August 4, 2014

The Month Ahead: August on the Baize

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:00 am
August culminates with the Paul Hunter Classic

August culminates with the Paul Hunter Classic

The barren baize month of July has been a welcome break for busy potters, officials (and bloggers) but as the year moves into it’s eighth month, the oil is applied to the rusty tour bus wheels and it’s off we go again in August as we take in the sights of Latvia, Germany and Barnsley.

The period off the table has been something of an oddity and somewhat at odds with Bazza’s initial promise to bombard us with snooker until we were sick of it, or words to that effect. What has actually happened has been a much more satisfying medium in my opinion, a total rest on the pro-snooker front, a chance for us all to get refreshed and most satisfying for me, the chance to actually look forward to watching snooker again at the end of it.

As we know, this season all of the PTC events will be held in continental Europe and there won’t be any in the UK, this is a really positive step in widening the European market and building on the demand that is already there. We are also witnessing the individual PTC’s (which they’ll probably be known as forever) beginning to create an identity for themselves, not least the Paul Hunter Classic which concludes the month and is regarded by many players as a pretty big deal. Ronnie O’Sullivan has a title to defend there and I hope if he decides to enter that he brings the trophy back in better shape than it was last seen.

August begins with the Riga Open in Latvia, the draw for which can be found by clicking here, this will be covered extensively as ever by Eurosport and features all the big names with the exception of Ronnie who hasn’t entered, so no surprise there then and Ding, who is amongst the Chinese players who have apparently had visa problems again (thanks for that Monique).

After the delights of Eastern Europe it’s back to Blighty, Barnsley to be exact as the Metrodome plays host to the Shanghai Masters qualifiers. If rumours are to be believed Ronnie has entered the main event which is a bit of a turn up for the books seeing as he’s rarely spotted in China these days unless he’s being paid loads to do sponsored stuff. But it’s a long way from a qualifying tournament in Yorkshire to a venue in Shanghai so we’ll see how that all goes, he’s got to get on the plane yet and that doesn’t always go to plan.

To finish the month we once again travel to Furth for the Paul Hunter, it’s nice that this has become a much respected event on the calendar at a nice venue and it’s always very well attended by the knowledgeable German crowd (who, unlike the fabled knowledgeable Crucible crowd do on the whole have some knowledge). Long may it continue to grow is what I say, probably the highlight of the month for me.

Don’t forget to get your team entered into the Anorak List contest, it doesn’t cost you a penny and could be a bit of fun if you like that sort of thing. You can enter your team here and it all kicks off in Latvia.

Here’s August.


Riga Open/ETC1 (pre qualifier)
Arena Riga, Latvia


Riga Open/ETC1 (Last 128)
Arena Riga, Latvia


Shanghai Masters Qualifiers, Barnsley Metrodome


Paul Hunter Classic/ETC2 (pre qualifier)
Stadhalle, Furth, Germany


Paul Hunter Classic/ETC2 (L128)
Stadhalle, Furth, Germany

  • ANON

    An annoyingly good entry for Riga (I can’t have been the only one hoping for a repeat of Sofia 2013) unless any of the bookies price the amateur rounds?
    Ronnie will be seeded through the venue for Shanghai(?) so plenty of notice for his agent to line up promo work

    • Yeah, reworded that as I was forgetting this was the old format. With all these breaking away from Bazza’s flat structure, events being cancelled in China and weeks and weeks with no snooker, is this a mini-crisis developing?

  • Monique

    Also you failed to notice that Ding has not entered Riga neither. The only Chinese player in there in Marco Fu. All others apparently went home and, having problems to get visas from China, wouldn’t risk the fines and loss of entry fees or alternatively come back to UK early enough to make sure to get a visa in due time.

  • ANON

    Its a slow month, but who did World Snooker get to take the pictures for the player Q&As they have put up? They are dreadful – the one of Steven Hallworth looks like they took a cheesy shot of him chalking his cue, at least they cropped it for the website.
    There is a serious point here – these young players need all the exposure they can get in order to get and keep sponsors and stay on the tour, the very least World Snooker can do is make them look good. And I don’t mean a repeat of the ‘hotshots’

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