Snookerbacker

September 1, 2015

The Month Ahead: September

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:57 am
A very happy Captain.

A very happy Captain.

The ‘stop, start’ nature of the opening months of the season continues through September before the nights start drawing in and the snooker calendar really gets into full throttle. There are just two events this month and one of them isn’t really a proper one, in fact there will be a few players out there who have nothing to play in at all until the start of October, a far cry from Bazza’s 365/24/7 wall to wall snooker promises back in the day.

Before we take a look at what to expect over the next 30 days it’s worth just reflecting on how good the Paul Hunter Classic was last weekend. I’m not usually the type to go into gushing praise of winners after an event but in this case you can’t help but feel delighted for Ali Carter. After a rollercoaster ride couple of seasons off the table, Sunday saw him come good again on the big stage at the day job. It may not be a full ranking event but it certainly has the feel of one and you can tell that the players regard it as such. It’s also great news that it will remain on the calendar next season, when changes to the EPTC format beckon.

I had a brief chat with Ali yesterday morning and he was clearly still elated by his victory, he stressed how hard it had become for him to get back to winning ways and I sense that this win will definitely put that belief back in him that he may have just lost temporarily and remind him why he is a top player, despite his current lowly ranking. It’s great to see him back in the winners enclosure and it’s clear that all players and fans think the same. Enjoy it, as it’s not often all snooker people agree on everything.

But the bad news for Ali is that he is one of those who won’t be getting his stick out until at least 30th September as he didn’t qualify for the Shanghai Masters which is the main event of the month and he also isn’t interested in the 6-Reds comp in Thailand.

It’s this novelty event that gets the snooker underway on the 7th and it’s not really something I’m that interested in either. I have no idea how the field is chosen as it’s a mix of professional and amateur players and given that every group involves a Thai player and it’s played in Thailand I think there will be wheelbarrows aplenty in and around the venue. The Thai Wheelbarrow Gang got their float last week on Thanawat so now it’s time to really splash out in their own backyard.

The main event of the month is the Shanghai Masters, which usually serves up some decent early season snooker. The real shame of this tournament is that they have again slotted in a total of 8 wildcards in the first round. It’s a shame that this now outdated system remains in place and I hope all of them get beaten by the players who deserve to be playing in the last 32. The draw for the Shanghai Masters is here.

So all in all it’s still not quite yet into full on mode and it’s not really until November that we start seeing a lot more of the boys on the baize when the calendar really starts picking up and runs more or less right through to the Crucible in April. I told you snooker was a winter sport.

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