette at the airport departure lounge, get tanked up and start pissing in plant pots and abusing referees for just a few short days. What more could Alex ask for?  

Premier League dates in Weston-Super-Mare, Stoke and Exeter are dotted around the PTC’s and the official calendar still lists a mystery event as being scheduled between 27th-30th, but with no further news on that we can probably assume that it will not happen.

In terms of the blog there is one notable event on the horizon and after the first ranking revision you will have exactly one month to enter a major new Tipster Competition which will be based on the UK Championship, the Masters and the China Open. In it, you will have the chance to win £300 worth of free bets on the World Snooker Championship courtesy of the blog’s new bookmaker partner for the main events, Boylesports. There will be more details of this to follow and the only stipulation for entering is that you must have an account with them online. But if you don’t have one yet, hang fire! There will be a great introductory offer to anyone that doesn’t and logs one straight from the blog. More to follow on that.

I’m also hoping to tie up a deal this week with a sponsor for the PTC events so hopefully there will also be a chance for you all to win prizes in those events aswell.

A brief update on the Snookerbacker Classic; there are now just 4 places left for the Gloucester event and the only event happening before Christmas in Leeds has 11 places left to fill. An advertisement for the tournament will be appearing in Snooker Scene this month and Clive Everton himself has assured me that they will give the event some coverage in there, which is a great honour for me personally as I grew up reading it. I have also been speaking with an odds compiler who is no stranger to the blog who will be looking to get some prices up on the tournament in the near future.    

That’s October in a nutshell.

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