We’re down to the final four at this season’s World Open from Yushan before another quite large gap in the calendar which sees almost a month without any snooker at all going on in this rather sedated start to the new campaign.
It’s been quite an entertaining tournament so far, though again for all but a handful of matches the attendance has been quite poor, not helped really by below par performances from the Chinese contingent, in particular Ding, who looked as rusty as a rusty thing covered in rust.
The large gaps that are appearing in the calendar are not to everyone’s liking, in particular I have noticed those who are a little newer to snooker and who perhaps were only switched on to it after the coronation of Herr Bazza, but for old hands like me it really isn’t a big deal and I look forward to events more when there has been a few weeks of inaction. It is however a far cry from the 365/24/7 snooker that the incoming chairman promised would happen when he was anointed.
But the newbies need not be too despondent as when the calendar picks up again there are plenty of opportunities to watch snooker. It kicks off at the back end of August in Furth for the annual Paul Hunter Classic which of course was famously won last year by the returning Ali Carter, who is also involved at the business end of the current tournament.
Following this, September is dominated by the Shanghai Masters but it’s in October that things really start picking up with the European and English Opens as well as the lucrative International Championships all being played then, so that’s quite a month.
I will use this downtime in the season to work on the detail for the 2017 Snookerbacker Classic, which is quite a scaled down version this year but no less lucrative in terms of prize money or promotion. If any companies out there are interested in a sponsorship package then please email me at email@example.com – there are a range of options available to (marketing cliche alert) ‘suit every budget’.
If you are a player who wants to be alerted to the launch of the Snookerbacker Classic please also email me and I’ll send details out when this is done. Please be aware that there are fewer places available in it this year so it’s likely to be in heavy demand, so the earlier you enter the better. More details will of course follow.
So as we approach the last throes of snooker for a while, it’s time again for a bit of downtime until Germany, no prizes for guessing who I’d like to win the World Open from here. Not least because he was recommended at 50/1 to do so.
Ali Carter v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Neil Robertson/Dave Gilbert v Shaun Murphy/Joe Perry