And so to the Wembley Arena for the Saga Insurance Masters where there is to be no official commemoration of the late Paul Hunter, who won the title three times in four years.
As far as I’m concerned, World Snooker had an open goal here and has spectacularly missed it. Not only would renaming the Masters trophy after Paul – not the tournament, which was never a realistic proposition – been a nice gesture, supported as it is by all the top players, it would also have been the right thing to do.
World Snooker chairman Sir Rodney Walker completely missed the point when he went on BBC Radio 5 Live on Wednesday evening to answer claims that his organisation were snubbing Paul, who died of cancer in October aged 27.
Jimmy White had told the same station that Paul was “the only player to have won it three times.”
As Walker pointed out, Stephen Hendry won it six times while Steve Davis and Cliff Thorburn each won it three times apiece. The argument seemed to be that, because of their success, it wouldn’t be right to single Paul out.
However, there is a very simple difference between Paul and these players: they are still alive.
Paul was the first winner of the current trophy, which has only been presented since 2004.
Instead of naming it after him – which would ensure his name will be mentioned every time it is presented – World Snooker has announced a new scholarship for an up and coming young player.
A good idea perhaps but the problem with it is that it seems to depend largely on the fortunes of whoever is chosen: they can have all the practice facilities, advice and media training going but if they fail to perform on the table they will quickly fade into obscurity.
Lindsey Hunter, Paul’s widow, has today spoken of her sadness at World Snooker’s decision in an interview with Peter Ferguson in the Daily Mail.
She said: “"Paul’s name will never disappear, we’ll make sure of that. Whenever he's mentioned they either call him the Beckham of the Baize or the three-times Masters champion - he's promoting the event for them, even though he's no longer here.
“I’m going to the Kilkenny Masters in March to present a trophy in Paul's honour, and the German pro-am that he helped start and won will be named after him. It's just a shame there's nothing in England.
“I never expected them to call the actual tournament after Paul, that's where the sponsors' name should be. But family and friends were thinking it would be lovely if the winner received the Paul Hunter Trophy.
“I think everybody expected it. Every player I've spoken to, every fan, thought it would be 'a definite'.
“There are obviously five or six businessmen who run World Snooker and their decision goes, unfortunately. But if they were listening to the players and fans, it's what the people wanted.
“At the funeral, Sir Rodney asked if they could do a Paul Hunter Scholarship and you feel so honoured. I said, 'Of course, anything you like.' But nobody has said anything to me about the Masters.
“I don't know if there is a reason behind it. I can't understand why anybody wouldn't want it, it seems to be what everybody else wants. It seems odd when he was so closely linked to the Masters.
“Jimmy White thinks that whoever wins will say that it was for Paul, which is lovely. It will probably get World Snooker's backs up even more. But I can't think of a logical reason why they haven't done it.
“If World Snooker asked him to do anything to promote the game, he would do it. He rang one night from China, when he was out there with some top people. He said, 'I've only had to eat shark fin soup'.
“This is somebody who's so fussy about food. He'd have preferred tomato. But he said, 'I didn't want them to feel insulted.' They had him in a Viking costume in freezing weather in York. He'd do anything.”
I can attest to the way Paul helped World Snooker promote the game. He never turned down an interview and was always engaging with the media.
Interestingly, in the same Daily Mail piece, Andrew Goodsell, chief executive of Saga Insurance, makes it clear the sponsors were not the ones who scuppered the renaming of the trophy in Paul’s honour.
Goodsell said: “It is a tragedy for snooker to lose one of its finest champions in his prime, and Saga supports the view there should be an appropriate tribute to Paul.”
I don’t think Walker actually grasps the genuine ill feeling this has created or that his organisation is about to suffer an unprecedented amount of negative publicity in the media.
Can it really be that World Snooker is digging their heels in simply because the trophy renaming wasn’t their own idea?
My advice to them is to very quickly rethink their position on this.
Paul Hunter deserves proper recognition at the tournament he made his own.